Day 63 – Augustine Cove, PE to Truro, NS – 180km

I woke up curious today. I knew that bikes weren’t
allowed on the Confederation Bridge between Prince Edward Island and New
Brunswick. However, when I was sitting in the RV, driving across the bridge to
the island, I didn’t see anything preventing cyclists. I didn’t see any “no
biking” signs either. It’s a one-way toll bridge. The toll is on the Prince
Edward Island side. The bridge had a wide paved shoulder and looked quite
pleasant to cycle on. So, were cyclists truly forbidden from pedaling across
the bridge?

I decided to test these waters.

Yes, it is absolutely forbidden to cycle on the PEI
Confederation Bridge.

I avoided the tolls that would have instantly stopped me.
I went through the village of Borden-Carleton and took a one-way street to the
highway, pedaling against the traffic on the shoulder. There are things a
cyclist can do, but shouldn’t do, that a car cannot do. Then I crossed the
road. Now I was past the tolls and the bridge was ahead of me. Perhaps it would
be an uneventful cycle. I pedaled up the first part of the bridge. I went by a
few construction workers. They didn’t seem to care…actually they did once they
noticed me 25 metres past them. They started shouting at me. Oh well, already
this far. I pedaled a couple kilometres into the bridge. Then I ran into more
construction. One lane was closed off. I was stopped, and very shortly the
bridge patrol came and picked me up, took me back to PEI to pay the shuttle
fee, and then I got shuttled over to New Brunswick. By this point, I just wanted
to get back on my bike.

On my bike again in New Brunswick looking back on the PEI Confederation Bridge

I had gotten on the road at about 8:15am only 15km away
from the bridge. It was now 10am. I pedaled. It was sunny. I took the Trans
Canada for about 20km, and then ended up on a quiet 2-lane country highway that
wound its way next to the sea. There was very little traffic, so it didn’t
matter that the road was narrow and had no shoulder. I was still feeling
foolish for wasting my own time, trying to cross a forbidden bridge. Oh well,
that was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I wouldn’t call it a bucket
list experience, but it’s something I’ll never forget. My mind was quite
occupied, so the kilometres stealthily rolled by.

Before I knew it, I ended up in this small seaside town
called Northport. A construction crew was putting in a new bridge. Often, when
there’s construction, a cyclist can go through a parking lot, go on a sidewalk,
or walk around if it’s really bad, and ultimately avoid a long detour. Since
they were putting in a bridge, I didn’t have a chance of avoiding the detour.
It was a 9.4 km detour of gravel road. There were some super coarse sections. I
even unclipped from my pedals on a couple occasions; just in case. I managed to
make it through on my slick tires without getting off my bike. The last part of
the detour was paved. However, this last paved section did a big-U. Wait a second…Aren’t I going back in the
direction I just came from?
I ended up on the other side of the bridge,
literally 300m from where I turned off onto the detour before the bridge. Dear construction detour: you’ve got to be
kidding me.

That darn detour

How to navigate coarse gravel with slick tires

It is what it is. The sun was still shining. After all
the rain and headwinds I had earlier in the trip, I’ll appreciate the moment
anytime I have good weather. I kept pedaling down and over small rolling hills
and quaint seaside villages.

A perfect day on a quiet seaside road. Jealous?

Tribulation number 3: I got a flat tire. Flat tires are
always annoying, but they aren’t a huge setback as long as you know how to fix
them and you have the spare tube and the pump to fill the spare tube. I possess
both.

I arrived at Belgravia Bed and Breakfast in Truro a
little after 5pm. I was feeling quite tired after the unexpected challenges of
the ride. It was quite a rewarding ride to finish. I sat out front for a while
unsure of what to do. Gail hadn’t arrived in the support vehicle (with the
food). I was supposed to meet one and maybe two people at the B&B sometime
between 5 and 6. I was also hungry.

Janice Archer from the Holland Bloorview Centre in
Toronto had flown out to ride with me from Truro to Halifax. She had flown into
Halifax earlier in the day and then took the bus to Truro. She was staying at
the Belgravia B&B in Truro, and kindly offered my mom and I to come stay
too.

Janice came out front and found me. We went to grab subs
for dinner.  By the time Janice and I got
back from dinner, my mom had arrived at the Belgravia. Janice, Gail and I sat
in our RV talking and joking about the goofy pictures on the side of our rental
vehicle.

Janice’s bike was still disassembled on D’Arcy and Anne’s
back porch (the kind owners of Belgravia). We took care of that bike. I have to
give D’Arcy and Anne credit. They are two of the very few people on this trip
who haven’t hesitated to shake my hands covered in grease and bike grime.

After a long hot shower (and a spacious shower, not a
typical crouched power shower in the RV), it was amazing to fall back on a
comfy bed. Thank you D’Arcy and Anne for the wonderful room and your excellent
hospitality! Thank you Janice for providing the room for me! It was wonderful
to have some creature comforts which I have missed.

-Skye

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