Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bike Trip Recap - Day 6 - Ontario

Day 6 - Niagara Falls to Bronte, ON - 90 mile route
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We reluctantly left the comforts of the Marriott and charged ahead. There was a bit of construction and traffic to get out of Niagara Falls, but some of the views were stunning:
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We tried to follow the Waterfront Trail around the lake, which is a great, well-marked trail, but some sections weave through neighborhoods to get to the shoreline. We tried to cut those sections out, and just keep a straight shot. Our original intent was to stop in Hamilton, but we were really cruising that day, averaging almost 16mph and there weren't many stops. We pushed on to Bronte.
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Traveling by bike lets you be much more aware of your surroundings, and there are always interesting indications of the town's place on the socio-economic scale. Such as here- when we were nearing the town, there the people on bikes were now older white men on triathlon bikes, indicating a wealthy neighborhood & a high likelyhood that the grocery will have good vegan protein options and quality produce selection. So we stopped & loaded up on tofurkey slices and veggies dogs,then continued on Lakeshore Drive to find the Beer Store. Another lesson learned is never ask a non-cyclist for directions, or have an appropriate scale that you can correlate it to. After about10 miles, we ended up in Oakville. We had gone about 76 miles at this point,so were trying to figure out if there was another camping area to push onto or a hotel nearby. No luck on either, so we turned back about 8 miles then headed away from the Lake towards Bronte State Park. The road heading away from the Lake was not the best for riding- fast 4 lane highway, and the large sidewalk/bike path flipped sides about 1/2 way up. We read the directions from the 'Round Lake Ontario guidebook, but just couldn't find the park entrance. At about 9:30 we asked for directions at a church (and hoping that they would offer us a space to camp on their land). The directions were about 10 miles further to the park entrance or chance camping at the day-use area. Neither sounded appealling, so we headed back towards the lake a few miles & got a room at the Quality Inn. The hotel was actually really nice, with modern decor. Sadly the pool had closed just as we arrived though. The downfall of staying in a hotel is that you always eat poorly. We had delicious quinoa and veggies to cook up and were very tempted to fire up the Jetboil in the room, but instead ate raw broccoli, cheese & tofurkey slices on bread, chips and desert.  We had put in over 90 miles that day, but it was fast, flat, and cooler than other days, so we were feeling good and not too hungry. In retrospect, we were probably dehydrated as JG got pretty sick through the night, but a little Tim Hortons in the am & he seemed to be fine.
Looking for the park entrance:
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You can read about the previous Day 5, the following Day 7 or look at the entire
Flickr Photo Set

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