I recently responded to a blog post by talented photog Derek Lang about the choices he made during what can be described as a Ferris Beuller Day. He had quite an adventure. You should really check it out.
I got to thinking about travel and slowing down to take in the world on a more human level. Bike riding for me has always been the perfect thing to do: it offers excercise, travel and adventure. And it’s never boring. In fact, it’s zen like in its awesomeness.
One day I’m guessing in 2000, I thought I’d try riding my bike from my home in Oshawa to my office at the Second City in Toronto. I figured it was about 65km, and knew after my NZ trip that was going to be a challenge on my mountain bike. But I packed up some food and hit the road at about 5:45am.
I didn’t have a digital camera back then, and in fact just started a job at Second City and I was pretty broke at the time. I think Melissa would have just been born then too. But I did score Bryce’s new Jam Cam, a kids digital camera that recorded 640×320 and it held exactly eight shots.
I remember the feeling of riding through the early morning mist rolling off Lake Ontario as the sun broke through the clouds behind me. I remember standing in awe underneath that massive air turbine at the Pickering nuke plant listening to the incredible “whoosh, whoosh” of the impressive blades. I took a great picture of that, but with only eight images I had to do some editing mid-adventure.
I remember the intensity of my day rising when I crossed the Rouge River on that awesome foot bridge and started seeing kids and families and finally some traffic. Until then I was pretty much on my own. I stopped at my favourite Starbucks in the Beaches for a grande latte and sat on a bench watching the families bustle about making their way to school or yoga or work.
The last leg of that trip was melancholic. I was on the familiar Martin Goodman Trail making my way. At this point I was joined by plenty of other bikers; I believe that was a defining moment when I realized I really wanted to move back to Toronto and specifically the Beaches. Riding my bike to work, incredible idea.
I made it to work just after 10, got a few high fives from some impressed co-workers. I remember working for a few hours then closing my eyes and totally falling asleep on the couch in the edit suite. I left work early to beat the rush hour, which meant I was allowed to bring by bike on the GO train. Watching my day unfold in reverse at 110km/h, I felt a little sad, but privileged to have experienced the journey one wheel revoltion at a time.