As a disabled cyclist, I used to think bike touring was impossible. Most of the time when I hear/read about people bike touring, they’re riding 80-100km/day and make it seem like no big deal. That’s not currently something I’m capable of, but a few years ago – even with e-assist – riding 25km was a shocking accomplishment for me.
Last summer I rode 40km round trip to visit my Grandpa. Yes, I took a rest for lunch. Yes, I was exhausted before I got home. BUT it also encouraged me to dream bigger.
Soon after that a close friend went on a weekend bike tour… and I was super jealous. This spring a bunch of us in the local WTF (Women Trans Femme) Bike group chatted about the idea of stealth camping to make bike touring accessible with shorter distances… and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So I’ve quietly been planning my first solo bike tour… scouring the map to estimate manageable distances & factor in spots to charge batteries (mine & my bike’s). I leave one week today… and I can’t wait! Shorter distances & e-assist are gonna make this an amazing adventure!
My first few nights are planned, but I’ve got no plans after Iverhuron Provincial Park until I reach Little Current. So hit me up with your ideas! I’m aiming for 40-60km/day. With a full load at max assistance I’m guessing my battery charge will only go for 40km, so longer days will require a mid-day charge somewhere. In order of affordability + security I’m aiming for: friend’s backyards/Warm Showers, stealth camping/Crown Land, Hip Camp, and lastly traditional camp sites.
Oh yeah… I’ve also never gone camping on my own… or really at all since I was a teenager… so it’s going to be a HUGE learning curve! Apparently when I do something I go all in…
Here’s to trying new things, troubleshooting mishaps (because that’s going to happen many times on this adventure), and being a kick-ass woman who can solo camp & figure it out… even though I hate most bugs.
Since I won’t be on my bike more than 2-3 hours a day, I’m bringing along a few extras for fun & a low-tech mental health break. I’ve recently discovered that watercolour paints & markers give me freedom to express myself artistically without worrying so much about perfection, so I’m bringing bare minimum art supplies, plus writing materials, and a book.
Interestingly I’m equally as excited about being schedule-free, as I am about developing routines through the natural rhythms of being more immersed in nature.
Lately I’ve also been experimenting with watercolour painting and find it super relaxing. I’m studying at King’s University College, currently switching my major from social work to disability studies.
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