The Spoked Traveller | The July Project – the countdown is on
Trails and advice cycling around the world as solo female cyclist and adventurer
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The July Project – the countdown is on

The July Project – the countdown is on

For the last few weeks my head feels like a piñata full of bits and pieces of Toronto. And, in two days it’s about to be cracked open!

I will be traipsing around Toronto, biking through neighbourhoods like Little Malta, Little Jamaica, and sailing on Lake Ontario, strutting around the nude beach on the islands, and getting punished in a Russian bathhouse in the burbs, in search of a new Toronto adventure–just like I would on any other trip.

The July Project (TJP) is the culmination of over four months of reading about Toronto, and constantly asking locals, ‘If you had to recommend one place, or one thing to do or see in Toronto, what would you suggest?’

The 31, or more like, 28 things (some days are freebies to wonder) include a hodge podge of interests such as an architectural tour of Toronto to find out what used to be there around 1940’s and 50s (author Terrance Green’s book A Witness To Life was my inspiration), or, a bike ride through the city from sundown to sunset.

You’ll have to tune in and find out what happens every day.

But, more than a litany of events, this entire project is about making meaningful connections to one’s environment and people.

Since we began this endeavour, my travel writing counterpart in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Sandra Phinney, ( is also hunkering down to explore her native Yarmouth like a traveller, we’ve also unearthed a term that in many ways encompasses our ethos: psychogeography is loosely defined as walking through one’s urban environment with a new set of eyes, paying attention to details, and noticing the nuances of the city. Rebooting one’s environment, sure. But, it’s more than that: it’s about engaging in my life and becoming and doing the things I know make me happy.

I always say I love travelling because it reminds me of being a kid in the summertime: you wake up every day not knowing what’s going to happen. Maybe you make a mudpie in the backyard and then walk down to the undeveloped part of the subdivision and collect tadpoles. Or, bike out to the beach and see who is home and if they want to come out and play. Who knows? But by the time your hot sunburnt skin hits the cold sheets, barely able to keep your eyes open as your your mom tucks you in, you sleep effortlessly knowing you gave the day everything you had, squeezed out every drop of adventure, and then some.



  • Glenn
    Posted at 14:40h, 01 July Reply

    I’m looking forward to following you Melanie and Sandra. I’ll be there with you in spirit. Happy Trails.

  • Mary mcgrath
    Posted at 08:23h, 01 July Reply

    Waiting to hear of what yours and Sandra’s summer reveals

  • Sandra Phinney
    Posted at 22:00h, 30 June Reply

    One more hour and 12 minutes to The July Project! Can’t imagine anyone in the world I’d rather be doings this with. Lead on Mae Belle!

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