Writing from the road

Tuesday, May 10/11

I am writing this somewhere between White River, Ontario, and Marathon, Ontario, en route to Thunder Bay on our journey out west. Some lakes are still partly frozen. I slept in a Walmart parking lot for the first time in my life. Don’t take that too literally—I should say I slept in an RV parked in a Walmart parking lot.

We’ve driven through the La Cloche and Algoma mountain/hill ranges (whatever you want to call them). As we travel west I’m
scoping out the road I’ll be cycling on 2 months from now when I’m coming back in the opposite direction. There’s really only one road you can take from Thunder Bay to Manitoulin Island, so the Trans Canada is what I’m stuck with. It’s not terrible, but it could be better, a lot better. Sometimes there are wide paved shoulders, but rarely. It’s mostly narrow paved shoulders and a wide coarse gravel shoulder. My main concern is going to be the trucks. There are a ton of them. Also, just from driving on the same road, I can see that a lot of these truckers like to go fast—120km/hr on a twisty single-lane highway fast. So overall, I’m not really bonding with this road that I’ll be spending about10 days on. I’m going to have to use my mirror lots, and go onto the loose gravel when I see a truck approaching. I don’t really want to test the distance some of these highway cowboys would be willing (or not willing) to give me.

To everyone who has shown their support for the campaign so far: thank you! I continue to be surprised by the generosity of people reaching out to help our campaign in whatever way they can. To the people who have offered support along the route, to those joining us, our donors, event organizers, the team at Cyclepath Yonge and Eglinton, the crews at Norco Bikes and Wike (the company which made Kerr’s bike trailer), Allison Pearce and her Lawrence Avenue Starbucks store for the teas, coffee, and mugs, the Mabin School, David Cook for his nutrition and cycling advice, and everyone who has given us advice and encouraged us—THANK YOU!

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