The Close of the 2021 Cycle-Canoe Season

It was an unseasonable 14ºC today, sunny with just a little wind, and so I took the opportunity to cycle my canoe out to Andrews Pond for one last paddle before winter.

Selfie from my bicycle, showing my canoe towed behind me.

It turned out to be a lovely day for it: just the right temperature for a more-grueling-than-everyday bicycle ride that’s mostly-uphill on the way there, calm enough on the water that I didn’t get blown around a lot.

I’m not a strong cyclist, and towing the canoe out to East Royalty remains at the edge of what I feel physically capable of; it’s good training for the mind, however: the last push uphill from Kensington Road to St. Peters Road is hard and the only way I can do it is to avoid thinking of the destination and, instead, just focusing a few metres ahead of me.

My canoe in the water by the dock at Andrews Pond North in the later afternoon sun.

Autumn on Andrews Pond has a whole different feel than summer: the leaves are falling, the ducklings of summer are now full-fledged ducks, the sun hangs lower in the sky.

Sun through the trees at Andrews Pond South.

Fall on Andrews Pond.

Selfie in the canoe, on Andrews Pond.

My gift to the pond today was to fish an Island Coastal traffic cone from the bank and load it into the canoe. I left it at the dock for them to pick up.

Island Coastal traffic cone inside my canoe.

I’m still finessing the canoe-wrangling part of the process: it’s relatively easy to get the canoe into the water and out of the water; getting it back on its trailer is still something that takes a lot of fussing and cursing.

Beyond the joy of the cycle and the paddle, cycling along Riverside Drive towing a canoe continues to bring joy simply from the reaction of others: some are blasé, some do a double-take, some honk their horns in solidarity, and one person stopped their car on the side of the road and shot video.

Feeling confident paddling a canoe solo has been one of my great personal accomplishments of 2021, both on the metaphorical and practical levels. I look forward to getting back on the water next summer.


Joan Sinclair's picture
Joan Sinclair on November 13, 2021 - 18:23 Permalink

Next step is to find someone who lives on the water, who would allow you to leave your canoe there, and just drive to it.

Dave Hyndman's picture
Dave Hyndman on November 13, 2021 - 18:34 Permalink

Don’t put it away. You have a perfectly good winter ahead where you could drag it out to Brookdale and try downhill canoeing. 🛶

Erin 's picture
Erin on November 13, 2021 - 21:26 Permalink

Bravo, Peter!

Renee Blanchette's picture
Renee Blanchette on November 14, 2021 - 07:43 Permalink

I just love this story. Thanks for giving me another view or yesterday. We went for a walk in Victoria Park which these days is our own kind of adventure. It was a spectacular day for sure.

Karen Skuce's picture
Karen Skuce on November 14, 2021 - 19:06 Permalink

What a great adventure to undertake. Gutsy. Beautiful photos. Thanks for taking us along!

Olle Jonsson's picture
Olle Jonsson on November 15, 2021 - 16:28 Permalink

Absolutely something to be proud of! The light on the water looks grand.

vbj's picture
vbj on November 15, 2021 - 16:41 Permalink

I so admire how you challenge yourself---and you give everyone (although this is not your primary goal) a chance to think about their own role in the world when they see you cycling along with a canoe in tow.