Jamie Layfield

Day 9-10, June 26, 2003 Jamie’s Update

It’s been a few days since we finished and I have finally found some time to send some comments. (Finally sober enough too!) The first thing I want to say is thank you to everyone that sent comments, support or encouragement along the way. You kept us inspired right up until the end! I want to personally thank Jeff Rushton for making this event happen. His inspiration, dedication and leadership continue to impress me and have made me a better person. I will always be indebted to Jeff for having me on the team. We could not have made it without the help of so many amazing people. Top on the list is Dr. Pat Hewitt from the Ridge. He kept us healthy, focused and gave us the confidence we needed to get through the ride. His performance at the Chester Yacht Club made our celebrations a night that I will always remember. The rest of my teammates have been surprisingly easy to be with for ten days in a rocking RV, even Hamish. The rest of the support crew was awesome and I am happy to have made many new friends. Your dedication to making the ride go smoothly is commendable. The last few days of riding are a bit of a blur already although a few memorable moments occurred. The RV got lost on day 9 when I was out alone after Jeff experienced a major bonk and I finally called them to tell them where I was. It seems they had changed the route but had forgotten to tell me? The next day in PEI we made a team decision to stop for breakfast and we feasted on PEI pancakes, eggs, bacon and lots of coffee. It was a perfect way to start our last day of riding. Finally, on our last ride across the very hilly and pot holed section from Truro to Chester Scott “Crash” Graham lived up to his nickname. As he was reaching for his radio to request some music his front wheel disappeared into a 6 inch hole and he tumbled onto his back in front of the RV. All I could do is hit my brakes and head for the ditch. When I stopped and looked back he was already on his feet running away from the RV. His bike lay 2 feet (4ft according to Mitch the driver) in front of the stopped RV. Leave it to crash to break our perfect riding record across Canada-he is the reason we all pay so much for insurance!. The reception we received in Halifax was very special. The bagpipes at point pleasant park were very cool. We were received by the lievftenant Governor Myra Freeman who welcomed us with open arms and then invited us back to Government house for an impromptu lunch. What was she thinking inviting 6 hungry cyclists and their entourage back for lunch when none of us had seen real food or used our manners in almost 2 weeks. Everything went pretty smoothly until, as we were leaving, she asked to see the inside of our RV. I warned her that it was messy but she said not to worry and that she was a “regular” person. But Somehow I don’t think she was expecting to see Guinness cans and Keith’s bottles filling the sink! We had just had a toast at the park before going to Her residence… It was a particular honor for me to ride for my cousin Chris steffan, his father and father in law who were all lost to cancer within a year of each other. My thoughts were with his wife Janet on the road throughout the 10 days. I also thought a lot of my cycling buddy Kent who we lost last year. I am sure his spirit was with me as I felt stronger throughout the ride and had many silent chuckles at his expense-what a character he was. Finally, I want to say that it was a privilege to be a part of the C2C team for 2003. I enjoyed every minute of the past 10 days and although at times I was frustrated or tired the honor of riding for such a great cause kept me positive and focused. I was reminded today about how strong and powerful the human spirit can be when a friend of mine who I visited in Halifax gave the Candlelighters foundation a rather large donation after having just given the IWK Hospital in Halifax a donation a few weeks ago. He simply smiled and said to me “ my mother always told me that what you give will always come back tenfold” Thanks to everyone that feels the same way. I would not hesitate to do this again next year!! ADIOS

Jamie
jamie laytfield

Day 8 June 21st, 2000 11pm 16km’s west of Rivier-du-Loop!!

Scott’s voice shouts over the radio “I have a flat” Everyone jumps into action, Ron almost falls out the door, I scramble to find shoes and Kevin emerges from the bunk with a dazed look on his face. I get to the back of the RV grab the wheel from Ron and yell for a pump Kevin grabs the wheel and pinches it trying to understand why the spares don’t have air in them. He starts to pump then Scott yells for the pump. I grab the wheel from Kevin and run out to Scott and Freddy, Scott doesn’t want the wheel as it seems he has “imagined” the flat. Instead he pumps it up just to make sure. Yes, It’s getting a little weird out here. We are starting to make mistakes due to the fatigue and tedium of 8 days in a rocking RV. Time is being lost but still the team does everything to keep us moving towards our goal. The ride tonight was spectacular. I keep thinking that I have had the perfect ride, the best scenery or the best roads but once again the route into Quebec City and on to Riviere-du-Loop was awesome. It all started with my second unplanned ferry ride of the trip as we missed our turn out of Quebec City and ended up near downtown, fortunately a Fujitsu employee (Sabrina and husband Jeff) happened to be waiting to cheer us on and when she saw that we hadn’t gone our planned route chased us down and told us about the ferry. In all we lost about an hour but were able to make most of it up from Quebec City to Riviere-du-loop. The road was beautiful and we just happened to be lucky enough to be riding it at sunset-spectacular. Today while I was riding I was thinking about how lucky I am to be healthy. We have pushed our old bodies to the limit and none of us has had a problem. I really hope that this effort helps other’s achieve and maintain health through support of Candleligters and LAF. My eyes are closing so bye for now, Jamie

