National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR Day 17 – Lunenburg to Lower Sackville (137k)

We awoke this morning in Lunenburg to a clear blue sky, excited about the day ahead. Breakfast was served at the community centre, and we gathered for another emotional morning dedication.

Fiona, one of our hard working volunteers, lives in Lunenburg and has done the NKCR four times as both a rider and volunteer. Her family has been devastated by cancer. She lost her husband a year ago, and her son Simon in 2014. Simon was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was 15 years old. He had been complaining of leg pains that gave him trouble walking and a bout of flu that just wouldn’t go away. His diagnosis was complicated by rare genetic markers, meaning he would be much harder to treat and the prognosis was poor. During the 11 months of his illness, Simon endured numerous procedures including 2 surgeries, 92 rounds of chemo, 63 blood transfusions, 133 lab tests, 6 bone marrow tests, 13 spinal taps and numerous x-rays, cardiograms and ultrasounds. 

Today we ride for Simon.

The ride today was magical. We followed The Lighthouse Route which hugs the coast between Lunenburg and Halifax. We passed through scenic tourist towns including Mahone Bay and Chester, and small fishing villages such as Squid Cove, Bayswater, Birch Head and Mill Cove. We were escorted by RCMP cars the entire day, as onlookers cheered as we passed them by. The road dipped and curved in every direction, providing stunning views of the ocean along Nova Scotia’s south shore, which was smooth as glass in most places. The smell of the ocean and the sun over our heads was intoxicating. Our peloton has grown very close over these past three weeks and we were enjoying every minute of the ride today as our time together is quickly coming to an end. 

We stopped for a wonderful lunch at the Ocean Swells Community Centre in East Chester, and for photo-ops at the Swissair Memorial Site in Bayswater and the pier at Boutiliers Point. The ride into Lower Sackville was not so idyllic, as we rolled into the Halifax area traffic and busy roads, but we soon arrived at our destination at the Sackville Sports Stadium, where our convoy is parked for the evening.

With our journey ending tomorrow, we started the not-so-fun task of cleaning out the RVs and vans that we have been living out of these past three weeks. We had a “pot-luck” dinner of leftovers at our parking lot “campsite” before heading to bed for one more sleep in our moving dormitory (which is starting to smell more like a locker room!)…tomorrow we will be sleeping in a hotel for the first time since we left Vancouver!

Tomorrow will be a day of mixed emotions as we enjoy one last day of riding together before heading our separate ways.