Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stuck in London for the winter.

I've been stuck in London for more than a month. You can sometimes see me bicycling within the city. Every once in a while I get an urge to leave, but we are no longer at an ideal time to travel by bicycle. We've had a fairly wet fall after a very dry summer. I don't mind getting wet when it is warm, but to be wet and cold with no place to warm up is not a situation I want to get into, so I will keep my trips short during the fall and winter.
Meanwhile, my book is available on line at

Friday, October 7, 2016

Home again.

I left Guelph at about 5:30 Wednesday Morning and got home about 10:30 this Morning. (Friday October 7, 2016. The trip was very exhausting but rewarding. More details later.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Leaving Guelph on October 5, 2016

I am planning to leave Guelph early Wednesday  morning to begin my trip back to London. If anyone would like to cheer me on, here is the route I will be taking for the first leg. I hope to make it to Stratford by nightfall.

Bicycle 77.2 km, 4 h 15 min
63 Arkell Road, Guelph, ON to Stratford, ON
1.SW Arkell Rd to Gordon St          230 m
2. Right on Gordon St.              2.5 km                                2.7
3. Left on Stone Rd W            2.6 km    or Edinburgh to Kortright becomes Downey to Niska    5.3
4. Left onto Woodland Glen Dr.        270 m                    '"            5.6
5. Turn Right (Path from Woodland Glen Park)     59 m                "
6. Path turns left            550 m                    "            6.2
7. Turn left onto Ptarmigan Dr.        120 m                    "            6.3
8. Right onto Niska Rd            1.3 km                                7.6
9. Right onto 5 Township Rd / Whitelaw Rd.    750 m                            8.3
10. Left onto County Rd 124        4.7 km                                13    64.8
 11. Right onto Kossuth Rd Regional 31    7.6 km                                20.6    57.3
12. Straight through roundabout for Fairway Rd N Regional 53     1.7 km                    22.3
13 Strait tthroug 'roundabout stay on Fairway     2.3 km                            24.6
14. Right onto Dom Cardillo Trail        2.3 km                                26.9    50.9
15. Slight right to stay on trail        400 m                                27.3
16. Left onto Ottawa St. N / Regional 4     1.9 km                                29.2
17. Right onto King St. E        200 m                                31.1    46.7
18. Left onto Borden Ave. S        400 m                                31.5
19. Right onto Iron Horse Trans Canada Trail    650 m                            32.1
20. Left onto Stirling Ave S        28 m
21. Turn right onto Courtland Ave E/Waterloo Regional Rd 53    36m
22. Turn left onto Iron Horse Trans Canada Trail    650 m                            32.8
23. Turn left to stay on Iron Horse Trans Canada Trail    650 m                        33.5    44.3
24. Turn left to stay on Iron Horse Trans Canada Trail     1.8 km                        35.3    42.5
25. Turn left onto Glasgow St        2.4 km                                37.7    40.1
26. Turn right onto Fischer-Hallman Rd/Waterloo Regional Rd 58    280 m                    38    39.8
27. Turn left onto University Ave W/Waterloo Regional Rd 57    1.5 km                    39.5
28. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Ira Needles Blvd/Waterloo Regional Rd 70    1.4 km        40.9    36.9
29. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Erb St W/Regional Rd 9 / Continue to follow Regional Rd 9    14.6 km 55.5
30. Turn left onto Wilmot Easthope Rd (signs for Wilmot Easthope Road/Regional Road 9/Erb's Road)    300 m
31. Turn right onto 41 Line            1.4 km                            57.2    20.6
32. Turn left onto 102 Rd/Road 102        1.0 km
33. Turn right onto 40 Line            15.4 km                            73.6    4.2
34. Turn left onto Perth County Rd 119        2.4 km                            76    1.8
35. Continue onto Mornington St            1.8 km                            77.8
36. Slight left onto Waterloo St N           
37. Right on Brunswick
Stratford, ON

There may be some slight variations as I veer off to find food, etc. I also spent much time at Victoria Park in Kitchener as a teenager (1969 - 1970) so I may take a side trip to see the park again. I did most of my growing up in Kitchener and it would be good if I stumbled across some old acquaintances. I am also looking forward to meeting friends in Stratford.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Breakdowns during my recent trip

There was one anoying breakdown during my recent trip. This was very minor and not worth digging down to my tools to fix, but repeating failures made it annoying. It was my suspenders. As I was bicycling down the highway, periodically a suspender strap would fly loose. A pair of plyers could fix that, but why stop and dig out my tool box for such a minor thing.