Day 7 June 20th, 2000

It just doesn't get any better than this. Freddy and I had the pleasure of riding back into Canada just after midnight and on towards London. We finished our ride at 2am. Freddy was back on the bike an hour or so later with Jeff and Kevin to transport them through his hometown and to pay special homage to a memorial tree that was planted in his parents memory. We were all back on the bikes at around 8 am to start our ride through Hamilton, burlington and on to Starbucks in Port Credit. It is impossible for me to put into words the power and energy I felt as our "peloton" grew and as everyone cheered our arrival. Seeing our children on their bikes and followed by Hamish breaking down put me over the edge. I was simply overwhelmed. When I finally put my bike down and looked around at all of our friends and family that had arrived to see us arrive I felt as though we were floating in a sea of love. I know in my heart that energy of that magnitude is what will make a differnce in childrens and families lives that are affected by cancer-Thankyou Everyone. It was amazing to see all of our friends and especially the one that dropped the M&M's in my pocket! The first treat of the weeek and it was awesome!

Kevin and I had 2 great rides later in the day with all of the GEARS guys/gals pulling us out to Oshawa-that was fun. We were joined by Chris and Kirk Tobias at that point and they helped us along. They were riding in honor of their mother who they lost a year ago to Cancer. The day ended on the graveyard shift with Kevin. Their is something calming about night riding, few distractions, little wind just you and the sound of the bikes on the pavement. For the first hour we were joined by three machines from the Multi-laser racing team from Brockville. They rode smooth and strong and we just sat in and enjoyed the cruise. Just as they were leaving us we saw another bike light approaching and we were joined by Trevor from Ottawa who had driven down to Brockville so that he could ride for us for an hour. He towed us or a while and they we settled in and talked and then all by himself he turned into the darkness and rode back to his car-That was inspiring. The rest of the ride Kevin and I just rode side by side and figured out all of the worlds problems... We got to extend the ride and see the sunset since the babes in the RV were sound asleep and we didn't want to wake them. It was perfect. We ended our ride in Cornwall down by the river again...

A special hello to Don Marston, rode through your hometown last night and was thinking about you Laurie, Shane and May-love you. Also to Steve and Carolin, Ben and Sam we were close last night. Emily, Addie and Katie-it was so much fun to see you and am looking forward to seeing you again soon. Mom, Kim, Colleen thanks so much for being there yesterday at Brant St. and then at Starbucks. Jamie PS. Dan how is the shoulder?

Day 6 –June 19th, 2003

What a day so far. I found an envelope that I was supposed to open in Winnipeg from my daughter and her 2 younger sisters. It was full of beautiful pictures they drew of them riding bikes and an amazing poem from my daughter Emily: The Wind is your helper Your bike is your partner The trail is your guide And you, You are the Soul! Who carries the spirit. WOW Emily you are brilliant. And Addie and Katie your pictures brightened my day! The second amazing thing that happened today is that we finally had a glance at the Guest Book on the Website. WOW again. Thank you to all of you for your encouragement and support and Laurie and Scottie I am looking forward to both the Party and the Brownies-Just don’t tell Dr Pat!! As I rode this morning with Kevin, Jeff and Freddy, trying to catch back some time we lost this morning I thought about Kyra again and an amazing thing that she said when she was being filmed about her recovery from Cancer. She said that now that she is healthy she wanted to live life “Full on” and that she wanted to do everything she could including bungee jumping! Once again I am inspired by children and so proud to be riding for them. On a lighter note, today we are all a little giddy. Almost everything is making us laugh (some of the weaker guys are also crying…) As an example we were just out in the middle of nowhere Michigan when Scott spotted a fire hydrant and decided it was time for a pee break. And yes we got it on film. The support crew continues to amaze me. Mitch is back and had a good ride today with Kevin and Jeff. What a trooper. Dr. Pat continues to take our “abuse” (We are really hungry). Lon gave a few guys massages today-or so I am told and Dan is helping with everything he can. Ron Mitchell and Jim are working the route and keeping us connected. Our laundry was delivered again this morning by Julie and has headed to TO for the night. Hal was able to pick up our lost riders and deliver them back unscathed. Thanks Team. Keep up the support and so looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at Starbucks! Jamie
jamie layfield

Day 5-June 18th, 2003

I was worried about how I would ride today after my marathon yesterday and more importantly how it was going to feel to sit back on my bike. But after settling in and remembering why we were riding not even the strong head-winds off of Lake Superior could slow us down. The second ride of the day was another special ride. Kevin joined Freddy and I for the first 2 hours and we rode down a beautiful stretch through Michigan. We saw several Deer and watched the stars come out while being helped by a gentle north wind. Towards the end of the ride the Moon appeared over Lake Michigan and we sailed along one of the smoothest roads I have been on. I guess the road gods are paying us back for last nights roads.

