Mission to Guelph

Kitchener to Guelph: 30km
Tuesday, June 17, 2014.
Sunny with a strong west wind. 30C.

I had been meaning to take a trip to Guelph to shoot some reference photos for a painting commission and last night it occurred to me that I should ride my bike there.

When I awoke today it still seemed like a great idea. I was not aware of the widespread tornado warnings until moments before I left the studio. It looked safe enough in the sky and the wind was blowing in the perfect direction.

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The route I chose had me going over the new bridge on Fairway road that spans the Grand River. This is one of my favourite night ride routes so I knew where I was going. After a quick stop in the grocery store I was off.

The wind was blowing hard and as soon as I turned west I was traveling at full speed. I stopped after 10km for a snack on the bridge, but the wind was so strong it was whipping my yogurt into my face. A guy on a bike passed by and we chatted for a moment. He had his dog perched on top of his shoulders.

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After a few photos I was back on the bike.

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I carried on and through the roundabout and waved behind me as I passed buddy and his dog. It wasn’t long until I spotted the sign for a strawberry stand and pulled across the road for a quart. Not the best fruit for traveling because they are so fragile, but it’s the first ones of the season and I couldn’t resist.

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I had a nice wide paved shoulder to ride on except for one short stretch. With little effort I was sailing along at 40km/h. Eventually I arrived in downtown Guelph and headed straight for the landmark I had come to photograph. There was a threatening looking cloud hovering overhead and I felt a few drops of rain. Luckily for me there was a convenient little smoking shelter and I parked there for awhile.

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One nice thing about the inclement weather was that I was able to take some shots both in the sun and in cloud cover.

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After I was done there I rode back down into town in search of the Greyhound station. This is where I purchased my train ticket back to Kitchener. Then I found the train station. I had about two hours to kill so I walked my bike through the downtown and stopped in at the art supply store. Just down the street was a bike shop so I poked around in there for awhile. After that I sat on a bench and had a snack all the while the incoming clouds got darker and darker.

At this point I figured I would ride back to the train station where I would be able to take shelter if need be. When I arrived the Six o’clock train had just arrived. I asked the attendant if it was ok to hop on board, despite having bought a ticket for the seven o’clock train. No problem, so he opened the doors for me and I scooted on to the train.

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Only minutes later the skies were almost black and the rain came down. It rained most of the half hour journey back to Kitchener and when we arrived the sun was out again. Perfect timing. I ate supper when I got home and then hopped back on my bike to run some errands, but that is another story.

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