Bike peddler explores Canada with a bicycle-canoe combination, destination London, Ontario

Biker Mitchell Nelson, with canoe in tow, paused for a brief conversation on Saturday during the Manitoulin leg of his canoeing and biking expedition that began in Edmonton on July 1 and whose destination was London, Ontario.

MANITOULIN— “There was this man, peddling his bike—and towing a canoe behind it!” That’s what an Expositor scribe encountered on Highway 6, mid-way between Little Current and Sheguiandah, last Saturday afternoon.

The bike peddler, whose name is Mitchell Nelson, took a break from his labour to talk about his Sisyphus-like undertaking.

Mr. Nelson said he’d put his canoe (another one, not the green one he was presently towing) and his bike and camping gear into the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton on Canada Day, “after I’d seen the holiday fireworks.” He said he’d been living in Alberta for “about eight years.”

That first journey took him easterly to North Battleford, Saskatchewan and then he was on his bike for a ride across Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Somehow, there was a mishap with the original canoe during this leg of the trip so he purchased another one in Thunder Bay and continued the biking-towing trip to the town of Red Rock, near Nipigon on Lake Superior.

It was Mr. Nelson, his bike and gear back into the canoe for a paddle down the Lake Superior coast as far as Terrace Bay at which point he once again took to the road, admitting there had been some long stretches of the Trans Canada Highway along Lake Superior where the diminutive and wiry 57-year-old had been forced to walk his bike and its entourage up steep and lengthy hills.

Saturday, he was on his way to South Baymouth, to catch the Chi-Cheemaun to Tobermory where his plan was to put his canoe into Lake Huron and paddle to Grand Bend and then bike across to London where, he said, he has friends and family “and decide what I’m going to do next.”

“Well,” he was asked rhetorically by The Expositor, “this trip was a good idea, wasn’t it?”

“Was it?” Mr. Nelson responded, setting out again.