Dion’s Guide to Not Know Anything

Hello everyone I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. Today’s article is well surmised by the title. I personally often tout “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing” (Socrates) and I try to live my life as though I have no facts only concepts that make more sense than other less substantiated ones.

However, in my trip I keep experiencing odd occurrences, strange serendipities and choreographed coincidences that make me think maybe I do know something!

maybe

(Maybe it isn’t all pointless…)

I would like to preface this post by encouraging you to utilize a Carl Sagian like healthy scepticism. I would also like to briefly discuss my “stained glass paradox” and admit that we as a species tend to look for patterns and/or meaning. This trait has spurred us forward in terms of our understanding of the world but often causes us to see patterns that might not be there.

carli

(Sorry stock Asian guy don’t let you own fear of mortality get the best of your intellect. I aptly refer to death as “the dreamless sleep” poetic but grim!)

Dion’s “stained glass paradox”. Say one morning you were thinking about how cool stained glass is and then, during the rest of your day, everywhere you look, there is stained glass windows. You may conclude that potentially your very thinking about stained glass created the pattern of your recent interaction with it.

However, it is also possible that the stained glass had always been there and that your brain just glossed over the data, but because of your recent focus on it, your brain identified it rather than glossing over it. To my understanding we only process a small fragment of the absurd amount of information our senses intake. The brain cannot process it all. So, it fills in the gaps with what it expects should be there, based on previous patterns and experiences. The paradox for me is I believe that it is both and neither, like the double slit experiment.

not this shit again

 

(“Not this shit again and in cartoon form…”)

I can best surmise this in a personal experience that happened to me a few years ago. At the time I would always walk around a mall to get to a bar my friend worked at. One day someone began to lead me towards the middle of the mall rather than walking around it. He informed me that there was a nice alley that cut directly through the mall and went straight to the bar.

I informed him that this was entirely not the case and would be happy to prove him wrong. And thus we walked. As we approached I could clearly see that there was a wall where his “supposed” alley was. And it as not until I was 20 feet away from the wall that all of a sudden a large gap appeared. I realized my brain was so determined there was a wall, that it created one. The wall literally disappeared and “poof” there was the alley (like mashing space bar in Wolfenstein and finding a secret room). It was a very cool and humbling experience that changed my perception greatly.

woldenstein

 

(“I am going to space bar all the walls, also a lot of the readers are older relative who won’t get this reference”)

Since we have now clarified that I am fallible and apparently should get my eye sight checked, I would now like to delve into the “coding of reality”. Something I don’t feel truly capable of addressing and thus I will supplement this article with a number of videos. Let’s start with the work of James Gates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zDz5BrngxQ

(short version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6w0K5FIgsU

(long one for the real keener’s!)

 

Follow that up with another grey matter tickler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjsgoXvnStY

 

Wheeoouufff… now that you made it through that stuff that might have rocked your brain meat, onto my own weird experiences.

The first experience happened to me 2 years ago and I call it my “matrix moment”. I had a partners whose mother I always wanted to meet but she was never comfortable introducing the two of us. Me and this lovely lady parted ways and she married a friend of mine. They are both nice people and I wish them well but this situation caused a bit of a rift.

Anywho I was in the lower mainland and was taking the sky train out to Surrey to meet my good friend Jason. I was running a little early and decided to go into Metro town. Metro town is not a place I usually frequent so this was an odd occurrence in itself. While I was fumbling through a mall information stand this girl with a thick Eastern European accent asked me “is there something you are looking for”. It seemed like a normal enough question but caught me off guard. I immediately felt “a disturbance in the force”.

starwars-disturbance

(“I sense a great disturbance in the force”. What you are sensing there Obi Wan is George Lucas creating Jar Jar Binks, god I hope Disney does a better job!)

Just as that feeling hit, a hand grabbed my shoulder and low and behold it was my ex partner doing wedding shopping with her mom. The very person I had always wanted to meet. We had a quick visit we exchanged pleasantries and I told her mom how much I valued her daughter and how highly I thought of her. I wished them well, congratulated her on the wedding and headed on my disoriented way. Now for those of you who have gone to giant stupid malls the chances of finding someone who you know  is there is slim enough, so this rendezvous was particularly unlikely. I had the feeling this was “meant” to happen and it seemed like the relationship had finally come full circle to closure. The oddest part was as I walked out of the building the hum of the people and the very universe itself seemed to be doing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTrjC1wZLlE.

Though I can never truly express this surreal experience the feeling of seeing and feeling the coding of reality has stuck with me. (Though as addressed earlier it could be my flawed monkey brain searching for purpose in a potentially pointless universe). However these last few months have had so many of the right people and the right things show up at just the right time, that the feeling a coded universe has begun to be a common experience for me.

Here are my top 5 experiences that made me question the very nature of reality and me left me saying, weird…:

1) The Book – I asked my dad to give me one book to read on my bike adventure. After much deliberation he gave me One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabrial Garcia Marquez. I would love to read some of the stuff he has written in the last month but unfortunately he died the day I received the book, weird…

notas apt

(This Star Wars reference doesn’t work but his stupid monkey brain was still thinking about it because of the previous picture)

2) The Other Book – I was having a very down day while in Banff. I was lying on my aunt and uncles couch with no ambitions to do much of anything. And a random book caught my eye it was called The Life You Were Born to Live. I began reading the dust jacket and it sounded like total hogwash, however the author had written another book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior that a number of people I greatly respect, hold in high regard. So I began to thumb through it.

