Thanksgiving weekend in Canada was to be my last big ride of the season. It’s been a tough year and the chance to get away from the pressure cooker of teaching in a pandemic was something I was clinging to a bit too tight. The daring plan was to finish another exhausting week of teaching in a too small masks in classrooms that are ignoring all the pandemic rules everyone else is following, get a much needed night of sleep and then make my way up to ride the Haliburton Highlands in all their autumn glory before spending a weekend far away from the noise of pandemicky 2020 in the woods near Bobcaygeon. The ride back would have been 274 kms of backroads less travelled.
I discovered Friday afternoon that we’d been waved off from the in-law’s cottage because we’re too much of a pandemic risk. The irony that I can’t get away from the thing that strangles me each week because I’m getting strangled by it each week isn’t lost on me. Instead I took the sunny and 22°C forecast and headed up to Hornings Mills and River Road for some Niagara Escarpment twisties, except I never got there because forty minutes up the road just north of 89 in Shelburne the rain started to fall.
When we got home I backed the Honda out of the garage and went for a ride in the cool, clear, autumn air.
Any weekend where you can take each of your two bikes out for a ride isn’t a bad weekend. Soon enough we’ll be buried under a blanket of snow while the second wave of the coronavirus spreads in the closed places we share, like my classroom.
- getting away from the godforsaken suburbs and into THE WILD
- off roading with my son
- hanging out on a hammock in the wilderness with my wife
- having a reason to ride beyond my usually riding range
- being comfortable while we do it
I don’t live in the right generation to own a cottage (and the generation that does isn’t sharing during a pandemic), so I need to work out a way where I can check those boxes without depending on the vagaries of other people. My wife won’t sleep on the ground any more so camping won’t cut it, but maybe a camper might.
A cheaper alternative is a used camper, and there are many about. Eight grand’ll get you a low mileage older small camper. The Roadtrek RS Adventurous looks promising and arrives in 2021. It gets great mileage (like 20mpg) and sleeps up to four.
If I had the shop space and time I’d go grab this disco 1974 ‘RekVee’ from where it’s parked up near Perry Sound for five hundred bucks, throw it on a flatbed and bring it back, strip it down and convert it to an electric/hybrid. The electric RV isn’t viable yet with our medieval chemical battery technology but a hybrid diesel/electric option would work.