And speaking of competition, let us hope for a peaceful games in Sochi. While politics has long played a role in the Olympics, there is a glimmer of what is noble in the human spirit when athletes from around the globe give it their best and display sportsmanship. Our Canadian women and men will presumably do us proud.
The Christmas tree is on the kerb, auld lang syne has been sung and it is time to try to keep our resolutions. My commitment is to enjoy every moment of the grand tour and learn as much as I can about the people and their circumstances as we roll through community after community.
To do the TDA, each person requires huge support from kith and kin. First and foremost, I must acknowledge the loving support of my partner Cathy who has endured my obsessions and idiosyncrasies. She even claims that I "deserve" this ride. Our offspring, Michelle and Josh, have been behind me all the way. And if you are reading this, thank YOU. Without all the marvellous people who honour me with their friendship, I would not be able to do such a trip.
At the risk of being maudlin, I want to remember my parents, David and Elizabeth, who provided us with everything a child needs: love, kindness, moral guidance and honesty. My siblings Christine, Anne, Ian and Dave care for one another, especially when the chips are down. Both of my sisters are enduring hard times and I will keep both of you in my heart on the way. Likewise, with my brothers, I admire their calm, steady consistency and support.