When I got to Listowel I noticed one of my trailer tires was worn right out and thought I better get it replaced before it blew out. I bought a new tire at CT and went to a spot on the bike trail to do the repair. All done, I packed my tools away and repacked the trailer. Then my suspender strap flew off and I remembered I should have fixed it while my tools were out. I decided to go back to Walmart to look around and I looked for a loose pair of pliers that I could borrow to fix my suspender. An employee asked what I was looking for and I told him. All pliers where in sealed packages, so I admitted what I wanted to do explaining my pliers were packed away at the bottom of my tailer. He picked up a pair of needle nose vise grips that worked for my purpose.

Half way between Drayton and Alma is the place where I had to fix a bearing on a previous trip. I was now going the opposite way, but as I got closer to Alma I began to hear noises that sounded like a bearing begining to go. When I installed the tire I had spun the wheel to be sure everything was turning freely. It was the inside bearing on the opposite wheel that I had replaced a couple of months earlier. Perhaps it was the outside bearing on the same wheel, but no, the sound seemed to be coming from the wheel with the brand new tire. The noises came more often and eventually it was steady. As I got on the trail to Fergus at Elora, I noticed a wobble that indicated the bearing was completely gone. Luckily it had not seized up as the last one did. This was going to cause a delay, but since I was still rolling I reasoned that I could make it to my sisters house OK. (My sister, Evelyn, owns Jester's Fun and Games. Stop in to see her if you visit Fergus. They are the number one stop for Fergus on Trip Advisor.)

Next morning with the help of Tim, my brother-in-law, I got the bearing replaced and was on my way by 10:30 am. I made good time getting to Guelph, was shopping early afternoon and got to my sister, Mary's house, by mid afternoon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

arrived in Guelph today

After biking more than 217 km over the last few days I have arrived in Guelph were I will be spending a couple of weeks helping my 90 year old dad fix bicycles.

I left London last Thursday and got to Stratford about midnight. After attending a meeting on Friday night I was held up by rain on Saturday. I left about 7 am Sunday and got to Listowel mid afternoon. Replaced a tire on my trailer and scouted for a place to camp. I got downtown Listowel early Monday morning and waited for 9 am when the Listowel Banner office would open so I could thank Dan McNee for the fantastic story he had published in me August. Leaving Listowel about 9:30 am I arrived in Fergus about 8 pm. A bearing went out on the trailer and I installed a new one Tuesday morning with the help of my brother in law, Tim.  Leaving Fergus about 10 am I arrived at Arkel Rd in Guelph about 3:30 pm. The 217 km from google maps does not include the extra running around I did within the towns I visited.

I met many nice people during this trip which is proving to be a trip of self discovery. One gentleman who I met on a bike trail said he was following me on the internet. Three students in Guelph helped me up the steep hill on Gordon street near the University.

I am planning a future book about the Betterment of the world. Every time someone does a pure and kindly deed, they make the world a little better. Those who have treated me so kindly have for sure made the world a better place for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

rain delay

i went to a reflection gathering in Stratford on friday night. Rain delay today. I will be leaving Stratford tommorrow morning and heading to Listowel. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

leaving London today

I'm Heading out today and expect to be in Stratford by tonight. Stratford newspaper printed a very good story about my last trip there.

I am also planning on visiting Listowel, Fergus and Guelph on this trip. I will spend a couple of weeks in Guelph to help out my dad who is 90 years old and fixes bicycles. I also enjoy spending time with my mom who is 87.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Heading Home

Heading Home

Yesterday, when I left the Library, I determined I would head home. As I unlocked my bike, a gentleman, who had been sitting on a nearby bench, approached and asked about my book. When I explained it to him, he asked if he could see a copy. He asked the price and I told him, regular price is $25 but I am selling my current stock off at $20.00. He paid me $25.00 for a copy and asked me to autograph it for him. Perhaps he was the reason the wind blew me back to Stratford when I tried to leave.

The first part of my journey was rough. The rain had stopped and the sun was warming the air. The wind was not as bad as it had been, but strong gusts would almost stop me.

Once out of the city the wind had picked up but it was coming at me at almost a 90 degree angle. It would whip around a bit and it sometimes pushed me and at other times stopped me. I determined I would turn south on 119 towards Uniondale so I could take advantage of the wind, but it was a struggle to get there and the wind was starting to die down as I approached the intersection. However, the rest of the trip was comparatively easy and I made it home shortly after 11pm. I showered, shaved and had a very good sleep in my own bed.

I would love to head out again. All I need is an excuse and a destination. Feel free to invite me to visit your home, speak to your group, or volunteer for your cause. If you can provide a night’s accommodation and a meal, that would be great. Check back with this blog to see where I will go to next.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


I left London about 9am on Wednesday August 10, 2016. I was headed, by bicycle, for Egerton, ON, a trip of 155km which google maps suggested should take 8 hours and 2 minutes. However, I am 64 years old and am pulling a trailer with about 300kg of equipment, so I allowed 3 days for the trip.

