January 2017

It's been some what of a dreary January, which is unusual. Sandwiched in between two extremely foggy & rainy days was a warm somewhat sunny day.

While I was still at home, every time the door opened a warm breeze blew in, I couldn't help myself.  I was a little nervous that my bike wouldn't start but it did, and it was a great sound to hear.

 Just about to leave the driveway for the first time in a long time.

Just about to leave the driveway for the first time in a long time.

It felt so good to be riding, the sun was out when I left the house, I was taking deep breaths and smiling. I headed out to Riverside Drive, a great ride that follows the river. There were so many other bikers that had the same idea, we exchanged 'the wave' and I'm was stoked to see them out.

Driving along the river, I stopped I thought it would be fun to get a picture of my bike with the ice on the river.

 Riding when ice is on the river.

Riding when ice is on the river.

I wasn't the only bike there, a fellow biker offered to take my picture and we chatted a bit, it's always fun to talk biking.

 So here I am,...

So here I am,...

It was great ride, I followed the drive until the end, hunger and cold started to set in so and I turned around and went home the same way, a thoroughly enjoyable day. 

 I made my turn around at a marina, can't wait to see if full of boats again, only a few more months,.. weeks,.. 

I made my turn around at a marina, can't wait to see if full of boats again, only a few more months,.. weeks,.. 

When I started out it had just reached 50°F, I still felt the need to bundle up. 

 This is all the clothing I had on, I may have gotten a little carried away,....

This is all the clothing I had on, I may have gotten a little carried away,....

It was a wonderful way to spend a day in the middle of January, it was the only day we got, all the other mild days had a lot of rain and now a cold spell has settled in again, a time when I enjoy the memories.

 A picture of my bike downtown, I was hoping to finding some breakfast bud had no luck finding an open restaurant.

A picture of my bike downtown, I was hoping to finding some breakfast bud had no luck finding an open restaurant.

Thunder Bay (or bust)

We started our journey yesterday, (Saturday) I was working all day, so the plan was, that Larry would meet me after work and we would head out. We communicated all day via texts, we were pretty excited to get started. I received this text from him in the middle of day.

Ready to go, loaded down bike (please don't look at the messy garage)

Other than starting late, everything went according to plan. My sister took some pictures of us heading out.

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off we go

We headed out on Riverside Drive and drove to Chatham, by time we got to Mama Maria's, I was over hungry (I should have listened to Louise who was 'suggesting' I eat more) and because I was so hungry I ate to much warm, yummy, white bread which meant I got full faster, then when the main dish came out I couldn't eat very much of it but it was delicious!

Then we continued to Sarnia, we were travelling the county roads which was really picturesque - at one point, while looking toward my left, I was able to watch the sun set into some pretty dark clouds. It was an amazing ride, the temperatures dropped quite a bit and it felt so good to have left the heat behind us and feel the cool breezes.

We stayed at my sister-in-law's, who generously let us stay there in her absence - Larry jumped in the pool right away. The next step was to plan out Sunday's journey, we checked the weather, it's pretty hard not to get obsessed about the weather when riding. The weather network predicted rain and storms that were to start fairly early, we checked all the cities that would bring us to our first destination, it looked like the rain threats were going to follow us all the way to Collingwood.

We talked about staying in Sarnia an extra day, and trying to beat the rain but, in the end we went to bed with a wait and see attitude.

We do have a goal, we want to be in Thunder Bay in 4 days to visit with my beautiful daughter, it's like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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Don't forget to check out day 2 ;)

First Ride Since

Today was the first day since Larry's accident, that we rode together, he got his bike back yesterday - although it was not finished, it was well enough to ride, while waiting for the other pieces to come in, (like the front fender) -  I've got to tell you, it felt good riding together again. So much fun to look in my mirror and see him there! We did the Chatham run, that we usually do. We are trying to get ready for our trip to Thunder Bay, Larry has been planning it, he has it around 300k a day (I hope).

I'm pretty excited about the trip and seeing my baby, I'm a little bit leery about the drive ahead, but at the same time I'm looking forward to it. I think the scenery will be awesome and the real reward will be at the end of the journey, where Sarah will be waiting for us.

