The Ballad of TdC '97, Romancing the Bike

by Celia Hope

From Vancouver, on 26th June, we started out,
Twenty four cyclists, across Canada, without a doubt,
However, that's not exactly true,
for most of us, doubts we had a few
Were we fit enough? what about our bikes?
Wet weather? camping? cooking for 24...yikes?!

At UBC, fears subsided as we started to talk
We all have our strengths, and up hills, we could always walk!
There are guys with mechanical know how, well one or two,
And if you wear enough "Gortex" the rain shouldn't get through!
As for a tent, I'm sure we could share?
And pasta and sauce sound like pretty good fare
But perhaps something more creative can be done,
Cooking "Red River", Oatmeal, and French Toast, may be fun?


Day One dawned drizzly and cool and on goes the "Gortex", the TDC cyclists no fool!
We set off with great gusto and there's a crash and a clatter,
Janna is on the ground,...oh no what's the matter?
She's been riding 5 minutes and she's had her first spill,
Later we thought, for her, perhaps this is some kind of thrill,
because cycling "incidents" she would have many more,
and I was the only one, who could better her score.

So on we went for photos and to the Pacific, for our rear wheels we must dip,
and finally through the streets of Vancouver, we were off on our trip!
But alas, it seemed we must make one more stop,
for some last minute necessities from the "Mountain Equipment Co-op"
So that day on to Mission we rode with little mishap,
Apart from some flat tyres and slight misreading of the map!

Once there, a bunch of us felt we still had the strength,
to cycle the hill to camp beyond the planned length,
and that became known to me as the "Unnecessary" one,
and the beginning of the ride, friendship and fun.
And so too began the British Columbia phase,
through those magnificent mountains, past lakes and forests, for the next 10 days.


Apart from a rest day at the Arena, in quiet Sicamous,
where we rested up, did laundry, cleaned bikes, and our tents got a sluice!
Most people were in bed when the irrigation came on,
but from Bonnie's tent there was muttering and swearing before long.
For those looking on, our laughter, contain it, we tried,
but I ended up aggravating the strained muscle in my side.

Mine wasn't the only affliction of course,
many pairs of knees suffered from the hill climbing force,
And it wasn't long before the GORP and the beans
started to put pressure on certain cycling (clothing) seams!
Lucky Janna and Matt having no sense of smell,
however when Henry was around we sure could tell!
But to make sure, he'd turn the music right down,
At least then the camp Managers didn't need to frown.
Even Jeff, our legendary driver, didn't escape injury,
after a motorcycle accident, one leg almost needed amputating just below the knee.

Cyclists on Road Picnic at Field


So up Jackass Mountain, Rogers, and Kicking Horse Pass,
On to Alberta, the long ride to Beiseker was hard on the ......!
To Drumheller, with its fossils and dinosaur bones, we spent a rest day,
Then the prairies, with the wind behind us, most of the way,
But on the ride to Youngstown the head winds would not subside,
and even the downhill from Hanna, didn't lessen the pain in my side,
But then there was Richdale, Youngstown school showers and local cuisine,
again life was worth living, and tomorrow, surely the winds wouldn't be mean?

The long roads continued through canola and wheat fields, so vast,
and under those amazing skies I'd often stop for "therapy of green grass",
I would lie on my back and soak up the air and the sun,
my energy restored and on for the next run,
Lunch stops at derelict farm buildings, or a nearby town and its hotel,
where the buildings and locals all had stories to tell,
"ten new pasta creations to tempt you", or "a free haircut with most repairs",
or the "Sink a Wrecks" which must have sat there for years!

The long road

With those long distances campsites were always welcome,
and the sunsets a treat, but at the end of the day, putting up the tent, always seemed such a feat
and how Matthew's tent pole broke we're really not sure,
Lucky he found a tent to share, for Toronto'd have the next MEC store!

On these days David's "Ruff" posed at every conceivable place,
And for Janna's "Baby's Head", this was certainly no race,
as of side excursions, and photos of any decay, she was famed,
and the "Dally Jana" she was soon aptly named!