The book is a variation on numerology something I put very little stock in. However the author emphasized that on the surface the system didn’t add up but in application it was uncanny. So I did my calculations and began reading the appropriate chapters for my numbers. Now the shit that was written was an unnervingly accurate description of my life. It made me feel both empowered and very uncomfortable. This one gets a little weirder, the same day I read the book I was texted by a person looking for a host through Warmshowers, I told them I was currently travelling but that my family would be happy to host them. It turns out that her visit was a perfect fit for both her and my family. And the weirdest part she had the EXACT same experience with the EXACT same book only a week earlier! We both said “weird”…

whoa-neo01.jpg-720x540

(“Whoa, that is weird, also this reference makes more sense that the last Star Wars one”)

3) Bill Hick – Mr Hicks is a pretty well know comedian who passed away a number of years ago however his comedy still “stands up”, ha nice play on words Dion! Anyway we were talking about him all night one night while at a dance in Vancouver. And low and behold at the end of the night the closing song was a mash up to Bill Hicks talking about life is a ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0 . It was really energizing for me and also it was weird…

4) John Cleese – As you all know I am diligently working to become a stand up comedian myself. And it has come with a number of challenges however, again the right people at the right time keep me fuelled and moving forward. One of these was John Cleese whom after a recent divorce has been forced to tour again. With significant effort and a well written Kijiji post I managed to snag my dad and I tickets to the hottest show in town. So with a ridiculous amount of glee we completed a father son dream of seeing John Cleese. Whom shared with the audience that it had been a huge stroke of luck that created Monty Python and that despite what talent you have without the right break many would have never gotten a chance to show their talents. This was a big discovery for me and it was from a father of modern comedy a man I very much respect but the timing still made it feel too, weird…

John-Cleese-001

(“Hi I’m comedy legend John Cleese and I did not authorize the use of my face for this mediocre blog.”)

5) The bumblebee – The bee has been something I have really felt connected to. Last year I got to pet one that was collecting pollen in our greenhouse. They are the little gardeners of the planet, tirelessly working away to ensure natures garden is able to grow. Recently a friend was kind enough to surprise me with a painting of a bumblebee for my 28th birthday. The weird part was that the bumblebee she had just created seemed so familiar, it seemed like I had seen it before. That was impossible though as it was a newly created image pulled from the recesses of her imagination and thus I pushed it off as me “searching for meaning in a potentially meaningless world”. However that same bumblebee showed up again a few days ago. The same night I connected with a person here in Saskatoon whom I spent literally 40 hours talking to in the last 3 days. Again it was weird…

(it felt like this scene from the Matrix)

Man The Matrix is a good movie! And for me right now it’s an even more intriguing concept. I considered myself an atheist for a long time but I realized making a claim there is no god, is just as arrogant as claiming there one! Thus I now do the biggest cop-out in philosophy and go with I am an agnostic.

However this pendulum seems to still be swinging. Videos such as this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU and the realizations that come with them, have made my monkey brain want to claim that there is an order to the universe and in turn potentially a purpose. Either way I hope you enjoyed my guide to knowing nothing and in the end are just as confused as me!

confused_baby
(“So you’re saying it’s not going to get any easier?!”)

Well time to quickly touch on the easy to grasp concrete occurrences of my last week. I have been in Saskatoon for almost a week and coincidently I arrived for jazz festival. I managed to catch a number of awesome shows, such as Delhi 2 Dubai and the very talented 5 Alarm Funk, twice!

Last Thursday I also set a new personal best, biking 283kms in one day. The weather was great with no head wind and I got a little help from my good friend Timothy Leary.

leary

(“The potential of this happening is probably why he isn’t making a direct reference.”)

Saskatoon is a kick ass city and weather has been amazing here. I managed to network with the local bike co-op and have volunteered a number of hours helping numerous people get access to affordable bikes. Even found some bikes in my friends back yard that needed some serious tlc, I spent a few hours fixing them and found out they belonged to one of their room-mates brothers who didn’t have the money to get them fixed. He was ecstatic to find out some random dude came by and fix them.

workignatcoop

(“That’s how I roll…”)

The best biking experience occurred today while I was working at the co-op. A young first nations kid named Glen came in and offered to help me get some bikes running. The two of us worked away for 5 or so hours and I really enjoyed getting to mentor him in bike maintenance. Saskatoon is very similar to Williams Lake in that there are a lot of disillusioned youth, especially first nations youth. They are an untapped pool of potential that just need an outlet. Glen and I will work together again tomorrow and I think this young man is going to help his community greatly as he follows his passions of helping people get biking!

My time in Saskatoon did culminate with meeting a particularly charming young lady. The two of us really resonated and just couldn’t stop talking, sharing, laughing and even writing jokes together. On a super cool note she flew out this morning to her new temporary home in Quebec. The cool note being, I get to meet up with her again later in the trip! Weird…

Also I met her through talking to a random girl in a coffee shop. When I told her about my adventure she said I should text her friend Nicole who’s also into comedy.

Was it all just a coincidence? Is there some order to the universe? How much do our actions and thoughts effect the outcome!!!!!!!!????????????

Confused_baby

(“How the fuck should I know, I’m just a baby I don’t even understand object permanence. Maybe that Leary dude has some answers?”)

Thanks for reading,

Qapla

Dion

Dion’s 10 Challenges You Will Face While Biking

Hello folks I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. Last weeks article was suppose to be in regards to the challenges of biking thus far, but it was postponed till this week. So without further a due here is Dion’s 10 Challenges You Will Face While Biking:

#1 – Finding a bike that meets your biking needs:

This is of paramount importance. For instance when I started my trip I was on a Leader that was a solid bike for commuting, but did not cut it for touring. The added weight created significant speed wobbles that felt like my bike was struck with an abrupt onset of parkinson’s disease. In contrast the Miyata is very stable up to 72kms an hour which is my top speed thus far.

I would suggest anyone interested in riding do your research and buy a bike appropriate for the type of riding you will be doing. For long distance tours I would suggest finding a nice moutainbike/roadbike hybrid. So you can ride both road and trails effectively. A devoted roadbike like mine is a dream on any road or compact dirt, however on trails or gravels it feels like using sand as a sexual lubricant, needlessly painful, brutally uncomfortable and teeth chattering.

Also make sure the bike is the right size for you. My frame is 23 inches, which like many things is one inch shorter than ideal. After 1000kms of riding I was having back and shoulder cramps so in Penticton I purchased a stem adapter that effectively increased the size of my frame and ensured a much more comfortable and enjoyable ride.

tinybike

(“I spent all my cash on my sweet biker attire, so this bike was all I could afford…” Don’t let this be you!)

#2 – Eat right

This is a huge challenge for biking and if you have allergies or other dietary needs (vegan or vegetarian) it is even more challenging. Normally people need around 2000 calories a day, while biking 6-10 hours a day this requirement will go up, significantly! However if you put 5000 calories of Doritos, McDonalds and 7-11 Splurpees, you will feel shitty and quickly. (And speaking of shit I do not want to know what your stool would consist of with the above diet :S).

matt-sick-final

(“The 15 Mars bars I ate have the 4000 calories I needed, so why do I feel like this…”)

For instance I was buying Rogers granola which my friend Bryan aplty describes as sugar they market as “granola”. While eating this garbage I would get headaches and feel really drained, but because of being so active I would need calories so I would gobble it down, not a good combination.