Well it's 4:50 am and I have been struggling to finish my update because the energy and activity in the RV tonight is crazy. Pat is singing away to Kevin, Jeff and Eric who are on the road. Hamish is busy looking for his glasses and food. Ron is bouncing around between route maps, dedications and his daily upddates. Scott has woken up for his shift and is walking around in a daze. It seems only Freddy (fast asleep) Carlberg is able to relax at this witching hour. We played some Nina Simone over the radio to the three on the road, "here comes the sun" which edged a few extra kilometres an hour out of the 3 on the road. I should be sleeping, but instead I am enjoying the moment.

Tonight while I was riding I thought about how lucky we are to be out here doing what we love and when Kevin read us our dedication of Hannah Munro I was especially honored to be doing something that may help other incredible children like her. I am so glad that she has recovered and is a happy playful kid. I also thought about how ironic it is that a little girl named Kyra Vitko helped to inspire me to get involved with the C2C last year. These children are my heroes and the reason I am here. When I sit at the front doing my pull and feel tired or worn out my thoughts turn to the kids that are struggling with chemo all over Canada and the rest of the world. It always inspires me to dig a little deeper and edge up the pace.

OK now we are listening to CSNY "helplessly hoping" and Scott and Hamish are dancing...it is definately time to get to bed.
Adios for now,
Jamie

Day 4-June 17th

The day started early, 12 am to be exact, with one of the most extraordinary rides of my life. Jeff and I rode through the fog while the Aurora borealis lit up the sky in southern Manitoba. We rode side by side for the first couple of hours and that is when I gave Jeff his new nickname "chatty". We talked about our childhoods, families and even scaired away some wildlife We rode again at 8am with kevin and then after crossing the US border in a jovial mood we were shocked to hear that Jeff's aunt had just passed away today of Cancer. So Kev and I put our jersey's back on and rode with Jeff aand Scott for the first couple of hours of their shift as a special dedication to his Aunt. The day ended with another ride with Kevin and Eric on a road that was way too rough for my tender Butt!! In all, I rode for 13 hours and over 400km's, saw the sunrise and set and just hope I don't pay for it tomorrow.

This journey remains inspiring and we hope that those that are reading are inspired to support who we are riding for. We are definately starting to feel the pain and over the next few days expect it to worsen. But the sight of the Aurora dancing in the sky and each others support will get us through to Halifax. Hello to emily, addie and katie.
Jamie

Day 3 — June 16th, 2003,

Wow what a day. Last night I rode from 8-12 and saw the sunset then today I rode from 4-6 and saw it rise. Later I rode with Jeff for 5 hours along the straightest and longest road I have ever seen. Fortunately the winds continue to push us and our legs remain strong.

I can’t begin to describe the positive energy that is flowing through our team. Everybody is doing all that they can to help us ride as well as possible. Each member of our support team has to be commended for the sacrifices they are making and the hard work they are performing. Dr Pat has barely slept but manages to hydrate, feed and massage us. I’d give him a 10/10 if he would simply oblige us with the occasional chocolate treat! Ron Mitchell is always smiling and making sure we keep connected with the media. He could use some driving lessons though. Dan the video guy has been getting some great shots of us biking and has also helped me figure out my new camera. Julie has been awesome and the sound of her big horn always brings a smile to our faces. Hal has been driving all over Saskatchewan today shopping and delivering people and most importantly the coffee this morning, my first in three days! Lon has been calm and cool behind the wheel and hopefully will soon be rubbing my tired quads. Both erik and Mitch have been awesome, especially when they give us an extra pull out on the road. There are so many other people that have helped us get this far, thanks.

Today we rode for Jane Knight of New Brunswick who we hope to see in Moncton as we pass through and Lorraine Isabel Dinsdale who sadly passed away in January of 2001. Our thoughts were with her family as we crossed the Saskatchewan countryside.

Hello to all the kids at Hillcrest, KW Bilingual and Cottingham Schools and especially Grace at Hillside!

Well better get some sleep, I am back on for the graveyard shift with Jeff.

Jamie

Day 2 - June 15, 2003,

12:45pm MST

Hi again C2C friends and family. We are well into day two and the climbing has taken its toll on our average speed and legs. The ride this morning was beautiful with lots of wildlife (Bear at Lake O'hare and many elk) While I rode I thought of a close friend who passed away a year ago, that I rode with on this same route 20 years ago, and it inspired me to out sprint Hamish to the Alberta Border-sorry Hamish! Today is also Father's Day and I miss you Emily and hope to see you Friday in Toronto. We will soon be in Banff, it is hard to believe we crossed the Rockies in under 30 hours-what a team! Bye for now, Jamie

Day 1 - June 14, 2003

5pm PST

Hi everyone it's Jamie here, We are listening to Neil Young and cruising along at 35km's an hour along the river...Today has been perfect already despite an unplanned ferry ride to get back to the RV after we took a wrong turn. We are 100km's ahead of schedule!!

Can you believe it. Especially inspiring was listening to today's dedication, Meaghan Bebenek during our shift and from that point on it's as if the wind has been pushing us even harder. A special hello to Emily, Addie, Katie my mom and Kim, miss you and will see you soon. Thanks to all of the support and keep it coming. ciao.