So to Fort Qu'apelle for Dan's birthday and our third day of rest,
and for Rick and Matt there was the "Great toast eating Quest"!
When Rick ate through twenty four slices to take the "grand slam",
Matt might have reached that if there'd been toppings other than peanut butter and jam.
Anyway both will be well remembered for their toast eating fame,
(and a local dog, ... certainly didn't complain!),

Next day we were late to get started, my cooking partners and I, for that ride to Spy Hill,
A strong tail wind, but at 38 K, drinking water, a pothole,... you're bound for a spill,
all I could say was "wh wh what about my lovely bike" and "d d d do you think my camera's OK?"
But with some patching and bandaging, sweet drinks and food, we were soon on our way
With forty more clicks, in shock, I insisted the campsite was near,
with the promise of a shower, more food, and of course... BEER!

Post Pothole


Then it was on into Manitoba, and for Winnipeg some tried,
but bike problems and the winds, made for an impossible ride,
Cece did make it, but the rest of us, to Portage la Prarie, we did go,
Tim and I decided to do the gravel road option, no wonder we were slow?!
That night the streets of Portage came alive with festival fun,
and at a local hotel, there was beer to be drunk and Pool to be won!

The day to Beausajour started with rain,
so some of us sat it out, but then the wind was a pain,
However, after Battling it, and a break or two, it seemed to swing round,
A stop out of the rain, and for ice cream, and new strength was to be found,
and now anyway there was only 30 more kilometres to go,
even in my middle chain ring my speed was not slow,
and take the lead from Dan, Rick and Sam, was a must,
and as Tim delighted in telling Rick, they all "ate my dust"!

The next day before leaving camp to go on our way,
We had to help Janna eat through "Canada", the cake for her Birthday,
And then there was one more stop, except for me it became two,
as somehow I mislaid one of my gloves in the loo,
This meant a return to the truck, for my older pair,
hoping blocked drains wouldn't be the result at the camp here,

Finally to Kenora on our 165 K ride, off we set,
a great ride past rivers, lakes, rocks and forests, until we met ...
Ten kilometres of construction, which seemed like much more,
My injuries jarred, vision was blurred and humour was poor!
Spirits lifted with the thought of a rest day, and Kenora in sight,
but to Ancinabe Park, confusion set in, with all those turns left and right!

Next day we all rested and Jeff took his motor bike for a spin,
but without a helmet the local Constabulary spotted him,
so back to the campsite, escorted he came,
the way our cameras were clicking, you'd think he was one of great fame!
Romance was in the air, ... how could I sleep in my tent on such a slope?
And Rick and Mandy found themselves locked in Mandy's tent, when they awoke!


Ruff and Dave snooze

Then well rested, we set off on the hilly roads of Northern Ontario,
and by tranquil waters we camped at Caliper Lake, Taylors Cove and Quetico,
However the hills, and detours for construction, made some days quite tough,
so at MacDonalds, Fort Frances, Sam and I weren't surprised to find a sleeping David and Ruff!

Via Kakabeka Falls was the planned route to Thunder Bay,
I caught up with Henry, with all his gadgets, he must know the way?!
Anyway, a slightly shorter route meant less time in the rain,
and to see Kakabeka Falls, I'd just have to come back to these parts again!

I guess Henry was on a mission, he had some celebrating to do,
because the next day was his birthday, and Braden's too,
We were able to celebrate in style for we had a rest day and a proper bed,
the champagne and wine flowed, at the Residence of the University of Lakehead!
(But where was Bonnie?, it seemed she'd had enough of this lark,
she'd left for home that morning, while it was still dark.)


Recovering Half way picnic

However, the next day of cycling, there were some that felt the effects,
and I'm not sure why that morning Cec turned up with Tim's specs?!
It was Day 32 to Stillwater Campground, (and it too was a special day),
A stop at the Fox memorial, then Pearl Rest Area to celebrate our halfway,
for 3,600 kilometres we'd travelled since we began,
Jeff met us with a special lunch, (no need for peanut butter or jam!)

