September 20: Barrie to Orillia - Simcoe County Loop Trail (Tour 21) - 2021 🇨🇦 - CycleBlaze

September 20, 2021

September 20: Barrie to Orillia

From flat to VERY hilly

Home again hotel

I was awake and raring to go so very early. I wanted to get rolling so I could get to my car so I coud get driving home. I always seem to get so far ahead of myself. In fact, I went downatairs to get breakfast at 6 am thinking that was serving time, but nope, not until 7 am. But I would miss the sunrise!

I loaded the trailer and took the 'rig' downstairs on the elevator around 6:45 am and the fellow at the counter said the breakfast bags were ready if I wanted - he asked how many I wanted so I said two since I get really hungry on the bike. I popped them into the bag and headed down the road.

The route took me through the downtown where the same construction was taking place so I had to detour. Those poor businesses who not only had to contend with covid but also the streets being blocked. Yikes.

Just past the centre was the lakeside where I picked up the rail-trail... just as the sun was rising over the lake. Beautiful. Then the path followed alongside the lake within a metre or two of the shore. Before long, though, the path veered away from the lake and never did return. Though pretty, it was not as scenic as the rest of the weekend. There were a few spots where the sand was soft, but for the most part it was very firm and I was able to really push at about 20 to 23 km/h.

As I rode along I listened to CBC, wondering if there would be any nonsense taking place with the election going on, but it seemed everything was fine, thankfully. After just a little less than two hours, my gps directed me away from the rail trail and along the 11th Line sideroad. Being away from the flat lake area, there were many rolling hills that really took the wind out of my sails, so I was going much slower. Then I came to a spot whre it said 'no exit'. I thought about continuing but could just imagine going 5 km then finding a dead end. I headed back then had to backtrack to the 10th Line (one mile), cross many hills until I got to Horseshoe Valley road, then return that mile and then the next few km of big rolling hills to the street where my car was parked. All told, I did about an extra five or so kilometres on very difficult terrain after really pushing along the rail trail.

Despite the tough ride, I arrived to my car around 9:45 am, which was about three hours of hard cycling. Physically I was bushed. As I dis-assembled my bike and trailer and packed it into the car, I visited and chatted, which was really nice. Sad how distance separates people. I was ready to go around 10:10 am and headed right down to the freeway and turned north on Hwy 11 in the direction of Cochrane. I was hopiong to make it home by 3 pm to pick up Alex and help him with his math, but it was not to be. I had six hours of driving to do so 4 pm was the best I could do.

Now, here I sit at home after my 21st bicycle tour. Though it was only an extended weekend, it was as much a flash as longer tours. All of the physical work and enjoyment on the trails becomes history to be remembered. Until the next one.

Just heading out of Barrie at sunrise along the SCLT. -- Barrie, ONI have
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Sunrise over the lake beside the SCLT. This is EXACTLY why I get up really early while on tour so I can be out riding at sunrise. -- SCLT, near Barrie, ON
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The SCLT rail-trail is crushed limestone here and is packed as hard as concrete. -- SCLT, near Barrie, ON
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Once I headed away from the lake, the SCLT was almost arrow straight as it headed toward Orillia. I stopped for a wee snack and a sip of electrolyte beside this peaceful little bog. -- SCLT, between Barrie and Orillia, ON
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Today's ride: 45 km (28 miles)
Total: 221 km (137 miles)

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