The weather for Day Four was looking and feeling like it was going to be a whole lot wetter than we had experienced so far. For me rain puts a damper on bike riding and I know that's a cheesy line and reflects more of my inner wimp than I really should share but it's the truth. If I'm alone and it's going to pour hard and there's no reason for me to ride - then I don't. However, if I'm in the company of good people then the ride is definitely on. Push on regardless. Find the joy!
Because of the rain there are very few pictures of this day. I have a picture in my mind that I'll share with you of riding on some very smooth bike lanes and then entering a construction zone. The (two lanes each way) roadway narrowed to one lane each way with the side where the shoulder should be marked by orange pylons. Trucks were hissing past leaving great clouds of spray in their passing which didn't really matter in terms of getting wet because everyone was already soaked. A couple of riders flatted out and several riders noticed they were chilling down and needed to get their rain gear off the bus so we contacted Dave and Ben up ahead and arranged to meet with them at Port City Cafe - a planned stop - in the lovely little town of Oswego.
Last year when we arrived at Port City the air conditioning was a blessing. Stepping from the 45 Celsius humidex into the impossibly cool atmosphere of Port City was amazing! This year with the temperature some 20 Celsius cooler and with several riders really feeling the rain, the experience of stepping inside was a whole lot different!
Some of us decided to try the place next door. An unassuming little bagel shop named the Oswego Bagelry and Sandwich Shop. We were just about to open the front door when a guy came out and noticing our distinctive apparel, got talking to us about our ride. He said that if we needed any repairs done on our bikes that the labour would be free, just bring the bikes down to Murdock's Bicycles and Sports and he'd take care of us. He also said that the Bagelry was amazing. He was totally right! Wickedgood homemade bagels, homemade cream cheese, great coffee and most important of all - it was warm inside!!
The two guys running the place were very cool and fun and one of them showed us a "Made in Canada" tattoo on his arm because he was actually made in Canada! Scotia, Dave, Mel and Ed and I hunkered inside a booth and scarfed down a pile of truly fine food and coffee and laughed our way through a really funny table cover made up of old newspaper clippings and advertisements from the late 1800's and early 1900's. We were joined by some of the other riders shortly afterwards. It was perfect for lifting our spirits.
Then we walked the bikes down the street to Murdock's where they encouraged us to use their facilities and make ouselves at home.
They took care of some repairs for us and I bought a happy-making rain jacket and a pair of riding gloves that would see me through the rest of the day in warmth and dryness.
Everyone put on their rain gear and set out once more in a better frame of mind to continue our journey to Webster where we planned to stay at Webster Park. There was talk that Ben and Dave were going to go ahead and have a look to see if we could perhaps rent one of the shelters at Webster Park given the difficult riding conditions and general moistness of the day. I was pretty pumped for the idea of staying indoors! I'll let you know how that one all worked out with the next post!
No Turning Back
11 months ago