First of all, I must apologize for neglecting this blog for so long. You see, I had good intentions. I planned on writing about the bike tour we did last July and only got half way through. Then, the plan was the write about the magical trip up to the Nunatsiavut Region of Northern Labrador Peter and I took last August. Our time with the Inuit community up in the Torngat Mountains and then in Nain was the stuff worthy of a novel. Finally, I wanted to recount the epic and entertaining hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, down in Northern California, all 500kms I did with Peter (who continued for another 900kms…) in September. That just happened to be the longest hike of my life.
The incredible spirit mountains in Northern Labrador, the Torngats, with Peter and an ancient Inuksuk With one of the many kids we met and loved in Nain during our visit…those Olympic medals went on many necks!
Well, a lot has happened since then. Peter and I started training in earnest for the Big Ride we just completed for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. It was called Clara’s Big Ride and oh was it epic. We trained in Tucson, Arizona for much of the winter, living out of suitcases and hotels, eating, sleeping, riding thousands of kilometers to get ready for the 11,000 kms that would make up my namesake ride. Oh, and I traveled to Sochi, Russia, in there as well, working the Olympic broadcast for CBC.
Working in Sochi at the Winter Olympic Games with my wingman Adam van Koeverden *note the TV makeup on us both!
In total the last 12 months equals 20,000kms for me and Peter. Each. It was a big year of human powered efforts. Not just this, it was a big year of events for me, as well. That Big Ride was not just about mileage, it was about events. In 110 days I did 235 events, raising awareness and breaking down the stigma attached to mental health in Canada. Over 80 of those were school events. I think I met something like over 55,000 people along the way when presenting. This was all volunteer and so satisfying. Each of the 105 communities we visited from coast to coast to coast came out to listen, share and be involved. As difficult as it was, it was pure magic.
Needless to say, I am enjoying a week off of life. It’s nice to return to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, eat good homemade food, walk the trails I normally run, listen to the birds in the forest…unpack…just move through uneventful days for a bit.
I catch myself looking at the crack under the door to the hall in our condo for a briefing note. 110 days straight that is the first thing I would do in the morning: pick up the briefing note, get some clothes on and head to the Big Ride bus for coffee. Oh does it feel good to see nothing on the floor when I look. It feels good to know I am be silent for a bit, let my thoughts settle, sleep when I need to and do pretty much whatever I want. Which for the most past is nothing.
We’ll see how long this lasts. I’m not one to remain idle for long. I will, however, make an effort to share some of the adventures along the way. After all, why have the experience if you’re not going to share it?
Special thanks to everyone who supported our efforts this past year. It was a big one and will never be repeated. At least not by me.