As the weather begins to clear up many people are bringing their bicycles out for the first ride of the season. On a brisk but beautiful Sunday morning I spotted a cyclist with loaded bags and several flags taking a break on the side of route 98 in Girard. I quickly turned around to find out where she was going and where she had come from.
“I’m riding down to Richmond Virginia to see my daughter. And then I’m going up the East Coast because I’ve never been up the East Coast, to New York, Boston then through the maritime provinces to Newfoundland up to Quebec and then back home to Toronto,” Lesley Robertson tells us.
This journey is more than 8,000 kilometers, Robertson tells us. That’s nearly 5,000 miles! She is 60 years old and has only been riding seriously for about the last decade but this isn’t her first long-distance trip.
She had hoped to start her trip sooner, but this year’s stubborn winter weather held her back.
“With the weather last weekend I got tired of waiting in Toronto, so I started south. I figure I’ll meet Spring on the way up,” Robertson says. We met up with Robertson on the fifth day of her journey. She says planning a trip like ths happens somewhat on the fly. That’s because it’s hard to pinpoint where you’ll be at the end of a day’s travel. For cyclists, any number of obstacles can slow you down. Although a trip like this isn’t for everyone, Robertson says everyone who is able to ride a bike should take advantage of it.
“Get out on your bike, even if you’re just doing the trails along the waterfront in Erie, get out on your bike. It’s a great way to meet people and just get some exercise.”