Currently I eat a lot of Adams peanut butter it has 100 calories in 16 grams, as a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats fish) I have found nothing else has the same price performance. I supplement this with honey, unsweetened bags of porridge, bananas and whatever fruit juice is on sale. If you have the budget Cliff bars are great.

#3 – Drinking enough water

You pretty much can never drink enough water, unless of course you are at one of those frats that have initiation ceremonies where people literally have died from drinking too much water (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill/).

As a biker however you will need a lot of water before biking, during biking and after biking. I suggest at least 3 mount points for water bottles and I personally try to have 2-3 liters of water.

homelesguybottles

(Something like this)

I ran out of water one time while climbing Anarchist summit and it was a terrifying experience, there were no fill points and I quickly began to feel a sense of dread. I even flagged a park ranger down and he fortunately had an extra 500ml of water that was just enough to get me to another fill point. Water drink it, lots of it!

#4 – Bike seat

Like the bike frame this is vital to the success of a tour. If you have welts on your butt and your glutes begin seize, biking will be impossible. Make sure you have an appropriate seat for you butt. Girls because you have to push humans out of your nether regions, nature has given you wider sit bones so purchase a seat accordingly. Guys narrow ones are better and both genders this should be a no brainer but don’t put weight on your genitalia.

seatless

(If you have a bad seat it will quickly feel like you are riding a bike like this)

I also suggest finding a leather seat that is the appropriate size for you. I managed to salvage one that was neglected and it has made my riding so much better. I received this advice from a number of long distant tourers. The morality of using an animal skin for your sitting pleasure may be challenging, but their lovely thick hide will shape itself so that it becomes a hammock for your bum. If I use my regular bike seat I can ride for 4 hours before my butt starts to cramp, with my leather one I can ride 8-10 hours.

#5 – Grip positions

I have 5 different grip positions on my bars now and I rotate between then constantly. I personally really enjoy that many for touring. On a 10 hour ride you can shift around and vary the different muscle groups you’re using.  My good buddy Tobias only has 1 and he does fine. I however, encourage having at least 3.

#6 – Keeping limber (Stretch do some Yoga!)

Your muscles are doing a lot of work and will begin to tighten up they need stretching. I really encourage finding a solid Yoga routine. My good friend Lennie helped me with mine and I have my own regimement of Sun Salutations that allow me to limber up my quads, hams, glutes, groin, calves and hip flexers. Don’t forget the hip flexers they are the first ones you will begin to notice because you put way more strain on them as a biker than you do in regular life. It’s also a good idea to stretch out the upper body the shoulders and triceps will stiffen up but lower body is a MUST!

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(“I’m only 27 but I never stretched, oh god why didn’t I read Dion’s blog!”)

#7 – Get enough sleep

It can be challenging to find good places to sleep, I have been so lucky to have a good networks of friends, family, Warmshower hosts, Couchsurfing hosts and the occasional random stranger. To my understanding sleep is when you body rebuilds and heals all the damages caused during the day. When pushing your body you create “micro tears” in your muscles and with the right fuel and sleep your body will say “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster” (-Cheesey Movie/TV Show). If you are getting the right fuel and sleep you will feel it and it feels great!

2

(With appropriate sleep and food you could look as good as this sexy beast)

#8 – Be mentally prepared for natures adversity (She can be a bitch…)

There are four major challenges nature will throw at you. You can overcome them mentally the first two are pretty much unavoidable: hills and headwinds.

These can be frustrating, personally I didn’t mind hills and more appropriately for BC, mountains. Life is often about overcoming adversity “nothing easy is ever worth doing” this quote is 100% not true but works well here. (For instant breathing takes very little work, but incredibly worthwhile). Anywho back to the topic at hand, there are few things more rewarding then mentally and physically defeating a literal mountain, when you get to the top and see that “summit sign” a huge feeling of accomplishment and relief sweeps over you. And the huge bonus you get to enjoy a huge downhill section and get to immediately reap the rewards.

Rocky_2_I_Did_It

(This will be you “I did it!!!”, ya Stalone, we know now for the love of god please stop making movies)

The second, the spirit draining headwind is a huge challenge both mentally and physically. And you never get to an end point. I do suggest planing a trip according to the prevailing winds for me there was nothing more draining than a head wind sapping my speed and leg power as I slowed to a walking pace, happened to me yesterday, often better just to pull over and nap till the wind dies down, seriously! If you have to face the legendary uphill headwind I hope you have a good sense of humour, cause all you can do is laugh.

hopeless

(This is what the feeling of biking into a headwind looks like)

The other two you cannot do much about other than planning around them and in turn avoiding them: perception and heat. Neither of these are great for biking, my favourite is biking on cool lightly cloudy days. The rain can make visibility hard and being wet and cold is miserable biking or otherwise. With heat you will sweat and use more energy as your body utilizes that vital (and heavy water) you are portaging. I suggest not biking mid day. Morning and evening peddles are the best. Bonus full moon rides are amazing, a clear cool night lit by the full moon is the absolute best, but impossible to get with any consistency take advantage when you can!

etmoon

(“This bike ride is amazing and this acid is something else!)

#9 – Budget and gear

A good bike is expense so is good food and good places to sleep. I have very tight funds and even needed to take out a loan from the bank of mom and dad. (However they have great interest rates). I have a total of 600$ into my bike including my rain gear, saddle bags, lights and upgrades. Most people I have met have spent significantly more on their bikes and gear ranging from 1500-5000$. Some people’s coats cost more than all of my gear combined!

However if you can afford it, a good bike and great rain gear are so helpul when battling the adversities of biking. This also ties into food, if you can afford to eat out at good restaurants 3 meals a day good on you. (That is my personal dream 😦 one day, one day…) The minimum I think you can spend to be able to bike in Canada with enough proper nutrients is 15$ a day.

