To date: 3,509 km
To go: 4,291 km
At breakfast this morning we overheard two road maintenance workers discussing an accident yesterday involving two cyclists – I do not catch the details, but expect to hear about it later on. And sure enough at my first break I start talking to a man riding a motorcycle (Newfoundland – Calgary) and he fills me in. It is a tragedy. Two of a group of 25 cycling across Canada were hit and killed by a truck around 3 pm the day before about 10 km west of Nipigon. You can read more about the accident here. I am honestly not suprised… the road conditions are pretty terrible for cyclists. The motorbiker says the couple were cycling side-by-side (not verified) so he makes me pinkie-swear him I will never cycle side-by-side on these highways.
Shortly after leaving my pit stop, I spot another cyclist coming up behind me, so I pull over again. Meet Scott – an English teacher using his summer break to cycle across Canada. Again he looks serious. After I find out he averages 180 km a day, my suspicions are confirmed. I let him leave me in the dust.
The next truck stop I pull into has all 3 of them having a break – Alex, Tom and Scott. We all stuff our faces with various things and then carry-on – somewhat agreeing to see each other again at Kakabeka Falls. These falls, “The Niagara of the North,” are pretty spectacular! They drop from highway level some 40m down into a gorge. A mighty fine gift shop too…. I meet Tom & Scott there, but no Alex – I am guessing he is either having a beer in town, or has gone on to Thunder Bay.
Tom stays at the campground in Kakabeka, and I head into Thunder Bay – no more sign of Alex for the day. It is wet and I haven’t had a proper shower for about 5 days, so I search out the Sleeping Giant Guesthouse – Thunder Bay’s Hostel. I find it easy enough but spend about 10 minutes trying to get acknowledged, only to be told the owner is out, but I can sit and wait… so I do for about 2 hours…. plenty of time to call home and get some computer work done. It is about 10pm when I finally check in. I am struck that this is an odd place.
Categories: Across Canada, Biking, Ontario
My heart did a double flip when I heard the first reports of the two dead cyclists. Alex will tell you that I am worrier….I knew you folks were in the area. Feelings of relief that you guys were ok, but sadness at the tragedy for another family.
Thunder Bay was the only place on my travels that I did not feel “safe”, so I understand your last comment.
Take care, and safe travels.