I’d had this ride in my head for a long time – over 4 years had passed since I’d first settled on the idea that I was going to head out to ride the route. To finally be sitting in the airport waiting to go, my bike working it’s way into the hold of an aircraft, my kit in my carry on, was unexpected. Part of me really never believed it’d come to pass, but it did, just not as smoothly as it could.
Arriving in Canada knowing my bike was not on the same plane as me was……unhelpful. Nevertheless, BA flight staff assured me I’d have it before we left on Friday – I went with it and got on with my plans. Bus to the hotel – sleep – eat – bus to Banff – wander around and kill some time when I should have been tweaking my bike. The plus side to this was I rested a bit more than I would have otherwise, read my book, drank some beer and generally didn’t think about riding 4,400km over the next few weeks.
My bike arrived on Thursday morning – walking down to check if it was there at 7am made me one of the happiest people in the hostel, unlike the people puking their guts up in the toilet all morning. Silly 20 something kids. Bike was put together, kit was attached and I rolled out to reccy the first few hours of the route. It felt amazing to be back on two wheels after nearly a week without riding – I was acutely aware that I was eager so rode slow and steady – no point doing something stupid at this stage.
Bike all sorted. Kit was packed. Food for the first two days added to the bike. I was done and I wandered down to town to meet John and Nigel for some food and a beer before an early night. Surprisingly, sleep came easy and I woke before my alarm and left before the first sounds of chundering stomachs graced the hostel.
Then that was it, we waited for Crazy Larry to do his thing – which took forever – before a group photo and then ready to go. Lets get this show on the road.