On Wednesday, I got as far as Stratford. I arrived as the sun was setting and slept in the park that night, although I did not sleep well.

 I left about 6 am on Thursday and made it to Glen Allan by 3:30pm. I was exhausted and needed to rest a while. Around 5pm I considered starting out again. Rain was off and on and it started raining again which was enough of an excuse to spend the night in the quaint little park at Glen Allan.

At 5:15 am on Friday I set out for my final day of travel before reaching Egerton. I arrived in Arthur before noon and the back tire of my bike went flat while I was resting. I fixed it then had lunch. after that I went into a park and waited out the hottest part of the day. About 4:30, I left Arthur. and got to Conn by 7:36 pm. I sold two books at Two different places in Conn and was in Egerton shortly after.

Our family picnic, the excuse for the trip, was to occur at 11 am on Saturday August 13. A few had arrived when it started to rain. They decided to move to a park in Conn where there was a pavilion, but there was about 2 inches of rain on the ground, so my sister, Evelyn, had everyone go to her house in Fergus. Thus, she drove me to Fergus for the festivities. It was great to see so many of the family and meet grand nieces and nephews that I had not met before. Later my sister's husband drove me back to Egerton where I spent another night in my tent.

I went to church in Conn in the Morning and biked back to the tent in Egerton. I had nothing planned after this point and thought I would leave it to the Lord's leading. A bit discouraged I felt it was time to begin the trip home.

On the way back I went to visit the grave of my uncle in Arthur. The grave yard took me a little west of my planed route, so I headed south on the gravel road to see where it would take me. This way I felt I could go through Drayton on my way home to visit those who had helped me on my previous trip.

The gravel road took me through what appeared to be the land of the gentle giants. The road cut through a line of 10 giant wind turbines. 5 at each side of the road stood with blades gently turning.

I got to Drayton by nightfall and camped in a park there.

Leaving Drayton about 8 am on Monday, I got to Stratford by 5 pm. and spent the night in my tent.

Tuesday morning rain delayed me breaking camp. As soon as I got my tent packed up, it began to rain again. I found the visitor information office and learned the location of the Stratford Newspaper. Rain had stopped, so I headed for the Newspaper office that would be on my way home. High headwinds made progress slow and rain recommenced. I had a very good interview with Scott at the paper, and then went into a Tim Hortons to wait on the weather. The rain stopped but winds continued, so I allowed those winds to blow me back to downtown Stratford where I am now sitting in the library debating when I should head out. It is almost 3 pm and it would mean I would reach London in the wee hours of the morning if I left now. It will be so good to have a bed to sleep in after spending 6 nights in a tent. Also a shower would help to make me and others in my proximity feel better. However, seeing the leaves of trees dancing in the wind does not make prospects look good. Perhaps I will spend one more night in my tent, or maybe I will fight the wind which will hopefully die down as night falls.

Come back to find out how this successful trip ends. This will be the first one were I made it to my destination and back without assistance. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More equipment breakdown.

More equipment breakdown.

I left 8:30 am on Saturday August 6, 2016, to go to the International Baha’i Picnic in Sarnia which would begin at 11am on Sunday August 7. I got to Popular Hill about 2:30 pm. (I am not setting any speed records) I needed a rest and stopped into the restaurant for a light snack. When I returned to my bike, I noticed the tow bar on the trailer was hanging low. A closer examination showed that it had cracked at the bend and was hanging on by a thread. I am not sure how it had not broke loose before this. I knew if I tried to tow it, it would break off on the first bump.

I got my tools out and luckily found a metal bar among them. This I bent around the bend in the tow bar and clamped it with the aid of a u bolt and a hose clamp. It wasn’t perfect but I was hopeful it would get me back to London. The trip to Sarnia had to be aborted.

There was an auto wrecker that I had passed about 4km before I got to Popular Hill and I was hopeful that it would be open so I could purchase a better tow bar. When I got there, the gates were closed but I could still see people coming out of the buildings. I got a gentleman’s attention and asked if they were closed. He said they were just closing up. I explained my situation and he felt they could help me out. Another gentleman brought me a length of a rusty bent up pipe and asked if it would work. It was much stronger than the shovel handle that I was using, so I said I could likely make it work. He took a closer look at the broken bar it was to replace and disappeared.

The first gentleman had also offered me a ride as he said he lived in London and could go right through the downtown area where I live. I got a price and paid $5.00 for the bar and looked for my ride. He was getting gas in his truck. The other man came back with another pipe that was larger, heavier and cleaner that the first. I told him I already paid $5.00 for the first one and he said to take them both for what I had paid. After this we loaded the bike and trailer into the pickup truck of the first gentleman. He gave me a ride right to my home.

Sunday, I purchased more hardware to attach my new drawbar being confident that this one will never break. Since the pipe was bigger, I had to modify the coupler on my bicycle. This required removing the rear wheel kick stand, so I also put a new stand on the bike.

