If there was a better way to go, then it would find me

Part of bike riding really far is never letting it become work. Your attitude should always treat it as fun. Exercise has always been something I had to turn into a competitive game of some sort. At the YMCA gym, I would always watch my stats and make sure I was doing better than whoever was on the machine next to me. So when I’m carrying 30+ pounds (?) in buckets on my back wheels and I pass people uphill in the rain, it’s sooooo delicious to me. It feeds me in ways I can’t satisfy any other way. I hope it’s not coming from a mean-spirited place.

Yesterday I made it to Ajax and I’m staying with my family Paul and Rita; who are without a doubt The Most Magical People in the World. I haven’t figured out how to make my phone work in Canada, so they didn’t know when to expect me, but they had a freaking homemade lemon loaf and made me a giant bowl of arugula salad with fresh homemade garlic dressing. WTF. This woman had her 4 children bathed and dressed in a flash of lightning while making me tea and had my clothes washed and folded on my bed before breakfast this morning. WTF wtf wtf. I slept in a bed. With sheets and blankets and not one, but 3 pillows (!!!!). They made me bacon and waffles this morning. I am so so so so so so unbelievably grateful and at this point their kindness brings tears to my eyes. Ok I’m crying now. This emotional stuff is just part of me being on this trip, but I am seriously so grateful.

Today, the sun emerged, and so will I.

578 km more to go. I’m almost halfway there….sorta.




The road just rolls out behind me

yesterday was really good but ended poorly because of a flat and then issues with my front tire. the spare tubes I have didn’t fit and here I am, it’s already noon and I’ve barely started for the day and it’s raining.

I haven’t had a car in 10 years. I’ve been riding bikes this whole time- and I’ve never been given so much as a smile or a nod from any of the Lycra mafia. Until……
I bought a pair of cycling gloves yesterday and all of a sudden, every member of the cyclist freak Lycra mafia I pass waves or nods at me like I joined the club.

Sometimes I sit up on my bike and pretend I’m running really fast. Like in Looney tunes when you see the legs turn into cycles before they take off running.

I’ve made a mistake. I like going as fast as possible so I’ve been pushing in high gears instead of switching to low gears and it’s been aggressive on my knees. My knees hurt today, on the expected side of normal. I haven’t injured them or anything. I rested them a bit and took some ibuprofen.

Now I’m gonna go out in this rain but my enthusiasm is low. Hopefully I’ll refill the tank today.

2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad

Bad stuff that is totally possible:
Big Bike break in the middle of nowhere country
I accidentally murder something in a blind rage because my gears don’t shift correctly
Bad country music
Bear attack
Possum attack
Posse attack
Raccoon attack
Incurable rabies forever
Not enough metal, alanis morrissette, and/or gangster rap which is totally real and happening. Hailey.

So I got caught up in the dark underworld of Burlington, Ontario on the west side on Toronto, Canada.
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

Bike tour day 1

Horoscope: explore new people, places, and activities. Keep your emotions in check and look at your options. A trip will lead to new prospects and plans for the future. Don’t be afraid to take an unusual path. Speak up and move forward.

I’m hauling probably about 250 pounds on two wheels and I honestly do not know how to change that back tire when it inevitably pops. (It’s not my easy 1″ single speed.)
I’m stoked I ate lunch at the pita pit ($7.50) when I did cuz there has not been shit but corn fields, cow farts, and speeding pick ups kicking dirt in my face since. I spent the majority of my afternoon on motherfucking dirt and gravel roads. My flask is half empty and everytime I’ve just about had it with the dirt road and cursing them (out loud) all to hell, it changes to pavement and maybe god is with me. I’m sitting in a cemetery now and the first headstone I read is an obelisk packed with Weirs (my BC family I’ve spent the past week with).

Mary, wife or ThoS Weir has “gone to dwell with saints above and rest in god’s eternal love.” She died Aug 16, 1879 at 80 yrs. Mary, wife of Henry Weir, died May 5 1885 56 yrs + 6 mos. Henry, her husband, died in 1904 at 75 yrs and he is “gone but not forgotten.” Across from me lies Beulah F Hussey. I’ve never met a Beulah F Hussey before and I wonder if we would have been friends. Would she want to come on the bike trip with me, maybe.
I don’t really know but I think I’ve only gone 55 km in 7 hours. I’m not really sure when I started but I guess 11:30 and it’s 6 now. God damn motherfucking dirt concession roads be damned. If it was later than 6 I’d set up camp right here in this graveyard but I have to push a little further.

