Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Day Seventeen….

Day 17 started off bright and early....  We got up and broke camp.... cleaned up and headed for breakfast.

While we were finishing breakfast, Darcy came by to say goodbye and gave me a pin.... a little FF ‘Angel on my Shoulder’ pin....  I was very touched. 

From there we drove back to Piapot where we met up with a few members of the Swift Current Fire Department.  We headed out and gradually worked up to a nice pace.... we chatted as we rode and had a few laughs.... we were joined by another rider from Swift Current.... although not a FF, he was definitely a bike rider.... he rode out past us, caught up to us, and just before we arrived in Swift Current, said goodbye and flew away from us.... an incredible athlete....  While he was with us we jockeyed back and forth visiting with each other and passed the time quickly.... 

We were escorted in to the fire hall and visited for a bit.... did a couple of interviews and then I headed out to my hotel for the night on my bike… After getting cleaned up, doing another interview, and making a few calls, I headed back to the fire hall for an excellent meal and more time to talk to the guys on shift.... it was great - thanks for everything guys!!  The meal, the company the thoughts and wishes and the donations.

It was another good day to ride.... sunny, but not too hot.... with a nice tailwind.... we managed the 105 km ride into Swift Current in just over 3 hours....  but man are my legs tired tonight....  early to bed… a longer day tomorrow....

Until next time....

Posted by John on 05/31 at 08:51 PM
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day 16….

Day 16 took me from Medicine Hat to Piapot Saskatchewan.... 

The ride took just over 3 hours....  113 km in total....  I got off the bike and loaded it into the motorhome and we drove a short distance into the community of Piapot....  There isn’t a lot there, but it was interesting driving around and checking it out.... we even stopped and took a couple of pictures....

From there we headed back to Maple Creek.  We grabbed some lunch, then got settled in the local campground.  There we met the owners, Darcy and Joan....  a very nice couple who donated the cost of the stay to Cycle for Life....  we spent some time visiting with them telling them all about my ride and the reason for it amongst other things.  We had our first campfire of the trip and had a very relaxing evening....  well, I did… Cody and Shawn - well, you just have to know them!! 

We also walked around town a bit… did some grocery shopping and visited a pharmacy.... I ended up signing the Medicine Hat newspaper with an article about me in it....

This was a very nice day.... the ride went well with a nice tailwind.... the people we met were extremely friendly, and Darcy was a volunteer with the fire department.... so we managed to do a little prostate cancer awareness there.... 

Until next time....

Posted by John on 05/30 at 08:39 PM
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Monday, May 29, 2006

Day Fifteen….

Today’s ride started where we left off on Friday, Day 12… Lethbridge City Hall.

We gathered there.... a group of riders and a number of LFD vehicles, fire fighters and a new support vehicle team - Cody and Shawn.... This should be interesting - having to train two new people to take care of me the way Rene and Annette did.

We said our goodbyes and headed out with an RCMP escort at about 8:30am....  We started off at a leisurely pace and slowly picked it up.  It was an overcast morning with only a light wind....  a nice morning for a ride. We picked up escorts from numerous departments along the way - Thanks Guys!!  The weather was a little unstable later in the day.... I ended up riding with a light headwind, then rain, then a good tailwind and ended up with a light rain and a headwind.... but we managed to arrive a good hour ahead of schedule....

We pulled the Fire Hall by the airport in Medicine Hat just as a few local riders started to show up.... they were going to meet me out on the highway and ride in with me, but instead, after doing a TV news interview and a few pictures for the local paper, they road through Medicine Hat leading me to my hotel for the night..... The Medicine Hat Lodge.  Total distance today was 175 km....  longest ride distance so far.

We visited for a bit before getting checked in and getting cleaned up.... then a little time for phone calls and checking e-mails and FOOD!!

All in all a great day.... the legs are feeling pretty good after a couple of days off.... the energy levels are up.... Watch out Tim.... here I come!

Until next time..... 

Posted by John on 05/29 at 06:23 PM
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Days 13 and 14….

Saturday was a nice day.... we managed to get a few errands done.... got caught up with the family and actually got some REST!! 

Sunday started off with RAIN :-( .... I made breakfast and we headed out to see a few runners in the local marathon....  After that I managed to get a few things done, including getting my journal caught up and got started on getting pictures of the past two weeks organized and hopefully within the next few days, loaded onto the web site.

For now, it’s time to get a few things ready for tomorrow and then head out to the BBQ this afternoon.... although the weather isn’t cooperating, it should still be a blast....

Until next time....

Posted by John on 05/28 at 12:41 PM
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Friday, May 26, 2006

Day Twelve

YUK!!! It was pouring when I got up this morning....  and cooler than when we were in the mountains....  Oh well, I packed up my stuff and loaded my bike onto a friends car.... the motorhome was full of people and bikes of others.... Cindy even decided to join us - not as a rider, but in the support vehicle....  that was really nice!!

We drove out to Claresholm and got organized.... there was my friend and neighbor Jean, my son O.J. and a friend of his, Cory, as well as two friends from work, Dave W. and Ward E.  We headed out in a steady rain....  before long we were at a good pace and we moved about in the pack visiting.  Time went by quite quickly and before long we were met up by a truck from Fort Macleod Fire Department.... They escorted us in to town where we were presented with a cheque for the Canadian Cancer Society and a hat and patch from the Fire Chief....  I also did an interview with the local paper and after a snack and a drink we packed up and headed out.... joined by a few more of the guys from work…

We headed out into a light drizzle which continued on and off until we reached Lethbridge.....  We were now being escorted by Fort Macleod Fire Department, RCMP and a Lethbridge Fire Department vehicle with PC George Sherring and Training Officer Jesse Kurtz.  Fort Macleod pulled off just as we left town.... we waved goodbye and headed on....  As we approached Monarch we were joined by another old friend and neighbor, Jack C. and a few other LFD riders and vehicles as well as an old Pumper Truck owned by Les H....  Unfortunately by this time we had lost a couple of riders to the cold and wet, but they were safely aboard the motorhome....  We continued on and were joined at the city limits by Lethbridge City Police who escorted the group to City Hall where there were numerous Fire Fighters, City Dignitaries, family and friends waiting to greet us....  It was the largest crowd to date and it was a great feeling to be welcomed home by such a group.  The Mayor said a little speech and presented me with a City of Lethbridge Sweat Shirt and a bag of City pins....  after that I did a few news interviews and some pictures with the bikers who had joined us along the way.  Then it was time to say hi to a lot of friends and family.....  From there we loaded up the motorhome and headed home for a rest....

Did I say a rest.... well, it was peaceful, but the rest didn’t come until after a meal with the family and a lot of fun talking about the trip so far....

Until next time.....

Posted by John on 05/26 at 10:17 PM
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