Month: May 2014

Everyday is a Saturday

Hello everyone, I have myself a new motto, “Everyday is a Saturday”. Now I am living my trip and in turn hopefully my life by it. My new found mantra was a line a fellow gave me when I was telling him about my biking adventures. His family was enjoying the Penticton sun. And the 4 of us sparked up a conversation. We talked about how I was planning to go about my trip. He described that with no commitments or major timetables that “everyday is a Saturday for you then”, and euphorically I said you’re right! So from that point on, that’s how I’ve been conducting myself.


(This is what Saturday feels like)


When you are biking 8 hours a day, you get a lot of time to think, and the man’s comment stuck with me. I thought “often our week gets structured so that we only get 1 Saturday out of a potential 7!”, how could this happen? We endure the slug fest of the work week, to get one day to feel relaxed and free. And this concept has never “sat” with me well (accidental pun, but I’m taking it).


While reflecting on this, something else dawned on me in the mist of my warm up yoga stretch. While I was mentally and physically preparing for climbing the Anarchist summit my mind grew quiet. All of a sudden I noticed this constant pulsing somewhere in the recesses. I focused on it and realized it was my subconscious, slowly ticking away in the background. “Has this noise always been there”, I asked myself, “what was it”?




It was weird I hadn’t really been aware of it before. Despite using it to gauge how long to do stretches it was always just below the surface of my attention. I could heard if I listened for it, the steady “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…”. And I realized that this ticking, this counting, this constant usage of math, to codify and understand a potentially chaotic reality, might be at the heart of our over structured relationship with time. I was determined to stop the ticking!


(Cease your infernal ticking!)


Building on my desire to stop myself from constantly measuring time. The eb and flow of time appears to be subjective not only in terms of the physical universe (theory of relativity), but also in terms of our own subjective relationship to “reality”. “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” -Albert Einstein.


With this in mind I am working hard to not have time constantly ticking in the back of my mind. And instead I am working hard to exist in the fleeting here and now. Not overly organizing and structuring my future experiences, to the beat of the incessant drum of my mind. It’s great to have goals but for me I needed to start putting effort into mastering my own relationship with time, and not forcing too much structure on it. And thus for now “Everyday is a Saturday!”.


On a similar note, to my understanding the 5 work days on, 2 days off, week we function under, is a derivative of the Roman slave calender. When the slaves were forced to have no days off they revolted, 6-1 they also revolted but 5-2 was just right. Assuring they were productive slaves, not happy, but not so miserable they would revolt. With this is mind, I can’t help but see so many in similar states of mind in contemporary society, miserable, but not quite miserable enough to revolt. And so I hope this theory of a potential “intentional social engineering” of our relationship to time, backed by my own experience, might spark you to reflect on your relationship with time, and in turn the “days” of the week.


(Oh man rowing duty again… that’s ok I only have 1 lifetime and the sweet release of death before it’s Saturday for me!)


Well enough heavy philosophical stuff! Onto the nuts and bolts of the adventure. I made it into Penticton and spent an extra day so I could hang out with the very talented and good looking Parkstar sisters (They are actually Parkers, but I have been calling em Parkstars for awhile now). I had a great visit with both of them and hope they continue to excel. The two of em are fortunate enough to be playing on a soccer team together, they had a game while I was there so I watched 30+ athletic women run around, not a bad way to spend an evening :D. One of the coolest parts was the game was at Kings Field, which is where my father played a yearly old timer tournament that was a highlight of my families summer. So again I got to take a walk down memory lane.


In the morning I peddled towards Osoyoos and I hit something on the way…Image

(A mile stone the 1000km mark wooohoo!)


This leg of the ride was all orchards and vineyards and felt like I was touring Southern Italy. British Columbia is an amazing place crudely but aptly described as a “constant visual orgasm”.


(The bike ride was like this, except without the beautiful girl)


After Osoyoos I had to climb the appropriately named Anarchist Summit, which I found to be the most challenging climb yet, a switch back highway that feels like it never ends. I managed to make the top just around dusk, my climb was highlighted by getting to hear coyotes organize to attack a cow. I didn’t see the incident but that is exactly what the ruckus sounded like. These are the types of things I’ve never experienced using other modes of transportation.



