Center Island

I did a quick little trip yesterday. Because of the incident with the touring bike, where the rear wheel collapsed and failed, it is in the shop and it's expected to take a couple of weeks before a new wheel is created. So in the meantime, I've been using my single speed winter MTB to get around. The one thing that's a bit annoying has been the lack of toe clips, which I have on the touring bike. I have to change the way I bike and after a huge and constant rainstorm on Wednesday my bike shoes along with everything else, were soaked. I couldn't wear them on the Thursday so I wore simple Airwalk casaul shoes. <br />
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Friday I was supposed to have a massage at <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1037&amp;entry_id=285" title="http://massage.ca/healinghands/" onmouseover="window.status='http://massage.ca/healinghands/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Healing Hands</a> but because of a train derailment, nothing was running between Toronto and Hamilton in regards to the GO, VIA or CN. So I cancelled that and wandered a bit around Burlington before heading to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1038&amp;entry_id=285" title="http://www.emmasbackporch.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.emmasbackporch.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Emma's Back Porch</a> for a bison burger and a beer. <br />
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Saturday I was going to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1039&amp;entry_id=285" title="http://www.centreisland.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.centreisland.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;" >Center Island</a> for a picnic so I figured I'd bike down and then, if the trains were running, take one back to Oakville and bike from Oakville. As it turned out, yesterday was a hot one. But the morning ride was pretty decent. I left around 7:30am and bike along Lakeshore, my old training route, with my sandals on. I managed an average speed of 22KM/Hour, which I thought pretty decent given that I was using my single speed, with the big knobby tires. I ended up there an hour earlier than I had anticipated. I did manage to catch a delayed train back and biked from Oakville home, making the day an 80KM day. Not bad. I think for future weekend training, once I get my touring bike back, I will have one day of 80-100KM. It might help me achieve what I want to.

2006 Tour Part 2: The hard part

After going through the first half of the tour I had figured going back would be easier since I was taking 3 days — at minimum and up to 5 days — to come back. I took Schoenherr back on the Wednesday. I had left around 7am. I went up to 24 Mile and made the same mistake — 24 Mile doesn't cross the I-94. So I went back to Gratiot and biked north along that (rather difficult since it was reduced to single lane due to construction. Once I reached 26 Mile I continued along that and realized that I should have taken 26 to begin with. I followed it primarily but ran into a few spots of bad, loose gravel that slowed me down. I did head south a bit and eventually ended back up on 24 Mile. I went north on Starville to Plank Road and headed into Marine City. I crossed at the Ferry and stopped at the local chip stand for a chili dog and fries. I then followed the St. Clair Parkway. This highway has a nice shoulder and relatively slower traffic. This made for a nice early afternoon ride with the St. Clair Rivery to the right of me and cottages on the left.<br />
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I looked for Border Road but couldn't find it. So I ended up on Highway 40, a high speed highway. I pedalled slowly along the<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 94px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/baldoon_road.jpg'><img width='94' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/baldoon_road.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Baldoon Rd. to Chatham. </div></div> gravel shoulder. Eventually I found Swan Line. I took that poor farm gravel road to Baldoon, another gravel road. But this one had bare road in some places so it made the speed rather decent. At times the gravel wasn't good but it was manageable. At times I checked my rear wheel because it felt like it was slipping. It made me concerned about a potential flat. But the air pressure was fine. Something, however, was niggling in the back of my mind. Baldoon leads right into Chatham so I figured that'd be my stop for the night. It took a little while to find a hotel but I eventually found the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1032&amp;entry_id=284" title="http://www.travelodge.com/Travelodge/control/Booking/property_info?propertyId=10244&amp;brandInfo=TL" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.travelodge.com/Travelodge/control/Booking/property_info?propertyId=10244&amp;brandInfo=TL';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Travelodge Chatham</a>. I got a deal that included a hot breakfast in the price. I figured why not? And because it was on the ground floor, I wheeled my bike into the room.<br />
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After a nice shower I went to the family restaurant (who's name I've forgotten) across the street and had Apple Chops with a homemade Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie for dessert. I watched some TV to relax and slept soundly. The next morning I had my hearty breakfast and then went to check the bike. The rear wheel was rubbing against the rear brakes. A few of the spokes were loose but I didn't notice any more. I loaded the bike up and figured I might be able to continue. I headed out for the morning and as I rode along, I noticed that the front wheel shimmed and pulled away from me. I decided that it was too risky and went in search of the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1033&amp;entry_id=284" title="http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">VIARail</a> station. After running around and eventually asking at the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1034&amp;entry_id=284" title="http://www.chatham-kent.ca/police/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.chatham-kent.ca/police/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Police Station</A> I made it there. But apparently the 6:40am train was the one that allowed for cargo. I then went in search of the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1035&amp;entry_id=284" title="http://www.greyhound.ca/en/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.greyhound.ca/en/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Greyhound Bus Station</a>. I purchased a ticket to Toronto, found a local bike shop to get a box at, took a cab back, left the bike in the box at the small station and then went to do laundry.<br />
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Eventually, at 12:40pm, I was on the bus back to Toronto, rather dejected that I couldn't bike the whole way. Once at the Toronto station I put everything together and rode down to the GO station. I had to wait until 6:30pm to take the train westbound. Once on the train I looked at the rear wheel and saw that 3 spokes had vertical cracks where they connected to the rim. This was more serious than I had thought. I managed to bike from the Burlington GO Station to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=1036&amp;entry_id=284" title="http://www.brantcycle.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.brantcycle.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Brant Cycle</a> and showed them the damage. It had gotten worse in the short ride. The rim was actually collapsing at this point. <br />
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It wasn't how i wanted to end it but it was how I had to end it unless something serious happened in the middle of no where with no services or help or anything. Next time I know how to do this trip and put on better tires/wheels that can handle a rougher terrain or find a better, more paved route.

