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.

A New Highway

So far April's weather has been disappointing, I'm sitting here with the fireplace on listening to the hail/rain hit the windows, this morning it was snowing and the temperatures were below zero. Today while driving in my car with the heat blasting, I took a fairly new highway which I find somewhat exciting, the last few years there has been much construction in our area and the results are pretty impressive. This highway has made it a bit easier for me to get around and I can see a lot of trucks using the route as well.

I'm not sure how the parkway got its name but it is to be called 'The Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway', and will eventually connect to the new bridge which is to be called 'The Gordie Howe International Bridge', which will help keep traffic running smoothly in Canada's busiest land border crossing city.

I am impressed with the look and convince of the new parkway, and I think it'll be good for our city especially once the bridge is built in a couple of years.

New Highway

 

 

Working out

Working out is important to me, I want to stay strong and healthy especially as I grow older. Sometimes it's really hard to stay motivated, so times like that I remind myself the reasons why I want to stay strong and healthy, one of my reasons is to be able to ride my bike. My bike weighs 464lbs more than I do and I want to be able to maneuver it easily, stop it if it starts to fall, balance well, stave off fatigue, and possibly prevent injury or have a quicker recovery and I'm sure there are more reasons that aren't coming to mind right now.

I was pretty excited when I came across this article written by Dr. Pamela Reilly, she shares how riding a motorcycle is a workout in itself and actually improves physical health. She points out that it strengthens your knees and thighs, improves your core strength, increases insulin sensitivity, burns calories, strengthens your neck and maybe most importantly, improves your mental outlook.

Is it true, that riding a bike can actually be good for you? It seems that it is so. From now on I'm looking at riding my bike is a part of my healthy life style.

What do you think of that mom (and all the naysayers)?

It's too cold to ride today, so I'm off to gym.

 

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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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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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!

Therapy

Some days are tough, however nothing a ride can't cure. Sometimes I find a ride along the river and scenic sights very peaceful, other times I enjoy the challenge of curves or long drives and then there are the times when nothing will help but speed, it just feels good to drive fast.

The rush of the breeze that I'm creating as I speed down the country roads just feels good, thoughts flow from my mind and I just feel free.

Don't get me wrong, when I say speeding down the road I'm not talking about breaking any laws but I do love riding a country road where there are no red lights, hardly any stop signs, and no sights to distract, just farm land and roads that go on forever.

Today provided such an opportunity that I much enjoyed and by time I got home I felt refreshed and hungry.

What is it about a bike that feels like therapy?

How could a bike provide so much, transportation, therapy, fun, adventure,....

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Summer Nights

It's mid September, lately the temperatures have been perfect. Today I left the house around 5pm and traveled my usual route, following Lake Erie which I find really relaxing. Hunger took ahold and a stop at the Colchester Bar & Grill  was in order, it was the first time I've been there since it got its new name and the butternut soup was very tasty.

I just couldn't get enough of being outside today, it's hard stopping to take pictures (as I mentioned before) but I made a point of stopping to get a picture of the sunset, however the sun set in the west tonight so I missed it.

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I stopped along highway 50, in Oxley at the Oxley retreat house to take this picture, it was a short stop but it was a breath taking view. I had a small chat about bikes and the views with a stranger which is always fun.

And then I continued home, passing through Colchester and Amherstburg it continued to get darker by time I got to River Canard, which I followed - by time I got home it was dark, but I was also relaxed and loving summer time.

Adventure

387079_10152033547680232_1284054146_n A few years back I took a trip to Brampton and stayed with my good friend Carolyn, I spent a couple of days exploring the back streets past Brampton, places like Georgetown, Glen Williams, Caledon and beyond. I was surprised how many streets there were that were not paved, I enjoyed just driving, exploring territory I've never seen before.

There are so many times I would love to take a picture, however stopping and pulling out the camera just seems like a pain, but every once in a while I make myself. I saw so many beautiful sights on this trip, for the most part I drove down winding roads, some with hills, I enjoyed views of small bodies of water but mostly it was farmland on either side of me - everything was so green and lush - I stopped at a couple of points and took a picture because I wanted to remember the feeling of excitement I had as I was about to embark on a road that I'ld never been down, what was around the bend? I was about to find out.

530062_10152033546750232_317432605_n-1And the adventure continues,....

 

A Summer Evening

Lakeside Park - Kingsville, Ontario We started out around 4ish and to avoid rush hour traffic we headed out on some  country roads, which seems to relax my mind, the open spaces helps clear my head.

I really enjoyed our ride tonight, we did our usual jaunt along highway #50 and then stopped at Lakeside Park in Kingsville - it is such a pretty little park, we sat on a bench in the shade and enjoyed the beautiful view and breezes that were coming off the lake while we discussed where we would go for dinner. We then rode to Leamington and stopped at Birdie's Perch for fish tacos (once again), when we find something that works for us we go often.

To switch things up a bit we went a slightly different way, both on the way there and on the way back - the thing that surprised me was how turned around I get. I thought Essex county was pretty straight forward and if I made enough lefts and rights I would somehow get where I wanted to go. At one point I just kept heading straight ahead because the sun was in eyes so I knew I must be heading west, both Larry and I were so surprised where we came out. I seriously have no sense of direction, which is so frustrating!