I was exhausted at the top of the summit but fortunately a Warmshowers host tipped me off to a camp ground just past the summit. I had biked a total of 120km that day (much of it uphill!) and when I arrived it was “closed”, but good luck closing a camp ground to a biker!


So I had a gorgeous camp ground with facilities all to myself, and to cap it off I had new game of thrones downloaded and got to watch it in my tent. In the morning I pushed towards Grand Forks. I was a little low on fuel and started to feel drained, I knew I needed some simple sugar as soon as this crossed my mind this little shack popped up.


And I had myself some of the tastiest honey for $6,50. After a few gulps I was recharged and pushed onto Greenwood, where I had a pit stop at a Warmshowers host named Marc, who was kind enough to donate me a bike seat, a spoon I desperately needed and a couple of cups of coffee.


Also I found this in Greenwood,


mmmmmmmm bikes…..


I pushed onto Grand Forks, and as I peddled I notices signs, congratulating and welcoming someone. Were they there for me?! Had I made the big time!!!!? Would I get some free food!? The answer is yes! But only to the third question… Coincidently, I was doing the exact same leg of biking as Clara Hughes and her crew, so when I arrived in Grand Forks there was a city block shut down for the event. There were a number of good speeches and despite her tour being absolutely carpeted in corporate logo’s I have a huge amount of respect for those involved, and Clara is a great flag bearer for the cause of mental health awareness.



I managed to network a little with some of her crew and scored a water bottle. The best part was there was this good looking blonde with a dog that looked like The Littlest Hobo. After asking to pet her dog and talking to her a bit, she said she was a Couchsurfer host, lived in the area and would be happy to put me up for the night. My new friend Lizzie, and her pooch Bailey were kind enough to host me for the evening. They even brought me out for wine and dinner with her two friend Sarah and Danielle (Woooo free food!). It was a delightful evening of laughs and good food, with three intelligent and attractive women. Things on this bike trip just keep going well.



Lizzie’s partner Mike lives up in the Northwest Territories but is returning home to his sweetheart sometime this summer, which I know Lizzie is excited for. Being a talented and healthy young couple, I tried my best to recruit them to the island. Hopefully my tales of the awe inspiring lifestyle of the area will get the two of them out there 🙂


From Grand Forks I pushed on to Castlegard where I had contacted a Warmshowers host named Richard. Worf and I battled the Allison Summit which was a great ride and my favourite mountain so far. I would describe it as very “fair”. It’s a nice steady climb, pretty big, but consistent, and it didn’t leave me totally exhausted.


(Worf spots Allison Pass Summit sign)


Richard was a super cool dude and could easily have been an uncle on my Owen side. He has a cool little home nestled on the outskirts of Castlegard with a number of different mechanical projects on the go. Richard has one of the neatest and most unique mountain bike set ups I’ve seen. He is a hands on guy and built this bike up from the frame. Look how cool it is!

Image Image

(The handlebars deserved a close up, he fabricated a great deal himself!)


Richard is also the owner of a very nice 1990’s Trek road bike, which needed a little bit of t.l.c. and a number of parts swapped over from another road bike. So in the morning we formed a dynamic team to get the Trek up and running, it was a flurry of team work, coffee and some “BC greenery”. It was just like working in my shop at home and I was so happy to see Richard peddling around on the bike after we were finished. I am a little envious of him, as it’s a really nice bike, if you don’t get good use out of it Richard I would love to try and get it off you! 😉


(Outdoor work bench)


I am excited as this was another situation where two people made an exchange and felt richer from the interaction. Take that financial institutions!

kid fingering

(A concise visual representation of my feelings towards the financial system)


After one last coffee I was off. I gave myself a really nice light ride into Nelson with only a small 400 meter climb, over a 3 hour period. Which was good because I had done 350 or so kms in the previous 3 days. The legs were grateful for the break. Unfortuantely, just as I arrived in Nelson my host for the night had some serious stress in his life and couldn’t offer me a place to crash. Thus I was “stuck” in the Pub watching the Montreal game and looking for a host. But as the trip has continued to demonstrate things will work out, and worst case I know I could just go “stealth” camp somewhere. But fortunately within an hour I had a host through Warmshowers and Dan and Clara put me up for the night. Even feeding me unbelievably tasty home made vegetarian lasagna.


