I get a grand tour of Meaford in the morning by John Barker, whose family has a long history on this part of Lake Huron, starting with the apple business. Wonderfully, I get to have a peaceful start for the first 35 kilometers from Meaford to Collingwood. A former rail line has been transformed into a well groomed bicycle path from one city to the other.
The only challenge was the first kilometer where the trail was getting a fresh layer of crushed limestone, which had yet to be compacted.
It is a beautiful trail where the trees often form a protective canopy for the rider.
The trail has a nice simple signage system, something I would love to see on other bike trails.
And Collingwood has a nice bike themed mural.
After Collingwood, I follow county roads through farms and battle a bit of a headwind and heat.
After cycling about 60 km, I am met by Pearson Year 14 Alum and Pearson College Trustee, Michael Gordon. He is a serious competitive cyclist who shows me a back roads route to his home in Orillia. He trains many hours on these roads and hills and he nearly placed first in a recent 100 mile race on these very same roads.
It was a long hot day on the road as evidenced by the crusts of salt on the back of my cycling jersey.
I get replenished with a lovely dinner with Michael and his partner, also a Pearson Alum, PC Year 15, Michelle Gordon. We take a walk later through the very alive city of Orillia, with a beautiful marina and collection of parks and trails.
Mike and his son, Matthew, pose with their faces in holes on a painted sail.
And the sun sets after a long day and I head off soon to sleep.
Stats – for Thursday 19 July 2012
Distance: 129 km
Time on Bike: 6 hrs 45 min
Average Speed: 19.1 km/hr
Distance to Date: 5,379 km