Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Pictures and Videos!

Still in Calgary, and we're just about to head off to bed, but before we do, here are some pictures and videos for you!

Enjoy! xo

Goodbye Mountains... Hello Headwinds!

Well, here we are - Calgary, AB. Staying in the lovely abode of Andrew's friend Thomas and family and having a fantastically relaxing and well deserved rest day after 6 days straight on the road. We made it from Victoria to Calgary in 11 spectacular days. There have been lots of ups and downs (both in altitude and emotions), but every pedal of the way has been awesome - from the endless climbs and harrowing descents of the mountain ranges to the brutal headwinds facing us on the other side, I wouldn't change a single detail nor ever wish to be anywhere else doing anything else.

Here are some stats for our trip so far...

Total Distance - 1132 km
Total Time - 67 hours

Here's how are bodies are doing...

Andrew Wilson

Height - 6'1" - unchanged
Weight - 80kg (175 lbs) - unchanged

Waist circumference - 81.5 cm (down .4 cm)
Hip circumference - 101.8 cm (down .1 cm)
Waist to Hip Ratio - 0.800

Muscle Girth
Thigh circumference - L: 41.5 cm (down 3 cm) R: 43.2 cm (down 2.3 cm)
Calve circumference - L: 35.9 cm (down 2.1 cm) R: 35.8 cm (down 1.2 cm)
Biceps circumference - L: 28 cm (down 1.5 cm) R: 28.5 cm (down .6cm)
Forearm circumference - L: 29 cm (up .9 cm) R: 29.1 (up .3 cm)

Melanie van Soeren

Height - 5'3" - unchanged
Weight - 49 kg (108 lbs) - up 3 pounds!

Waist circumference - 66.0 cm (down 1 cm)
Hip circumference - 90.8 cm (up 3.2 cm!) Andrew says I'm becoming bootylicious - I guess I know where that 3 lbs went
Waist to Hip Ratio - 0.727

Muscle Girth
Thigh circumference - L: 37.56 cm (up .1 cm) R: 37.3 cm (up .3 cm)
Calve circumference - L: 30.7 cm (down .8 cm) R: 30.7 cm (down .8 cm) .... starting to question validity
Biceps circumference - L: 23.6 cm (up .1 cm) R: 23.7 cm (down .1 cm)
Forearm circumference - L: 20.5 cm (up .1 cm) R: 20.4 cm (down .3 cm)

*all measurements were taken using the professional standard - a flexy measuring tape and some fingers.

Additionally, we have a cumulative 3 bunk knees, 1 exceptionally sore butt, and 4 moderately sore quads (Andrew, Thomas and family can attest to my elegant waddling all last night)

All of the above taken into consideration, we're feeling absolutely incredible. I can quite honestly say that I have never felt this good in my life. Every day so far has brought a new adventure, new challenges and lessons, and amazing surprises. I'm a big fan of lists, so I've started making lists to try to keep track of everything that's been happening. Some of the lists I have on the go at the moment include - amazing people who have helped us along the way, questions people ask us, advice we get, crazy coincidences, food that I'm craving, favourite places and things that I've learned. Stay tuned for blog posts full of fun lists!

Andrew and I have also adopted fun stream of consciousness writing styles for our journals - his turn into amazing poems, mine have been jumbles of words. But here area couple exerts we decided to share...

This is beautiful, this is what I came for, what I yearned for.
It's what I didn't know that brought me out,
It's what I'm here to find out

Rolling hills, rolling clouds, rolling emotions.
Where are we?!

This desert, this lake, this stare from cows at passers by,
I wonder if they'll remember us like we remember them.

One last climb before rest, this is beaut...

One last climb before rest, that was beautiful,
what I came for, what I yearn for. I coast.

To Kamloops


Haunting beauty
melancholic whispers through trees,
rejuvenating, uplifting winds on high outlooks
yoga on the cliff top, lakeside, roadside
wild horses galloping in pace

Ascents, descends, winding, curving roads,
lumbering lumber trucks, loads unbalanced, roads shared,
banana peels on the shoulder, the only trace of other bikers

Screaming legs; shut up legs!
Lost and then found again around the next turn,
Listen to Canada - jumping fish, rustling, neighing, mooooing,
Breath in deeply, taste the air

I came for what I didn't know existed.