That sums up my last week, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this weeks post. Feel free to ask me about any specific things you are curious about. And as always if you have tips, must see places or people that could host me along the way I greatly appreciate it.







Maybe Tomorrow…

Well after nearly a week in Manning Park it was time to head on. This bike trip really makes me relate to this “little” piece of Canadiana

Leaving Manning was definitely a challenge largely because the 40+ staff members, live in a super cool little mountain village and they made me feel incredibly welcome, connected and useful, what else could someone ask for in a community? The park bolsters an astounding amount of facilities and I hardly scratched the service of what it has to offer. I am going to try and come back in the winter to bar tend and run stand up nights for a couple of months. Here are highlights of what I was able to do:

Bike ride and a swim in Lightning lake with Morgan, Meg, Laina, Camillie and Coolio. (The day before it had ice on it!)Image


A hike up to Cascade lookout with Matt, Christine, Anna, Justin and Tessa.Image


I also accomplished one of my main goal as a bike enthusiast, getting people on bikes. With the help of my friend Toby I rescued a total of 12 bikes from the landfill. We picked them up from the Princeton dump for $50. I asked people for $5 a bike and being a bit light on funds I was happy to take a little extra if people could afford it.

It was hard figuring out how to distribute the bikes as I didn’t want to do a “first come, first serve” basis nor did I desire to pit people against each other in a bidding war. A couple of the rescue bikes were better quality so I tried to get them to riders who would get the most use out of them. And I also tried to distribute the bikes evenly between households, encouraging those with bikes to share with their house mates. In the end almost eveyone was happy. I even saved 2 bikes that were on the property getting a total of 14 bikes back on the road! So with 8 hours of labour, I turned this



into this,



using only a car port and this small set of tools I brought with me,


I will say that I was and am extremely happy with myself, I had envisioned towing a small bike trailer with me that contained tools and a bike stand. So to be able to fix peoples bikes and save them from the landfill with the efficient set of tools I packed is pretty awesome for me.

But alas it was time to go so with a heavy heart I peddled Monday morning to Princeton. Where I spent the night with some old family friends the Buchners. They are a great family whom had lived down the street from us in Williams Lake for 25 years. We played hockey with their sons and I even dated their daughter who is soon to be a mother. We dated for an entire 24 hours. We were in high school and after 25 hours we could tell it wasn’t working out.

When I arrived in Priceton the Buchners were awesome hosts and it was an absolute time warp as they still have the same kid pictures up. We even made some beef and veggie burgers and watched playoff hockey, it was like no time had passed at all.

Princeton was a pretty straighforward 4 hour ride, with one super amazing down hill that I hit 70kmph. I only had to battle one summit. Here is Worf at the top.


Random note I met this super cool fellow Matt who is a vegan and is a monster on his bike, all the biking I’ve done, he was doing in half the time and in turn doubling my distances. All on a fruit and veggie diet. For fuel one day, he ate 20 mango’s! He is a super cool cat and is pushing our understanding of the human diet. I hope to be able to post a link to his blog on my next post.

On advice from Rob Buchner I took an old logging road to Penticton and despite The Enterprise breaking it’s chain and getting 2 flats it was easily my favourite ride thus far. I had a whole valley to myself riding on really nice compact dirt road, beside a river, waterfalls and “all the colours of the wind”. In a total of 7 hours of peddling 3 were on pavement, the tough part was climbing out of the valley on a wash board dirt mountain. But the nearly 3 hours of cruising through a lush valley with not cars in sight made it all worth it.

My good buddy Mike gave me his old phone so I threw on some of his music and fortunately Mike and I have similar taste. I unfortunately now have a huge crush on the lead singer of The Gruff, whom I’ve never met or seen, but am pretty sure she wrote and sung many of her tunes just for me.

