Day one

Day one is over and done. It’s actually the morning of day two. I’m in my tent, listening to the rally wake up all around me. Day one was hard, but not the stuff of nightmares (except for the pain- but best not to even think about it.) Best moment- Sam and Ken hoist the tandem by the shores of lake Ontario at around 80km.


Today is the longest day, 126km. I bet you know exactly what I’m thinking.

233 thoughts on “Day one

  1. That means that at the end of today, the hardest day will be done! and that the rest of the week will be easy compared to today 🙂
    Ride safe

  2. Tthousands of knitters are behind you, helping to support you. You can do it.

  3. And zoomin’ down the hill around the S curves is … OMG … people, you are not going to believe this! It’s a tiny little woman and she’s KNITTING A SOCK!

  4. You’re amazing! Have fun, and stock up on the Tiger Balm for the end of the ride 😉

  5. We love you. We have faith in you. We will still love you no matter what happens. Hugs. Xx

  6. You’re thinking what a cakewalk it’ll be after today, so you can’t wait to get started and get it over with! Right??
    Stay strong – you can do this!!

  7. Go, Steph! Do you hear that strange sound? It is the knitting world cheering you on!

  8. Congrats on a good start — just think of today like getting through the trickiest part of a knitting project. It will be so worth it in the end so just persevere one stitch/one mile at a time!

  9. Not one for leaving comments but absolutely inspired by your effort. Inspired to get involved, take a chance and feel some pain. Makes me proud to be a knitter.

  10. .. and remember, after this you will be SO FAR AHEAD in karma, success at the impossible (while knitting), and general “I showed’em”-ness, that no-one will ever be able to criticise you for anything ever ever again! Good onya Steph (that’s Australian for “Olympics is one thing; just look what can be achieved via YARN”.)

  11. You go, girl! Your focus and heart for this totally rock!
    May the wind be at your back all the way!

  12. you go girl!, we travelled along the road with some of your fellow participants. It was an inspiring sight!

  13. Keep going! You can do it! If(when) you feel fatigued, remember we’re all cheering for you! “go, go, go, go…”

  14. Woohoo, you can do it! Just think of how it’ll feel to have the longest day behind you. 🙂

  15. So happy to see the update!
    chugga, chugga, chugga! Smile. It will make you feel better and drive everyone else around you crazy!
    Day 2, GO like the wind!

  16. Good luck, Steph! We’re rooting for you, every blessed kilometre!
    Whether I’m walking or biking, I always spend the first 25% of the time creaking and groaning and telling myself there is no way I can finish so I’ll just stop early if I have to. Then I get in the zone and let my mind relax and my body just do its thing, stitch by stitch so to speak, and before I know it I’m done and feeling great. Hope you have that kind of day!

  17. Hurrah! You’ve survived day one, and as has been said after today you’ve done the longest day! I’m in awe 🙂

  18. Look how far you have come since you started this adventure. You are truely amazing! Go! Go!

  19. “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam
    Not that you will, but even if you DID. We are proud!

  20. You’ll be flying on the wings of love from – and for – the people you’re doing it for.

  21. Relentless Forward Progress
    That is the ultrarunners mantra.
    So impressed with your training and your ride!
    Whoooo hoooooo!!!!

  22. what they all said and then some!
    KLANGAKLANGAKLANGA!!!
    (that’s my best imitation of a cowbell)
    You go!

  23. You’re thinking of collapsing in bed with sore muscles quivering. You’re thinking of drinking alcohol to loosen up said muscles. You’re thinking of eating pizza. Lots of it. Finally, you’re thinking of knitting. You know it.

  24. Around the world you have thousands of supporters who are following you on this ride. We are all cheering for you. Everything will be fine!!!

  25. You are planing on not moving for 6 months after this, and deserve massive amounts of red wine and dark chocolate?? Nah–you are thinking how much FUN this is going to be, I am sure of it. 🙂 May it be glorious!

  26. You are awesome! Your family is pretty awesome too.
    I know you can do this (I speak from personal experience, having done a US version of this ride from San Francisco to LA), and I hope that you end up loving it.

  27. Go Stephanie, you can do it! The knit collective is behind you today. (And your team too!)

  28. If you were me, then you’d be thinking that by the end of today, I will be able to face every other day because it can’t be longer than this day. Woo, hoo! And that’s exactly what I said on day 2 of the walk I did for AIDS, waaaay back. 20 miles by foot isn’t all that much when you think of the people you’re helping. Good on ya, Stephanie!

