As the weather begins to clear up, many people are bringing their bicycles out for the first ride of the season. One Canadian woman riding through the area is taking that to another level.
On a brisk but beautiful Sunday morning, we spotted a cyclist with loaded bags and several flags taking a break on the side of Route 98 in Girard. Cyclist Lesley Robertson tells us, “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.”
The journey is more than 8,000 kilometers, or nearly 5,000 miles.
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.”
We met up with Robertson on the fifth day of her journey. She says planning a trip like this happens somewhat on the fly. “Each day, or every couple of days you figure out where you’re going next. You can’t plan too far in advance.”
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. “Hills,” she tells us, “Hills are always a challenge. Hills, headwinds and heat. Those are the three challenges for a cyclist.”
Many people who do these lengthy bike treks say one of their favorite things is enjoying the scenery.
“I just see the countryside at a pace that you can see it. Not rushing by in your cars… and cyclists are kind of harmless so people are more willing to talk to you.”
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.”