Actually now that I am taking a rural collection of roads to Ottawa, there are few if any rough spots ahead.
A delightful and early start in Tobermory with Bill and Judy Caulfield-Browne, my hosts for the evening. They set me on my way with a healthy and filling breakfast and great conversation about a wide range of subjects. They are both serious conservationists, lovers of nature, travelers and Bill is a serious nature photographer. I take the only road south from the top of the peninsula, Route 6, which has a modest shoulder but is newly paved.
At a coffee shack, I end up in a long conversation with a retired mental health worker who tells me her life story, which included herself being placed in an institution as a child then her working in one doing menial tasks then misrepresenting her qualifications, discovering her learning disability, compensating for it, going to university, then having a full career in mental health services retiring with a reputation of having the most effective approach as a care giver, someone all of her bosses consulted when they were challenged.
I am delighted to see several dedicated mountain bike trails along the route and although my bike could not handle the terrain, the people maintaining them give me good advice about where to eat and where to ride on my way to Meaford.
As soon as I am able, I take a side road east so that I can be cycling along the shores of Lake Huron. I follow the route recommended for motorcyclists. Turns out the road I take is exactly halfway between the north pole and the equator.
The route along the water is nearly free of traffic.
All the coastal route options of the day add much more distance than I realized so I end up covering over 100 miles before I make it to Meaford, where Mike Gordon has set up another place to stay for the evening, with the delightful host, John Barker. It is great not to have to set up a tent after such a long day on the road.
Stats – for Wednesday 18 July 2012
Distance: 164 km
Time on Bike: 8 hours 4 min
Average Speed: 20.3 km/hr
Distance to Date: 5,250 km