  29. You can do this! Someone with the strength of character to knit complicated lace shawls can do anything she sets her mind to.

  30. You’re thinking, “DANG IT! Next year I’m gonna do the tandem thing. Sit it the back and knit while I peddle!”
    Did I guess right?

  31. You’re thinking, “DANG IT! Next year I’m gonna do the tandem thing. Sit it the back and knit while I peddle!”
    Did I guess right?

  32. You can do it!!!!! Think about how easy all the following days will be if today is the hardest.

  33. Cheering you on from way down South of USA! Now I know why I was gifted with such a loud voice. Rock the ride!

  34. YOU ALL ROCK!!! Your family, your friends, and your fellow riders. You are doing an amazing thing, raising money to help total strangers who are suffering from a horrible disease.
    You are truly wonderful.
    – Pam

  35. Good luck, Stephanie! You were in my thoughts all day yesterday. You’re doing great and if the energy of all of the people you have pulling for you can really help, then you’re going to sail through this adventure!

  36. go,go, go! just think, after today, each day’s ride is shorter! you can do it!

  37. I’m thinking that today you’re riding almost as long as the road cyclists in the Olympics, so you deserve a medal! Also, I bet the worst part was starting. Now you’re on your way, surrounded by your awesome team and all kinds of support, and I hope you’re feeling more confident! You really do rock!

  38. Steph – you have Grace. No NO! I’m not talking about the kind of grace one gets from walking about with a book on her head. I’m talking about the kind that comes with strength and courage. It’s the kind of grace one gets when one does something that terrifies them-yet they have the courage to do it anyway. It’s the kind of spiritual grace we find when we birth our babies. Sweat, groan, grunt, swear and struggle. You can do this! Find your courage. Find your grace. We’re SO proud of you!

  39. “That I am so going to nail this so I can knit to my heart’s content in August!!!”
    No, that wasn’t it???

  40. You’re thinking: I did it! One post from phone done! Now, to the bike – I think I can, I think I can, I KNOW I can! Knitters know you can, too. One K at a time.

  41. Today is cables and lace WHILE doing the waist shaping, the button band, and then the arm and shoulder shaping. Then – nothing but stockinette until the bind-off! You can do it!

  42. I think if the longest day is past, and you made it- and it was better then you thought it would be – then you’re in really good shape for a great finish!

  43. Sorry to tack this on to today’s blog. I found the socks like the ones I want to knit on your December 2009 blog and wonder what kind of yarn you used for these. I have no trouble finding yarn like when I’m in Europe but having trouble sourcing it here in the States.

  44. You go girl. You can do it. We’re all rooting for you and know you will succeed. With knitters supporting you how can you be anything less than an amazing success.

  45. Remember how proud you have been of your daughters and Ken and Erin when they did this before you? Well, that’s the way we feel about you, quadrupled and in spades.
    Prayers, blessings, fingers crossed, best wishes with you again today.
    You rock, good lady!

  46. The second day might be the longest, but I bet Day One was the toughest. You WILL succeed! GO Steph! GO!

  47. Today is the hardest day and then 4 easier (well…relatively) days to follow and then it is over and you can celebrate…with Knitting August! And you will feel amazing in your accomplishment!!

  48. Cheering from the sidelines in total admiration for all that you do – Go Stephanie!
    P.S., I truly wish for a friend like Presbytera in my life (sighing) – compare/contrast and conquer! You’ve gotta love it!!
    Go team knitters!
    Namaste

  49. Steph, this is a true test of stamina. Anyone who can knit a blanket or miles of lace has nothing to worry about. You can do this! Best part is you will feel so good about your personal and team accomplishments and the good you are doing for a lot of people.

  50. You’ve got this, and The Blog is with you!! As is your team, and the many people you’re helping with the money raised. Ride On!!!!

  51. You can do it, and I think it’s safe to say that we’re proud of you no matter what!!!

  52. Think of it as in miles…then it is shorter! 126 K = 76 miles…much shorter!

  53. As Jo-Anne and Nan said – The Blog is with you!
    You’ll pass my part of the St Lawrence River at the beginning of your ride on Thursday, according to the rally map. I”ll be waving (I know we won’t really see each other, but so what?)

  54. You’re my hero. I can’t even comtemplate such a trip without hyperventelating. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all the riders. Be safe.

  55. I fell off my bike yesterday (sigh), and totally thought of you. Hope you’re having a more graceful day than I did! 🙂

  56. By the end of today you’ll have got it taped, you’ve done the first night, the longest day – everything from there is just routine. It will soon be the shortest day and you get to sleep in a real bed with an actual ceiling.
    The Blog is string with this one.