It's funny how the accident has changed so much, the bike has taken a long time to get fixed and as mentioned, it's not done yet. Even still, the bike probably will not be in the same great condition as it was before the accident. Not to mention that Larry has lost at least 4 weeks of summer rides. But what can you do?

I don't have any pictures of today's ride, but let me just tell you that it was the perfect day for a ride, the temps were perfect, the breeze was fun - and the day ended with a perfect bbq steak dinner with loved ones. Check out Best of Friends if you want to see the basic map of our trip today.

 

 

Best of Friends

Yesterday I got busy, I had intended to go for a ride but as the day went on I started readjusting my thoughts, feeling good about what I was getting done. Then my good friend Carolyn, who lives close to Toronto,  texted me around 2:30pm, she was driving to  Chatham on business. Her plan was to head right back home but there was an opportunity for us to have a small visit, I decided to drop everything and meet up with her, how could I resist a ride and hanging out with Carolyn? With a big smile on my face, I got ready quickly, I pulled on my new kevlar jeans, boots, and the rest of my gear and headed out. I decided to take the 401 highway, thinking it would be the quickest and I wanted to make sure I was there on time so I wouldn't miss a minute.

The ride up was pretty uneventful, there was some construction on the highway but traffic was pretty smooth. We got there about the same time, it was great seeing her! We went to my favorite Chatham restaurant, Mama Maria's for delicious Italian food, that never fails to please and of course to catch up.

Sitting on the back patio of Mama Maria's, overlooking the Thames River

We spent a fun hour together, I gave her a tour of downtown Chatham which did not take long, and then we went our separate ways again.

It was pretty cloudy out when I left Windsor and it got cloudier the closer I got to my destination, it has been looking like it's going to rain a lot lately and then it doesn't. I was pretty happy that the rain held off, although I am sure the farmers were disappointed. The ride home was really enjoyable, I took the scenic route and followed Thames River to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River. The sun played peek a boo with me all throughout the day but showed up about half way home which was nice, it was a good ride.

The 'loop'.

Once home, I had an overly excited dog on my hands so we went for a walk, it was a good way to move some of the muscles that had been sitting for a while, plus it was an enjoyable walk with fireflies lighting our way home.

Charlie

Chatham Ontario

It's June and I think it's safe to say that biking season is upon us, it has been a long time coming! I'm starting to plan some trips for the summer ahead, and looking forward to getting out and exploring the world. We already did an overnight trip back in April, when the sunshine came out and smiled on us for a short time.

We decided to go to Chatham which isn't a long ride but we were looking for something low key as it was our first trip of the season. The trip can be done in a little over an hour if you take the highway but we followed the water - starting out on Riverside Drive - it was a delightful ride, a bit chilly but I was well dressed. We followed the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair and then Thames River, we got to Chatham around 4:00pm.

We were really excited when we saw our hotel, The Retro Suites, we were so intrigued with the outside and could hardly wait to go in. While we were registering we couldn't stop looking around, the hotel had a fairly big foyer with a huge majestic staircase, one couch that had the British flag pattern on it with 2 pillows on either side, one with the American flag and the other, of course was the Canadian flag, there was another couch that was more of  a Victorian style, with a couple of chairs for a great sitting area that was very popular with guests.

It was a bit of a maze to find our room but the directions were clear and when in doubt there were signs to point us in the right direction, as we were walking we were so distracted with all the art that surrounded us,  when we got to our room we were so pleased, it was well decorated, very comfortable with a kitchenette, every detail was taken care, this is truly a very unique and amazing hotel.

We even decided to stay another night just to enjoy the hotel a bit longer, every room is decorated differently, so it was interesting to stay in a different room the next night. Also, the room wasn't ready yet when we left for our ride, so it was fun to come back to a room we hadn't seen before.

The hotel is located right downtown and we were able to walk to our favorite Chatham restaurant, 'Mama Maria's', the food was wonderful as always and the walk back was part of the charm of the night.

The next day we headed out for a ride, it was a pretty day, we kept going on #2 and basically just 'winged' it, a right turn here and random lefts eventually brought us to Erieau, a line up of bikes had taken over the parking lots in this small town by time we had gotten there, restaurants were full and people were milling about, everyone was as excited about the sunshine as we were.

