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August 2000 Michigan to Toronto and back
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Day 1: Detroit and Windsor.
Rode the length of Hines Park from Plymouth to Dearborn and all the way to downtown Detroit on Michigan Avenue. Got to the Ambasador Bridge only to find that the bridge authority website was a pack of lies and that it was "unsafe" for bicycles to cross on the 12 foot wide sidewalk across the bridge. I was told that my options were hitchhike or get a cab for about $40. The traffic was relativly light so I called my friend Emily in Windsor and she came over and picked me up. Whoo hoo! From Windsor I rode up the south shore of Lake St. Clair and pitched my tent for some free camping on the edge of a fallow farm field. 65 total Miles.
Day 2: Chatham and on to Rodney
Breakfast in a little town. Some Canadian war memorial where they kicked american butt, and into Chatham for lunch from a hot dog vendor. Some great roads east of Chatham once you get past the highway bound traffic. Took some dirt roads on my way to Rodney where I found a bed and breakfast with a $45 (canadian) double bed. A shower, local Chinese food and to bed. Approx 80 Miles.
Day 3: Rodney to Port Bruce.
Got up a little late and had a wonderful and big breakfast cooked just for me. Hit the road heading for the Lake Erie coast. Some awsome decents and climbs in and out of the coastal towns. After the climb out of Port Stanley, I met a crossed paths with two cyclists going the other way. Exactly the other way in fact going to Ann Arbor. A Man and his daughter were coming from New York. She was to be attending at the UofM in the fall and they were riding there together. I Called it a day at Port Bruce. Had some fried Wallye dinner from a shack by the side of the road and found a cool free camping spot about 3 miles past town at a creek outlet. Sandy! be careful wit that chain! Approx 45 Miles.
Day 4: Port Bruce to Waterford.
Rode the coast road most of the day. turned later on and cruised some nice rolling dirt roads. Free camped in some farmers hay field. lots of mosquitos! ahhh. 60 miles.
Day 5: Waterford To Toronto.
Got up at the crack of dawn with big things to do. Hooked up for a tasty doughnut breakfast at one of Canada's plentiful Tim Hortons' then headed east towards Calidonia through the indian reservation. Had the only dog encounter in the reservation - everywhere else in Ontario I rode, people kept their dogs chained. Was going downhill so I choose to outrun and was successful. Very heavy traffic and a tiny shoulder just outside Calidonia towards Hamilton. Finally have the opportunity to get off on side roads and go off around the back of the Hamilton airport. Much better traffic. Just before Ancaster I broke some spokes - drive side under the cluster of course. I pulled the cassette and used my two spare spokes. I hooked up with some more spares at a shop in Ancaster. There is a cool fun very downhill trail from Ancaster into Hamilton. And it is downhill all the way to the water. Once down at the water, thought to myself that Hamilton isn't far from Toronto, I can make it. So I made a hotel reservation in the downtown Toronto Marriot then started cruising the marked bicycle route. The trail, called the trans-canadianne trail or something like that, varied from nice paved bike trail, to nasty neighboorhood sidewalk with the period interuptions of going to the other side of the road. When it got too sidewalky I cruised in the road dispite the relativly heavy traffic. In Mississauga the trail took an inexplicable 7 mile detour loop though nowhere through a neighboorhood. Looks like someone was busy playing the political game of getting funding for their park by claming it is on the trail, but the whole loop was nothing but a waste of my energy and a source of anger when I found myself back at the spot I was 40 minutes ago. The thing about these coastal cities along lake Ontario is that they are all 10-15 miles long. Hamilton-Burlington-OakVille-Mississauga. Once you get to the Toronto line it is still 15 miles to downtown. I finally get there about 10:00 PM and grab an ice cream in the park. I mix it with the traffic up Younge street to my hotel on Bloor (which all the Canadians pronounce "Blue-er") street at about 10:30. 125 Miles! A fully loaded century and then some.
Day 6: Day Off In Toronto. My birthday in fact. Had the most amazing stirfry noodles chicken chili sauce thing. Yes I needed a day off.
Day 7: Toronto to Guelph
A pretty nice day crusing out or Toronto and out across the northwest suburbs. Past the airport and watched a Airbus A340 come in to land from just outside the fence. On to Guelph where there are these cool cliffs overlooking the highway. For tomorrow. Stayed at the days inn and had Jambalya at the local restraunt. 65 Miles.
Day 8 Guelph To Kitchener.
First thing after breakfast was to climb that hill. This was the biggest hill of the trip and a leasurly 5 mph cruise to the top. Hung out in the park at the top of the cliffs for the entire morning and some of the afternoon. Lots of very cool mountian bike trails here. Don't quite have the right bike to be agressive but I putz along over a few of them. I'll have to bring my mountian bike next time I drive to Toronto. Went on to Kitchener where I hooked up with a hotel room. Only about 45 Miles. But some of them uphill.
Day 9: Kitchener to St. Joseph. Evil headwind and cross winds were the order of the day as I zig zagged my way west-northwest along narrow mostly paved and smooth farm roads towards Lake Huron and the tourist town of St. Joseph. Got a cheap hotel room and some awesome food in a touristy eatin place. 65 Miles.
Day 10: St. Joseph to New Baltimore.
Down into Port Huron along a very busy two lane highway with lots of trucks and a nasty gravel shoulder. A pretty horrible 30ish miles. At the bridge I was again told I was not allowed, but they were friendly enough to give me a ride over in a pickup. I rode on and got as far as New Baltimore. I thought about camping, but then thought about my bed and called my friend Jim and he came and picked my up. 70 Miles.