July 25th-30th: A Slow Stretch with Plentiful People.

I’m right smack in the middle of a unique stretch of my journey. I’m not covering much ground, staying inside almost every night, and my “regular human being” disguise is being used more than my cycling gear. I’ve looked forward to Southern Ontario since the beginning, a more inward-focused time to connect with family and friends.

After bidding farewell to my Windsor hosts, I doubled back Eastbound on Tuesday, riding along Lake St. Clair and between corn and wheat fields with an eye on Ilderton. Stopped at a beach on Lake St. Clair, I met a couple guys barbecuing at their summer cottage. Their generosity came in layers, a “foot in door technique” if you will. First we exchanged stories, then they filled me up on water and I used their washroom. By the time I left I was far from empty-handed – a can of chili, fresh veggies, and a couple extra burger patties. As I discovered later that night, hamburger meat goes okay with spaghetti noodles and powdered Alfredo sauce!

Yes, this really is Ontario. No, I didn’t forget to post this picture from Saskatchewan.

Wednesday afternoon I hit Ilderton, greeted by the large grins of Cousin Once Removed John, Wife Robin, and Second Cousins Jay and Alistair.

Alistair, John, Robin, Jay, and Cameron in Ilderton.
Thursday I enjoyed a full day of mostly flat riding, highlighted by a very nice section of the Hamilton – Brantford Rail Trail. No surprise I found a few cyclists on it, likely commuting home.

Hamilton – Brantford Rail Trail. Great gravel for riding, surrounded by greenery.
Found this view of Hamilton, thanks to a slight detour.

In Hamilton I stayed with Great Aunt Nina for a couple nights, also visiting lots with Cousin Once Removed Joanne and Husband Mark.

My Hamilton host.

Friday Joanne and Mark took me on a big day trip to Niagara Falls and the area.

Previously known as the Maid of the Mist, the ship sailing from the Canadian side recently changed companies and is now called the Hornblower.
The American Falls.
Mist levels increasing as we approach Canada’s Horseshoe Falls on The Hornblower.
The American Falls and Canada’s Horseshoe Falls.

We checked out the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, finding some displays that were… Interesting.

Clearly I’m much taller than Mark.
Here we have the solo cycle tourist: A rare cross-breed of outdoorsman and activity addict with a touch of wanderlust.
Zero explanation… Just goat bagpipes.

And we found the Hershey’s store, featuring a five-pound chocolate bar.

No room for this bad boy on my bike. Too bad…

Saturday I basked in a relatively short ride along Lake Ontario to Toronto. There’s a lot of people in and around Toronto! Multiple times I detoured off the road through parks and beach areas to get away from traffic, only to be challenged further by pedestrian traffic.

Crossing Queen Elizabeth Way on this pedestrian and cyclist bridge leaving Hamilton.

Lift bridge across Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Burlington.
View from the lift bridge.
A bit tricky getting up and down these stairs with my loaded bike on the lift bridge. I did appreciate the ridge to help wheel down!
Small sign for such a big city! I’m sure there’s a bigger one though, I didn’t enter on a major highway.

I enjoyed a mighty proteinous dinner with Cousin-In-Law Jason, my Toronto host.

Plaid for life!
My Sunday featured a Jays game which looked grim until a very sudden seven run rally in the bottom of the ninth ending with a walk-off grand slam. Jays win 11-10, and the crowd goes wild! 
Got in early and watched the LA Angels’ batting practice.
One of two Tim Hortons I found inside Rogers Centre.
Hmm, how does my beard measure up to Russell Martin’s?
Getting up to my seat in section 511 was quite the hike!
View from my seat.
Jays win, and I got a red face and red giveaway Russell Martin jersey!

I capped off a superb Sunday by indulging in a delicious dinner with University Friends Mireille and Rafa.

I was more than a bit jealous of Rafa’s shirt.

So I do still remember how to do regular person activities like watch sports, socialize, and go out for dinner. What a relief!

July 25 – Windsor to Chatham-Kent. Inaccurate as I think my phone lost its location for a stretch. No, I didn’t cycle across Lake St. Clair!
July 26 – Chatham-Kent to Ilderton.
July 27 – Ilderton to Hamilton.
July 29 – Hamilton to Toronto.


6 thoughts on “July 25th-30th: A Slow Stretch with Plentiful People.

  1. Would love to see Niagra Falls. Looks exciting!
    Nice that people continue to reach out to you all across Canada. Visiting Jason in Toronto must have been great!!


  2. I know you have to work for it mate but all the awsome things you get to do and see and all the fantastic people you meet must make this trip worth it. Must say you look older since i met you at the icefield parkway( must be the beard). Keep up the pass and take care dude. Love Reading this blog. 🤘🏼


  3. Thanks again for taking time to include us in your journey. Ilderton is quite out of the way especially when travelling by two wheels. Safe travels!
    The “IlderSpoons”


  4. Great that you are visiting so many relatives. By taking the time to experience a place, instead of whizzing through, you are really getting to know Canada in depth. A great way to experience it!


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