Sunday, July 29, 2007

July 16th - 29th. Nothing.
Toronto, Ottawa, ON

I can't believe I've been off the saddle for a couple of weeks. I wouldn't recommend such a long break from the road because now I'm dreading the 2 or 3 days of stiffness that await me. I didn't intend on staying this long but it turned out that I needed to attend training in Toronto and Ottawa (took the train to Ottawa) for this contract I received that will have me working in Ghana in September. Because of this lengthy pause, the rest of my time will be underscored by a nervousness to get to St. John's Newfoundland by the 27th of August, when my flight leaves. According to Google Maps, I have about 2500 km left to go and less than a month to do it in. Throw in a couple days visiting in Montreal, Halifax, Arichat and St. John's and I'm pressed. I don't recommend this... Touring, I've learned, is all about flexibility and unpredictability. Trying to live by a schedule while on the bike is a lot like trying to ride a wild boar - it's sure to disappoint.

I don't like lumping all of my time in Toronto together, but because of time limitations I must. It was great to see old friends - Larry and Nat and Foad and Jack and Shannon and Cindy and Shon and to make some new ones - Shannon Boyd, Kalidah, Julianna,Will, Abdi and Teresa. One of the best nights on the town was when my Dad and cousin, Jennifer, were in and we were treated to a great meal. Thanks Dad! He said I needed to fatten up - I didn't agree but I didn't argue either! The best part about being in Toronto is the food. I've eaten Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Japanese and Ethiopian foods since I've arrived and it'll be rough going back to my invariable diet of pasta and canned meats. I'm anxious to get on the road again, to sleep in my tent and get back into shape.

I've been over-staying my welcome at Shannon's place but she's been a great host. A special Thank You for everything, Shannon... I'll miss you!

July 15th, 2007. Distance: 188 km, Odometer: 5219 km
London - Toronto, ON

Getting up with 4 hours sleep usually isn't too hard, but after a night of ale-consumption it's much more difficult. But it happened and I was on the bike early (8am) for the long ride into Toronto today. It was rough leaving Brooke, but all great things have to come to an end. The ride was pleasant and my lack of sleep was ignored because I had been relatively rested when I started out... You know, not sore or anything. I passed through a bunch of cute little towns on the way and it would have been nice to stop but I was pressed for time thinking that I had over 200km to do to get into the heart of downtown Toronto. I was also nervous about maneuvering in Toronto but it turns out the roads I chose were residential and not too rambunctious. I got to my destination by 7pm and was greeted by my friend Shannon. It's great to be here and I'm looking forward to the long break.

July 14th, 2007. Nothing
London, ON

Today is Brooke's birthday and we're celebrating over a BBQ and some Mill St. Ale. Good times were had and it was great meeting Brooke's family and friends. It was great meeting Jessie and Nate and Brooke's Dad and to see Lara again! I thought there was a chance that I'd get to bed at a reasonable hour for the ride tomorrow but that didn't happen...

July 13th, 2007. Distance: 96.4 km, Odometer: 5031.2 km.
Sarnia - London, ON

I had the best ride today in a long time. The route was flat and well paved and the day was sunny yet cool and the scenery of fields and blue sky was complemented by the smell of farms. Usually coming into a city as big as London can be hectic, but surprisingly there was a bike route in the city and the traffic wasn't too bad for a Friday afternoon. I got in early (12:30) and spent the day walking around the city while my friend Brooke was at work. It seems like a good city and one that I wouldn't mind spending more time in. And of course, seeing Brooke was fantastic and wonderful and awesome.

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