Biking Across Canada

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What the hell were you thinking? What was the purpose? Were your raising money? These are some of the many questions that people frequently ask me about why I would ever want to ride my bike across Canada. In all honesty I wasn't sure there was a simple answer except that it just seemed like a good thing to do. I knew that I wanted to travel Canada to explore my own country. I suppose that it is partly the patriotic and proud sense I get anytime that I am travelling in Canada that I appreciate. Travelling a country that is reliably clean, generally very safe, at times astonishingly uninhabited, incredibly rich in wildlfe, and wildly diverse both culuturualy and geographicaly. It is a country of freedom and open spaces where one can camp for free in a different location every night like a wandering nomad.

The other side of the story is that I was eager to try bicyle touring. It always seemed to me since my first encounter of meeting tourers in Europe that it was a very genuine way to travel. A form of travelling that would allow the person to deeply experience the landscape in which they travel passing through every little town along the way viewing every mountain and lake from a constantly changing perspective. Unavoidably meeting people everywhere that take interest in your presence. Free from the burden of an engine and travelling in total silence and in total harmony with the environment leaving nothing behind, not even foot steps. Riding in open air fully exposed to everything on the land. The smells, the sounds and the weather are sometimes the most memorable part of a certain area travelled.

And so I did it, I decided that Cape Scott the rugged Pacific blasted western tip of Vancouver Island was the place to start my trip. It seemed that if I was going to bike across Canada I might aswell do it in style. My end point was Cape Spear, Newfoundland the most eastern point of North America. In between those to tips of the continent I experienced Canada as it unfolded slowly but surely. Not all my time was spent on my bike I made a good effort to hike and experience the land away from the highway as often as possible. I stayed in many of the large cities aswell as the homes of generous people along the way. I met genuinely kind people in every single part of the country. Canada is hardly made for biking as it is simply so humungous; at times spectacular but at times slow and repetitve making for ardous day after day of riding. Nonetheless the incredible experience aside it is a grave accomplishment, definetly the greatest so far in my life.

I have a story or a write up for every province I visited aswell as photos to accompany if you like have a look and get a feel for what a life I have been living for the last 5 months. I tried best to stay as honest and true about conveying my experiences and emotions throughout the journey. This is not a day by day journal! This is whatever the hell I felt like like writing after completing that stage of the country and so I hope you enjoy. I also hope I can inspire more people to take on similar journeys because it is an incredible experience that I am now so happy and proud that I began. Travel light, be safe, and have a wicked journey.


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