2006 Tour Part 1: The "easy" part.

Well I increased the font size so that should be helpful for those reading this. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/bait_vendor.jpg'><img width='110' height='101' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/bait_vendor.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Wonder if the worms stay fresh in there?</div></div>I did my tour to Detroit and back (sort of). I left on Thursday the 29th going up Brant Street (oh joy. The Escarpment) and then turned left onto No 1 Sideroad.It was paved for the most part and I followed that to Highway 6. I went north on Highway 6 briefly (it's extremely busy so be careful on the shoulders) to Concession Road 4. I then took that to Sager Road, turned right and then left onto McLean School Road. I followed that to East River Road and then turned right onto Glen Morris Road (be careful that you don't take the first Glen Morris — believe it's Glen Morris East). There should be a gas station on the left side and this bait vending machine. I stopped here for some water, a bathroom break and a bit of a rest. <br />
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Once you go across the bridge you stay on Glen Morris for about 2-3 km and then turn left onto West River Road. I followed that Watt's Pond to Township Road 3 into the town of Canning. Keep in mind that most of these roads are backroads and thus, rather rough (potholes and bad gravel). Once in Canning look for Township Road 4 to Highway 33 <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/thunderstorm.jpg'><img width='110' height='83' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/thunderstorm.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">The thunderstorm that gave me hail to deal with</div></div>and take that to Township Road 3 (to get over the 401). You then turn right onto Blandford and then left onto Township Road. You can then take this into Woodstock for a stop at the local Tim Hortons. (tres Canadian) I needed to stop given the two thunderstorms (including a bit of hail) along with a headwind that challenged me the whole way.<br />
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I then took Highway 17 into London (it turns into Evelyn Drive). Realizing that I was at the outskirts of London and needed to be a bit more south of it, I began biking into the city itself by taking Highbury Avenue to Oxford. I continued along Oxford to where it meets with Kains/Commissioners. At this point I had reached 169KM and it was 6pm. My goal was to reach just outside of Glencoe where the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=993&amp;entry_id=282" title="http://www.bbcanada.com/woodgreen" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.bbcanada.com/woodgreen';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Woodgreen B&B</a> was. But I had just gone up the long hill of Oxford, I was at 12 hours+ of riding nearly non-stop, it was 6pm, had no lights with me and I still had another 60km to go. I decided to be smart and got a cab to take to the B&B. I was able to enjoy a homemade scrambled eggs (made with fresh eggs — almost double the size of large eggs). I got a good nights sleep and got up the next day to continue my trek into Detroit. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/bentpath.jpg'><img width='110' height='43' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/bentpath.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Bentpath isn't so bent.. </div></div>I took Highway 2 (aka Longwoods) to Wardsville (about 4 km). I did a quick water run at the small cafe and then turned right onto Hagerty. It was easy enough to continue along Hagerty to Bentpath (County Road 2). This road is as flat as they come, has a little paved shoulder and encourages sharing the road with cyclists! This road leads right to Sombra where the ferry can be taken across to Marine City (on the US side). The ferry is $1 each way for cyclists and you can pay both ways from the Canadian side or if you're going to take another ferry elsewhere (or continue further) you'll have to let them know. I had to wait at US Customs for the cars to go through first. When I saw the US Customs agent going through trunks I feared I'd have to empty my panniers. But he didn't have me do that. <br />
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I then followed the directions towards I-94. While I wasn't going to take the I-94, the road to it would be partially on my way out. I did stop at a local diner Louie's Corner Family Restaurant. They have an all-day breakfast that is quite filling<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/ferry.jpg'><img width='110' height='39' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/ferry.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Ferry to the US</div></div> for what you pay for. I took West Road to get out of Marine City. It eventually turned into Plank Road. I then turned left onto Starville Road and got honked at as I continued it to Arnold Road. For the most part, the fine gravel was fine to ride on as it was well packed and the road was quiet. Until I reached Ridge Road, which was large gravel stones. It did eventually turn into 24 Mile Road and followed that to Foster Road South. I-94 cuts 24 Mile Road so I had to go to Highway 29/23 Mile Road to go over the highway. The narrow road with no shoulders and lots of afternoon traffic wasn't fun. There also seemed to be an issue whereby city planners would build a sidewalk, stop it in the middle of a field and then put a bus stop in the field. (??)<br />
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I tried working my way down through some of the newer developments and got to the MI-59. Now this is a highway but they had 8 foot shoulders and it seemed to be more of a boulevard as it wasn't a "proper" highway (maybe more of what we'd call in Ontario a secondary highway). I went along this for a little bit until I hit Schoenherr (prounced by the locals as Shane-er). I was able to take this to my friend's house. So over two days I did just over 300KM. Not too bad considering that I really haven't had too much training. I was disappointed about having to cab part of it but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. <br />
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I'll try to remember to continue with Part 2 tomorrow.

Day 7 and 8 of the Jackhammer Tour: The End is nigh!

