cycling · fitness

Big Island Bike Ride

We celebrated Canada Day at Sarah’s family farm in Prince Edward County. There’s so much to love about Canada and also so much work to be done in terms of justice for indigenous persons. As a result, I’ve got mixed emotions about Canada Day. Yet this year I’m also feeling teary and proud of how much we’ve done in Canada to cope with the corona virus pandemic.

This is a good place to be reminded that we are settlers on this land. We’re across the Bay of Quinte from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. There are signs here in Kanien’kéha, the language of the Mohawk people. My favorite are the turtle crossing signs.

We’re staying here with Sarah’s sister and her family and of course, Cheddar the dog. Once we got Cheddar settled in we went out for a quick bike ride around Big Island. It’s a cute island about 8 km long and 3 km wide in the Bay of Quinte. It is accessed by a fixed causeway which connects Big Island to the remainder of Prince Edward County.

Strava map of our ride

There were almost no cars and just a few other bikes on the island. We had all the weather: sunshine, wind, and rain on our 25 km ride, over to and around the island. A joy of riding in quiet places is sprinting along the nice pavement bits without worrying about traffic and nearly getting some QOMs. I love the “worldwide” bit when I think that only a few dozen people with Strava have ridden on Big Island.

Big Island is a sleepy place and I’ve been pining a bit for international travel. Facebook memories keeps reminding me of summers past in Spain, France, Scotland, Sweden, and Germany. I’ve got environmental worries about travel but I also miss it a lot and so I’m both missing it and feeling about torn about it all.

It’s all mixed emotions around here. First, Canada Day and indigenous justice and second, international travel and carbon emissions.

That said, this little island ride reminded me a bit of one the most luxurious bike rides I’ve done, around Bora Bora with Susan. I’ve got a soft spot for small bike friendly islands.

We didn’t get to go to the beach after riding, unlike in Bora Bora, but we did get to splash in the pool with the 6 year old nephew. Earlier in the morning he and I had been racing laps in the pool. Later there were veggie burgers, cauliflower wings, and pineapple upside upside down cake. Yum. Thanks Victoria, for both the yummy food and watching Cheddar while we rode our bikes

We’re here for a few more days. The university was closed for the Canada Day holiday and is also providing an extended holiday on July 2 and 3 for some faculty and staff, including me.

We’ll be back again during the summer including for the Pedal for Parkinson’s charity bike ride.