A few years ago I finally decided to ignore my fear of cycling the narrow, winding cowpaths around Boston that pass for roads and purchased a bike. Much effort has been put into creating a more bicycle friendly urban area but it still requires a steeled constitution on occasion. Nevertheless, I quickly discovered the freedom and thrill of traveling where and when I wished without worrying about bus schedules or parking. There never is any parking. Once I discovered the beautiful New England towns, I lost my soul to (or found it in) cycling. I rode north, west, and south revelling in the scenery and started dreaming about cycling across the country.
I bought a second bike and began planning an exploratory trip from Boston to the family home in southwestern Ontario. That trip went through western Massachusetts and along the Erie Canal in upstate New York. It was a resounding success and so the plotting began for a trip across Canada the following summer. Unfortunately, grad school life intervened; I remained at home reading for my general exams and longingly following the blogs of other people cycling across the country. I should again be focusing on my studies this summer but will instead put my life on hold for three months while I venture out on my two-wheeled steed.
My goal is to cycle from Tofino, BC to St John’s NL starting around the second week of May and finishing towards the end of August. I’m not raising money or awareness for some cause. If anyone becomes motivated to cycle more, that would be great but this trip is ultimately for my own gratification. I need a break from school. I also need to take a step back and decide where I’m heading as I approach the close of my program. On a different register, this trip is a celebration of life. It’ll be 10 years this coming fall since I was diagnosed with skin cancer. A rude awakening to mortality, it gave me a chance embrace life differently and ironically helped me to become more comfortable and confidant in my own skin. It has been a remarkable decade so I can think of no better way to mark it.