I was disappointed that I could not go to the Sarnia Picnic, but will be heading out for Egerton this week. My family is getting together on Saturday, August 13 and I am allowing 3 days to cover the 150km distance. I am not sure yet were I will go from there.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sowing Peace

Sowing Peace

The sowing peace initiative is my main focus. In “THE ALTERNATIVE” I give an example of a cooperative society as an alternative to war. It seems that we all could do a lot better if we would learn to cooperate.

During my travels I had a few mishaps. The friendliness and help received from small town people was overwhelming. When a bearing fell out of my trailer near Dresden, I got it replaced at no charge. Near Atwood, a man with a motorcycle gave me his last twenty dollars to buy a book. People I had never met before gave me a bed for the night and breakfast in the morning at Molesworth.  At the Listowel Chamber of Commerce visitor information center, the staff was very friendly, gave me the information I needed, charged my tablet and allowed me to use their computer while I waited out the heat of the day.

In the big cities it seems everyone is busy chasing the dollar. Although many are helpful and friendly, this seems to be more prevalent in the smaller municipalities. The atmosphere seems more relaxed and people are more willing to spend time to help out anyone who has a need.

This is the main lesson I learned on my bicycle trip. I also learned that I should not have a schedule to keep. Weather and breakdowns can lead to unexpected delays. I accepted a ride from Tavistock to Guelph as I did not want to miss the anniversary service at the Conn Church. On the return trip I accepted a ride from Tavistock to London because I was not sure I would get home on time for my doctor appointment. It would have been nice to bike the whole way, but strong headwinds caused exhaustion and delay and then the heat made me fear a bout of heat stroke.

I would like to try again but I would need to keep in mind that I will need a lot of rest stops. I am comfortable with 40 – 60 km per day, but if I am bucking a headwind, 40 km is plenty. I don’t mind a little rain, but the sun on a hot day can be deadly.

In the future I may attempt a ride to Ottawa, a distance of about 700km. It would likely take me three weeks.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Home at last

On Friday Afternoon, July 8th I took the wrong bike path out of Listowel and it suddenly ended at Tremaine Ave. I stopped in at Thalen Enterprises were James and Christie Thalen were glad to give me direction. About 2.5km later I was back on the right trail heading towards Atwood.

As I was leaving I began to think I should have had a meal. Although I wasn't hungry, I was not sure when I would next find food. When I got to 75 line, I took a detour into Atwood to look for a restaurant. It was about 5pm and the only restaurant had closed at 3. Does no one eat after 3 in these small places. I was assured that I could get pizza in Milverton if I could get there on time.

Heading East on 72 line I met someone taking a break from their motorcycle. He spent his last $20 to buy a book. There was light drizzle and thunder when I reached Milverton about 8pm. I got a couple of slices of pizza and headed the warning of a passer by and sought shelter in the local car wash. There I ate my pizza and tried to nap as I waited out the rain. It was about 9:30 when it stopped and I considered looking for a place to pitch my tent, but I wanted to get to Tavistock before morning and decided to push on although it would mean reaching my brothers house about 3 am. I continued east on line 61 although it was getting dark. My direction told me to go south for 3km on road 116. I found this was gravel and quite soggy after the rain. I saw a schoolyard and decided to get off the road and nap for a bit. Sleep would not come and after an hour or so, I continued on.

I am not sure what time it was when I reached my brothers house just north of Tavistock, but he had offered to let me sleep on his back porch when I was heading out from London, so, being careful not to wake them, I finally got some sleep.

Later that morning, Saturday July 9, 2016, I was again offered use of the porch while my brother had some business to attend to. I took a tour of Tavistock and got some breakfast about noon. When I returned to my brother's, he had just got home.

My tour of Tavistock made me aware that there was a wind out of the west. I had to contend with so many head winds that I wanted to wait this one out, however I did not know if I would make London on time. I had a doctor appointment on Monday and needed to be home by Sunday night. If the weather cooperated I could easy make it in one day, but what if the head wind persisted?

My brother offered a ride that would solve that problem and, although I disliked the idea of not completing the trip on bicycle, I accepted. Home in mid afternoon, I crawled into bed and slept. All day Sunday I did little else besides sleep and eat. I had not realized how exhausted I was.

It is now Thursday July 14, 2016. I am back in the old routine and longing for the freedom of the road.

