Monday, March 20, 2006

New Stuff and High Winds

I seem to have been a little on the slack side for updating. Wholly unforgivable, I know.

Some of you out there, especially my parents who have been repeatedly vocal on the matter, will be pleased to know that I have purchased a helmet and have even worn it. The imeptus for buying one is not the afore mentioned pressuring, but as it's one of the requirements of the randonneuring rides I had to get one. There is some good fortune in this as it now transpires that the law in British Columbia requires bicycle riders to wear a helmet. Personally I'm at adds with such a requirement, however, I can't imagine that it would be in any sense a good omen for my journey to get arrested riding the streets of Vancouver on my first day. By then I may even have gotten used to wearing it full time and don it for the entirety of my journey.

Despite relegating my mountain bike to secondary status, I wasn't prepared to abandon it entirely and have chained it with my cable lock to the fence at my house. Two stolen bikes and countless anecdotal occurences in London have left with a complex that leaves me uncomfortable with my bike locked with only one lock. My relplacement obtained from the MEC is a rather sturdy chain lock from Planet Bike for a meagre $42. This lock is the weighty chain type that is occasionally seen on couriers worn belt or bandolier style. As well as that Planet Bike channels 25% of it's profits to cycling advocacy, a business idea that could be very well received in the UK.

This past weekend my riding was plagued by very high headwinds. My ride on Saturday was cut short in the interests of comfort and I didn't fare well on Sunday either. I had hoped to join Randonneurs Ontario on the first ride of the season for their Toronto chapter. Leaving the house with plenty of time to spare I had planned to take the subway to a place much closer to the start and ride the eight or so miles north. Unfortunately I had forgotten to check the opening times of the subway and found that it is in fact stuck in the dark ages and closed until 9am*. Not easily deterred I battled the 27 miles of uphill headwind to the town of Maple but it appears I arrived just a bit too late. Fortunately the starting point was a bakery and I eased my disheartenment a little with a very tasty cinnamon danish and a large coffee. The downhill tailwind back into the city was quite enjoyable too but I would still rather have made in but ten minutes earlier.

A new job start today up at Sheppard and Yonge where thankfully I have free underground parking for my bike. Hopefully the past three days headwind will abate when I ride out there for the first time tomorrow as this is in the exposed flat plain at the north of the city and Yonge Street is not only the longest street in the world but also a vertitable wind tunnel north of where it crosses the 401 highway.

* Those who lament the transport in London should try that which is offer in other places in the world.

8 Comments:

Blogger Tanya said...

Is your plan to ride Vancouver and back to Toronto, or hit the east coast as well? (I think New Brunswick also has a stupid helmet law where they can impound your bike if you ride without one)

22:16  
Blogger Across Canada said...

I'm planning on heading out to St' John's, Newfoundland so will need to check out that law before I get there. Thanks for the heads up, so to speak.

13:39  
Anonymous Trepid Explorer said...

Hello. Visiting via Tanya's place. I'm very excited about your journey. I've been in Canada for 2 years now, having moved from Cheshire and I share your dream. When are you leaving? Want a companion?

I have driven the drive, from Halifax to Vancover Island, and finally four months later, doing the last hop to Toffino to sit at the Canadian version of Land's End.

I can see the biggest strain on your tenacity not being the begining or the end but the middle bit. I spent the whole of Manitoba and Saskatchewan sleeping in the back of the ex-army Land Rover Defender as it was buffeted across the praries.

Good luck and I'll be visiting again.

12:57  
Blogger Across Canada said...

Hi.

I'm going to be flying out to Vancouver on May 18th to start. Companions are always welcome.

09:21  
Anonymous Trepid Explorer said...

Oh Goddamnit now I'm tempted. Though it would involve a deffinitive ammount of running away from the world and pissing people off to achieve.

11:17  
Blogger Across Canada said...

True,

But you would achieve it right? I say do it, you could always make it up to people later.

13:05  
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