“On the road again … “ ☺️


We are on the roads again.

Lou and I have been cycling the quiet, rural roads that surround the cottage. There are no stop lights, the occasional stop sign, and very little traffic. A few cars. The cottagers. A few pick up trucks. The locals. And, the occasional tractor heading to the next field.

These roads are different than cycling in the city. I use the bikeways and bike paths at home. The traffic on them is more relaxed but there are still a lot of cars, commercial trucks, and pedestrians to circumvent all times of the day. And, there is a lot of stopping, and starting.

Cycling here is safer, faster, and more enjoyable. Today, Lou and I did a 40 km loop, west to the big lake and back. I do this ride frequently. Sometimes clockwise. Other times anti-clockwise. It depends on the wind. There is always wind here. No big hills. But wind. A lot of wind. I usually head into the wind on the way out so that I have its help on the leg home. Sometimes, I never figure it out. Sometimes it feels as if it is hurting no matter what direction I’m heading. Those rides are the most taxing. Two hours of fighting a 15-20 kph headwind is exhausting, and at the same time, exhilarating.

I am here at the cottage for 6 weeks on my own. I love it. I think of my visits here as training camps. A time to build my base, lose some weight, get stronger, and faster. My solo time here is focused on cycling. I do a lot of other things. Clean. Shop. Renovate. Repair. Swim. Fish. But my days are centred around my bike rides. I train in the mornings, and if I have energy left, I’ll take on the household chores. I keep the place spotless. It’s easy. It’s just me to clean up after. I cook. A lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. Salads. Wraps. Sandwiches. Pasta. Frittatas. Veggie burgers. No sweets. No alcohol. By the end of my visits here, I’m an expert in the kitchen, more confident on the bike, and lighter.

I am usually here in the summer and fall months. This is the first time I can remember being here during the spring. It’s fascinating watching the place awaken. Leaves beginning to form on the tree branches. Geese teaching their infants to swim. And, the weather is different. Colder and wetter. On the wet days, I weight train, or take a rest day. On the cold days, the fire is on.

This is a different experience. Spring also means more pot holes. The winter months plays havoc with these rural roads. I cycle with my head down just in case. Because there is so little traffic, the pot holes are easy to avoid. Thank goodness.

Warmer, drier weather is on the way within the week. Then, I will cycle more, and take on the outdoor projects. A canoe than needs repair and fresh paint. A floating dock that needs to be repositioned. Unusually high water has moved it away from the connecting dock by several feet. An out building that needs a coat of stain. Eaves that need to be cleaned. There is no end to them.

These projects take longer than normal to complete. There isn’t much time left following our rides. 😉

Back to the cottage … 😀

I’m heading back to the cottage for 2 months this week. As you read this, I am very likely on the way.

Growing up, my family spent most weekends, and summer holidays at the cottage where our focus was largely on the waterfront. Swimming, fishing, and water skiing occupied our time. But things have changed. I still enjoy the water. Who wouldn’t. But over the past decade, I have travelled there with a road bike, and began exploring the area by bike on roads I never knew existed. Quiet, paved, rural roads traversing the countryside beside lakes sprinkled with unpretentious cottages, newly discovered grasslands home to an extensive variety of wetland birds, and large, prosperous farms.

Yes, this is farm country nestled amongst numerous lakes.

When I head out the back door, I can choose from a variety of routes. Some longer than others. Some more difficult than others. Some by water. Some alongside farms. All are quiet. There is very little traffic. No traffic lights. Only the occasional stop sign. A few cars, and a tractor once in awhile. Mostly, it is just me, fresh country smells, spellbinding views, grazing cattle, and a few horses.

I enjoy the time alone. Actually, the more time I spend there, the more I realize how important it is to be alone. It’s therapeutic. Cathartic. Empowering. It’s an opportunity to get in touch with my thoughts, feelings, and priorities. When I am with others, no matter how much I may enjoy their company, there is always compromise, even on small matters. Like when to eat. Or, what to eat. What to do. Where to go. The list is endless. When I’m alone, my needs are simple. I cycle in the morning, eat a simple diet mostly of fresh vegetables and fruit, read a lot (there is no TV or internet), and work on the place.

There is always something to do.

When its time to return home, I’m always conflicted. I have heard it said that “home is where your heart is”. Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman philosopher first said this over 2,000 years ago. Imagine that. Well, my heart is at the cottage, and I never realized it until I began spending more time there alone.

The place is my refuge, personal get away, and salvation.