  57. You can do it!! I watched the Olypmics over the weekend and I’m sure if they can bike that much in one day, you’ll be awesome and able to do it over six! GO TEAM YARN HARLOT 😀

  58. Just think how much knitting I could get done if I were on the back of a tandem bike?

  59. Congratulations! You and your family, as well as everyone else riding, are truly inspirational.

  60. This is a hard thing, and I know you can do hard things, even very hard things like this one. One stitch at a time and one revolution at a time…
    Also, you deserve a “Poor baby” for the pain. I’m so sorry it hurts. I always feels that much better when I get a “poor baby” because then I know that the person I’m addressing understands that it sucks. So, know that I am absolutely sincere. Poor baby, that has to hurt so much. I know it does. You are strong and brave and determined. You can do this. Likely you’ll have already done the hardest day before you ever see this. And congratulations on that!

  61. Continued blessings, after today it is headed to the finish line. Try to find a product called Salonpas which have been very helpful for me with muscular strain issues.

  62. Like knitting: one stitch at a time, the day for you will be one Kilometre at a time….. Good luck to you and the team.

  63. I am sending you positive energy!!! Thank you again for all of your amazing fund raising – you are really something to behold – I admire you very much and have been following your blog for years!(since 2004)
    You Go Girl!

  64. You’re thinking that you wish you could borrow my nice padded arse for tomorrow, and believe me I’ve got arse to spare.
    Yay, Steph. Go, Team, Go!

  65. You are a rock star! Awesome! Just think how great it will be to tell stories of this ride for the rest of your life!
    I am proud to be part of your blogisphere! I’m so rooting for you and your team to do it and ENJOY!

  66. I am humbled. Saturday night I spent complaining about how much my feet hurt because I spent the day (really only eight hours) on my feet working a concession stand at my son’s swimming championship. I am humbled by your strength, your purpose, your dedication and your genorosity. I could say that I will never complain about my feet hurting again, but that would be a lie. But to be honest, my butt hurts just thinking about spending so much time on a bike. Good luck and God bless you and all 299 of the other riders.

  67. I’m so inspired. Really! You have no idea. I went down to the waterfront in Ajax to cheer you all on as you passed by, but I must’ve just missed it. Anyway, power on sister. Tomorrow (Tues.) will be easy-peasy. Comparatively. Sort of? 🙂

  68. I know you must be finished with Day 2 by now – so I’m thinking, next year you should shoot for $50,000 – I’m sure we will all help!!

  69. It’s fourish here, so after seven your time. I’m hoping you have your tent set up, have had something reviving to drink and eat, and are knitting a bit before dreamless sleep. I don’t know how primitive your camping sites are, but I’m praying for a hot shower for you all.

  70. I hope you’re thinking that you did it! You did day 1! I hope you’re thinking that you are proud of yourself. Reading The Blog comments, I know we out here are proud of you! Cycle on!

  71. So incredibly proud of you. This will be one of the the most important things you will ever do in your life…something you will always remember. You are awsome!

  72. Awesome!!! You must feel so proud of yourself. A couple of weekends ago hubby and I did the Warrior Dash in Barrie. We’re both 53. 10 years ago I would have never thought of such a thing and now the insanity is coming with old age. Hubby did fantastic and my time was mediocre but I did it which is awesome…it’s awesome to push our limits.

  73. I just looked at your route…please wave as you pass Adolphustown. I’m just north of there.

  74. That after Monday, it’s all CAKE. You are amazing, your family and friends are amazing, the other riders are amazing… I am far more involved and invested in this Bike Rally than in those Games going on somewhere… Ride On!!!

  75. …just keep peddleing…don’t stop…just keep peddleing…it is not as long as you think. Keep peddling….
    bjr

  76. This is much more exciting and meaningful than some of the Olympic stuff. Keep On Rolling 🙂

  77. Go, Steph, GO! Been thinking about you ever since the start. I know you can do it!!! We’re so proud of you all!

  78. I hope the wind is at your back, and that you’ve figured out how to use a shawl as a sail!

  79. GO STEPH GO! WOOOO! You can do it! This is an amazing undertaking, and you are TOTALLY up for it. Just keep biking, just keep biking, just keep biking biking biking…

  80. I am so proud. Hang in there. I remember pedaling so much when I got off the bike my legs kept pedaling. I suspect your legs will do that tonight, but you will sleep soundly. All my best wishes are with you today.