In Penticton I Couchsurfed with some cool cats Ashley and Broadie and was able to fix their bikes for them, which always makes me feel good. Anyway that about sums up my week. I am heading to the Kootenays and will hopefully be there for my next post. Who know though, when I’ll get there, as it’s so hard to leave nice people and nice places. Intense but fleeting friendships continue to be the happy burden of this bike traveller.

I am left contemplating if a timeline and itinerary would help or hinder me? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading,



Love at first bike

Well everyone I have a big announcement, I’ve fallen in love! I know, I know life is crazy! Often we just don’t see love coming, and most times we fall in love with animate objects, not this time! After my first pedal I knew this was the only bike for me. So I introduce you to my purple Myiata aptly named The Enterprise, isn’t it beautiful! (that’s right Tom)Image

I have been trying to find a Mityata frame since my good friend Anthony encouraged me to get one. And so after hours of scouring Craiglists I managed to connect with a fellow named Sunny who sold me this beauty. I was sad to let my old Leader frame go but it quickly became apparent I needed a much more stable touring frame.

Once I had the frame I needed to access a shop in order to swap all the parts onto it. Fortunately life keeps working out and I met up with a very cool cat named Desmond, who is a resident of Commercial drive and does pretty much exactly what I do. So we hung out in his bike workshop for two days of camaraderie and bike work. The end result is an amazing touring bike that is fast and stable. Desmond was even kind enough to help me get better tires and wheels so I am better equipped then ever, thanks again Des!

My stay in Vancouver was an absolute delight, I have to give a big thanks to Doug and Lindsey who hosted me for almost an entire week. They let me come and go as I pleased which is a travellers dream. Doug runs the Merchant’s Oyster bar on Commercial, and if you are on the drive it is an awesome stop for food and has an amazing selection of top notch drinks. Doug is literally the best mixoligist I’ve ever met. His partner Lindsey is a friend of my from Williams Lake who over the last 5 years has really come into her own. You don’t often see people as talented and motivated as Linz, currently she is pushing forward with her passion in the film industry. She has a project on the go right now and I wish her and the rest of the crew best of luck with it. I look forward to getting to see the finish project. Thanks so much Doug and Linz! Also I have to thank their roomates Devon and Trent who are off on an amazing excursion in East Asia and were kind enough to let me use their room while they were gone, THANKS GUYS! Check out their blog and drool,

To make sure I was over budget I figured I would go out to another dance night In Vancouver where there were a few interesting experiences. While we were waiting to get inside these 3 young Sikh guys strolled up all of them dressed identically. They were friendly enough fellows, but it just didn’t seem like we were all on the same wave length. I nick named them the 3 Musketeers. Vancouver has the weird dichotomy of crippling poverty and grotesque wealth. I often took breaks from dancing to leave the venue and walk around the block and visit people. There were a number of street people sleeping and battling to stay afloat, one comment from a homeless fellow stuck with me, he was reference the venue I was at “the people that go in there, they don’t come out the same”. Weird stuff :S. So the 3 Musketeers run into me and say “hey man we checked out a few other clubs and you should come with us to this other one, it’s way better”, and I realized each of these clubs is 30$+ for cover. I asked them if they paid cover at all the places and sure enough they had. So here is 3 guys spending hundreds of dollars on nothing, while people lie starving and cold in the street, this is the picture that comes into mind for me.


On a positive note while I was outside visiting people this stocky handsome fellow comes strolling towards me and I recognize him and all of a sudden I yell “Brady?!” and he yells “Dion?!”. And out of a blast from the past there is my friend Brady who has been working doing the visuals for electronic events. He has done really well for himself and it’s awesome to see friends happy, healthy and following their passions, definitely one highlight of the night.


The other person I met was the polar opposite of me. I am calling him agent smith. He was a door bouncer and had the I am angry tough guy look, which bouncers often portray. So I start talking to him and ask him what other stuff he does. He told me he works as a “Loss Prevention Officer” for companies. Meaning he loves to tackle shop lifters, I try not to be judgemental these days, but the way he described it I could see him tackling Tiny Tim for stealing a muffin to try and survive. My disdain for the gentlemen was capped off when a poor fellow had clearly taken too many drugs and drank too much he was falling down in the streets. He obviously needed help. He had this ghastly look of sickness on him. I tried to go get the poor guy some water and Agent Smith wouldn’t let me. He literally refused to let me go inside to get another human being water. Something about the guy just made me feel like he was doing the exact opposite of what I am trying to do.


