Day 18 – The Bleam Team – Toronto to Stratford

Miles biked – 75

Since taking the train in to Toronto ended up working out so well for avoiding the biking through crazy suburban areas, we decided to go ahead and take the Go Train out as well. Our original plan was to bike to London ON for day 18 (about 100 miles outside the city) but since we’ve been on the road we’ve learned to important lessons: one, 100 miles is a long way with 40plus pounds of gear on your bike, and two, we really don’t need to go to any huge breweries on this trip, like Labatt, which was our stop in London. So we did the smart thing and took a train as far out of the city as we could and then biked to the town of Stratford, which Anders claimed was his favorite little town ever. And since they’re claim to fame is a year round Shakespeare festival, Caroline was down so it was decided.

We had big plans to catch the 8:45am train out of Toronto, but right before we were all packed up and ready to go, Anders made a very important realization – we needed directions. One of the hardest things about these days in Ontario is that we have avoided using our phones due to roaming charges. But without phones, we don’t have our fancy google maps app with built in GPS. And who in our generation know where to buy a map, let alone use one? (we do have a road atlas we picked up at a gas station, but despite our 4 college degrees between us, it is pretty useless) So we printed directions for the next few days, hopped on our bikes and took the 9:40am train to Aldershot. Finding our way from there wasn’t too tough, and we got 30 miles under our belt before our lunch stop at a Canadian chain Boston Pizza. We came very close to our first dance party, right there in their patio. Stay tuned for when dance party day comes (any day now, I can feel it!). All day were on mostly small highways and moving along fine until we came to a traffic circle and took the first left, as our directions instructed. 10 miles out of the way, a few unnecessary hills, and one trip to the Mazda dealership (thank you Andrew, you are a life saver!) we ended up with new directions that, unfortunately took us right through Kitchener, a small city we we’re hoping to avoid. What was that training ride lesson again? Oh, right, google maps is often WRONG.

So heading through Kitchener, we ended up on the fairly nice but VERY hilly Bleam Road, for about 25 miles. Caroline promptly decided that we would be known for the day as – THE BLEAM TEAM. Now, the Bleam Team was having a bit of a rough day. The day off of riding in Toronto was not quite enough to heal our worn out quads, and Sara had a bit of a freak out moment when Anders tried to give some tips on getting up hills. But hey, that’s a little of that drama you’ve been craving right? However, wounded egos were healed when we stopped in to our favorite coffee place, Tim Hortons. Sara stood in line, looking somewhat burned out when a older gentleman biker (as in motorcycle) asked, as pretty much everyone who sees us does “where you heading?”
Sara said, “Stratford… eventually Seattle.”
“Oh yeah? Where’d you start?”, the biker responded.
“Brooklyn. We’ve been on the road now for 18 days”, she sighed, thinking about how long that felt.
“How’s today going?”
“Its kind of rough.”
“oh yeah, why, rough roads?”
“No, not really.”
“It just started that way huh?”
“yeah, pretty much.”

Turns out the biker had done many cross country trips and totally understood that some days are just tough. He bought her a large iced coffee and she walked away realizing that if your whole job is to bike all day, life really isn’t too bad.

NIce legs, Anders

NIce legs, Anders


One Response to “Day 18 – The Bleam Team – Toronto to Stratford”

  1. kateC
    24. September 2009 at 07:27

    be proud of those white bits!