Sunday, 14 September 2014

The End

'This is the end, my beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end'

 After 926km and over 26,000ft of ascent since we left Port Aux Basques, we arrived at St John's.

Trans Canada cyclists often talk about the hills around Lake Superior from Thunder Bay to Sioux Ste Marie. Well Newfoundland is a tougher cycle with more hills, more ascent and rate of ascent. I've worked out the GPS figures to confirm it. 

I can see why many trans Canada cyclists take the longer ferry journey to Argentia and the short cycle to St Johns. I didn't say I agree with it but I can see why. 

We had to make a late booking for a hotel in St Johns and the only place we could get on the internet was 'Hillview Terrace Suites'. Their slogan is 'a place like home'.  You couldn't make it up! ( for anyone who doesn't know - we live in Hillview Terrace, Edinburgh).

Our end point was going to be Signal Hill. There are a number of locations trans Canada cyclists use as the 'finish' and Signal Hill is the most popular. It is a high promontory overlooking St Johns and the Atlantic Ocean. It was also the reception point for the first transatlantic wireless signal by Marconi in 1901 from the UK. It was a fitting place to end.

We then made our way to Mile 0 where Terry Fox started his Marathon Of Hope.

Our final total was 8,192km or just over a fifth of the circumference of the world at the equator. Canada is wide. 

A question that we were often asked on our travels was 'why'. 

Some people just couldn't understand why we did it and it's something I have often thought about on our cycle. It wasn't the challenge or could we do it?  Yes it would be tough but finishing was never a question. 

We did it for the adventure. It was adventure that drove man across the oceans and across vast unknown territories such as Canada. Whilst we cannot hope to equal that pioneering endeavour we did travel through a marvellous country, meeting so many welcoming people and making new friends. There were highs and lows but every single day was an adventure.  What do we get from this? Well, as George Mallory, known for attempting the first ascent of Everest, said:

'What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy.  And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to live. That is what life means and what life is for'

So to answer the question, 'why would you do that?' my reply is ' well, why wouldn't you?'


  1. well done you 2!
    Many congratulations!
    Dave and Alison

  2. Hi Clif and Susan,

    Many, many congratualations from us all on completing your cross-Canada cycle! What a brilliant achievement. You both look so healthy, and the bike looks as good as new. It's been great following your blog and the highs and lows - thank you for sharing the journey. Looking forward to the slide show.

    Have a safe journey home,

    Rob, Morag, Fraser, Crawford & Murray

    1. Thanks for all your comments and support. If you want to give Susan a hand with all the grass and hedge cutting then just let her know :) See you soon.

  3. Fantastic effort both. What a great adventure. [a very jealous Belli]

  4. Loved it, from the comfort of the living room couch! Great experience for the two of
    you and you must be proud (and well muscled unlike the couch potatoes we are!)

    We'll miss your Blog!!

    Burnaby Groupies

    1. Thanks for everything. Glad you enjoyed the blog. Will keep in touch from bonnie Edinburgh. Love Clif and Susan.

  5. What on earth am I going to read now? Fantastic adventure for you both but looking to having you back to Bonnie Scotland!

    1. Thanks Denise. Looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone again.

  6. Very well done. Been so busy I'm just getting to now. Proud of your effort as so will Nazca.

    Posting on Edinburgh Forum to take their minds off the IndyRef!

    Angelo, Olmo and Ally send their best wishes too (from last year's Canadian reclined cycling trip!)


    David@Laid Back Bikes

    1. Thanks David. Will drop in and catch up soon.

  7. Fabulous. Great to see the saltire flying in my home town :)

    1. Thank you. We really enjoyed our couple of days in St Johns. What a great place.

  8. Bravi, congratulations!

    Anyway, would you add some technical details about the Quetzal? How did it perform? Have you experienced any troubles/defects?