It’s always so inspiring to hear about the many journeys and adventures going on out there in the big wide world.
Epic or small, long or short, funny, sad, touching or uplifting we’d love you to share them with us here on the cyclinginaskirt site. There is always a space for your stories, tales and words of wisdom, please get in touch with your ideas and, where possible, we will feature them below.
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One of Those Days
A story submitted by Felix. An experienced cycle tourer from Germany he writes about his own experiences of crossing Canada in 2015 and one memorable day in particular.
On July 17th in the morning, when I came back from swimming in the West Hawk Lake to the motel, it dawned on me that I didn’t even know where my bike key ring was. The search began. I couldn’t find my bunch of keys, I shook out my sleeping bag – nothing. I panicked.
After my passport and credit cards, this is the next worst thing I can lose.
I always lose something, but that’s another matter. Then, finally left full of chaotic thoughts. Where was the last place I held that thing in my hand? Ah yes, on Highway 11 at the bridge, when my saddle had twisted, that was two days ago. Or did I lose it on the last camping? I called there, nobody answered. They also didn’t send a text message, which I had asked for on the answering machine. So, keys gone means I can’t secure my bike anywhere. OK, so I must buy a new lock.
Nevertheless, on the keyring is also my Pitlock safety nut, without which I can neither remove the front wheel nor straighten the saddle if it gets twisted, which can happen if I tip over with my bike, like on Highway 11 when I clumsily dodged a pothole. And, I can’t change a tube anymore if you can’t remove the wheel. Beautiful views. So – a solution is needed. Fast, because 500 km without a bike shop will follow. There is one in Kenora. During the 35 km to get there, I was mentally busy. At least I didn’t miss the provincial border sign to make a selfie.
The mechanic didn’t have much technical imagination and only offered me to buy a quick release axle, in a double pack with one for the rear wheel, which I can never use, for $22. But, the problem could only be solved with destructive force, for which he didn’t have the tools, so he sent me to the car repair shop.
The car mechanic had the necessary ‘MacGyver’ imagination. He solved the problem more easily and with his welding machine than I could have ever imagined. Made another $25. Now all that was missing was a spare lock, but the bike shop didn’t have one. “Bicycles aren’t stolen in Kenora”…! Off to the camping site, because I didn’t feel like riding any further today. Fully booked! And that, although it was by no means full from the outside how I could see. There wasn’t even a cycling hero bonus… Instead, I was asked if I had reserved a place. What a weird question for a cyclist who can’t plan that well! So up to the next camping, 16 km further on, where I called before as a precaution. There was enough space. I felt knocked out. Soon I disappeared in my tent and tried to fall asleep against the family noise of Japanese neighbors, when something pressed against my thigh …. feels familiar …. I knew immediately: the bunch of keys!!! No! Hiding in the sleeping bag when I shook it out!
Afterwards I survived my heaviest Canadian thunderstorm so far, although the lightning struck less than 100m away! Dry! Good tent!
What a day Felix, glad you survived and found your lock keys – even if it was a bit late! Thank you for sharing the tale. I think we’ve all been there/had one of those days!