<span style="font-weight:bold">Day 7</span>: This day was also going to be a short one since I was heading to Everett for a BBQ and poker match with some friends. I also had to find a <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=835&amp;entry_id=214" title="http://www.lcbo.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.lcbo.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">LCBO</a> so as to get a nice something for myself as well as I wanted to bring them a bottle of wine to thank them for hosting the event. I went again to Merv's for a late (9am is late for me) breakfast. Afterwards I went to the local laundry mat to do some laundry as well as to the used bookstore to exchange some of my books that I had read for store credit and some more books (when I'm on tour I read like there's no tomorrow). Once the laundry was done, I headed through Alliston in search of the LCBO. Once I had safely stored my two bottles of wine in the panniers, I continued along the 89 in search of Concession Road 7. I had figured it wouldn't be that difficult. D'oh!<br />
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East of Alliston it's relatively flat. West of Alliston, it's relatively hilly. After going over the first hill on Concession Road 7, I took a left onto Tosorontio and was faced with a very steep downhill on large gravel that shifted. I walked it down. I didn't want to risk it and I had lots of time to spare so being safe was the order of the day. Once at the bottom, I continued on the bike until I reached Concession Road 6. I followed that. Again, there were a few hills but I was able to granny gear them well enough. I soon hit County Road 5 and I took a left there, that lead me quickly into Everett and a night of chips, stories and just good fun and friends. <br />
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<span style="font-weight:bold">Day 8</span>: Amazingly, eventhough I had gone to bad at 3am, I awoke at 6:30ish. I packed everything up and found my host, B, up and about. He offered to make me an egg and peameal bacon breafast sandwich. Like I'd say no. With that in me, I was on the road by 7:30am. Not too late and even had some energy in me yet. I continued west on County Road 5 until I found Concession Road 4. I wanted to avoid Concession Road 7 with it's steep hills. There was practically no one on the roads, given it was early and it was a holiday Sunday. I followed Concession Road 4 all the way to where King's Highway 9. For the most part, the 4 was paved but there were gravel bits and it was hilly in some areas. <br />
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Highway 9 was a bit busy but I was able to cross it and jaunt over to the left to get Humber Station Road. And it was there I heard shots. As it turned out there was a gun range nearby and the shooters were taking practise. I didn't see any bullets but I pedalled rather fast to avoid finding out if it ever went beyond the boundaries. The downside to this road was that it was going past Albion Hills (aka ski hills) so I would have a bit of climbing to do. The other challenge I had was that because I was coming from the northwest, Toronto Pearson International Airport was directly in my path. So I'd actually go a bit farther west and then head east to by-pass the area as much as possible. <br />
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Humber Station remained fairly hilly until I passed Mayfield Road. It was then that it began to flatten out somewhat. I suspect it's left over stuff from the Canadian Shield. The road quality got better as I got closer to Brampton. I continued on Humber Station when it turned into the Clarkway. I eventually found County Road 107 and took that west (it's also identified as Queen Street but not the same Queen Street in Toronto). In Bramalea I found a McDonald's and stopped there for lunch. I continued along the 107 until I found Dixie Road. I had used Dixie previously to bike to Panasonic's HQ so I figured it should be doable since I was somewhat used to it. It's actually a really wide boulevard-type road and since it was a Sunday it was relatively quiet with a few cars on the road. I actually ran out of water for the first time on this trip and stopped at a gas station to get some more. I followed Dixie all the way down to Lakeshore Road and followed it to the Waterfront MUT. I was dreading the MUT since it was a nice day and it was mid-afternoon at this point. It was going to be packed. <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 101px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/dirtybike.JPG'><img width='101' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/dirtybike.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Backroads turn a red/black bike into a white one. But it's all good travels. </div></div><br />
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I ran into a few cyclists who asked where I had gone touring and where I was going to. I explained my journey as we cycled carefully around joggers and rollerbladers and they seemed impressed. I eventually made it to the front door by 3pm. Ironmac came out to meet me and inspect the new bike. Rather dusty after 700+KM. <br />
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Ah. It was a good tour, even if my shoulders were sore (that's what massage therapists are for). Next tour: either Toronto-Montreal or Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal.<br />
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Happy Trails.

Day 5 and 6 of the Jackhammer Tour: It’s all downhill from here — sorta.

