Biking Through Canada
At our arrival day campground in Portland, Wassamki Springs, the group had a great time getting to know each other while swimming, playing volleyball, and having their first dinner! They learned how to set up their tents and prepared “Nachos Supreme” from the cookbook, with beans, rice and veggies. Ella shared her culinary expertise with the group, and everyone pitched in to help cook and clean up. Chloe taught the group a card game, which they played around the fire after eating s’mores.
The next day, Monday, we made the drive to New Brunswick. The ride went smoothly; the group played car games and talked, and we stopped for a picnic lunch along the way. We set up camp and got busy fitting bikes and organizing gear. Everyone was excited to test out their bikes! Each student was provided two panniers and a rack to carry all of their personal belongings, as well as group gear. Riding the bikes with all of the gear attached is quite different, but the group quickly adjusted.
Tuesday we headed to Nova Scotia, with Mike as our fearless Leader of the Day! With the help of her cook crew, Grace prepared scrambled eggs to get the group fuelled up and ready to ride. We road a few miles to the ferry, and the group enjoyed the view from the dock and had snacks at the restaurant. We then had a 9 mile ride to our campsite. Nova Scotia is very hilly, and Serena demonstrated her cycling skills by easily spinning up the climbs! Mike made sure everyone was staying hydrated, assisted with minor mechanical issues, and helped navigate the route. After setting up camp, Kat led the cooking crew in preparing a delicious dinner of spaghetti with summer sausage and veggies, using a “whisper light,” which is a small, lightweight stove that can be packed up and carried in panniers. Lia orchestrated getting all of the dishes and cooking gear cleaned up and organized.
Today, Wednesday, is our first “big” day of riding- 22 miles! Ella is our Leader of the Day and made sure everyone’s tires were pumped up, chains lubed and bikes packed. We stopped at a grocery store for lunch, then rode on to the town of Annapolis Royal, where we had breathtaking views of the coast and surrounding mountains. We have had numerous challenging climbs, but the group has ploughed ahead and have fully enjoyed the descents, as well as the views!
We have an AMAZING group, in which every student is included, and they all offer to help out any time they are not already engaged in a task. Even riding through and setting up camp in the rain, they have all been upbeat and are having a memorable adventure!