I don’t regret the things I’ve done; I regret the things I didn’t do….
In one of my first blog posts of last year I stated that my reason for cycling Route 93 ‘end to end’ was:
“….because my many friends who suffer from MS are in need of a cure very soon so they can enjoy a healthy life like you and I take for granted; I think it’s time for a world free of Multiple Sclerosis!”
The reasons to cycle Highway 16 haven’t changed, but there are more: Still at number one, to raise money, awareness and hope for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Number two is still to promote Jasper as a tourism destination when traveling on Highway 93 or Highway 16. And there are a few personal reasons; adventure, challenge, curiosity, surprise, fun, fitness, danger, meditation, fresh air, experience, learning and living, and the chance to see some new countryside, the chance to meet fellow Firefighters, Rotarians and network with all the local folk along the way.
Solo cycle-touring allows me to unwind both physically and mentally, traveling by bicycle there are lots of moments to savour, everything slows down, you are able to study your surroundings and truly appreciate them. Sometimes the moment can be painful, stressful or lonely, like when you’re pushing hard up a steep hill or riding into a strong headwind in the rain miles from anywhere. At the end of each day there’s no family waiting for you with a warm dinner and hot bath, no friends to visit, no job to wake up too. At the end of each long day on the road I never did know what was in store. Would I end up with a mechanical breakdown, flat tire or injury, would I find a decent place to sleep, eat and relax, would I be safe?
During my last adventure, most days everything fell into place, some days not so good, but I met some amazing people and had some interesting and unforgettable experiences. I learnt to take the bad with the good, didn’t set my expectations to high, adapted a go with the flow attitude and focused on enjoying the moment. My ‘end to end’ Route 93 trip was successful, sometimes exciting, sometimes heartwarming and sometimes downright stressful and scary. For me a good day on the road was defined by freedom, adventure and the making of many new friendships, always looking forward to the next day.
I can’t wait to do it again,
Highway 16 here we come!