<span style="font-weight:bold">Day 5</span>: I got up at 6:30am to leave. I followed the city trail southwest to the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=827&amp;entry_id=213" title="http://www.canadatrails.ca/tct/on/lakecountry.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.canadatrails.ca/tct/on/lakecountry.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Lake Country Oro-Medonte Rail Trail</a>. This trail connects Orillia to Barrie basically. Pretty much follows the 20 and the gravel on the trail is a fine packed gravel with a little wear'n'tear. Partway through I noticed some wild turkeys and it got me a little worried about the possibility of bears and other critters. There isn't <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/smalltent.JPG'><img width='110' height='106' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/smalltent.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">My home away from home when on tour by myself</div></div>much on the trail as far as services are concerned so if you do take it bring a snack and lots of water (28KM one way is a decent distance for anyone). <br />
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Once I entered Barrie I managed to find the Lakeshore Trail after taking Ridge Road into town (if you look, you'll see parking lots to the east of you as you head southwards). As I followed the trail through town I went looking for a local "greasy spoon" in hopes of getting breakfast. I had been on the road for about an hour and a half. And, not surprisingly, was hungry. I eventually found the Information Center and they suggested I go to Minet Point Road where it meets Huronia. It was there that I found Scott's Restaurant. I had a nice hearty breakfast of eggs, french toast and bacon. I followed Huronia Road to Mapleview Dr (aka Molson Park Drive). I made a right on Molson Park Drive and was beside a fair amount of traffic (large trucks and such) getting ready for the Live 8 concert. Once I passed the 400 exchange, things thinned out somewhat. I stayed on Mapleview until it ended at County Road 27. A quick right and then left (10 meters north) to the 25th Sideroad and I was on my way to quieter travels. It was a bit busy at first but only until I passed the golf course. It was definately hilly. The road eventually levelled out some and became more of the rolling hills to flat type.<br />
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I followed it until it ended at 5th Line. I turned left on 5th and followed that. Unfortunately, I got<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 88px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/funkychicken.JPG'><img width='88' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/funkychicken.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Beware of the Duck-hunting chicken! (from Nicolston Dam)</div></div> to face a decent headwind (about 15KM) but the plus was that the road was rather flat (for the most part). As I got closer to Nicolston Dam, there were a few larger hills but I was able to plough over them with some detemination. The nice thing about 5th Line is that it ends right at the Dam/Campsite. And it's a nice campsite. Very well looked after. I had reserved two nights there and was able again to get a nice spot under the shade, near the showers and near the enterance. Some of the neighbours were a bit noisy but it was livable. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 106px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/nicolstongrist.JPG'><img width='106' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/nicolstongrist.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Nicolston Dam Grist Mill now Store and Campground Office.</div></div>After showering and such I decided to walk to the Nottawasaga Inn and Resort to see what they have (very expensive place but a nice treat). King's Highway 89 was unbelievable! It was, of course, the Thursday before the long Canada Day weekend so people probably left early to enjoy the weekend. It took me about 15 minutes to cross the highway to get to the Inn (about a KM or so east and south of the campgrounds). I decided that I'd treat myself to one of their fixed-price dinners the next night and wanted to venture into Alliston to see what was up and about. I called a cab for that adventure (not wanting to risk life and limb on the highway with no shoulder). Meandering around the town I found a bookstore and splurged on a few books since I had finished the ones I had with me.<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/fnicol.jpg'><img width='110' height='59' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/fnicol.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Frank Nicol signed his grist mill when he built it in the 1900s. </div></div> <br />
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For dinner I went to Merv's Fish and Chips Plus (at the recommendation of the cabbie). As it turned out, Merv's was having All-You-Can-Eat-Shrimp Night. I had that along with Cheese Bits (deep fried cheese with a coating — actually good although I'm sure they ain't diet food). It's an interesting place. I've never had a bowl of pickels and beets brought as part of the main course. Apparently one of the owners is a nutritionist. *shrug*. Either way, it was good and fairly cheap! (the refrills were either free or 50 cents — can't remember which). <br />
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Interestingly enough, the temperature dropped that night and the humidity seemed to go for a bit. The wind did pick up.<br />
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<span style="font-weight:bold">Day 6</span>:This day ended up being a kinda rest day. Since I wasn't moving camp, it was just me on the bike. I took Highway 89 back into Alliston. It was early enough and since it was now a holiday, fewer cars were on the road and things were noticeably quieter on the highway. It didn't seem so threatening. So I went back to Merv's for breakfast. Very good and very filling for <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 106px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/cracksinmill.JPG'><img width='106' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/cracksinmill.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Uhh… me thinks the mill needs some repair! (Nicolston Dam) </div></div>a low price. A return back to the campground and I relaxed a bit by reading in the tent. 8:30am is a wee-bit too early to drop in on friends, which was my plan for the day. I was going to visit a former boss who has a house in <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=833&amp;entry_id=213" title="http://www.utopia.on.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.utopia.on.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Utopia</a>. Since it would be a short jaunt back the way I came, it didn't seem that difficult. What was going to be the challenge was the wind, which was picking up. <br />
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At around 10:30 or so I headed back along 5th Line and followed it north to 25th Sideroad. I then turned left onto 6th Line. Bad concrete/gravel mix road. Bumpity. Bumpity. Bumpity. While visiting and yapping we went to visit the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=834&amp;entry_id=213" title="http://www.utopia.on.ca/UtopiaOnt.htm" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.utopia.on.ca/UtopiaOnt.htm';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Utopia Grist Mill Project</a>. Very beautiful area that holds a lot of promise at remembering what the past was. A lot of these small towns were dependent on the grist mills and were the focal point of the existence of the towns. <span style="font-weight:bold">Ontario Place Names</span> by David E. Scott tells of the history of many of the towns, cities and villages that make up this large province. And it's the grist mills that stand out. <br />
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After a few hours I got worried about the wind and the potential for getting caught in a storm so I said my goodbyes and ventured back on 6th Line. I was sorta lucky that the wind was blowing west to east. It would mean an occassional headwind but primarily it would be a crosswind. That is still challenging enough since most of the area is dedicated to sod growing (biggest 1" high lawns you'll ever see). I even got to see a bit of a horse polo match going on one such farm. Once back at the Dam and all clean again, I ventured back to the Nottawasaga Inn for dinner. The food was good, although the atmosphere left a bit to be desired. Every family with spoiled kids was running amok in the restaurant. I could tell the manager was far from impressed.

Day 4 of the Jackhammer Tour: Where am I again?