We carved our initials in the picnic table, then refreshed and with the wind behind,
we set off at a cracking pace, but just 6 Ks to camp we happened to find ...,
a great place to try out Shuttle Board and of course, continue to CELEBRATE!
And for more participants, "Fast" Mark, Tim and I, didn't have too long to wait,
Soon in came Cec, Mandy, Rick, David and that ever faithful Ruff,
the great Shuttle Board challenge, Pool, more beer, then we said "Enough"!

Cycling those 6 K's to camp was the biggest challenge yet,but we did it,
and got the tent up before it got too dark, or too wet,
However "Fast Mark" and David did not have such luck,
They arrived in the dark, and I think, opted to sleep in the truck!


Well, the rain had all cleared for our ride to Terrace Bay,
The views were great, there were hills, but the wind helped us on our way,
Only for 5 hours we cycled, but at nice places we stopped for three,
in Rossport on a "Husbands seat" we had lunch, others opted for "Serendipity"
In the Mighty Lake we even tried to go for a swim,
but that water was far too cold, even for Tim's hardy skin!
Our Rick like most Bike couriers, will try any stunt,
so in this cold lake, he tried his bike out as a Punt!

The ride to Hemlo Mines was fantastic, and it wasn't that far,
but staying awake was so difficult, especially without a "Snickers" bar,
Like others, by the roadside, sleep was the thing I should do,
especially, as at the "Goldmine", it was noisy, the ground hard, and the wind really blew,
Poor Thomas took to under the truck when his tent blew away,
and cooking for our crew was a trial, I must say,
> The lettuce took off, garlic powder blew in my face,
We survived, though next morning, Tim left early from this "Favourite Place"!

But our crew didn't leave till nearly 10 a.m. for Wawa, as we had to "sweep",
And when we met Rick and Mandy at White River, after a snack, David joined them for a sleep,
Now they were becoming renowned for arriving at camp last,
but they didn't miss out on the campfire, marshmallows,
Or Jeff's special breakfast, and special it was, with "flamed" Hash Browns, bacon and eggs!
And as it was a rest day, we could relax and eat it, and take the weight off our legs,
Then outside our tent, by the river, I sat writing post cards and a fax,
so at least my family and friends, might be able to follow my tracks?!
It was Henry's official retirement, again he was in the celebrating mood,
so a few joined him at a restaurant for more wine and some food!


The next day dawned; overcast, drizzly and grey,
soon it was raining and cold, for that long ride to Pancake Bay,
It was a spectacular area, despite all the rain,
and by the next day, most things were dry, to set off again, through more scenic country and views of the Great Lake,
to Thessalon for Thomas's Birthday, which meant ice cream and cake,
and we'd managed to get there early, so got things like writing and washing done,
and so we could relax near the lake and enjoy the setting sun.
(On this trip "interesting" washrooms, we'd seen a few,
and here was no exception, for my jacket matched the walls, a new meaning for "Lost in the Loo"!)

On through more fantastic country with stops by rivers, then at Massey we arrived,
We had a HUGE campsite so found the perfect spot, by the riverside.
We were up early next morning, it was cool, just 5 degrees,
as we set off for Manitoulin Island, the mist hung over the river and trees,
It soon lifted for a great ride, apart from the traffic and Espanola's smell,
and once over the bridge, we could stop at the famous ice cream shop, for a spell,
Cycling was great and from Little Currant to Manotawaning, we took in many a spectacular view
and although we were going on, we called at the campsite, as mail was due,

My bike could now be adorned with flower beads, thanks to a package from Lex,
so properly "Flower Powered", we continued to South Baymouth to a motel, for a great rest,
and where we met with Tim's sisters, had a meal at a restaurant, and slept in a proper bed,
and in the morning a leisurely start for the ferry, whereas the others had sped,
At the dock we checked out the shops and waited to board with the rest of the crew,
except for David and "Fast Mark", for today, in Toronto, they were due,


In Tobermory we relaxed, took in the sights and had one or two beer,
and four of us went for a cruise, around the islands near,
However the boat's rocking motion had a soporific effect,
so Cece and Thomas didn't really see the ships that were wrecked!

