Fall is definitely happening now. The temperatures go down to single digits at night and get up to the low teens during the day. Today is a typical October day. There are clouds in the sky, the leaves are beautifully coloured but being blown off the branches by a stiff breeze. Occasionally rain comes but fortunately it’s only a slight mist, not enough to make me chilled. I am doing a project and it will take several hours to do.
I zoom down the major road outside our apartment, given an extra push by a wind pushing at my back. With very little effort I’m keeping up with the car traffic. I’m careful not to pat myself on the back for the speed because I know what will happen. And a kilometre or so later there it is. I turn and am facing the wind. Now it’s as if an invisible hand is pushing me backward. Clouds, rain, and wind, par for the course for fall.
I’m not bothered and am having fun. I’ve got a very specific and complicated route plotted out. To make it easier to follow I’ve attached my GPS watch to my handlebars so I can look down and see where I need to turn.
Up and down, back and forth I go through the neighbourhood of East York. With all of this doubling back and twists and turns I’m seeing streets, parks and schools I’ve never seen in the sixteen years I’ve lived here.
It is Thanksgiving in Canada so even if there weren’t a pandemic, many families would be inside spending time together. This is a bonus for me as this means the roads are quiet.
In some places my route takes me up a hill, only to have to go back down again right after. In other places I go west for a few hundred metres, then back again. If anyone is watching they must think I’m completely lost.
My route takes me closer to downtown Toronto – just across the river.
At my southernmost point I see that the Chinatown East neighbourhood of Toronto has some nice new murals. They’re quite lovely and make me dream of traveling again someday.
Finally, a little over 35 kilometres after I start, I reach my destination. And I’ll tell you the secret of my project. Sage turned 48 today and so what better way to send her birthday wishes than to make a neighbourhood-sized card by tracking my route via GPS and spelling out a birthday message as I rode. I have so much more respect for skywriters now. It’s not easy!