<span style="font-weight:bold">Day 4</span>: I slept fitfully, partially due to the loud music below my room (while I had a view of the river, I also was directly above the bar) and partially due to the noisy air conditioner. I eventually got up at 5:30 and left by 6am. Bobcaygeon isn't that big but yet again I managed to get lost trying to find County Road 8 (Highway 8 ) so I could get on the backroads again. After going through the town a few times I finally figured it out and was on my way. I missed Oliver's Road but found Cosh's Road and took that to Treeview Line. It was a rather hilly adventure along Treeview Line and then right onto St. Alban's Road but a left onto Cedar Tree Road and things began to flatten out. In fact, they had flattened out so much that there was a sign warning me of "flooded area". Hrmm.. I suppose I could wade through, since detouring wasn't an option. Then I remembered that Ontario was certainly lacking when it came to rain so I continue (though the gravel) and found no water, at all. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 86px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/fellonfalls.JPG'><img width='86' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/fellonfalls.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">The "big" Fenelon Falls</div></div>Eventually, I found County Road 121 (Highway 121) and took that into Fenelon Falls. I figured I'd get breakfast here. First, however, I wanted to see what the town had be named after (namely the Falls). With the locks in place they seemed rather tame. Maybe it was just the angle I was viewing them from. I had seen a restaurant on the way in but since I was eager for the Falls I decided to wait and hoped to find something else in town. No such luck. I continued out on County Road 8 (Highway 8 ) and found Helen's (aptly on Helen Street). The decor is entirely to Newfies and the food is definately homemade. Had to be the largest french toast I've ever had. Certainly filled me up for the road. <br />
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I had to do a short jaunt on King's Highway 35 but given how early it was in the morning I didn't face as much traffic as I could have. I went north about 500m to get Glenarm Road (the <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/crane.JPG'><img width='110' height='82' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/crane.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Big crane/heron near Fish Hawk Road. </div></div>continuation of County Road 8 ). It proved to be a bit busier than I had anticipated or wanted to experience so I turned onto Country Lane and headed a bit north to Whitetail Road. This area proved to be another cottage country road. Given that the road <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/piper.JPG'><img width='110' height='102' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/piper.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Water Piper among the reeds on Fish Hawk Road. </div></div>followed the South Bay of Balsam Lake, it's not surprising. It was a quiet road and although it was gravel, it was a hard road with small gravel. I continued along White Tail and turned right onto Kodiak road to Riley and then a right onto Elm Tree Road. I did get a lot more of Ma Nature on this part as I got to see an Osprey nest with two Osprey in it (not sure if they were the youngins' or not). Interestingly enough, this nest was on Fish Hawk Road (which I had turned left onto from Elm Tree. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/osprey.JPG'><img width='110' height='75' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/osprey.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Osprey playing hide'n'seek with me.</div></div>Fish Hawk Road ended at County Road 35 and I turned right onto that. Oops. I went about 3 KM north when I realized I was going the wrong way. I headed back, went past <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/froggie.JPG'><img width='110' height='96' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/froggie.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Froggy I chased off the road so he wouldn't get "smushed"</div></div>Fish Hawk Road and found Eldon Station Road (what I had originally been looking for). I turned right onto that and followed it to Centennial Park Road. Hanging a right there, I headed towards County Road 48 and Bolsover. County Road 48 was rather busy and I was did turn left onto it (the right direction) but completely missed my turn off (Bolsover Road itself). I went about 2KM too far and then turned around. I had wanted to see the "Canal Arch" here as it seemed to have some significance. I did stop at the little store/gas station/garden center for a Gatorade and a freezee. Freezees, if you've never had them, are basically these long tubes of frozen sugar water. They are great on cold days and you can get "brain freezes" when sucking too hard. It made for a great cool down. <br />
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The Canal Arch was a disappointment (it was a just a lock) so I continued along Bolsover Road. My shoulders were showing the wear and tear of gravel riding and were getting sore. Bolsover ends at Rohallion and turns into Cranberry Road, beside a quarry. This should have been my first warning. If you take this trip, at all costs, AVOID Cranberry Road. Worst. Gravel. Road. Ever. Big ass gravel rocks (3-4 inches in size) and ruts for the road. I should have altered my plans when I saw the sign that said the road wasn't looked after by the municipality and when I realized it was a single lane for BOTH directions. Foolishly and hardheadly, I continued the full length of the road (about 3-4KM). My shoulders were definately sore after this. Eventually I found a less gravelled road with Miller Road and made a right onto that. Relief came in the form of County Road 47. I took that to County Road 6. This was a bit busy but was a managable busy. It eventually turns into County Road 46 (County Road 46 turns into Ramara Road). I took County Road 11, a slight turn off of County Road 46. This by-passes King's Highway 12 (aka TransCanada Highway) for the majority of the way into Orillia. At some point, however, you will need to take the TransCanada when the 11 finishes there but the road is wide enough as is the shoulder. I went looking for the information center in hopes of finding a campground in or near town. No such luck. <br />
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However, Orillia does have a <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=842&amp;entry_id=212" title="http://www.hihostels.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.hihostels.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Hostelling International</a> place and I stayed there (as the only one!) for $20. At the suggestion of the owner, I went to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=843&amp;entry_id=212" title="http://www.kingsbuffet.com/index2.htm" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.kingsbuffet.com/index2.htm';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">King's Buffet</a> for dinner. Hey, for about $15 I can eat whatever I want. Not a bad deal. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/orillia.JPG'><img width='110' height='101' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/orillia.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Plaque on the Champlain Monument…. errr.</div></div>I even got a chance to explore downtown Orillia somewhat and visited their library for free internet access. I went into their main park, which turned out to be the former location for Orillia Asylum ("The Orillia Asylum for Idiots"). I think it's now called Couchiching Park or Centennial Park. Either way I will say that the statue tribute to Champlain leaves somewhat to be desired. <br />
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All isn't bad in Orillia. They do have excellent trails for cyclists and pedestrians.<br />
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This day ended up being one of the longer days at 116KM.

Day 2 & 3 of Jackhammer Tour: Fun in the Sun and it’s called WHAT?!