We had a quick lunch at Bayside Brewing Company, it was expectantly busy for the staff but they handled it well.

It was fun to check out the county, riding some very familiar roads and discovering some we hadn't been on before, after we left Erieau we followed Lake Erie for a while and then cut across the county to get back to Chatham, The Retro Suites and to check out our new room and relax for a bit before we headed out for dinner.

Monday morning started with breakfast at the Chilled Cork, a restaurant attached to the hotel, it was a nice treat to find out that breakfast was complimentry on weekdays. We had a fun journey home, we again cut across the county and followed Lake Erie and ended up on one of my favorite highway's #50.

It was very exhilarating to be out on the bikes and riding together - it was a great 1st ride!

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The Retro Suites.

 

Victoria Day Holiday

I'm sitting outside on my back deck with a glass of wine, I just finished dinner, I made a concoction of shrimp, fresh whole wheat pasta and a cream sauce with a lot of garlic and a hint of spice - it was pretty good. I am feeling relaxed as I lounge here, listening to the fireworks as they light up the sky, and reminiscing upon my day, which involved a ride of course. Even though the forecast promised a high of 70ºF, this holiday weekend, I bundled up - it was breezy today, with strong winds at times which brought a chill to the air, whenever I stopped riding I was quite warm, when I was riding I was totally comfortable - I went to church this morning, had breakfast afterwards with a beautiful person that I love hanging out with and then I started on my ride.

I've been anticipating this ride for a few days and really looking forward to it, I've spent a lot of time thinking about where to go, what roads to take, it was tough because I only had a few hours and I feel like I've taken every road the county has to offer. I was hoping for a bit of fun and enjoyment and taking the same old routes seemed a bit boring but other than crossing the border there are only so many streets out of this peninsula area.

So I started out, still undecided, I began with taking Snake Lane and then Canard Drive, as I rode I could feel my breathing getting deeper and my enjoyment getting higher, I took back roads until I got to highway #50 and then followed Lake Erie until I got to Leamington,  then I cut across the county to Lake St. Clair and eventually followed Riverside Drive home. What I learned was that no matter how many times I do the same ride, I love it - I love the area I live in, it's surrounded by water. I wasn't bored, not for a minute and thoroughly enjoyed my sunshine filled ride.

It was so much fun to see so many signs of spring, it's the Victoria Weekend here in Canada, most people get 3 days off with Monday being the actual holiday and it seems more like the beginning of spring. Today I saw so many roadside stands with hanging baskets filled with beautiful summer time flowers for sale, as well as Rhubarb (I love rhubarb), tomatoes and a few other things, including starter plants for gardens. There was also Coventry Gardens with the peace fountain in place shooting water up in the most festive way. I love this time of year, and I'm pretty excited for a great riding season.

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Happy Friday

Today was awesome! It was the best biking weather so far this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it! We got a late start but it worked out great, we went to Marija's for breakfast (I had the eggs benedict, yummy!), It's always good to start out with a full belly. We then continued on Riverside Drive, there was some traffic which slowed us down a bit, even though the route wasn't new to us, it felt pretty special on this beautiful day. The sky was blue, the water was sparkling with the reflection of the sun, the wind was light and warm - in fact at one point, after we turned away from the water I was hot - I saw a sign in Amherstburg that reported the temperature at 77ºF (in this part of the country we seem to use Fahrenheit more than Celsius, probably because of our neighbours to the north, we are so close to the American border).

So we followed the Detroit River and then cut across the county, following the Belle River and rode through Woodslee until we stopped for a short break in Kingsville at Lakeside Park.

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After our small break, we headed home on highway #50,

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we then went through Amherstburg and home, once home I was still craving the outdoors. So we BBQed and then relaxed around a fire.

Perfect way to end a fun day

Spring

We had a great ride yesterday, the sun was out and the temperatures were pleasant - it did get a little chilly when the sun would hide - Larry was much colder than I was but I was dressed in many layers. Signs of spring were everywhere, flowering trees, green grass, people out - some walking, some fishing - and the smell of cut grass filled the air.