  81. From somebody with a lot of musculo-skeletal problems to somebody courting them: have you ever heard of ibuprofen? Just sayin’. You don’t lose any awesomeness because you take painkillers. Just sayin’ again.

  82. I sure hope you have a padded bike seat. If not you can pad your shorts with a carefully folded towel. It does work! Take heart. Thousands of us are cheering you on.

  83. Two strategically placed balls of wool should sort you out…and maybe some ibuprofen rub. I’m dead impressed with your commitment to blogging!

  84. Make sure to stretch your neck… several times a day. It will help in the long run. Stay safe!

  85. You want to go back to bed? Pull the sleeping bag over your head? Would you rather be cleaning the bathroom? Just keep moving. It’s really almost over and you already know you can do it. We are so proud of you.

  86. Way to go Steph. Beautiful shot! Keep riding, be safe. You can do it, your a strong Canadian Woman with tons of heart and a great cause. A body in motion stays in motion and all that.. stay inspired!

  87. I’ve ridden a LOT, LOTS of miles–hard miles– with a loaded touring bike–through Glacier Park and the Canadian Rockies–while pregnant. I’m north of 50 years old and still riding. Ten miles is a breeze–I NEVER ride more than 10 miles at a time. . . repeatedly . . . as necessary to get to the destination with may be as far as 126 MILES away. You can do this too.

  88. Go, Stephanie!–I rode El Tour de Tucson to celebrate turning 50-(nearly 25 years ago). Whenever I’d come to a milepost I’d translate it into something familiar.—5 miles?–oh, yeah, that’s from my house to the supermarket. I can do this. —12 miles?—oh, yeah, that’s from my house to work. I can do this. You get the idea–it’s like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. Most of all, HAVE FUN.

  89. So very proud of you! Travel safely and have the time of your life . Hope you can hear us cheering you on all the way from Oregon.

  90. “I’m in my tent, listening to the rally wake up…” Zippers! That’s the sound of bikers waking up and zipping out of their tents, their sleeping bags, their duffel bags! Yayy for the zippers.

  91. Congratulations–you’ve made it to the rally, you’re living through it (so far), and there’s nowhere to go but onward. Bravo!
    And wow . . . that’s quite the bike to be hoisting above one’s head.
    Cheers!

  92. Wow, you are amazing! I am in Awe and tearing up over your ride for such a good cause.
    All my stash yarn be with you( like the force) and wrapping you to keep you safe.

  93. I am moved to tears in admiration. You are going to rock this ride and be so much stronger for having participated in this experience.

  94. Go Harlot go! I am deeply impressed and awed by your generosity and dedication. It’s easy to donate money; donating time and effort is another matter entirely.

  95. You can do it, Steph! Turn your fear to determination. You’ve put on two conventions and a buttload of workshops and talks. You can do this!

  96. dunno what you’re thinking, but i’m thinking
    YOU’RE ALL FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!
    keep calm
    and ride on!

  97. Stephanie…luckily you are made of good tough stuff! I can’t begin to tell you how proud of you I am!!!

  98. I’ve just read the last couple of blogs and I’m trying to figure out why you are so anxious. Are you afraid that you will reach a point where you want to or have to quit? That’s OK. There’s no doubt you have given your all.

  99. Stephanie- you crack me up. I can just see you huddling in your little tent, thinking about getting on that bike and contemplating the day ahead. You’re way braver than I am – I just enjoy reading about the adventures of others!

  100. No tweets! Worrying. Sending you all good thoughts! Think, soon it will be over and you will have Rocked It! Go knitter champion!

  101. See Stephanie pedal. Pedal, Stephanie, pedal.
    We are now in the month of August…and we will soon see Stephanie basking in the glow of her latest accomplishment…and thinking knitting lace is REALLY EASY, PEASY!
    YAY, TEAM!!!

  102. Only one more day to go!! I hope there’s a huge crowd of knitters wecoming the entire ride into Montreal, waving yarn and chanting, “Go, Harlot! Go, Harlot!!! YAAAYYYY!!!!” (or something far more original :p) Stephanie’s total is currently at $49,405 – AWESOME!!

  103. I’ve been thinking of you all day long! You are almost done and I’ll bet you’ll have lots of stories! Go Team Harlot!

  104. I only had $3 in my PayPal, but I sent it along so it will inch the total closer to the big 50.

  105. Just donated $25….$47 left to go! You’ll have your goal by the tip of the hour! GO KNITTERS! YOU ROCK!
    Ride hard Stephanie! Wishing you good weather and smooth roads!

