Here we go! After a two day drive, sixty Winnipeggers rolled into Niagara Falls today, amid little fanfare, but with a big task at hand. We leave tomorrow morning, heading back home, but on the return trip, we are on bicycles. We will cover 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) in support of Habitat for Humanity and the Cycle of Hope.
The group is about 50 cyclists and 10 support people, all committed to making a big difference in the lives of a Winnipeg family. We have raised $175,000 to build one home for one family.
Today, we introduced ourselves to those we haven’t yet met, knowing that we will get to know them through the next two weeks. We have organized all our gear. We have laid out of clothes, shoes, helmets and all the other paraphernalia we will need tomorrow morning. When the wakeup call comes at 5:30, we might not able to focus enough to remember all the details. Fill the water bottles. Check the tires. Sunscreen? Got your map?
We had a few spare hours this afternoon. I joined a group who was dropped off at Niagara-on-the-Lake and cycled along the Niagara River Recreational Trail that borders the Niagara River and Niagara Falls. It was a short 30 kilometers, to make sure our bikes were in good form and to shake some of the “rust” off after two full days of driving here. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake were both humming with tourists. The bridges out of Niagara Falls were jammed with traffic heading home. The thing that struck me the most about the falls is the amount of cooling spray in the air, even though we were well away from them, across the river from it.
Now, as I write this, we put the finishing touches on the plan for the morning and wait with great anticipation for a super day tomorrow!
Here are a few random pictures from today.
P.S. I just wanted to share a funny occurrence from this afternoon, that fits right in with a post I did late in June, titled Serendipity and Yarn Bombing. I only know two people in Niagara-on-the-Lake – the president of the company I worked for in Winnipeg for nearly 25 years and his wife. They retired and moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake a few years ago and I haven’t seen them since. While we were cycling there, having clocked less than five kilometers and who do I pass, but my old boss. I seem to have that serendipitous vibe going again!