I had mixed feelings if i'm honest. Elation, yes. I have given my all to the ride over months: from booking flights, setting up the website, buying the bike, putting in some training, doing some fundraising, planning the route, packing the kit, co-ordinating the support team, buying 'Wilbert' the support car and pedalling over 3,800 miles... 47 days on the bike and 13 much-earned rest days. 8 provinces, 5 time-zones, 5 punctures, the Rockies, Prairies, Great Lakes, French-speaking Quebec, the Maritime region... I was definately chuffed to bits to successfully make it to the end!
I thought of the amazing support I have had. From my Dad who made such an impact on the journey and worked so hard. From Moley and Shazza who were with me for a month, I'll never forget our time together or how much they put into the expedition. From Charlie and Becs who have helped me to finish the ride, bringing a certain amount of organised chaos to proceedings and lots of laughter! From Canadian people from coast-to-coast who have invited me into their homes, donated money to the Trust, offered discounts on campgrounds or motels but mostly have just offered a warm welcome and a friendly chat. It's amazing to think just how much has happened from the time when the ride was just an idea, a distant dream. I felt overwhelmed and choked to think how lucky i've been to experience all this. And sad that it ends here in Halifax, as my feet touched the icey Atlantic water.
As the elation and sad feelings flew around my head I thought of Rob. He's been at the forefront of my mind all summer and with us in spirit the whole way i'm sure. He's the inspiration for the journey and no doubt would be pleased for me to successfully make it from Pacific to Atlantic. I feel for the loved ones Rob has left behind: for his Mum and Dad Nikki and Dave, his brother and sister Tim and Louise, his girlfriend Lucinda and his Everest and Pole-to-Pole expedition partner James. I feel also for the family and friends of James Atkinson who died with Rob in the French Alps in January. Robbo had a fantastic spirit, he lived his 21-years to the full. He inspired many and achieved so much. He became a close friend over 6-months through deserts and stormy seas. We hope the Rob Gauntlett Trust will go some way to keep Rob's spirit alive. Young people will benefit from the charity and continue to hear about who Rob was and the inspirational way he led his life. The donations received during the ride will go some way to get the Trust Fund off to a good start and I can only thank all the people who have supported me to this end from the bottom of my heart. You have made every mile, every hill and every ache more than worthwhile. Thanks to everyone who has followed the journey over the summer, it really has been a privilege to undertake and an experience i'll never forget.