Perhaps you followed Chris and Heather Hartridge’s journey across Canada in the Observer over the last two summers. The pair cycled across the country and sent in regular updates on their progress, highlights, and the many “good neighbours” they met along the way.
Well, they are recounting the entire adventure this Friday (Dec. 15) at Hallis Lake Lodge as part of the Cariboo Ski Touring Club’s annual social night to open the ski season.
The Hartridges began the trip last year but it was cut short in Alberta when the couple had to rush home to be with Chris’ ailing mother.
This year they began back in Alberta at the end of May and cycled to Newfoundland, arriving at the end of September.
The idea started with the connection to local musician Murray Boal, a friend of the Hartridges’, who wrote a song called Good Neighbours.
“We thought it was high time we cycle across the country and meet some good neighbours. We thought, ‘Why not meet our neighbours in Canada and the US?’ Every day we made an effort to meet as many people as we could,” says Chris.
“It was miraculous how it all happened. It goes to show if you put yourselves out there and open up, all sorts of wonderful things can happen. We were overwhelmed by the number of people we met.
“In our presentation there are as many photos of people we met as scenery.”
Despite the distance, the good and bad weather, Chris says he and Heather never felt like giving up.
“No, we never felt like giving up. We’ve been addicted to cycle touring for years and we couldn’t think of anything else we’d rather do. It’s a daunting thing to think about cycling across Canada, but we didn’t ever feel like stopping,” he says.
Next up for the couple is a non-cycling vacation in Nicaragua, which they are returning to after 15 years.
“We worked there and now we are going back to have a reunion with some friends who live there, and to see parts of Nicaragua we didn’t see last time,” says Chris.
But they are definitely not done with cycle touring. The Hartridges will take their bikes to Cuba in winter of 2019 to explore the island nation on two wheels, and surely meet more new friends along the way.
“One of the mind blowing things is how you can shrink the world by travelling by bicycle,” says Chris.
The Good Neighbour Tour presentation starts at 7 p.m. at Hallis Lake Lodge on Dec. 15, and seating is limited. You can pick up reserved tickets at Rocky Peak; admission is by donation or by appy/dessert.