Gary, Art, Mark & Chris
An old friend from Chris and my high school days with the Canadian military in Germany back in the mid 70s is currently cycling across Canada as a charity fund raiser. Gary (on the left in the above photo) started from Victoria where he met other high school classmates (Gary & Nancy Davis) before departing on his cross country journey on June 14th. He's been on the road for a month and arrived in Stratford this past Thursday where he bunked in with Art & Sheila Fortin. Art is another Baden Senior alum, as are Gary, Chris & I. Chris and I drove over to Stratford on Thursday evening and enjoyed a wonderful supper at Art & Sheila's home. We dined on the veranda and played catch up as we hadn't seen much of each other since about 1975. Gary spent a couple of nights in Stratford and arrived with Art in Waterloo this morning to continue on his bike ride to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I've done quite of bit of cycling during my triathlon days but no serious cycling for the last year or so despite having two tour bikes on the back of our motorhome. Any riding has been short distances and nothing more than an hour or two. Gary's cross country adventure gave me the incentive to get myself back into shape. I've managed three 30 km bike ride in the last 5 days but today was going to be the real test as I joined Gary for a few days of cycling as far as Kingston, Ontario, a distance of about 400 kms from Waterloo.
Art dropped Gary at Phaeton Place before 8 am and we grabbed this photo before Gary and I started off on our trip east. Art had to get going to pick up his son in Bracebridge too. Note Gary's fancy Trek touring bike with pannier bags front and rear. I popped my Arkel bags on the back of my Cannondale touring bike and we were on the road before 8:30 am after promising Chris to take it easy….and ease back into cycling.
Well…we sort of eased back into it…..doing 100 km today, Waterloo to Mississauga. It took us a bit to get ourselves eastbound out of Waterloo/Kitchener. Using my Tom Tom GPS iPhone app in bicycle route mode, we were mistakenly led to the on ramps for Hwy 7 and later Hwy 8 which we found to be restricted for cycling. Instead we managed to find our way east on county road 4 from Cambridge and then eventually to Campbellville, Halton Mills and Mississauga. We had intended to skirt around Toronto on the north side and try to get as far as Vaughan or perhaps even Whitby but our new route took us on more of a southeasterly tact, so we've decided to press on to Lake Ontario in the morning where we will pick up the waterfront trail. Should be much more scenic than downtown Scarborough, etc even on a Sunday.
I felt really good on the bike all day…remembering to drink lots of water and to eat regularly….just like in my Ironman days. We stopped for lunch under a nice shaded tree at a couple's home near Campbellville. They even gave us two cold bottles of water to drink and also let us fill up our other bottles from their garden hose. Chris had baked us a loaf of brown bread which tasted so good with peanut butter. We ate half the loaf and will likely polish off the rest on tomorrow's leg. Our next stop wasn't until we hit Steele Rd in Mississauga area where we grabbed a coke and ice cream sandwich for some badly need calories as we started looking for a motel. It wasn't long before we found a Comfort Inn just after 5 pm.
Boy….I'd forgotten how refreshing a nice shower and change of clothes can make you feel after a long day of cycling. We grabbed a great pasta supper (with a pitcher of Ricker's Red beer no less!) at a nearby Kelsey's and picked up some fruit and snacks at a grocery store for tomorrow's leg. Cycling garb has been rinsed out and should be dry by morning. Hoping for an early start to take advantage of cooler temperatures. We were cycling in 32C sunshine all day today but a little breeze helped keep us from overheating.
Time for a little TV before closing our eyes and enjoying some well earned rest.