July 2010

Around Lake Ontario - Day 10

07/22/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Kingston, ON
Watertown, NY
55 miles (some by ferry)

Yet Another perfect day for riding, with tailwinds!

We left the Comfort Inn on Princess Street, with full stomachs from their breakfast selection, and rode down to the Wolfe Island ferry. Traveling through downtown Kingston (population 120,000) was very easy and fun. We arrived at the ferry with about 15 minutes to spare. Wolfe Island is rural, and made up of large farms. The farmers are growing all kinds of food, but we think their number one crop is wind turbines.

The Wolfe Island wind turbine project began with 24 turbines and grew to 86. It is now the largest turbine project in Canada (as of this writing). Each wind turbine has blades that are 148 feet in length making the effect diameter of the blade rotation 300 feet. The height of the wind plant mast is 262 feet. As a comparison, they are four to six times the height of a typical farm silo. The rotor disc alone spans one acre.

We took Line Road 7 out of Maryville towards the Cape Vincent (U.S.A. ferry). The road is not traveled on much, and is made of crush stone. We traveled through the middle of the island, and the wind turbines. It is my opinion that these wind turbines are beautiful, and combined with farm silos...it was pretty surreal. I had looked up Wolfe Island on the Google maps the night before and knew we needed to take a left out off of Line Road 7. For some reason the GPS wasn't working, so instead of going all the way to the end of Line Road 7, I took a left one road to soon (fellow cyclist, go all the way to the end of Line Road 7). This put us on the west side of the bay, we needed to be on the east side. After accusations of "pedaling backwards" (I am famous for going real slow on the last day of a tour) from the Rear Admiral, we tried the GPS one more time, and the coarse was correct. Secretly, I was really enjoying this "muck-up".

Both ferry rides were fun, the second one (operated by the U.S.) lifted 4 dollars from our pockets...... but.... SeeMore had his own "car size" parking space! Going through customs was easy, once the Rear Admiral took off her sunglasses! We then had a picnic lunch in the Cape Vincent park. The highlights of the lunch was the freshly made sub from Aubrey's Market, with local cherries for dessert.

The rest of the 30 miles back to the car was through rolling hills and farmland.

Another great touring experience. HIGHLY recommended! The many bike paths on the Waterfront trail, the people of Canada, and the variety of riding experience made this tour so much fun. Now it's your turn to get out and ride around Lake Ontario!

Around Lake Ontario - Day 9

07/21/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Brighton, ON
Kingston, ON
77 miles

Another perfect day for riding, with tailwinds! Toward the end, skies were very black. At one point through downtown Kingston, on a long flat stretch, with 2 lanes of traffic, SeeMore in his highest gear, angry skies above....SeeMore hit 30 mph! Not bad after 75 miles of cycling!

Most of the day we spent traveling on route 33 (The Loyalist Highway), so the Rear Admiral did not have to look at the maps in the Waterfront trail book at all. We have a warning for other cyclist...if you are going to take the "rough" road next to the Murry Canal, make sure there hasn't been any rain in the past couple of days. I need to thank the Rear Admiral, yet again, because she let SeeMore and I do some "off roading". I knew that today's travels would be all road, so I read the "rough road" warnings in the book, and threw caution to the wind! We had some very technical riding (we had only one 100 foot section that was too muddy and unsafe to ride), but were treated to sightings of a raccoon, King fisher, mink, and some small yachts! However, most of the time SeeMore and I spent concentrating on the road and the "millions" of large and small mud puddles. SeeMore was dirty...but you should have seen the smile on his face! Another caution, if you are traveling east bound, take a right out of Murry Canal road on route 33. There are 7 extra miles on today's journey because of a left turn!

Until Wellington, we traveled through farm country with no lake is sight. After Wellington and until Kingston, 90 percent of the time we rode next to Lake Ontario...what a pleasure! We had lunch west of Picton, at a "Texas BBQ" grill...which we do not recommend. The food was expensive and stale. Food is very important for hungry cyclist! We then cycled through Picton and got to take the free ferry (Glenora) for a short 15 minute ride across a piece of the lake.

We are living large at the Comfort Inn, We out ran most of the rain rain today, (just 1.5 mile of light rain).

Around Lake Ontario - Day 8

07/20/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Oshawa, ON
Brighton, ON
74 miles

A perfect day for riding, with tailwinds!

The first part of today's Waterfront trail was a combination of quiet streets and bicycle paths. Most of the paths were crushed gravel. Pedaling by Lake Ontario we past marshes and wildlife reserves. After Bowmanville, the Waterfront trail is mostly on road, and very hilly. There is a dirt bicycle trail that runs through the Samuel Wilmot Nature Area that has two very short but VERY steep hills. When the sign says "Steep Hill" we recommend you walk your bike! If we were traveling from east to west, SeeMore would not have been able to make this trail.

Almost all the way from Port Hope to Brighton, you travel through flat farmland with little sight of the lake. If you have a tailwind, you can really let your tandem loose.

We are living large at the Brighton Motor Inn and tonight is laundry night...so we best get moving.

Around Lake Ontario - Day 7

07/19/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Bronte, ON
Oshawa, ON
71 miles

A perfect day for riding, the morning started out overcast with a threat of rain. The afternoon was blue skies, and a tail wind.

Today found us riding the suburbs of Toronto, and Toronto herself. Most of the day we cycled next to the lake, or within sight of the lake. Lakeshore drive continued to produce large mansions, southwest of the city, but our travels also included middle income neighborhoods and a lot of brand new townhouses, condos, and homes in the $250k range.

