The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible

THIS ISN'T my first attempt to cross North America. It will, I hope, be my first without troubling the continent's medical services. You are kind and easily moved to tears, so this isn't the place to recount how previously I have worn bits of me to a frazzle and snapped other bits in two. If it didn't make you weep at the time, it certainly had that effect on the insurance company.

Several things will be different about this venture and some the same. Among those the same will be the overwhelming desire to find sticky buns. I measure journeys in sticky buns - fat, lurid, sticky buns with industrial quantities of monosodium glutamate, eaten in gas stations. With plastic tables.

When hunger strikes, I demand nothing but the worst. I shall not go unsatisfied.

What's different is that I will start in Montréal which, being French, I am compelled to write with that dinky accent. And I'll finish in Calgary. The idea of Montréal happened when I found direct flights from Bordeaux and Toulouse, my nearest airports. And flights, what's more, that took bikes without hassle. I was well into logging all the gas stations when I found the flights wouldn't be running when I planned to leave. By then I had traced so many sticky bun opportunities that I was darned if I was going to change things, even if it meant paying for the bike and flying via Paris.

What's also different is that The Lovely Mrs Woodland will be coming as well.

The Lovely Mrs Woodland in the days she was up to technical jiggery-pokery (including making phone calls) as an electronics engineer with the BBC
Heart 1 Comment 0
This is what happens if a sticky bun hunt is too successful. Let it be an awful warning
Heart 1 Comment 0

Originally she was going to pitch up when I reached Calgary, an excursion north from the Northern Tier after Cardston. She is even talking of buying front panniers. I am trying to discourage her. I cannot maintain an air of lofty superiority, and still more important I can't moan my way across North America, if she carries as much luggage as I do.

So, with six panniers between us, the plan is to roll south from Montréal, along Lac Champlain, to join the Northern Tier route at the improbably named Ticonderoga. The rest is hardly unbeaten territory so I won't go on about it. Together we'll ride together over the Rockies, which neither of us has seen, as far as Anacortes, which sounds like a Spanish dancer with a rose between her teeth. Then we'll go south to Seattle.

There comes the other change. Because, instead of giving up in Seattle, we'll bother friends for a few days and then ride north to Vancouver, round through Banff and Jasper and down the Icefields Parkway to get to Calgary. From where we'll fly home.

I see no reason to change my expectations from last time, except in one regard and with one condition. Last time I said I would be happy to see the Pacific for the first time but that the ride would be even better if:

[] I was shot at at least once

[] I could drink in a bar where the barman slid my bourbon down the counter with a single push

[] I saw a black man playing the blues while sitting on his veranda

[] I visited a topless bar

[] I heard a girl called Joleen singing about her dawg gonn up an dahd

[] I leapt into bed with a preposterously pneumatic American girl, which in films happens after about 20 minutes

I stick by that, although it looks tricky to hope for the last one, given the circumstances. And after a couple of weeks I'll be too worn out anyway. The item on the list that has gone is my wish to become Joy Santee's toy-boy. She could wait for me no longer and has gone and married another. This is a cruel world.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 0