June in Ontario 2016

Day 16: Burlington to Toronto 62km
Wednesday, June 22.
Another sunny and warm day with a slight W wind. 25C

Today would be the last day of our June in Ontario bike trip. We left our hotel and retraced our route from yesterday back down to the water front trail and headed east. We were riding on Lakeshore Drive and the traffic wasn’t too bad. We stopped for a break at a “window to the lake.”

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Some of our ride today was on a paved trail which was a nice change from pedaling on the road.

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We followed the signs for the water front trail and were lead to Rattray Park which has a boardwalk through a marshy area. Too bad it was signed “no bicycles” so we had to walk them through. There was also a field trip of about one hundred school kids so we would’ve had to walk the bikes anyway. On the other side we found a shady picnic table and had our second breakfast.

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By this point in the day we could clearly see Toronto in the distance.

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After we crossed the Humber River we were basically downtown.

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We decided to catch the GO Train one stop west of Union Station at Exhibition Station for ease of boarding the train.

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Our plan worked perfectly. After sending a message ahead of time, we were met at Union Station by my brother Rick and the three of us rode the train to Rouge Hill Station and then went to his place for a visit.

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A few more people joined in on the visit before being wisked away for dinner in Ajax. Home at last. After dinner we had more visitors and before long it was getting late. Another happy ending to another bicycle adventure.

Thanks for following along.

June in Ontario 2016

Day 15: Brantford to Burlington 74km
Tuesday, June 21.
Sunny and super with a nice SW wind. 25C

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You couldn’t ask for a better place to eat breakfast. Mohawk Park overlooking the Grand River in Brantford was dappled in shade this morning while we fueled up for our ride to Hamilton.

The trail passes under railway tracks leaving us riding in the dark.

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During a rest stop along the way we noticed something watching us from overhead.

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Once we ascended out of the Grand River Valley we started down the Niagara Escarpment. We mostly coasted 10km downhill until we arrived in Hamilton proper.

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With only one minor hiccup navigating through Hamilton, we made our way over the bridge on York Rd and into Burlington.

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Eventually we made our way to our hotel by the 403 in Burlington. We found out where the nearest grocery store was and then paid it a visit. On the way back we took a different route and got to play on this ramp over the rail lines.

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We enjoyed another delicious supper in our room.

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Tomorrow we will be riding into Toronto for the final leg of our journey.

June in Ontario 2016

Day 14: Simcoe to Port Dover to Simcoe to Brantford 70km
Monday, June 20.
Sunny and super hot with a blustery SW wind.

We thought today would be sort of like a day off because of the short distance from Simcoe to Brantford, so we decided to pedal to Port Dover and back before lunch. We actually miscalculated the distance from Simcoe to Brantford and ended up having a pretty long day after all.

There was a choice of trails on the way down to Port Dover and we took the shady forest route.

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No bike trip would be complete without a little hiking.

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It was only 12km to Port Dover and we ate our breakfast there. Then we rode back up to Simcoe and carried on towards Brantford. We saw a great example of a helpful sign along the trail.

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We ate lunch at a shady bench just outside Waterford.

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The entire trail was in really good shape and we had quite a bit of shade while we were riding. It helped that we had the wind at our backs to push us along.

As I mentioned, Brantford was further than we thought. At this point in the day we were wondering when we would arrive.

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And then we made it. I had an incorrect address for our our hotel so we rode around in a big loop for awhile, but finally we got headed in the right direction. It was sort of like a sight-seeing tour of the city. By the time we reached our destination we were melting. After we checked in we walked to the nearby grocery store for some food and then back to our room where we indulged in air conditioning.

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June in Ontario 2016

Day 13: Springford to Simcoe 35km
Sunday, June 19.
Sunny and smokin’ hot with a light SW wind. 31C

Finally we had a shorter ride planned for today which was a good thing because it was already warm when we got up this morning. We Started off riding east to Otterville on our way to Delhi.

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We found our way to Delhi by road before picking up the rail trail to Simcoe. It was a nice change from the hwy and we had the luxury of some shade along the way.

