• Memphis, MI to West Lorne, ONT
  • 84 miles
  • Faster than yesterday!
  • Played tandem games

These last few days have had an unwritten theme: get through Michigan as quickly as possible. I’m not trying to insult all the Michiganders out there. It’s a lovely state with great riding. But every day has been blazingly fast for us. We’ve covered an average of about 85 miles a day. Zip! So now we have made it to Canada.

The skies were more glowering although they never got around to raining. As with yesterday, the roads were gently rolling or flat. We quickly got into speed mode. We passed a couple of pacelines of singles. Then we snuck up on our friend Gregg from California and charged past him. We leapfrogged each other while maintaining speeds over 20. We even took turns pulling instead of racing. It was loads of fun and before we knew it, we were at the ferry crossing the Belle River to Canada. It was a small, 10 car ferry and the captain piloted it with great expertise, sliding smoothly up to the dock on each side.

A quick stop at customs gave us entry into the Maple Leaf Nation. We again sped along and played more “catch me if you can” games with singles. By mile 50, picnic, we were tired! But it was great to have gotten in such a good workout two days in a row. Our average speed at picnic was 18.1!

Afterwards we were chugging along, but we had nobody to play games with. It was more difficult to ride fast. We knew our average would drop, but figured it would stay high enough to set a new record. The roads were still flat, the winds weren’t nasty. It all looked good.

About 12 miles from the end, we came to Wardsville. We noticed these large abstract paintings on squares all over town. Many were on the sides of barns, but others were free-standing. What did they mean? Part of the answer comes from the SW Ontario Barn Quilt Trails. Then rode past a place calling itself an eco-art center. It looked intriguing so we turned back to it. We met the owner, Rick Summer, who was just starting a tour with another wanderer who had stopped by. It is a large garden of art made from found materials with found tools. He has hollowed out trees, created an outdoor shower for use by passing cyclists, a Camelot-themed wedding tent, and lots of other art pieces. This holy man painting lights up at 3 PM when light shines through and highlights the eyes of the yogi. It was a splendid detour. He even had stray cats to play with.

Now it was time to head to the barn. Unfortunately, as we turned to do the last 6 miles, the wind reminded us not to take it for granted. It blew right in our faces for the whole ride in. We pushed as hard as we could, but the average was dropping, 17.7, 17.6, 17.5. It was only through a supreme push that we were able to hold it to 17.3 by the time we got into town. Then, to our joy, we found a community center which allowed us to use their computers for free. So we’ve been able to write this blog, prepare the photos and upload it all. It’s a lot faster when we can work in tandem! Hmmm…seems to be a theme. We are happy. Now off to set up camp.

Three-fourths done
Lake Erie Century