We had breakfast at Cora's and on the way there we got stuck in 'stop and go' traffic on Walker Road, I thought I was being clever when I devised a plan to go the back way so that I could avoid the regular heavy traffic on Walker Rd (between Wyandotte and Provincial Road) but no so such luck.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 11.31.31 AMComing from LaSalle, I took Bouffard to Laurier which turned into S. Talbot Rd., from there I made a left on Walker and that's when my ride turned into a crawl for a little bit.

After a very satisfying breakfast and several cups of coffee, we headed out again, we took Concession Rd #7 to #42 and turned left on Patillo Road and then with a small detour we took Riverside Drive home, which is always fun. We did make one pit stop at Reaume Park, they have s0 many flowers in bloom. All these pictures were taken from the park.

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It was a really good day, a bit windy but pretty good weather wise. Can't wait to get out for another ride today!

Riding Season is Here

Riding season seems to be here, a lot of people have their bikes out, including me. We had a great ride this past weekend, which I'll talk more about later. Last week with a promise from my iPhone app of a high of 18ºc (64ºF) I decided to ride my bike to work, temps were around 10ºc (50º) when I left the house, so I bundled up and I was glad I did. The sun was bright when I started out and I had a great ride, following Riverside Drive until I had to turn off. Once at work I took a few layers off, and got to work, as the day went on the sun seem to do a disappearing act and the people I encountered all seemed to be wearing jackets and sweaters and I started regretting my decision to take my bike.

At the end of the day I got a surprise - Larry turned the tables on me, a few times in the past I unexpectedly met him after he was done work but this time, it was him on the other side of the door - check out Birdie's Perch, Riding and It's getting cold out to see our great evenings when I met him.

It was fun riding home with him, and it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be. We took the same way home, riding along the river for as long as we could - it's always a great ride - waving to other riders, watching the sun get lower and pretty excited to get home.

Second Ride of the Year

Today (it's still February) the weather was 'record breaking', we reached a high of 15ºC (59ºF) which broke our old record which was set in 1976. Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 3.59.31 PM

After lunch the sun was shinning, and my bike was longing for a ride, I was pretty excited about a possible ride but was a bit concerned about the wind, I took my chances. The wind was pretty robust, more so on the way home, a couple of times the gusts felt pretty strong which made me wonder if I could hold my bike, especially while stopped. All went well and I made it home after a great ride, I went down Riverside Drive again, waved to fellow riders and thoroughly enjoyed my day. The Detroit River was pretty choppy but it was pretty, it was fun to see so many people out at the parks or going for a walk, everyone was out enjoying the day. IMG_0900 (2)

A quick stop at Jones & Co.  on the way home opened an opportunity to take a quick picture, I don't think I stopped talking for it. It was pretty windy, even for this photo but I wanted photographic proof that I was out in it, my second ride of the year in February.

If you read my previous post, you've seen that I got to go for a ride earlier this month but then we got a snow storm, then today the weather allowed me to ride again, the report looks like we have some more interesting weather on it's way.

It's February

It's February 3rd and the temperature hit a high of 53ºF - this doesn't happen very often.

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I had so many things I needed to accomplish today - when I realized how nice it was I played with the idea of taking my bike out - however I decided to get things done. Around 11 am I went outside with my dog, Charlie and it felt so good in the sunshine, I couldn't stop myself.

I went to the garage, opened the door and sat on my bike, it felt so good, I put the key in the ignition and turned it - I was rewarded with the purring sound of the motor and my heart started racing with excitement. I ran into the house, redressed myself (in so many layers) and I was soon ready to go.

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My shadow 'photo bombed' my picture, it does prove that it was sunny out. I jumped on the bike and it felt so good as I rode down the street, hugging the curves and taking deep breaths. I drove along River Canard, the ice on the water was so pretty glittering in the sun, there were birds standing on the ice, some floating on the water, I stopped to take a picture but my iphone 5 let me down (once again).

I decided to take a jaunt down Riverside Drive, my favourite route, I was gone for about an hour and drove about 55K's. It felt so good being out in the sunshine, waving to fellow riders, soaking in the views, and just being on my bike. I was glad to get home though, I started getting a bit cold and the wind was getting really strong, and of course I was really hungry. Once home, I did eat and now I'm sitting here in front of the fire with a warm drink and a smile on face and I re-experience my day by sharing with you.

