#OttawaBramptonOdysseyCycle – Belleville to Port Hope – Headwinds

This blog post is late since Rani kept me up late talking and when I tried to upload pictures, I found that the internet at Summerville Bed and Breakfast in Port Hope was inadequate. I found the following day of riding grueling and discovered the Ajax Super 8 wifi was also inadequate, putting me two days behind. Our final day of riding brought me home to family, and I caught up, instead of spending time blogging.  I am fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom, so I was able to take today to recover.  Rest assured, I will complete the daily blogs over the next few days and also hope to do a few other blogs as well, since I took over a thousand pictures and have much more to share than time allowed in the evenings between cycling, self-care, socializing and sleeping.

The day started later than previous days as we have become more tired. There was much scheming last night about how coffee would be acquired this morning. Loyalist College is in the middle of nowhere. Jim offered to drive to get Tims if someone came with him. Rani agreed, took our orders at the end of our evening briefing, and provided us with our caffeine fix as we ate breakfast. We packed, took our morning picture, loaded the trailer and were off at 9:30.

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The planned route was 78.7km.  Here’s a link to my Strava results.

  • Moving Time – 4:18:31
  • Elapsed Time – 7:56:09
  • Distance – 82.8km
  • Elevation Gain – 405m
  • Average Speed – 19.2
  • Maximum Speed – 47.2
  • Calories Burned – 1029

Belleville-Port Hope

The weather forecast told us we would have a headwind all day. We have been fortunate to have tailwinds to this point, but that didn’t make us any more accepting of headwinds. The forecast was correct, and the winds grew throughout the day.

The entire ride today was on Highway 2. Fortunately, as it was Saturday, it wasn’t too busy and there were not a lot of trucks. Sometimes there was a paved shoulder. Sometimes narrow, sometimes wide. Sometimes it disappeared for right turn lanes.  Sometimes the shoulder was gravel. Sometimes there was a curb.

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In Trenton, The farmers market was in full swing and we stopped for a little fun.

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At two points along the route there was a significant length of new asphalt being laid and we were surprised and disappointed that it appeared to exclude paving the shoulder. I can’t recall specifically where the first was (perhaps Cramahe/Brighton). The second was around Wicklow. The repaving project were being funded by all three levels of government.

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The new pavement was laid, and not yet painted, however, the shoulders were still gravel.  The sign advertises “Safer and more efficient roads and bridges”.  I sincerely hope that the shoulder is being paved in a second pass.  Otherwise, for whom is it safer? Certainly not cyclists. A paved shoulder makes it much more comfortable for both drivers and cyclists on busy roads. It is so frustrating to see such projects neglect such a simple thing which could improve cycling. Especially when funding is coming from the Province which claims to want to improve cycling and a county – Northumberland – which has a Cycling Master Plan. If anyone reading this can provide me with more information, I would appreciate it.

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Each town along this route had signs announcing, “Cyclists Welcome”.

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As we approached Colborne, it looked like someone was standing at the side of the road holding their arm out and Nelson asked, “Is that Jim?”.  Jim has been known to wave us in at lunch ever since some of us missed the lunch spot by 2.5km – a long way on a bike when you are tired and hungry – on our first day of cycling. Turns out it wasn’t Jim.

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There is an art gallery in Colborne with a sculpture out front which looks like two wet noodles that made a nice photos with Nelson’s blue shirt and Rani’s pink.

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Lunch was in Colborne in a lovely park in the centre of town.

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We were able to use the bathrooms in the public library where there was a well-attended ukulele lesson being held.

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We were feeling pretty tired after lunch and needed breaks at increasingly frequent times. At one point we flopped on the grass in front of a closed Barnum House Museum.

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Cobourg was lovely and where we had originally planned to stay, but we had been unable to find accommodation.  David and Dayle caught up to us there and we had coffee after an unsuccessful hunt for electrolyte tablets. Dayle suggested, in Ottawa when we were at MEC, that they would be helpful and they have been, but we had run out.

Cobourg had cycling lanes on the outskirts that turned into sharrows as the roadway became tighter.  I had another polar bear sighting that reminded me of the polar bears on the bus top in Ottawa.

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Cobourg had also eliminated some parking along its downtown shopping area which made for nice sidewalks wide enough for cafes.

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After coffee Dayle, David and I headed for the waterfront to see it and dip in our feet. It was lovely and we stayed awhile.

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Rani and Nelson were both tired and forged on ahead to Port Hope in search of a bar patio, which is where we found them when we arrived.

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The headwind for the final section from Cobourg to Port Hope was intense and we drafted closely all the way. The final hill of the day was the main street in Port Hope and we had to ride half way up it to our accommodation. In the morning we would have to finish climbing the hill to leave town.

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Rani made dinner reservations at the restaurant where they had drinks.  Jim and Nelson stayed at Carlisle’s, in just around the corner from Summerhill where the rest of us booked.

After dinner we had a brief evening briefing and headed to bed happy to have another day of riding under our belts.



About Lisa Stokes

I am a stay-at-home mother of four whose hobbies include photography, quilting and cycling. I have recently started to advocate for better cycling infrastructure in my community. I am the photographer at the Brampton Quilters' Guild.
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2 Responses to #OttawaBramptonOdysseyCycle – Belleville to Port Hope – Headwinds

  1. Lisa. I remember that hill well. After I rode down it I realized the quilt shop was at the top so back up I went


  2. Lisa Stokes says:

    I took a picture of the quilt shop as we cycled West the next morning.


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