Wind and Emotion


I reach my first destination of the day, Brentwood Bay Ferry, in less than two hours after an emotional send off from Pearson College. There is a lone woman waiting to board with white hair and a Cowichan bay wool bag. She reads my jersey, which says Pearson College UWC of the Pacific. She then says: “That is the best thing in the world?”. Amazed, I asked her who sent her there to say that. Turns out no one. She works in restorative justice and has a particular interest in the plight of first nations people who end up in prison. She volunteers every week at the William Head Institution located near the College. She spoke with great animation about going to One World every year. Her dream is a world where more young people get exposed to what happens at Pearson College.

The first 40km are full of wind. So strong that it was hardly necessary to pedal from the College until heading north to Brentwood Bay. I have lots of emotions in the first hours. At times I feel like a child again off to explore something in the woods. And I am so grateful to have the freedom and support and good health to do this.

The bicycle with me holding it weighed 243 pounds with full water bottles and some extra gear. As I weigh about 177 pounds (right now). A fully loaded 67cm steel bike weighing in at 65 pounds is fairly light in comparison with others I have read about. I hope to be able to shed five pounds or so off that once I figure out what I truly need. 20120528-142832.jpg


From Mill Bay I journey along the coast avoiding the highway. At about 80km I begin to fade. Too little sleep, too much adrenaline maybe low on fuel and electrolytes. In Crofton I stock up with a six pack of V8 tomato juice, almonds and a ten pack of peanut butter granola bars. Eating and drinking a lot of the stash, I make my way to Ladysmith, where my odometer clicks into three digits: 100km, 1% of the 10,000km trip completed. Perfect cycling weather, complete with rainbows.

I take the Island Highway from Ladysmith to Nanaimo but misunderstand the rendezvous point with Phil Macoun, PC Year 13 and go all the way to Duke Point. I have to backtrack and this adds 12km to the day. With Phil, we meet as it approaches 9pm. We get our lights on and onto bike trails to his home north of Nanaimo, Lantzville. By then all but one V8 remains and one granola bar and we pull into his driveway at 10:30pm. My odometer reads 146km. I am tempted to ride after a shower just to complete a “century” – which usually refers to 100 miles in a day. I am just shy of that today.

Start: 10:30 am Metchosin
Finish: 10:30 pm Lantzville
Distance: 146km with a detour

average speed
Time in the saddle
Highest speed

And three self coaching questions (thanks to Ian Chisholm of the Roy Group, who has coached is to coach ourselves and each other with these three questions:

What went well?
What was tricky?
What could be done differently?

Too tricky to answer this late.

10 thoughts on “Wind and Emotion

  1. Well, you did a Metric Century at any rate. You’ll be doing Imperial Centuries, and possibly even Double Metric Centuries, as the trip progresses (I just discovered your blog and am way behind, you may already have done both these things šŸ™‚ ).

    My own longest tour was from Victoria to Edmonton, so nothing of the magnitude that you’re doing. I’m envious! Thank you for the blogging, and I look forward to getting caught up, and continuing to read your journey.

  2. Wonderful start… I love your writing, and I hope you can keep we armchair cyclists going with your updates. From my own cycle touring, I have one favorite on the road: tuna fish, those little single-serving tuna tins along with a bagel from your pack will keep you going for another 9000km or so! I don’t know about the trainer’s advice, but the tuna was the trick for me! Good luck tomorrow!

    • Hi Andrew, just the advice I need. I am working to stay away from sugar drinks like Gatorade and get electrolytes through things like fresh fruit, tomato juice, bananas etc but I am not sure I really know what I am talking about. I read a simple but compelling chapter in the book, “Just Ride” before I left and it got me thinking about simplifying the fuel. The tuna idea is a good one a I could very likely find it in most little convenience stores. Bagels, not so sure. David

  3. Absolute best of luck for your journey! We’ve been reading about it on the UWC facebook pages and my parents and I (all 3 of us are UWC alumni) are supporting you all the way. Looking forward to meeting you when you reach the rocky shores of England!

    Chan Ning
    Med Student, King’s College London

  4. May the wind always be at your back, David. šŸ™‚ Sorry you won’t be stopping in Nova Scotia en route but I will be reading your updates with great interest. Best wishes!

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