Oh no… Oh Yes.

Once more the trusted – and very heavy – Giant Cruiser is going out on the road to change some stuff up.

I am – with a large contingent of other folks from around the world – participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer next summer in support of my many friends and family members who have gone through cancer, chemo, remission and the in betweens.


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Days and hours and dates oh my…

Life out on the road is as surreal as it is bizarre. Riding (or ‘driving’) our bikes across the last two countries gives a certain visceral vantage point to go cross country. The smells, the people – understanding just exactly how little things change even if you are going cross entitre continents.

We’ve technically only been on the road for just over two weeks, and already our patterns have changed. We started out a mess of Canadians from coast to coast and a couple of Americans (we let them pretend to be Canadian here because deep down, we know, everyone just wants to be Canadian) and now we’re a happily dysfunctional family – siblings and weird cousins and all.

It’s hard to unwind on the road, sometimes. You can’t remember the date half the time, hours just blur into days and days of beautiful landscape and OMGhills (also this will give me a heartattack hills and ohlookmylittlesistercandothat hills) and the very basic level of food/chocolate/sleep/don’t pass out you’re biking moments.

But at the same time it’s almost a freeing thing – move, push, keep going and definitely do not stop.

We’ve survived a broken wrist, a run in with a truck, two stolen bikes and swarms of mosquitos that have attempted to to steal entire people sized chunks of blood.

And yes, there is video. Just y’all wait until I can find Internet to show you the things I#ve been seeing (the wire brush has done nothing for my brain, let me tell you).

Conversely, the people we’ve been meeting have been amazing. Strangers who can’t speak the same language that will lead you across entire cities to get you somewhere.

Stories shared, lately, about living on the other side of the iron wall. Knowing that the ‘peaceful revolution’ was not, entirely, what the text books talk about.

But it’s all just one kilometer at a time, and tomorrow we find the Czech Republic.

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My Yogurt. It’s Not this Yogurt.

Trying out the local flavours of yogurt. Thanks to J—- for being willing to try the Vla. On a muffin of all things.

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Grass is Always Greener

Taking over the Camp Site

Walking into a new group of people can be a bit like walking into a snake pit sometimes. Sniping comes from all corners and politics can bury any shade of allegiance before things start. People make snide comments about the weather, your clothing, their clothing, moustaches and the cat on the corner.

Walking into a group of cyclists is nothing like that.

Walking into a group of cyclists (nay, not hipsters, cyclists) is kind of like finding a group of somewhat hardened people that have one thing in common: everywhere they go everyone is trying to hit them. And they bond. Oh yes they do – in the hostels. In the airports. In the fact that you’re really not getting them to stop talking about their bikes – and they’re here to take over your roads.

And, it might be said that putting all that together makes all those cyclists have to pull together – in the cold, freezing pit that happens to be the damp Amsterdam shore right ’round now. In the middle of the freezing Amsterdam ADD-style while we – the crazy brave thirteen riders met.

And commiserated. We have had two bikes stolen in the last week and one that hasn’t shown up five days after the fact from London and we’re on the move – oh, tomorrow. So wish us luck as we fare forth (and not, west, sadly, or I’d be saying it. Yes, yes I would).

We start lightly – forty kilometers a day through the next few flowing into the beautiful German landscape.

After all, whenever there’s rain…

Grass Is Always Greener

Oh yes, yes I did.

We’re starting slow, but you know it’s not going to stay that way. Stay tuned to the upcoming adventures in covering Europe in 140 kilometer a day chunks.

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Ma bicyclette sil’vous plait

I spent three wonderful days in Paris with a lovely Couchsurfer, visiting the Eiffel Tower, le Louvre, le Musee D’orsey (Van Gogh! Real ones!) and then woke this beautiful morning to grab the train to Amsterdam where we (all the crazy folks from the Europe Ride) are going to meet for the first time.

And thus, at 5 am, bird singing I woke. Grabbed coffee – which coincidentally is much better than American coffee – and crazy French yogurt.

Wrapped up (and stuffed) my sleeping bag in tight and jigsawed all of my panniers together and hauled everything down the stairs, through three apartment compounds and found my bike rather lacking in existance.

I walked ’round – thinking perhaps there was someone who had moved it, maybe.

Maybe, perhaps they’d just found another place for it to be thus I went though all four compounds of apartments and searched out the entire thing.

Let it be said that the bike is now gone. Officially.

And I am, theoretically, going to be biking come Sunday so we shall see what happens.

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About Global Agents For Change


Who, and what, Global Agents for Change is.

The website for Global Agents for Change has a lot more information on it. Feel free to check it out, and ask them any questions you’d like.

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Go West Young Man, Go West

Toronto for the early morning commuter

As part of a training regimen that should be known as a bit more than “average” I secured, with full knowledge of the undertaking, a friend to bike the Waterfront Trail with last weekend.

With plans of getting there before dark we set off at the very respectable 7 am.

Standing Stones by the Waterfront Trail

We went, to be quite honest, at a very good clip along the trail – weather aside. It poured as the day continued.

The trail is a beautiful through the cities – all along into Burlington it winds about parks and lands right beside the shore.

This was not where our trip went wrong.

Our trip first went wrong with a shard of metal in my tired. We stopped for lunch at a way-too-air conditioned Tim Hortons that said nothing (thankfully) at our disheveled and rather  less than purchasing selves, and let us use hang out with our coffees. Which is to say, I was both thankful we were still in Burlington and that someone helped us out as I couldn’t get the bolts off the bike. But we finally get a new tube on (Note the first: be a boy scout. Always be prepared with an extra tube)

As navigators, it might be said, we aren’t the swiftest. We followed the trail directly – right into Hamilton (where it might be said that it ended without warning. I said it left us in the middle of nowhere in the rain).

But we kept going – we found another route through the rather less than easy to follow paths we could follow in the not-so-complete  maps at end (Note the second: Be a boy scout… always have a full map on hand. We, er didn’t), but we kept on.

It took, all told, ’round ’bout fifteen hours. We were going at a decent clip, and finally hit the lovely hill into Niagara Falls at 10 pm.

This trip is actually a really beautiful one, and it’s mostly well marked, just uh. Be prepared.

The trip back was nice. It only took about two hours:

That Go Train. Always with the surprises.

We’re on a countdown, folks. I’ll be reporting from Paris in twelve days.

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