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.

Mid Week Ride

Last week we took a few days and went for a ride, we started our journey by heading out to Woodstock. We got such a late start that we decided to take the 401, although it is a main highway and pretty busy, I really enjoyed the ride. First of all, it just felt good to be heading out, the day was turning out to be a good one, the sun was starting to come out and the weather was perfect. We went to Woodstock to pick up a pair of highway bar's for my bike, the person was selling them on kijiji. We ended up buying them and I left his place with the bars on my bike.

By time we were done, I was pretty hungry, we stopped at Montana's in Woodstock and I had a great dinner. We started looking for a hotel in the area and was really surprised that everything was booked, I was told there was a farming convention in the area. We ended up finding a place in Brantford, so after eating, we took some back roads and headed east, the sunset was so glorious, the cool part was that it reflecting in my mirrors.

The plan for the next day was to hit a few stores in the area, the first one was in Hamilton, which we did and then Larry changed the planned, we took some back roads and enjoyed a great scenic ride. We went to peacock point, which is on Lake Erie, such a pretty ride.

The next stop was for gas, in Port Dover, a pretty little town that has become famous as a destination for bikers, especially on (any) Friday the 13th.

We still had a bit to go to get to our end destination, Port Stanley. We had booked a hotel earlier that day,  I was looking forward to relaxing by the beach and going out for a great dinner. For some reason, the last hour (or so) I found ride a bit difficult, I was getting pretty sore and tired, I felt like I couldn't get there quick enough. I was surprised that Larry was feeling the same way and he was experiencing the same relief I felt as we slowly got off our bikes.

After a warm shower we were both feeling better and headed out to look for some dinner. We went to the beach first and enjoyed the view of this awesome sunset, it felt good being there.

Finding a place to eat wasn't as easy as I had hoped, the town seems to shut down early. We ended up having dinner at The Wind Jammer Inn, we sat on the porch and started off with the 'soup of the moment', and because it was getting chilli we ended up moving inside, it's a charming place to eat. Larry ordered the Cheese Stuffed Portobello Cap for his main course, he enjoyed it so much and said he never had such a good meal, all the food was so good - we couldn't resist dessert which was indescribably delicious. It was a great, relaxing way to end the day.

The staff was particularly patient with us, when we got there the server checked with the chef to see if it wasn't to late to order, she was gracious enough to feed us, we were the last order of the day and the only customers for most of our meal, we were really appreciative.

The next day we had a great breakfast at the Buccaneer Restaurant, which was included with our room, which was kinda cool.

Then we headed home on Highway #3, which we've done a lot. We enjoyed the inland ride from Hamilton to Peacock Point and also admired the view of the shores of Lake Erie.

The change of seasons was apparent, leaves were starting to change, lot's of pumpkin farms and of course some cooler temps, but not uncomfortably so.

 

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.

 

Rhubarb

The Victoria Day weekend brought another opportunity for a ride, my Mom suggested I come to her house and lighten the garden of its rhubarb. It was a pretty quick ride, I cut across the county straight to her house, the weather was even better than the previous day. When I got to the farm, we cut a lot of rhubarb, did I mention that I love rhubarb? My saddle bags aren't that big so I was limited with what I could bring home. My mom and I spent about a half hour preparing the vegetable that I enjoy as a fruit, we started by collecting it, then trimming the leaves off and cutting it in half to fit the saddle bag. Once done, I realized I could squeeze in a few more stalks, and then, of course it was back to the garden, soon I was full and the journey home began. It was a perfect weather day, I did dress a little warmly because it can get cool along Lake Erie but I was super warm while doing the rhubarb and glad to get on my way. I took highway 50 home and enjoyed the breezes off the lake and in the end I was pretty glad I did dress warmly.

I was in a bit of hurry to get home because we were going to have a family dinner, I tried a new recipe to incorporate some of the rhubarb and it turned out delicious, we had

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Onion Rhubarb Sauce,  plus summer time potato salad and a delicious garden salad with homemade ranch dressing made by my daughter (so good). I've included the recipe if anyone is interested in trying it.

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Thanks for the rhubarb Mom!

A short but fun ride

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!

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.

Still February

There are not too many activities I enjoy more than being on my bike - sometimes I look longingly out the window wishing the weather would co-operate with my desires - however on days like this I'm thank full to be living in a world that has 4 separate and unique seasons. I've always loved the 4 seasons, but my desire to go for a ride has sometimes trumped these feelings. Today, however I  am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me, I am enjoying that the world seems a little quieter and  cleaner. Today I breathe deeply, absorb the artistry around me and let the feeling of peace fill me.

 

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Yesterday the weather was dreary with a rain/hail/snow combination, I found it depressing but there were many people who said 'at least it's not snow', I don't understand this sentiment. Sure, there are complaints about shovelling, which isn't always fun however today I did shovel the whole driveway with the help of my cutiepies and it was nothing but fun. So if I had to choose between snow and rain, I would pick snow and a great deal of people who live in this great city would hate me - the children however would love me! There are hills that need to be tobogganned, snowman & forts that need to be built, and snowball fights to win.

Bring on the snow!!

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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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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November 1st

Today is November 1st, 2015 - last night daylight savings time ended, our 'clocks' fell back an hour, and it was halloween night. First of all halloween wasn't as busy as it usually is, the slow steady rain kept a lot of the kids away, which means there is a lot of candy around the house (ugh!!). And before I went to bed I set all the clocks back an hour, which means it's gets darker earlier. Today, the weather was so pretty, the sun was bright and the temps were in the high 60's. As soon as I got a chance I took the bike out, I was looking for fall foliage but I was out of luck, seems like the colours have come and gone, a lot of the tree's were bare.

I throughly loved the ride, taking deep breaths of the crisp air, it was a bit chilly but I was well dressed. I did a routine route, which didn't feel routine, it just felt good to be out. I followed Detroit River, then Lake Erie and then marsh's.

Dirt road, surrounded by nature - marshes are just past the bush. Lake Erie is just a block away - it's cottage land.

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Although I was enjoying the ride, the sun started setting earlier,  thanks to the end of daylight savings time. The sun was getting low and the chill in the air almost starting getting cold, plus I was getting hungry - time to head home.

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The sweet temperatures today were somewhat unexpected after all the cool weather we've been getting, the first 'frost' came a few weeks ago and mornings have been so cold it seems to demand a warm coat, but today we got a short reprieve from the cold and a fun reminder of summer time.

I so much enjoyed my time on my bike today!