Fortunately the night ended with an amazing walk back to Sean’s we even passed the BC Supreme Court where a number of years ago I wore flip flops into a high profile mafia kidnapping trial. It was a hilarious and terrifying experience. Good times, good times…

Though Van is gorgeous it was time to say goodbye, so I spent the morning with my brother and friends and said a heartfelt goodbye.


I biked to Abbotsford and stayed with Alyssa and John, for a quick pit stop. After a good nights rest I headed to hope where I made amazing time averaging 26.6 km/h and making it in 4 hours. I even managed to catch the Montreal game. I found this amazing place to camp just outside of Hope in a secluded glen with a river running right beside me it was my first night camping and couldn’t have been better.


In the morning I got up at 8, and realized I didn’t have any fruit. Dried fish and granola are great but I needed some fruit or veg. I took my time packing up and hit the road at 9, just ahead of me was another biker, who waited for me and when I caught up, we started visiting and lo and behold he had an extra apple his name was Ian and he was also biking across Canada. Ian and I became best buddies and helped each other climb the 4400 meter summit. Again when you are travelling you don’t have time for formalities so Ian and I pretty much accepted that we were best buddies and had an amazing 24 hours hanging out. The whole time we were biking up the mountain we encouraged each other, we knew there was a cafe at the top and we would say “oh that coffee is going to be good, I might even get a cookie!”. So fuelled by the encouragement of my new best buddie Ian, we grinded to the summit in a 6 hour exhausting but rewarding climb. Here is Worf, Ian and I at the top!

Image Image

Things got even better when we arrived at the amazing Manning Resort, it had free coffee! Ian and I’s minds were blown and we drank coffee to our hearts content. We met some other bikers who were staying at the hostel for 40$ which was nice and had a pool but we decided it was a little pricey so we would rough it and camp. One of the local employees Matt overheard what we were up to and invited us to use his shower and said we could crash with him as long as we paid 5$ and registered at the front desk. And so I got to stay in a village with 40 young people who work as the staff, which culminated in a camp-fire sing along at the end of the night.


To make things work out just perfectly there is a dump down the road that has a shit load of bikes for 5$ a piece. A number of staff need bikes so I am going with one of the maintenance guys for a dump run and to pick up bikes for the staff that need them. All the while I get to do free/exchange bike labour which was a big goal in my trip, my how life works out well.

I bided farewell to Ian who headed further on to Princeton, I will spend a day or two helping out here in Manning then head on my way.

Thanks so much for reading,




Pink is my colour (dancing, biking and Bill Hicks)


So after a great stay in Victoria I biked to the ferry and headed into Vancouver. While on the ferry I met up with another group of bikers doing a cross Canada tour, to my dismay they reminded me that mile 0 was in Victoria. “Hey Dion wasn’t a photo op at mile 0 part of the reason to leave via Victoria?!”. Ooops! but look a photo of another guy at mile 0 with a beard drawn in!


After the ferry, I got a little lost biking into Vancouver. Traffic is always a solid reminder of the many benefits of living in sleepy old Bowser. For my first nights stay I had contacted an old family friend Sevran. He was just off Granville and Broadway and put me up on late notice, thanks Sev! I was blown away when I looked at the address and the building. Easily the nicest place I’ve stayed in Van and Sev also makes a mean cup of joe. Check out the view I got to enjoy!



After catching up with Sevran, I headed to my second host my good buddy Bryan. Enroute I took one of Vancouver’s designated bike routes which are growing quickly. I was fortunate to get to take 10th ave on a sunny day, just as the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, their petals were softly falling to the grown like pink snowflakes. I even passed 2 little girls who were making “cherry blossom” angels. Fortunately, I didn’t take any pictures :/, and went back a few days later after it had rained, and what was only days ago a pink paradise, had become brown-mushy-muck. There is some deep metaphor here somewhere I know it.

