May 14

May 14th, 2007

I started the morning off with a little taste of luxury…. a hot shower! And believe me, I needed it. Not necessarily because I stink (although that’s mostly why), but because it was -3 degrees outside! The truck stop we stayed at last night in Deer Lake had all the amenities you could ask for, so a hot shower was well needed.


Feeling refreshed, I set out with into a cold, sunny morning. The scenery around me was incredible. Calm lakes, snow-capped mountains, blue sky, no wind. Even in the frigid temperatures, I was able to make good time. I’d covered nearly 5o km before stopping in Corner Brook for lunch.


Just before Corner Brook, the views continued to amaze me. As I skated past a ski resort on my left, a beautiful dark river was winding through the hills to my right. The road I was on followed the water around a bend where the river turned to rapids. It was right out of a movie.


Then I rounded another bend to see a long climb ahead of me towards Corner Brook. I think the hill leading into the city was my most challenging incline so far. But the conditions were perfect for skating at this point. The air had warmed up to about 8 degrees and the breeze was slightly behind me. And then the call came in.


“Rich, we need to stop and check the brakes”.


My dad had mentioned previously that the brakes felt soft. But now that we were getting back into the hills, he was beginning to grow concerned. We were planning to stop in Corner Brook for lunch, anyway. So we pulled into Thruway Auto to have them take a look for us. It looked and felt like the brake lines just had some air in them. So they bled the lines and sent us on our way.


With a sense of relief (again), we headed to the grocery store to pick a few things up. We hadn’t driven 100 meters away when my dad said something didn’t feel right. So we swung around and headed back to the mechanic. Long story short, we are now stuck in Corner Brook waiting for a master cylinder to be flown in from the mainland. It’s like deja vu all over again. I suppose the fortunate thing is that today is Monday and the part will be here at 9am. The mechanic expects us to be on the road around 10. So I’ll hopefully only lose less than 1 day of skating. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!


I got an message today from my friends who I met near St. John’s a few days ago. Remember the couple I met on the TCH who are cycling across Canada? Brad and Tina. Well, it turns out that they are only a few kilometers ahead of me right now. In fact, I would likely be in the same town as them tonight if the RV hadn’t needed these repairs. I haven’t got all the details from Brad, but they are taking a couple days rest in Stephenville. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up to them and maybe grab the same ferry when we reach Port Aux Basque.

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