This brings me to accommodations, I have spent a total of 10$ on accommodations in my 2 months thus far. This is largely because I don’t have the money to spend on hostels or the offensively high rates people try to charge for camping. One lady in Drumheller looked at me with a straight face and said 32$+tax for pitching a tent. HA! So I suggest starting a Warmshowers and Couchsurfing account right now. Like right now! Seriously go do it! Did you? Is it done? Good, now keep reading. Now that you have made both those accounts you can help other travellers, meet great new friends and it will pay dividend on your next trip.

cat

(“Did you seriously not make an account on those websites? That makes me sad… you should do it right meow.”)

#10 – Staying loose and fancy free

This one has two parts the first is in terms of weight, the less you pack the easier it is to peddle. However the added weight of a tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag can be invaluable. But don’t be concerned about bringing a wardrobe, the less clothes the better. You will thank yourself later.

bicycle-carry-huge-weight

(“I live in the 3rd world I have to do this to survive, it’s impressive I know, but you should pack light!”)

The other challenge of staying loose and fancy free is not having too regimented of an itinerary. For me I am a social butterfly and love people. On this trip I have met so many great people and stayed so many cool places and I’m only 1/3rd done! The challenge is leaving them, “the good traveller has no plans, and is not intent on arrival”. I try to implement this as often as possible and frequently stay longer than I had expected. Which in turn has led me to numerous great nights and great connections. However as a traveller you are travelling and leaving cool places and awesome people is part of the package. Be ready to leave places and people you really like, it’s hard but more adventures await you!

Well that’s my list for biking challenges. My last week was spent in Calgary and Drumheller. I was hosted almost entirely by my amazing and talented friend Sam. Who is in the process of moving so comically might host me again in Toronto, hahahaha!

I also got to hang out with my good friend Devin whom is a very good sounding board these days. I did stand up at 2 open mics that went awesome and met a talented guitarist (who looks like Lenny Kravitz) and a base player whom I hope to make a band with. Seriously though, they need a lead singer and drummer. Despite both of them being good singers, however I have always wanted to be a front man for a band, so I am going to try and figure out a way to make it work.

Tobias and I did the Drumheller dinosaur museum which was great. No pics of time in Calgary though :(.

dionnatural

(I look unnervingly at home in this scene)

That sums it up for now, I am off to Saskatoon, thanks for reading,

 

Qapla

 

Dion

 

 

One does not simply bike into Mordor

Hello everyone, I hope this weeks article finds you well. In terms of the title of the article, let me explain. I have a very good friend Dave, whom I share more laughs per hang out then almost any other person. Dave has been courteous enough to read my blog and forward me inspirational songs for each province. BC was “I Will not be Broken” by Ben Harper, the title of which I yelled at many a mountain or headwind. For Alberta he gave me a song from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack that plays when the light is given to Frodo, here is what Dave wrote to me “”May it be a light for you in dark places, as all other lights go out”. May it assist your meditation as you travel through Canada’s Mordor””.

(For those interested, the first link is where the quote is from and the second link is the song Dave forwarded me)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIGbz9pU7yg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_UDmFJ5TwU

I know right?! Some heavy shit from Dave. I feel his song and description are fairly apt. Unfortunately the reality is many people rely on the employment of Northern Alberta to feed their families. Also Alberta is often refereed to as the “Texas of Canada” and Northern Alberta in particular as “Mordor”. Some photos do seem as though the evil lord Sauron is amassing an army of Orcs there.

 

Tar Sands

(Actual picture of Northern Alberta tar sands )

mordor

(Computer generated Mordor, you can see the similarities)

 

I had really intended to write this weeks article focusing on the biking of B.C. however that is not where my head is at right now. With the latest government green lights on pipeline projects, many Canadians are a buzz with confusion, worry and frustration. Which in my opinion are appropriate feelings to have.

While I travelled through BC I did not get a sense that the citizens there had any desire for a pipe line. The demographic of people I socialize with, evidently skews these findings however, I do feel the majority (probably even the vast majority) of British Colombians do not want a pipeline.

 

hippie-web

(This is what the majority of people in BC look like “Peace and love man, say no to pipelines. I haven’t done my taxes for the last 17 years the same goes for showeing!”)

However, like Dorthy I am no longer in Kansas any more. And as I entered Calgary there were some very dark clouds on the horizon and I couldn’t stop saying “one does not simply bike into Mordor!”.

Onedoesnot

(Weirdly enough yes you do)

Banff and Canmore still felt like BC, but Calgary feels very Albertan. People are not running around with guns and trying to fight me. Nor are they aggressive or mean, on the contrary people are generally nice and courteous people. There is however a feel and a sense that the oil industry is the accepted life blood here. That it is what needs to be done and the many well paid professionals here have accepted and now support continual growth and “development” of the tar sands. Who knows if I lived here and got paid the astounding incomes that many of them earn, I could very well be living under the same paradigm.

With different paradigms comes social pressures to conform to them and unfortunately even I am not immune to social pressures. For instance with the advice of my current host, I decided not to make fun of the oil sands in my last stand up routine here in Calgary. An act I feel is cowardly and doing so has not sat well with me over the last 24 hours. Censoring oneself to curtail to local ideologies is not something I want to prescribe to. I would like to clarify that it’s always a good idea to know your audience and tell appropriate jokes, grandma might not relate to your jokes about Tinder, but not at the expense of compromising your core values and beliefs. Something I feel I did 😦

oldlady

 

(I always swipe right, but I never get a match, this thing must be broken…)

My actions were humbling and a little horrifying. I am pretty vocal about a need to change the direction we are going so to hide my feelings and beliefs to not disturb the status quo is the exact opposite of what I want to be doing.

This brings me to a quote my father gave me from a German friend of his. While living in Canada he critiqued our behaviour and it become evident that we were a docile people who tolerated our “rights” being stepped on. His quote went something like this, make sure you use a German accent I have written it as such so it helps with the voice.

geman

“Vat is vrong vis you Canadians, I have been arrested a number of times for protesting, but ven zings happen here, you do nozing. You let it happen and just tolerate it. You have to stand up for vat you believe in.”

This is something I just did, implementing the Canadian docility, trying to make everyone happy and cause the lease disruption as possible. This is a trait I don’t think serves us well any more and I personally look to the First Nations for guidance and leadership in the coming storm. They have a lot of wisdom and are a strong culture. They are some of the few Canadians who are not relying solely on social media for change but go out and say “No I will not let these projects happen. They will not serve my interest or the interest of future generations”.

