Keep on Pedalling: Day 63 - Roblin to Brockville Ontario - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

August 4, 2015

Keep on Pedalling: Day 63 - Roblin to Brockville Ontario

We didn't plan on going to Brockville today, but this was one of thiose days where the riding was just so easy that we just kept on pedalling. I swear it wasn't my scots heritage showing through with the prospect of a $10 campsite if we made it there, but it turned out to be a good bonus.

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Several iterations of route plans yesterday got final sign off from Mr. Kimmett last night, so this morning we headed south from Roblin on county roads 27 and 4 to Millhaven on the shores of Lake Ontario west of Kingston. From there it was east on the waterfront parkway. The first part, down to Milhaven was basically car free. Very nice.

Once we hit the Waterfront Parkway we we getting close to Kingston so there was more traffic, but a good shoulder and quite a bit of bike traffic as well. I had a reaffirmation of my retirement epiphany. It was Tuesday. It was mid morning. All the cyclists were my age. Most of them should not have been wearing Lycra. But they we out there! Woohoo!

At about the same time we hit the shores and Lake Ontario and started heading east, the wind also picked up from the west, just as they have done every day since we came into Ontario at the Soo. Everyone talks about the prairie west wind and the steep climbs in the mountains of BC and Alberta, but we've had the most consistent strong west winds and two of our highest vertical climb days in Ontario!

Today was just the west wind, no climbing to speak of, and we were going east. That's why we are in Brockville now.

Good Italian lunch in Kingston at the Wooden Head near the harbour. Could have and should have taken lots of pics as its a very picturesque city and the day was gorgeous, but we've both been to Kingston quite a few times so we just didn't have the initiative to take any pics. Lame I know but that's how it is.

When we hit Gananoque we stopped for our Choco milk refill and also wolfed down a quarter watermelon. That's what I've always pictured August to be about. Hot days with intermingled sweat and watermelon juice. Some of you might think this sounds gross, but to those who know ..... It's watermellon in Easter hay.

Another good thing about Gananoque is that this is where the Waterfront trail gets an upgrade from a shoulder with a bike stencil on it to a full on separate paved bike path (new pavement last year!). About 50 km of this all the way to Brockville, with a tailwind!

Just as we we leaving Gananoque we came across a group of 4 roadies out to hit the trail. We played hopscotch with them for a bit and then I started to put some distance between them and me (it was the afternoon and I had the tunes going, that always picks up my pace).

Kirsten hung back and chatted with them for a while and it turns out they had sailed from Toronto to Gananoque and they had their bikes on their boat. They were out for a day ride today but had done quite a bit of touring in Central America and south east Asia. They were interested in Kirsten's bike. I've either got a deciple or a budding bike nerd now as she recounted the virtues of Rohloff hubs and SON generators and gates carbon drives...etc etc etc .

When she told me this later it almost brought a tear to my eye.

Not a lot of pictures today. Not because there was nothing to take pictures of but mainly because we were just content to pedal along in what turned out to be a great day of cycle touring!

We finished up at the St Lawrence Park Campgound in Brockville. Muncipally run. Ten bucks for folks who arrive under their own power ( take note province of Ontario!). Got ourselves cleaned up and then hit the Mill Restarurant in Brockville for another great Italian meal. Straight forward uncomplicated dishes perfectly prepared. Reminded us of why we like travelling in Italy so much. While we were there we also came up with the realization that we said the same thing about Brockville that we've said about many many places across the country "This is a place I could live..." That's one of the many great things about this country!

While we were there it also bucketed down with rain, and cleared up by the time we were ready to leave. Impeccable timing today.

Song of the day:

This is a real tough one ..... Listened to a lot more music than I have I the last few days ..... And the nod goes to ....

Safe Passage by Leela Gilday

A song about leaving home to explore the world outside your known and safe community ... This also came on just as we hit the separate bike path that led us all the way to Brockville, that's safe passage in my books

Lots of other honourable mentions from the likes of Corb Lund, The Tragically Hip, Kerri Latimer, Jason Plumb.....and this one...

We've spent a lot of time in the last few days with some of our friends. We've been put up in their homes and driven around in thier cars. We've also listened to a lot of their music. Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing the back seat of Clair's car with another one of his good friends, Hunter. Hunter doesn't really get the idea of "sharing" the back seat, so the majority of the time I was back there with him I was either getting my face licked ( with blasts of dog breath) or getting a good face wash from his tail when he chose to super dog it out the window. In the few moments of respite from this, I looked in the little flap in the back of the seat and saw a cd poking out. It was a rock classic ... It was Clair .... And it had to be played today ... Loud...

Thunderstruck by AC / DC

At the 130 km Mark we were still feeling good and riding strong but I thought this little number would get us moving for the last push. And it did. Dogs were running off the path to get out of my way, their middle aged owners cowering in fear as this deranged long haired sweaty biker on some weird bike with bags hanging off it came barrelling down the bike path at high speed screaching school boy lyrics and punching the air ( maybe bike paths aren't so safe for riding? Or walking your dog?)

Always a great tune to get a little adrenaline rush going ... A shout out to Jessie Fletcher if you or anybody who ever went to your spin classes at Bankers Hall in Calgary is out there! Best spin classes ever, and she would throw this classic into the mix every once in a while. It always got you working harder than you thought you would or could, and always with a stupid grin on your face. That was me today, barrelling down the bike trail at 35 kmph, on the flats! (Note to the safety squad, there was only one dog walker, and I slowed down for her, no other bikers, and visability was at least 1 km. My description of the song just wouldn't sound as dramatic if I put all that in up front. Disclaimer: No cyclists were injured during the playing of this song (today)).

Historical monument of the day:

Ontario Woodworking Museum....About 10 km east of Kingston, cool old log building and a collection of mainly planes. Not too exciting but it is in here today because we think we solved the mystery of the odd implement Marie has in her house (found on Clair's farm). Very similar implement in the museum and it's a cart jack. See the pics below.

Should be in Quebec tomorrow. Vive la diferance!

Heading south from Roblin ... Nice farm land and no traffic!
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More bucolic rural Ontario backroads!
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About 50 of these would be better, but at lest some folks are waking up to the fact that people on bikes are tourists too!
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The wagon jack ... We think that's what Marie has at her place
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Riding the thousand island bike trail between Gananoque and Brockville
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Today's ride: 152 km (94 miles)
Total: 5,678 km (3,526 miles)

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