Cec and Thomas at sea

A short ride to Harmony Acres, a good spot with the animals and out of the sun,
lots of time to relax, an early night, though partying for some?!
Then to Craigeleith, through some quiet farm lands, we were bound,
There were plenty of photo Opps and a nice lunch spot at Owen Sound, to be found,
And it was a smooth ride except for shaking knees, when in Wiarton a car door came my way,
But fortunately the only damage was a rip in my handlebars, for on my bike I managed to stay,


At Craigeleith some more left so a few less to feed,
and in the morning, those of us cycling, left early and with great speed,
Our aim to get to Mt Albert early so we kept stops short and few,
but Janna and I couldn't resist a drink at the famous diner of "Lou Lou"!
Lou Lou was a collector of paraphenalia and obviously the presence of a cyclist was rare,
Was it because we only bought a drink, that all the other customers did stare?
We met up with Nicola at Baxter, had a muffin and used the "loo",
At this rate we'd easily get to our destination, by 2,
even so, to photograph the sights, we didn't stop,
but afterwards wished we'd made more of the "It's a Girl" photo Op,

We caught up with some of the others in Bradford, and there, lunch we ate,
took a brief look at Sharon's Temple and still arrived at camp, where most of us had a wait,
to go from Mt Albert, our separate ways for the Rest Day, ... and some for longer,
With some TLC and home comforts, most of us then would feel much stronger,
(After this we also hoped to welcome Bonnie back to the group,
but it seems that she really had flown from the coop!)


Long hot day

Then, the day to Cambellford was especially hot and long,
and at some point on the route most people went wrong,
for Sam, it wasn't till we got to the gate of the park,
when he went on, and somehow didn't show up at camp, till almost dark!

We rode through more fantastic country but those three longs days to Ottawa, for me, took their toll,
and when we arrived at Carleton University, I collapsed in a heap like a worn out rag doll,
I was soon revived after eating my way through a multitude of fruit,
with a rest day in the Nation's Capital I was again ready, to tackle the route.

However, the day to Hudson dawned wet and grey,
and to ride the 175 kilometres, really did take all day,
I donned on all the wet weather clothing I had, plus plastic bags in each shoe,
nevertheless, rain for most of the day, and I was soon totally wet through!
Tim and I finally took refuge in a Hawkesbury restaurant for a hot lunch, although late,
then we had to go fast to beat the dark, but got to camp well after eight,
and as we rode in, it was with relief that we sighed,
the truck was parked by a shelter, so tonight, we could be inside!
And even better the next day dawned sunny and clear,
for our ride through Montreal which was really quite near.

Most of the group went via Old Montreal to Mont St. Hilaire,
but Tim and I decided to follow our guide and take a different path there,
It meant at camp, we arrived earlier than most of the crew,
There'd be time to read those letters, and of course there was always washing to do!
Then who should I meet in the Ladies and about to have a shower?
"No Cec, I won't tell," (well at least not in the next half an hour!)
Cooks, Carolyn and Braden arrived later, and in a slightly inebriated state?
However, they were still able to whip up a meal that was great!


Off road cycling

So we rode on through Quebec province, the towns with French names they bore,
and it's rolling landscape, with rivers and their reflections of churches, we saw,
On the way to Nicolet, Janna & I tried some cornfield "off road" cycling too,
and the little house of the short, broad shouldered person, was another interesting view!
It was only a 120 K ride, and even with our goofing around, with a tail wind, we made good time.
Then at the school, most people slept inside, although at that point it was still quite fine,
For dinner there was left overs and Mandy's Birthday cake,
Then a few of us poured over photos, just for old times sake.

