Turning left

It is half past midnight and Lucy and I are tapping away to tie up final bits of admin before we head out on the road in the morning, leaving our new friends in Calgary for the road east. We are surrounded by panniers and bits of kit, enjoying the warmth of our host’s house ahead of the slightly(!) chillier climes of our tent.

We are aiming to stay off the main highways now that there is a choice of roads

We are aiming to stay off the main highways now that there is a choice of roads

The last few days have been pretty busy as we ready ourselves, divvying up parcels of medication and kit for the onward journey, sending now redundant summer kit home and getting bikes and pedallers ready to hit the road.

The guys at TCR Sport Lab put us through our paces with a VO2 Max test too

The guys at TCR Sport Lab put us through our paces with a VO2 Max test too

My squealy back and leg muscles have been battered into submission again by an Olympic masseur, Hercules’ prone back wheel has been coaxed into the best possible shape in the hope it will make the new wheel build in Regina (a few hundred km down the road) and Lucy’s bike has received it’s final pimping. We were also treated to a VO2 max test by the guys at TCR Sport Lab – a test where we pedalled at different workloads while wearing a Darth Vader mask to ascertain (among various things) the way in which our body burns fats and sugars, which provided some interesting observations and suggestions.

Pedalling is faster with two

Pedalling is faster with two

The original plan was for Lucy to have a gentle introduction to life on the road, however we somehow thought it was a good idea for her to ride out and join me on my final ride into Calgary. Being a through-the-night, into-headwinds mission this ended up being a 160km (100 mile) round trip for Lucy on her bike with no sleep. It was such a brilliant thing to find her snoozing in the lobby of a truckers’ inn at 2am, 80 km north of town. Suddenly the miles felt easier and riding along in the relative warmth of a Chinook phase, we rode through the dark into the dawn and the crisp blue of a sunny day in Calgary.

 Meeting the local WaterAid Supporters at the Olympic Park

Meeting the local WaterAid Supporters at the Olympic Park


Meeting the WaterAid supporters and cyclists at Canada Olympic Park underneath the national flags was a very cool way to arrive in town and mark our time together. WaterAid is one of my four supported charities and having recently launched in Canada (as WaterAid Canada) made for a great teaming up. Expedition life continually reminds me of the importance of resource management and I have many tales to tell of not having fresh water, yet a lack of safe drinking water and santitation is a daily reality for thousands around the world.

And so tomorrow we head out as a pair. I am excited and a grinning Lucy has just told me she feels apprehensive and excited, too. We look forward to letting you know how things go.

And finally  – turning left in the title? This is because Calgary represents the corner of my route for now, having pedalled south over recent weeks. Next turn, Winnpeg.

Sarah x

P.S Big thanks to local folks at TCR Sport Lab for their support in the bike efforts, Zoe and Maya in the errands, Chad and Laura in hosting us and WaterAid Canada.


P.P.S  To donate to the L2L Charities please click here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=sarahouten


P.P.P.S Thanks for all recent comments – will respond as and when time allows. In answer to kit request, yes, I shall post details on kit at some point.

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8 Responses to Turning left

  1. Shelly Moberg says:

    Happy you have made Calgary and reunite with your partner/mate Lucy. Have been following your journey, with all the highs and lows. You are an admirable human, and I was honoured to be a small part of your journey. All the best in the miles ahead for Hercules, Lucy, and yourself.

    Happy Cycling!!!!
    Shelly & Bob Fort Nelson BC

  2. Stephen from Wisconsin says:

    Good luck and choose your days, the prairies are like Calgary, one day warm, one day stay inside.

  3. Steven says:

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  4. Godfolks says:

    Do enjoy your time together – we are thinking of you both and I promise I wont complain about the cold back home!!! Safe journey and our love to you both as always.xx PS Enjoyed meeting your nephew last weekend – he is gorgeous!

  5. Christine Ashdown says:


    Well done to you both, havent been able to be near the computer for a few days so had lots to catch up with.

    Just take care and enjoy the time together cycling and enjoying the company.

    All good wishes for the moment

    C & K

  6. Geraint says:

    Hi, Just a quick note to say I think what you are doing is awesome and very inspirational, keep it up. Be safe and be Bold! Take care. G

  7. dick fast/maggie d'arcy says:

    hiya, sarah and lucy

    we are the two from atlin, bc, who met you at jakes’s corner, yukon. ’twas such an honour to meet you and share an evening and dinner and breakfast.

    life must be so much nicer with lucy cycling with you.

    cheers and love to you both. you make being human even a bit better than it was yesterday.

    dick fast/maggie d’arcy
    atlin bc

    • Sarah says:

      I was thinking of you both only the other day! Hercules and I are much better in the icy stuff these days with the spikey tyres 🙂 And yes, being with Lucy makes everything happy. I hope that you are both well and The Kates too.

      All best from over here,

      Sarah (and Lucy!)

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