I was also fortunate to have a great and influential professor whom in the very first lecture shared a scenario that has stuck with me to this day. He felt that in Canada we would not see the people get active until we either saw a tank on the streets or empty shelves in our grocery stores.  If we continue on our current path his predictions may be accurate.

tankman

 

(“I hope my actions and bravery won’t be forcibly erased from my countries memory… also I hope oil companies don’t get to change Alberta’s school curriculum, wait what both of those happened!?”)

On a positive note while I was fillin water at a spring in Canmore I met a man named Dave. He describe that we were at the point where we as a people we can act as the immune system. We are at the point where we can see, analyse and even feels there is something wrong, something sick in regards to society as a whole. I feel it is time to be the white blood cells and to fight off the infections we are aware of. If we continue to be docile, inactive Canadians our country and potentially the very global eco system we are dependant on may succumb to the modern societal disease of infinite growth on a finite planet. But we are becoming more and more aware. And once an immune system is aware of an infection it fights it off, otherwise it succumbs to the disease. These are my feelings on the matter, how do you feel?

Well that’s the heavy stuff of the article, I apologize for not writing about biking as promised but this was stuff I really needed to address and I promised there will be an article focusing on the biking end. However now to transition to what has happened to me over the last week.

I spent nearly a week in Banff staying with my awesome aunt and uncle and cannot thank them enough. I also did 3 open mics while in Banff, 2 of which went amazing and 1 of which I bombed as a result of the venue. Through these open mics I met a number of awesome people highlighted by a very cool band called The Shrugs check them out (http://theshrugsmusic.com/). I Hope Catherine, Stephanie and Brandon have a great summer playing excellent tunes, hopefully they may even do a loft jam cameo.

When I met The Shrugs, I also met their very cool friend, and now my cool friend Raffi. Raffi worked at a Yuks Yuks club and has been living in Banff. The two of us really resonated and Raffi gave me some excellent tips for my stand up, which I have implemented and already seen awesome results. Like so many times in this trip we connected at just the right time.

Speaking of connecting at the right time, my host in Canmore Marc, took me to me a women I will call The Oracle. Think of the lady from the Matrix. She was a very wise old women whom again showed up at just the right time in this trip.

oracle

(“Dion don’t be a dick”. “Wow I never thought of it that way”)

This trip has been a lot about people and experience and my host Marc was kind enough to give me two experiences on two totally different spectrum’s. Marc cleans out grease traps, and it’s way grosser than it sounds. We went into a restaurant in Banff to vacuum out the most disgusting, gross smelling and horrendous meat sludge by products I’ve ever encountered. Part of the reason I don’t eat industrial meat is so I can avoid this grotesque shit. I dry heaved a number of times, but again it’s great to get different experiences and helping Marc with the grease trap was the dirtiest job I’ve ever done :/.

 

HPIM2819

(I wish photos had smello vision)

 

Bonus, Raffi worked at the restaurant we were at!

To contrast that experience Marc took me and his friend Katcha on a 50 km bike ride into the wilderness of Canore where he had found a canoe someone stashed in a secret little lake. The 3 of us paddled down this secluded canyon and parked on the other side for tea and lunch. Easily one of the more surreal and probably best immersion in nature I’ve had the whole trip. Thanks for the hosting Marc and I hope your upcoming bike adventure is all that you hope it will be.

HPIM2834

(“Fuck paddling I’m going to take some selfies!”)

 

IMG_7827

Also look at this cat we met named Mr Mustachio!

Well that sums up my week, thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog post. I will be hitting up another open mic tonight and will leave Calgary towards Saskatoon in the next few days. As per usual if you have any comments, words of wisdom or questions feel free to contact me.

 

Qapla,

 

Dion

 

Hello everyone I hope you are all well. In my last post I realize there were a number of spelling and/or grammar errors, I hope they did not make the read needlessly confusing. I place full blame on my blog editor “future Dion”. On behalf of past and present Dion we apologize for his incompetence. The staff here will continue to aim for the pinnacle of excellent in regards to the articles posted on this page. Thanks for your patience. 

Now that the formalities are out of the way, we press onto this weeks issues. As promised I will be talking about staying at other peoples home 101. I feel safe addressing this topic because over the last 5 years of my life I have hosted close to 100 people through friends, family and online organizations such as Couchsurfing and Warmshowers. In addition I have stayed at quite a few peoples homes, and by the end of this trip that number will likely be over 100. 

Here is my top 10 list. It is in order of what I consider most important: 

#1 – Wash dishes

This may seem like a no brainer but some people don't pick up on this one. While I was working and going to school there was nothing better than coming home and finding that my guest had cleaned all the dishes. And this doesn't simply mean clean you own dish, for me that borders on rude, if you're staying with someone for free, don't just wash your bowl, pull up your sleeves and scrub those pots and pans they have been neglecting. Your host will notice and be very grateful. You also get the smug feeling of contributing, even though you are still a bum staying for free in their home. In turn if you do not wash dishes you will quickly overstay your welcome. I cannot overemphasize this one enough, WASH DISHES!

Image
(This is way better than sleeping outside or forking out 150$ for a hotel room! Also is it just me, or is this stock photo sexist?) 

#2 – Time Your Bathroom Use

You host is busy, in contrast you are on vacation and everyday is Saturday for you. Thus try to figure out when your host needs to use the bathroom, if you're very observant you can figure this out. Easiest thing to do is ask, “I am going to shower” or “I am going to launch the brown October” then follow these lines with “does anyone need to use the facilities before me?”. In my experience there are few things more frustrating than running late, needing to jump into the shower, only to find it was being used by my guest. And the worst is entering a hot, stinky and wet bathroom because they forgot to put the fan on.
Image("Why does my bathroom smell like vomit and baby food, oh well at least I'm late for work now...") 

If this is your behaviour you will not be welcome long. So time your bathroom use around your hosts needs and help keep this particular room very clean. I personally have to be very fastidious in making sure the many hairs I am constantly shedding are not left pasted on other peoples showers. Also keep yourself clean, stinky people are not great to have around. And there is nothing more awkward than someone politely asking you to shower or wash your clothes. No one wants to have to talk to you about this!

