Vancouver To Rio - Day 1

Today was one hella exciting day. I began the Ride2Rio with two good friends – Donna Morton and Jackie Kanyuk. These two women are real powerhouses and I consider myself lucky to call them friends. Donna joined us for the first few kilometres on her hot pink cruiser, which was awesome in my books. Jackie went so far as to cross the border with me, and we seemed to be pure amusement for the two gentlemen border guards who thought we should come back to bike tour in the summertime. I continued through Blaine, Washington headed for my intended stop of Bellingham. Having gotten off to a later start, I ended up choosing to stay in Ferndale, just north of Bellingham, and I’m good with this – it will take a while to adjust to riding longer amounts, and I am happy to take that time.. It feels so good to have started, and I can now concur with an article on cycle touring that my friend sent me: getting out the front door is the hardest part. (Anyone interested in reading more great advice from this article from someone who has cycled the world can be found here on adventurer Alastair Humphreys’ site).

The bike, a Brodie Elan 2012, rides like a dream. No joke. Ms. Kanyuk, a bicycle aficionado in her own right, hopped on during a bathroom break and concurs with this assessment. I’d like to give a shout out to bike mechanic Pat at Mighty Riders in Vancouver for building this beautiful beast of a bike for me as well. He also gave me his rear pannier rack because, as he told me, the distribution for this particular make is going through changes and he wouldn’t send me on this type of trip with anything else. Is that not sweet or what?

Donna Morton and Joe Thwaites of First Power very graciously took me into their home and hosted me in the last few days before beginning the ride. This couldn’t have worked out better – I had a great place to gather my thoughts and process the intense emotions that came my way during this time period. You need a wide berth and a whole lotta understanding during this time, and Donna and Joe are great friends and knew exactly what I needed. I will be forever grateful for the numerous ways they have helped this trip take flight. It also helped that Joe’s two daughters were quite excited about this ride, going so far as making up a song for me and suggesting numerous bike names. (The current contender: Ruby Fire). I can tell that they will be adventurers of their own one day.

The amazing thing is that Donna and Joe are not the only big supporters. I really am so very grateful to all of you who have shown your support to me during this time – your generosity has been incredible, and I am genuinely humbled. I will be continuing to thank you all here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Top  (random) observations from today:

  1. The dyke trail in Delta is breathtaking and I loved the send off from the Eagles as we began the ride.
  2. The coconut on the dyke trail and an actual banana peel in the bike lane as we approached the border
  3. It is relatively flat from Delta to Ferndale, WA
  4. The sunset was beautiful today – see the attached photo
  5. It hurts when your bike chain comes off and you take it in the crotch (ouch!)
  6. Sea salted chocolate is a great companion on a cycle tour
  7. Your kind words are a real source of inspiration and make me feel less alone. (Keep ‘em comin’!)
Some of you have been asking about how to donate – I will be putting up another IndieGoGo campaign in the coming days and will let you know as soon as it is up.

I am taking this trip one day at a time, and I am excited to see everything that it will bring.

I would like to leave you with this little bit of inspiration as I sign off. I’m going to do some push ups.

Never give up on your dreams,


via / @NaomiDevine @Ride2Rio

Naomi DevineRyan Yip