The Spoked Traveller | ...connecting cyclists to local trails, food and adventures.
Trails and advice cycling around the world as solo female cyclist and adventurer
mountain bike, adventure travel, cycling travel, bike tours, outdoor, solo travel, female mountain biking, badass female cycling, female travellers, women travel, adventurous
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The Spoked Traveller

…connecting cyclists to local trails,

food and adventures.

It never occurred to me to leave my bike at home on my first overseas trip. Twenty years later, nothing has changed. Whether at home, or in a foreign country, riding makes me feel closer to people and places.

I created this site as a hub for all things cycling; it’s a celebration of bike culture. Where to travel next, how to travel, where to get advice, see some cool practical bike fashion, what to eat. I’ll share what I know; and I invite you to do the same.

Over the next few months keep checking in as I’ll be adding some new menu items.

See you on the trails. Melanie

I never sleep Sunday night. You see on the Monday morning I commute to London to teach a class; it's two hours away. I used to drive and now I take the train. But this morning, I took a bus. "It's half the price and right now every dime I have is going to my Norway trip." This is what I say in my head. I wake quite groggy at 6:30, out the door by 7. I'm the only person on Queen Street and it's still dark. Across from the Much Music studios, I smell bread--specifically, I smell freshly baked croissants. I walk by. Am I stupid? Obviously if I don't turn around and get a croissant. It's still warm as I put it in my purse. Arriving at the bus station, I decide to do some work. Laptop, cord...cord? I forgot to pack the cord to my computer. Settle down, Chambers. This just means you can't reread your lecture notes. Fine. I'll read a book. I will get a cord somehow in London. Relax, Chambers, worse has happened. Beside me a bearded man with a black turban shakes his coffee cup. "Want me to put that in the garbage for you?" I'm sitting near the window. "Thanks," he says. "Sure."

Outside the church, a sign: Toronto Salsa Practice. Wow, hip grinding in a  house of worship. The guy outside informs me I'm early. Mid 50s, he looks like he hasn't slept in days and his comb over is flapping in the wind. "You joining?" "Ahh, yes, yes I am," I stammer. "I'll come back closer to 3:30." I go to a bar for a little liquid courage: $5 caesar down the street from St. Paul's on Bloor and Spadina. It's a rainy cold Saturday and I figure few will turn out: maybe just me and Combover. I return and pay my $5. There's no lesson, the woman tells me. It's just dancing for two hours. "Lots of levels," she continues. The place starts to fill up, and it turns out Combover works for the church--so I will not be dancing with him. Not now, or ever. Shame. 10805714_10204057318168277_1641822322524689309_n  

At 29-years-old, Lena Dunham (creator of HBO's GIRLS and recent memoir author--a memoir at this age? Seriously?) has got it all figured out: 'we're all screwed up and that's ok.' Wow, I'm almost 42 and I only figured this out in the last few years. I assumed I should have come to some epiphany by now; that I should have some things 'straightened-out.' Well, in some ways I have, but new and strange moments of living in 'awkward-city' crop up all the time.