Friday, 16 August 2013

The Wind at Our Backs

I made arrangements to ride Wednesday from Trenton to Kingston with Jessica. We were planning to leave later than I usually do so I worked hard to sleep in until 6:45 and take my time during breakfast. The previous night we had been challenged to ride the entire 113 kilometers of the route with only one gear. It was to help give us a bit of a picture of what it may be like to be stuck in the cycle of poverty. We took the first kilometer to figure out which gear we would like to stick with and off we went. The first half of the day was full of novelty. We enjoyed the puttering of coasting down hills and straining over the next incline. My knees were thankful for the easy spinning the the day mostly consisted of. The hills were nearly non-existent ... until we had to climb up to the Lake on the Mountain. The route to the lake had been described as full of switchbacks so I immediately remembered our mountain climbing experiences. So Jessica and I had decided that we would either ride up the whole way in one gear or walk it ... just to maintain the idea of not being able to change gears. I was okay with this decision only because this journey was off route and I could still say that I had biked the whole way... yeah, I know I'm crazy. Well we made it up that hill in our single gear... sure we were huffing and puffing, but we made it!

Lake on the Mountain was extremely interesting. It is a lake that exists on a higher elevation of the lake right beside it... no one has quite figured out how it is able to stay at that elevation and even how it was formed. I was fascinated hearing about all the Native American legends that had formed around that lake.

Shortly after flying down the short climb back to the main road, we took a ferry across the river. It was part of the highway system so we didn't have to pay. Once crossing we waited around for the next ferry that was carrying the kitchen and gear trucks across. After the excitement of watching their loading on the Sombra Ferry, I was hoping for some more excitement, but it did not happen.

We continued on our merry way with our single gears. By the last quarter of our mileage however we were both becoming very sick of our lack of gear options. The small hills became annoying as we couldn't gain the speed we knew we could have descending if we simply changed gears. By the time we arrived in camp we were sick and tired of having no way of getting out of our single gear. Even the little things were getting on our nerves. I found it a great analogy for me ... the novelty quickly wore off and I could have changed gears if I really wanted too, but those in poverty are stuck in that cycle.

On Thursday we had a very short day from Kingston to Brockville ... only 83 kilometers. Because it was so short many of us opted to take the 1000 Island Boat Tour. I left early and ended up arriving about an hour and 15 minutes before I needed to so I went on a Timmy's run with Carrie, one of our SAG drivers. It was a fantastic experience! The beauty of this area continues to overwhelm me.

The only down turn of the day was that one of our riders -Len -fell. He flipped over his handlebars and thankfully only has scratches and bruises. When we got off the ferry we all went into a simulaneous tizzy as we realized that our helmets were missing... we quickly learned that someone had tied them all together. I found this prank to be fantastic, others were not so amused. The saying of the tour for me has been, "Let it Roll."

Today is Friday. We rode yet another short day from Brockville to Cornwall. Only 105 kilometers. Thursday night myself and three others decided to sleep on the dock. It was a gorgeous area and, although we woke up soaked with dew, the beauty more than made up for the work of trying all our bedding in the sun.

I left late this morning as I was invited to join others at a bakery for free breakfast. After breakfast we rode 10 kilometers down the road found yet another food stop- cinnamon buns and boiled eggs. I can't tell you how many times I stopped today. I took my time, rode alone and thoroughly enjoyed my day. I rode around Fort Wellington, browsed through a very old cemetery and perused through the displays at the site of teh Battle at John Crysler's Farm.

Many of the cyclist participated in a time trial- a race against the clock today. I decided not to do it, I just didn't want to, no particular reason. I enjoyed my relaxing day and still got into camp by 1:30!

This weekend we are in Montreal and only have one more week of cycling left! How the time has flown! Things are rolling along in planning the final closing time in New York next weekend. Please pray as we all are working to prepare ourselves for the transition back to 'normal life.' It will be a challenge for all of us. I knew I will miss this new family I have developed ... I may not miss cycling for a while ... but the people I will definitely miss. This sense of family has been spectacular and I thank God for it.

On an unrelated note, I think I forgot to mention that a couple of weeks ago we received word from my uncle. He is alive and well and doing just fine. He simply lost track of time exploring a distance culture. I thank you all for your prayers, your support has been amazing.

Below are some odd and ends pictures. Enjoy!

Clarence and the infamous tutu. If you are given it or it is found in your tent you have to wear it for an hour before passing it on. 

1 comment:

  1. So have you worn the tutu yet, Christeena? This is an absolutely fantastic posting. Thank you so much for sharing your travels, trials, joys and blessings with us during this time. I prayed for your uncle and am so thankful that he turned up and simply lost track of the time. God is good. May He continue to ride with you in whatever gear, whatever form of "transportation" you use as you continue on your journey of life post tour. God bless you.