Every day I try to put what I see and experience into words or capture it in a photo - but I've come to realize it really can't be done - and I guess that's why we're on this trip. We're experiencing our country in a totally organic, full body way that can't be recorded. There's nothing better than breathing in the air, earning the views by climbing the hills, propelling yourself (with the help of gravity and your 100+ pound bike/gear) down mountains at 70km/hr feeling perfectly safe yet totally on edge, finding yourself frozen in place, speechless staring out at hauntingly beautiful forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, sunsets... Throughout this trip we'll share our stories and pictures, but here's the caveat - nothing can possibly accurately describe or express our experiences. If you find any of what your read or see here even remotely appealing (which I'm assuming you do or you would have stopped reading a long time ago), get on a bike, in a canoe, put on your hiking boots, snowshoes or teles and get out into the amazing wilderness that is Canada (or wherever you are for that matter!). This world has so much to offer, and it's not in cities, on the computer your staring at or even (dare I say it, the bookworm that I am) in a book.

Alright, that's my attempt at and inspirational kick in the butt out the door and into this amazing world of ours!

Check out our updated pictures on flickr and Andrew's awesome videos to get a taste of our adventure. Also leave us some comments/send us e-mails - tell us about what you're up to, ask us questions, compare experiences, etc... We'll read and reply, we promise (although we also promise it will not be in a timely manner - when you're doing what we're doing sitting in front of a computer is a pretty unappealing prospect - but we'll do it for you because we love you!)



Friday, June 17, 2011

Mel and Andrew's Cross Canada Photos

The first few pictures from the trip: pre-departure test ride and a shameless photo shoot!

From Victoria. June 17th 2011

With our bags packed and our bodies ready, Mel and I (Andrew) can't help but think of the changes we are about to undergo. I can at least speak for myself when I say my body will suffer through more changes in the next 2.5 months than it did through 8 years of awkward puberty. Mel and I are both endurance athletes and live on endorphins, but this trip is going to push us in a very different way than we're used to. We know that pushing our bodies like we are used to while cycling will eventually result in injury and halt our trip across Canada. We know that we will need to go steady, and somehow not get carried away and start averaging over 25km/h on our 125 lb bikes.

Since this is the first post, and we have bets being placed on our weight loss and muscle gain, let me hit you with some knowledge:

Andrew Wilson
(Born in Scarborough ON)

Height - 6'1"
Weight - 80kg (175 lbs)

Waist circumference -  81.9 cm
Hip circumference - 101.9 cm
Waist to Hip Ratio - 0.804

Muscle Girth
Thigh circumference - L: 44.5 cm   R: 44.5 cm

Calve circumference - L: 38.0 cm   R: 37.0 cm

Biceps circumference - L: 29.5 cm   R: 29.1 cm
Forearm circumference - L: 28.1 cm   R: 28.9 cm

Melanie van Soereen
(Born in Vancouver BC)

Height - 5'3"
Weight - 48 kg (105 lbs)


Waist circumference -  67.0 cm
Hip circumference - 87.5 cm

Waist to Hip Ratio - 0.766

Muscle Girth
Thigh circumference - L: 37.5 cm   R: 37.0 cm

Calve circumference - L: 31.5 cm   R: 31.5 cm

Biceps circumference - L: 23.5 cm   R: 23.8 cm

Forearm circumference - L: 20.4 cm   R: 20.7 cm

*all measurements were taken using the professional standard - a flexy measuring tape and some fingers.

So place your bets! We want to know how much weight you think we will lose, and how much muscle you think we will gain. There will be a prize for the closest bet! (Send all email guesses to info@DoctorsForDoctors.ca)

We we are off to bed now. We need to arise at 5am to start the journey of our lives. Night night, sleep tight.