<span style="font-weight:bold"><span style="text-decoration:underline">Day 2</span></span>:I woke up fairly early (5am) on Monday June 27th because Ma Nature had convinced 1,000+ birds that it would be a great day to sing and gossip. I don't need an alarm <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/outoffriendlyacres.JPG'><img width='110' height='41' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/outoffriendlyacres.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">The road out of Friendly Acres at 6am</div></div>clock. I have birdies to keep me awake. I had a bit of trail mix to start the day, packed up the tent and gear, and was on my way by 6ish. I took Friendly Acres to County Road 30 (Highway 30) and went left. After about 13KM, I spied the Crossroads Restaurant. I stopped for breakfast. Right away, I was aware of all the eyes on me. Every trucker must stop there. The waitress asked where I was going and I told her Stony Lake. One of the truckers overheard me and told me about the road I had ahead. It didn't sound that bad. After a hearty breakfast of french toast, bacon and some eggs, I continued along County Road 46/44 (Highway 46/44). I was early enough that there wasn't much traffic on the roads save for the occassional school bus, vehicle and truck. I found one hill that was rather challenging. Other than that it was a nice winding, rolling road. You could little feed the speed from one downhill into the climb into the next. Almost felt like a nice roller coaster. <br />
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Partway, at the top of one of the two "bigger" hills, I spied a deer and her two fawns. When I got to the spot where they had crossed I could see "mama" eying me but the youngins' nowhere to be found. I continued on this road until it came to an end at County Road 6 (Highway 6). My ability to get lost didn't fail me now. I turned right and followed the road to a large hill. I decided to walk it since the bike was too heavy to granny gear it. I continued on the top and kept looking for the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=813&amp;entry_id=211" title="http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/petr.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/petr.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Petroglyphs Provincial Park</a>. I stopped near a church and noted the crossroad: Crowes Landing Road. Looking at my map I realized that I had gone the wrong way and was now south of Stony Lake when I should have been on the North side. Sigh.<br />
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I turned around and bike back down the hill (realizing that I'd be facing that the next day). I continued around the lake until I reached County Road 56 (with a sign to the Provincial Park). I had never been on a tar road before so this was a first. It was rather "lumpy" in some places <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/stonylake.jpg'><img width='110' height='83' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/stonylake.serendipityThumb.jpg' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Stony Lake … all is calm.</div></div>but it was a nice rolling road generally speaking. Most of the cars and other vehicles that had passed didn't go too fast. After what seemed forever, I finally arrived at my friend Polaris' cottage. And it was only about 930am. Lots of time to recuperate from the previous day's ride. We gabbed for a good portion of the day, had a nice lunch and then she and her son took me out on Personal Watercraft Devices (aka JetSkis). I had never been on one but man! Talk about fun! We spent almost 2-3 hours on these things.<br />
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<span style="font-weight:bold"><span style="text-decoration:underline">Day 3</span></span>: Next day I got up early again and had expected to make breakfast myself. <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 100px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/halfupthehill.JPG'><img width='100' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/halfupthehill.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Halfway up "THE" hill on County Road 6</div></div>Polaris had, however, gotten up and treated me to her version of an Egg McMuffin: thick toast with egg, cheese and peameal bacon. I wouldn't need lunch after this! So out I went back on the 56 and then on the 6. And again over that big hill. This was a workday and it explained the amount of traffic I saw. It wasn't cars that were the issue but rather the dumptrucks and such that went speeding by along the 6. Apparently there is a lot of construction going on. Eventually, I found McCrackens Landing Road to Birchview Road and <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 83px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/BirchviewRd.JPG'><img width='43' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='center' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/BirchviewRd.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Yes. There is a drop-off somewhere… I actually reached 53KM/hr on Birchview. </div></div>followed Clear Lake (connected to Stony Lake) along the southern part. One of the things that was rather noticeable was the "cottages" (more aptly referred to as big ass mansions!). <br />
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I went through Young's Point on King's Highway 28. It was a rough 1-2KM since it's heavy, heavy traffic and they were doing construction on the bridge. Eventually I found North School Road and followed that to 15th Line, where I turned left. These backroads were rather residential and not badly paved. I took Jopling Road at the end of 15th Line and then turned right onto 14th Line. I eventually picke dup County Road 23 (aka Buckhorn Road) and followed that into Buckhorn. They had locks but it wasn't that exciting. I was nervous however. I got <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><img width='110' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/bobcagefishing.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Bobcaygeon Fishing rules… </div></div>some water here before continuing. The traffic was increasing. I took the 36 North/36 West towards Bobcaygeon (prounced Bob-cage-eon). With no shoulder to speak of it was a rather tenseful ride. I looked at my map and noticed that Gypsy Point Road apparently went into Bobcaygeon. Mistake. It's a typo on the map. I took Moonline Road directly into the town. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 98px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/downtownbob.JPG'><img width='98' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/downtownbob.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">The hustle and bustle of downtown Bobcaygeon. Oh. </div></div>Now, Bobcaygeon lives off of tourists. Never, however, have I seen so many mullets in a single location. I ended up staying at the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=818&amp;entry_id=211" title="http://www.bobcaygeoninn.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.bobcaygeoninn.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Bobcaygeon Inn</a> after scouting out some of the motels (questionable and without A/C) and the expensive B&Bs. The other thing that sold me was that they allowed me to bring my bike into my room. Quite nice given that they have hardwood floors! <br />
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I went to El Toros for dinner and had their spaghetti. Now, normally, I have an iron stomach but this one did a nasty one on me. I wouldn't recommend them again.

Day 1 of Jackhammer Tour: No really. How far is it?