  106. So $50,000 by Saturday was an underestimate. Congratulations to all the riders & donors!

  107. You go girl! One more day and you will have achieved a miracle … not just for yourself but for those who need help. This is a stellar achievement and you deserve my accolades. You’ve got them!

  108. see all these positive comments??? absorb them. You are doing something you are afraid of, rightly so, it is a huge project, and will come out the other side so totally powerful and energized!… you rock!

  109. I can’t believe I’m THIS excited about the accomplishments of a woman I’ve never met (except through the Blog, of course)! $51,600 in donations – aren’t Knitters awesome?? Stephanie and the team should be just about in Montreal, if they aren’t there already – YYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!

  110. I am really thinking about you Harlot. I am sending you some good karma and wishing you well on this amazing adventure!

  111. Congratulations! You will have many stories to tell about your week on wheels. Way to go!

  112. Congratulations!
    We love you, we are so proud of you. Be proud of yourself, too.

  113. You made it!!!! Massive congrats and awe-filled admiration. I’ve been checking in all week to see how you were doing. You are amazing, as is your family. And your family of knitters!

  114. Whoopee!!!!! you made it! Not that we of the BLog ever doubted for a minute that you would. Congrats!

  115. THANK YOU KNITTERS for welcoming them all in at the finish!!!!!! WELL DONE, RIDERS and CREW – WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [please excuse my yelling – I’m just so darn PROUD of them]

  116. I just saw your tweet that you’re finished.
    There, that wasn’t so hard now, was it?
    KIDDING!
    Congratulations and job well done!

  117. I see from these comments that you made it 🙂 Wonderful and congrats. I’m pleased and proud of you all.

  118. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Well done!!! I hope you are so proud!
    I’ve just seen your twitter post where you ask where to eat in Montréal. I cannot reply on twitter because I’m so way behind with technology, but here are my two cents on restaurants in Montréal for Veg options. One would be the “Commensal” on either Ste-Catherine (McGill metro station) or on St-Denis (Berri-UQAM metro station). It is a pay-by-weight vegetarian buffet, reasonably priced if you don’t exaggerate on desserts. There is also some nice restaurants in the Village (Ste-Catherine between Berri and Papineau), and it is an all-pedestrian area during the summer. Veg options are easy to find in Chinatown (just a little north of the Old Montréal) I would also recommend the Santropol (veg sandwiches loaded with cream cheese), but it is not so easy to go by bus (corner of St-Urbain and Duluth).
    As I know you are a beer aficionado, may I suggest you pay a visit to either the “Cheval Blanc” (corner of St-Hubert and Ontario) or to “L’Amère à boire” (St-Denis between de Maisonneuve and Ontario), both microbreweries that have a nice choice of beers (and the legal drinking age is 18 here, so the youngest in your party will be allowed)
    I don’t have anything to suggest for the Old Montreal because it tends to be very expensive and I doubt there are many vegetarian options. Additionnaly, it is an area where most montréalers don’t go very often.
    I would like to tell you again that I hope you are very proud of your ride, it was a great personnal challenge and it will help so many people have a better life with AIDS.
    Enjoy your stay in Montréal, I wish I could tell you in person, but I was still at work at the moment you crossed the finish line.

  119. How come I am not surprised that the train journey was easier?
    All power to you all. Congratulations.

  120. Stephanie
    You are awesome
    Your whole team is awesome but you YOU SPARKLE!
    Way to go!
    We were with you all the way, I thought of you everyday riding in that heat.
    Have a good sleep in your own wonderful bed!
    YOU DIT IT!
    I KNEW THAT YOU COULD!!!
    donna
    congrats to the whole team!

  121. Hey Stephanie! Just hoping ‘radio silence’ means you had an awesome, awe inspiring and completely exhausting time!
    Congrats to the whole team!!

  122. You’re home, so you made it! I always think of you as a Rock Star of Knitting, now you are also a Rock Star of Life. Congratulations and enjoy the coffee, the home bed, all of it. (I have tears in my eyes, at my desk, so I’m going to go get a grip.)

  123. Did anybody find out what Yarn Sam used on the beautiful scarf she made to be auctioned off for the race? I really would appriciate any info about it.
    so love those colors, and the challenge to knit it. Thanks so much.
    Rita

  124. Looks like I am not the only one worrying about you. Hope the only problem is that you are exhausted from your trip, not something more dire. Thinking of you! Take care.

  125. I know your legs are tried but, surely the fingers still work? Could you please check in with us, we are starting to worry. We miss you!!

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