David Freeze: The last day of this special journey

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Editor’s note: Salisbury native David Freeze is cycling from Mobile, Alabama to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Post is chronicling each day of his ride. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

After a very good night at the home of Andrew Ross in Mississauga, I got up with just a short ride toward Toronto to finish off this summer’s cycling journey. The wind was at my back and there was no rush so I took my time. Though I had no real need to leave early, those good travel habits are hard to change.

Today was a national holiday in Canada called Simcoe Day. Lots of businesses were not open and the streets were free of any vehicle rush that would have normally occurred on a Monday morning. I just cruised and looked around, enjoying the final miles. I even had breakfast twice.

The route was easy. There is a Waterfront Trail, signed for cyclists and pedestrians. I rode on it and some on Lake Shore Drive as I got closer to the actual city of Toronto. Signs of the recent Pam Am games and the upcoming Para Pan Am Games were everywhere and I even saw some of the competitive venues. It was a beautiful morning and thousands of folks were out exercising along my route throughout the morning.

With just a couple of miles to go, I stopped to talk with Richard Ortiz and Jessica Lewington of  Toronto. We talked about the athletic competitions and how Toronto has changed so much since I was last here 15 years ago. They made sure I knew where to turn to find the hotel. I rode on while nearing the harborfront, pedaling on some fantastic bike lanes next to the trolley lines. Waterfront Toronto is absolutely beautiful!

I saw the Delta Hotel from several blocks away and rode up on my bike. I leaned it against a wall and went inside to check in. Andrew and the rest of the staff made me feel very comfortable and made a big deal out of my ride. I will admit to feeling good that they recognized the effort involved. All morning, I had thought to myself that I hated for the ride to end and wanted to put off returning to real life for just a few more days. Getting out of bed with a new day’s adventure ahead is addicting. Total mileage for today was 25 miles.

I went to the room and waited for Amber to arrive and sightseeing to begin. I changed out of cycling clothes for the last time for a few days. When she got here, I had to work out a dilemma about how to ship my bike home in the time constraints available. We took a nearly two-hour tour of the city on the top of one of those open air buses, signed up for a trip to Niagara Falls tomorrow, and got set for a late afternoon harbor cruise.

Once again, a very special angel stepped forward to help me ship the bike. There are too many details, but the nearest bike shop was closed today and it would have been impossible for them to box my bike, get shipping arranged, and finalize the details with me gone nearly all day tomorrow. Wednesday, our last day here, doesn’t have time available to do it either before we fly out.

Andrew Ross had offered to help me with this situation if I needed him to. He is a regular endurance cyclist and has ridden across Canada, has multiple bikes and a great workshop. Andrew drove 20 miles from Mississauga tonight and picked up the bike and will ship it home for me. That allows us to travel tomorrow. His effort is just another of those great memories that have accumulated to make this trip so memorable.

So tomorrow morning, for the first time in 36 days, I will not get on the bike and start riding. I already miss it.

Tomorrow will be the last in the Mobile, Alabama to Toronto, Canada by way of Owen Sound adventure series. I will have some more photos and final thoughts at that time. So tonight, from Toronto, I will close and see you again tomorrow. Once again, thanks so much for riding along.