Whenever I do a tour of any length I always bring fiction books with me to read. The biggest reason is that paperbacks are usually lighter, easier to carry and sometimes you can sell them at used book places or exchange them. This tour, however, I had library books with me so selling them probably wouldn't go over well with the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=792&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Toronto Public Library</a>. I had finished <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=793&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.cbc.ca/canadareads/winner.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.cbc.ca/canadareads/winner.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Rockbound</a>, winner of the Canada Reads contest. Excellent book. If you're not Canadian or not familiar with the "Newfie" language you may have some difficulty understanding some of the things discussed. I had Expressed Posted that one back home and had continued with <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=794&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.kathyreichs.com/gravesecrets.htm" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.kathyreichs.com/gravesecrets.htm';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs</a>. Along the lines of Patrica Cromwell, it's not a bad book. <br />
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So here I am, June 26th, all rarin' to go. My B&B host has decided that I should be stuffed like the proverbial Thanksgiving Turkey and does her best to obliged with home-made waffles, 3 large slices of peameal bacon, home-made banana muffins, fresh strawberries and cantalope fruit mix with yogurt and orange juice. I didn't leave until late, around 8am and this would have an impact (that in hindsight was a good thing) on the day's events. I loaded the two bottles and the Camelbak with water (bringing a total of 4 liters — which was a good thing given the rarity I'd see anyone on the road today). I also got a couple of muffins for the road, again figuring that I might be in areas without restaurants/stores and would need some quick energy. I also had some trail mix (banana chips, peanut M&Ms and mixed nuts and raisins) to add a little variety to it all. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 71px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/emptyroad.JPG'><img width='71' height='110' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/emptyroad.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Look at all those cars on Highway 33</div></div>I left Picton, following the 33 north-east. It was a Sunday so there was little traffic on the road. I stopped in Carrying Place for a pitstop and a cold can of Coke. I continued following the 33 out. I stopped in Glenn Miller to let my friend, Polaris (who has a cottage at Stony Lake), know where I was. She had not one clue. Eh. It was ok. Neither did I. Looking at the map, I realized I needed to be over on Wooler Road (runs more northeast than north). I decided I would use the backroads to get across and head a little more northeast. I turned left on what I thought was Bata Road (leads into <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=796&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://batawaskihill.reach.net/" onmouseover="window.status='http://batawaskihill.reach.net/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Batawa</a>). This town is named after the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=797&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.bata.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.bata.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">shoe manufacturer</a> that had placed a factory there. (Oddly enough, the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=798&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Shoe Museum</a> is in Toronto). The place looked fairly small and quiet. And yet, I managed to get lost. The details of the town aren't identified in my map book. And the road I took, which turned into Factory Road (I think) ended far too quickly. I turned right and ended up at Parry Road, which seemed to be heading east. I figured this would be good enough, until I hit a hill (I believe this is Mount Zion). I know why this area has it's own ski hill. <br />
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As it turned out, Parry Road becomes Bata Road, so I was golden anyways. Eventually, I found Murray-Harrington which brought me out to Wooler (aka Highway 41/County Road 28 ). I followed Wooler, enjoying the rolling hills and quiet area. The downside was that it was sunny and not a cloud in the sky. At this point it was around noon and I did need a bit of a break since I had been biking pretty non-stop. I followed Goodrich Road to Pinewood School Road. As I biked along this quiet but somewhat residential area, I found Goodrich Loomis Conservation Park. I stopped here for lunch and a bit of a rest. A quick calculation had shown that I had done 89KM in 5.5 hours (about 20.6KM/hr — not bad for a hot day). <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/loadeddown.JPG'><img width='110' height='82' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/loadeddown.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Everything but the kitchen sink!</div></div><br />
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Once I had downed some trail mix and the two muffins as well as rested for about 20 minutes, I went out again on Pinewood School Road. I was originally planning on following it to Highway 25 but decided to cut it short and follow Huycke (for some reason, all I can think of is a cartoon redneck going "He-yuck!"). Pretty much most of the backroads in this area were of packed mud/hard concrete with a fine gravel or larger gravel. You could bike in the paths left by car wheels but had to be aware of what was going on around you. I followed the 25 into Morganston and went looking for a street called Godolphin. This was supposed to be off Highway 29. Not quite so.<br />
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Taking 29 and looking for this road I ended up passing the <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=800&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.cbc.ca/prison/docs.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.cbc.ca/prison/docs.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Warkworth Penitentiary</a> (Perv's Pen) and ended up at Percy Boom. Ok. Way too far west. Back tracked about 5 KM and stopped back at the intersection of 30 and 29 for a cold drink and re-evaluation of the map book. I saw that Skinkle Raad would take me to Godolphin. So a quick detour was made on to that road. I followed it to Concession Road #6. I was able to take that to Godolphin, which turned into Smith Road. I then turned right on to Concession Road #11. In the process, I got the joy of 3 steep hills (right, <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=801&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://talmud.epsb.ca/regions/north/lz/csi/csi.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://talmud.epsb.ca/regions/north/lz/csi/csi.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canadian Shield</a> stuff — ye. ha.). Looking at my watch it was now 4:30pm. Geez. 3 hours gone already!?<br />
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A quick peek at the map book showed I had a bit of a ways to go. Ok. 120KM it ain't, that's fer sure. As I switched back from Concession Road #11 to Woodview and then left on Concession Road #12. Following it along for a bitI eventually found Pickens Road. I turned right onto it and noticed that it quickly became Friendly Acres Road and a nice Ontario Tourism sign pointed to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=802&amp;entry_id=210" title="http://www.friendlyacres.net/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.friendlyacres.net/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Friendly Acres RV Resort and Campground</a>. I looked at the cyclocomputer when I arrived at the campground. 139.92KM. And it was 5:30pm. Definately time to call it an evening. <br />
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Very nice and simple place to stay. They even ensured I got a site that had shade and wasn't too far from the showers and washroom. I ended up ordering a caeser salad and chicken wings (salad came WITHOUT utensils — mental note: remember to ask for these things next time; wings were ok). Even treated myself to a fudgicle afterwards and then settled down in my "cute" tent (as I heard from my larger RV neighbours and their kids) to read for the evening.

