2015 Ontario Parks Tour: Day Seven

Fix ‘Er Up

Toronto – 0km
(10pm, Sept 25)

The last 24 hours has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I felt pretty low as we waited for the car last night, but as I drove back to Toronto we started to figure out our plans.

Firstly, I texted my boss to see if he still had the bike he was looking to sell a couple of months ago. He did, and he was willing to lend it to me to finish the ride – we just needed to take a look to make sure it was road-worthy. Edelman alumnus Rick Murray also offered to loan us his bike, which was a really nice gesture. The online community in general was incredibly supportive and got me even more fired up to get this done.

With the bike in the works, the other question was, how would we get back to the route? Our working assumption was that we’d head out during the day on Saturday and then ride on Sunday. I looked into B&Bs and hotels in the area and there were a few available. I went to bed feeling hopeful.

This morning I headed down to grab the bike from my boss at 8:30. When we got it home we found that the tires were flat but otherwise it was in great condition and fit me well size-wise (I may actually look to buy it as a winter trainer). With that, we knew this weekend was a reality.

Next, we headed into Gears to see if they could help with my own bike. I’d had a very disappointing call with them the previous day (they’d told me it was unlikely they’d have the spokes and it wasn’t even worth looking into wheels) so I wasn’t hopeful, so we planned to go to a few other stores too.

To my surprise, Gears not only had the right-sized spokes but had them on the wheel and ready within about 15 minutes. With that, Plan A had worked and I was back to being able to ride my own bike!

With the wheel repaired, Father and I headed home to do some regular cleaning/maintenance on the bikes so they’re ready for tomorrow. Not surprisingly, a lot of gunk had built up on the gears over the last week, so we cleaned that off.

The last piece of the puzzle was transport and, we assumed, lodging. We looked at trains but to our surprise there is no train service to Peterborough. That’s the second time recently I’ve been disappointed by the passenger system here – we had originally planned to venture further north for our tour but the Northlander trains stopped running to Englehart a couple of years ago.

Happily Frank (my father-in-law) came to our aid for the second time in two days, and offered to drive us up first thing on Saturday. That solved two challenges – transport and accommodation, as we no longer have to stay out near Emily and will be able to complete the final push in a single day.

So now, here we are. An early night tonight, a 6am wake-up call tomorrow, and one last 150km day (we re-routed some of our planned route to follow the Waterfront Trail closer to downtown to avoid spending lots of time on rough city roads, which added 20km to the distance).

This time tomorrow, all being well this will be over. What a ride.


The author

I'm a born and bred English guy - a Britnadian, if you will - living and working as EVP and National Practice Leader, Digital at Edelman in Canada. Outside work, my life splits a few ways: I'm a father, a cyclist, a video gamer and an explorer of the many ways that digital can bring companies and their stakeholders closer together. All of these bring me great enjoyment; one brings more pain than the others. Opinons are mine, not my employer's.