Ride for Africycle 6.0 Day One: Peterborough to Norman Hardie Winery (Pt. 4)

We turned off Loyalist Parkway and down this quiet gravel road, lined with big old trees . . .

The sign back at the turn indicated that we were 1 kilometre from our end point for the day . . . Norman Hardie’s Winery!

Upon arriving we were greeted by our host and shown where we’d be pitching our tents. So first we put the bikes down for a nap . . .
Then we each picked out our little patch of land on which to pitch our tents . . .
Here’s my home away from home . . .
That’s Norman’s winery in the background . . .

Norman invited us to have showers in his house which is actually built into the building behind my tent. The barrel storage, wine making, kitchens, wood-fired stove, outdoor eating . . . everything . . . is in that building!!

After I scored a shower, Norman invited everyone to head to a nearby beach for a swim . . he also asked for two of us to stay back and watch over the food that was cooking for the evening’s dinner. I volunteered along with wonder-chef Jerrett who arrived at Norman Hardie’s with his Dad (Frank), and Africycle CEO, President and wonderboy Ben Voss.

Jerrett and I were invited to help ourselves to wine while they were gone . . HA! Are you kidding . . . not a problem!!!!

First we moved the bikes indoors to snuggle up against the barrels . . . That’s about ten thousand dollars worth of bikes leaning against a billion bucks worth of wine!!!

Norman, his staff and most of the Ride for Africycle team, left for the beach, while we stayed back and watched the evening roll in . . .

and sampled some pretty spectacular wine . . .

The riders and vintners all returned full of stories about how amazing the beach was and it turned out that they too had been treated to some of Norman’s wine!

Dinner appeared around 9:30 so we were super hungry! We ate steak, chicken, pasta, salad, roast beets, yellow beans, and corn. It was all locally sourced in fact the salad was picked right before our eyes! The food was astonishingly good . . . like seriously really really good! There was lots of wine to help it on its way and the energy around the table was super high and fun with stories of all kinds being traded back and forth!

Here’s an action shot provided through the generosity and keen eyes of Handsome Dan!

After dinner we chipped in to clean up everything and pack everything away. Some riders then headed off to bed while others stayed up and assisted at a wine tasting event that lasted until the early hours of the morning.

The morning arrived very early . . . Jerrett banged out some awesome French toast and one of the winery staff put out cider as “an excellent way to begin a day if you’ve put back a lot of wine the night before!” . . .

Here’s Ben carefully huffing back a hunk of French toast . . .

And here’s the winery hound waiting patiently for something, anything to fall . . .

The last time I was at Norman’s winery I enjoyed wood-fired thin crust pizza with herbs and vegetables grown right in front of the winery . . . I parked my bike in front of the wood stove . . .

which is a thing of beauty in itself . . .

As is Norman the man . . . He’s a super-good dude!

The culture he has established at his winery is extremely cool and a model for how a business can be successful, produce an incredibly high quality product and maintain the loyalty of its staff through care and investing in their skillsets in a positive and human manner.

Dave Barber had stayed the night with us. Dave’s one of my favourite people in the world. Right now he’s in Zambia working on a project to create fuel pellets from waste by-products of corn and other materials. Here he is teaching little William how to build an Inuksuk


We were somewhat reluctant to leave but we committed to stop in on our way back from Kingston in two day’s time!!! Wouldn’t you?!

About sleak

i've been on bicycles since i was four years old. i love what my bicycle can do for me. now i'm learning to love what we can do together for the world.
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