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.

 

Thunder Bay, Day 2

Sunday was amazing! We had a great day. We are now in Midland, Ontario after riding what felt like 'all day'.

I woke up early in the morning, it was 7:30, with energy and determination, we decided to get going as quickly as possible, it surprisingly took us an hour to 'hit the road'. There was a lot of dark cloud cover, our hope was to out run any potential storm, so we made small goals. The first goal was Goderich, Ontario, which we did in good time, the clouds look less menacing as we rode on.

In Goderich we stopped at McDonalds where we tried the  'True North BLT McMuffin', it was the best breakfast I ever had there. I was hurrying Larry, he ended up taking his coffee in the bathroom with him, I thought that was pretty funny.

We went from Goderich to Collingwood, it was a great day of driving, we had clouds over head the whole day but the ride was breath taking at times. It got pretty hilly which is something that doesn't happen in our area, looking ahead the road appeared like a ribbon stretched out before us, going up, always leading the way. It was so fun reaching the top of a hill and getting an incredible view of whatever was below.

The most impressive site was when we reached an exceptionally high hill and just before we went down we got a clear view of Georgian Bay and Collingwood, it was breathtaking. Then we went down hill and up again and were treated to the same view.

We found ourselves at A & W for lunch, it was seriously so good but I could have just been super sonic hungry. Once there, we googled for a potential place to stay. That's when we decided to go to Midland, the ride from Collingwood to Midland was about an hour, the best part of that trip was a small area that was lined with massive pine tree's, it felt very majestic.

Leaving A & W and getting ready to go again

We got to our hotel in Midland, relaxed a bit and then went across the street to Kelsey's for an evening snack, it was a beautiful night, we sat out on the porch, and toasted our success for how far we came that day.

A sunset picture that did not do the sunset justice.

We went for a walk after wards, and came across this sign, it was directly opposite of, what looks like a two tire  dirt path.  The sign seemed random.

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Around 2am the predicted storm woke me up with its loud thunder, so glad I was in bed by then.

I need sleep for the long day tomorrow.

Day 3

 

Best of Friends

Yesterday I got busy, I had intended to go for a ride but as the day went on I started readjusting my thoughts, feeling good about what I was getting done. Then my good friend Carolyn, who lives close to Toronto,  texted me around 2:30pm, she was driving to  Chatham on business. Her plan was to head right back home but there was an opportunity for us to have a small visit, I decided to drop everything and meet up with her, how could I resist a ride and hanging out with Carolyn? With a big smile on my face, I got ready quickly, I pulled on my new kevlar jeans, boots, and the rest of my gear and headed out. I decided to take the 401 highway, thinking it would be the quickest and I wanted to make sure I was there on time so I wouldn't miss a minute.

The ride up was pretty uneventful, there was some construction on the highway but traffic was pretty smooth. We got there about the same time, it was great seeing her! We went to my favorite Chatham restaurant, Mama Maria's for delicious Italian food, that never fails to please and of course to catch up.

Sitting on the back patio of Mama Maria's, overlooking the Thames River

We spent a fun hour together, I gave her a tour of downtown Chatham which did not take long, and then we went our separate ways again.

It was pretty cloudy out when I left Windsor and it got cloudier the closer I got to my destination, it has been looking like it's going to rain a lot lately and then it doesn't. I was pretty happy that the rain held off, although I am sure the farmers were disappointed. The ride home was really enjoyable, I took the scenic route and followed Thames River to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River. The sun played peek a boo with me all throughout the day but showed up about half way home which was nice, it was a good ride.

The 'loop'.

Once home, I had an overly excited dog on my hands so we went for a walk, it was a good way to move some of the muscles that had been sitting for a while, plus it was an enjoyable walk with fireflies lighting our way home.

Charlie

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 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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Statistics

Interesting Read I was having coffee at Marija's and reading The Windsor Star  when I came across this interesting article - although the statistic's weren't local, it's a good reminder.

I did some research, according to an online article from CBC, in August 2014 The Ontario Provincial Police say the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents could hit a seven-year high. Twenty-six riders have died so far, with at least two more months of the season left to go.

It's good to see that 'OPP say while the majority of bikers abide by the law, there are a "careless few" who don't'.

"The OPP believes that Ontario motorcyclists in general recognize that they are a vulnerable road user and demonstrate safe, defensive driving," said  OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

Top contributing factors in the deaths

  • Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.
  • Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.
  • Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.
  • Failure to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.
  • Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.

Let's be careful out there!

