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The Ride

Leg One
Land's End - John O'Groats

Check out the route in detail on Strava 

Well, this is my first Leg of this cycle challenge well known as LEJOG. There are many different routes you can take to do this iconic challenge so, I have combined parts of other cyclist routes into this one. They say the hardest part of the journey is Cornwall. It’s a familiar theme from what I have read being relentless hills of going up and down until reaching the area of Summerset. I may well call this the “Roller Coaster Nightmare”. We just have to wait and see. I will look at this part of the warm up to my journey and enjoy what’s around me and the picturesque scenic areas that await me (eg: Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Glencoe, Lochness) However, I do have limited time and need to average 124 km / 77 miles a day at the same time trying to stick to as many quiet roads as possible so that conflict with 4-18 wheelers is limited. 

Leg Two (Section One)
Halifax - Vancouver

Check out the route in detail on Strava

Crows Nest highway  through the Cascade mountains 

A section of the Route Verte

The original plan went from Vancouver to Halifax which is apparently much easier because more often than not you have that tailwind behind you. However, I have broken the rule and have decided to cycle from East to West. The furthest I have ever been in Eastern Canada is Toronto so I will saver the moment. My starting point is Pleasant Point Park at the Naval Memorial in Halifax Nova Scotia. This is where I will dip my tires into the Atlantic Ocean and make my way to Vancouver. Nova Scotia, (Latin for New Scotland also Nouvelle Ecosse in French and Alba Nuadh in Scottish Gaelic) and New Brunswick are 2 of the 4 Maritime Provinces in Canada which I will cross into Quebec. I will pop into Quebec City, which is one of the oldest French settlements in North America and the only city North of Mexico that still retains the fortified ramparts that surround the Old City. Quebec is Canadas’s most bike-friendly province with over 5,000 Km of connected trails. Even National Geographic named the newly completed Route Verte (Green Road) the best in the world. Hopefully, I will cycle a part of this route, from Sainte-Foy to Montreal and then join the Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario to Toronto. I will dip out of it to get to Ottawa and then dip back into it. I am aware that this time of year it will be very hot with high humidity as I follow the shoreline of Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. Due to the size of these lakes, it looks like a vast ocean and I look forward to seeing this.  

Leg Two (Section Two)
Halifax - Vancouver

Check out the route in detail on Strava

Highway 3 or known as the "Crows Nest" winding its way through the Cascades

From the hills, trees, black bears and the vast lakes of Ontario I now enter the plains of Canada being Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. This is known as the breadbasket of Canada, mile, and miles of wheat, barley, alfalfa, canola, flax, rye and oats with long rolling hills. Wheat is still the main staple crop in Canada producing somewhere around 29.1 million tons in 2017. All the cereals grown in the prairies is transported by train and these trains reach over a mile long and it is an amazing site to see especially as they make their way west and through the Rockies to the coast. Once the home of the Plains Indians (Plains First Nation) and where the bison or buffalo roamed. The Plains Peoples of Canada were made up of six cultures, Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwa, Assiniboine, Nakota and the Dakota. My son and daughter both carry middle names from these First Nation Peoples. The crosswinds and headwinds are very unpredictable and it can get pretty nasty cycling through the prairies. Once I hit Calgary I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is near. From here all the way to Vancouver I know very well. Travelled this many times growing up visiting the Grandparents, Aunts, uncles, and cousins. I will follow part of the route that I cycled in 2015. Two things that I will need to pick up in Calgary is bear spray and an air horn. From Calgary to Hope is going to be hard going with an elevation gain of 10,537 meters / 34,570 feet in just 9997 km / 619 miles cycling through 5 mountain ranges (Rockies, Rocky Mountain Trench, Purcells, Selkirks, Monashees and the Cascades) Hope is where they filmed First Blood (Rambo starring Sylvester Stallone) and from here to Vancouver is pretty flat following the Fraser River. The main issue for me as I get closer to Vancouver will be the traffic and will need to keep my wits about me until I finish up at Jericho Beach and dip my tires into the Pacific Ocean.

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