Pity the poor bicycle that gets to haul my weighty carcass over the hills and backroads of Boularderie Island. Mike Whitney – who knows a thing or two about the subject and has pedaled a few thousand kilometres with me – says I am hard on a bike. Mike has been a witness to more than a few of my blown tires, wrecked bottom-brackets and broken chains but Friday delivered an adventure in bicycle breakdown that might have impressed even Mike. Being of wide-body construction I have a tractor-style saddle on my Trek that provides plenty of posterior support and comfort. Jan and I had just begun the eastward ascent of the Calabash Road when I noticed a wobble in the great saddle and quickly discovered that the two-inch bolt securing the seat to the saddle-stem had sheared in two. I was suddenly seatless. Unwilling to walk the bike all the way back home I was left with the sole option of riding it standing on the pedals. Try riding a bike over distance up hill and down dale without ever sitting on the saddle and you too will soon discover it ain’t easy. But the prospect of wearing my seatless bike in a most uncomfortable way was a powerful incentive and I managed to get back to Big Bras d’Or without once lapsing into absent-mindedness.
On Sunday, well-supported on the backup bike, I completed the journey over the Calabash and along Boularderie’s beautiful south side with Jan and Bob. How grateful I felt to have a fine day, my boon companions, the scenic Calabash and a bicycle with a saddle.