#3 – Keep Your Host in the Loop

Arguably this one could be #1. There are few things more frustrating then rescheduling you day to ensure you can rendezvous with a guest, then having them not show up and not even bother contacting you. If you are running late or plans have changed contact your host A.S.A.P. it makes everyone's life easier and demonstrates you value their time. On the flip side the reverse behaviour denotes you do not give a shit about inconveniencing them. Not a wise or respectful move.

Image("Sure glad I missed that audition for the Joshua Jackson stand in, and buddy doesn't even show up...")

#4 – Make Food

This one is budget dependant but can go a long way. If you are able to go out and purchase a meals worth of groceries and cook it for your host, do it! This gesture goes a long way and often will become a team effort and a bonding experience. If you have extreme budget confinements like myself, you cannot always do this. So if they are cooking, offer to help do any prep and at the end of the meal implement rule #1. BONUS – If you have the cash, figure out what they like to drink, get the appropriate bottle of wine or 6 pack.

#5 – Don't be too Much of a Couch Potato

Again your host is busy and you are a vacation bum, loving your life with little to no responsibilities. You are able to do so because you are sleeping on a couch they pay for. I find it best to not constantly remind people of the glory of not working by going out and doing things. Even if those things are sitting at a cafe for 8 hours. Being in the exact same spot when they leave to the job they potentially hate, and being in that same spot when they return from said job is not ideal. 

Image
("Hey bro I watched the Big Lebowski 4 times while drinking white russians and taking bong tokes all day, how was the 12 hour shift at the mill?”)

Sometimes for budget or rest reasons you may need to just hang around your hosts home for the day. Make sure they are ok with it and give them a heads up, also again implement rule #1 and tidy up whatever else you can. 

#6 – Don't be Annoying

This one can be challenging as even a handsome charming person like myself can begin to overwhelm someone with my constant excellent jokes, advice and words of wisdom. Gauge how well received your socializing is, some host are introverted and/or simply don't have the time and/or emotional energy to hang out. In these cases I try to become what I call a “dish washing ghost”. You are rarely seen and they will wonder if you are still there. But will happily always find the kitchen cleaned.

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("Blahsshshh, while I am here, I will haunt your dreams but keep your kitchen clean!")

#7 – Don't Make Unwelcome Advances

Often you will end up in the home of a beautiful person, or as a host a beautiful person may be staying in the comfort of your abode. This situation is often the goal of any single persons night out on the town, so it can be confusing. In both situations I suggest playing it on the safe side. If there is some chemistry and your advances are welcome go for it, this situation can be a great time for all involved. But don't be the creepy horn dog whose relentless rapist like advances are the reason many women on Couchsurfing will only host other women. Shame on you!

goforit
(This is what chemistry looks like)
Image
(This is why many women only host other women)

#8 – Help Out, Share Your Skills

We all are good at some thing. I myself have recently become very apt at fixing bikes, so whenever someone is courteous enough to host me, I always offer to fix, tune or help my host find a bike. It has gone a long way and I always feel so good being able to give back to someone who is helping me. Also if they have a large project they are working on spring cleaning, yard work ect, offer to pitch in, it can be a bonding experience and will often help extend how long you are welcome in their home. 

#9 – Don't Overstay Your Welcome

This can be challenging as some people are so incredibly good at making their home feel like your home. “Me casa su casa”. However it is not your home, they are paying the bills and often probably enjoy wondering around naked and pooping with the bathroom door open. Things that are prohibited by your mere presence. There are a number of factors to gauge how long to remain at someone's home, however I try to be the “awwww he's gone” guy rather than the “hey buddy so where are you heading next!?!?!?!?”

#10 – Leave a Thank You Note

You have potentially made a new life long friend. The easiest and cheapest way to demonstrate your gratitude is to leave a heartfelt note explaining how much you appreciated their efforts. If it's well written and has a cool picture on it, it might even make it onto their fridge, and you kind words will continue to make them smile long after you've left. BONUS! Leave a gift that they could use.

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("That was so thoughtful of my guest to leave me this noodle splash guard, I never have to stain my shirts again!")

I hope this list was an entertaining and informative read and helps any of you in your hosting and guesting experiences. Feel free if you are an active host to post it on your fridge to help any inexperience guest ensure their stay meets everyone's needs!

Now that's out of the way onto my experiences over the last week. Revelstoke was a great pit stop and I stayed and extra day as I had done 350km in the mountains over the previous 3 days. I was also very fortunate to get to spend some time chatting and sharing with the other guests Peter and Ki were hosting.
Igor is this awesome fellow who's roots are in Russia but now lives in Vancouver. He is a highly intelligent thinker and we shared many ideas and some of the most heartfelt belly laughs I've have had in awhile. He is currently examining Buddhist philosophy and is trying to live a detached and in turn enjoyable life. In our discussion we culminated that potentially “life is suffering” and detaching ourselves from said suffering may be the key step to enlightenment. Heavy shit! However the irony is that Igor was so happy to realize “life is suffering”. This was too funny for either of to not laugh at and the concept still makes me snicker.

The other awesome fellow Dimitri has a calming Zen about him. The two would often meditate, and the three of us got along swimmingly. I hope I am able to cross paths with both of them again. Throughout this journey there has been a constant pull towards getting me to do some meditation and I will be committing 30 minutes a day to it, as I think it has a lot to offer.

Another highlight of my time in Revelstoke is one night I went from no where to sleep, 24 hours later I was in the hot tub of the ski resort. Because one of Peter and Ki's friends had an access card to the lavish facilities. Pretty sweet contrast!

REvelstoke crew
(Peter, Ki, Igor, Dimitri, Me)

I had been in contact with a fellow Tobias whom I had met earlier in my trip at Manning Park. Tobias was a ways ahead of me but because of getting sick he was held up in Golden. So I peddled the 150km from Revelstoke to Golden, which was a pretty draining ride. The climb up to Rogers Pass was not as challenging as I had anticipated but the last 30kms of rolling hills to get into Golden was painfully slow and frustrating.

