Episode 1: Trans-Canada Trail

Two intrepid cyclists try and fail valiantly to travel from Peterborough to Prince Edward County.

The Trans-Canada Trail is touted as the longest network of trails in the world. When completed, it will span the length of Canada, going from the tip of Newfoundland, to the Arctic Ocean in the Northwest Territories, and over to Vancouver Island.

For my birthday, my partner and I went to none of those places. Instead, we traversed a tiny portion of the trail through Central Ontario: from Peterborough, through Hastings, and ending in Campbellford.

Our intention was to cycle from our home in Peterborough to Prince Edward County, where we would enjoy all the wine, cider, cheese, and vistas the region has to offer. But, what happened was that our speed is about half of what Google Maps expects it to be. By sunset on the first day, we had only made it to Campbellford, and stayed at an inn overnight.

Our own strength and stamina isn’t entirely to blame… only mostly. The Trans-Canada Trail between Hastings and Campbellford was also an intense obstacle. While not exactly mountain-biking, it certainly felt like it. A combination of loose sand and rocks between the size of your eyeball and the size of your fist, made it a bone-quaking, grueling ride.

Not only did the trail challenge our joints, but it also challenged our tires… and won. When we were setting out from Campbellford on the second day, we discovered my partner’s tire had a cut in it, made by one of the rocks. That little sliver let a bubble of bike tube out, which eventually exploded.

At that point, we called it a day and rented a car so we could enjoy some of our little vacation.

You can listen to the sounds of that journey: the bikes rattling, the conversation, the surprises and fears, and my reflections in this episode.

Music in this episode is courtesy of Montreal-based artist Le Berger.

Below is the raw audio file of two cyclists making their way down the Trans-Canada Trail, between Peterborough and Hastings. You can hear the rattling of a bike, wind, and soft conversation. Feel free to download and listen to it. If you want to use it in a project, please contact me.

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