Pre-Tour: Biking around Picton

<div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/traffic.JPG'><img width='110' height='32' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/traffic.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Traffic exiting Toronto — oh, joy.</div></div>I figured I'd start off with the little bit I did around Picton on the day I got the bike. As it happened I took the train to Belleville and got picked up by Marianne, whose B&B I stayed at. She happens to be right beside <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=804&amp;entry_id=208" title="http://www.idealbike.com" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.idealbike.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Ideal Bike</a> so it made it easy and relaxing for me to do so. Taking the train out of town I was reminded as to why I prefer to travel by methods other than car. Waiting in the heat to move a few inches just doesn't seem that relaxing. <br />
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I got the bike out on the road on Saturday around 12pm. My "lunch" had consisted, at that point, of a nice strawberry tart dropped off by the corner baker (gotta love small towns). Ed, at Ideal, suggested I take Highway 10 out and follow Mowbray. The one thing about Prince Edward County is that it's all pretty much decent cycling. I had thought of going to Black River and maybe getting some cheese. So out I went. Highway 10 was rather busy, probably tourist stuff to <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=805&amp;entry_id=208" title="http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/sand.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/sand.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Sandbanks Provincial Park</a> and I was glad to get off of it. In my mapbook, <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=806&amp;entry_id=208" title="http://www.mapart.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.mapart.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">MapArt Ontario Road Atlas (with Back Roads!!!)</a> (we'll discuss that one later) I saw that I could take Airport Lane to Mowbray. The one downside to the atlas is that it doesn't identify paved roads versus gravel ones (at least not for the backroads). No worries, however. <br />
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<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg3.JPG'><img width='110' height='38' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg3.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">CFB Picton, Pic #1</div></div>Airport Lane was far more gravel and dirt than road. And I was rather skittish about using the new STI brifters after being so used to using the MTB shifters and brakes. A few ups and downs and I got the hang of things, however my hands got sore (and still do to a degree — my <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=808&amp;entry_id=208" title="http://www.massage.ca/healinghands/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.massage.ca/healinghands/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">massage therapist</a> had some suggestions on how to relieve that soreness). I decided to take pictures of the bike. I stopped near what appeared to be a military base (a quick Google search shows up <a href="http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/exit.php?url_id=809&amp;entry_id=208" title="http://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/cfbpicton.shtml" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/cfbpicton.shtml';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">CFB Picton</a>). It's actually a rather neat area and for some reason, I had thought it might have been an internment camp. <br />
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As I had continued along I realized that my front fender was lose. A quick fix with some extra <div class="serendipity_imageComment_left" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg2.JPG'><img width='110' height='41' border='0' hspace='5' align='left' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg2.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">CFB Picton, Pic #2</div></div>string to hold it in place, I headed back to Ideal Bike. Payton quickly attached a bolt, readjusted my handlebars and I was back on the road. I figured I'd try again for Black River. All I had to do was follow Old Millford to Highway 17 and then on to Black River. I pedalled along, getting used to the shifting and just enjoying the day. I was rather oblivious to the fact that I hadn't eaten (although I had lots of water 3 litres worth). Somehow I managed to get somewhat confused and ended up on Miller Road rather than Old Miller Road. By this point, it was around 3pm and I hadn't eaten. The temperature was about 30ish with the humidex in the early 40s. This wasn't a good combination. I stopped for a bit of a rest and to re-orient myself. It was then that I had felt light headed and realized that I needed to get back to town. <br />
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It was easily 15KM back. And I realized then that I had a tailwind up to that point. This, of <div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a href='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg1.JPG'><img width='110' height='78' border='0' hspace='5' align='right' src='http://www.msmittens.com/serendipity_archive/uploads/oldbldg1.serendipityThumb.JPG' alt='' /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">CFB Picton, Pic #3</div></div>course, meant a headwind the whole way back. Rather than take the backroads, I decided to take one of the highways, in this case, 17 that lead to 8 into the town itself. I stumbled into Ideal light-headed and hot. Sitting down near the fan, water dripped off me. I went to the washroom and soaked my bandana with cold water in hopes of cooling myself off. Heatstroke was a serious issue for me (and something that I often challenge as you'll see in the next installment). Ed gave me a Pria (?) bar to help get some food into me and that helped to a degree. I figured the best bet was to take a quick, lukewarm shower. I gave the bike to Payton, telling him I'd be back in 15 (the store was closing in 60 so I had time). <br />
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The lukewarm shower did the trick. It brought my body temperature down to a reasonable temp and I was able to focus better. Minor adjustments were done but otherwise, the bike was fine. The next day I had aimed to bike to Stony Lake. My measurements, such as they were, suggested it was a mere 120KM. BWAHAHAHAHAHA… what a schmuck I was to believe that.

Trip Days 9-13: DISASTER! The Titanic strikes….

<span style="font-weight:bold"><span style="text-decoration:underline">Halifax to Windsor</span></span>: This trip started off on the wrong note. We had to change our plans since we couldn't get to Yarmouth early in the morning. The shuttles that I had checked only went in the afternoon. The Aunt person had plans so the SO and I decided to do the trip in reverse. We biked out of Halifax along the 2 initially and eventually switched over to the 1. We had left later than I would have liked (9:30ish) but we weren't going that far for the first day. <br />
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There were a variety of hills to go over as we made our way out of the Halifax-Sackville area. We stopped in Mt. Uniacke for lunch, where I got a massive plate of spaghetti (I have a feeling I know why I only lost 2lbs on the trip rather than my intended 10 or so). Part of it was the huge pasta I was intaking. The other part was the fact that the SO was slower than me. I had him at the front and constantly found myself just behind his wheel. It was a testament to my training but only further led to some frustration on my part since I was more than willing to pound over the hills, especially since I had a new cassette and derailleurs. <br />
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Once past Mt. Uniacke, things flattened a bit. We road into Windsor looking for a campground. We were directed to the Windsor Exhibition Grounds. For a mere $10 a night we got a campground with somewhat decent shower facilities (this ain't the Ritz). It was closer to the main highway, 101, than we'd like (2am listening to the logging trucks wasn't fun) but it was cheap. The other downside was again a lack of "services". MacDonald's served for both dinner and breakfast the next morning. <br />
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Daily Distance: 71.99KM<br />
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