August 7 and 8

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Lying down, I can hear thunder and rain roaring in the background. Although the past few days of biking have had some rain, nothing can amount to the rain that Grand Falls-Windsor is receiving tonight.


Yesterday was the longest bike day of the entire trip, over 120km from Deer Lake to Springdale. Despite the distance, the overall ride was not a difficult one in comparison to the previous rides. I am not sure if it is because I had a rest day, or because I was not faced with the winds and hills that previously slowed me down. Perhaps it is a combination of the two!


Upon my arrival in Sprindale, my sister and I checked into the Pelley Inn, which sponsored a one-night stay, and stopped to have a quick rest before heading out for supper. My sister and I were invited to a local family’s house for dinner – Linda and Jerry Brett. Both Linda and Jerry had contacted me via e-mail to invite us over for a salmon dinner, and even offered to make pancakes for us the next morning!


Dinner turned out to be more than just salmon, as the table was filled with soup, salads, breads, desserts, you name it! While Linda and Jerry had cooked the main dish, the other dishes were cooked by the other guests, as Linda had invited some of her friends whom she bikes with over to meet us and join us for the meal. The entire night was filled with laughs, story telling, and of course lots of eating. It was great to have met such an incredible group of people, all of whom were touched my cancer.


Today started off with delicious blueberry oatmeal pancakes that Jerry had cooked, as well as, an interview on the radio with CBC news. Both were successful – the pancakes were delicious and the interview was great! After finishing the two, we said our goodbyes and were on our way.


Despite the showers, overall the weather was not too bad. For the majority of the time the skies were fairly clear, and only a few drops of rain would appear here and there, but never too much to hinder my ability to ride.


What did temporarily hinder my ability to ride was the flat tire I received! Thankfully the day before I left for the bike trip, Vicki Parsons had taught me how to change a tire. After a few failed attempts, finally my bike was running smoothly again! In fact, NTV news happened to arrive just as I began to change the tire and took a video!


After arriving in Grand Falls-Windsor, I visited the local Canadian Cancer Society office. As I pulled up to the entrance I was welcomed by a window decorated with welcome signs, a group of excited CCS workers, and a table filled with fruit, water, and crackers. After chatting for quite some time, my sister and I had one last thing to do before resting for the day! The workers of the Bishop Fall’s Correctional Centre had collected funds before my arrival; therefore I agreed with the workers to come visit the facility! Aside from receiving the generous donation, we were even given a tour of the place!


The past few days have been a blast! It seems like everyday the journey is getting even better. Hopefully tomorrow is the same! Let’s hope the weather isn’t too bad for riding – off to Gander tomorrow!


Maike van Niekerk

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