Saturday, September 2, 2017

Erie Shores - Day Five

I have taken a number of trips with Cycle Canada and Bud never fails to entertain us on the final day.  How does he manage to do that when he isn't even around?  He always provides a windy day on the final day. Not sure how he manages to arrange that - but I remember riding to St. John's in what felt like hurricane force gales. Calgary - same thing - huge gusts of wind and on the way to Beddick as well.

Yesterday was no exception and guess what?  I made it worse! More on that in a bit!

It was a tad chilly in the morning when we left. Not sure what the temperature was, but I put on all the cycling clothes that I had brought.  My little jacket with only the sleeves and my wind breaker. I kept the wind breaker on for the entire day but at one point, I got rid of the extra sleeves.

While it was windy the first part was actually a bit of a tail wind or in some cases a cross wind so it wasn't really that bad. We were cycling along the lake so we had something to entertain us.

The road wasn't the best to start the day.  I don't mind riding beside the traffic if there is a shoulder, but when there is no shoulder - not my favorite. Then we had a nice paved shoulder for a couple of K and then poof - it was gone. Oh well - the joys of sharing the road with traffic.

We started to angle north and got a taste of the wind. Not fun but doable.

I was riding through Colchester which is a small town and yet has the most AMAZING bike lanes and markings on the road.  I was taking pictures of it all for later posting (I apologize to the quilters among you for boring you with the bike stories - but there are quilt stories today as well).  Anyway, we could hear this booming noise as we were riding.  As I was taking a picture a lady got out of her car and I asked her.  That would be the air cannons which are used to keep the birds out of the vineyards. Guess what time they start in the morning?   4:30AM.  Oh, God!

I got to one point in the day where the road was closed. It was right at an intersection and I contemplated my next move.  To go on the main road or find a way to get around the short construction area?  I saw that one could go through the parking lot of the building right at the corner and bypass the construction. So I did.

I'm sailing along - things are good and then when I was supposed to find the next road - well - two turns down the way, the road wasn't named what it should be named.  Oh no!!!  So I tried to look at my phone again for Google Maps - you see, I'm not just randomly riding - I do have turn by turn instructions that I'm following. Well - I turned and go to the next major road.  Consulted my phone again and made a right turn.  Facing East directly into a headwind. A fierce head wind.  I don't know how many times I stopped to check my phone and could barely make out the image with the glare. After battling the wind for a few K, I decided to stop and ask.  NO WAY!!!!  I was going in the wrong direction and had been struggling into the wind for no reason.  I backtracked and where I turned right, I should have turned left and within minutes was back on track.

Now I have to digress here for a second.  There is one thing I'm doing when I get home and that is to find something to put on that screen to cut the glare before I ever venture on a bike again. I even have an indicator on my bike computer that tells me what direction I'm riding in. Why was I going east?  No idea - it was one of those moments when common sense and my sense of direction went out of the window.  That normally doesn't happen.  But I did realize why I was struggling with google maps - I had somehow turned on that function that rotates  - there is a name which I don't know  (3-D??).  Anyway - since I was always turned in the wrong direction when I was trying to look at the phone, I thought I was going in the right direction.   The end result - I lost one hour and rode an extra 14 KM.  No big deal - I'm laughing now, but I wasn't yesterday at about 12:30!!!!

As a result of my own pity party, I decided to have a chocolate milk and a chocolate bar for lunch. It was the best lunch of the trip and brought back a lot of memories!  So it all worked out in the end!

There were a few bits where we had to ride into that head wind, but after my experience, this was a piece of cake. I was a tad worried as the map said we would have some navigating to do once we hit Windsor.  Lots of turns and trails and stuff to watch for.  I made out pretty good except for one spot. A very busy intersection by a rail road track. I ended up chatting to a young fellow on a bike and he got me going in the right direction (again - LOOK at the direction on the bike computer!) and all was good. The map instructions made perfect sense once I realized what was happening!

I think I made it to the hotel around 2:30?   That wind really cut into the speed at which we could travel and the roads weren't in nearly as good of shape as the day before and a lot more navigating. But the idea is to have fun and enjoy the ride and that's what I did.  I do have to say that after I turned around on my little detour - the wind was fully at my back, there was a paved shoulder and I sailed along to make up for lost time!

