Friday, August 6, 2010
Line up there!
We're going over the bridge!
Mike is barking out the orders.
He has us all dressed in our ABB shirts.
The bikes are lined up along the fence.
The riders chat nervously.
This is a tight operation.
If your bike gets a flat we throw it in the van and carry you over.
No time to dawdle.
And no stopping to take pictures!
...but Gerard cheats.
We wheel our bikes up to The Bridge....
...and wait tensely for the word.
The bridge is clear of cars.
It belongs to the bikes for ten minutes!
Howard leads the way!
But remember to stop and carry your bike over the kingpins...
We cross the bridge like pros and spin down to the customs in no time.
Time for another wait as they decide whether to let us all into Canada.
Yes! We're in!
...and we all stop to pose for photos.
It's nice to have a second on board to take the pics.
Canada Jeff takes us off route to meet his Mom.
She brings us cookies.
Then he leads us through a lovely park....
...where we get a great view of Lake Huron from the Canada side.
Then back under our bridge...
...for a scenic entry to our neighbor up north.
And we all sing Happy Birthday to Michael!
Then we follow Jeff back under the bridge and out of town.
We've gone off of the route, so we have to follow closely.
Otherwise - lost in Canada!
It's too fast for me.
I struggle to keep up.
Detours add to our miles.
Finally we're back on route and everyone zips ahead.
Everyone but me.
But it's a weird kind of bonk.
I don't pass out.
I just feel intensely sleepy.
I stare at each passing tree - longing to lie down and go to sleep.
I shake my head trying to stay awake.
My bike wobbles.
I stop several times and snack hoping to get a boost from sugar or caffeine.
There's a bathroom break that provides some relief.
Odd thing - the bathroom is inside a carwash stall.
Oh, well, on a ride like this you take what you can get.
How is Canada different?
Pretty similar to the states so far.
Signs in kilometers.
I think their hayfields look more golden.
I'm still trying to fight this drug-like sleepiness.
Finally I give up and ask the van to give me a bump.
I fall asleep during the drive to the next town.
Back with the other riders I eat lunch at this cute country store.
The smell of the freshly baked waffle cones is wonderful!
The town has huge balls of flowers hanging from the lightposts.
I'm feeling a bit perkier and continue on.
I watch a farmer taking out his crop of hay.
His threshing machine fascinates me.
....such beautiful patterns against the golden hay.
Well kept buildings.
Bright metal green roofs.
I watch a farmer liming his fields.
They must have acidic soil to add all this lime.
Nice to see the farmers out on the fields.
In all the cropland we passed in the US, I rarely saw a farmer.
Finally I limp into the hotel.
Recovery snack - chocolate milk and peanut butter crackers.
The room is gloomy.
Not much of a view.
And my butt hurts.
Instead of the usual buffet dinner with the group I order in a hamburger and fries and eat lying on the floor.
It's been a tough day - after that glorious start over the bridge.
But there's only 10 more days left!
Hopefully after a good night's sleep I'll be ready for more biking across Canada.