Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014. Dunnville to Simcoe, ON. 58 Miles.

It stormed overnight and was still pouring rain this morning. Michelle made a command decision that we would delay our departure until 9 AM, when there was supposed to be a lull in the rain.  Our optimistic chef set up her table under the eaves but it soon had to be moved inside. Fortunately these are very large rooms with kitchenettes, so we all had breakfast in Chris's room.

After breakfast Dianne and I went back to our room to play Scrabble. When we came out at 9:00 some of the riders had already left on their bikes and the rest were in the van with their bikes on top. We could not talk ourselves into getting in that van, so we put on rain gear and pedaled away. Only eleven of us rode today.

The first 2 miles were on busy Hwy 3 but soon enough we were on quiet country roads. The gusty wind was at our backs but we knew that would not last.  The wind was from the north and we were traveling west and north today on our trip around Lake Erie. 

I was excited to see this plane at the Dunnville RCAF Museum--I am in the middle of a book that takes place at an RCAF base in central Ontario in 1962 and their training planes are yellow "chipmunks" like this one!

We rode along the shore much of the day today, and there was little traffic. The roads were in good condition except for areas of loose gravel. We could not fathom why there were so many gaps in the road. Sign above reads "loose gravel" and we passed many of them today.


There was a SAG stop at around 18 miles, and Cindy, Robin and Stella were there. When we got to the SAG it was the first time we saw any other riders from our group. Here we are in all our splendid raingear. It was chilly and windy with occasional rain so we were very glad to be protected.


We had to stop when we saw this little guy on the side of the road... sort of like a scarecrow on a bike, dressed like Dianne's mini-me.

We saw green algae along the shore today. Yesterday it was gray and foul-smelling. At least this green algae did not stink! I wonder what's going on at the western end of this lake, where I live?

Michelle was at the second SAG stop with the van. She offered us a ride to the hotel, but we declined. We thought maybe we would ride the last 10 miles in the SAG car after lunch. We got back on the bikes and battled the headwind into Port Dover. I stopped and looked at a map in the park, and saw a bike trail that ran from Port Dover to Simcoe, so at lunch we asked the locals about it. One said it was paved and gave us a map, another said it was not paved but was easily rideable. We had a superb lunch at the Port Dover Coffee Shop, and when Cindy asked us if we wanted to get in the car instead of riding into the wind the last 10 miles, we declined.

We were so glad we did not get in that car! The Lynn Valley Rail Trail was not paved on the Port Dover end, but was indeed easily rideable. And it took us out of the wind. We enjoyed every mile of it! After lunch I had taken off my rain gear so it was wrapped and tied to my camelbak and my person. It was not exactly stylish, but the rain had stopped and I was too hot to leave it on.

When we got off the trail in Simcoe the wind hit us like a brick wall--we were so glad to have found that trail and been out of the wind and traffic for the last 7 miles (the trail was shorter than the road route).  We got to our hotel and had to laugh; it seems all the chain hotels must be in competition for the most pillows on a guest bed. Today we each have 4 pillows and a bolster! What next?

We cleaned our bikes (the worst part about riding in the rain) and went to dinner in the parking lot of the hotel. The entertainment tonight was.... me! Here's my song, on which everyone above a "certain age" sang backup:
There we were just a-riding down the street, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.
A-stretching our fingers and a-pedaling our feet, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.
We look good (we look good) we look great (we look great).
We look good, we look great, as we ride around the lake.

We had a rest day in the town of Buffalo, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.
Crossed the bridge, now we're in Ontario, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.
We look good (we look good) we look great (we look great).
We look good we look great as we ride around the lake.

Whoooaaa we knew we could finish this tour.
Yes we did, so we got up every morning and went back for more.

Before we know it we'll be back in Ohio, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.
We circled Lake Erie now it's on to home we go, singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do!

After the song Carolyn entertained us with stories of what she and her buddies did today, including a nude beach (brrr) a French chef, and a lot of fun!

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