Coming up, What did I learn from my trip?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Update continued

The Morning of July 6, 2016 consisted of looking for a bearing for my trailer. After running to several places and having everyone tell me to try the small engine repair place that opened at 9am, I arrived at G & H Small Engines just after 9 am. I introduced myself and let them know what I needed. They showed me some lawnmower wheels that had a similar bearing and I thought if the bearing did not fit I could possibly use the wheels. Harry, one of the owners, bought a book from me and they allowed me to pull my bike and trailer into their shop so I could take the wheel off. I presented them with the wheel and said that I would pay them to put a bearing in it. Half the inner race was now missing and only one ball remained from the original bearing, so only the outer race was left to be removed. This proved to be difficult and they had to grind it out. They knocked the two bearings out of one of the lawnmower wheels and installed one of them in my wheel. Inner and outer diameter was perfect although the bearing was slightly wider than the original. Thus I was unable to install a spring clip that would keep the wheel in place, but a washer sufficed to do that job. The extra bearing was given to me for a spare.

With the trailer all back together I went back into the office to find out what I owed them. "No charge," was their reply. I have much gratitude to G & H Small Engines in Drayton for the help they rendered.

I now ventured to the grocery store to purchase juice for the coming day. Travelling by bike in the heat of summer, I can go through a whole jug in one day, however, all the ice I had from the previous day would be melted, so I asked about purchasing ice to keep my juice cool. "How much do you need?" the friendly owner asked.
"I just have a small cooler," I replied.
There had been some broken bags in the freezer and he went to get some ice. He found they had been thrown out, but a lady suggested opening another. I heard him saying he found one with a whole in it, and moments later he appeared with a grocery bag more than half full of ice. This was enough to comfortable fill my small cooler after I put in the juice, a bottle of water and cheese I had left over from the previous day.

Now it was late morning and I proceeded to Moorefield where my sister had some friends she suggested I visit. I thought it wise to wait out the heat of the day and do some maintenance on my equipment. I arrived shortly after noon and left just before 6pm. Progress from Drayton to Moorefield was slow due to the late morning heat.

Since a hadn't eaten since 6 that morning, I headed for Moorefield's only restaurant. It had closed at 3pm. I bought some pop at the grocery store and headed out. I slight drizzle kept me cool all the way to Palmerston and I made it there by 8pm. I found Small Town Pizza and bought a panzerotti from very friendly staff. When I said I would pitch a tent for the night, she suggested the park across the street. this was right down town and I was afraid a little to public. Another patron suggested another park. I checked it out and found it was worse, so I went back and looked around the downtown park. They had an old train engine sitting near the front entrance and behind it seemed to be the most private spot, so I pitched my tent there.

I slept well but woke up at 4:45 am. By the time I packed up, it was 6am and the convenience store across the way had just opened. I bought pop to supplement the juice from the day before. I then proceeded to the Tim Hortons at the edge of town and got a hot chocolate. The young lady at the cash was sure to get me to write down the web address for my blog so she could follow me.

The morning was cool foggy and there was mist in the air, making the ride damp and cool. It was just warming up when I got to a country store between Molesworth and the graveyard. I bought a cold pop to cool me down and headed for the Molesworth cemetery. I had been there the past year but had been unable to locate one gravestone where my ancestors were buried. Although it was on a web site, I wanted a picture of it to which I owned copyright so I could use it in a family history I am working on. I immediately found the one grave site I had found last year, and with a bit of careful searching I found the other. The mission a success I now had only to return to London.

My Great, Great Grandfather, John McNeish came to Canada about 1852 with 3 children and his wife, Margaret Mitchell. Many of the Mitchells live in Molesworth today and I stopped in to Bob Mitchells to pass the hat part of the day, planning to get to Listowel to camp for the night. About 5, I had worn out my welcome and Bob was hinting that it was time to move on. I proceeded to the stone house that was originally constructed by the McNeishes and took some pictures. then, I proceeded to the farm of Howard and Betty Mitchell.  Betty immediately bought a book from me and asked where I planned to spend the night. When I said I would pitch my tent in Listowel, she noted that they had lots of space on their farm for a tent. I was quite tired and accepted the offer, but she upped that offer to providing a bed and breakfast in the morning.

I had talked to Howard and Betty on the phone a couple of years ago, but that day, July 7, 2016, was the first time we had met. I was overcome by the generosity of this couple but thought that this was what my book was about. If we all adopted a spirit of cooperation and helped each other, everyone would be like this wonderful couple.

As I left the next morning, Friday July 8, I took a picture from their laneway and more at the end of the lane. It was overcast but warm and the trip into Listowel was tiring. After a quick stop at Tim Hortons, my next stop was  the Listowel Chamber of Commerce visitor information center. I sold another book to a staff member and they volunteered to charge my tablet while I went to the newspaper and a Giant Tiger store.

At the Listowel Banner newspaper office, a reported took my picture and I had the second longest interview. (The one in Fergus was longer for the Wellington Advertiser.) The reporter said it would be next week before the story was printed and said he would contact me by email for an update. He also volunteered to send me a pdf version of the actual printed story. This is a real blessing to a lonely traveler. I look forward to the final outcome of this.

