John Riding his Bike in 1970.jpeg

Your Day Is Done

HOME PAGE • Call It Home - Introduction •  1 There is a Star • 2 Call It Home • 3 Your Day is Done • 4 Albert J Savoie • 5 Hand Troller •
6 Shingle Spit • 7 Glow of Summer • 8 Crackling Static • 9 Where I Belong • 10 Petrichor • 11 Standard 8 • 12 Ebb & Flow

One summer, when I was eleven or twelve years old, I brought to Hornby Island the one-speed bike my brother, Rob, had handed down to me. It was pretty basic, and on the verge of still being a tad large for me, but I loved it.

Starting in 1971 the roads on Hornby Island began to be paved. They started out the first year paving about three kilometres of road from the ferry landing at Shingle Spit to just past Phipps Point. It was a rather rudimentary style of paving, but it did the job, and the road would finally be relatively smooth, and great for riding a bike. 

Bob Cain, who took the black-and-white images on this page, worked on the road crew back then. He said: “The most fulfilling [road crew work] was road construction. We got to drive dump trucks, graders, and loaders. Nowadays they bring everything over, and the local workers get to sit and watch. I don’t recall any other name than ‘road construction’ but George Cowie (Hornby foreman) used to call our work ‘getting ready for ‘Tarvey’.”

Gravel Road on Hornby Island about to get paved in 1971. Photo by R Cain (used by permission)
Road on Hornby Island getting paved in 1971. Photo by R Cain (used by permission)

These days bikes are everywhere. It seems like every other car getting off the ferry to the island has a bike rack with two, three, four, sometimes five bikes on the back. Whole families go out cycling. But, in 1971, bikes were a rare thing to see on Hornby Island. I guess I was just “ahead of my time.”

I’d ride out often on summer evenings; it was rare to see even one car on the road. I had such an incredible sense of freedom, and even though I was not very far from home, I felt like I was on an adventure. 

As I’d cycle along watching the big open fields of the “Bond Farm” on my right, and the sun filtering through the rim of trees above the beach, reflecting up the sparkly water from the lowering sun, I’d think about how great it felt to be alive, and how my future was ahead of me.

John McLachlan Riding his Bike on Denman Island in 1971. Photo by George McLachlan

Your Day Is Done

 

August breeze blowing through my golden hair

Feet spin round and round moving through the air

Two months of summer have burned like the sun

Blacktop from gravel, new road has begun

 

Silver spokes sparkle by blue sunlit sea

Blood pumps round and round, feels good being me

Twelve years have passed now in my life to here

Time cuts like a knife slicing the year

 

Just around the bend, the dirt road they’ll pave

Lying out before me like a rolling wave

Where will I go? What will I become?

Goodbye childhood, your day is done

 

Flowing fields fly by the light has grown long

Thoughts go round and round, will I know my song?

Smooth road is ending of youth held so dear

Butterflies inside and a little bit of fear

 

Just around the bend, the dirt road they’ll pave

Lying out before me like a rolling wave

Where will I go? What will I become?

Goodbye childhood, your day is done

Goodbye childhood, your day is done 

© John McLachlan (SOCAN)

John Waiting for Ferry at Gravelly Bay, Denman Island, BC in 1970. Photo by George McLachlan