Ô Canada! I Have Made It!

My name is JaBig and 1 year, 2 months and 21 days ago, I decided to take a minute to ponder about life and get some fresh air and hopped onto my fixed gear bicycle and started pedalling.

17 763km later, I have cycled Canada coast to coast to coast exploring and experiencing this vast North American country and getting to meet thousands of Canadians which was the highlight of the whole trip of a lifetime.

This ride from Montréal to the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and finally to Tuktoyatuk on the Arctic Ocean is eligible for a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by bicycle in a single country as soon as it’s validated.

I would like to thank my family, my friends, my fans, the companies that supported me and the random act of kindness-type people that made this trip possible. I did all the pedalling (and falling) but you took care of the rest (logistics, mental support, finances, etc!).

For more: Montreal DJ ends epic 15-month-long bike tour in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. – CBC News

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I am currently on my way to the Arctic Ocean on a fixed gear bicycle, a 4000-km journey from Vancouver in extreme Canadian Winter.

To travel faster and farther on a daily basis, I am travelling light and so I won’t have my laptop to update this travel blog. This is also to protect the computer in the extremely cold temperatures.

The best way to follow my trip is via Instagram, a photo journal diary. Please click here on the image below to bookmark it and follow my adventures. Thanks!

TV Interview about JaBig’s Fixed Gear Bicycle Journey Across Canada

Here is an interview with Louise Uwacu, host of U&I Talkshow on Shaw TV Vancouver.

I spoke about my fixed gear journey across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.

As I get ready to cycle from the Pacific coast to the Arctic, this TV segment will tell you more about what it takes to spend on year on the road especially in Winter.

What’s Next?

As you read in the previously post, after over 10 months on the road, I have cycled from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Oceean, a 13 500 km fixed gear bicycle ride.

The Big Journey is a personal challenge and a Guinness World Records attempt to cycle all three Canadian coasts in fixed gear in a single journey.

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This means that this epic trip is far from over as I still have to get to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean from Vancouver where I am based which is close to 4000 km in mostly unpopulated region with extreme cold that average -20 degrees Celsius.

I am up to the challenge but recognise that after Whitehorse, things will get VERY dangerous if I cannot find someone to drive some sort of Motorhome for me to stay in at night since human settlements are too far apart at distances that I cannot cover in a day ride due even if the snow-ridden roads or short days due to sunlight were not a big factor.

I learned one thing in this trip: to just get on the bike and go and everything will fall into place. So I am hoping for the best and I am doing my bit by stepping to the plate and pedalling.

Needless to say that I have had to upgrade my clothing and change tires as I will be cycling in extremely cold conditions and the snow will not help.

I won’t be updating my blog as I am leaving my laptop behind but do make sure to follow the trip on my @JaBig Instagram where I post daily updates as soon as I get to a Wifi connection as there is no cell coverage there for me to use my data plan.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays and Happy 2017! May the Almighty grant the wishes of your heart and I pray for Peace on Earth, an idealistic but possible notion…

Vancouver, At Long Last!

Exactly 10 months since I left Montréal to cycle across Canada, I have made it to Vancouver, British Columbia, the country’s West Coast where the Pacific Ocean is located.

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It’s been a long and eventful 13 500 km journey and it surely did change my life for the best. I am so grateful for all the people that I have met on the way and I will never forget their kindness, hospitality, support and friendship.

What’s next?

I still have to cover some distance before I beat the Guinness World Records so in late December/searly January, I will get back on the bike and cycle North towards Whitehorse, Yukon. and if I am able to secure enough funds to get a team to come with me, I will make it all the way to Tuktoyaktuk in Northwest Territories.

Until then, it’s time to relax a little bit and sleep in because I have a lot of naps to catch up on!

Week 17 to Week 34

17 weeks have gone by without an update just mainly because a lot happened in the meanwhile and I could not keep up with updates.

But I managed to survive Eastern Québec’s Gaspésie with its mountains (not hills!) giving me a first taste of fixed gear climbing.