Back at the visitor information centre, my tablet was not yet fully charged and it was still mid afternoon. They allowed me to use a computer which is where I made the last post from.

It was still very hot when I left Listowel by the bike trail, but the trail provided a lot of shade which helped a lot, however I took the wrong trail.

To be continued.
(I am now (July 11) home in London and my wife is asking when I am going to get off the computer and go to bed.)

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Quick Update

A quick update.

On July 4, 2016, I checked out the Wellington County Museum in Fergus and had a very long interview at the Wellington Advertiser. I left Fergus early morning on July 5, Just before I got to Alma, I had worn through a tire on the trailer an it sounded like a gunshot when the tube blew out. Luckily I had the two new tires I bought in Guelph, After digging out the tire repair kit that was kept in the bottom of my trailer, I patched the tube and installed the new tire. After checking if it was holding air, I packed up everything and rode on, but the strange clunking noise sounded like a flat tire. Yes, it went down again and I tried a second attempt at patching about 50 ft from where I made the first repair.

Second patch done, I wanted to be sure it was successful, so I sat in my lounge chair for a while before repacking the trailer. I was now holding and I finally got into Alma, bought an ice cream cone and then a pop. Now ready to move on, I looked and the tire was again flat.

The hole in the tube was very big and I originally thought it would be good to use the spare tube I brought with me, but I realized it was a 14 inch while the tires were 16 inch. Therefore I made two attempts to patch the old tube. Now I began to scrape off all the glue from the first two attempts to try a third attempt, but was not at all sure that the tube was salvageable. Maybe the 14 inch would work. I tried it and three days later it is still holding.

Half way between Alma and Drayton I noticed the other wheel on the cart was squealing. Checking it out, the whole axle was turning. The bearing was seized. As I road on I looked for a place I could work on it and perhaps get some grease. Alas, I heard a clunk and the bearing started working again. Releived I thought I could get to Drayton were I hoped to find another bearing. I couple kms later it seized again. I notice a house with a garage behind it. One door was open and it appeared there was a workshop. I went to the door and the lady told me her husband was in the shop and would be glad to help me. I again unloaded the trailer to get the wheel off and get into the bearing. It was very dry and the bearing that remained were bunched up on one side jamming the axle. The inner race had a crack in it and the outer race was chewed up, but with grease and forcing the remaining bearing back in, I got the bearing working fairly smoothly.

As we worked, the lady of the house came out and asked if I would like supper. This was a real blessing to me. She had the meal prepare just about the time her husband and I had the trailer put back together. Her fresh salad made from vegetables from her own garden was delicious, especially with her own home made dressing. I enjoyed the meal and the company very much. I will remember Sam and Grace Martin and the kindness they showed me for much time.

It was about 8:30 pm when I left the Martins and it took me about 1 hour to complete the distance to Drayton. This was the fastest progress I had made thus far. The smooth running bearing may have had something to do with that, or perhaps it was that I was now going down hill more that up and the head wind I faced earlier had subsided. Whatever the reason I got into Drayton at dusk and had time to set up my tent in Centennial Park while I could still see. However as I was rolling into Drayton, I notice that the wheel we had repaired was very sloppy. It was turning freely and I rolled along OK, but it appeared the inner bearing had fallen right out. This was sure to be a problem and I knew I could no continue far without replacing the bearing. I slept uneasily in the tent and woke up about 5 am still worrying about what I would do about the bearing. worst case, I figured I could get to my sister's friends in Moorefield and call her to come and get me. I don't like failure, so I dreaded this option.

Biking around town, I began, early in the morning to look for a place that may have the part I needed. I met a man walking and he inquired what I was doing. I explained my situation and he said that he had some bearing at his shop. I followed him there, but the bearing he had were much too small. He suggested a small engine repair shop, but said it would not open until 9 am

To be continued later. (note that I now, Friday July 8, 2016, am in Listowel at the traveler information center. I hope to make Tavistock tonight and London tomorrow.)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

On the Move Again

On the Move Again

Yesterday, Saturday July 2, 2016, I left Guelph and headed for Fergus. This 31.5 km trip would have taken 1 hour and 45 minutes for a strong biker. I am 64 and not looking to break any speed records. I again faced a strong head wind and I am pulling a trailer with about 200 pounds of equipment. I have banners on the trailer that catch the wind. Thus this easy leg of my journey took 7 hours. I did take plenty of breaks. There were places were trees broke the wind, but there were many steep hills and black flies among the trees. coasting down the hills gave me a break, but pushing the bike and trailer up hill took much effort.

After this strenuous 7 hour journey, I arived at Jesters Fun Factory at 5 pm. just as the store was closing. My sister, who owns the store, informed me that there was a minor crises in Guelph and I was needed to sit with my parents while my other sister went to attend to it. I rode on to her house and parked my bike. Taking what I would need for a day, she gave me a ride back to Guelph. So, after a day of difficult peddaling, I am back in the same room I started out in.

