Staying at Velorution was the highlight. Met several cycle tourists in the two nights there…Jesus showed up, the Wye family caught up as well, three Scotish guys on recumbent bikes going east to west, a young guy from France, a Montrealer, and pictured above Ryan from Chicago. Good story about Ryan and the Frenchman…they meet and ride together Saturday. Leaving Wawa the Frenchman says lets try to make the Soo today (230km!). Not being outdone Ryan agrees…it’s all he could do to stay hanging on his wheel the whole day. They get to Pancake Bay, about 65km from the Soo and the Frenchman suggests packing it in. Ryan says “not a chance, this was your idea”, even though he desperately wanted to stop his American pride was not going to be stepped on by the French. Ryan admitted to us that if it was a Canadian he wouldn’t have had an issue, but being from France his competitive cycling juices were flowing. They arrived at Velorution at 1130pm, biking the transcanada hwy for 2 hrs in the dark! Ryan left yesterday afternoon, and the Frenchman told us the same story later in the day admitting he wasn’t going to let an American out-cycle him!!! All was very friendly but deep seeded national cycling competitiveness.
David and I headed downtown Soo and walked around all the closed stores then went to the Bush plane Museum. That was interesting learning about air transport in the north as well as air support for fighting forest fires.
My day started at 9am from the Soo and we (still cycling with Dave from Calgary) were able to stay off the TCH for about 70km today winding our way through cottage country on side roads. A very quite ride, but rough roads on the bikes. We passed through Echo Bay, home of Robert-Ralph Carmichael, the artist who designed the Loonie. This is the worlds largest Loonie, unfortunately I will miss the worlds largest nickel in Sudbury as I am taking the Manitoulin island route (on well, it was about 20 times more significant!).
Had a quick stop today at a fruit/vegetable stand in Mennonite country and watched a family ride by in their horse and buggy. We passed them soon after…our iron horses were no match, chalk one up for Betty.
It was by far the hottest day so far on the trip. The Ontario humidity was in full force and the thermometer read 36 deg. We were consuming water constantly and found half a watermelon about 100kms into the day. Fortunately we had either a cross wind or a tailwind today and there was a conspicuous lack of hills all of a sudden! We pulled into Blind River around 620pm hoping for a swim, but no luck. Not putting the top cover on the tent, still too hot… just me and the stars tonight.
Daily cycle: 142.6km
Daily cycle time: 6hrs 35min