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I woke up to the smell of pancakes which Sybil had prepared the batter for and Harold was busy cooking up. She had left while I was still in bed and C was in the shower so unfortunately we neither got to thank her for her hospitality nor say goodbye. After pancakes I spotted Harold had a pump so decided to use the opportunity to ensure our tyres were up. I carry one in my front pannier, but while it’s fine for use on the road it’s obviously not as good as a track pump. Mine went up fine but when I tried to unscrew the plastic cap on C’s valve it pulled the valve out with it. Oops. A pair of pliers were used and the tube changed and we were ready to go. Harold kindly offered us some apples to take with us as snacks which we really appreciated as it would mean we would be able to make it all the way to Woodstock without having to stop for groceries.

The ride over to Woodstock wasn’t that exciting. The roads in Dundas were in pretty poor condition and the road was incredibly straight. Maybe it’s just the part of Ontario that we’ve been riding on but, in the way people say that cities are built on a grid, Ontarian roads seemed to all be straight with nothing going at angles or really winding. As I’ve mentioned earlier, long flat sections aren’t that fun. I listened to the The Book of Mormon soundtrack, a musical by the guys behind South Park, and that was definitely the highlight of the ride for me.

While we were waiting at a traffic light just outside Woodstock a guy in his mid 20s with scraggly hair ran across the road to us. He must have been excited to see us as he shouted “How long have you been cycling for? Do you want to come over to mine for lunch?” As we had plans to meet C’s friend Oren, we turned him down and didn’t even get to do it politely as the light changed green 2 seconds later. C thought the guy was a bit strange and I can understand why. Having said that, I’d been told that Woodstock was a dull town so maybe he was just a bored guy into cycling and wanted to hang out with us. As C often tells people, it’s difficult to not feel like a minor celebrity with the amount of times people come up to you to talk.

We got to Oren’s place of work as he was walking out the door to greet us. I’d never met him before, but C’s face lit up when she saw him. They had met while travelling in India 8 years ago and had lots of catching up to do. Giving them the chance to hang out was the main thinking behind Operation Cycle Slowly to Toronto which had slowed down our average cycling distance quite dramatically. The next few days, 4 sleeps without cycling, our longest break yet, flew by for the both of them.

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