Whitehorse Daily Star

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GOAL ACCOMPLISHED – Stella Martin set out to cycle every road in Whitehorse. On Sunday, Martin accomplished her goal.

Stella Martin cycles all city roads

On Sunday, Stella Martin hopped on her bike and travelled down the road toward the dump.

By Whitehorse Star on July 27, 2020

On Sunday, Stella Martin hopped on her bike and travelled down the road toward the dump. When she reached the end it was mission accomplished – Martin had peddled every street in the city of Whitehorse.

“It’s exciting and sad,” said Martin about her journey. “Like holy smokes. It’s been a wonderful way to see the city.”

Martin, who turns 65 this year, plans an adventure with a friend every five years, however, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on their 2020 odyssey.

“Every five years since we turned 50 we do a big trip together,” said Martin. “First we did the Chilkoot. At 55 we went to the 14th highest waterfall and at 60 we biked through Ireland.

“This year we were going to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim.”

Her bike around Whitehorse began on June 25.

“It was such a beautiful day and that’s when I decided to bike all the streets in Whitehorse,” she said.

Martin was also inspired by a childhood friend, who undertook the same charge in Saskatoon.

As her trip took her to the city limits and in-between, Martin said she rediscovered the city’s beauty and even discovered some new areas the long-time Yukoner had yet to see.

“I discovered a new street while biking downtown, Keish Street,” said Martin. “Valley Creek, it’s just gorgeous and Squatters Row there were some really cool artifacts and other sweet stuff; Sima Road, the mountains were beautiful.”

To keep track of her journey, Martin obtained a city map where she could trace in her day’s route. She said she travelled about 20-30 kilometres per day.

As she reflected on her accomplishment this morning, Martin said it felt like a lifetime ago when she began.

“Thinking back, it feels like a couple of years ago that I started,” said Martin. “Every day feels like a new adventure.

“It’s all been really special and I feel really good.”

Although she has now accomplished the city’s network of streets, Martin will still be on her bike with another aim ahead.

In 2017, Martin walked the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain.

“I’m a member of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims,” said Martin. “Because of COVID, they are doing a virtual mission where you could choose how you cross the distance.

“I decided to register for this and add my kilometres to see where I’m going.”

When Martin first spoke to the Star last Friday, she would have been past Leon, France. Her goal was to complete the Camino in 35 days and she is still on track. Martin expects to finish sometime this week.

Martin and her travel companion will still get in a trip for their 65th birthdays, they are going to go horseback riding in B.C.

What’s the plan for 70? Martin doesn’t know, but there have been some ideas floated.

“We could do a boat trip around Newfoundland or who knows?” said Martin. “Doing the Grand Canyon at 70 would be something.”

Comments (2)

Up 1 Down 0

Dianne Sutherland on Aug 7, 2020 at 8:31 am

Good on you. I think exercise is what keeps you young.

Up 6 Down 0

Carol MacEachern on Jul 28, 2020 at 2:26 pm

I took the virtual journey in the Yukon with Stella. She has been a long-time friend from St. F. X. days. I will never be able to go physically to the Yukon as I am disabled and have mobility issues. Sharing her experience was absolutely wonderful to get to see the great sites and landscapes. Thank you so much for including me and others on this wonderful journey.

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