Route: Vancouver-Ontario Street-SE Marine Drive-Knight Bridge-River Road-Alex Fraser Bridge-King George Highway-CANADA/USA BORDER-Highway 548-Birch Bay [The route will never be this complex again. Promise.]
Weather: ~20, Clouds and Sun, Moderate Headwind
Total Climbing: ~360m/1180ft
Breakfast: Cheese Croissant [airport food]
Lunch: Clif Bar [keen to keep riding]
Dinner: Clif Bar and a Chocolate Bar [too exhausted to cook]
Previous Night’s Sleep: 10:30pm to 3:45am [5.25 hours]
Previous Night’s Accommodation: Ontario [Early Morning Flight!]
Song of the Day: Home, by Michael Buble
About ten years ago would be my best guess. Paddling a canoe into the backcountry with a few friends. That was the first time I belted out Michael Buble’s somber, Gouda-cheesy smash-hit, Home, at the beginning of a days-long outdoor trip.
Let me go ho-o-o-o-o-ome…
I’m confident I’ve never voluntarily listened to this song. I can only assume the song is about wanting to go home.
Ever since, though, I’ve timidly hummed or unabashedly sung the chorus into the world on most outdoor trips. Merely casting out a poor attempt at an ironic joke. I’m always jazzed for another adventure. Maybe looking for a reaction. I think I’ve elicited one, maybe two, laughs all the while. Worth it.
Today, though, I performed this ritual on my own for the first time. No one else was within earshot. Only passing cars and trucks. The words quickly echoed back to me. Riding alone is different.
I’ve cycle-toured solo once before, but I’d forgotten the real and heavy loneliness that can rush in unexpectedly. With loneliness, the feelings of fear and self-doubt can fester. For an extended moment, I wondered why I need to do this. Why am I riding? I don’t feel at home. What’s the point?
Then, I hit a quiet stretch of road a few miles south of the border. The water glistened steps away. My first glance at a shoreline. Something about the sun descending over water strikes me deep every single time. Something. Life felt all right, again. I sung Buble’s memorable chorus solo once more, the words not echoing back this time. Big ol’ smile on my face, the most natural kind. This isn’t home, but it is something. I’m ready to keep rolling, to dive a bit deeper.
Note: Later in the evening, I bought Michael Buble’s Home and listened to the entire song. All the way through for the first time. Decent enough. It is now nestled deep into my Shameless Songs playlist.