Dino's blog for mini adventures and endurance challenges
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The Last Leg

September 5th, 2013 | Posted by Dino in Canada | Uncategorized

When Diana Nyad, the 64 old woman who swam from Cuba to Florida, climbed out the ocean last week she made a breathless speech to the waiting media: “I have three messages: one is we should never ever give up; two is you are never too old to chase your dreams; and three is it looks like a solitary sport but it is a team.”

Now I am back on dry land (and face the prospect of a warm bed in Montreal tonight), I hope you will allow me the indulgence of sharing my three messages:

1 you lack nothing if you have enough determination (and M&Ms)
2 always cycle with the wind
3 this may have looked like a solitary adventure but I could not have made it all to way to Halifax without you.

Let me expand on message 3. The last leg of my journey was in some ways the toughest. I was tired, I ached, I frequently went to bed at 8.30pm, avocado had lost its appeal, it rained more and the hills in Cape Breton were ridiculous. If I have cycled farther it is because I was supported by the legs of others. You got me on the road and you kept me going: thank you.

(I won’t mention names but I did think it would be highly amusing to post photographs of all your legs.)

Thank you to the people who hosted me, gave me food, and helped me launder my pongy socks. Thank you for the stories you shared, the eggs you fried, and the kindness you showed me.

Thank you strangers for coming to help. Thank your for pulling over in your car on the hot days to ask if I had enough water. Thank you for the pizza, for the car keys, for turning up on the roadside with a track pump, for letting me sleep in the hut when I was too tired to pitch my tent. Thank you for the small gestures that made my day.

Thank you friends, family and followers for cheery and amusing tweets, emails and blog comments. Thank you for putting up with me talking about nothing else except cycling across Canada for such a long time. (And apologies in advance for the large number of sentences I will now begin with “when I was cycling across Canada…”)

Thank you to all who helped me with my preparation, planning and training. From getting my body (and lumbar spine) in shape to telling me that I could do it when it all felt like too much. Thank you for beautiful practice rides in the Cotswold hills, advice on kit, kit as Christmas presents, encouragement, support and generally getting me to the start.

Thank you employers for giving me 3 months off work.

Thank you fellow trans Canada cyclists for laughter and bemusement on route. Thank you for excellent blog writing, advice and campsite recommendations. For many an excellent moment of s’more toasting, hill climbing and eagle spotting. I will remember you fondly.

Thank you bears for not eating me.

Thank you Cycle with Dino cyclists for logging your trips. For encouraging my legs to keep spinning to follow your own honest miles. Thank you for dusting off your old bike, for cycling to work, from Le to Jog, in time trials, holiday spins, day rides, and early morning wildlife spotting rides. Each mile you pedalled inspired me to keep going. I imagined you pedalling with me and it really, really helped. You cycled 11,724km – that’s all the way across Canada and halfway back.

Thank you web master for creating the coolest blog map and for updating the dinomometer.

Thank you Monty for being a true and trusty steed. Thank you for not developing any mechanic problems that I could not fix. Thank you for spinning in the sunshine and persevering in the rain.

Thank you Canada for an amazing adventure.

Together we cycled from sea to sea.

Oh, and the moment you’ve all been waiting for! What do legs look like after they’ve cycled 7,500km?

The original legs. May 2013.

The original legs. May 2013.

The last legs

The last legs

Last legs from a different angle

Last legs from a different angle

Tan lines!!

Tan lines!!

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  • Sarah Galvin

    You have had a wonderful adventure in our beautiful country. I enjoyed meeting you, hosting you (only wishing I wasn’t so crazy busy baking that weekend), and reading your blog. You have inspired me to get back on the bike. I’ll be purchasing one this coming spring. A touring bike. I have never owned one! I won’t be making an epic journey like yours but as you full well know it is one mile at a time. Who knows. I might have a microadventure in the Cotswalds one day. Come back any time.

    • dinojrock

      That’s great to hear! Good luck with the cycling

  • Don Suffern

    Wow, what a journey you have had. A big Congratulations from us at the Sun Valley Trout Park in BC. I hope Canada presented the joy and challenge that made your trip a life time experience that you won’t forget, in a good way I hope. Thank You for taking us along with you. Your blogs made us feel the pains, the frustrations, and the joys that you experienced on the way. I hope some day that you will return to Canada. We think we live in the best country in the world, and you are welcomed back anytime. Oh, congratuations to Monty for a job well done. Have a safe journey home and good luck on future ventures you may take.

    • dinojrock

      You’ve been reading all this time? Wow. I will definitely be returning to Canada. There is so much that I still haven’t seen! What a great place you have to live

      • Don Suffern

        It was such a pleasure meeting You, Kat and David as you camped in front of Cheryl and my trailer at the Trout Park, all just a few weeks apart. Then watching the three of you correspond later on the trip, was really exciting. I am still amazed at your determination and drive that got you from Coast to Coast in this vast country. I fully believe that You will succeed in any challenge life has to throw at you, Good luck and yes BC waits your return trip. Bring Monty.

  • Sarah Galvin

    Just one more comment, I am surprised by the number of rainy days you encountered. I don’t usually consider us to be a rainy country…especially in August.

  • http://cyclingacrosscanada.com Michelle

    I only hope I manage to do as well as you did when my turn comes next summer. Worried most about headwinds in the Prairies as they sound so soul destroying. Oh and the bears!

    http://cyclingacrosscanada.com