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.

 

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.

 

 

Father's Day

It's summertime, and I'm loving it!

Today temperatures and humidity were high, driving in the city was  hot, hot, hot!!

Being a good daughter I met up with my Dad (for Father's Day), we had breakfast together which was fun and then I was ready for a ride.

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I did a bit of city riding, along Riverside Drive, it was pretty hot and the stop and go traffic wasn't fun so I decided to cut across the county so I could ride along Lake Erie, I could feel the temps drop the closer I got, once in Kingsville, I filled up with gas bought a Magnum Bar (yummy) and went to Lakeside Park to relax. I took off my boots, coat, and pulled up my jeans as far as they would go and relaxed in the sunshine while drinking water, eating the above-mentioned bar and reading a book - I stayed for quite a while and it felt like summer should, very relaxing.

I drove home on Highway 50, I mostly had the road to myself, it was cooler now - not only because I was by the lake but because the day was starting to fade away. The ride home was perfect, I was drinking in the sunshine, the green leaves, the blue lake, and the cottages that dotted the lakefront, I drove the perfect highway road drinking it all in - if ever there was a day to remind myself how much I love to ride, today was it.

There is a feeling I get while riding that is difficult to describe, it's peaceful, relaxing and healing all at the same time. I want to ride forever but my 'seat' starts to let me know it's time for a break.

I'm looking forward to the next ride already!!

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

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.

Lake Erie Circle

Lake Erie, states side It was day 3 of our mini vacation/adventure, we decided to continue our ride around Lake Erie, we crossed the border in Fort Erie at the Peace Bridge, took 190 to highway #5 and we were blown away at the different views. We followed the Seaway Trail which was delightful, we got some great lake views, saw lots of trees and natural beauty as we rode along the windy, twisty road.

The Skyway

After driving for a couple hours we were surprised that we only clocked 67 kilometres, we still had a long way to go so we decided to take a slightly more direct way. We drove in 3 states, stopped at Tim Hortons in Erie Pa, experienced downtown Cleveland, as we slowly inched along through the many traffic lights that were always red and stopped at 2 gas stations before we reached our destination, our b&b in Milan Ohio (near Sandusky) and it only took around 9 hours. Needless to say, I was very hungry and sore when we arrived and was more than ready for the short walk to the 'The Wonder Bar', I was looking forward to chatting with my man about our day while eating some yummy food and sipping on a glass of wine. It was a good time once I got over my disappointment that they didn't serve wine on Sundays, it is against the law - that's right, there was a hand written note on the hard liquor and wine section stating that, nope, no matter how much you wanted a drink you could not have one. However they were able to serve beer and coolers, can anyone explain that to me?

  • The Ohio Drinking Laws, are different on Sunday, one can only buy wine from certain retailers who have a particular license- despite the fact the other retailers may be able to sell wine all week. A few stores must be given special waivers to sell on Sunday, but they are few and far between and sometimes non-existent in communities.

 

Enough about drinking, we spent  the night at Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast and plotted out our plan for our last day, still sore and tired from the long ride we decided to take the ferry from Sandusky to Pelee Island to Kingsville. We required a lot less driving and a lot of time on the water, it turned out to be a great day. We had dinner at the Pelee Winery, again I had no wine but this time by choice, we had a fellow traveller join us, we enjoyed learning about his upcoming adventure of circling Lake Erie on his bicycle.

  We didn't get many pictures on this ride, however we did find more time while on the boat so check out these pic's

My bike all tucked in for the ride.

My camera man

On our way to Pelee Island

Cedar Point

A great mini trip, check out day 1 and day 2 in case you missed it.

 

 

Birdie's Perch

Today I surprised Larry, I parked my bike right in front of his and waited, when he walked out of work - there I was! We decided to go for a ride which turned out to be great fun, we drove down Riverside Drive and continued through LasalleAmherstburg until we were able to take Essex County Highway #50, it was a beautiful day for a ride and the view of Lake Erie just felt right. It was relaxing and exhilarating at the same time, we drove until we came to Birdie's Perch where we appeased our rumbling stomachs. The restaurant is in a double decker bus, the kitchen is on the main floor and the upstairs has booths set up. There are tables and umbrellas set up surrounding the front of the bus, as well as an ice cream booth and a port-a-john - all the essentials. I like that it's casual, I don't feel underdressed or feel like my 'helmet' hair is being judged.

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Did I mention the perch is delicious and comes quickly - 2 of my favourite things.

Essex County Road 50

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County Road 50

One of my favourite roads is county road 50 between Amherstburg and Kingsville, it runs along Lake Erie and goes through a few cute towns, the first one is Essex and then Colchester, Oxley and it eventually leads to Kingsville.

Signs along the way

It's a small 2 lane highway, approximately 30K's long, starting at county road #20 and ending at county road #20, it's the long way but scenic. On a nice day you'll have lots of company including fellow bikers, sight seers in cars and bicycles, as you drive along, farmland, vineyards, cottages, road-side stands, wineries (at least 8, many offering samples), restaurants and beaches will line the road. There is a b & b, called The Bell House, a blueberry farm and John R. Park Homestead (a step back in time), and once a year this highway is celebrated with an Explore the Shore weekend festival.

A pit stop at one of the very small beaches along the way.

We'll often take this way and find someplace in Kingsville or we'll go a little further to Leamington for a bite to eat, a fun night out. We've had breakfast at the beginning of this route at Ure's County Kitchen, a place that serves up good food as well as gas, firewood, and it has a convince store.

The beginning of County Rd 50

I also enjoy cutting this route a little bit short and making a right on Cull Street and then another right on Queen Street and you'll find your self at Lakeside Park, a park that has a small beach, a play area for the kids and a bathroom - it's a good place to take a break and have a snack, which is exactly what I did last time I went.

Lakeside Park, Kingsville