 

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I got to experience The Laurentides, a Québec pride with more hills and climbing with gorgeous views

img_5062I rode into Montréal and after my short stay, I got a farewell that I will never forget…

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I made it to Ottawa where my nephews welcomed me, which was touching.

fullsizerender-2I got some media coverage on CBC, a Canadian Radio/TV national channel

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I visited friends in Gananoque and enjoyed a morning of boat rides.

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I made it to Toronto, Canada’s most populated city and one of my favourite stops of The Big Journey so far (I am a big-city person).

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After hitting the road a week or so later my bicycle and all belongings were stolen in Burlington, minutes after the photo below was taken.

This would change the course of my whole trip as I had to start from scratch. This is a story that I will tell in details one day but not anytime soon…

img_6160After three weeks, I was able to get back on the road with a new bike thanks to the generosity of friends and fans worldwide as well as companies that support my challenge.

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My first ride with the new bike was to Niagara Falls

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I turned 37 in August and returned to Toronto to celebrate with friends

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I kept going and despite some saddle issues went all the way to Windsor close to Detroit.

fullsizerender-3So many people in Ontario came to ride along that I will be forever grateful! This is just a small example!

img_8003It started getting cooler despite the warm sun

img_7279I made new friends. After all I am a friendly person. I got a chance to tell them about my cross-country fixed gear bicycle challenge.

img_7442I rode into sunsets with a beautiful miss in Collingwood

img_7470-2I kept riding on and enjoying blue skies

img_7526I got to spend the night in styles of shelters that I have never experienced before but the sleep was as sweet as in a five-star hotel room.

img_7538But I also got to spend the night in lakeside cottages, a fine balance.

img_7582I got to cross paths in the middle of a forest with people on a big journey of their own.

img_7660I kept cycling North into Ontario’s least populated region and toward the part that connects East and West Canada

img_7715I ended the week in a little town called Espanola filled with the amazing people.

img_7766And for reasons that are a complete mystery to doctors, I found myself in an emergency room only to be discharged hours later feeling much better even though I really thought it was the end of me when I checked myself in.

img_7859I am writing this from a place where I have decided to take a few days to get back in top shape before hitting the road and cycling what may be the most difficult part of The Big Journey so far.

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The good news is that I found time to update my blog so perhaps that what it had to take for me to get it done!

 

 

Latest Update

So much has happened that I have never had time to update my blog.

My bike and all belongings were stolen in Burlington, Ontario and the Police never recovered them but fortunately my friends and music fans around the world came through and raised enough money to get me back on the road.

I am now in Northern Ontario headed to Manitoba and will try to update the blog as I go along.

I post daily updates in photographs on my @JaBig Instagram account so please head there for more until this blog is up to date. Thank you!

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Week 17 Update

After a month in Newfoundland, Eastern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Week 17 warranted a well-deserved rest from cycling and social media.

So when I arrived in Moncton, I disconnected from everything and spent all week sleeping, watching television and basically staying away from any bicycle and travel related activities because sometimes one has to know when to take a break.

And what better to kill time than by eating chocolate sent to me from Tokyo, Japan by a dear friend as her way of supporting and encouraging me on The Big Journey!

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Week 16 Update

Week 16 was all about Prince Edward Island.

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According to Wikipedia: “Prince Edward Island (PEI or P.E.I.; French: Île-du-Prince-Édouard) is a province of Canada consisting of the island of the same name, as well as several much smaller islands.”

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It all started in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on Monday, May 23rd. I cycled to Caribou to catch a ferry to Prince Edward Island (or PEI as it’s known).

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It was a short ride but I managed to miss the ferry by 20 minutes because the ride was so windy that I was cycling so slowly. That is not an excuse but it happened and so I had to wait for four hours before catching the 70 minute ferry to Wood Islands in PEI.

To kill time, I watched movies on my phone and I am lucky I had quite a few as there was nothing to do there.

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I got onto the ferry eventually and I ended up in PEI less than two hours later.

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I had four hours that I had lost so I did not mess around and got back onto my bike and headed towards Charlottetown, the capital and biggest city of Prince Edward Island.

I got there five hours later

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Apparently that is the birthplace of Canada, the country as we know it today.

It was late when I got into town so I did not have time to sightsee so I went to rest as I had a big week ahead.

