For those of you who have followed my blog for the last few years, you will be well acquainted with the Cycle of Hope. A fundraising bike ride for Habitat for Humanity Manitoba, the Cycle of Hope is celebrating its 24th year of successfully financing the construction, each year, of a Habitat home for a Manitoba family.
Dennis and I have been in New Zealand for more than two months, yet I have hardly been out on my bicycle. First, it was a shoulder injury and then it was pure laziness but when friends visited from Canada, it was time to show them one of our favorite New Zealand rides.
Yesterday, as we made our way to New Zealand to escape the Canadian winter, I flipped through the list of inflight entertainment and noticed a film, Le Ride, the cover art depicting cyclists juxtaposed against the Eiffel Tower.
Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions. I do. Mine aren’t all that original. They include the typical things like going to the gym, eating healthy, being more patient with other people and making my bed every day. I could pretty much take last year’s list and change the date and I would be good to go for 2017. It’s not that I don’t accomplish the things on my list, it’s just that they are hard things for me and I find that year after year, I have to keep working on them. If I don’t include them as part of my resolutions again then I might not be inspired or reminded to do them.
Just 2 1/2 hours north of Halifax, Cape Breton Island is linked to the Nova Scotia mainland across the Canso Causeway. Noted as one of the world’s top 10 drives by many media outlets, Cape Breton Island is a must-see destination. In particular, the 300 kilometer (185 mile) Cabot Trail scenic drive draws thousands of tourists each year, adding much needed revenue to the otherwise struggling economy of Cape Breton.
I’m always looking for something a little different to add flavour to my list of travel experiences. Why just explore a new area on a bike when I can be part of a bigger experience and share that ride with 850 other cyclists? Sign me up.
With that in mind, Dennis and I found ourselves at the starting line of the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie starting in Saulnierville, Clare, Nova Scotia, a little hamlet along the Acadian coast overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
Travelling in New Zealand last winter, we often had conversations with New Zealanders about Canada. They gushed enthusiastically about the Canadian Maritimes. We felt incredibly sheepish admitting that we had never travelled there.