Biking Across Canada Day 47 — Toronto to Peterborough: Pathetic Fallacy

I was in a funk while riding today as I was feeling sad from missing my friends and family, so of course it rained most of the day to mirror my feelings. (If you want a hint as to how I was doing on a scale from zero to melancholic, my soundtrack for the day was R.E.M.’s Nightswimming, Miss You by the Rolling Stones, and the Cure’s entire Disintegration album.) The rain and low spirits made for slow travelling, exacerbated by the winding and disjointed route I took out of Toronto. I knew a trip like this would be at much a mental challenge as physical, but I also know not to quit on a bad day, and that a few bad days are to be expected on a 70-day adventure, so I pushed on despite part of my brain telling me I’ve done enough.

I got up early and said goodbye to Ben, who is also an early riser so I didn’t need to worry about the burden of my early departures. Then it was a quick ride to the Lower Don Valley trail and the connection to the Waterfront Trail where I would spend my entire morning on.

The Lower Don Trail, which didn’t exist when I last lived here.
The Beaches, or The Beach, depending on your preferred name for this neighbourhood.

The eastern section of Toronto’s Waterfront Trail has some nice sections, but they’re broken up because so much of the Lake Ontario waterfront is privately owned. You have to take a lot of confusing detours through crescents and cul-de-sacs. It was made harder by the record-high water levels on the Great Lakes this year. Many paths were flooded or covered with washed up sand, necessitating some detours at times. After a few hours of this and little milage to show for it I ditched the waterfront and headed inland in search of straighter roads.

One detour brought me to the Scarborough Bluffs
View from the Bluffs
A cyclist braving the flooded path
I managed to get a swim in here just before the rainstorm hit.

It was hillier inland but at least I didn’t have to make as many turns. I headed for a highway that would provide a more direct route to my destination of Peterborough, but it turned out to be one that prohibited bikes. That left with with following a hodgepodge of minor highways and concession roads for the rest of the way, of which I took no pictures because I just wanted to keep riding, especially with the scattered showers I was encountering. The route also had the side effect of not riding by anywhere to stop and buy food. Fortunately I had enough provisions with me to make it through.

I made to Peterborough an hour before sunset where my moods were lifted by seeing Clare and Glenn, family friends who I’ve known as long as I’ve been alive. They’ve been friends with my parents since before I was born, and our families would go camping together every year when I was growing up, something that I credit with inspiring my love of the outdoors. They had a lovely dinner prepared for me and a comfy bed which made today’s long day of riding worth it.

Today’s Distance: 167 km

Cumulative Distance: 5350 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle