Day 14: Charlottetown, PEI to Antigonish, NS (Racing the Clock)

Suggested Listening: Ship to Shore by Stars

Total Distance Cycled: 2041km

Charlottetown, PEI to Antigonish, NS: 142km

Waking up around 6:30am we were both determined not to be caught riding in the dark again today. After packing up and leaving a thank you card for our hosts (Oaker) – who we never even met!) we set off. It was around 7:45am when we got on the road and it felt good to be starting relatively early again. Our morning started off with us heading to one Tim Hortons for breakfast only to find it under renovation. Fortunately they’re plentiful and there was another one not far along our route. There we bought five beyond meat sausage sandwiches (it was literally all they had in stocks) and a bagel. We devoured most of them and saved a couple for later.

After eating we entered a race with time. We had to catch a ferry to Nova Scotia at 11:15am or would be stuck waiting until 1:00pm. On top of this tickets for the Tegan and Sara concert were going on sale at 11:00am here in PEI and I knew they’d sell out super fast so I had to be ready to buy the ticket immediately. For the first while riding it didn’t look promising that we’d make the ferry, but as the morning progressed we picked up our pace and arrived at almost exactly 11:00. I was literally buying my ticket as we boarded the ferry. After the hard push to make it on time we now had 1.5 hours to rest and relax on the ferry. I spent my time writing. Shantel wandered a bit, stretched and got us a snack. We also chatted with a nice couple from Antigonish about our trip. They gave us a route suggestion on how to get there which was nice.

Once we got off the boat we stopped to take a picture of the ‘Welcome to Nova Scotia’ sign. When starting back up again, Shantel fell off of her bike and cut her leg. After crafting a makeshift bandage, we rode only for a short while before going to the Sobeys to stock up on some food and snacks, 80 band-aids. We didn’t expect to pass anything on the rest of today’s ride so we wanted to make sure we were prepared. We got some hummus, crackers, vegan cheese, snap peas, a banana, chocolate soy milk and a few clif bars. I list it all because while we ate some of outside the store, the leftovers had to be carried with us. While we sat on the sidewalk outside Sobeys and ate, Shantel texted a family friend named Roger that lived in the area to give him an update on our progress. Roger had offered to treat us for dinner tonight which is an offer we can’t refuse. It wasn’t long before Roger found us at the Sobeys and we chatted about our ride. He offered to ride behind us on the upcoming causeway because the traffic can be pretty bad. This, of course, was another offer we couldn’t refuse.

After we finished riding the causeway it was clear why he made the offer – the traffic really was quite heavy and there wasn’t a lot of room for us. As we got off the causeway and onto the highway Roger suggested to us as a way to reduce the amount of kilometers we’d need to ride, we immediately faced a long hill. There would be a couple of others hills on the rest of the ride today and it seemed that whenever we were heading up uphill on the TransCanada highway, our shoulder vanished. It was a frustrating and somewhat terrifying experience since the speed limit was usually 100/110km and cars were often moving quicker than that right past us. All we could do was put trust in their driving. There was a few occasions when some trucks and cars got too close for comfort and I swerved off onto the gravel.

The last 5km were slow moving with Shantel feeling like she’d emptied her tank a little before it. She reached the mental point where she began questioning why we were doing this to ourselves and the desire to want to throw her bike in the ditch. We laughed about how she was struggling while I tried to reassure that her feelings were pretty normal and definitely something Wade and I experienced on the first half of the ride. When we arrived to the hotel and checked into our room we immediately fell into our stretching and shower routine.

From there Roger and Debbie came to pick us up and take us out to dinner. We ended up at a place called the Brownstone and we all agreed the food was pretty good. Next stop after dinner was another Sobeys to pick up drinks and food for the long ride tomorrow. Roger insisted on paying for our snacks and drinks which was an incredibly kind gesture.

Once back at the motel we said our goodbyes to Roger and Debbie, put our groceries away, hung up our laundry, packed up some of our stuff, got ready for bed and called it a night.Tomorrow we expect will be one of the toughest rides of the trip with quite a bit of distance to cover and a substantial amount of uphill, along with a deadline to make the Ferry.

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