Miles: 92.6

Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1283.3

Weather: Sunny, Mild

Hillbilly Insults: 0

Roadkill: 29 (12 Birds, 3 Skunk, 3 Raccoons, 11 Unknown)

Bugs Swallowed: 0

Mean Dogs Chasing: 0

Animal Rescue: 0

"Yahweh zen exG cazmzmm bfHbvfzjdnz," is the gibberish I saw sprawled out on my iPhone as I pulled it from my jersey pocket at the end of today's ride.  Despite keeping it in a Ziplock sandwich bag as I ride, the sweaty moisture that seeps into my pockets creates a tactile atmosphere that penetrates my prophylactic design. That's why I see pocket dials I've made and random apps that run my battery down at times. 

It's odd that this digital Sanskrit began with "Yahweh zen," since I'd been listening to Christopher Hitchens read his fascinating opus "God Is Not Great" while I ticked off the miles today.  The book is chiefly about sacerdotal despotism and posits that Western religious "free will" is a Hobson's choice.  Hitchens doesn't simplify it to the Hobson dilemma, that's my take.  Essentially, the horse we are given to ride is Jesus.  

My pentecostal friends will point out that such a random event on my phone is a warning sign.  An intervention from their "correct" denominational monotheistic God to knock off entertaining heresy. Ho hum. 

Too bad he doesn't side with Toronto.

Riding along quaint coastal towns of Lake Erie reveals larger Canada's repellant cleanliness. It surpasses the work done by Disney's oppressed Fantasyland janitors. The rare sight of litter appears to be accidental along the squeaky-clean coast filled with flag-flying sailboats and houses.  Amongst the freakishly sterile surroundings are polite locals going about their business so as not to disturb anyone else. 

Americans are known to comment about politeness and cleanliness when they cross the border and its understandable. Slow movement on the bike intensifies the contrast between our accustomed urban and suburban blight with Canada's well manicured environment.  Another victory for democratic socialism?

They take recycling seriously here too.  It's easy to find bottle receptacles on nearly any street without a bunch of smelly vagrants with shopping carts sorting their aluminum lucre.  Peter Ustinov once described Toronto as “New York run by the Swiss,” and while its been a while since I've visited, I attest this to be true.

I had a pleasant day with pleasant stops amongst pleasant people at pleasant cafes, gas stations and ice cream shops. It makes me wonder how I'll handle my first encounter with an angry New Yorker.

Ah, the McHomard. Beautiful swill.

I quite enjoyed the McDonald's "McHomard" sandwich ordered for breakfast in Wallaceburg.  "McHomard"  is Canadian French for "McLobster."  I expected it to be some fried whey protein, nitrate abomination but was surprised to see it was full of real sea roach.  Very yummy.

Port Stanley. Touristy, the way I like it.

I ended up in Port Stanley and took a room at an inn. The proprietor, woman in her early sixties has toured the world on bike.  We spent time looking at her photo albums of trips that make my effort look like a cake walk: Tashkent to Beijing; Ethiopia and Eritrea on mountain bike; Capetown to Istanbul. I'm not a hero worshipper, but I paused to put her in my cranial pantheon of truly great people. 

Coastal Erie at night.


debra wade
07/28/2013 9:52pm

while I do love Canada in general ,Toronto is not as clean or pristine
as it may have once been. It is cleaner (and smaller I think but not
positive) than NYC but that's not to say it doesn't have litter and other urban blights. We were there a few years ago, things change all the time so it may have improved again in that time.

Jonathan Leahey
07/28/2013 11:10pm

True, Toronto has trash. It's biggest piece of excrement is YYZ. I'll look past this transgression as an anomaly.


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