I had a much better day today and I think the others did, too. The headwinds continue to be strong and persistent but we waited until 9:30 AM to begin as that was when the rain ended and we didn’t have any rain the rest of the day. Just as we were about to start out David realized that he had a flat tire so that delayed our departure a little more.
I decided to do the first driving shift because the hilly terrain for the first 10 kilometres was challenging. And the first hill, within a few hundred metres of our accommodation was, according to Rani, the hardest of the trip so far. For Dayle, making to the top of Old Hill Road was the highlight of the trip as it was the hardest hill she has ever climbed. Here is the grade profile for that section of road according to MapMyRide. I’m glad I was driving. I doubt I could have cycled up it on my heavy upright bike.
The first stop was Port Rowan – a cute little town close to Long Point Provincial Park.
I parked at Uncle’s Country Coffee, our morning snack spot, and arranged to leave the car there, unloaded my bike and cycled back towards the group. I was feeling much more energetic today and had no sign of a headache. I only got a couple kilometres before meeting them. We cycled back to the restaurant to use the bathroom and then cycled 7.5km down Long Point. That was only a small part of the total distance, but gave us a taste for it. I enjoy busy holiday spots out of season.
We had a tailwind on the way out and fierce headwind on the way back. Being a photographer, I don’t often get in the picture, but Dayle was kind enough to share her pictures with me. She also uses a point and shoot while cycling (you can see mine dangling from my wrist in this picture) and is accomplished at taking photos while cycling.
We snacked/lunched at Uncle’s and then carried on. Dayle took a shift driving and I asked her to stop and wait 20km later in case I needed a break.
We didn’t see Dayle pass us and arrived at the pre-arranged spot to find she wasn’t there. David is tracking her with google and checked to find that she was 20km away! We told her we would keep riding, but to find us as soon as possible. It turned out she had a strong feeling she had left something behind in the morning so she went back. She didn’t find anything. But that allowed me to meet Billy Gunn and Matthew Cohn.
The headwinds were still strong, but we cycled in a line and it wasn’t raining. In fact the sun came out. We were rarely out of sight of a wind turbine today.
Dayle caught up to us and as she was getting ready to ride and I was stretching, a local resident, Billy Gunn, came over to chat. He offered us fresh pears and after the group left I locked the car and went over to get the pears. David, Dayle and Rani cycled off. Wayne and Nelson were a bit concerned and stopped about 500 metres down the road to ensure all was well. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and Billy was quite the character reminding me of the way Denny Crane from Boston Legal used to exclaim his name. Billy introduced me to his kitten Bull and gave me a large basket of pears.
As he walked me back to the van, a fully laden cyclist approached from the opposite direction to which we were travelling. He stopped and we chatted for quite a while. At that point I think Wayne and Nelson decided I was safe and carried on.
The cyclist is Matthew Cohn. He is from Montana and is travelling to New Jersey for his 50th high school reunion. He expects it to take about 70 days. I asked him if he blogs and he does. Crazy Guy on a Bike hosts thousands of blogs from people doing cycle tourism. It’s an amazing resource and I have followed people there in the past. That is where Matthew’s blog is and I’m going to check it out.
I said goodbye and got on the road. We agreed I would drive 20km to get past a couple steep climbs and then stop and we would switch over again. When I got to Port Bruce there was a sign saying the bridge was closed. I got to the bridge and not only was it closed, it was gone.
The bridge collapsed back in March with a truck on it. I spent a few minutes looking for an alternative route (it was quite out of the way, especially on bikes) and messaged the group to wait at Copenhagen until I came back to meet them. On my way back, almost immediately I realized I had missed a detour sign. So I went that way and found a Bailey bridge that has been placed temporarily until the damaged bridge is replaced. I stopped the car to text the group and received a text at the same time from David saying Wayne thought there was a Bailey Bridge. He was correct.
Once over the bridge I carried on the the meeting stop at Dexter Line and Old Dexter Line. Once I got there I unloaded my bike and got everything ready for a quick turnover. Then I waited. I was able to track Rani and see the groups’ progress. I waited and waited. I think I napped. I snacked. Eventually they showed up. Dayle had had a flat tire. David and Dayle got in the car. Wayne was tired, but determined to continue, so off the four of us went.
We had an uneventful, but still windy ride into Port Stanley arriving just after 6. It was a long day, but much better than yesterday. I had an adrenaline high going all day.
Nelson and I cycled out onto the pier and Port Stanley. It was lovely, but turns out to have been a strategic mistake. Rani claimed the bed and I got a pull out. I told her I might crawl in with her in the night if the pullout is too uncomfortable.
Rani and Nelson did laundry and got shawarma for dinner. The rest of us had perch and pickerel at the Buccaneer restaurant attached to the Port Stanley Beach hotel. It was delicious. I got a sunset picture before before dinner.
• Moving Time – 3:40:18
• Elapsed Time – 8:03:18
• Distance – 65.6km
• Elevation Gain – 134m
• Average Speed – 17.9kmh
• Maximum Speed – 48.6kph
• Calories Burned – 1956