Also On the way to Bryan’s out in Burnaby I was packing all my gear and had to climb this ridiculously slanted hill, literally the steepest hill I think I have ever seen. But I geared down and went for it, I was making decent pace but mid way up the hill, I started getting serious wobbles from my frame, and then I heard a distinct snap as my chain broke! Fortunately I was a 2 minute walk away from Bryan’s. And on an excellent note, initially I wasn’t going to bring the tools needed to fix chains but on advice from a friend, last minute I changed my mind, evidently a good thing.

Bryan and his partner Jenna were excellent hosts. However their cat did remind me of why I have recently grown to dislike cats, and make as many jokes about them as possible. If you’re reading this Jenna I’m sorry, but he was more useless than me, and I tend to set the bar low for humans and animals alike. I am a homeless bikerman who sleeps on people couchs! I hope your cat is cooler when I am not around, for all our sakes I hope he is…

On Friday evening Bryan and I went down to meet up with my brother Torrey who was in town for a dance party with some friends. I went online to check on the venue and to my dismay it literally had the worst reviews I have ever seen with highlights such as “violent”, “racist”, “expensive” and one reviewer raving “don’t go here under any circumstances”.

When we arrived this awful neon pink light vomited out of the doors with the incessant “womp, womp” bass, in the background. Bryan and I were both hesitant to venture in and even with the best scenario this was entirely not Bryan’s scene. So he said hi to Torrey and headed home. Though I had my trepidations I had come early to Vancouver specifically to go to this dance with my brother, so with him footing half of the $30 cover, into the neon pink cave of wonders I went.

Fortunately the venues usual violent, racist patrons were not there for the Psy Trance dance. And the floor with cluttered with a very high but also a very friendly group of welcoming and kooky characters. There was one scene I wish I could have photo graphed, there was this very young looking East Asian fellow, who I am pretty sure was entirely under-age and I can only assume his family owned the venue. He had this look and walk about him and it culminated when he was standing on his own in front he the DJ with this powerful and defiant look, scowling as he drank his beer. Wish I had a photo!

Torrey’s friends were especially a blast to visit and Sean and Saiyake were kind enough to host 7 wary travellers at the end of the night. We walked 45 minutes with uninterrupted laughter and conversation. But the night came to a head for me when the last song came on, the D.J. put on a mix to Bill Hicks’s stand up about life being a “ride”. For you that don’t know him, he is my personal favourite comedian and a role model of mine, I encourage you to check him out. The other cool part was a fellow named Jordan and I had been talking about Hicks all night. So despite my exhaustion, I was fuelled by Hicks and bass “womp, womp” to dance as hard as I could. The whole night there was one particularly attractive girl on the dance floor that I had wanted to visit, conveniently I was hoped up on Bill Hicks inspired confidence! So when the dance ended I was able to get her attention outside, and BAM!, I had a bike ride date lined up for Sunday.

When Sunday came along it was pissing rain, and I biked an hour down to Stanley Park to meet up with a girl I knew little about, other than her name (Olusha) and that she was an artist. I will admit mid peddle I did think, “is this worth it?”. Let me tell you, was it ever. She is intelligent, beautiful, artistic and comfortable being herself. After 3 hours of laughter and stimulating conversation I knew we should go on another adventure. So we arranged to go to a social ball room dance Tuesday night and it turned out to be even more fun than our first outing. We danced up a storm and had a delightful late night walk home. It’s pretty amazing meeting people like her and building such quick connections. The burden and blessings of all travellers, are the quick and intense, but also fleeting friendship you make along the way.

Finding stage time has been challenging, I will be performing at an open mic comedy show tonight and tomorrow and will go from there. Also starting in Vic and Van has made budgeting very challenging, so if any of you out there owe me money, now would be a good time and for those I owe money to, don’t expect it any time soon 😉

My camera will not connect with my computer so there will be a lack of good photos until that problem is remedied. I am aiming to post blogs Tuesday or Wednesdays. I would like to thank everyone for reading. If there are specific things you’d like me to write more about please feel free to post in the comments,