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.

 

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.

St. Clair Parkway

 St. Clair Parkway

We drove home from Sarnia on the most beautiful day, which was a treat because it hasn't been that nice lately. We started our journey taking River Rd. which is a part of the St. Clair Parkway, a nice drive along the St. Clair River which connects Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron. It's approximately 40k long and provides a scenic ride to Wallaceburg, it passes through some small towns, Port Lambton, Sombra, Courtright and Corunna. An enjoyable part of the ride home.

Last Ride of the Season

Its been a couple of weeks since we got a bit of a break with the weather, I had no idea that it could possibly be my last ride of the season. I remember the day so clearly, I was pretty excited to see that the temps were predicted to go up around 17°c (63°F) and that I was able to take advantage. I bundled up, I had 3, maybe 4 layers of clothing on - which turned out to be needed. I got my bike out and tried to take a picture but the sun worked against me however I included this picture to show the fall colours on my tree, which has since lost all of it leaves. IMG_4623

I started my ride, I decided to do Riverside Drive, it's a classic street that runs along the Detroit River, it's very pretty. You will find a lot of bikes on that road and of course lots of other traffic.  I made my first stop downtown and took a picture, soon after I stopped I was greeted by another biker, there were so many out that day - it's like we all knew it was going to be the last ride.

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So here I am downtown Windsor looking at downtown Detroit, you can see the Renaissance Centre in the background. I enjoyed the ride, it's a slow drive with a fun view, Riverside drive follows the Detroit river which leads to Lake St. Clair where I ended up.

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Here I am with Lake St. Clair in the background, there were actually 2 boats in the water, I'm not sure you can see them but they must have been freezing. I then made a stop to visit a friend and by time I was ready to go home the temperatures dropped quite a bit, so I put on my warm rain pants and thoroughly enjoyed the ride home.