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 snowing

It was starting to get dark and snowing as I was driving home from work today, I took Riverside drive and was enjoying the view - the lights reflecting on the water, the fluffy snow and then I noticed a motorcycle riding in the opposite lane. I was impressed as I am particularly sucky about being cold, seeing the biker brought so many questions to mind, was he out on purpose enjoying the snow, did he take his bike to work  and was regretting his decision, was he cold and if not what was he wearing? I have to admit I was a bit jealous, while the heat in my car was blowing full speed and I was bundled up with 4 (walls) sides surrounding me and protecting me from the wind. Do you ride in near freezing temps, if so what do you wear?

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.

Port Stanley

We woke up last Saturday morning and spontaneously decided to go for an overnight ride, the weather was promising to be beautiful, after seeing rain pretty much all week I was ready for some sunshine also we both were ready for a break from our busy lives. So we put a few essentials in the saddlebags and started out, we decided to go to Port Stanley - it's about a 2 hour drive if you take the highway, but about a 4 to 5 hour ride if you take the scenic route and stop for a leisurely breakfast. After reserving a hotel in Port Stanley, (which took a bit of work to find a place that wasn't booked) we headed out, we drove for about a ½ hour or so and stopped for breakfast in Essex and then carried on, after Leamington we took highway #3 most of the way. We arrived in Port Stanley around 4ish, checked into our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with the room.

We went for a walk along the beach, it was surprisingly crowded, lots of people, tents and umbrellas.

Busy beach day.

Busy beach day.

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Creativity on the beach, seen during our first walk.

 

Dinner was nice, we sat on the patio at a local restaurant and worked off the creme brûlée with a walk around town and  on the boardwalk.

Two guys catching minnows for bait.

A memorial to The Olga Disaster.

Dusk

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Oh, and just for the record - it's illegal to drink on the beach, uh oh

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Sunday morning we had breakfast on the patio, I had eggs with perch, so good and very relaxing. We headed home around 11:30, we took the long way and got home around 5. It was short but a great time :) Can't wait to do it again.

 

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

Point Pelee National Park

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Yesterday it was a beautiful day for a ride and I was lucky enough to spend part of it at Point Pelee National Park, I love driving down the tree lined street - the beauty is breath taking.

Point Pelee is a Canadian national park in Essex County, there is a lot of marsh and woodland habitats with a peninsula of land stretching into Lake Erie. There are several beaches in the park but my favourite park is the boardwalk in the marsh. Click on the map for more information.

(picture #1) My bike and I visiting the marsh, (picture #2) and a tiny, tiny picture of my bike from the perspective at the top of the sight tower.

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Riverside Drive, Windsor Ontario

riversidedrive The weather has not cooperated with my desire to ride, it's been a bit gloomy and rainy but I've manage to get out a few times. My favourite local ride is Riverside Drive, it is one of the main roads here, in Windsor, Ontario, travelling along the Detroit River and it ends in St. Clair Beach, it's a pretty ride, you can usually see the river on one side and the other has homes, office buildings and apartment buildings. There is almost always another biker on this stretch which makes it fun, the speed limit is 50 k/h for the most part and depending on the time of day the traffic isn't to bad. The busiest area is downtown, there are a few traffic lights in a row, so depending on your luck it could go quickly or not. I find the ride relaxing and if you choose, there are many parks along the way where you can stop, take a break and enjoy the view. The 3 main parks starting west are Windsor Sculpture Park, then downtown there is Dieppe Gardens and Coventry Gardens which has our Peace Fountain.

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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.