My Bicycle Trip Across Canada: Day 1

Alright. It’s been more than a year since myself and my friend Phill embarked on a bicycle trip that took us from Vancouver B.C. to St. John’s Newfoundland, a 7,700km journey over 9 provinces, from one ocean to another, through mountains and prairies and great lakes. It was fucking tough, and it was fucking amazing. The people we met and the trials and tribulations we overcame; the beauty we saw and the intense beauty we experienced; truly a once in a lifetime experience (although I hope to have many more trips like it).

I kept a journal throughout the whole thing, diligently writing down what happened each day, and sometimes exploring how I felt. I also took photos, so I’ll try to include some here and there.

So without further ado, let me begin (square brackets represent thoughts or explanations that I’m having now, as I write this):

April 28th, 2012

Screen shot 2013-06-15 at 9.19.03 PM

it’s 12:32pm right now, and I’m sitting in a cafe at the corner of Granville and Broadway in Vancouver. I’m wasting time, waiting for fenders and a lock to be installed on my new bike.

I got into Vancouver yesterday, around 3:30pm. I had to waste time then as well, until 6:45pm when Allen got home. I had a really nice welcome from Allen and [his wife] Erika. Erika asked if I had read Germinal by Emile Zola, [a book] she had given me back in October. Unfortunately I have yet to read it [still true to this day], so I felt bad. (This morning we were talking and I told her about my love for McCarthy [, Cormac] (whose actual first name is Charles, but he wanted a more Irish sounding name, so he publishes under Cormac) and how she should read the Border trilogy. I just found a used copy of ATPH [All The Pretty Horses, a novel by Cormac McCarthy], so at least now I’ve gotten her one too).

Anna is living here now, and so I contacted her and she came out to dinner with me, Allen and Erika. She brought her friend Sara, who turns out to be really cool. After dinner, Allen, Anna, Sara and I headed to Anna’s. We drank some vodka and swapped stories. Really, really fun time. I have a video of Anna and Sara singing Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor [that video is on a harddrive that is currently unaccessible. It will cost $500 to recover, so I’m taking my time…]


This morning I got up early, doodled and talked to Erika, and went grocery shopping. Made some eggs, then Allen and I headed out. I’ve been at the bike store for some hours, but they said they’d add the stuff I asked them to add, and I should come back later.

I forgot to brink my book with me today, thinking I wouldn’t need it because I’d be in and out of the store. Ho hum. I suppose this will force me to be more introspective. Analyze myself, or be bored. Those are my options.

Reading A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry. He’s talking about Heidegger’s World of Technology and how it strips us of our democracy and history. Maybe read Overcoming Metaphysics by H[eidegger]: “preoccupations of ends … [replaced with] preoccupations with means”.

It took me several hours to install everything else on the bike…but man does it look good! It looks like it’s meant to travel.

I took her out for a spin, with all the gear loaded on. I went through Stanley Park, and eventually over Lion’s Gate Bridge. I did 25km, and hit a top speed of 50km/h. Such a nice ride!

That night Allen made green curry, we drank some beer, Erika made rice pudding, and we had cake. We watched Crazy, Stupid, Love which was quite good.


About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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4 Responses to My Bicycle Trip Across Canada: Day 1

  1. The doodles you mention should be included. Also, it is awesome that you’re doing this. Also, you better not quit halfway. You’re committed now, as much as you were when you first started the ride. It’s “The Ride Revisited: Riding in your Head.”

  2. Prince says:

    Nothing Compares 2 U is my song, not Sinead’s.

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