1 0 Posts with the tag: Community
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Arriving Home

Posted by on September 13th, 2012 13 Comments

Our last post here was almost four months ago when we were just a few days ride from arriving home in Hamilton after over a year on our bikes. During those last days in the saddle, we talked about writing up our arrival immediately and getting it up on the blog the day after we got home – after all, those exciting moments are best conveyed while fresh in the mind – but that did not happen. In fact, writing clearly fell by the wayside after our return, and boy has time flown since then! We busied ourselves with home life and settling into our city and community, and we avoided thinking about the end of our trip for quite a while. Maybe it was a defense mechanism to allow us to escape coming to terms with our journey coming to a close. However, the final days of our trip as well as our experiences upon our return are filled with important events and emotions that are worth documenting and sharing. It may take some time for us to catch up to the present time – but by all means, lets pick up where we left off!


After our rest in Geneva on the Finger Lakes, we quickly reconnected with the Erie Canal trail, blasting through Rochester without realizing we were in the city at all (off-road trails are great!). We crossed paths with four other touring cyclists within a few hours of each other, including Peter – who, at an inspirational 69 years old, has toured the world throughout his life, recently retiring and off on a cycle trip towards the Maritimes in Canada.

May 30 2012 DSC 9072 548x314 Arriving Home

Peter heads out down the canal trail.

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Our one-year Bike-iversary!

Posted by on May 21st, 2012 8 Comments

One year ago today, when we left on this bike tour with nervousness, fear and anticipation, I spent a lot of time thinking about our return home every day. My mind would dwell for hours on the idea of the glorious ride down the familiar escarpment rail trail to our home in Hamilton with a year of cycling under our belts. I would grin from ear to ear as I imagined pedaling into my driveway. Maybe thinking about the ending of the trip motivated me to continue, or maybe it was just a pleasure in the happy thoughts of the trip being over, this goal being accomplished, a return to be my own house, my own bed, my own kitchen.

Depart Jenn Stark Photographers 548x364 Our one year Bike iversary!

Rolling out of our driveway on May 21, 2011

But a few weeks in, a momentous transition hit – a moment I remember reading other cyclists and travelers having – where this vague fear of the road is replaced by a wonderful sense of freedom. And then there was no looking back. For me, this also meant I no longer thought about the end of the trip – I was living in the moment and loving every minute of it. Home had become the company I was with, my bicycle, my tent, the playgrounds and libraries and campgrounds we stayed in, and the homes we were welcomed into.

September 05 2011 DSC 3903 548x362 Our one year Bike iversary!

Cooking breakfast in Oregon

Now, we are living in the moment that I used to dream about. We are 10 days from home after being on the road for a year. While I do feel accomplishment, I do not feel the great sense of relief I had expected to feel when dreaming about this time so many months ago. In fact, I feel just as nervous and anxious and sad now about coming home as I did about leaving it. I LOVE my life right now. I love being outside almost every hour of every day. I love pedaling on my bicycle and the tingling in my legs at the end of the day that means I worked hard. I love buying only the groceries I need each day and only thinking about the 24 hours that lie ahead. I love having so much time to play with my kids – and that I feel so connected to my husband. I don’t really look forward to the return to household chores like vacuuming or cleaning toilets – and the idea of waking up to an alarm clock and sitting at my desk for 35 hours a week is pretty undesirable.

November 12 2011 DSC 5902 548x362 Our one year Bike iversary!

California

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Reaching milestones and experiencing the mobile cycling community

Posted by on December 26th, 2011 2 Comments

November 19 2011 DSC 6220 548x402 Reaching milestones and experiencing the mobile cycling community

It is strange how seeing a singular landmark can mean so much to a traveler. Whether it is the Eiffel Tower in France, or the Sphinx in Egypt, tourists often structure entire trips around visiting these objects. So it was that we had built up the crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge in our minds. Maybe because the bridge is such a famous landmark, or maybe because it would mark six months on the road and the halfway point of our trip, we had dreamed of what it would be like to cycle across it’s 1.7 mile span since we left Hamilton back in May.

The bridge was hidden from view for most of our approach, but it presented itself suddenly after climbing one final hill – and it was beautiful! With overcast skies (but no fog!) we traversed this milestone with huge smiles on our faces. Even though the wind was strong and the noise of traffic was fierce, this moment meant so much to us. We were simultaneously overjoyed to reach this point in our journey and acutely aware of how far we now were from home.

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