C2C Final Journals
Link to these journal entries for today:
C2C 2003 for
me represented a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey
with a VERY clear goal in mind: cycle 7200 kms in 10 days
with 6 cyclists to raise $500,000 for the two charities
we are supporting: Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
and The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
to Coast Report
a fitting end to the Coast to Coast Ride and this coast
to coast journey. As Jeff embraces Dianne, Brooklyn and
Skylar he is taken back years to the moment he first conceived
this Coast to Coast idea, the reason he decided to do
it in the first place: his children, his wife, his family.
He feels the love.
Final Update C2C 2003 In Perspective and Next Steps
C2C IN PERSPECTIVE
It has been a few days since we finished our arrival our
day 10 event with the magnificent finish in Halifax. Words
cannot describe the feeling that I still have from completing
this journey. Although we still have a black tie dinner
and the on-line auction to complete in July I feel it is
time to reflect specifically on the 10-day event.
C2C 2003 for me represented a physical, emotional, and
spiritual journey with a VERY clear goal in mind: cycle
7200 kms in 10 days with 6 cyclists to raise $500,000 for
the two charities we are supporting: Candlelighters Childhood
Cancer Foundation and The Lance Armstrong Foundation. When
we started this event on June 14th none of us
really had any firm understanding of what we would experience.
After all none of us had ever cycled that far in any one
day [averaged from a low of 280 kms to a high of 425 kms
each and every day], and certainly all of us are pretty
new to the sleep deprivation that resulted.
What emerged from this trip for me was a personal transformation
and a bit of a "community of compassion". It showed me the
true power of having a clearly defined goal. It showed me
the true power of having a cause that is truly beyond anyone
person. It showed me the true power and compassion of the
human spirit. From my 5 fellow cyclists, to the support
team, to the sponsors, to the wonderful Fujitsu employees
who helped us, to the thousands of people who followed us
on the web and gave us feedback on the comments section
of our website THANK YOU. All of you had a dramatic and
profound impact on this event.
We did this ride to raise money for children and their
families impacted by cancer, and to extend that message
to all families impacted by cancer from any age group. The
personal stories told by childhood cancer survivors on our
website and in our events in Toronto and Vancouver left
a permanent impression on me. The grace and confidence these
young people showed as they described their battle with
cancer and smiled as they talked with conviction of their
hopes and dreams for the future left me with in awe of the
power that a positive attitude can have in the battle against
The gift that Coast to Coast Against Cancer 2003 gave me
above everything else was freedom to focus ALL my physical,
emotional, and spiritual energy on this event. I laughed
AND cried more than I ever have as an adult in a two week
period. I experienced true joy in seeing the impact our
event was having on the spirits of some of the people who
have been impacted by cancer. I experienced deep sadness
at the loss of my aunt to cancer exactly half way through
the ride. I connected with the C2C team in ways that I did
not consider possible before we started this ride; I left
with a team of acquaintances and friends, and finished with
a true team bonded by an unforgettable lifetime experience.
There are so many special moments along the way that I
am a bit uneasy even attempting to list them all. There
are however a few special moments that I want to highlight.
The media events in Toronto and Vancouver were very special
to me because of the childhood cancer survivors who spoke
about their experience and their hopes. It touches you to
the core of your being to think through what these individuals
and their families went through. ANY discomfort we felt
on the C2C trip simply does not compare to one hour of what
these outstanding your people have had to endure.
Night rides another amazing experience. With no traffic
and little to no noise or outside sensory stimulus, they
allowed you to focus your mind on the reason we were doing
this ride. The special moment riding with Jamie across lower
Manitoba to a full moon, the northern lights, AND magical
fog where we talked in depth about what we were really trying
to accomplish with this ride. To the touching 5 am memorial
at a tree and plaque Fred planted in London commemorating
his parents passing; this was the most emotional part of
the journey. To the 6 am welcome in my home down of Woodstock
with several of my family members. To the night time rides
and dedication to Dr. Pat Hewitts family who lost
their battle with cancer and having him sing 60s and
70s songs in our ear radios to keep us awake! And
finally probably the most powerful single night time event
was when Julie MacNeil, the driver of the 18 wheeler that
was part of our team brought her entire family out after
midnight in Gananoque and allowed me the honor of reading
a dedication to her father who passed away from cancer after
a very long battle. How can you possible capture the power
of these moments?
