Aug 03

Lake Erie Century

by in Week 7

  • West Lorne to Port Dover, ONT
  • 99 miles
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Early start
  • Canadian friends to visit

When I wrote that we’d been averaging a high number of miles per day yesterday, I didn’t know that today would be even longer. We pretty much did a century (100 miles). Again the forecast dictated our riding schedule. We opted to get up early, break camp, and skip the formal breakfast at 6:30. Instead, Sheila got our protein drinks blended and we drank them and left. It got us on the road by 6:30, when the mists were rising over the fields and all was quiet.

By leaving early we also had nobody else around us on the road. We had to entertain ourselves. Fortunately that was pretty easy. Especially when we had such fun things as this drive-in movie screen for soy plants to look at. I mean, why would having a movie screen make soy plants grow faster? We saw them in many fields. And, interestingly enough, they all seemed to be oriented toward the sun. I wonder why that was? These little mysteries kept us rolling along.

We were finally passed by Robin around the 45 mile mark. His two boys were not with him. In fact, they were ahead of everyone. They had decided to leave at 4:30 AM and ride all 172 miles to Niagara Falls today. It has to do with a girlfriend waiting there. The things we do for love.

We were among the first 10 people at picnic. That’s never happened before and will probably never happen again. It was right on the shore of Lake Erie. There was a cute lighthouse. The entire time we were there a tractor was raking the beach. It’s a Friday morning ritual. They clean up all the garbage by raking the beach. It was very well groomed by the time we left.

In the afternoon we passed through the largest windfarm run by Hydro 1, the local utility. We learned a few more things about the turbines. The blades are as long as a Boeing 737. They automatically orient themselves to the wind and adjust the blades so they keep a constant speed of 13-19 rpms. People often worry about their danger to birds, but of every 10,000 birds killed by human activity (including cats, cars, and turbines) only one is attributable to the turbines. I just don’t see the downside. Though clearly some here do as there were anti-wind yard signs.

The Fly Boys came rushing past us just before the last water stop. Those last 15 miles were tough because the road would drop down to a little community, then climb back out often at a 10+% grade. It was hard at the end of a long day in the saddle. We finally stopped for blueberries at a produce stand. The shade and the food helped revitalize us for the trip in.

Once again we’ve found free computers to work on. We’re in the Port Dover Public Library. We love libraries. Not only are the computeres and wi-fi free but the librarian helped us learn several new things which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post. When we are done here, we’ll set up camp, then eat. Our friends Sean and Heather Kane are now living outside Toronto and they are coming down to see us. They cycled from Seattle to Washington DC in 2001, self-supported on their tandem. We’ll probably swap road stories and gawk at their two children. It’ll be fun.

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2 Responses to “Lake Erie Century”

  1. From dianne grob:

    Hey you friends of ours who are so impressive!!!! I have been thinking of you all day….it is Seafair weekend, beautiful weather, sunny and very warm and I have been sitting on the deck working on your ceremony. So, I am beginning to “generate the field” even in your absence. And, I find it lovely that you are on the shores of Lake Erie which is my lake, where I grew up (on the Ohio side, of course) and where I have swam and played and fished and water skiied many times. So, I send my love to both of you and to the lake that I know so well…..

    Posted on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm #
  2. From Debra Darkow:

    I am just so amazed reading your post almost every day. I can’t believe you are almost to Rhode Island. Can’t wait to see you both. I can’t remember the last time Spencer was here.

    Jenna and Jordan might be here too. Not sure if they are going back to school the 21st or 24th. Jenna arrives finally from Orlando the 16th. Jordan is flying down there to help her drive home from her 3 month field work down there.

    We have a large wind turbine in Portsmouth that is broken and is going to cost $450,000 to fix. Thats just about how much money electricity it made before it broke. Don’t know what the town will do. It just sits idle for now and we watched it that way from our side of the river.

    Stay safe! Love, Debra

    Posted on Aug 4, 2012 at 8:40 am #