June 23: “Cycling across Canada” part 2

Bingo word: Prairie thunderstorm

Thunderstorms on the prairies are fun to watch. From afar. As I pedalled east on the #9 this morning, I kept pace with a thunderstorm to the north of me. It was a long ways away. But I could hear the distance rumble of thunder once in a while. And then around 1:30 it came barreling south and crossed the road in front of me. So I stopped and sat in a ditch and watched it pass. Absolutely incredible.

So back to my question of what it means to cycle across Canada. I’m almost through Alberta. But I haven’t cycled the whole way. I got a lift for about 100km a few days ago. And prior to that I had pushed my bike up some steep mountain passes. So does that preclude me from claiming I’ve cycled across Canada?

Gatekeeping is simply an iterated application of the no true Scotsman fallacy. The problem I have with gatekeeping is that it artificially and arbitrarily cuts us off from the richness and diversity of a plurality of lived experiences. It is the attempt to privilege one experience over others.

The cyclists that I have met each have a conception of what it means to cycle across Canada. It looks different for each person. Each is on their own journey. For different reasons. With different goals in mind. But each journey is extraordinary in its own way. And each should be embraced.

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