The end of the tour, and wasn't it fun. We had all kinds of weather - mud, snow, rain, cold, glorious sun (for the Jasper stage), wind and now a moderate, almost-autumn day in Edmonton.
The Tour of Alberta finishes with an eleven-lap circuit that climbs into and out of the river valley, winds through downtown and past the Greyhound bus station, where I am marshaling and have my backpack handcuffed to a safety rail (courtesy the policeman stationed here with me). Kate is at the other end of the block at a corner, within whistling distance. It's very handy for me, as she has a better sightline for the oncoming entourage.
|Sean's bag will be safe while he marshals,|
courtesy of the city cop he is working with
The cyclists do their thing, Kate and I direct the peloton through and keep the dumb-dumb spectators and random street people from accidentally wandering onto the course, then retire back to the festival at the city centre. The Tour has housed us at the downtown Westin and we somehow ended up with a top floor room with a southern view, overlooking the river valley and the better parts of Edmonton, a city renowned for its potholes.
|Roger, Wendy and Cheryl - fellow marshals|
As the race ended on the last day of a long weekend and finished after 4 pm, the tour organizers kindly put us up for that evening, allowing us to start our journeys home the next day after a good sleep on 600-thread-count sheets. This year we marshaled with our friends, Barry and Cheryl, a retired couple in their late sixties whom we hope to emulate as we get older. They cycle and hike all summer, snowshoe all winter, drink lots of wine and have great stories of traveling the world. We also met and trained some first timers, Roger and Wendy, and got to meet a very competent team captain, Wade, whom we hope to work with for many tours to come.
We carpooled back to Calgary with Cheryl and Barry and had great conversation the whole way, talking about upcoming adventures that both couples were having.
|Marshals on the way to their next drop|
|The peloton climbing Victoria Park Road|
September 11, 2015
|Marshal Team 5 and our van, 2015|
- Four days after getting back, we received an e-mail from Cheryl,
letting us know that she and Barry had been out for a bike ride two days
ago and Barry had suffered a massive heart attack and had passed away.
We were both shaken and shocked ... but especially saddened - yes for Barry, who had passed away quickly, doing something he loved - but even more for Cheryl, who had lost her playmate and best friend. It
punctuated our resolve to spend time together, doing what we love and
building up some really, really great stories.
Farewell Barry. Thanks for sharing your joie de vivre with us.
|Barry, out having adventures. We'll miss you.|
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