Saying Goodbye

Since today is Friday, part of our peleton meeting included saying goodbye to the riders who are leaving the tour this week. There were about 25 riders giving their goodbyes. Many riders had been with us for one week.

After sharing my comments I realized there were things I Had meant to share that did not come to me at the time. So let me repeat what I shared And what I had wanted to share.

This ride has heightened my awareness of the different faces of poverty. This struck me when I Was at the SAG stop at the Homer Watson carpool in Kitchener. As we pulled in on our expensive bikes a run down car pulled in to a parking Spot near our snack table. The driver stepped out of her car with a small bag of household Garbage.  The sign on the garbage bin read “no household garbage.” My initial response was one of minor indignation. Almost at the same time I realized I had no idea what this woman’s story was. Maybe she could not afford the tag to put her garbage At the curb. Or maybe she had no curb at which to place her garbage.

There were many people to thank in helping me meet my challenge of unicycling 200 km of the 1400 km that I Had the privilege of riding. To complete those 200 km I received the Gracious help of many a cyclist that happened to come upon me in a moment of need. Not having learned to free mount a 36″ uni prior to this ride I had to rely on a fellow rider with a sturdy shoulder to offer assistance.

I also want to thank the SAG volunteers for exchanging my bike for my unicycle so I Could pick the most suitable sections to ride. This was not always convenient. Yet I saw a Real willingness. It highlighted for me that poverty is also a real inconvenience.

I appreciated the riding time as an opportunity to catch up on people I Had not seen in awhile and meet new people and hear their story. The tour is an intentional community organized so people would look out for each other.

This has been my first experience with a multi-day cycling ride. I had done a reasonable amount of training but had no idea what to expect. The experience of the past two weeks would want me to do a full ride, the Lord Willing, the next time a Tour like this is planned.

The challenge, coming from this tour is how to continue to advocate for the poor, how to recognize the systemic changes that need to happen to address the issue, and how to make Personal lifestyle changes that leaves more room for The poor. This includes recognizing what purchases contribute to the issue of poverty.

Some of the tour people thanked me for using the unicycling to give the tour and the cause greater exposure in the press.

Today I decided to take it easy. Leaving historic Brockville I took the time to take pictures of the unique house designs, the historic sites,  the stone walls and the incredibly rich and varied vegetation.

Tomorrow we ride into Montreal. Very a fitting destination a We will be hosted at a First Nations school for the weekend. The appropriateness of this has not been lost on the riders.

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Author: Jasper Hoogendam

I have been working in the field of elementary education since 1980 till my career ended due to a TBI. Renewable energy as part of 'walking lightly on this earth' has been and continues to be my interest since my teen years. Since early 2015 I have been learning to live with ABI (Acquire Brain Injury). In sharing my day to day successes and struggles, I am better able to understand how my life had changed and begin to accept the change. In sharing my experiences I'm hearing from caregivers and fellow ABI's. I'm encouraged when my experiences are helping others understand some of the complexity of living with ABI.

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