Home > Cycle 4 SchoolBOX, Day to Day > Productive Rest Day in Fredericton, followed by a New Brunswick Variety Pack of roads and sights – Fredericton to Penobsquis (which sounds more interesting than Sussex!)

Productive Rest Day in Fredericton, followed by a New Brunswick Variety Pack of roads and sights – Fredericton to Penobsquis (which sounds more interesting than Sussex!)

The furnace-like temperature in the residence, coupled with the thunderous motor of the air recirculation system, led to a restless night. I woke up around 3 am and blogged for a while, then read a bit at 4 am. By 6 am it was ‘game over’ – might as well get up. On my way out I saw one of the cleaning staff and asked her about the heat. She chortled: ‘It has been like this since it was built, five years ago. It is a sick building!’ I couldn’t agree more!

I took the elevator five floors down to the laundry room and put in my pile – just $1.25 per load and a mere $1.00 to dry – a real bargoon! (At some campsites and residences we paid three times as much.)

What to do next? It was raining steadily. I needed to buy more diaper rash cream and Gravol for the ferry ride to Newfoundland; get bills in exchange for the heavy bag of coins collected by the K93 radio station van in Grand Falls; tour the downtown area and…oh yeah, I also had a couple of interviews to do! As I was checking the times for the interviews on Google Calendar the phone rang:  the reporter from the Gleaner wanted to change interview time. I suggested that he could come right away, which suited him. It was funny trying to describe to him where the New Residence was located, based on what I could see out the window: the ‘something something’ hall to my left, a couple of large buildings to my right, and a large mud field straight ahead! Eventually he figured it out and showed up with a photographer. Thankfully the rain took a break. We had a good long chat while I posed by my bike.

As an aside, I noticed how much more comfortable I am with ‘being interviewed’. How come? (1) I  have had lots of practice and (2) I have thought a lot about SchoolBOX and Nicaragua’s poor children. I can now do a  Cycle 4 SchoolBOX interview at a second’s notice. Cool!

It was getting close to 11 am. The live radio interview with Mark Kilfoil of CHSR was scheduled for noon. I had checked the station’s address and it appeared to be on the other side of the Saint John River, about 8 km away. I could ride there, or take a cab, or figure out how to reach it by bus. I entered the address into my phone’s GPS. It said my destination was…430 meters away! Huh? I checked the detailed calendar entry: sure enough, CHSR was located in the Student Union Building, which I could see from my window! Lucky that I double checked before heading out! So this gave me some time. I walked south quickly, up a steep incline, to the pharmacy I had seen when we rode in the day before. Here I got the items I needed and some lunch fixings – a litre of chocolate milk and two slices of banana bread, to go with the chicken sandwich I had waiting in the fridge.

I walked back to the Student Union building and found the radio studio. I was intercepted as I walked in: ‘Mark is broadcasting live right now’. ‘Yes, and I am the guest’. “Oh! Come in”. Mark was at the control panel. When I introduced myself he exclaimed “Oh, it’s Tuesday!” He had forgotten I was coming. But we transitioned smoothly to a background chat and then to a lovely 30-minute interview. At the end Mark invited me to return for another interview when I did ‘the next thing’ or was back in Fredericton.

Lunch. More blogging…I am just about caught up! I then walked in the rain to the downtown area – smallish and distinguished mostly by the beautiful river running right through it. At a charming artsy cafe I treated myself to a wonderful cappuccino and delicious slice of apple cheesecake. And then a delightful teller at Scotiabank treated me very well, recounting the coins and finding an error in our favour!

Long wet walk back. Decent dinner at the university cafeteria. Back at the dorm I turned off the fuse for the noisy motor, welcoming the silence. I got caught up with email. Then I went into deep sleep clutching on to the illusion of being in control J.

Morning. As promised, the rains of yesterday were gone. We faced blue skies with tufts of clouds and a very soggy earth. We filled our bellies at the cafeteria (one of the best offerings to date) and rode away.

And here is where the Variety Pack came in. The first 50 km were ‘run of the river’ – flat terrain, next to the water, surrounded by luscious fields that Owen said get flooded every spring. This was classic — fast, easy and fun riding. The one surprise was the new type of road kill: tens of frogs, some tiny and others larger than my hand, mostly spread-eagled on their backs, showing white bellies. Strange.

The next 50 km were both challenging and rewarding: very hilly, with steep grades and no shoulders. And surrounded by beautiful scenery: trees, trees and more trees, farms clinging to the slopes, cows posing for passers-by.

The final 35 km were a ride on Hwy #1 through Swiss-like vistas: meticulous fields and roads, and the landscape then rising into foothills. This was especially pronounced near Sussex: we rode ‘down to it’ while an enormous postcard-perfect vista spread in all directions before us. A bit further down the road I saw four enormously tall concrete towers, topped by an irregular structure on which was painted a highly stylized “P”. I did not recognize the logo and couldn’t even remotely guess what purpose they served. Turns out they are part of a very lucrative potash industry. The first two towers are about 15 years old. The next two were built recently to expand output of this highly valued fertilizer, at a cost of $1.7 billion!

The Mouseketeers arrived. Ric was his typical excited self: he had milked a cow! His enthusiasm is infectious and he always cracks me up.

At the campsite the conversation turned to the evening in St. John’s. Different people have different plans. It will all get sorted out over the next few days.

 “Fuelled by Equator Coffee!”

imageRest day in Fredericton — view of the river in the rain
imageRest day in Fredericton — view of a parking lot (LOL) and some typical architecture, in the rain
imageReally? Why? Environmental art just outside our U of NB residence…
imageLeaving Fredericton, NB
imageAren’t rivers AWESOME? On this bridge for cyclists and pedestrians were two young women staffing an unusual station. They are employees of SNC Lavalin, a huge engineering firm, which is rebuilding one of the two major bridges in the downtown area. The company created this station to ‘apologize’ to cyclists and pedestrians for the inconvenience during this extended project! And they offered little treats: water, fruit, power bars etc. — and a weekly draw for a bike! Now this is my idea of smart public relations!
imageBeautiful river and marsh views during the first 50 km of the day’s ride

More river and march

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