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July 23rd 

I’m having a tough go at it. Northern Ontario is ruthless, relentless, and wrothful.

GOOGLE IS A TOOL
And I don’t mean that nicely. The stretch from Fort Frances to Thunder Bay was incredibly tough and stressful. It was really hard to plan a day around access to drinking water. Google listed service stations and convenience stores that aren’t open anymore. And it didn’t list others that are. Not knowing where you’ll be able to get water next is really stressful!

MIND YOUR TIRES!
With my focus on avoiding thunderstorms, tornadoes, and stressing about water, I wasn’t paying enough attention to my bike. Specifically, my back tire. When I finally got east of Thunder Bay I took a moment to do some quick maintenance on my bike…which is when I realized my back tire was worn right down…to the point where the orange hey-you-need-to-change-your-tire paint was visible. I was nowhere near anything at this point.

Image courtesy of Greg Andres

CANADA’S SMALLEST CANADIAN TIRE FOR THE WIN!
I was able to get to Nipigon on the tire and went into Canada’s smallest Canadian Tire with the faintest hope that they’d have a tire that fit my rim (I needed a 700×32). They did not. BUT Jason—an avid cyclist who was working at Canadian Tire that day—told me that he’d help me out. He had a tire at his house that he was willing to give me (a 700×25). I graciously took him up on his offer. Turns out Jason is the owner of the store! So peeps…next time you’re going through Nipigon, stop in at Canada’s smallest Canadian Tire and show them some love. Thank you Jason!!!!!!

(Of course this means I have mismatched tires…but they will get me to Sault Ste. Marie where I can get a new pair of touring tires at a proper bike shop.)

Feature Image – Quetico Provincial Park, courtesy of Greg Andres 

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