If you’re wondering where I’ve been, well, the answer is not on vacation (alas!). Although, nor is it: drowning in class prep and panicking over the re-entry. Because I’m on research leave (thank heaven!) until December.
Where I have been, instead, is moving house – not just to a new place, but to a new city. Nope, I’ve not got a new job – instead, this move is just for me. It’s the first move I have ever made (number 16!), in fact, that is just for me. Not for school, not for job, not because parents, not because partner.
It is purely in order to help me strengthen my work-life balance and improve the quality of my days and nights. Huzzah!
Of course, getting to that huzzah! has not been easy; moving is a total bitch. What with the emotional upheaval, the endless administration (hydro! internet! property…
Judy Pelham is a feminist philosopher at York University who joined the blog after doing the 1 day version of the Friends for Life Bike Rally. Here she blogs about her experiences hiking alone in Newfoundland. I love her photos!
I often like to hike alone. That is because, basically, I am an introvert. I am hoping that this blog post lets me illustrate what can be so wonderful about a solo hike. I planned this hike when back in Toronto. It came at the end of an August visit to Newfoundland with friends. I stayed on my own for three nights at an AirBnB in the small town of Flatrock. The 8 km hike to Torbay was classified as “easy” by the East Coast Trail maps and guide, but I knew from previous experience that they speak to a highly fit audience. I thought 8 km to the town where there was food, in particular a lunch place, would work. My room was on ‘The Beamer’. This particular beamer is a one kilometer long finger shaped rock pointing NNE into the Atlantic. Its surface is slanted with a cliff…
The trail is more of a route than a demarked trail, twisting through root-y trees, up over lichen covered boulders and down sheer sides, jutting sideways and over any place feet can safely be placed on this pre-Cambrian rock, among these northern trees. The trail is unserviced but marked by community members, mostly with tape, an occasional cairn.
Everyone who marked it used different tape — yellow and pink trail tape, green painter’s tape, occasionally, white and blue stripes. It’s the kind of trail where there is no just settling in and walking — after every marker, I have to lift my head and scan for the next marker. In the 9 km or so I walk (far further than the estimated distance, maybe because of all my back and forths looking for the trail!), there are maybe two straight stretches of 50 m or so, both of these on…
Heading out with a group of women and a cycling coach the other night, we got to chatting about QOM and KOM possibilities. It was a nice night and there was a strong tailwind. When he suggested Adelaide North I was skeptical. It’s uphill, not short and steep, but longish. And it’s the kind of hill that other cyclists don’t really notice but on which I get dropped on the way out of town. It’s so significant in my psyche that I even blogged about it here when I first started to make progress on it, getting faster over time.
(I tend to assume readers of the blog know why relative speed on hills eludes me. Speed on hills is all power to weight ratio and while I’m reasonably powerful, I weigh too much to climb besides most other cyclists. See why I want to be smaller here and wishing for weight loss.)
It’s not like I don’t have any QOMs but in the past it’s been the downhill segments that have been my forte. See do downhill segments count?
On the way out we discussed our plan. Chris led me out and so I didn’t get the segment solo. But lots of the segments are held by people riding in big groups. I won’t feel guilty about it.
We weren’t sure we made it. We went out fast and I kind of died at the end. It’s just under 1 km, as track cyclists like to call it, the toughest distance in cycling. Too long to be a sprint really.
When we uploaded Garmin files after our ride, I was surprised to see that I’d gotten it. I thought I might be fifth or sixth, not first.