Sunday, August 15, 2010

ride for africycle day eight (part two)

niagara falls, ontario to bronte creek provincial park, oakville
120 km (part two)

after leaving the relatively toasty warm confines of the church
that had graciously welcomed us into their foyer for recharging drinks and lunch,
we headed outside for a team shot.

this is me scarfing down something or other.

here's the team in front of the support bus.

you'll noice that it's still raining. oh yes, even with some small degree of divine intervention,
the weather gods didn't get it all together for us. oh well! lots more riding to enjoy today.

we rode through the outskirts of hamilton along a windy route that took us along service roads, through subdivisions and light industrial areas.
i recalled a long-ago journey from toronto to niagara falls which required me to follow a similar sort of route. it's not the most attractive and in cold rain becomes a bit of a slog.
but, the company was good and we were able to talk about books and films
while spitting out little bits of road grit and wiping the rain off our glasses.

riding through hamilton and burlington was actually really good because you get to follow a nice wide smooth paved bike/walk/rollerblade path.
because it was raining there was pretty much no one else on it.

the views out onto the lake were all in the grey scale.

and the views inland were pretty industrial

but even then there's something energizing about the experience of flying along on a bicycle with good people. here we are stopped near a map - we didn't really need the map but it made for interesting viewing as we parked another granola bar where it was needed.

i figure i must have eaten a few dozen granola bars in the course of the trip.
this was the only one that was accompanied by the taste of rain.

eventually we arrived at the end of the bike trail.
this was cause for another americano which astonishingly was available right across the road.
here we are sitting on rain-soaked chairs but the rain has stopped!!!

from this point we gathered up as a group as the local press were out taking pictures and getting interviews .
after the photo fly-bys we headed east towards oakville.
after riding along a street lined with beautiful huge old homes,
we turned north and made our way through a complex construction zone towards bronte creek provincial park.

you might recall that there had been some concern as to what this might be like given its proximity to major highways, suburbia etc., but really i was honestly and pleasantly surprised at how lovely it really was.
you really had no sense of what was around you.

here we are setting up, working on bikes, chilling out.

during the course of the evening we were visited by an extremely friendly raccoon.
i was eating my dinner when one of the women riders called out my name.
when i answered she pointed out that a raccoon was making its way under my chair and between my legs out to where the food was. hmmmmm.

it was this evening that i started feeling a little wistful about the trip ending.
being in oakville put us on familiar ground and i think that was reminding me that
really there were just two days of the adventure left.

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