Ring the alarum bell, murder and treason!!!
No, no, wait... wrong story. Anyhoo, guess where I am??Throughout my life, I've almost become used to having people tell me to slow down and do things at a better pace so that I get it right. I guess my biggest issue has always been, why can't I do things as fast as I want and still get them right? This entire trip spanned 3646km and while I look back on this adventure with fond memories, I woke up the morning after the ferry and said to myself, I'm ready to get home.
"...330km away in Tobermory, but I told him that if the roads were good, and I got a bit of a tailwind, I might try to do it in 2 days. It was windy. The roads mostly had no shoulder and sometimes had what I refer to as "the chiropractor". And to top it all off, it was the end of a long weekend."
For those of you who know me, and those who have gotten to know me over this trip... give your head a shake. The above was an obvious ploy to draw you in and mislead you to think that life was downtrodden awfulness.
Don't get me wrong, it was one of the worst mornings I'd experienced. The roads were that bad, the wind was horrid and the traffic was awful. However, none of this stopped me from pushing through the pain and fighting my way towards Toronto. I put in 180km, and made it that much closer to home.
My morning was horrid, however before I get to today, let me talk about yesterday. Things were still horrible through Owen Sound. Around 10km past Meaford, a car pulled over and asked me, "why aren't you on the Georgian trail?".
My obvious answer was, "the what trail?". I spent the next few minutes learning about the area and the fact that not 100m south of the highway, there existed a packed limestone trail perfect for cycling which had evaded me thus far.
This trail ended up being the high point of my entire trip, and quite possibly the only thing which got me through the long day. It was isolated, it was close to nature, and it was peaceful. It was everything about cycling that I love, and a reminder of why I was willing to do this ride in the first place. This simple 34km path was enough to make me ignore the dark sides of my trip and even consider doing it ever again.
I reached Collingwood and set my tent up near an abandoned factory. It felt like the start of a bad horror film, but I made it through my last night in the bush and prepared myself for my last day on the road.
I was prepared to go through Barrie, however when I talked to a local in Collingwood, he suggested that going through Barrie could mean certain doom by traffic. He recommended another route which would have decent shoulders, and little traffic. I was immediately in love with this route due to my obsession with numerology and the fact that I would be traveling on highway 42 (the meaning of life).
Highway 42 was everything I had hoped it would be, HOWEVER once I hit Dufferin county, and the highway changed to the 18, the meaning of life turned into an awful, awful joke, with me as the punch line. The hills were enough to rival lake Superior. If you don't believe me, look at the stats to see that I hit my new top speed today. Traveling at nearly 70km/h is all well and good until you realize that you have to climb up the hill that you just rocketed down.
A lot of people ask me what it feels like to be on a fully loaded bike at 69km/h. That's a dead lie, no one's ever asked me that, however I will say this regardless; traveling at that speed, one feels as though if you wink one eye without blinking both, you will offset your balance enough to quickly become a grease stain on the pavement.
After the hills, life became even worse, since I began to pull into the city around 3pm. I thought my timing was perfect to avoid 5pm rush hour, however as my roomates informed me, "rush hour" in Toronto lasts from about 3pm-8pm. I weaved my way in and out of traffic and must have been quite a sight to see with my huge panniers sticking off the back and my slightly crazed temperment from being in the bush for so long.
And then, as though it wasn't real, I was home. Through the traffic, the hills, the lakes, the heat, the wind and the pain, I emerged anew. I'd tell you how I feel right now, but I can't quite make sense of it all. For the time being, I've really just been trying to get myself used to having people around and add to the monumental list of things I have to do now that I'm re-integrating myself into society.
In the coming days, I hope to update the site with all sorts of fun statistics, interesting stories, and new updates on the campaign, so keep your eyes peeled.
If you have enjoyed reading about my adventure and still hope to give to Myeloma Canada, please help me aid the over 6000 Canadians living with this horrid disease and click on the link in the top right corner. If you've already helped me out on my way and contributed, thank you so much for your support.
I have a lot more to say, but for now... I just need to remind myself how to live again.
Ring the alarum bell, murder and treason!!!