posted by alex on Aug 6

The 30th ended up being an eventful day. Leaving Deep River we rode on towards Renfrew after having breakfast at the Metcalfe’s. We had to get off the highway at Pembroke when Theo’s shifter cable snapped. Turns out the problem was a little more costly than a 3$ shifter cable. He ended up spending 140$ on a new shifter since one of his had become defective. Thankfully, the bike shop in Pembroke, Yantha Cycles, had the exact shifter in stock. The owner of the shop actually installed his brother’s shifter onto Theo’s bike and on we went. That night we camped about 13 km west of Renfrew at a KOA campground. I had such a weird feeling putting up the tent for the last time. The whole routine of setting up camp was one of the things I disliked the most about the whole trip. Given the fatigue and the mosquitoes I would often feel like just crawling into the tent and sleeping, but I would never do it. Forget the dishes or the cooking of a hot meal, my body would just tell me to sleep. That night I enjoyed my last camping experience (for now 🙂 ) with Theo and Caro topped off with a reading of Mr. Armstrong’s book. I got up extra early the next morning around 6 making sure to set my alarm on my cell phone the night before. That’s something I hadn’t done the whole trip! Waking up to a cloudy sky I gave ourselves a 50/50 chance of riding in rain that day. We got back on highway 17 and took it all the way to Arnprior. Once in Arnprior I had my usual double breakfast with coffee at a diner. We also opted to take the back roads after Arnprior. We went through Galetta, Carp, Kanata and we eventually connected on the Ottawa river bike path that took us all the way to my home in Orleans. About 10 clicks before Carp the skies opened up but only for about 20 minutes. Just enough for me to put on my sweat fest rain suit realizing that the rain had already stopped. When the clouds parted and the rain ceased we were treated to a beautiful landscape of sunflower fields and winding roads reminiscent of the French countryside. I’ve ridden around Carp before but this time it was definitely different. It was strange going up the same hills and knowing the names of the roads. Something had changed though. The hills were not as challenging, either because of the endurance I’d built up or the adrenaline of the last ride flowing in my body.

We were actually an hour ahead of schedule for the arrival so we hung around in a park before the last kilometer. The welcoming party was out in full force waiting for me on the side of the road with signs in hand. I had been thinking about that moment for at least a month now at it could not have been better.  Well.. except for the traffic lights that forced us to stop at the intersection that was only 150 metres from the finish line. Green light! Cameras in hand, we rolled in to meet the welcoming party. I was a nervous wreck, shaking and hugging my family. Out comes the champagne, fantastic!

posted by gavin on Jul 29


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