Alas in the morning I woke to the sound of rain on the tent,
but ride on to Quebec city, of course we still went,
and we were away early as it was my crew's turn to cook dinner,
(however later Jeff informed us we'd have pizza, what a winner!)
but we didn't get far when Tim decided his fenda, he did require,
then after a few more kilometres back on the road, he got a flat tyre!
Soon it was fixed but alas, after 2 more K, he got another one,
and so arrived at Moulin Michelle for pancakes, to find everyone else had begun!
However, there were still plenty more pancakes and space for us two,
but first of all I desperately, desperately needed the loo!

Refuelled and retreaded, on to the city, through wonderful countryside, we sped,
beside the St Lawerence river to the amazing, old Quebec bridge, we were led,
where Rick was keen to try a stunt or two, but not on his bike,
but Tim didn't hang round, as heights he sure does not like!

At Laval University, we arrived early enough to get Rest Day chores done,
which meant the next day would be totally free, for much fun!
Then the pizzas for dinner arrived after a while,
and we spread out to eat them on the steps, in great dining style!
On Rest day a few of us went for corn lunch, hosted by Henry's cycling club,
then later dispersed to experience old Quebec city's, tourist hub,
and there Tim and I decided to see the old city by horse and carriage, when one came our way,
then took in the street theatre and dinner, to wrap up a very romantic day.

Love is in the air

So next morning we packed up and set off once more,
starting with a ferry ride back to the Saint Lawrence's south shore,
and members of Henry's Cycling club escorted us some of the way,
to Riviere D'Ouelle, with its reflections and fishnets, and where we celebrated "Maritime Mark's birthday,

I missed out on the wonderful sunset as I was on the cooking crew,
but next day, of the fishnets and landscapes, photos ... I took a few,
and at Trois Pistoles that night, with another sunset, we were blessed,
and thanks to Cec we enjoyed wine and hoped for winds tomorrow, from the west,
as this was a day of 183 K, to that place which I still can not say!
Though it was a long ride it was a good ride, with great scenery most of the way,
particularly as we took the quiet roads along the St Lawrence's south shore,
then turned away from that mighty river and before long ahead of us, it started to pour,
We had met up with Sam and he decided to go on through the wet,
however a stop for us, as we hadn't had lunch yet,
Luck was with us and the rain soon went away,
though we still got a little wet from those dreadful trucks spray.
On through rolling treed hills with some farms and lakes to camp, a welcome sight,
especially with a shelter to cook, and eat under, that night,


And it was a cold night, so next morning, as if by a fire, we huddled around,
and on went the clothing, for in this cold, to Petit Rocher, we were bound,
Though four of us decided to take up Cec and his friends, kind invite,
so we were just travelling 105 Ks to Dalhousie, for that night,
And it wasn't long before some layers of clothing were shed,
then a stop just before Matapedia at a restaurant, as some needed to be fed!
Whether it was breakfast, brunch or lunch, we're still not quite sure,
but anyway it meant we could ride on, and enjoy views of the river some more,
However, a head wind and a few hills, energy, they can take all,
and by the time we got to Cambellton, Tim "hit the wall"!
So some "green grass therapy" by a church turned into a nap,
and for the ride on to Dalhousie, there was again, some energy to tap!

At Lois and Jack's, with all those home comforts, we had a wonderful stay,
(which must surely prepare us for that 210 K ride, we would do the next day?)
But even a bed, meals at a table, an armchair and great food to eat,
didn't prepare us enough for that formidable feat!
because the wind blew all the way from Saint Louis de Kent,
and by the time we got to Nash Creek, my energy was getting towards spent,
and there it seems we made a good decision, (or was it luck that was on our side?)
although I was determined to cycle on, I was persuaded to take the ride,


It was a memorable, (and perhaps miserable?), day for almost everyone,
especially for Nicola, who, from her bicycle, she was spun,
As on her head she landed, fortunately her helmet took the impact,
so then she needed a new one, for that one was cracked.
Then there were Cec and Janna who arrived when it was definitely NIGHT,
Janna had to admit kissing the truck, for after 210 Ks, it was a very welcome sight!
Meanwhile the rest of us were enjoying the shelter of a garage and a lobster dinner,
"Maritime Mark's" family certainly made that place a winner,