Todays Route

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Winter can be hard on a biker.

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It's Getting Cold Out

At some point in the second week of November the weather turned and there is a chill in the air, a real chill! It was a bit past 2pm today when I armed myself with a crazy amount of warm clothing, I dressed myself with layers upon layers, I added my helmet that had total coverage (it's the one the wear when it's cold out) and then I headed out in the sunshine. I still felt somewhat cold, but I was loving the sunshine, the falling of leaves and just the thrill I get when I ride. I didn't make to far, I was about 30 minutes from home when I arrived at Larry's work and decided that was far enough. I met Larry after his shift was over and we drove home together, along Riverside Drive - it was a beautiful ride - and so much fun to do with Larry, it may be the last  'together' ride of the season and I was loving it.

Larry's bike at work, waiting for the ride home.

As winter and cold weather settles in, so do I - however, it was great to get a ride in today, even if it was a short one.

Bike Wash

It's been a beautiful week so far, sunshine and the temperatures are in the 70's, it seems unlike November. I haven't had as much time as I would like to ride but the other day I thought it was time for my bike to have a bath. I had a little bit of help;

I didn't get the bike as pristine as I wanted but it was looking pretty darn good, it's so hard to get good help.

I had an appointment after 4, I decided to take my nice, clean bike - the nights have been getting dark earlier, so by time I drove home it was starting to get dark but I loved it, very relaxing. I had a pretty good view of a beautiful red/pinkish sky, I stopped for a picture.

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A Perfect Night

Today it was too nice to NOT ride my bike, so I rode it to work this morning - it was the type of day that made me want to keep going - such a pretty a day, the kind you just can't get enough of. I was excited that things worked out so that Larry could meet me after work and we could go for a ride, we went along Riverside Drive until we got to Tecumseh where we stopped at one of Larry's favourite restaurants  'The Wrap Shack' for a quick bite and then we were back on the road.

The route wasn't particularly exciting and it certainly wasn't new to us, but it was the perfect journey for tonight. The weather was perfect, the sun was just starting to set and the water was a breathtaking backdrop for our ride. Spring smells filled the air, cut grass, flowers, everything smelled so fresh - I was breathing deeply and felt totally relaxed and completely exhilarated at the same time.

Couldn't think of better way to spend the evening

A great ride, surrounded by water through most of it. The part in purple is where we had to double our ride, no complaints though - great views.

Post Script

Just a quick post, a follow up to the last one (First Long Ride 2015) where I may have spent too much time whining about the cold - Wednesday (the next day) turned out to be the beautiful day that was predicted. After catching up with some work I found myself free at 4:30pm and took my very clean & shiny bike for a ride along Riverside Drive, it was all I was expecting - I throughly enjoyed it!

The Wave

Sunday (just a few days ago), it was the perfect day to go for a ride - the first nice day of the year with sunshine and temps expected reach 60°f (I use Fahrenheit here because I think it sounds more lovely than 15.5°c.), Larry had the day off and we were both a bit disappointed that I was working because we couldn't go for a ride, but (for the first time this year) I took my bike to work - it just makes going to work more fun. We did however get our ride in, he met me after work, around 4:30 and we drove Riverside Drive - it's the perfect ride, it only takes about an hour, the speed is fairly low and it is relaxing with a great view.

It felt so good to be out, we were not the only ones who felt this way, we saw lots of bikers out which gave me the opportunity to wave. I love the wave, with each wave I feel like I'm saying 'isn't this a blast?'

I've talked about the 'wave' with different people, some seem to tire of it and dislike it - I've seen boaters do the wave to each other on the lake, which strikes me as a bit weird because it's the only type of vehicle out there.  Back when we had our little sporty looking 2 seater, lime green EXP car, seeing another one was rare but when we did we would often honk and wave. One time someone was so excited to see a twin of his car he honked and waved for a good 5 minutes.

