Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 53 of the EPIC Ride - Port-Aux-Basques to St. John's, NFLD

Day 53                            
Monday, August 19, 2013
Port-Aux-Basques – St. John’s, NFLD
Distance: 900 km driving, 100 km riding

The ferry reached Newfoundland at about 7 am local time and we started driving across right away. We stopped after about 200 km to get gas, and then kept going. Evan drove the first few hundred km, then Luke drove about 400 km before stopping for a dinner break.

You may recall that our original trip plans had us ferrying to Argentia, Newfoundland and then riding about 130 km to St. John’s. Since that ferry route had been cancelled for this month, we took the shorter ferry to Port-Aux-Basques. Then we were thinking of maybe stopping about 50 or 20 km from St. John’s and having the Riders go into town from there.

After driving in the van all day, though, getting onto a bicycle isn’t something the guys really wanted to do; except for Luke. He wanted to put his bike’s speedometer over 6000 km, so he decided to ride 100 km.

Dave drove the rest of the way to St. John’s, stopping to let Luke get out and start riding.
A little while after dropping Luke off, we saw that we were running out of gas, so I used Google Maps to find the closest gas station. The van’s computer display was telling us that we could go about 30 km farther, and Maps pointed out a station 14 km away. At first it seemed fine; we got off the Trans-Canada and drove on a couple of other highway roads, but then the directions had us turning onto a cottage road-basically an ATV track. Eventually we got to where the station should have been, but saw that it obviously wasn’t there.

Check later for a link to a video Evan shot during our drive.

We kept going and passed someone in a truck who said there was a station 10 minutes away. So we kept driving and eventually reached a main road, and 5 minutes later, finally reached a gas station. We ended up going about 15 km with the van saying “0 km until empty”.

In St. John’s we stayed with friends of mine, Burton & Josie Ward. We got there at about 8 pm, and Luke arrived at 9, having ridden about 100 km across Newfoundland’s hilly terrain, with a 30+ km/h wind that was mostly at his back, but sometimes at his side or even a headwind!

So this is it! We’re done now! We got to St. John’s, NFLD! In 53 days we’ve gone from Richmond, BC to St. John’s, NFLD; from the West Coast to the East Coast of Canada, with over 6500 km of riding!

In a couple days, there'll be another post, about the trip home.

Thanks for following our journey across the country!

-Ben & EPIC

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