A Very Long Bike Ride … across Canada!

Starting out at the Tsawwassen ferry
Starting out at the Tsawwassen ferry

My cousin Gillian and her husband Jamie have recently embarked on a very exciting adventure. Two weeks ago they left their home in the Niagara Peninsula, took a train out to Vancouver, BC, and are now in the process of biking home, all the way across Canada. It will take them nearly two months. They’ve been posting regular updates on their blog Across Canada Bike Adventure, so take a peek if you’re curious to know what it’s like to propel yourself and some camping gear over 4000 kilometres.

I think it’s wonderful they’re doing this. Jamie has just graduated from nursing, Gillian is still in university, and they got married one year ago. There will be no better time than now in life for them to do a trip as physically and psychologically gruelling as this, so they’ve bravely seized the opportunity and will spend their summer biking as a result. Imagine the sense of accomplishment they’ll have upon arriving back in Ontario. I’m sure it will be even bigger than their hugely muscular thighs!

I’m a little bit envious that Gillian and Jamie are able to do something like this. Jason and I didn’t have much time together before we jumped headfirst into the chaos of child-raising — just one summer, to be precise. It was our own doing, but I can’t help but long for those years of adventure, camping trips, and lazy Sunday mornings, prior to having kids, that we’ll never have. Oh, we’ll get there eventually once our kids are grown up, and even though I’ll only be in my late thirties, it still seems very far away. By then, it will be a different kind of experience for us. Instead of a young couple still getting to know each other and adjusting to a marital rhythm, we’ll be that old established couple with kids on their own, familiar with every squeak and grunt that the other person makes. So my message to all you young childless couples out there is, “Go! Take advantage of the world! Do it while you can because kids do have a way of securing oneself at home, no matter how hard you fight against it.”

As I watch the rain fall outside my window that’s been thankfully soaking my vegetable bed all night long, I think of Gillian and Jamie who have to bike through downpours for long uphill kilometres. They’re a brave set of adventurers, those two, and I wish them all the best on their trip.

Photo: Jamie Milbrandt
Photo: Jamie Milbrandt

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9 thoughts on “A Very Long Bike Ride … across Canada!

  1. Some of your Dad’s relatives have done many adventurous things in their later (60’s or so) lives. Therefore, don’t fret when you are in your 30’s or 40’s, you will still be able to do adventurous things. that portion of your live will never die.

  2. That’s too awesome. I fear I’ve missed my window to do things like that. Until I’m retired at least. 😐

    1. No way! Kids are far more portable than most people give them credit for. I just finished reading an amazing article about a couple that’s been canoeing across Canada for six years. They’ll finally finish this summer, but they’ve had 2 babies along the way — a 3.5 year old and an infant who hang out in the canoe as they paddle. I found that very inspiring! You’ll do plenty of adventurous things before you’re retired, don’t worry about that.

  3. Hey Kath,
    Thank you so much for your lovely post. It is very encouraging to know that my family is supporting us. It definitely gets us through the days that we feel like quitting. I hope you know that our route takes us right by PE and we would love to spend a night with you and Jason. We will be there around August 17th or 18th. Hope all is well and that you are enjoying the summer! Please kiss the boys for me.

    1. It would be lovely to see you. We’re going camping the following week, but are happy to hang around that weekend if we can expect you guys. Let’s touch base closer to the time to make sure you’re on schedule!

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