Buck Miller, a North Bay native, told me that the only paved road between South River and North Bay is Highway 11 and bikes are not allowed on it. The only route for a cyclist is on gravel, 23 miles of it. I complained that I hated gravel. He said, “Then throw your bike in a car and drive there.”
When I first started cycling this morning, the road was paved. I tricked myself into thinking that Canadians just mean chip seal road when they say gravel. Then, after five miles when the gravel began, I dropped my delusion. Too late, I remembered that Buck also said to put on bug repellent. While simultaneously batting at deer flies and wiping the humidity off my glasses, I tried to keep my balance while plummeting and climbing terrain upon gravel bits. I needed Ganesh, who has extra arms, to remove obstacles.
Moving body parts are a little harder for deer flies to land on. Think about what body part is immobile while a person cycles. Yes, there I have a couple dozen welts. With three more miles of gravel to go, I stopped for an instant to take a phone call from a reporter. I found myself instantly in a cloud of deer flies. The only option to deal with both the flies and balance was to keep moving. Said Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle; to remain balanced, you must keep moving.”
I knew it would get better as the day wore on because there were trails at the end and we would be meeting Chris Kinvig and his family. I met Chris in Austin on April 5. He came to the rescue when Brenda Mueller and I were sitting on a sidewalk trying to figure out an alternative to cycling across a dam with water running over it. As we followed Chris on a rocky route around our obstacle, we learned that he is Canadian and that his wife is from North Bay. I told him I’d be in North Bay for a bike ride in July and he said he might be there then. Sure enough, his vacation and my bike ride dates coincided. Chris’s wife, Heather, and her parents and their children went all out and made three things happen. First, Liz Moore, the Nipissing deputy-mayor, had the local museum/candy shop prepare a welcome for us. WOW! Then they invited us to their home just 2 miles off the route. And they got a TV reporter interested in the story!
The local TV station covered my peace story briefly. https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?binId=1.3523149. (Minutes 14:16 – 15:00)
Twenty two miles and a couple hours after all the excitement, I intersected my 2018 route across Canada and completed another section of the peace sign.
Start: South River ON
End: North Bay ON
Distance: 66.58 miles
Total distance: 1306.63 miles (2101.8 km) in 28 days
Elevation gain: 2316 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/2524665922
Relive video: https://www.relive.cc/view/g37287164752
© 2019 Lynnea C Salvo