Well, here we are. It’s about 2 weeks before the start of the big trip, so I may as well explain exactly what it is I’m up to. For those of you that I don’t have the privilege of working with, (who are probably all sick and tired of listening to me ramble on) on May 21st I’m loading my bike into an airplane and flying out to Vancouver Island. From there I’ll pedal my way out to the eastern tip of Newfoundland, arriving around mid August. I’m following Steve Langston’s book, Canada by Bicycle, http://www.canadabybicycle.com and also available in print at Mountain Equipment Co-op. My intentions are to follow his route until I get to the Maritimes (my birthplace) where I’ll divert from the course to visit family and friends. It’s gonna be a cool ride!
Up at the top of this page, under the picture, you’ll see a title called The Gear. Click on this and you’ll be magically transported to a place where you can read about all the junk I’ll be hauling around. The list isn’t complete and will likely change over the next 2 weeks and as the trip evolves, so I’ll update it accordingly. The one thing that isn’t going to change is the 5 clothes pins…That shit is locked down. “Five shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be five”. Now granted, clothes pins are nowhere near as cool as a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, and honestly, who wouldn’t want to tour around the countryside with a grenade toting dude named Brother Maynard? Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure they only had to count to 3…But I digress. The one thing you won’t see on that list is toilet paper. Unlike most of the great explorers I was exposed to during my childhood, I’m fairly confident I’ll have to take a dump somewhere along the way. Take Jacques Cousteau for example. I used to watch his show all the time and not once did I hear the narrator exclaim “Cousteau has the shits! Tune in next week for more exciting undersea adventures aboard the Calypso!” Now as benign as this may sound, toilet paper isn’t exactly sold in single roll quantities and there’s no way I’m riding across Canada with a 12 pack of Charmin tied to my back. So I consulted with what I consider to be an expert in the field of wayward fecal matter; the father of 2 young boys. He tells me that modern science has in fact built a better mousetrap in the form of pre-moistened Wet Ones wipes. Fascinating, eh? So, the plan is to stock up on the baby wipes and beg, borrow or steal a roll of TP from campground washrooms, coffee shops, etc as the situation demands.
Finally, as Lorne Greene used to say, “a tip of the hat” goes out to my employer for granting me an unpaid leave of absence so that I might undertake this little adventure. Most folk aren’t permitted or can’t afford to take 3 months off work and I’m glad my boss saw fit to cut me loose for the summer. It removes a whole layer of stress and really, who needs more stress?