Anyway, when I'm out there on the road and hear the familiar sound of a bike, or see one coming up I get a bit excited, someone (a total stranger) whom (I assume) loves riding as much as I do and is happy to just be driving along, soaking in the sunshine and scenery,  I look over and make a connection with that person with a wave of a hand or a nod of my head and for a split second I've related with them, creating a fellowship with someone I've never met and likely will never meet.

It's a fun feeling when you meet someone that you have something in common with, especially when that 'something' is a little out of the ordinary - I feel like that every time I see a fellow biker.

 

It's snowing

It was starting to get dark and snowing as I was driving home from work today, I took Riverside drive and was enjoying the view - the lights reflecting on the water, the fluffy snow and then I noticed a motorcycle riding in the opposite lane. I was impressed as I am particularly sucky about being cold, seeing the biker brought so many questions to mind, was he out on purpose enjoying the snow, did he take his bike to work  and was regretting his decision, was he cold and if not what was he wearing? I have to admit I was a bit jealous, while the heat in my car was blowing full speed and I was bundled up with 4 (walls) sides surrounding me and protecting me from the wind. Do you ride in near freezing temps, if so what do you wear?

Back Again

I've just spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica, I didn't get the chance to ride there as I did the last time (check out the post here). So I was excited to get home to ride again, however the weather has not co operated.  It seems like I went from summer to autumn in one little plane ride. Today was my first chance to ride and the weather wasn't as delightfully warm as I had hope, instead I got this; Today's weather

I did bundle up though, starting with long johns, jeans and then my Harley Davidson rain pants (and that was just the bottom layer) - It wasn't as cold as it was windy but yet the chill did make it through all my layers. It made the bath I took when I got home so very wonderful!! Today we started with breakfast at Marija's and then we were off to Ace's, he replaced my clutch lever (which has been on order for the whole season), I was pretty excited about that. I was following Larry as we drove throughout our area, it just felt good being out on my bike again :) Also felt good getting home again. Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 11.33.18 PM

War of 1812

Tecumseh Parkway It was a sunshiny day with temps expected to be around the 32°c, perfect for a ride - I hopped on my bike and cruised toward Chatham, starting at Riverside (at the bridge) I headed east, turning on Brighton which brought me to an 'all way' stop sign, I turned left on Old Tecumseh rd ( old highway #2) until the end of the road. I then made a left on  Highway #22 which brought me to Belle River, a left on First Street and then a quick right on Broadway, which eventually turns into highway #2 (which is also know as Tecumseh Rd.), it turns into Riverview Line and is pretty popular with motorcyclist. It follows Lake St. Clair and then Thames River and will take you into Chatham.

Windsor to Chatham The Scenic Drive

One of the exciting parts of this drive is that it is a history lesson, one that takes you through many miles of a scenic drive - the highway has been rename the Tecumseh Parkway, in honour of Chief Tecumseh and in tribute to the war of 1812. You can also stop along the way for a break from the drive.

Pretty view and a history lesson.

There are many stops, with signs indicating that  you are getting close to another site. Once at the site there is information about what had happen there, it makes it so much more realistic to make the journey - the same route they took.

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Thanks Chief Tecumseh for your passion and dedication!

I didn't stop at all the sights, partly because of the high temps of the day, however I did enjoy stopping, reading the signs and checking out the pictures - mostly just taking in the sights and trying to imagine what it would have been like over 2oo years ago to be standing in the exact spot, I was feeling grateful to be a Canadian.

July 4th

Today I was driving home feeling tired from a long day at work, it was 11pm, the night seemed clear and I was taking Riverside Drive – It’s the road that follows the Detroit River and the Detroit River is a dividing line of two countries. It’s always a pretty ride, tonight the lights seemed bright and reflecting in the water, people were milling about and sitting in outdoor patio bars – the temperature was perfect. Up ahead something caught my eye, it was fireworks on the other side of the River and then I remembered it was the 4th of July, my whole ride along the River was extra fun as burst of colours lit up the night sky. Thank you for making my ride home so much more fun, I would have like to have taken a picture but I only had my phone with me and they seemed so fleeting. Happy Independence Day my neighbours to the north (it is north to this small section of Canada) May your country always be blessed, strong and free – God bless the USA!