To date: 5,311 km
To go: 2,489 km
This morning was perhaps one of my favourite moments of this whole trip. Sleeping under the stars with nothing but a sleeping bag separating me from the rest of the world, I found myself much more in tune with my environment. I woke up as the sun first started to rise and was blown away by the beauty. I spent about an hour enjoying the colours of the ever-brightening sky and watching two minks scamper around the beach, into and out of the water. They may not have been minks, I have no idea…. maybe just otters of some sort?
When Alex woke up, we rode into town for breakfast. Unbeknownst to us we picked the best bakery in town! We slowly realized that this was the spot all the local cyclists of greater Toronto seem to gather at. We became sort of like celebrities – well our bikes did – fully-loaded they stood out among their sleek counterparts and people were obviously looking and discussing them. When I came out to get my gear to change into, a few cyclists started to chat to me. I was even bowed down to for doing the cross-country ride – what some of them seemed to be dreaming about. I was surprised to see that they thought I was something special. I tried to explain that I wasn’t – in fact I wasn’t a cyclist nearly to their caliber. I did not train and I do not have any special physical ability, I just plod along everyday – I am sure they could all ride circles around me (and if there is a small patch of gravel, well it’s over, I will be left in their dust).
I would say Alex though is different. In fact just the other day he raced a man on a light road bike for some time – staying ahead the whole way… well until he had to stop and wait for me. He is perhaps some higher form of cyclist! (Lol).
Entering Toronto was quite the shock. There were so many cyclists on the paths that it felt like our own highway. We even witnessed one moment of road rage as one cyclist cut off another. It was a sunny saturday afternoon and everyone and their whole family including the dog seemed to be out and about. Some combination of too many people and not enough food put me in a bit of a cranky mood. I was happy when we passed through the worst of it and stopped for lunch. From here we had a short ride to my cousin’s inlaw’s house in Scarborough where we were spending the night.
Riding into the residential neighbourhood, we ran into my cousin’s husband (Scott) & son (Milo) out for a walk. I let Scott try my bike and he was shocked by how heavy it was and the short & steep learning curve needed to ride it. We spent the remainder of the afternoon eating and chatting and even swimming in the neighbour’s pool – and although it was cold, it was a real luxury! My cousin, Kippy, made a delicious Mexican dinner of tamales and soft tacos and I was in pure heaven. After dinner we played Croquet and Newfie Golf – I surprisingly wasn’t terrible at either and had a great night laughing and enjoying the company of my family.
PS. Newfie Golf involves two teams of two – and each person has 2 pieces of rope with a golf ball at each end. These are hurdled at a miniature ladder looking contraption and points are awarded for landing on a rung. Great fun!
A big thank you to John & Margot for inviting us into their house and another big thank you to Kippy, Scott, Milo & Olyvia for spending a lovely evening with us!