Canadian Cyclist


August 31/99 2:21 am - Grandparents Cycling Across Canada, Shep Report

Posted by Editoress on 08/31/99

Grandparents Cycling Across Canada on the Wideen Ride One Week To Go

Marvin and Loretta Wideen, aged 65, are cycling across Canada. They began in May, and after almost 4 months of cycling are approaching their destination: St. John's Newfoundland. Currently, they are cycling through Nova Scotia, and have travelled almost 6,500 kms.

As the ride continues, the overwhelming support from the Schizophrenia Society has been incredible. As has support from helpful people across the country.

Since leaving Ontario, they've enjoyed the roads in Québec, New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. All have provided wider shoulders and less traffic. And, they are again treated to incredible scenery. Through Québec it was a beautiful ride along the St. Lawrence culminating in a blast of cold air thanks to the Atlantic before heading south to New Brunswick. New Brunswick provided roads through forests unlike they'd seen before, and people proving how friendly Maritimers can be. Prince Edward Island was a short visit, but they enjoyed easy riding and two days free in Charlottetown. Now, a short trip through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland will end the tour.

Leaving Charlottetown, the easy ride to the ferry duped them into thinking the rest of the ride was going to be easy -- "it's downhill from here." Not so lucky. Their first day in Nova Scotia threw "constant" hills at them. While not as steep as those along Lake Superior, they never stopped. Marvin says, "Nova Scotia is one big hill." Did they expect Canada would provide them with an easy finish? Yes. Were they reasonable to expect an easy finish? Of course not!

Their schedule for the final days is now firm: - Friday, Sep 3, they take the ferry to Newfoundland. - Sunday, Sep 5, they arrive in St. John's. - Monday, Sep 6, they head to the Atlantic to dip their tires. - Wednesday, Sep 8, they return to Vancouver via air. - Wednesday at 6:51pm, they arrive in Vancouver on Air Canada 115. - Thursday, Sep 9, they wake up in their own bed.

Are they looking forward to finishing? Marvin says he's been looking forward to the finish ever since he left Coquitlam. They will miss cycling every day, if for no other reason than the people they've met and the sites they've seen. They'll also miss the ability to eat anything they want at any time and still lose weight (their stomachs must be 4 times the manufacturer's recommended size). But when I suggested they do the return trip again next year, the answer was an emphatic "NO."

Well sometimes you wake up in the morning and you say to yourself, "How am I going to finish this".     Today was one of those mornings. After cracking wider than the San Andres fault on Saturday my legs begged to take a week off, but there was still one more day of fun left. Sunday consisted of 'just' a 45 minute dirt crit that climbed 200 feet a lap then wound down the mountain with a switch back descent.

As the gun sounded the usual suspects assembled themselves at the front, with the addition of Andreas Hestler, and me. Ziranda cracked the whip at the front and led for two laps before giving way to the GT freight train. Following was Larson, Miller, Hestler, Leuchs, Juarez, Brown, and yours truly...on the fourth lap everyone was together untill the top when the mighty Chiotti attacked at the top of the climb bringing with him Brian Miller. Hestler pulled the chase for just over two laps while Green sat between the chase and the leaders...Dre would crack a little as no one would pull through.

Meanwhile Brown flatted, fixed it and flatted again so there were spots now to be made on GC...With three to go, Juarez, Leuchs, Kelly and I had separated ourselves from the others and I countered them going up the climb. A gap formed and widened by the bottom of the descent so with two to go I set my eyes upon Roland who was now 10 seconds ahead. Caught him stayed with him and then attacked him...he had worked his ass off the previous couple of days so I kept attacking till the end of the race to widen the gap (with Rolli you never know when he's going to use that big bootie of his to surge on you!). While our fight was going on, Jerome had dropped Brian, and Kelly worked the Cannondale boys and sat in fifth....this is how it ended....Chiotti, Miller, Sheppard, Green, Kelly...dre in 11th

Chris Sheppard


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