Saturday, August 29, 2009

St. John's - goin down the road

August 29

Day 103 . Mile 7587. The epic bike ride has crossed the finish line.

Our riders, Mel, Lindsay, Ben and Tracey started out bright and early from where the chip wagon isn't on the beach at Holyrood. Tracey guided us on the Admiral's coast route into Bowring Park in St. John's where we were greeted by a small but enthusiastic group. Then we headed down to the harbour for the traditional wheel dipping. Harder than you might think. There isn't any easy access to the water - no beach anyway - in the downtown area. We ended up at a dock at Harbourside Park by the War Memorial. Mel showed off his mountain climbing skills by clambouring down the rocks with his bike. No easy feat with biking shoes. The good news is that only the bike got dipped.

In the last week our schedule was lighter on the riding than in past weeks and months. So it seemed we were cooling our jets a lot waiting for the ferry and on the crossing. It's nice to be finished the ride. There's a tremendous sense of accomplishment and we've had a great time here in St. John's - very relaxing - met some terrific people.

It's pretty easy to measure the success of a cross-Canada bike ride - there's the number of days on the road, number of kilometers ridden, bottles of Gatorade consumed. There's a clear beginning and an clear ending.

It's a different story to evaluate our goal of raising awareness about mental illness. There is no baseline and no way to measure progress, and there is no research ongoing that we are aware of. I know hundreds of people have come out to the events across the country, and many thousands more people have visited the website and the blog, viewed the TV interviews and read the many newspaper articles that have been written along the way. But are we being clear with the message? Are we having an impact on stigma? We just have to hope and believe that this is more than a long, a very long, cycling tour and family vacation.

We head for home on Tuesday when we catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. It's going to feel funny being home and getting back to real life after all this time. I know Mel is excited about re-joining his team at Xerox and is already setting up meetings for his return. Several events and speaking opportunities are on our calendar September and we will continue to find opportunites to build mental health awareness and acceptance, reduce stigma and rasie funds for programs to support those experiencing mental illness.

Thanks for all your support throughout this amazing journey and please stay tuned to this page for regular updates.


  1. FANTASTIC! Congratulations to the whole team**!! Mel, you are amazing and so is your family. Congratulations to Linsday for the 100 km achievement. I can only imagine what you'll do an an encore to keep the message growing. Sharon B.

  2. WOW!!! What an amazing feat -- congratulations to all of you on this fabulous journey and to all you've accomplished along the way.
    Debbie P.

  3. Lindsay & Mel,
    Wow! What an epic voyage!
    Congratulations on creating more awareness about mental health. All the best,

  4. I can't believe that it was only 9 months ago that we met with you here at our offices, and you said "We have an idea". You had more than an idea -- you had a vision, and you had a mission. And now we can say "Mission accomplished -- well done!". Lindsay, Mel, and Carol, you have done an amazing job. But together we will continue to work towards the vision of raising awareness and erasing stigma.
    Deborah Deacon

  5. Mel & Team,

    On behalf of the entire SCI Group, we are thrilled with your accomplishment and honored to have helped you along the way. Delivering and rigging a photocopier for a customer is a very important form of transportation, but your transit of the country on behalf of such an important cause rises well above that. Congratulations to you and your support team. We look forward to your return.