The Ups and Downs of Cycle Touring

Red sky at morning...

We knew that not every moment of cycling would be great. We knew that some days would be downers. Perhaps we should have heeded the signs. Our first sight from the tent this morning was a red sunrise. You know what they say…”Red sky at morning, sailers take warning.” I think it applies to cyclists as well.

For starters, Rich has been battling a cough and cold for a week. Three nights in a tent didn't help matters, and by this morning his eyes were ringed with red. Between the hacking and his visual appearance, he was a convincing invalid. I was fighting my own battles. The derailers on my bike were acting up and my frustration level was rapidly rising. Lacking a bike shop in any towns we've passed through, I began to envision cycling 2,000 miles with slipping gears. Having the chain come off completely as we rushed to catch the ferry didn't help. We both hit a low as we boarded.

There was a dense morning fog that enveloped the ferry as we crossed back to the mainland. It stayed with us for the remainder of the day, and created a quandary. Should we take the scenic detour down to the coast? It meant extra miles and most likely hillier terrain, but it would be a respite from the highway and supposedly offered beautiful views. We went for it. But it was clearly a dud. The tide was out and the fog was in, obliterating any glimpse of the water. Worse yet, we had not found any food options since breakfast. As the miles mounted up, so did our hunger. And that really dampens the mood.

Fred and Wilma?

It was the Flintstones that turned the day around. Or their cars at least. Sitting in the front yard of a house they were too good to pass by without a photo opp. In fact, Rich confirmed they were a valid “purple cow” – his term for a unique and usually slightly crazy sight. The detour was suddenly worth it and the day seemed brighter.

Moose Alert!

Our good humor restored, we pressed on toward St. John. Having passed numerous deer signs, we took particular pleasure in seeing our first moose sign in that part of Canada. Things were definitely looking up. Good thing it doesn't take much to entertain us.

A clean motel room, a delicious dinner of local scallops, and ice cream treats acquired on our circuit through the grocery store were great mood lifters as well. The prospect of a good night's sleep for Rich and an appointment at a bike shop in the morning for me have worked wonders. I think we are on the upswing.


1 thought on “The Ups and Downs of Cycle Touring

  1. Will you be going to Prince Edward Island? It is quite beautiful! Enjoy your time in the Canadian Maritimes! My daughter Kaitlyn will be back in Halifax after Saturday the 17th. You could email me for her contact if you need “Halifax advice” Cheers to a good trip! Sally (Myra’s cousin)

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