However, poor Sam, after the next day, might disagree,
for out lobster fishing, he had quite the Barfing spree!
Others of us opted not to get, so early out of bed,
Had a leisurely breakfast out, and lazed around the town and camp, instead
letters were written and bikes were cleaned,
and Braden's bike chain, literally gleamed!
Tim kindly thought he'd clean my bike's chain,
but somehow my bike had got moved, in case of rain!
So of course I ended up cleaning mine myself and wondered if Braden would feel poor,
as now he wouldn't be able to win the prize for "the only bike never cleaned", on the tour!
And so was spent the last rest day of this cross Canada ride,
for we had just one more week of travelling on this eastern side.


The next day to Murray's Corner was fine, warm, and with just a gentle breeze,
no real hills, on good roads, meant we could do reasonable cycling speeds,
through some lovely towns and a stop for lunch on a beach near Cap Pele,
and then to our campsite with views of the Bridge, and overlooking the sea,
Next morning, we got away smartly so we could catch the first shuttle bus,
to go across the Confederation bridge which is of course quite famous,
for it spans 12.9 K's from New Brunswick to PEI's shore,
and on that side we went to the waters edge, to take a few photos more.

Then it was on through the rolling hills of the potato land with the Atlantic in sight,
and a momentous day for me as it was the only time I arrived first at our camp for the night,
It seemed a place of minor incidents, this Provincial Park at Brackley's Beach,
as instead of water I unwittingly swallowed some bleach,
but gargling with water and drinking milk had the desired antidotal effect,
so after a shower and some relaxing, ready to cook I was set,

However while we were cooking, "Captain Laptop Lewiecki" was nearly launched into space,
when suddenly, the cooking burner blew up in his face!
Everyone looked on surprised and amazed,
but Bob was not in the least bit fazed,
and as he walked past, he nonchalently said,
"Can someone tell me, which is the right bread?"
Well Mark got away with neither singe nor burn,
And from his stool the vegies he continued to turn,
So creating the dinner that would do for 2 nights,
enabling most, next day, to take in all the sights,


Through Charlottetown, then to the ferry to cross,
back to the Mainland, Nova Scotia, and for Henry and Tim, no time to be lost!
As through those rolling hills, to Cranberry Campground, they raced,
while I stopped for a snack, took photos, and so was outpaced,
But still in plenty of time to relax, cook, and enjoy a fantastic sunset,
and for Rob's Birthday, there was Cheesecake and in his tent, with oodles of balloons, he slept!

The ride to St. Peters was a mixture of good roads and good views, and NOT,
To the "Campsite of the Year, 1993", though that's not how we'd describe the spot,
However it was to be our last night of camping so much fun was in store,
Beer and wine flowed, and thanks to a broken table, the campfire did roar!
Much reminiscing and then, gradually, most of us went off to bed,
to wake in the morning to find some didn't, INSTEAD
on the roof of the truck Jeff and Braden had slept,
which encouraged a party mood over breakfast, to be kept,

Over the top


And it continued with us as we travelled on to the Teahouse of Rita,
Bob paved the way, although we couldn't greet her,
Morning tea was on the house, fond memories were formed,
and as we cycled on along the shores in the sun, humour was further warmed,
then above Irish Cove, the bandage around my middle, was shed,
however, I still wasn't "incident free", as I found myself locked in the "long drop", instead!
On to North Sydney and Little Bras D'Or we then went,
to the campsite where we ate, but there was no need for a tent,
as by taxi, to the ferry terminal for the night, we did go,
However before settling to sleep on the floor, a fair few beers did flow!

Although sleep in a tent was much better,
we awoke early, to a dawn dull and grey, but this didn't matter,
as for 14 hours on the ferry, that day we would stay, meaning ample time to sleep,
to read, to write, to eat, and just as well, for the next day we were in for quite a TREAT!


