Sunday, May 24, 2015
Today, Michael is getting back on his bike! Read about his adventures on his way to White River:
"My alarm goes off at 6 AM but I don't get to breakfast until seven. Three men enter the dining room. The oldest man who apparantly is 82 years old asks if I'm going fishing today. They are a father and his two sons from Michigan who have come here to go fishing. A plane will take them to a remote spot on a river where the fishing is good. I tell them that I am from Holland and that I am biking through Canada. The father tells me that he has been to Holland. Apparently to Hilversum and Amersfoort way back in 1954. I am sure things have changed in Holland since then, I say. “Yes, but the Dutch women are very beautiful!” “That’s right”, I respond, “I am married to one”. We have a laugh and the men wish me good luck and promise to visit my website after their fishing trip.
I check out and get back on the road. There is a light headwind but overall the weather is perfect. It is nice enough that soon I'm biking in my T-shirt. It is almost 23°C and compared to the frost in the cold of the last couple of days this is unbelievable! The road is flat and I see one beautiful river after another and lakes as well. I am thoroughly enjoying it and it's going very well.
All the while I have been listening to music on my MP3 player that I bought in Sault Ste. Marie. I am really enjoying it. But suddendy it goes silent: the battery is dead. I try to charge it on my bike but I can't get it back to work. I can't see the screen with the sun. Later when I'm taking a break I try again in the shade and I hear myself complaining that the darn thing isn’t working: apparently it also records!
I enjoy sitting in the sun for a while. It is past noon and I'm already halfway to my destination. The cycling is very enjoyable, eventhough my knees are somewhat painful. They are taking a real beating with all the hills I have to climb. I decide not to let it spoil my joy. I've been through worse times.
After a while when I am back on my bike, I see one truck coming toward me and one coming up behind and there is no shoulder! I quickly jump off the road into the gravel and a few seconds later later the trucks race past. One of them honks his horn to thank me that he didn't have to step hard on his brakes. I constantly have to keep my attention on the road and the traffic which can be exhausting. So I am grateful that the road is fairly quiet today.
At 3:30 in the afternoon I arrive in White River and first I get some much needed water. I drink a whole liter. Then I am off again to search for a motel. Samantha Cedon, the girl who is being treated for a brain tumor is known by everyone here. I try to connect with her through Facebook. I tell her about my tour and ask her if she would appreciate it if I came to see her in Winnipeg. I do this very carefully and thoughtfully. All of White River is sympathizing with her and they have collected a lot of money in support. Samantha’s story is very sad and so I will spare you that.
When I get to the motel the first thing I do is Skype with my son because I missed him yesterday. After that I decide to eat some of my provisions: Chili with beans and beef from a can. This makes a difference to the weight on my bike. And it even tastes good...
Tomorrow’s goal is to bike 92kms to the town of Marathon. There is a chance it may rain in the afternoon: 30 mm. We shall see..."
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Sytske van der Veen