Home > Uncategorized > Come smell with me …

Come smell with me …

Whoa! Did the title make you want to jump back? Did you think I was going to suggest that you give up soap, deodorant, laundry detergent? Not my intention! (I certainly will continue using them.)

So many blog posts are about what we “see”. The other senses take a back seat. So join me — and experience today’s ride through your nose.

Nothing too exciting when we leave my place around 8am — what you would expect in the downtown area of a large city. Lots of exhaust from the cars crawling in rush hour traffic. The occasional whiff of last night’s garbage outside a restaurant or fast food outlet. The aromas of burnt truck brake linings.

But once I reach the lakeshore a whole new range of smells: freshly cut grass, the scents of newly blossoming trees and bushes, and occasionally the nose-tickling of “droppings” — from the millions (billions?) of dogs that get walked in these areas daily; from the Canada Geese and ducks and gulls and…

On the Waterfront Trail there is one spot that all cyclists and hikers must dread: every so often, for now apparent reason, the stench of open sewage envelopes you suddenly. I up my cadence to put this stench stretch behind me.

Further west the smells are fairly benign, until I reach Port Credit. The Torture Mile. At this point I have been cycling for over an hour. I am thirsty and hungry. And the rich aromas of coffee and fresh baked goods are almost enough to make me drop my ride and rush in for a fix. Instead I pull out a water bottle for a few refreshing swigs, followed by biting a big chunk out of an energy bar. The real feasting must wait till the end of today’s ride.

On the return leg the smells change as the day warms up: gone is the crisp aroma of the morning near the water, replaced by the vapors of construction, dense traffic, and the sun heating up the plants, buildings, asphalt and people. It is amazing how much you can smell at bike speed — and more so when you stop at a sign or a red light.

And at the end there are my own smells — suntan lotion and sweat, soon replaced by the clean of shaving cream and soap.

What did you smell as you went through your day?

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