August 4: Port Dover to Dunnville - Cannon Ball 300 on a Cannondale (Tour 20) - 2021 🇨🇦 - CycleBlaze

August 4, 2021

August 4: Port Dover to Dunnville

'Twang' said the spoke

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Where I stayed is a new community complex which is not quite on the water. Instead, they have this access point to the water so I stopped to admire the view before really getting going. (Port Dover, ON)
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The same spot as the previous photo but looking more easterly toward the sun. (Port Dover, ON)
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In this area there used to be a belching refinery which was closed some years ago. Now there are many wind turbines dotting the landscape, as well as a number of vast solar arrays that must be on the original property. I am not sure how much power they generate but it must be significant. (Nanticoke, ON)
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This was typical of the firt half of today's cycling. The pavement was not perfect but good enough for me. The road wound to and away from the water. Trees were close enough to the road that they often provided cooling shade. (Nanticoke, ON)
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A lot of the water and beach access points had signs warning not to trespass. What a shame that the shores of the Great Lakes are not freely accessible to everyone! This point was a public access point so I went over to the beach to feel the water. Cool but not cold it would have bene nice for a swim. (Nanticoke, ON)
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Same spot as the previous two photos but here looking westerly along the Lake Erie shoreline. (Nanticoke, ON)
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As I got closer to the Niagara region, the shoreline became more manicured, more built-up and more polluted. (Lake Erie shoreline, ON)
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The other side of the road as above. Generally, from the half way point today, this was a strip of cottages on both side of the road. Pretty, but... (Lake Erie shoreline)
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  • Riverside Motel, $102

I slept like a baby so I must have been pretty tired. I enjoyed the last hour with my very gracious hosts/friends then packed up the bike and rolled into the sunrise. Literally. It was in my eyes!

I rode along Old Lakeshore Road which pretty much hugged the Erie shoreline. It was neat to watch the ever-changing shades of blue of the lake as the depth changed and as the sun rose higher in the sky. Not only did the sun rise, but so did the temperature. I made sure to drink plenty of fluids and stop for breaks in the shade of nearby towering maples and oaks.

I soon entered the town of Nanticoke and what did I see at the first house but a US flag and a confederate flag. I couldn't help but blurt out, "Yuck" for the latter. I don't think anyone heard me, but to be honest, I think racism should be called out and this is a symbol of pure racism.

As with the previous few days, there was not much wind, and really just a slight tail breeze which was nice. The wind turbines which dotted the countryside were either still or turning ever so slightly. Speaking of turbines and alternative power... When I got to where I think the old power generating station used to be, there were vast fields of solar arrays. So nice to see along with the turbines. Though these won't be able to supply all of our energy needs, they will certainly help to curb emissions.

At around the 50 km mark, I started to get a little restless on the bike. If there had been anywhere to stop for a snack, I would have stopped just to rest my butt a bit. I had plenty of electrolyte drink, though, so I was not going without replenishing, but an off the bike rest would have been nice. I stopped here and there to sip a bit then continued. Then around the 60+ km mark there was a bridge across the Grand River (yes, the same one as in Elora and points north) as I was entering my destination town.

TWANG. As a cyclist, that is a sound you don't really want to hear, but when you do, you have to look over your bike almost immediately or else you might have a bigger problem. I rolled along to a downtown-ish kind of area along Queen Street until I saw a cafe that had a sign indicating cappaccino and goodies. I puled my bike up onto the sidewalk and started going over my rear wheel. Looks good, looks good... oh-oh. Broken spoke. Just what I thought. Wouldn't you know it, but there was a Source for Sports right across the road so I brought the bike across and stepped in to see if they had a bike mechanic - which they did. They had me roll the bike into the store and said I could pick it up tomorrow. I can do some repairs on the bike, but to bring along the tools for this ... pretty much impossible. As luck would have it once again, tomorrow is a planned day off because of the distance I came today, which means, I have a day's buffer for them to get the spoke fixed. Simple job with the right tools, but the mechanic had three bikes ahead of mine.

I pulled the bags off of the bike and returned to my earlier plan of having a capp and a snack, which I did. At a table out on the street I was able to sip and munch as I updated the blog from yesterday. I don't want to leave the writing too long or I will start to forget some of the little details, though I know I leave a lot out as it is, otherwise it would be even more tedious!

My bags were a little heavier than I thought - though the spokes should be able to handle a lot. Giving thought to this incident, I think for the remainder of the tour I will put the bags onto the front rack to re-distribute the weight on the wheels. I have done this before and found the bike quite easy to manoeuvre. Then once I am home next week I will re-build the rear wheel with new spokes. It seems to me when I built these wheels a few years ago the spokes were a smidge short so they may have been stressed at the threads.

The walk to my motel was 1.2 km and in the 27 C afternoon, with heavy bags, it was a long way to walk. Luckily I will be able to leave the bags here when I collect the bike tomorrow. The room was ready though I was early again and they ushered me to one which they made sure had the air conditioner on because they could see how hot I was. The rest of the afternoon, until I went out for supper, was spent reading, catching up on news and dozing in the nice cool room. So nice.

This must not be a vibrant town. A few of the places seem to be closed Monday through Wednesday. The place I wanted to eat was one of them, so I went to my second choice, The Queens Merritt Room, for dinner at an outside table. The building is an old hotel from the 1800s and looked to have a lot of character. In safer times, I would like to have eaten indoors. I wanted the Lake Erie perch but they had none, the server saying there seems to be a shortage at the moment. So, I had the fish and chips. The fish was quite tasty, the remainder forgetable. Tomorrow will be choice number 1.

I took a slightly different route back and found there to be quite a mix of houses. Some nice old brick homes that had been beautifully restored. Some ramshackles with broken siding and derelict cars in the driveways. I think this town might be an up-and-comer.

Now back in the room, I am catching up, relaxing, and will soon get my book going!

Today's ride: 66 km (41 miles)
Total: 225 km (140 miles)

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