Roger Friesen Bike Ride

27 Apr Tip 2 Tip – What IF I could? :: Part 1 of 3

As someone who loves being on the water and has spent many years sailing on BC’s stunning coast, I have also spent many hours poring over maps and charts of this area. As a result, I have a vivid mental image of Vancouver Island. I have studied it in great detail, looking at the coast line, looking for places to visit, places to anchor, and generally dreaming about this coastal treasure. This means also that I have seen the main highway artery – one long highway connecting the length of Vancouver Island. From a cycling perspective, an enticing idea recently emerged: cycling from the northern end to the southern end.

The idea first presented itself over a year ago while having lunch with my friend Yosh. He proposed the idea of cycling the length of the island, and of course I said yes. Now all that remained was to determine the date. As luck would have it, circumstance conspired against us. Yosh was injured and so the idea got lost. Well, not really lost, as it kept niggling in the back of my mind. I kept looking at the map, and the stretch of highway kept beckoning. I finally gave in. I decided I would complete the ride on my own. I had lost my cycling partner but that should not stop me from doing this ride. The idea kept evolving. I started wondering, “would it be possible for me to cycle the entire length in one go? No stops! Roughly 500 kms from Port Hardy to Victoria?” I have tackled other challenges in my life, in fact I have made it an integral part of my life to seek out challenge, to test myself. I have come to understand that when I push myself far out of my comfort zone, when I’m stretched physically, mentally and emotionally, and when an outcome is not known, these are the times when I learn the most about myself. These are the times when I feel truly alive. These are the times when I learn about my resources, my strengths and my weaknesses. Five hundred kms non-stop, on an enticing stretch of highway – a defined route with obvious and interesting book ends. What IF I could?

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