Thanks For The Spaghetti and Meatballs Neighbour!: Day 44 - Newberry MI to Echo Bay Ontario - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

July 16, 2015

Thanks For The Spaghetti and Meatballs Neighbour!: Day 44 - Newberry MI to Echo Bay Ontario

One inland sea behind us and a few more to go.

I'm laying on a very comfy couch in a very nice B&B on the shores of Lake Huron feeling rather content. A couple of days of biking left to finish off this leg of the trip and so far everything has worked out extremely well.

Today was a really good day for biking. We were having breakfast at 6:30 and were on the road shortly after 7:30. It really pays off to get on the road early. Traffic was very light to non existent and the temps were cool, about 12 c. We even had a good tailwind and the road had some curves and gentle ups and downs. All good stuff.

Not a lot of pics today since a) we were making really good time and you get in a groove where you just want to bike and b) there was nothing really different to take a picture of.

What was different was that we started to see other bikers. Beth and John from Surrey England who were riding from Toronto to Vancouver plus two of other solo guys we didn't get a chance to talk to. No surprise since we were getting close to Sault St Marie, one of the choke points where nearly all Trans Canada cyclists pass through.

We rolled into the Michigan Soo just after noon, having made great time with our tailwind, and made it across the border without much delay. Hello Canada again.

We beelined it to Velorution Cycles, the shop in the Ontario Soo where most tourer's tend to congregate. Very nice folks working there and they have a free camping area behind their shop and showers and power. What a great thing for our travelling community!

Bill was needing some repair work done on his front racks and he was thinking of taking a rest day tomorrow so this was an ideal location for him.

It was still pretty early in the day and Kirsten and I were debating whether to stay here or pedal on a few more km's. We grabbed some lunch, checked out what was in Echo Bay (or what Google tells you is in Echo Bay) and made the decision to continue to push on. We went back to the bike shop and said our farewells to Bill. It was really enjoyable to bike with him over the last 9'days and we will probably cross paths again before St. John's.

We also saw Claude and Martin's bikes at the shop with wheels off! John and Beth who we had seen earlier in the morning had camped with them last night about 30 km from the Michigan Soo. They've obviously had some bike problems as they were quite far ahead of us. Hopefully it's nothing too serious and we will likely see them passing us tomorrow morning.

I think it's kind of neat how this community manages to connect and grow. Although most folks are keeping some sort of blog (here, Facebook, personal web page) there is still a lot of information passed along verbally from person to person. That's one thing that is so much more enjoyable than a 'like' on Facebook.

Now the explanation for the obscure title for today. There are now actually two explanations, but I'll start with the first.

Back on 7 July I called the day 'Hello Neighbour' and made reference to an 'inside' family story. Today's title is the finish to that story, the readers digest version of which is this.....

Back when we lived in the UK, we were down in London one weekend with the kids. We had popped into a nice little neighbourhood Italian restaurant and were in the middle of lunch when a very lively, very nice and very American gent walked in and immediately said "Hello neighbour! We've just moved in next door and I was wondering if we could get some spaghetti and meatballs to go? We'll bring th plates back!"

There was a moment of stunned silence in the restaurant. It was nice place, not stuffy, but I don't think they had ever done a take out, or loaned out their dishes. But their new 'neighbour' seemed like a good guy and within a few minutes he was heading out the door with his spaghetti and meatballs. Everyone seemed happy and we like to think that that was the start of a long relationship between these folks.

That was the reason for the "Hello Neighbour" day, and it turns out that we had such a great time biking in the U.S., that we owed them a big thank you for their "Spaghetti and meatballs".

The second reason is another pure serendipity moment. Echo Bay is a pretty small place, population 500, with only one restaurant, Lucy Loo's. So that's where we went. The special of the day was all you can eat ..... 'Spaghetti and Meatballs"!

Guess what we had for dinner. It was equally good as the biking our neighbours provided.

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Song of the day....

Born in the USA .... By The Boss

Another way of expressing our thanks for the good roads, good people and good times we had in the last nine days (although the song depicts a rather dystopian version of the US)

Historical monument of the day ....

Right here in Echo Bay .... The Big Loonie ....

Turns out the gent that designed the Loonie coin came from here

This is what most of today's ride into Sault St Marie looked like. Not too shabby
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Beth and John from Surrey on their way to Vancouver! Happy trails
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Adios Bill! He's staying at Velorution in the Soo and we're pushing on
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The 'Big Loonie' in Echo Bay Ontario
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Commemorating Robert-Ralph Carmichael, the designer of the Loonie
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Dean and Pamela outside the echo bay general store and beer store. Dean was really excited to see a tandem bike. His uncle had ridden across Tunisia, about 300 km he said, and he was having trouble getting his head around the length of our trip
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Today's ride: 140 km (87 miles)
Total: 4,540 km (2,819 miles)

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