August 1

August 2nd, 2007

The cool, calm, early morning starts have been working well for me, so I wanted to continue the routine today. But immediately I knew that something wasn’t right. I was on the road leaving Qu’Appelle by 7:00 am. My start time was normal. The storm over night had whipped the heat and humidity away, so the morning air was crisp and cool. The temperature was normal. But as I headed West towards Regina, the wind hit me like a bag of bricks. This ain’t right. Everything was perfect for me except the wind factor.


I’ve said all along that my 2 biggest enemies are rough roads and strong wind. I suppose I can look back now and say “At least the roads were smooth”. Regardless, today marked the second worst, consistently strong wind to date, overtaking the previously recorded second worst day on PEI. To give you an idea of what I was trying to cope with, Regina was 50 km from where I started. I took one break for 30 minutes. I didn’t arrive in the city until about 12:30 pm. I was averaging a speed of about 9 km/h as opposed to yesterday when I was coasting effortlessly at nearly 40 km/h. Talk about frustration.


As I said, I really can’t complain about it. I knew there would be days like this. And it could have been worse. Imagine I had faced these winds while coming through the hills of Northern Ontario, or the rough roads of Manitoba! My day could only get better. And it did.


Just before arriving in Regina, CTV sent a news crew out to meet me on the West side of White City. They took some great footage of me battling the elements and aired the story on the 12:00 and 6:00 news. It’s always great to get the TV exposure. Now I need to work on getting the National coverage rather than just local.


Upon reaching the edge of the city, 2 police cruisers were assigned to escort me downtown. Together we devised a plan that involved me skating a bit differently than normal. The police were a bit concerned knowing that my speed was so slow today. So they recommended having an officer in the lead followed by the RV, then myself, and the second cruiser on the tail. This would hopefully counter some of the wind I’d been facing all morning. The idea seemed to be working, but it was very hard for my Dad to judge my speed since he couldn’t always see me behind the big motor home. So as we approached the Albert Street where I would be turning south and escaping the wind, I pushed past my Dad and got back into our typical formation. Maybe next time we’ll try the Flying ‘V’. After all, it worked for the Might Ducks in the first movie, right?


I rolled into Boston Pizza in Rae Street exhausted from the monotonous morning winds. Not only did I have a chance to meet with Brent from this location, but coincidentally, Brian and Andrea from the Corporate Marketing in Vancouver happened to be in the city. When they heard I was in town, they immediately came over for an introduction. I was fortunate to sit down with all three of them and discuss how BP has been helping me and can continue through Western Canada. They are truly remarkable people, and I can see why Boston Pizza is so successful with employees like Brian, Andrea and Brent.


I had a couple of hours to kill before the actual reception, so we headed over to Donna (my Mom’s cousin) and Gordon’s place, where I grabbed a quick shower and cleaned up a bit. I have to look and smell my best when I know people are coming to BP to meet me!


Back at Boston Pizza, I was greeted at the front door by a friendly couple from Labrador. Peter and his wife just happened to be in town and read about me in the paper. They badly wanted to meet me and read that I would be at BP tonight, so they came over. If I had bought some off-roading rollerblades before my trip started, I would have considered going up to Labrador. But I think 10,000 km is far enough for now.


I still hadn’t even stepped into the restaurant yet when another man came up to me. With a heavy British accent, I knew right away that this was Bruce Hope. But me ears were playing tricks, because it was acctually a New Zealand accent.  I should have picked that up!  Randy in Winnipeg had called Bruce and let him know that I was in town. Bruce brought his amazing family, Marlene, Sean and Stephen, to meet me. They are all very involved in speed skating and really enjoyed the opportunity to see my skates and hear some of my stories. And I enjoyed meeting all of them even more.


Donna and Gordon had also made some calls and arranged to have many friends and family show up at Boston Pizza for dinner. In all, there were probably about 15-20 people in the party. Thank you to everyone who showed up. Including the amazing contribution from the restaurant themselves, I collected nearly $700 in donations tonight. One of the best Boston Pizza outings yet! Hopefully this is just a taste of what’s to come!


Just a last quick note. I apologize for any silly spelling or grammar errors. I’m typically throwing my thoughts into words around midnight after a long day of blading and PR work. So I don’t often read over my own work (bad habit, I know). My Mom and Dad have been great with proofing my journals, but sometimes they get too busy and fall behind, as well. So if you see anything odd, just give us a day or 2 and it’s usually fixed. Be patient. We don’t have a PR team ahead of us, or a technical team looking after the website, or a GPS mapping our route, or an accountant balancing the money, or a chef preparing our meals (except when we’re at BP!). We have to do it all. But we wouldn’t want it any other way. Well, my parents may debate that.

Posted in Daily Journal | 1 Comment »


One Response to “August 1”

  1. Alyssa Says:

    I really think what you are doing is amazing. I met you at the suspension bridges in ontario.
    I was wondering what BP you will be at in Calgary, and when, so I can get all my friends out to help 🙂
    Goodluck with the next couple days.

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