Grandma and grandpa, auntie Anne, Jerry, and mama all gave me a little money for the trip and I have to remember to thank them big time. I had no Canadian cash when it started and I’ve used it to buy the initial bike tune up and now protein bars and energy shots….And coffee…in this Starbucks that I’m in. I’ll get them montréal shirts or something from the city too.

I must remember that no matter how hard or long this gets that I have time, I have money, and the whole point is to pedal. I’m pedaling for myself. So there’s no sense in taking shortcuts unless I’m hurt. Just keep pedaling. Do It right. Do my best. I’ll remember it forever, so do it right. I wanted this. I want this.

There’s a big or a bird or something that sounds exactly like the sound of a bike chain when it’s not pedaled.

Also, Alice Weir, wife or JW Utter died Feb 8 1925 at 59 yrs “AT BEST”

Also, I should note that I have already begun to talk and sing to myself.

Also I figured out that if I raise my seat higher, my knees don’t hurt as much…idiot.

Quitting time : 8:30

I have the choice of hiding in the flora where a million man-eating bugs are, or lying in the open where anyone could see me in plain view.

I found a place to sleep in a manicured field…of an unidentified plant. I watched Point Break but my iPod died right when Keanu tells Patrick Swayze, “Via con dios” and so I missed the very end. Holy crap it was cold. It was so cold I briefly considered sleeping with my sunglasses because maybe they would help insulate my eyeballs. I was wearing all my clothes plus a bright yellow poncho and had that aluminum emergency blanket so I wasn’t doing a good job of being discreet. I was a bright yellow PAC man ball wrapped in aluminum foil like I was attempting to signal somebody for help and 3 seconds from lighting the emergency flares. But I rolled myself into a dark green tarp burrito and fell asleep.

There were noises. Creature noises. I woke up a few times and thought about how to fight a bear, or a dog, or much worse, a possum. What if someone’s dog attacked me and I had to kill it (I sleep knife in hand) and then wtf I just killed someones dog. Or what if I somehow did heroically fight and slice the throat of a bear? Do I take pictures for proof or is that dumb? wtf I Just killed a bear thats screwed up I don’t want a bear to die because I had to go on some stupid bike trip and sleep in some shitty field of some plant nobody even cares about. There’s probably not even bears around. Right? (This next morning, when I woke up, there was a giant pile of feces right near where I was sleeping on the bike trail that only a very very large creature could have made and I just really hope it was a horse)

Woke up day 2 at 5:30. My fucking brakes are rubbing. They didn’t rub yesterday. Why are they rubbing. Why.

Whatever. I’m feelin good.

My right to be a vagrant

“A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is a deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle and get out.”
― Isabelle Eberhardt







Sharp and sour

Auntie Anne was asking every store if they sold pepper spray so I could shake off surprise dog attacks.

Come to find out that….Pepper spray is illegal in Canada…(but not bear spray) anyway I’ve never been attacked by a dog or a bear or a raccoon or any land animal before, so I’m gonna go ahead and assume it won’t happen in the next 6 days.

I do carry a very sharp switchblade on my hip though. I will have to get accustomed to sleeping with it because I just sleep outside in my regular day clothes….So I’ll start tonight.

Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.

Bike Tour starts tomorrow. Mae West and Emma Goldman are going to take me on a 1000km bike ride to Montréal.

I’m in Colchester now, I will get to London in the morning, and I’ll bike until nightfall. I’m not even nervous. Everything is right, everything is ready.

I have chosen not to read bike blogs, but I just spent about an hour on the reddit r/cycling page…and I must repeat the mantra “I will not be intimidated by cyclist freaks, I will not be intimidated by cyclist freaks.”

Here’s my pack
Sharpie magnum, zip ties, sun block, tarp, arm sheeths, pens, blank book with directions, ulock, whiskey flask, air pump, tire ripper things, lights, oil, hand sanitizer, TP, string, bungees, headlamp, extra tubes, dental floss, toothbrush, mini sewing kit, vitamins and ibuprofen, spirit quartz, passport, wallet, iPod, phone, poncho, 2 sunglasses, 2 shirts, 2 bottoms, 2 shoes, 1 sports bra, 1 sweater, 5 socks, bathing suit, hat, punk vest, backpack, battery pack, phone charger, Allen wrench, patch kit, knife.