• Fundamentals for Fun at Fifty-Five

    1. Dare to try new things

    2. Say yes to opportunities

    3. Relax, smile, dance away your worries

    4. If not now, when?

    5. Just do it (you can analyze later)

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    Zellers - 20% discount first Monday of month
    Thrifty Rental - 5% off time and mileage
    Best Western - 10% off room rates
    Sandman Hotels - 25% off room rates
    Howard Johnson Hotels - 10% off room rates

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Going The Distance: A New Cycling Record For Me!!

#21 – Go on a cycling trip of at least 20 km

We spent so much time on the sailboat this summer that there wasn’t a lot of cycling happening. So I really didn’t think I’d manage to get this item crossed of my Fun List. You see, last summer, the furthest I went (after months of building up my stamina) was about 13 km.  To all you cycling fanatics, that’s barely a stretch but for me, it was like I’d ridden across Canada and back.

That’s why, when I set the goal of 20 km, it seemed like a daunting task.

Then we had a weekend of rain. Or at least it was forecast to rain all weekend. So we didn’t go to the boat. The weather was actually drier than anticipated and we were able to get some cycling in. On the first outing, I managed to pull off 12.5 km. Not bad for underused muscles.

Suddenly my goal seemed within reach. So the next time out, we planned a route along the Kissing Bridge Trailway, part of the TransCanada Trail system. It’s a 45-kilometre trail on the bed of a former railway line. Some parts of it are well maintained and packed dirt and gravel. Other parts, as we discovered, are a little more “rustic”.

We packed a lunch and headed out even though the sky to the north was somewhat dark and ominous. The plan was to ride 10 km one way and then turn around, completing the required 20 km by the time we reached the community centre where we left our vehicle.

It was a beautiful day, sunshine above us, cool breeze. As we rode, tiny yellow butterflies fluttered past, “kissing” our faces and arms. Flying grasshoppers sprang up from the path, bouncing off our bike spokes. One even landed on my partner’s arm, hitchhiking for a while.

Pure joy!

Birds swooped and dove through the trees. A red-tailed hawk screamed overhead, gliding and circling. Squirrels darted out of the way and leaves swirled down to the earth beneath our wheels.

Sights along the way

It was a perfect fall day and all was going well until the path began to deteriorate. We went from a wide dirt path to two narrow tracks and then no tracks at all. Just grass, in very bumpy mounds. I felt like I was sitting on one of those vibrating beds in a cheap motel!

Such beauty! The trail was still fairly good here.

After ducking under an electric fence, we came to a stream where there used to be a railway bridge. Now there’s nothing, just the shrub-covered base where the bridge used to rest. We sat down for a picnic lunch – and a much needed rest for me!

The pause that refreshes!

On the way back, we raced the storm clouds …

Such colour! Can you see the white seagulls against the black sky?

… arriving at the parking lot just as the wind began to howl and I felt the first raindrops. We’d only gone 16.2 km.

“So close!” I groaned, exhausted from the effort. I was frustrated that the weather was going to put an end to my plans.

My partner glanced at the black sky and said, “Let’s do it!”

We scooted along the trail for an extra 2 km and then back to the truck. Ta-daa! A new cycling record for me!


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1 Comment

  1. Whooo hoooo!! Well done, Julie!!! : )


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  • Julie Wise is …

    a writer, author (Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease), life/relationship coach and an intuitive healer by day. By night, she dances flamenco, thrives on chocolate and good red wine (shiraz will do!) She secretly plots to change the world, one dream at a time.
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