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.