It is now Sunday July 3 and my younger sister has promised to pick me up and take me back to Fergus when she closes her store today. I will likely stay there overnight and do some research at the Wellington County Museum tommorrow before heading to the Egerton Farm.

Due to these delays, I may change some of my original plans. My goal is to go where the Lord leads me, so any plan I have is arbitrary.

I am looking forward to the remaining part of my trip and some easier biking conditions.

Unfortunately I have forgotten to bring the USB cable for my camera, so I am not able to upload pictures. I have many to share when I get back home.

George McNeish

The Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project (FSCPP)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Getting ready to leave Guelph

I have now been in Guelph for over a week and a half and am still behind in blog updates. Dad has been keeping me very busy with bike repair. He allows me to fix the ones brought in by customers and keep the money (most of the time). A lady brought in 3 bikes for repair and I earned $100. Another time I fixed a flat. Dad asked for $5 for the patch. The lady gave me $15 so I kept $10 of it. This has helped immensely with travel expenses and I was able to get more safety equipment for the bike. I now have real bike lights for front and back plus I invested in a softer seat for the bike.

On the trip from London I was disappointed to have to abort at Tavistock. The banners on the trailer work like sails on a sail boat, so with strong headwinds, pedaling was very difficult all day on Thursday June 16, 2016. Thus it was late at night when I was approaching Tavistock. Not sure where I would find a place to stay at such a late hour and suffering from fatigue due to the head winds, I decided to set up my tent at the side of the road about 3 or 4 km from Tavistock. My watch had stopped and I had no idea of the time. Once it got daylight, I proceeded the rest of the way into town and stopped at the first restaurant that was open. I had run out of drinks the day before and had stopped at a farm to get water. The farmer filled my water bottles from the barn. I drank some along the way, but it was making me sick, so I had gone to sleep with a very dry mouth. I was very happy to get some fluids into me in the morning.

After a good breakfast, I proceeded to my brothers house. They go to work early, so, as expected, no one was home. I rested on their porch for a short time and was about to leave a card and go on when my brother's wife came home. My brother had been working in town that day and happened to be going by the house about that time. He noticed my bike and stopped in. There was a lounge chair on his back deck and he invited me to rest there for as long as I needed. This I did, and soon fell asleep.

At noon, he was home for lunch and I was invited to dine with him and his wife. I was treated to a very delicious meal. At this point I began to feel muscles getting stiff and thought I better move on before I stiffened up too much. I went first to the office of the Tavistock Gazette were I talked to a reporter about what I was doing. He took many pictures with my bike and trailer. You can see the one he used at The story is in the current addition of the Gazette, so I hope my brother saved me a copy.

I then went to a local park to hang out and rest. The day was very hot and I was hoping it would cool off. Feeling that I must set out, I began about 4pm, but stopped in the shade of the first tree I found. There I set up my cot and rested while snacking and contemplating my next move. I was considering waiting until dark so I could travel in the cool of the evening. I had not yet fully recovered from the exhaustion of the previous day. The heat of the late afternoon sun was intense. I was afraid if I got too far from shade I could suffer heat exhaustion. I got the cheese and crackers that my sister-in-law had sent with me and sat down on my cot to eat them. I found myself on the ground. The material had ripped and I was in the middle of the frame. Well, I was down, so I ate the cheese and crackers while wondering what to do. It was only a cot, so this little incident should not change anything, but then I thought what a lifesaver it had been when I was struggling against the wind the day before. I was not sure at all if I could make it the rest of the way without having a comfortable seat to rest on when I was taking a break from pedaling the bike. This, along with the heat and fear of sunstroke, made me decide to abort the mission. I returned to my brother's house just in time to enjoy supper with them. My sister had said she would come and pick me up, so I called her but got an answering machine. As we ate, my brother said he would be willing to load my equipment on his trailer and take me to Guelph. Thus it is that I only biked half of my first leg of the journey.

Now, well rested in Guelph, I am eager to move on. I no longer have the time constraints, so if I run into disagreeable weather, I can pitch my tent and wait it out. Thus I do not need to exhaust myself when there is a head wind. (I wanted to attend the 150th anniversary service of the church in Conn that my dad attended as a child. That was the reason I could not afford more time to rest in Tavistock.)

My plans are to leave about Friday July 1st, depending on weather. I will spend a night in Fergus if my sister is agreeable. Next day I will proceed to Egerton, ON were I will attempt to photograph the area were the old lime kiln built by my great, great grandfather is. My sister has told me that it is now all overgrown with trees and cannot be seen, but I will attempt to find some remaining evidence that it was there. I remember playing around it when I was a child. This kiln was built in the mid 1800's by James Cooper, the father of Margaret Cooper who married James McNeish. These were my father's grandparents.