We finally arrived at Argentia in the dark, no idea where we were bound,
so we followed the truck lights to an abandoned school ground,
Humour was waning, as we waited to find out where we'd sleep,
no water, no toilets, but an empty classroom was dry and was cheap!
The wind was already howling, by the time we made our beds on the floor,
but we still had no idea what for us, the next day had in store!

For we woke to the sound of the wind and the rain,
grabbed bread and bananas for breakfast and lunch, and hoped it would wane,
I donned on my layers, and plastic bags inside my shoes,
I dearly would have stayed in a warm cosy bed, if I could choose.
But the challenge was there to do this last day's ride,
Though after a couple of hours, at a service station, we were glad to get inside!
Hot chocolate and another layer calmed my shivering and instilled some energy again,
so I was ready to do battle with that 70K/hr headwind, and its rain!
Tim however, thought he'd try for a ride,
but it seemed those motorists just didn't want a wet cyclist, inside!
A few of the group got lifts some, or all of the way,
and in Holyrood we met others refuelling, and sheltering at a café.
It seemed that soup would definitely be something I'd choose,
but first I had to squeeze out my socks in the loos,
for at my feet a pool of water had started to form on the floor,
and I thought the management would not be happy with more!

Once fed, drier and warmer, we set off again,
happier that there was a little less wind and a little less rain,
However the road to St Johns still seemed to go ON, and ON,
and to Tim Hortons it seemed to take SO, SO LONG,
for this is where it was planned we'd get together,
to cycle up Signal Hill, but because of the weather,
a note on the door told us to go on to The Battery Hotel,
(though we went inside and chatted to Nicola and Mandy, for a short spell),
before heading off for the very last grind, and into the hotel I was led,
where the dry and the warmth encouraged me to try for the Hill top tomorrow, instead,
Most of the others had ventured to the top, for wet and bedraggled photos,
but it was a beer and a bath and reading letters, that I chose!


Warmed, relaxed and refreshed, we headed to the Banquet Room for an evening of fun,
Beer and wine flowed, there were photos, and stories and speeches were spun,
then converting others to a tobacco vice was the challenge of Jeff and Braden,
but with all the spitting and choking, who really did win?!
Then before long, exhaustion caught up, and most went to bed,
except for six of us, who to more drinking then dancing, we were led!
And Jana was in the mood for dancing (not dallying), on the table top,
We kept going till 5 a.m., then we started to flop!
But for half an hour more, of our great adventure, "Fast Mark" and I reminsced,
knowing that all too soon that these times and these friends would be missed,
and even in a few hours (before I had got up), some had gone on their way,
and if we'd meet again, ... it was too hard to say.


But all will be remembered, our 24 friends,
Kept together by Jeff, one of those great legends,
There was Bob, who knew the history of every place we went,
And of course Tim, who had an air mattress and the biggest tent!
We'd have been up the creek without a paddle,
if with sick bikes, Matt didn't like to dabble,
Or if any of your gear should stray,
you could rely on Rob, of its whereabouts he'd say
There was Carol who stood on her pedals, to get up all those hills,
while Jana, Nicola and I, seemed to compete for our share of the spills,
Dan, known for his "spinning" of the most RPMs,
Cece, there weren't many places where he didn't have friends,
Greg must have held the record for the most problems with his bike,
However, he and Tom were almost always, the first ones to the campsite,
Tom, another legend, had now ridden TDC twice,
Whereas Braden and David had ridden it once, despite a tobacco vice!
Carolyn, you could guarantee, had the coffee on,
(and of course Bonnie, who at Thunder Bay, suddenly was gone),
To differentiate there was "Fast" Mark, "Laptop" Mark and "Maritime" Mark, ,
Then there was Mandy Lee, who (especially for Rick), was full of spark!
Thomas, with his bandaged knees, did press ups by the roadside,
And Henry with his gadgets had all types of measurements, for each days ride,
Sam, with his Safari gear and "White Lightning" seat,
and finally our Rick, who even sometimes cycled, without anything on his feet!



Tour du Canada | | Celia Hope

This page was created on September 26, 1999. . . . Bud Jorgensen