Saturday, August 31, 2013

Before the Rain Comes

Riding south to Smithville again today.

This is a nice stretch along Church Road.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Serendipity to the South

I woke up early enough to beat the usual Saturday morning garage-sale-crowd to the roads. I was pretty certain I wanted to bicycle into Smithville but was somewhat less certain about how I would get there.
My memory did not serve me as my best recollection was an endless series of minor highways littered with heavy truck traffic. Not anyone's ideal riding condition.

I took ridge road east through Grimsby mountain. It's a route I know well enough but knew that I would eventually have to turn south.

To my surprise I found a lovely series of quiet roads and a touch of gravel as well! In fact, they led me all the way to Smithville without so much as a single truck passing.

I couldn't get over the number of airplane exhaust trails. Kind of pretty though.

Once in Smithville I passed up the ubiquitous Tim Horton's Donuts in search of something with a bit more of a local flavour.  Whereas Timmy's dominated the coffee crowd on the east side of the town I found Jackie's Bakery & Cafe on the west side.  Tremendous! Just what I had hoped for: a quiet, local spot, with a large hot tea and a fresh raspberry donut. It was difficult to choose which delicious confection from her large selection so I'll just have to go back again!

Jackie even had a map that I could take. Very helpful because I didn't want to take the same route home but hadn't planned far enough ahead to ensure I'd not get lost using another route.

I have a real aversion to large homes. It's  a long story. But to be fair, I do find some from time to time that are thoughtfully designed and beautifully constructed. Actually, it's not all that rare of a thing. And so I decided I should be sharing more photos of such places (And churches as well. I see a lot of really great churches).

Nice new Tudor. Hard to see from here but it's a beautiful spot.
I'm deeply interested in things like simplicity and sustainable living and don't show that enough on my blog. Here is a photo-worthy house I passed on the way home.

Today's ride held many wonderful surprises. I'll be heading south again. Soon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sharbot Lake Triathlon: circa 1985

1985 is the only year these mugs identify but I'm pretty sure they run 1984-1986.
My parents are downsizing and moving. When I packed up my old bedroom I found these relics: three mugs that I received from participating in the Sharbot Lake triathlon.

I used to count the people I passed on the bike portion and it usually went over 100. I used to run a 38 minute 10k, even after the swim and bike. BUT I could literally only swim to save my life.  Many was the time in triathlon competition I thought I might drown. I'm surprised they even let me compete. I was a floating liability!

Ah! The good 'ol days.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Backroad Bliss

Mornings in the country are always nice on a day like this; clear, cool, dry, breezy but not windy. I cannot imagine conditions being much better.

Action shot: here I come.


I didn't leave the cottage especially early this morning but no one else was up when I left and that makes it all the more serene.
It feels too long since I have saddled up for a leisure ride but soon as I am on the gravel I wonder why I've left it so long.
These roads are normally very quiet so it was a first for me to pass a road cyclist (looked like he was training) on a paved section and someone out for a run.  The city "lifestyle" is clearly making its way into this farming community.

Trans Canada Trail runs through here. Might have to properly check that out someday.

Ah, yes. This is what I was looking for!

Small Methodist church outside Balderson. I think it's defunct though.

Bridge near Fallbrook. I thought it crossed the Fall River but I'll need to double-check.

I love the city and all its variety but I also love the tranquility of the country.  It's interesting to me that the further I physically bicycle into the middle of nowhere the further my desire is for the city - but when I am back at home I love it too. Which would I choose if I had to? Not sure.
Rounded out my ride with a stop at Balderson Cheese for a coffee. Wonderful way to spend time here at the cottage.
This pic is actually outside Coutts Coffee in Perth. It was a better shot than the Balderson stop.
Photos all courtesy of my friends GoPro. Still don't quite have the knack of it but its a really fun tool to bring along.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Niagara River Parkway

Never in my adult life have I taken 2 weeks vacation back-to-back.  It's nice.

Day trips are the order of week-one.  Today we went to Queenston (across the bridge from Lewiston, NY) and took the Niagara Parkway bikepath into Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario) for a butter-tart (yum!).

It's always a nice ride and we do it often.  We were surprised that it was not very crowded on this beautiful day - but that meant we could ride side-by-side most of the time.

My wife doesn't commute but is really getting her chops on the bike.  She mowed down our 25km-ish route without issue. Hills and all. Maybe it was butter-tart motivation? I can't blame her.

I let her do the work.
Week two is back up at the cottage and we are all looking forward to that. I'm bringing the Paké
and the GoPro, with a solo trip to either Ottawa or Burnstown in mind.