On a train, leaving Toronto behind.

Mostly, I think I like Toronto. The streetcars are quite a bit nicer than buses, but they do add an element of danger to riding bicycles which isn’t entirely nice. On the other hand, people do ride bicycles, and they ride in a sensible way. For one thing, when folks stop at lights, they line up rather than making a mass of jostling folks competing for the front, as folk do in new york. And cars are at least as aware of you as they are elsewhere. Pretty decent, on that front.

The town isn’t as otherworldly clean as I’ve heard claimed, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a dirty city by any measure. If New York had alleys, I don’t think it would be noticeably dirtier. It doesn’t, and it is. I guess what I’m saying then, is — the place is cleaner, which I like, but I don’t think the fundamental ’sensibility’ of the city is really much more hostile towards filth & trash than any other urban north american area. Which is an actively good thing — I’m pretty sure that real civility is based in part on a tolerance for grime and rudeness and incivility. Honest graciousness relies on comfort in the midst of rudeness. That sort of thing.

The commuter rail has served us well, outside Toronto and Boston. I think I’ll miss it when we approach Minneapolis.

I need another jersey. I’ve looked a few places, but no luck so far. My requirements are simple — small, race cut, full zip, three proper pockets. You know — a jersey. For some reason bike stores do not seem to sell these things. I find plenty of 3/4 zip jerseys with two pockets that’d fit a 220lb man, but nothing for me. So if you know of a place along our route where there’s a better than 50% chance that I can meet this need, do lemme know.

One thing I neglected to mention, earlier, when it was a relevant thing to mention — somewhere a bit north of NYC, Carvel brand ice cream vanishes, and hood appears. My NJ friends may disagree, and they’re fully within their rights, but Hood beats Carvel as solidly as a rock busts up scissors. There’s just no argument, not in my book. And Tim Hortons beats any fast food joint we have in the states by a mile. The pleasure of eating food off actual dishes! It’s a real pleasure, that’n. More than worth the cost of a 1.02:1 exchange rate. I’m the only one who thinks their coffee is better than (of all things) dunkin’ donuts, but I believe this strongly. If I get another sausage on biscuit sandwich before we leave this country, I’ll be a happy camper.

and so: yr happy camper,


3 Responses to “On a train, leaving Toronto behind.”

  1. Chris
    21. September 2009 at 01:06

    There are a ton of good bike shops in Ann Arbor, and of course Breakaway and Alfred E. in Kzoo (and maybe Gazelle, too) are possibilities. I’d be shocked if none of those places have a jersey for you.


  2. Brian
    21. September 2009 at 16:58

    Good luck finding a jersey. I would be surprised if you couldn’t find one at one of the bike shops in Kalamazoo. Enjoy Bells in Kzoo, they’re got some fantastic beers there. My all-time favorite is the two-hearted ale, althought I’m not sure if it’s in season right now or not. It’s a very floral pale ale with a decent hop bitterness to it as well. On another note, you may be surprised to hear that we actually do have Tim Hortons in the States. They are all over the Southeast side of Michigan in the greater Metro-Detroit area. Besides that though I can’t say I’ve ever seen them anywhere else in the country.

    Good Luck.


  3. anders
    22. September 2009 at 11:09

    Well, I’ve pretty much never seen a full-zip jersey that fits me in a bike shop. 90% are 1/2 zip or 3/4 zip, and the ones that remain are usually club cut for 180 lb dudes. So I’m not super optimistic, unless anyone has a suggestion that’s jersey specific.

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