Tobermory, ON to Barrie, ON
KM Travelled Today: 204 KM, Total So far: 4481 KM
Todays photos: http://www.bikeacrosscanada.com/photos/20050709/
Ryan and I slept in until about 0830 today before enjoying a continental breakfast at our motel. We were on the road at 1015 with mostly flat roads and a nice tail wind.
Progress was great during the first 3.5 hours of the ride. We managed to travel just over 100KM in that time. We were riding quite hard most of the time, and continued to take turns drafting. We stopped in the town of Wiarton for a nice lunch and we continued riding together until Owen Sound where Ryan and I shook hands and said our goodbyes with the hopes of meeting up again at some future point. Ryan was continuing south on highway #6 hoping to reach his home in Guelph by the end of the day. I proceeded to highway #26 to start heading towards Barrie. Ryan also keeps an online journal of his trip and it can be found at the following URL:
As I reached highway #26 I learned that it was in fact closed for several KMs due to construction. The highway during that construction area was all gravel and essentially not rideable. I decided to stop by a nearby restaurant, Montana's Cookhouse, to ask for suggestions on alternate routes. I was greeted at Montana's by Greg who was very helpful in finding an alternate route for me. Greg was very kind, also offering food, water, or anything else I needed. I declined the food as I had just eaten but he filled up my hydration pack using the cool water from the bar nozzle, and he also gave me some extra bottled water as well. Its so awesome to meet people like Greg who are generous and kind with strangers and it truly made my day.
I had to double back a little due to the highway construction to get on an alternate route. The alternate route took me through some lovely farm lands and through a lot of difficult hills. Also, the route was actually a fair bit confusing at times, especially at the different highway junctions, and I had to stop and pull out my maps and even my computer three times to make sure that I was actually going the right way. This unfortunately ended up taking a lot of time but I eventually made a huge descent and found my way back to highway 26 a few KMs east of Thornbury past all of the construction. The detour ended up adding about 15 KM to the journey and I began to realize that I wasn't going to reach Barrie before dark. So I decided I would ride as far and fast as I could until dark and then I would get picked up by my brother-in-law, Andrew.
Before reaching Collingwood I passed a ski resort which is apparently owned by Intrawest. Collingwood looked like a nice area and there was a lot of construction of new condos, houses, etc, around that area. Its right on the water so there are plenty of beaches around.
I cycled until around 9:15 pm and then decided that it was getting dark enough that I should get off the road. Highway 26 was very busy and the shoulder almost non-existant so it wasn't worth risking riding any further. I was approximately 30 KM from Andrew's house in Barrie at that point and I pulled over to a gas station and awaited Andrew's arrival. He showed up a few minutes later and we loaded my bike and bags into the vehicle and drove to his house where my wife and kids awaited.
My wife and kids gave me a most wonderful welcome when I arrived, greeting me with hugs and kisses, causing a few tears of joy to fall down my cheeks. Its so nice to be loved.
My plan is stay and visit with family for the next 4 days or so after which I will be dropped back off at the same spot I was picked up at 30 KM outside Barrie and I will continue my journey.
Tobermory, ON to Barrie, ON