Friday, May 29, 2009

Toronto, ON: Good Luck Times Three

Traveling often involves conditions that are beyond one's control. We have learned that it does not help to become angry or worried or anxious, but rather devote that energy into resourcefulness and problem solving. And even then sometimes, like on our second day out of Niagara Falls, good luck prevailed.

The morning started out with dripping fog. We hate to pack the tent when it is wet – extra weight, you know. But usually we have an opportunity to lay it out at lunch to dry. But not on this day, unfortunately.

Cycling in the fog is reasonable. Gortex is a wonderful thing.

By noon on this day, however, it went from fog to a steady rain. Not as reasonable. We found refuge in the waterfront pavilion in Burlington, deserted on a weekday. Our first lucky break. We wheeled our bikes inside and waited it out. At some point we pulled out the computer and picked up the public wi-fi signal from city hall located a few blocks away. We monitored the weather satellite until the nasty green blob moved out of the area. We also found a motel located down the road 20 kilometers, a distance we hoped to cover before the next blob moved in.

So we are cycling along, and I hear a snap-ping noise, and my rear wheel starts to wobble and rub on the brake. We cycled for a while longer, then pulled into a strip mall to wait out the next downpour. Closer examination of our rear wheel revealed a broken spoke. John's heart sank – he did not have the tools to remove the hub and replace the spoke. We asked a group of locals where the nearest bike shop was – and they pointed across and down the street a half a block. Good luck, round two.

We stayed warm and dry in our hotel as it rained throughout the night, and the next day was dry and fair. After two days of gray weather, people we out walking, jogging, and biking. We were approaching the Toronto skyline, the home of my cousin and our destination for that night. We stopped to check the map, and struck up a conversation with another cyclist out for a morning pedal. Following a friendly exchange of bike tourist stories, I mentioned that my Achilles tendon has been very sore and slowing us down. Se asked if we had any Kinesio tape – no, we had never heard of it. MaryAnn is an occupational therapist and uses it in her practice. She offered to tape me up. We followed her to house, she fixed me up, her husband Romeo fed us homemade soup and gave us a bag of fresh herbs from their garden. Road angels, no doubt, and our third stroke of good luck that carried us the rest of the way to Toronto.
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