WorfRogerspass
(Worf at Rogers Pass)
Just as I arrived in Golden I got a flat tire. Tobias came out to meet me as I was switching tubes. For once I didn't inspect the tire, and to my dismay I had another flat, drained and frustrated I walked my bike to a hostel where I paid 10$ to camp, but also got access to all of the facilities. It's worth noting that this 10$ is the first money I have spent for accommodations throughout my entire trip. Kicking Horse hostel was awesome and allowed me a much needed shower and kitchen access. But adventure awaited so the next afternoon Tobias and I were off to Lake Louise.

Lake Louise, was a pretty manageable bike ride and was a total of 70km of very beautiful riding. From my previous post it should be evident I have been struggling with the isolation so Tobias's company was incredibly welcome. When we arrived in Lake Louise, we intended to splurge on non grocery store food. We found a local pub and went inside, just as we entered the waitress went up to the bartender and said last call for food. We hastily put in an order for two veggie burgers, and ate them with an astounding amount of satisfaction.

TobiasBiking
(Tobias en route to Lake Louise.)

In searching for a place to stay, the local camping ground was needlessly overprice, and the local hostel was 45$ a night. This was outside of my budget. Tobias on the other hand had aggravated his soar knee, so wanting a warm bed to recuperated he forked out the 45$. And I headed out to squat at the local baseball diamond. It was a cold night but as you can tell in the pictures below I was well prepared and under that tarp and sleeping bag, I wore long johns and 2 sweaters. When I met up with Tobias in the morning to my dismay he had a room all to himself. Where I could have easily snuck in. So needlessly, I slept outside in sub 0 temperatures.

frostonsaddlebags 
(Frost on my saddle bags)
sleepingoutside 
(My bed for the night)
tobiashostelroom
(Tobias's empty room)

We shared a good laugh about the situation and continued on our way. Our next stop was Banff where my aunt Carla and uncle Joe live. Two people I have not seen in 15 years. They have been incredible hosts and have put us up over the last couple days. Uncle Joe is definitely a Cowan and it's always cool to see the commonalities in your parents and their siblings. I also had an exceptional visit with Carla where we just really resonated, and again the common theme of meditation came up and how much it could increase my quality of life.

Tobias and I are hanging around Banff for a few more nights. I get to do stand up Comedy tonight and Wednesday, then will head off to visit Marc my next host in Canmore. Whom I randomly ran into here in Banff while he was here doing his banking.

That about sums up my week. Thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post. It has come to my attention that I have not written much about the biking itself. So for next weeks article I will reflect on the challenges thus far and try to put them into words what biking BC was like. Because now I am in Alberta.

(And look what I hit 2000kms!)
worf2000km

Qapla,

Dion

 

“Happiness is only real when shared”

“Hapiness is only real when shared” is a quote from Chris McCandless. (Check out his book or movie both named Into the Wild, both are worth checking out). His quote often echoes in my mind and I frequesntly share it with people. However over the last few days it’s really been an overwhelming feeling.

 

While on this journey I’ve encountered jaw droping landscape after jaw droping landscape. Numerous mountain streams, that gently meander through the valleys. Torrent rivers cascading down the mountain side, rushing with untammed might. I have peddled through lush prairie valleys, with the smell of Lilac floating on the warm summer breeze. In the last month I have seen more pictureques lakes that perfectly mirror the world around them, then I can shake a stick at.

 

But despite these incredible sights there is that human condition beating away in my heart. The seemingly inevitable feeling of loneliness and the resulting attmept to share this experience known as life with others. The best way I can describe it, is when you take a photo because you hope to be able to convey the beauty of the scene to the rest of the world, but so often the picture hardly does it justice. This feeling can be visualized by my selfie on top of a mountain camping under snowy peaks.

 

lonelyselfie

(me)

christopher

(Chris McCandless)

 

I love to share and convinently other peoples love of sharing, has made this trip possible. When I am able to share it brings me so much joy and wealth into my life. I am getting to the point where I feel that not only is hapiness only real when shared but I feel like life is only “real” when shared.

 

With this in mind I’d like to talk about my experience in Nelson and the generosity of my host Vivian. She openly shared her home to me, no expectations, no strings attached and no pressures on me. It was an amazing feeling. When I arrived, this was the sign on the entrance to her home, I knew we would get along swimmingly :D.

 

vivssign

 

As soon as I entered her home I felt warm and welcome. She had elegant and tasteful decore that was abundant but not overwelming. Her home had the perfect balance of being clean but feeling lived in. As a couch surfer you get to expereince a wide array of different homes, ranging from this

 

101031unknown2

(ummm people live here?)

to this,

images6MV9MET4

(umm do people live here? or is this a hermitally sealed room for building micro chips :S)

 

My lovely host Vivian even made me breakfast every morning and we found an excellent balance of skill, resources and even emotional sharing that made the experience very enjoyable and life feel a little more “real” .

 

My sharing crusade extended out into the rest of my Nelson experience. I was able to volunteer at the local bike co-op sharing my bike fixing skills and laughs with the other volunteers and patrons. Here are some photos of the co-op.

francois

(The awesome Francois, whom has spearheaded the project)

pilesofbikes

(Pile of bikes that need fixing, mmmm bikes…)

workignatcoop

(Me fixing some of said bikes)

 

The co-op is then run by volunteer mechanics who help members fix their bikes when they come in. For begginers this often involves watching the mechanics do much of the work, but for the eager learners, it quickly becomes a hands on expreience. The co-op also recycles neglected bikes which can be seen in the above photo.

 

In exchange for my service the co-op even donated me a few parts I needed for the bike, even an awesome leather seat, which through the help of a local leather expert Dean, we managed to bring it back to life. It has been super comfy thus far, and is like a hammock for my bum :).

 

With the bike end covered in Nelson I also managed to do some stand up at an venue called Expressions. It was run by the talented and knowledgable Nelson (Yes Nelson from Nelson!). It was a no alcohol venue that had a very similar feel to the loft concerts we conduct in Bowser. It was on open mic and thus sharing at it’s pinacle.

 

openmic

(Nelson from Nelson, mcing!)

 

When you think about it art, music and performing in general are intertwined with sharing. Without an audience what is the point? The venue and crowd were great, and a number of people displayed a huge variety of skills, from music to poetry, to an expressive dance/story/sonnet. I also have to tip my hat to the folks who attended this open mic, as cellphone usage was at a minimum, nearing zero! Everyone gave full attention to the performers it was a great evening.

