Crossing the border day! Our destination – Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville.
But first, getting the body back in gear – there’s cycling to be done today and lots of it! The process of preparing for a day of riding becomes so much easier as you establish the little routines of bike maintenance, organizing clothes (trying desperately to keep the smelly ones away from the clean ones…), and packing up the camping gear, becomes secondary to enjoying the sleepy banter of a dozen people getting revved up for a ride.
Today’s ride began gently with our wheels turning along a beautiful parkway that more-or-less parallels the Niagara River. We passed through the beautiful town of Youngstown – I’d love to spend more time there sometime.
It’s the strangest thing to look across a river at the opposite shore and realize that it is not simply “the other side”, but another country.
We rode at a good pace and after the big climb up the side of the Niagara Escarpment …
we were on the Robert Moses Parkway. Another post-apocalyptic riding experience that saw us using a former Expressway that runs right alongside the Niagara River but is now entirely abandoned and given over to runners, walkers, and cyclists like us. The views were a bit industrial, but then I find that stretch of the River with its massive hydro-electric facilities a lot less than natural!
After a little fun trying to figure out how to get onto the Rainbow Bridge, we found ourselves riding alongside happy tourists who were bemused to see a team of cyclists making their way across the border.
This is what you see half way across the bridge!
This year we had agreed that when we got to the Canadian side, we would stay on top of the escarpment and only drop off it when we were near Hamilton. The route was tricky at times but between the pre-ride support of Evan Taylor of the Niagara Freewheeler’s Club and our very own live-action sort-it-out-on-the-fly cartographer Michael VanDerHerberg, we made our way under the Welland Canal …
and through little towns, beautiful countryside, along sometimes busy but always lovely little roads ….