Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 150    The Cyclotoon Perspective
 Goulais River  Matt Hern     July 16th, 2001. North of Sault St. Marie, South of Wawa. Highway 1.    It's the middle of July and I'm driving through Northern Ontario. Alone. In a machine I am developing a deep an- tagonism to. Let's not go too deeply into the reasons why I'm here. They're foolish and relatively embarrassing. I just want to say that a series of bad decisions has led to this situation, a circumstance that I would really rather not be in. Suffice to say that I hate this goddam car, and I'm pretty sure it feels a similar loathing for me.    B.C. is a long ways away. Too far to really comprehend right now. I try to measure the distance on the map with my finger and count out days. Six? Too long. Its already been two and a half since I left Montreal. Check the distance on the scale. What? Sixty-five hours driving time? Don't think about it. Just drive. Get Zen. Be in the moment.    But again: there's that burning smell. Am I imagining it? Please let it be a flashback. Nope. It really is that burning smell again. Pull over. What the hell can it be making smoke billow from the left front tire? The whole rim has heated up alarmingly. I checked and repacked the bearings yesterday. They were fine. The shoes are in place. The pads look alright. What is going on?    This same problem stalled me yesterday, and after spend-                               151

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