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.
(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,
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!
(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!
(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.