C2C 2003 also has some unexplainable events happen. First,
take the weather. Immediately before and immediately after
our trip the weather was terrible with huge storms, rain,
and in some areas hail. But for us on C2C 2003 we got less
than 2 hours of rain in a 240 hour trip with mostly perfect
winds. Other than having The Weather Network as a sponsor,
a very hard thing to explain. Second, as a wrote about earlier,
I guess another surreal moment came when I was climbing
a large hill and Ron Mitchell began reading over the radio
an incredibly beautiful message my wife Diane had sent me
on the website. Literally 10 seconds after he finished reading
me her best wishes, the headwinds that Kevin and I had been
battling for over 2 hours switched directions and was on
our backs for the rest of the day. Coincidence or just another
set of powerful events going on to support our cause.
How do you even begin to thank everyone involved? I dont
know if I can as I will forget some individuals but here
is just a partial list.
To Dr. Pat Hewitt who prepared all our food and nutrition,
as well as, doing chiropractic adjustments as required.
He was an indispensable resource without whos help
we could not do this trip.
To Mitch Kennedy, and Erik Jensen who took turns driving
the RV and generally doing whatever was required to keep
the cyclists going what can I say but WOW!! Your contribution
and involvement will not be forgotten.
To Lon Minott a big thanks for your help driving the RV
and for me the invaluable support you have as a registered
massage therapist; I can think of two days that without
your help I am not sure I could have continued with as little
pain as I did.
To Ron Mitchell, I will not forget your tireless effort
driving the RV driver AND doing all you did on the updates
and the media support.
To Julie McNeil who drove the 18 wheeler donated by Concord
Transportation acting as an "advanced billboard" in the
next major city and provided food and supplies for the riders
thanks for your personal involvement and for the honor of
riding for your family.
To Gerry Wallis and Hal Brown from Geismar your help shuttling
the rotating support crews and support for the riders needs
[laundry, new supplies, etc] was invaluable. I look forward
to getting your advice on the route next year!!
To Dan Dimopoulis thank you for your tireless support in
taking pictures and in shooting & producing the follow
up video. I cant wait to see all of it!
To Jim Sondel and Alan Sweet, thank you for building the
applications that made our route trackable and gave us the
opportunity to share our incredible experience with all
of you. Jim, your 5 days on the road with us was a great
To Lucie Cousineau who graciously jumped in to help with
many aspects of the project. She pitched in on route planning
and single-handedly rallied community celebrations in Mississauga
and Halifax. Lucie sought corportate
donations and arranged for an amazing finishing party in
Nova Scotia. Thank you for all your efforts.
To Ashley Kirk for building the website and incorporating
instructions and requests thrown at him from a multitude
of people. For months he worked feverishly through evenings
and weekends to create the virtual heart of Coast-to-Coast.
To all the riders that joined us along the way; thank you!!
Not only did you make it a little easier for us but you
added some great variety and entertainment into our schedule.
To the law enforcement teams in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal,
and Halifax WOW!! The police escorts saved us time, made
us safe, and well, were pretty darn exciting!
To the employees of
Fujitsu Consulting what can I say but a HUGE thank you.
Your support for events in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal,
Ottawa, Quebec City, Fredericton, and Halifax were above
and beyond the call. The team AND the charities thank you.
Thanks to Paul Kent, Mike Maloney and Mike's team in Halifax
for setting up the arrival celebration, police escort and
Lieutenant Governor's participation.
A special thank you to Melissa Brown for your personal support
that allowed me to focus on the ride during my one week
To Susie Adelson and Dave Erskine from G2M, and Alison
King thank you for all your support and guidance around
media along the way.
To all of our sponsors and the firms that helped us thank
you. CIBC, Fujitsu, Microsoft, NexInnovations, Give &
Go, G2M, Media Profile, Corporate Impressions, First Data,
Pzifer, The Bay, Gears, Boomerang, The Courtyard Group,
Cisco Canada, Sundog, Dupont, Hempola, Documentum, Robson
Technologies, The Pump, Geismar, The Weather Network, Tiffany
Gate, Systems Graphics & 3M, Smurfit, Telus, JB RV Rentals,
Carlton Technologies, Bremme, Ajilon Consulting, Jeff Goodman
Studio, Dimpflmeier, Organic Meadow yogurt, Concord Transportations,
The Ridge Natural Health Experience, Dofasco, Hamilton 2003
World Road Cycling Championships, are just a few of the
firms whose support financially and in services was instrumental
in helping us complete our ride.
