Friday April 10, 2015
I arrived early in the morning at St. John’s International airport where I took a taxi to the ‘Greenwood’ motel. The taxi was a big car so my bike box fitted in easily. The taxi driver asked me why someone comes to Canada with a bike in this time of the year. After my explanation he was very impressed by my story. He knows the former chief of NTV, a big TV channel in Newfoundland. After reaching the motel the taxi driver started searching for the man’s telephone number. After he found it I went to bed and I had a good sleep. It had been a long day…
Later that morning I rebuilt my bike. That went well, although there was a flaw in my front wheel. Luckily I managed to get it right in little time. The people over here are most friendly like the motel manager who served me coffee several times. After a test ride on my bike I drove immediately to the Terry Fox monument. At the time I got there I was all by myself along with beautiful weather… An unbelievable beautiful moment that was also emotional for a while because I felt Terry at a close distance.
Guided by my TomTom I drove to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). They were surprised that I came all the way by bike to visit them. Donna Gear, the manager had just left, but I have been spoken with the other ladies. The lady that took over the shift at the desk was very sad because shortly before she heard that her sister in law was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. I walked back to my bike outside to grab a ‘Strength of Hope 2015’ bracelet for her in my bike bag. “Give this to your sister in law and tell her that I will cycle for her too. There is always hope and tell her too that she has to fight for it!” Then an explosion of emotions followed from anyone who was present. And I was hugged in a good way. That was a bit strange because at that time there were ladies that came looking for a wig due to the consequences of chemo therapy. A heavy but very special moment.
Then on my way to the Wallmart for grocery shopping: bread, toppings, water, fuel for my cooker, a new prepaid telephone card etc. And back again to the ‘Greenwood’ motel. Cycling along the roads is indeed something to get used to. In the city which is very hilly there are no emergency lanes, so I really drive between the cars in which drivers don’t count on a cyclist now. "A bit scary."
It was already late and therefore I decided to eat at the 'Red Rock' of the motel, where I had a perfectly good steak... "Enjoy!!!" And after that I went to bed on the right time and I slept well again.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
"The day started with bad weather: ice, snow and rain! I remained therefore inside and called the media. I instantly had a phone interview with ' The Voice Of the Common Man ' (VOCM) a very popular radio station. The funny thing is that their logo is next to my webcam on my website! I've also been in touch with Jim Furlong, the man where the taxi driver was talking about. He is retired, but still works and has many contacts. He could not promise me that a TV crew will be ready on Sunday morning, but he was going to do his best. He can arrange a camera crew in ' Grand Falls Windsor ' and I think that will be fine. I have also contacted the Telegram, a popular newspaper. By the way I got advises from various persons about media I should try to contact.
I repacked all my stuff again today and held a day of rest. In the afternoon I skyped with my wife and youngest son. After the weather was dry I went out to get some final stuff at the Wallmart. Right there in the neighborhood I ate at the Pizzahut! I have to say that the pizza really was not wrong there. Back at the motel there were various motel guests who wanted to see me and who wanted with me on the photo. And I got a ticket from a man who pressed me to cycle along to meet him in Aurora. That is just above Toronto. "I'm going to cook a good meal for you!" he said. And I went to bed on time, but before I could really go to sleep it was already 10:30 pm..."
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Han Schomakers