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This trail took us right into Simcoe and we arrived just after noon.

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We were too early to check in at the hotel so we left our luggage and bikes there and walked across town to the Superstore. Wandering around in the air conditioning was a perfect way to beat the heat, kill some time and procure our lunch and supper.

We made our way back to the hotel and checked in. Then we had lunch in our room. Then we went swimming.

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It was nice to be lazing around for a change and before long it was time for supper. After we ate we made some plans for the next few days of the trip. Tomorrow is supposed to be hot again so we won’t be going to far.

June in Ontario 2016

Day 12: Port Stanley to Springford 79km
Saturday, June 18.
Sunny and hot with a gentle – all over – breeze. 30C

After a great stay at the Blue Bird B&B we had to leave. Kiera the dog saw us safely to the road.

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The B&B was actually a few kilometers outside of Port Stanley so we decided to pedal into town for breakfast. We found the Foodland and got our cereal and then had a picnic behind the store and beside the cemetery. After that we rode through town just to take a look.

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Leaving Port Stanley was a steep climb that we walked the bikes up. From there we planned our route which ultimately took us through Aylmer and Tillsonburg.

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It was so hot today that anytime we stopped it had to be in the shade. We ouldn’t find anywhere nice to sit for our lunch break so we stood in the shade at the side of the road. It was delicious nonetheless.

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In Tillsonburg we stopped to pickup groceries for our supper and then hunkered down for the final 10km to the R&F Alpaca B&B. Just after 5pm we arrived and the place is great.

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We even got to meet the alpacas!

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June in Ontario 2016

Day 11: Erieau to Port Stanley 90km
Friday, June 17.
Sunny with a brisk E wind. 29C

After the humidity yesterday, even our dry clothes were damp this morning. We didn’t have much for breakfast – a few strawberries and cereal – so we were on our way by 8am. 

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Today was going to be our toughest and longest ride of the whole trip. The wind was strong from the east again, precisely the direction we are headed.

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Rondeau Bay was shimmering in the morning sun.

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The majority of our route today was along hwy 3. We could see the lake at several points along the way, but other than that it was a straight line. The tracking wasn’t too bad, but there were no shoulders to ride on. Lots of fields, corn, soy beans and tomatoes. Every now and then we passed a fruit stand and we stopped at a few for strawberries and some veggies.

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Thankfully we were still carrying some food from yesterday as there were no stores to shop at. We stopped every 10km or so and bit by bit we inched across our map.

By 4pm we reached the Blue Bird B&B. We were exhausted from riding, but excited to be finished.

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We have a lovely cottage to ourselves and the fixings for a light supper. The place even comes with a friendly dog to hang out with.

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Wish I could encapsulate more of the day, but I’m finally running out of steam.  I’d like to read my book for more than a page or two…

June in Ontario 2016

Day 10: Leamington to Erieau 66km
Thursday, June 16.
Cloudy, humid and another E wind. 26C

There was heavy rain overnight, but it was dry when we left the motel. We were heading for Wheatley and again we had strong headwind to contend with. When we arrived there we ate breakfast.

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Finally we were riding near the lake but it was so humid it was almost foggy. Battling into the wind also requires a certain amount of focus so views of the lake were reserved for our breaks.

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At one of our breaks we almost came up with a Plan B of our own.

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We kept our strength up with a second breakfast and we also had our spirits lifted with a stop at a bakery and fruit stand. Bit by bit we got closer to Erieau.

Pedaling through Erie Beach was quite nice and further down the road we finally reached our destination.

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Apparently it had just poured rain in Erieau because there were huge puddles here and there. We checked in and had a late lunch before relaxing for awhile. At supper time we crossed the street and had dinner at Molly and OJ’s. Both of us had lake Erie fish entrees and they were very good.

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After we ate the rain came again and we had to run back across the street to our room without getting soaked. Before long, the rain stopped and I walked down to the Marina to get a beer. Now we are holed up in our room with our feet up.