Next I will proceed to Molesworth were John McNeish and his wife Margaret Mitchel first settled when they came from Scotland. These were the parents of James McNeish and another set of great, great grandparents to me. When they were living there, Margaret had a brother living next door and another brother living across the road. Many of the Mitchel's still live in Molesworth and know much of the history. I will talk with those I find and also try to get pictures of the gravestones of relatives who are buried at Molesworth. This research will be used in a future book about my family.

From Molesworth I plan to spend two or three days heading back home to London. I will try to get as much publicity as I can as I pass through each town or city. I am not yet sure of the exact route I will take. I am leaving as much as possible up to the guidance of God. Taking one step at a time, I will see where He leads me to go.

George McNeish

The Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project (FSCPP)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

on the road at last

My first day venturing out on my bike tour proved to be a challenge. I set out at 2:15am and after travelling about one hour, I realized I forgot my wallet. On my way back home the bar on the trailer broke. It took me about two hours to make a new reinforced one. I am pulling an estimated 200 lbs of equipment and tools. 

About 6:15 I set out again. The sun came out and it began to get warm. I removed my jacket and moved on, but immediately a slight rain began. I found some shelter at Argyle mall as the rain got heavier. It tapered off to a drizzle so I set out again. Morning traffic on Dundas st was building. Rain went between a drizzle and moderate. I was happy to get off Dundas St. when I turned on to Nissouri Rd. I was getting rather damp from the light rain and found shelter at the greenhouse place. Once inside, the rain got heavy. I had a sundae and a hot chocolate as I waited out the rain. One employee bought a book and the heavy rain suddenly stopped. 

I set out again, turning east on Evelyn Rd. This would be the main stretch of the first leg of my journey. I fought a strong headwind all day and was exhausted when I reached Tavistock. More later

Monday, June 13, 2016

Welcome to my Travel updates

Subject: Welcome to my Travel updates

You can see where I've been, find out where I'm going and invite me to speak at your event. I will arrive by bicycle. Leave a comment and let me know where you saw me.
George McNeish

The Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project (FSCPP)

George McNeish, Author of THE ALTERNATIVE, Begins Bike Tour at 64.

George McNeish, Author of THE ALTERNATIVE, Begins Bike Tour at 64.

George McNeish knew from an early age that he was destined to be an author. What he didn’t know is, at the age of 64, he would be learning how to market his first book with no money to invest. This calls for thinking outside the box and coming up with strategies that have never been tried before.

McNeish has been extremely blessed. Although not with material means, he has a healthy body and is able to endure much physical activity. Therefore, using a bicycle that was given to him and a trailer made out of scrap parts, he has decided to pedal his book. Having also been gifted with an ability for graphic design, he has had banners printed and will be hitting the road on Wednesday June 15, 2016. You may have already seen him biking around London with his trailer behind him. He needed to test out his equipment and build his endurance while getting used to pulling a trailer. The worst problem is wind resistance. The 3 foot banners on the front and back act like sails, which is great if you are traveling with the wind, but when pedalling into the wind it feels like going uphill all the time.

As past chair of the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project, McNeish was inspired to write about the people who built the chapel. While researching he found many interesting facts. The Abolitionist, John Brown, spoke at the chapel in 1858, the year before his ill fated raid at Harpers Ferry. When reading about the devastating civil war that this raid triggered, McNeish began to wonder if things could have turned out differently. Thus sidetracked from the history, his first book became an historic fiction. The book about the Slave Chapel is still in the works.

His first book, “THE ALTERNATIVE, Is There an Alternative to War,” looks at slavery and how it lead to civil war. His fictional characters took on a life of their own and struggled to change the outcome of history. More about the book is at

McNeish is also looking into family history and will be researching that during his first trip. He is planning to take about two days to reach Guelph, Ontario. There he will visit his 90 year old dad and help him fix bicycles. He will then travel to Conn, Ontario for the 150 anniversary celebration of Knox Presbyterian Church, the church his father attended as a child and one often visited by the family.

Taking small steps, McNeish will test his endurance and gradually widen his sphere of travel. He thinks that Ottawa and other Ontario destinations may be realised this year. If all goes well, he may attempt a cross Canada bike tour in 2017 when he will be 65 years old. By then he hopes to have a couple of more books added to his repertoire.

George McNeish is willing to speak on many themes revolving around World Peace. His book revolves around a theme of cooperation versus competition. His is always ready to talk about the merits of a cooperative society.

Follow George and leave comments

This is where you can find out where George McNeish, Author of THE ALTERNATIVE, is going. You can leave comments, say were you saw him and invite him to speak at your event. He is travelling by bicycle to various places in Ontario.