Had a shower, loaded my bike in the car, grabbed my keys and I was off to the quilt store.  I went to Quilting Confections.  Oh my - if EVER you are in the Windsor area - you MUST stop to visit this store. I missed the owner by about 30 minutes, but the entire staff was as friendly as can be.  I mean this is the kind of store you want to be close to your house.  Their block of the month (designed by the owner) was amazing and a very unusual setting. Kits were beautifully packaged, lots of bright fabric (which is probably why I liked the place so much). And the string quilts made by the owner are to die for.  They were BEAUTIFUL.  I'm now on the mailing list and must find an excuse to come back to Windsor!  I could come and visit Celeste!

I also visited Ella Quilts shop in Tecumseh. This is the one that I was hoping to hit on my bike on the way out.  It's a small shop with a lot of batiks and 30s but I managed to find a few things.  The owner also gave me a small gift because it was my first time in the shop. That was a very sweet thing.

There is a shop hop happening next weekend in this area - so if you're in the area - I would suggest doing the shop hop.  There are some amazing stores here!!!!

I was getting hungry by this time and so I took off on my own to find a place within walking distance of the hotel.  Again I got messed up with Google maps on my phone and when I finally arrived at the pub, it was there that I realized the setting on Google maps had changed.  DUH!!!!   I had forgotten that you could do that and so my day was topsy turvy!  

Two things I must note - the traffic in this town is CRAZY.   I was in the car and on my way back to the hotel.  We were on a relatively quiet street near the hotel. A guy on a scooter is wanting to cross the street and I stopped.  The woman behind had her windows open and was screaming at the top of her lungs because I gave scooter guy the right of way.  Seriously????   And there were other instances where when I was on my bike, I actually walked across some streets as I didn't feel comfortable on the bike. And then to top it off, I'm walking back from the pub and almost got taken out by a guy on a bike. I was just turning to cross the street (still on the sidewalk) and whiz!  Literally millimeters from me!   Another fellow on a bike was behind him and said, "I'll go slower - he almost took me out too!" Yes - a crazy town - so Ronda - you do NOT want to let your daughter have a car in this town!

The second thing is talking. I should be more specific - women who talk a LOT.  I was sitting in the pub and noticed a couple sitting two tables over. They were finished when I arrived and I had taken my book to read.  Well - this woman (they could have been university students) talked for at least an hour SOLID!  I don't think the guy got in two words.  She just babbled and babbled and oh god - give the guy a chance to say something!  When the waitress went over to ask if they needed anything else (they had already paid before I got there), they finally left. Thank god!   Well, next thing I knew - another couple came in and again - the woman was bubbly and yak yak yak.  At least the guy got a chance to say something.  The first conversation was 100% talk time for her and 0% for him.  The second couple was 80% for her and 20% for him.   Yikes!   OK - I ever I do that - tell me to shut up!!!!

So when I had arrived in my room in the afternoon, there was a very strange noise above my bed. It sounded like water gurgling through the pipes or something very weird. I'm usually pretty tolerant of stuff like that, but I thought - if that continues through the night - I won't be able to sleep.  When I came back from dinner, it was still there.  Hm - what the heck is that?  I finally went to the front desk and asked to be moved. Sorry - we're sold out!  ACK!!!  But the front desk clerk came to check it out.  Well, I woke up in the middle of the night (yes - I did get to sleep) and the first thing that came to mind was the noise had stopped!  I did hear it for a few minutes this morning but nothing else.  I've no idea what it was, but thank god it has stopped!!!

On that note (yes - I write like the woman in the restaurant!) it's time to get moving. I'm splurging this morning and having breakfast at Tim's. I only went in once all week and I deserve a good cup of tea. Then a couple of stops on my way home and then back to work.  I've got a lot of stuff to get done this weekend.

I feel great - it truly is fun to get away and I love my cycling trips. Wish I could do more. Then I could justify eating more butter tarts!

Have a super day!!!


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