“I am here for work on a three month assignment with the government, so… After, I might go back to Newfoundland, I might stay, if I can get more work.
“I bought it online because I could not find one in a bike shop I wanted. It was just a couple of days ago. I loved the look of them. They are very simple. Price as well was a factor. It was just $375 including tax. It is fixed gear bike but I have it on freewheel now. But I think I will move to a fixie. The fixie is so nice. Simple.
Photographer’s notes: Odd coincidences happen and we all have our tales. And so goes this one. I was in Ottawa, Ontario, and had a day to take images of bikes and their riders. I had walked past a dozen decent images before I fell across this bike. I sat at a nearby café and waited for the rider to come back, then, as he arrived, I ran across the street to get to him before he rode off. We had the usual chat about it being a nice bike, when did he get it, does it ride well.. and I asked him where he was from.
“St. John’s, Newfoundland”. It is a distant Canadian province, as far east as you can get, about 2,750 kms from where we were standing. He is a Newfie.
Now, I happen to be a Newfie (by heritage, not birth). And I am also from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and would be heading there in just two days time.
So, the obvious question. “Where in St. John’s do you live?”
My house, when I lived in the city, was on Campbell Avenue. We live about 300 metres apart. I likely walked past his home regularly when I was walking from home to university.
And it entertains me that, on my first photo of a biker in Canada, far from my European home, I should be with a Newfie, from my home province, who is, essentially, my neighbour.
Maybe for Newfies this is not so odd. We are a small province, but, because employment is tough, young people are constantly obliged to leaved for the mainland in order to find decent work. We are a migrant and migrating population. The best aspect though is, since we are small, and since we are few, we are instant allies when abroad. Even if only on a street corner, sharing a moment.
No reason to talk about why Newfies are on the mainland looking for work. That is an old story, at best.