But I did see its famed University of Prince Edward Island at least!

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The following day, I rode from Charlottetown to Summerside. I took the long way on purpose because I wanted the scenic route. It was a beautiful and breathtaking ride as you can see for yourself below!

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The next morning, I rode from Summerside to Tignish. Again, I took a detour and I was cycling fast and furiously because it was a beautiful day with the wind on my back and on a pretty flat terrain.

Of course, I stopped for some sightseeing which again proved that PEI was gorgeous and happening in its unique way.

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And so I got to Tignish eventually after such a good day in the saddle. So far, the weather and winds were in my favour and I was loving it!

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The following day, the weather and winds changed for the worse. It was windy and so cold that a 46 km ride to and from Cape North, PEI took me almost four hours which is ridiculous.

But the scenery was worth it, yet again.

The highlight was the windmill farm (energy windmills are actually called wind turbines)

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Did I say that I love windmills? Don’t even ask me where that obsession comes from. I don’t have an answer to that!

The following day, I rode from the Tignish area to Hunter River as my second last day in Prince Edward Island. I was racing against the rain which ended up falling but it consisted of a few drops which is something I did not complain about.

Of course the view was something to write home about.

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More wind turbines of course 🙂

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I even ventured on the world famous Confederation Trail.

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When I got back on the paved road, I was welcomed by a hill-filled highway that really left me breathless almost literally

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By the time I got to my destination, I realised that it was the longest ride in a long while which is something I was pretty proud of.

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I spent two days in Hunter River as I enjoyed my last hours in Prince Edward Island before cycling to New Brunswick, a province that I had cycled two months before.

In the morning I cycled towards the Confederation Bridge, the link between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick with Moncton being my final destination of the week.

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If any cyclist is reading this, know that it is impossible and illegal to ride on the Confederation Bridge but there is a 24-hour shuttle that costs less than $10 for cyclists.

So here I was back in New Brunswick!

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From there (the other side of the bridge), I had to cycle 100 km to Moncton, New Brunswick’s biggest city.

I stayed on the secondary highway as advised by my host and it was beautiful and flat and it made for an enjoyable ride.

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I eventually got to Moncton and I was lucky because a few hours later it started raining cats and dogs and that is how the week ended.

My take on Prince Edward Island? So far, my favourite province to cycle in across Canada. Bold statement but I am only 20% into The Big Journey so to be continued…

Week 15 Update

After two weeks of adventures in Newfoundland (Week 13, Week 14), I was back in mainland Canada in Cape Breton.

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That meant that it was part II of The Big Journey, a bicycle trip that will take me from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This will be the longest leg of the Guinness World Record attempt as I will aim to cycle 10 000 km from the East coast to the West coast.

With that in mind, on Wednesday May 18th, I left Sydney, Nova Scotia towards Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

It was quite a beautiful day to ride and quite a scenic road that reminded me how splendid Nova Scotia can be.

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I was not able to get to Antigonish, a 200km ride so I stopped halfway just before leaving Cape Breton, the island region of Nova Scotia.

You probably remember the photo below when I first entered Cape Breton

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Almost a month later, I took the same photo leaving crossing that bridge on my way out of Cape Breton.

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The ride to Antigonish was fast as I just took the highway instead of cycling through the backroads that had almost killed me with hills on my way East.

I was in good spirits when I got to Antigonish since the ride was pretty short and I was going all out.

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You may notice how warmly dressed I am. Even if the temperatures were above freezing, it still not warm enough for me to cycle in shorts and short sleeve shirts because the wind is tends to cool things quite a lot.

The next morning, I decided not to ride and take it easy as my hosts actually wanted to stick around to the weekend as they were having a house warming party.

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So I helped out with some shed building. Yes, in my cycling clothes because I don’t have a “civilian” outfit.

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On Saturday, I cycled to New Glasgow and it was my last ride in Nova Scotia as the week after I would be headed to Prince Edward Island, an island-province north of Nova Scotia and I would get out into New Brunswick, west of it.

I spent the rest of the weekend at the party. Surprisingly I don’t have many photos of the wonderful family event but I guess I was too busy having too much fun 🙂