Tour de Cabot History
     August 28, 2007 — Dan Steele

For those who do not know the history behind the Tour de Cabot, here is some interesting and entertaining writing from Dan Steele...

Besides being a great ride to share with both old and new friends, it holds particular significance to me. In the first year that we attempted the ride, I encouraged Lorna Jay to use the trail as a training goal after her first bout with Cancer. We cycled a lot on PEI that year with the aim of 'cycling the trail' at the conclusion of our cycling season. Neither one of us had done anything like the trail and Lorna hadn't even driven around the trail before. She trusted me completely (something she didn't do 'completely' afterwards) and we did, in fact, complete the trail. We shared that ride with Ron Hately, Greg McCormick, Sean Deagle and Phil Carr. We had a lot of fun, cracked a lot of jokes and made memories that I know we'll carry forever. None of us truly knew what we were in for. A little bit of research indicated that we could be expecting anything from freezing cold temperatures requiring us to wear winter or work gloves and possibly be lifted off the roadway and deposited into the abyss. Fortunately, this information proved to be far from accurate but even more unbelievable was the fact that it didn't deter us from our adventure.

As I'm sure everyone receiving this email knows, Lorna passed away earlier this year after her second fight with Cancer. While Lorna only returned twice in the five years that followed, I have always connected the ride with my friend and that first year. In later days, we reminisced about the challenges of climbing what seemed like an insurmountable first hill. My assurances (or lies if you like) that the top was 'just around the corner' were repeatedly given and repeatedly believed (did I mentioned she didn't 'completely' trust me after that trip?). I can still remember the gusts of winds that literally blew Phil up part of the trail when he opened his jacket as a sail. In my mind I can still see Greg doggedly attacking what was arguably one of the toughest of the hills (North) and gaining my respect with every pedal stroke on that hot, hot day. I can hear the sound of the wind as it bent my tent over as we tried to sleep in an admittedly poor choice of camping site (campgrounds forever after). There was that refreshing cool water from a waterfall that Ron knew of, having hiked in the area before. These are my memories. I've had a lot of great ones since but there is only one 'first' time for memories like the ones that year. That was a great time for all of us but most of all for Lorna. She had challenged these hills and beat them. She had beat them as handily as she had fought and won her fight with Cancer, at least for the moment. From the time that I knew Lorna many years before, she had always wanted to live life fully. She inspired me and many others because of that. What I saw in Lorna after that first fight with Cancer and that first Cabot trip was a renewed sense of life. She somehow knew that what followed was a series of moments, each precious. She had a greater focus on family and friends and all of the things that made life worthwhile. For what the hills of Cabot gave Lorna and us all, I will be forever thankful.

Mark Creamer had it right when he said 'beautiful scenery...the best people...'. If you want to make some memories, share some stories and possibly reconnect with life, please consider coming along. All are welcome, whether you cycle or not. Adventures are for the adventurous.

Tour de Cabot 2006 »
Three days of the long weekend in September covering the 300km of the Cabot Trail

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