Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brantford, Ontario, Canada - Day 41

Today was another landmark day, we crossed the 3000 mile mark. (That's   probably more miles than Mimi has ridden in her entire life let alone a summer.) Can you believe it!? We still can't really believe we are actually doing this! 

When we started off the skies were grey, roads were wet and it was almost raining. The cool moistness was pleasant change for us Colorado girls who get our fair share of dry, clear weather. Besides, we decided the grey clouds accentuate the green and golden colors of the landscape. Today's highlight was stopping at a roadside stand to buy blueberries, nectarines, and a raspberry pie to be shared with all for dessert tonight. Mimi is not sharing her blueberries with anyone but Polly. We rode a good part of the day with Tim, from Virginia Beach, who kindly let us suck his wheel. Jeff and Kathy led us into Brantford since they knew the way. It's always nice to have tour leaders around when you are arriving in a busy city. Brantford, by the way is hometown of the "Great One", Wayne Gretsky.

When we pulled into The Best Western (remember our fav), our rooms weren't ready, but Polly needed to Skype Cate because she leaves today for her teaching job in Shanghai. By the time we had unloaded our bags from The Box ( the huge Budget rental truck) our rooms were ready.

We always pray for a room on the first floor so we don't have to cram into the elevator with all the other upstairs people or hoist our bikes up the stairs. Besides if you're on the first floor you can rinse out your biking clothes and dry them outside in the sun. You just park your luggage rack in the parking space and arrange your clothes for maximum wind and sunshine. Of course sometimes our room is in the hinterlands of the first floor and about two miles from the lobby.

Once we get our bikes through the million pound door without being crushed, Polly parks by the air conditioner on the far side of the room and Mimi's get the wall near the bathroom as far from the air conditioner as possible. That's because most times the room temperature is sub arctic with gusting winds. Mimi chooses to be as far from that climate as possible.

Then it's text home, showers, upload Garmin, upload pictures,and blog as much as possible before mechanic, box, rap and dinner. Phew it's a whirlwind, But after 41 days we're starting to get it down.

After dinner our main objective is to get between those nice clean sheets as soon as possible. Do you realize we have had clean sheets every night except the rest days? Ahh such luxury. Tucking my tired body into crisp clean sheets might be what I'll miss most once I get home. Thankfully Polly can sleep through anything so when Mimi is still roaming around collecting stray clothing, laying out the Bag Balm and sunscreen, plugging in her phone or when she's in bed thumbing through the first 25 pages of Undaunted Courage to find where she fell asleep the night before, it doesn't disturb her.

One thing about all this riding is that you have to keep hydrated. You have to drink gallons and gallons. As a matter of fact, my stomach usually feels like a fish bowl. What goes in must come out, so during the night we have to make a couple of trips to the bathroom. Now this is a bit problematic when you are in a different hotel every night and the rooms tend to be very dark. Well, it might be really dark because I'm too tired to open my eyes, but believe me it's dark. At any rate, you tend to get disoriented and besides I'm directionally challenged under the best of circumstances. (I constantly turn the wrong way coming out of the hotel room.) One night I ended up shuffling into the window curtains instead of the bathroom. One important thing that I have learned is to check where the toilet paper is located before going to bed. There is no way I'm going to turn on that blinding light to go to the bathroom and if you don't know where the toilet paper is located it is hazardous in a big way. One night I almost fell through the shower curtain and into the bathtub as I was groping for the toilet paper. In some of the hotels the toilet paper can be dangerously far from the toilet seat. That's why I locate the toilet paper before bed. Locating TP before bed is a good tip for anyone of you considering doing this trip. You might think that the hydration routine is now over but it's not. You still have to find your way back to bed. The other night as I was about to collapse back into my bed I noticed a dark lump. Damn, that's Polly! I almost climbed in bed with Polly! Well, let's leave it at this: the hydration thing can be a challenge.

Day 41
Miles - 70
Total Miles - 3069
Elevation Gain - 1276 // Loss - 1388 = FLAT
Next stop - Niagara Falls (and our last rest day!)
Link to Polly's Garmin - Mimi's still on strike and has probably abandon the ride

Morning skies and fields

In case you were having withdrawal symptoms from not having a picture of corn yesterday. 

Green barns, cows, and gorgeous

Tobacco grows in Ontario too

More tobacco and a greenhouse - This is a big vegetable growing area with lots of greenhouses and a variety of crops. We saw asparagus, green beans, onions, potatoes, squash and even ginseng - a big crop around here.

Big smoker, dreaming of lighting up

Hay fields from the bike path outside of Brantford

And again - hay field

Old part of Brantford

This one's for you Robert

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