On July 1st Four Seasons YEW Seafood Restaurant and Bar's chef Ned Bell set off to cycle across Canada. He'll be keeping us posted with his journey from the road for the full eleven weeks. Here now, the latest of his diary entries.
This past week has been a tough one: full of long rides, rain, wind, hills that I know will eventually turn into mountains. But, with only one week to go until I ride home I am more excited than ever to finish the journey and see my family and friends back on the West coast. We had three events this week, one in Edmonton at Craft Beer Market with my good friend chef Paul McGreevy and two amazing ones at the River Cafe in Calgary! I lived here for five years from 2001 and I have such great culinary memories of this part of the country.
The Alberta Culinary Community is a fantastic group of chefs, cooks, food lovers and artisans rivalling any other province in the country. It has a great heritage, strong roots in the resource, ranching and game industries, and a true love of the great outdoors - or Big Sky Country as they call it. Stunning scenery, rolling hills, farm lands, and of course the incredible Rockies calling me home, or over them as it were.
The wind was punishing this week, draining, almost making us stop a few times as it blew so hard. The terrain is rocky: literally and figuratively, I broke two wheels this week from wear and tear. I guess 7000 plus km will do that to a few bikes. No matter how rock solid they have been, the distance has proved tough, on me: my body, my bikes and my mind.
But, I feel super 'strong' and I am excited to finish the journey next Friday. The weather has definitely turned, it's much colder now in the mornings (1 degree in Banff today where we rolled into) and the sun isn't as warm even when it's shining. Fall is upon us and there was snow on the mountains today.
I am fitter than I could have ever imagined, but the call of home, my family and the coast is stronger than ever; mentally, emotionally it is tough these days. The true gift of hours and hours on the bike give you incredible clarity, of what's important: family is important.
My son Fin, who navigated for the past two months headed home back to Toronto to start grade 11. My third driver of the trip, my mom, left and headed home to Vancouver today. Luckily for me, my Dad who drove the first 3000km is back to bring me home over the next week and over the Rocky Mountains. This trip wouldn't and couldn't have happened with the incredible support of my wife Kate, my sons Max and Fin, my Mom, Dad, and brother William who all drive and of course the extended families, friends & co-workers and Chefs for Ocean Teams who have helped keep it all together back in Vancouver.
Oh yeah. My bike & I got White Hatted. :)
I sure hope to See you next week friends!
Lots of stories to tell, and Ned tuna to sell!
Follow Ned's Journey at #chefsforoceans and via @Nedbell on Twitter. See you on the road.
· Chefs for Oceans. [Official Site]
· All Ned Bell Coverage [EVAN]
· All Chefs for Oceans Coverage [EVAN]