To my Dad and Mom, to Emmi & Lou, to Diane, Skylar
& Brooklyn; you were the original inspiration and remain
the reason I will continue to do this
To my extended family on the Rushton & McIntosh sides;
your continued support is inspirational.
To everyone who honored us with the right to ride for someone
impacted by cancer through the dedications I can only tell
you from the bottom of my heart how important and meaningful
those dedications were. They gave us the power and the energy
to continue and provided focus around why we do the Coast
to Coast events.
To everyone who followed us along the way, gave us encouragement,
and most important gave a donation to one of the charities
my hat is off to you. This event is all about raising awareness
and funding for the two charities we are supporting. With
your help we are getting close to our $500,000 goal.
To Elli Overton & the staff at Lance Armstrong Foundation,
and to Kal Tobias & the staff at Candlelighters Childhood
Cancer Foundation, THANK YOU for your compassion, for your
passion, for your insight, and for the obvious personal
commitment you put into the missions of these two great
charities. I am honored to be riding for both organizations.
Finally, and probably most important, I want to give a
huge personal thank you to my fellow riders; Fredrik Carlberg,
Scott Graham, James Layfield, Kevin Wallace and Hamish Gordon.
We started out as friends, and we became a true team bonded
by an unforgettable personal experience. Your effort, dedication,
commitment, and sense of teamwork made this very special.
I will never forget this.
SO WHAT IS NEXT
The next 4 weeks is a critical time for the Coast to Coast
team. We are organizing a few follow up events [black tie
event at Café Brussels in Toronto, and the on-line
auction] during July to try to bring our fundraising total
to our goal of $500,000.
You can help by:
- Donating online or sending your cheques payable to the
charities to the following address
Coast to Coast Against Cancer
C/O 1525 Royal Oaks Road
- Spreading the word and telling your friends and corporate
- Purchasing something from our on-line auction or our
cycling clothing; 100% of proceeds go to the charities
- Or participating on our black tie dinner; look on the
website for details
- We WILL be doing a C2C 2004 event sometime in June 2004
but unlike this year it will be an event designed away
from 6 crazy middle age men to an event that can involve
thousands of average North Americans in their local communities
linked into one integrated event called "Coast to Coast
Against Cancer Communities of Compassion" Look
for details in the next few months.
Until then I want to close by thanking each and everyone
of you for the support you have given all of us involved
in C2C 2003 and to the charities we are riding for. Thanks
for making this a really special and meaningful event.
COAST TO COAST FINAL REPORT
The final day of the 2003 Coast to Coast Against Cancer
ride is a short piece of riding culminating in the ceremonial
arrival in Halifax. Earlier the day before, the team had
achieved it most easterly point on the Atlantic Ocean on
the north shore of PEI. It had taken 8 days and 19 hours.
Despite that, the arrival in Halifax would have deep meaning
and significance to the entire team and its many supporters,
including family, friends and colleagues.
Another Perfect Day
The previous nights ride and arrival in Chester,
Nova Scotia ended at about 4:30 AM. Now, at 6:30 AM, The
Weather Network has already set up for its final interviews
of Jeff and the other riders. As a sponsor of the Coast
to Coast Ride, the Weather Network was an invaluable source
of weather information while the team was on the road. That
was the good news. The bad news from their perspective
at least was that the team had absolutely perfect
weather every day of the ride. The sun shone every day,
the winds were favourable, there was no rain, and the nights
were clear and cool. In short, there was absolutely not
one bit of weather drama during the entire ten days
no snow, no sleet, no torrential downpours, no floods, no
hurricane winds to blow rail-thin cyclists off their path.
Quite acceptable to the team, but not as much of a story
as the Weather Network might have hoped for.
Finally, at about 8:30 AM, the entire team is ready to
depart Chester for the final 80 kilometers into Halifax.
The team of 8 riders head out onto Route 3 toward Halifax.
A nice casual ride along the seashore
Rush Hour. As the entourage gets closer to Halifax, the
intensity of the traffic increases. All manner of cars and
trucks speed angrily down the twisty, rolling highway. Finally,
as the road joins onto another thoroughfare, the team rides
into the protection of the pre-arranged Halifax city police
escort. Also there to grab the moment are several television
and radio stations. A good sign that there is some genuine
interest in the Coast to Coast Ride here in Halifax.
