We finished our trip to the Bruce Peninsula and I’m extremely happy that we went ahead and did it. Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I happy we did it? 100%. It was our chance to do something completely absurd and it was an amazing experience, but also an amazing challenge. I wasn’t used to being on the saddle for 3 or more hours, let alone while carrying 27lbs of gear, but the training I have done over the last 3 years is the reason I was able to adjust and complete the trip without feeling sore or in pain. However, one aspect I wasn’t totally prepared for was the mental challenge. I knew that it would be physically challenging and I was prepared for that, but I didn’t account for a mental component. It’s hard to keep biking for multiple hours, day after day for a week. You get tired, physically as well as mentally and when you know that at any moment, your one call away from being home, it’s hard to keep going, especially when the terrain gets difficult, water is low, your not entirely sure where you will spend the night, and you’re no where near the finish line. There was a point in which I considered going home. It was the day we made it to Kelso from Dundas valley. We had reached a point in which we were far past the excitement of first starting the trip, but so far away from the end goal that rather than it being motivating, it seemed impossible to reach. The route that day was full of hills and it was extremely hot outside. We were tired and dreading every uphill. The forecast called for thunderstorms meaning we would have to spend the night at home. Knowing that we were going to have to go home because of the weather, I was constantly considering staying home and calling off the trip. It would be quick, easy, and I could spend my time in an air conditioned house doing whatever I felt like doing, it seemed like an obvious and logical choice to make, besides, if we finished, there would be no medal, or crowds cheering, no one would yell our names through a megaphone and there would be no podium. If we finished it was only going to be us at this monument. The only way we could claim this journey to be successful is if we were happy at the end as there would be no race luxuries that could do that for us, we could only be happy if we truly enjoyed the journey and felt satisfied with the work we put in to reach the northern terminus. Despite everything telling me to stay, we went back out, I knew if I didn’t I would live full of regret, and I’m so grateful that we did, because I felt so accomplished when we reached Tobermory. When I reached the northern terminus I felt amazing, I had been there before, seen the monument and read the plaque, but knowing that this time we had started in Niagara and biked the entire way, I felt so accomplished, even now, days after we finished, I still have difficulties articulating what it felt like to finish.
Click on any image to enlarge