So far on this tour, every day has been extremely enjoyable. However, today (for Noel) was the best. The bicycle paths were fantastic! Riding through downtown Toronto was a blast! My favorite part of the day was the bicycle path through the town of Ajax, you could feel SeeMore smiling from handlebars to panniers. As we rode along the wide path, next to the lake, through the trees, flowers, and wild flowers...as a cyclist, you don't need anything more.

We had only one 2 mile stretch of hairy riding, West of Port Whitby you need to travel on Victoria street. There are no shoulders, and no end of traffic. Most of the drivers are extremely kind. Thanks to a bridge (which provided the only 1 foot shoulder), the only truck during this time, passed by us without a problem.....without the bridge it would have been a problem....

We are living large at the Best Western, close to highway 401 and just over the western town line of Oshawa. We will sleep well tonight, with very happy dreams and memories.

Around Lake Ontario - Day 6

07/18/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

St Catharines, ON
Bronte, ON
49 miles

Happy Birthday Dustin! Hope your 25th birthday day was as fantastic as ours.

We were off to a great start from the Comfort Suites hotel after the complementary cereal and juice and many apologies from the desk clerk for all of the ruckus last night. I (Mary) assured him that a few partying lacross players were nothing in comparison to some of the nightly distractions we've faced on the road, not to worry. Apparently our room was right in the hub of several of the "partying rooms" at the hotel last night. Based on the broken windows and liquor bottles strewn across the parking lot, it must have been quite the party. I guess there is one lacross team that was going straight home this morning.

As for us we just hit the road with full bellies and sunny skies above. Cycling once again along the lake shore through farm land, fruit trees, georgeous homes and more wineries. Our lake shore views ran out around 10 am where we had to detour to the south service road, we were just settling in to the new route when I looked up to my left at a passing car into the window and face of Lauren. Holy &*%!, and what the heck are Lauren and Dustin doing riding right along side of us. We had tried to talk the kids out of trecking all of the way up here, but we're so glad they didn't listen to us. After a bit of checking the area out we discovered that the restaurant at the Best Western was having a brunch. The restaurant was right on the water overlooking a marina. We took our time enjoying the company and the views. The dessert buffet was yummy and even had a chocolate fountain ( a first try for us).

Our route connected with the Hamilton Beach Recreational Trail for the better part of the afternoon, We were amazed by the size of this trail. It runs the entire coastline through Hamilton City. The trail is the width of a city street, which we soon discovered was necessary due to the traffic on the path. Hamilton is a huge city and its entire population was visiting the park this Sunday. It is great to see so many people out enjoying the park.

We are living large at the Holiday Inn, downtown Bronte... about 2 miles west of the Waterfront trail. Dustin and Lauren have just left to return home. Again, what a great suprise...like putting whip creme and a cherry on top of a fresh bowl of ice cream.

Around Lake Ontario - Day 5

07/17/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Lockport, NY
St Catharines, ON
45 miles

We started out with breakfast at Lil Robins...a small diner in the heart of Lockport....delicious!!!!! The owners were very interested in SeeMore and his travels (and so were most of the customers!). After we were completely full, we headed west through Lockport until we found Upper Mountain road. Not sure why they call it Upper Mountain...if was basically flat for 20 miles....but we think it goes along a ridge. There is one word for today's weather....Headwinds.

Getting across the Lewiston ridge was a bit of a challenge, but only because we were sheepish to go up on to the "highway". Once there, we stayed in the "commercial" truck lane, until we saw the customs booths...and the booth farthest to the right. The Canadian customs gentleman was an avid bicycle-tourist. Needless to say, 18 minutes later...we were still talking about touring (to the chagrin of the other cars in the line).

Then there was the Niagara River Recreation Trail. A paved trail that runs 35 miles north-south from Niagara-on-the-lake, down to Fort Erie. WOW! Mansions and the Niagara River on one side, fruit farms and wineries on the other. And well used by the Canadian people. We just had a blast, SeeMore barely reached 8 MPH as he tried to take it all in.

At Fort George, we joined the Waterfront Trail which a combination of trail, bikeway, and road sharing. We will be on the Waterfront Trail until we exit from Canadian.

We are living large at the Comfort Inn, downtown St Catharines... about 3 miles south of the Waterfront trail. The skies were looking very black and scary, so we headed for shelter.

Around Lake Ontario - Day 4

07/16/2010 13:00:00 by Administrator

Rochester, NY
Lockport, NY
66 miles

Two brief downpours (I did get wet! Mary stayed dry), and the rest of the day in the high 80's, sunny with a headwind. Just another beautiful day on the Erie Canal.

From Fairport NY (on yesterday's travels) until Greece NY, the canal trail is paved and SeeMore just hummed along. The only caution you need to take is staying on the Canal trail when it intersects with the Genesee trail....that and a few road crossings (but not many!). We said it before, but it needs repeating, Rochester NY has quite a gem in their trail system.

The also have two more gems, Dustin and Lauren....thank you so much for letting us crash at your townhouse!!!!.

Today was basically a one gear day, with no cars. The headwinds and the trail surface made a low MPH day...but that's the way the Erie Canal trail should be travelled! I knew I was going to stretch the Rear Admirals strength, but she gave full power, right to the end! Today we past through the canal towns of Spencerport, Brockport, Holley, and had lunch at Albion. The down town area of Albion seems a little in the depressed arena....but someone would make a lot of money by putting up a convenience store/ deli next to the trail (in one of the many empty storefronts). After lunch, we continued through Medina, Middleport, and Gasport. We stopped at Gasport for a soda break.... and again....someone would make a lot of money by putting up a convenience store / deli here cause they could really use one!.....

We are living large at the Holiday Inn, downtown Lockport. We only have one small little concern.....we lost the bicycle map with directions for the way across the Rainbow Bridge...into Canada! We did cycle back for a couple of miles...but . . . Oh well, SeeMore will have to be our guide.