Its a Parade
The police lead the riders toward Halifax. About halfway
there, a group of Fujitsu employees joins the ride. Its
quite a parade now: 8 C2C riders, another 20 friends riding
along, the C2C RV, the Weather Network SUV stuffed with
video equipment and operators, and bringing up the rear,
the big C2C 18-wheeler, blasting its even-bigger horn
all the way through downtown Halifax. Passersby are caught
by surprise at the late-morning commotion along Barrington
Street, but amazingly, some seem to understand and offer
their encouragement by applauding as the team passes through.
Finally, the parade of cars, trucks and cyclists make the
last few turns into Point Pleasant Park. A long glide down
toward the water and onto the big open parking lot, the
riders arrive to the cheers and applause of loved-ones,
friends, supporters and dignitaries. They whiz right past
and down toward the beach. Finally getting off their bikes,
in unison, they triumphantly walk down to waters edge.
The symbolism of dropping their front wheels into the Atlantic
is overwhelming. The job is done, the impossible has been
achieved. Its hard to believe that they can actually
stop cycling now. After the expected whoops of joy and fist
pumping in air, they each turn and embrace one another,
almost surprised that its over, and equally surprised
at hows it is overwhelming them. Words are lost in
constricting throats, but deep understanding exists regardless.
Then suddenly the beach is filled with even more people,
all clustering around the team. Wives, girlfriends, children.
These are the ones who have supported these riders all along
in their pursuit of purpose. Pride and love washes over
them like the gentle Atlantic tide at their feet.
A Royal Greeting
After the moment of accomplishment is captured on film
at waters edge, the team gathers itself and heads
back toward the park. There, a reception has been arranged.
Hosted by Paul Kent of Fujitsu in Halifax, several important
provincial and municipal dignitaries are on hand to welcome
the team. This includes The Honourable Myra Freeman, Lieutenant-Governor
of Nova Scotia. She graciously acknowledges the accomplishments
of the team, noting for all gathered the magnitude of the
effort in terms of days, kilometers and funds raised. She
then pins a special Lieutenant Governors medal on
the collar of each rider to commemorate the ride and the
Guinness and The Royal Reception
Once the official festivities are complete the team immediately
convenes at the RV, where a tub of Guinness is laid out.
This is a "meal-replacement" that is much favoured over
some of Dr. Pats concoctions. Each member reaches
in, opens and then raises their prize in the air for a team
toast to their success. Just then word comes through that
Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor has invited the entire
team and family members to Government House for a visit
and refreshments immediately following the ceremonies at
Point Pleasant Park. It takes some organizing, but the team
finally makes its way to Government House. Each member is
greeted personally by Her Honour and asked to sign the guest
book. In the dining room, a few words of welcome
along with some very dainty finger sandwiches are
offered up by Her Honour. Then a tour of Government House
with a few entertaining stories of its past, and finally
a photo opportunity for the team on the foyer stairs with
the Lieutenant Governor, carefully positioned under a painting
of the boss, Queen Elizabeth II. A memorable end to a memorable
day and a memorable journey.
Finally, the team is able to retreat to Chester for some
much-needed rest and relaxation with family and friends.
The Chester Yacht Club plays host with an extraordinarily
tasty array of hors d'ouevres and main dishes. But no one
is really paying attention. All eyes are on Jeff as he personally
and publicly thanks each and every member of the Coast to
Coast team. As he builds his momentum, he finishes by acknowledging
the enormous support and commitment of each rider. Each
member has profoundly impacted Jeff in a very positive and
life-altering way. He acknowledges and thanks them each
for being equally committed to his dream. He then turns
to the final and perhaps most important thank you of the
night. He manages about three words, just enough for the
entire gathering to know just who this next acknowledgement
is intended for
his wife and life partner, Dianne.
But he can utter no more words. His face contorts, his throat
contracts and he tries, but nothing comes out. Finally Dianne
rises and they embrace. Everyone there knows just exactly
what Jeff intended to say all along.
Feel the Love
Its a fitting end to the Coast to Coast Ride and
this coast to coast journey. The love that fills the room,
the love that Jeff feels for Dianne, Brooklyn and Skylar
and the entire C2C team is clear to all. It ends with this
embrace that takes Jeff back years to the moment he first
conceived this Coast to Coast idea, the reason he decided
to do it in the first place: his children, his wife, his
family. He feels the love.