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Ontario: Markdale to Toronto

21 September 2014 – Day 95

We woke up and realized today that it was the end of our trip. Muntasir could not ride with his inflamed shin, and it was not going to improve. We could not stay in Markdale forever – we were starting to get cabin fever – so it was time to go.

We called my friend Monica in Toronto, but she was not picking up, and then Muntasir’s friends Sarah and Rupoq, who also did not get back to us. We were feeling stuck. Then Sarah called back and said she was coming. Then Monica called and said she could come. Then, the manager of the motel said that they were organizing their truck to take us. Famine or flood J

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We reached Toronto in the evening. It was surreal, driving along the huge highways lit up by a million city lights, with our bicycle in the back of the car. We were finally there, after 95 days on the road, in the very means of transport that we were advocating to reduce.

We stayed in Toronto for five days, finally leaving back to New York on September 26. It was a great stay – firstly in Monica’s parent’s bedroom (her parents were in Vegas), then in the basement of an amazing Toronto-based painter called Grethe Jensen. We re-united with old friends, had painful acupuncture, were hit on the head by falling acorns and were impressed by the cycling culture.

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Anchorage to Toronto by bicycle took a bit more than 90 days, we were not able to ride the entire time, but we were able to finish about 5800 kilometres (when we changed from miles to kilometers at the border it complicated our cycle computers). We spoke to people about trash and cycling every day – on ranches, on the side of the road, in gas stations, in camp grounds, in cafes, on mountains. We recorded trash for 5800 kilometres. We asked about consumption habits, recycling habits, and looked at systems and behaviours. We compared Canada’s huge space and tiny population to Bangladesh’s tiny space and huge population. We imagined what Canada’s already-dirty roadsides would look like if they had 160 million people travelling on them. It was a scary thought.

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We won and we lost. In adventure, there are not winners and losers though, because whether you win or lose, you have still had an adventure. In many cases also, losing is often more of an adventure than winning. The important thing was that we started and we finished.

Time to get off the road so that we can get on it again. Goodbye Alaska and Canada, home is calling. It’s almost time for you to snow and that means its time for us to go. Until next time,

Shanti

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One Response

  1. Mohammad Khairul Alam

    You all winners in spirit , with you all started off!

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