 

  1. CBC
  2. TORONTOSTAR
  3. OTTAWA CITIZEN
  4. GLOBAL NEWS

 

Interesting read after this Police Officer loses a son in motorcycle crash:

http://www.wheels.ca/news/after-son-dies-in-crash-opp-officer-preaches-motorcycle-training-

Using the sad statistic's for advertising purposes;

http://www.kcyatlaw.ca/personal-injury/how-many-people-are-injured-or-killed-in-motorcycle-accidents-in-ontario/

 

 

Erieau

One day, it seems like a long time ago (sometime in July, when the weather was warm) -   before the summer got busy, we decided to go on a quick get away. We didn't have much time so we decided to go to Erieau, which is about 2 hours away, if you take the long way - which is my favourite. Larry came home from work and we left soon after, it was a great ride, when we landed in Erieau we checked out our hotel room at Erieau Motel and then quickly (because I was so hungry) went to find some place to eat, we decided to eat at a restaurant close buy at the recommendation of our hosts. We ate at the Bayside Brewing Company, and it was a great choice. It was a hopping place but we did get a seat on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful night.

Our patio view

Although we did have to share the table with a cute guest, who turned out to be irresistible, so I may have shared my meal.

Our dinner companion

They make beer on the premise, so we sampled

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It was a beautiful evening, even the cat was satisfied.

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We then went for an evening walk, which was very beautiful and peaceful

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It's funny how you can be less than 2 hours away from home and feel like your a million miles away. It was such a relaxing time, and so much fun.

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Lost

My throw back Thursday post; July 2012

We were lost somewhere between Port Stanley and Port Dover, sometimes being lost is an adventure, other times it's just frustrating - this was a good time and a good memory.

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I thought we should have of made a right at the last intersection but uncertainty crept in and I kept going straight, I knew I was wrong when the scenery change and became much prettier.

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We came across this cool wooden bridge.

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We had such a good time, we got off our bikes and explored the area, took a few pictures, we never saw another person or car drive by the whole time we were there. It was such a nice break, we got back on our bikes and eventually found our way.

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Weekend Ride

We decided to go for a weekend trip, which was extra fun because we did an overnight trip the weekend before - sometimes you just need to get away and have some fun. This time we decided to head to the St. Jacobs area, we arranged to stay at a B&B in a little town called Conestogo, Ontario, just outside  the Waterloo/Kitchener area. We headed out Saturday morning but ran into some delays, so after having breakfast at Marija's (my favourite breakfast place) we headed out on Riverside Dr toward Chatham and set the GPS to scenic route, which was fun although we got turned around after coming across a couple of detours, I'm sure we were retracing our steps a few times. We came across roads and tiny towns that we had never heard of before but we persevered and had a lovely trip. Our first break in Chatham, Ontario

When we got to Stratford we stopped to eat at a chain restaurant because I was starving, then we drove around the city a bit - it was a very pretty, I think the next we go that way I'ld like to stay there. It didn't take us to long to get to our B&B after that - but we did get there late, it was just turning dark. This is basically the route we took;

Headed to our B&B in Conestogo

 

The room was very cute, located in the upstairs of a rambling older home, our bathroom was across the hall but it was private.

The B&B

 

We had a great night sleep and were ready to start out again in the morning, this time we were concerned about the weather, rain was predicted and the sky was cloudy. We drove through St. Jacobs, Elmira, Elora (where we stopped for breakfast at Uptown Cafe - very good!), Fergus, Georgetown just skirting the rain then ended up in Brampton just before the rain hit and meeting up with some incredible friends who are the most gracious hosts.

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The next day, Monday we again started out, this time we headed home, the long way. My good friend suggested we start out going out the back roads and we followed her directions and we throughly enjoyed the ride, we stopped for breakfast in Waterdown at Angels Diner, seriously such a good breakfast.

Our Journey Home

We talked to a helpful server at Angels and she gave us directions for a great scenic ride, it was breathtaking. After we left Waterdown, we went through Hamilton, Dundas, Cope Town, Caledonia, Simcoe, LongPoint, Port Stanley, Blenheim and McGregor - where we were able to stop at Allens Grocery Store to pick up a few beers and a bottle wine. The ride got a little difficult as the heat of the day set in, we stopped at Long Point for a bite (do not order the fish sandwich - just sayin). After Long Point we got gas in Port Stanley and we took a much needed break at Tim Hortons in Blenheim, the rest of the ride home was fun as we found a new route trying to get to Allens, and the weather cooled a bit. After we left Allens we were home in about 20 mins and 10 mins later I was in an epsom salt bath with a glass of wine. Awesome weekend!!

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

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.

My New Bike

This year, just a few short months ago I bought a new bike, it is a beauty! A 2009 Suzuki Boulevard M50, okay it's new to me :) Sometimes Kijiji really works for me. I love my 'new' bike, it's a smooth ride and easy to handle.  I have spent the rest of the summer months getting use to it, and checking out South Western Ontario, which offers so many beautiful rides. Now I'm disappointed that summer is coming to an end but I'm planning next summer starting now, I'm looking for some fun rides - any suggestions?

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