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.

 

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

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!

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

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.

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!