 

I was stayed in Nelson from Monday to Sunday morning, with a number of highlights. One of my first days I encountered an awesome man of the theatrical arts named Micheal, we began chit chatting at the local coffee hole, and he said he had a bike that needed some fixing. He was unsure of how much work it needed but when I arrived, it only needed some air in the tires, oil on the chain and some minor adjustments. So withing a few minutes Micheal had a nice rideable bike and I had 25$ for food! Woo go life!

 

I also went to a 2 hour no talking dance that was awesome and very unusual for me. I am such a social guy, so shutting up for two hours and just dancing and stretching was a good growing experience for me. It was an absolute blast and people danced in a very safe environment. It was an urban no alcohol dance party.

 

white-people-dancing

(Dude totally stole my move)

 

Worf and I also checked out the local waterfall.

 

worfatwaterfall

(Worf searches for Zen)

 

The last night I was there the co-op held a film fest, depicting the numerous ways bikes makes this world better. It was held in this great venue the oldest church in town, that has recently been coverted to a fitness gym and also host events such as the film fest.

 

coopcrew

(The co-op crew, David, Francois, Vivian, Mortan, Simonne, Jessie, Jess, Brent and I forget last girls name 😦 )

 

My time in Nelson was capped off by an excellent live music performance at a local venue. I had made a number of aquentences roaming around Nelson for the week and I got to re meet so many of them. This experience was really pronouced when I was talking to the local bouncer who initially had a bit of the “bouncer” stance.

 

untitled

(Grrrrr)

 

After talking to him about the bike co-op film fest, he randomly aksed me if my name was Dion. I said “yes” and he yelled “do you know who I am?!” To which I replied, “if you have to ask then no…”. Oddly enough it turns out Brad was the one person to reply to my free bike servicing ad on Kijiji, I posted an ad describing myself as a “bike genie” and described my bike trip and offered free service to anyone that needed it. I only got one response here is what Brad the Bouncer forwarded me!

 

“I don’t need any bike work but I just wanted to congratulate you and wish you the best on your trip. I’ve done a smaller trip but not with so much class.
Good luck and be well,
Brad
And if you need a place to crash, I’m half way to Castlegar and you welcome to stay. ”

 

That was a pretty sureal and stange coincidence.

 

The whole time I was in Nelson I was trying to find a second host. Vivian was by far one of the nicest hosts ever but I always try to be the “ohhh hes gone” guy rather then the “where are you heading next there friend!!!!!???”. So as things continue to work out an awesome fellow David hosted me my last night. Dave and I hit it off, he has dabled in a number of different acedemic fields so we had amazing discussions. (Added bonus!) His family lives in Newfoundland and his dad is a political science professor, can’t wait to pick Daves dads brain.

 

I had so many people tell me I had to spend some time in Nelson and I can see why. It’s filled with some of the most physically and emotially healthy people I’ve met. I loved the people and the eclectic mix of taste and style.

 

After staying with David I said a heartfelt goodbye to Nelson I peddled on, on the way out of town there where two french Canadian hitchhikers I had some extra bananas and some extra “greenery” I had been gifted, so I was happy to share. Which always feels great ;). I peddled to Kaslow. I then peddled up an easy 400 meter mountain climb where I had a whole valley to myself.

 

valleyalltomyself bloomingvalley

(In the morning the grass I was sleeping on was in full bloom)

 

The next day I peddled to Nakusp for groceries and coffee and was enroute to my first ever hot spring. Which is non commercilized and undeveleoped, and I was soooo incredibly excited about it. Ironically it’s “renowndly” secret and cahllenging to find. On a frustrating note I found it on my first try but didn’t trust my gut and after 20 minutes of confusion peddled 10 km past it, only to realize my amazing host Vivian had given me one last gift. She wrote me a very detailed note of how to get to the spring, which I remember I placed in my wallet! And so I had to peddle back 10km up a hill I had just come down :S. Once I got there I also had to push my bike 6kms up this rocky dirt road,

 

rockroad

(Road bikes and rocks are not friends)

 

but my god was it worth it!

 

This place is one of the most magical places I have been, and no photo or explination can do it justice. Again I felt this overwhelming desire and yet inability to share the expereince. I had hopes of some beautiful nymph, gently bathing in the ancient spring, instead I found 5 freindly french men and a few comfortably naked old men.

 

Becoming more comfortably naked myself, I also went for a swim and soak in the buff and it was a delight. A girl from the coffee shop in Nakusp I met had also come, however she was with her father, so not exactly the ideal combination ;). I camped right beside the springs, and sticking with the common theme, again I had a new episode of Game of Thrones to watch before bed.

 

The spings are a half kilometer walk down some beautiful cedar root systems.

 

cedarroots hotsprings

(Joe enjoying the secluded majesty that is, St Leon hot springs)

 

In the morning I was dreading the 6km  ride down the rock road, but fortunatlely I made friends with Joe and Charity a really nice couple visiting from the US. They had a super cool 1972 ford that Joe had restored, we visited and did some gift exchanging and they gave me a ride back down to the highway. Thx so much Joe and Chairty that apple sauce was AMAZING!

 

truck

 

And again I was off, heading towards Revelstoke for the night. My host feel through, but fortunately a Warmshowers host Doug connected me to his friend Peter and Kai, whom hosted me and two other awesome fellows. I am spending an extra day in Revelstoke resting my legs before the 148km climb into Goldern. Rumor has is there is an open mic tonight, and as usual I will be trying to fix peoples bikes.

 

That about sums up my adventures for the week, hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading. My next post should be from Banff where I will be spending 5 or so days. As usual if you have any questions, helpful tips for people or places to see I always welcome them. Next weeks article will be Sleeping in Other Peoples Homes 101.

 

Qapla,

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.

Image

(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”?

Image

(hmmmmmm)

 

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!

Image

(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.

Image

(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”.

Image

(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.

Image

 

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!

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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.

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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!

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(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! 😉

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(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!

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(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.

Qapla,

 

Dion

 

 

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgGKSjiw0HQ

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

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into this,

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

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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.

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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,

Qapla

Dion

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, http://dmarionwebster.tumblr.com/

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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,

Qapla,

Dion

 

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!

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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!

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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,

 

Qapla,

 

Dion

 

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!

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

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(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.

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(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