In our September/October 2008 issue we introduced you to Paddy Tyson who we met in Moncton, New Brunswick at Atlanticade. Upon his arrival in Ontario, Paddy stayed with us for four days. We kept him busy with a trip to meet Michelle Duff, who graciously showed us her collection of awards and shared many stories with us. The opportunity to meet such a legend as Michelle in person meant a great deal to Paddy. Another day we took him to the Yamaha Off-Road Riding Centre where he enjoyed a day on dirt bikes, Rhinos and ATVs. Many thanks to Clinton Smout and his awesome staff. After that we bid farewell to Paddy and he began his journey west.
I received a few of Paddy’s blog postings and found them to be very humourous. In one of the blogs, Paddy finally comes to the realization that our slogan, ‘Ontario, yours to discover’ is actually referring to our road system. Due to the lack of signage, he found it definitely was ‘his to discover’.
Paddy goes on to write about this journey through Saskatchewan and he mentioned that he could drive around all day because they actually have sign posts…every junction says the number of the road, the destination of the road and the distance to that destination, however their slogan ‘Land of the Living Skies’ could be interpreted as ‘Uh oh, twister!’
As Paddy was on a $50 a day budget, for gas, food and a place for the night he obviously stayed in some pretty interesting spots. In Manitoba Paddy stayed at a campground and found the bugs were so bad he slept with his helmet on and his visor down. The sign at the campground clearly stated there would be no refunds due to the amount of bugs.
Paddy found that most small towns in our central provinces had a municipal campground with a $10 honesty box. What a great idea.
When Paddy arrived in BC he was shocked when he rode into Osoyoos and found he was in a desert. Here he enjoyed a pleasant night of camping as it was too warm for bears to be of concern. He also heard from the locals that BC actually stands for ‘Bring Cash’.
From there, Paddy ended up in Vancouver where he saw the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the big city. The views were fantastic, the architecture, the suspension bridges—all amazing and then the ugly part of the city—the rough and seedy areas that you try to forget, but can’t.
In Vancouver, Paddy ran into a bit of a setback when he needed to undergo some tests for his left foot which gave out on him. This, so it seems, might end his journey. Reluctant to give up he had a plan.
Paddy had been staying with John and Penny in Vancouver, who he had met in a diner in Nova Scotia earlier on his travels. Along with their help, they rigged a hand shift system on his bike to get him back on the road for the time being.
From Vancouver, Paddy went to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. Beautiful vistas, but the road was undergoing improvements in preparation for the Olympics so it was slow going, but worthwhile regardless.
Paddy then carried on his journey making sure he saw Mount Robson, then he headed to Jasper, and the Columbia Ice Fields. Paddy then just rode and rode, tar or dirt it didn’t matter as he watched the wildlife cross the road in front of him—bears, bison, sheep, deer—he was on a mission with a time frame. His visiting time allowed in Canada was running out, he had to make his way to the US.
Although I don’t have all the details, Paddy ended his initial journey in San Francisco where he opted to leave his bike with friends and head back to the UK for some further testing on his foot.
On September 25th, I heard that all is well, just a bad case of arthritis. Paddy is going to continue with his journey and is working on the details. We hope to hear from him again and will keep you posted as to his whereabouts.
I hope this answers your questions for those who inquired about Paddy. Best of Luck Paddy.