Month: April 2014

My Mountain was a Boat (biking, ball-hockey and humble pie)

After a 70km ride to Naniamo in a rainy head wind, with an added 22km trip to pick up a laptop, my legs were more rubbery after day 1 then I had anticipated. On day 2 I was aiming to do 110km from Naniamo to Victoria. With how drained my legs felt this was going to be quite the task. So when a friend told me there was a ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood that allowed me to bypass the Malahat and save myself 20 kms of biking, I figuratively jumped at the opportunity. I was going to be playing in a ball hockey tournament over the weekend and I wanted to make sure I had something left in the tank. I will confess that I struggled with taking taking the ferry and it did feel like a defeat. Here I was bypassing my first goal and challenge. I realized though, that I will have plenty of other literal and figurative mountains to climb. Thus I checked my ego at the door, took the easier route and my mountain suddenly became a boat.

Unfortunately I didn’t use this same approach in regards to the ball hockey tournament. Our goalie wasn’t able to make it, 33% of the team hadn’t played any ball hockey before and we had never played as a team. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to keep us in the 2nd highest division (Great thinking Dion!). Game 1 we won 4-3 and were given a very, let me emphasize VERY false sense of security. We were all “Yay, we can do this guys!”. Game 2 was an entirely different story and we were served a large slice of humble pie, in a 15-2 blow out. I felt bad because our youngest member Rubben was in net and blamed himself for the loss. Jokingly I told him we should have won the game 2-1 (which if you’re reading this Rubben, was clearly the case!). The next 2 games were more of the same and we finally started to come together during our last game, an elimination game, that we in turn lost. But by the end of the day I was super proud of the team and we all had a blast. We are aiming to play again next year and are taking goalie resumes now!

Image

Blood Sweat and Beers 2014 Friso Johaines, Logan Macnair, Cole Balaski, Dion Owen, Guido Durfeld, Rube Mattheus

Image

(Yours truly mid stride)

After the losses we consoled ourselves over drinks at Guido’s and had aims of heading out drinking and dancing surrounded by the the lovely ladies of Victoria. Two hours of running, a sunburn and a few beers quickly quelled that ambition and by 10pm we were all passing out in the living room. The night was highlighted by Guido’s teacher persona coming out while he was showing us an awesome video of some of his adventures in South America. Also I got to sleep in the same room as my friend and old hockey buddy Cole. It was a real time warp for both of us, it was like we were 15 again on a hockey trip and bunked in the same hotel room. And just like our old 15 year old selves we stayed up for a few hours laughing and trading stories.

My folks even came down to watch the tournament which was again such a nice experience, I stayed with them in their hotel room the last night they were in Victoria which again was a blast from the past. They are so loving and supportive my mom even made me some super cool cards! I have been handing them out like… well like, cards. (You know your going places when your mom makes your “business” cards for you!) We had a heart felt good bye after spending the morning in the park with the dogs, I can’t thank my family enough and am so grateful to get to spend time with them as an adult I know many people don’t get this privileged.

Image

(My card that my mom did an amazing job on, thanks mom!)

Next stop is Vancouver, I am just in the process of securing places to stay as I will be spending up to 2 weeks there. I have access to a stage 3+ times a week and might be part of a larger show on the 13th. It would also give snow in the Rockies a chance to melt, as bikes and winter are not friends. That about sums it up, Ltn Commander Worf has been an excellent co-pilot so far, I will post again next week,

Thanks for reading,

Qapla,

Dion

The Maiden Voyage

Hi everyone and thanks so much for reading my very first blog post. I will admit that I am writing this blog as much for myself as I am for others. I am aiming to not only connect and share with anyone interested in reading about my adventures but also as a personal journal for me to look back on.

 

The blog is called Biking Across Canada to Cure Comedy. As the name suggests I will be crossing this massive country via bike. Currently I estimate that I will be peddling some 8,500km. In conjunction with this I will be doing as much stand up comedy as possible and by the end I hope to have grown significantly as a person and specifically as a comedian.

 

In regards to the formatting of the blog I tend to be a very open, honest person and wear my heart on my sleeve. Thus I will be writing not only about the nuts and bolts of getting from Victoria to St John’s and documenting the places I stay and the people I meet. I will also talk about my personal successes, battles and failures. This first post gives a little background of where I am and how I got here.

 

Only a year ago I was living in Kamloops British Columbia. I had finished a sociology/theater degree and was in the process of becoming a 9-5 citizen. I had my foot in the door for a lucrative contract with the local university. Then one day through an organization called Couchsurfing a jovial Nova Scotian named Brandon Yeo convinced me to drop everything and join him on an adventure driving as far south as his car would take us. It was an exciting opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up.

 

So off we went with dreams of adventure and whatever money we had. Unfortunately the US border security guards considered us potential immigrants, questioned us for 4 hours and then turned us back. It was all highlighted with a quote from a security guard whose name was Coffee, I am not trying to cover up her name for fear of NSA retribution or anything like that, her name was literally Coffee! She said “if you had $300,000 we wouldn’t even ask you any questions and would just let you in”. And so on that grim note, the adventure was over before it began. Conveniently my next adventure doesn’t cross any international borders 😉

 

Despite the setback, life often works out and my family had room for us in a tiny, sleepy, little town on Vancouver Island called Bowser (pop 1600). Specifically they had room for us in a beautiful 1200 foot loft overlooking the ocean. And so Brandon and I quickly became best buddies and after a few months we managed to bring together a small, but close group of friends. I even managed to run a monthly jam that allowed me to enjoy some very talented musicians. To give you an idea of the talent I had the privilege of listening to, one fellow named Ben Barnes was using a picking style know as “claw hammer” to play a song on his hand made, 12-string guitar. His technique, instrument and skill culminated with him playing 36 notes a second! And Ben was just one of the many incredibly talented artists who graced our loft concerts.

 

So In a short time I managed to connect closely to the community here in Bowser, and from now on will call it home. The awesome community even threw me my very own surprise party, my first ever! It was an excellent but emotional experience. Also through a series of serendipitous events life in Bowser even brought me an absolutely amazing partner that I spent a number of tumultuous but very happy months with. The trouble with a community this small though is after a breakup good luck finding space and dividing up the 7 person friend group you both share. Thus timing couldn’t be better for me to get an extended break from my new home.

 

In terms of the why I am biking, it’s only a recent romance, but it quickly became a burning passion. Life is just better with a bike. I even began running a small bike shop in Bowser and have been offering free servicing and donating as many bikes as I can. My current favorite quote is from a futurist who said “I can’t say for certain what the future will hold but I guarantee there will be a f#*k load of bikes”. I have to credit my friend Anthony with the idea to bike across Canada but once he said it, it quickly became a no brainer. The other part of my tour, doing stand up comedy, is something I have been moving towards for awhile, but now I feel the time is just right to go for it.

 

So without further a due, I introduce to you my bike for the next 5 months, (yet to be named). As you can see I needed a handle bar ornament and I couldn’t ask for a better one than the Lieutenant Commander Worf action figure that I’ve had since I was a child. Who better to help me with my bike computer on my adventure right?

ImageImage

Over the next few days I will be biking from Bowser to Victoria where Worf and I will be taking on our first challenge, the mighty Mallahat, I will keep you all posted.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Qapla,

 

Dion