But tonight it didn't matter to me, it was a great night for a ride, the weather was perfect with warm breezes and sunshine, we did some backtracking but I didn't mind, I felt like I could ride all night. We got home around 8:30, there is no better way to spend a night.

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Me & My Shadow

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Summer showed up the other day, temperatures soared - Finally! Larry and I decided to beat the heat by going for a ride, the air felt somewhat cooler as soon as we reached Lake Erie, we did our traditional ride, driving through Amherstburg and followed highway 50 until we reached Kingsville, we then took #3 until we got to Birdie's Perch where we feasted on fish. On the way home we took a totally different way, following county roads, making lefts and rights until something looked familiar, we ended up in Stoney Point and followed Tecumseh Rd (highway #2) to Belle River and then followed Riverside Drive home.

It was the perfect night for a ride, the weather couldn't have been better, I felt so much peace just riding along wide open farmland. On my right I kept noticing that I was being followed - with the sun starting to come down a bit my shadow got so big, I thought it looked pretty cool, so I stopped to take a picture, which isn't as easy as it may seem - I had to have help on this one.

We were totally rewarded, on the way home we were blessed with a beautiful sunset, the sun was a big red ball and I enjoyed watching it drop down as I drove.

Short Ride

I had a short time to myself one day, I decided that I wanted to spend it on  my bike - at first I thought I would drive down Riverside and the downtown area but then decided that I might just run into traffic, and that would eat most of my time. So I headed to Amherstburg, the day was cloudy and somewhat dreary looking but I throughly enjoyed the ride. I'm not the only one tired of waiting for the sun, noticed the 3 seedoos in the water.

I stopped in Amherstburg for a few photos.

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There is so much history in Amherstburg, the fire hydrants are so cool and each one different - this one has part of a British flag on one side, an Eagle and American symbolism on the other.

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The ride took me a little longer than an hour, I stayed as close as I could to water, which is pretty easy, we have a lot of bodies of water in this area because we are a peninsula - I started following the Detroit River, my favourite part of the ride is when it turns into Lake Erie and then there were a few marshes and rivers on the way home. I love riding beside the water, it relaxes me. I was talking to a fellow biker the other day and he was complaining that we don't have any interesting roads, that have a lot of turns and twists in them and I have to agree, there are only a few but I'm so grateful for the water.

My short ride

Weather

I've always loved living in Canada and experiencing the change of seasons, watching winter lose its grip and spring popping up as the rain helps turn my world green and gives flowers the nourishment they need to brighten days. Soon after I'm more than ready for the warm temps and sunshine that summer brings, I enjoy eating outside, beaches and outdoor fun, then just as the temps get to hot and start sapping my energy, nights start to cool down, cool breezes come in, leaves change colour, we go apple picking, the air has a crispness and I pull out my warm, comfy sweaters. Before long the clouds seem to take over, we brighten the world with colourful lights as it gets colder and darker, the clock falls back an hour and I enjoy cuddling up on my couch in front of a fire drinking coffee and feeling cozy, pretty soon snow flurries come. Eventually the world turns into a snow-filled winter wonderland, making snow people and tobogganing become the popular sport. I'm not saying it's perfect, I do get tired of wicked wind, slush, cold fingers, and my imagination becomes nonexistent when I try to think of a time where I won't be cold and overdressed. However that always gives me a deeper appreciation for the soft breezes of warmer temperatures.

However biking has brought a new impatience with weather that is not conducive for riding, I am frustrated right now with all the rain that summer has brought, I've come to expect sunshine but am getting clouds and rain - it's not fun riding in the rain.

The other day Larry and I started on what was to be an all day ride, I was really looking forward to it as it has been a while since I had ridden - the forecast assured that no rain was expected, however as we started out the clouds were heavy, the temperatures weren't bad - it was about 18°c (64°f) but there was a cool breeze blowing - by time we stopped to eat breakfast at Edna's in Belleriver I felt done. After a good breakfast where they kept the coffee coming - we just turned around and went back home.

I'm going to try to quit whining about the weather, after all - all the whining in the world won't change it and I plan to enjoy the days I do get to ride all that much more.

Dinner at Birdies Perch

The plan today was to meet at 4:30pm and go for a ride, the highest temperature today was 22°celsius (71.6°fahrenheit), so it was a bit cool (especially for us - this time of year) and when the sun hid behind the clouds, a strong breeze kicked in but that didn't slow us down.

We took our usual route, driving through Amherstburg and hitting highway 50, through Kingsville to Leamington where we had a yummy dinner at Birdies Perch.Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.01.48 PM

We had a great ride there, sometimes riding the Lake Erie Coast line can be a bit chillier, although I was comfortable on the way there I thought it might be a bit to cold on the way home,  so we chose a route that was more inland, it's also fun to switch it up a bit. On the way back it didn't take me long to wish I had put on my sweatshirt, I ended up stopping on the gravel shoulder of the road in front of a farm house that was set back quite a bit from the road. I was pleasantly surprised when the owner of the house came over to us to see if we needed help, I'm not sure how he felt about my 'being too cold' story but we were appreciative of his kind intention.

I find it completely freeing to ride, it doesn't take long to get to farm land, there is something about driving in the country that relaxes me. I also enjoy living on a peninsula and being surrounded by water, I love riding along the water even if it is dotted with houses. What a great way to spend 2½ hours of our evening!