There isn’t a human that has tried getting from point A to point B in the summer that hasn’t been plagued by road construction in this city. Have you heard this one…”There are two seasons in Toronto. Winter and construction HA HA HA LOL!” We all have. It’s the Toronto traffic version of “I just flew in, my arms are tired.” Please stop.
A couple friday’s ago, me and a couple pals rode all the hot hills surrounding Creemore. All of them. No idea where we were but, from what I remember, there was only up. So many concession roads, so few concession stands. We were able to sweet talk a construction worker lady to let us through a road closed area so as not to lengthen our planned route. Not that we needed the warning but boy do idle construction workers love to shout at cyclists cutting through their territory. On a hill in the Blue Mountains there is no indignant acceleration away from the yelling either. You have to go 10 kmph and take it. Every sarcastic, redundant question for as long as it takes to get by them. “Do you know how irresponsible your behavior is?” It’s very vice-principals office.
Massive team ride in farm country this past weekend was very 12 year old boy in that the construction sites were totally unmanned and unladied. We could bust through the fences and touch the trucks if we wanted to. It’s not something you look for on a ride, a muddy portage in shiny white shoes, but you connect with that kid in you that went out for a bike ride with your friends just to look for no trespassing signs.
At the first completely blasted out road we sent the dog doctor ahead to scout because he has, by default, the best farmer negotiation skills of the group. He got us VIP access through a taller than us cornfield where we all had our own private Kevin Costner moment. Not my first.
The second closure was stop and take pictures closed. Around 80km in, you could give a shit how you move forward, you just do. Bike on shoulder, heels dug in, laugh in belly. How cool are we now in our spandex and disco glasses? Emerging from the ditch, we passed a Mennonite driveway sewing circle and they were proud of our hard work, I could tell. “Oh, there’s so many of you” one girl said. Yes there are. Like a giant dirt clown car.
We are part of this world of roadblocks. Ride with a parent of a child that has been through cancer treatment and you begin to understand what it’s like to be confidently bombing along and then have the road ripped out from under you. I know a dozen people that would sit for a week in traffic just to get one smidgen of clarity when it came to treatment.
You just don’t know what’s in store but you keep going. You pick up your bike, you get dirt in your cleats, then you get back on and ride. What you don’t do is throw down your bike and give up, as much as you want to. Just leave it all on the side of the road and lay in the gravel.
You lean on good people that can speak on your behalf. That hold your hand to steady you over the rocky parts. That cheer you on when you come out the other side.
To Donate: Tour For Kids