Sunday, 9 August 2015

On biking in glorious weather

We packed our bags in our room, then went around the corner for breakfast opposite the grandiose Victoria Hall opened by the young Prince of Wales in about 1856 or so. As a city hall it was outsized for Cobourg but back then it was hoping to become the capital of the Province of Canada. Afterwards, we "bailed" the bikes out of their cell. As today's ride was relatively short and particularly straight forwards, I opted to ride independently of the parents.

Given that is was a gorgeous day, sunny, warm and nearly windless, there were any number of cyclists of many descriptions out and about. Among the most colourful were a trio from France, two of whom were on recumbent trikes. They were on a trip from Windsor to Montreal. When I told them I had come from Sault Ste Marie, I had to explain where the Soo was. A little later as I entered Colborne, a cyclist in spandex and on a road bike came up beside me to ask me where I had come from and where I was going. I filled him in, and sought a polite way to ask his origin. I found it, namely that he was from Jamaica (which had been my theory based on his accent). He lived in Barrie but was in these parts on a visit with his wife who wasn't riding. He was apologetic about his short trip compared to mine. I replied: "The important thing is to ride." I must remember that line.

A little later, I had stopped at an intersection to check my map about the best way to make a diversion off the Waterfront Trail into Brighton for lunch when a minivan hauling a tent trailer turning onto the road suddenly went "BANG!" quite loudly making me jump. I turned to look more closely as it slowed. The minivan stopped opposite me and the driver asked me if I could seen anything from my vantage point. I said that one of the tires on the trailer had gone flat. He got out to have a look. I have been helped enough times by strangers that I went over to offer my assistance. I wasn't required as the guy looked like he knew his way around a tire and as we assessed the situation, his wife got out of the minivan wielding a large tool kit in a manner suggesting she was no slouch either. Consequently, I didn't think to offer my services twice.

 In Brighton, I found lunch in a Beer Store. Well, that was what the big sign said. In fact, it was a former Beer Store that was so recently converted to a cafĂ© that the big sign hadn't been changed. There was a kid of about five that looked and acted very much like Edward. Longish, curly blonde hair, on the thin side and clearly living in a world of his own imagination, sometimes strumming a guitar.

There was a railway museum in Brighton that was, alas, shut on Sundays. There was a plaque outside that confirmed my suspicion that unlike in many parts of Canada, the CN line in these parts the older rail line compared to the CP as the CN line was in fact the old Grand Trunk line which predates many things including Confederation and of course CP. In the last few days, I have been seeing and hearing a number of Via Rail trains. One consist in particular caught my eye. It started with a Genesis locomotive hauling about three Renaissance coaches followed by another Genesis locomotive facing backwards followed by a chunkier F40PH hauling three or four old stainless steel coaches. My explanation for this odd consist is that it was two trains destined to split in Kingston, one going to Montreal, the other to Ottawa. While only two locomotives were needed for power, Via included the second Genesis locomotive in order to connect the lower Renaissance couplings to the F40PH.

 Cathy had suggested a slightly alternative route than the Waterfront Trail in Prince Edward County. At one point this brought me in front of a military communications facility connected to CFB Trenton complete with massive antennas. There something about one of the triple armed arrays that seemed out of place. Then it struck me: at the center of the arms was what proved to be an osprey nest complete with osprey! Like my parents later in the day, I overshot Mike and Cathy's living barn and went into the winery barn where I got directions from their daughter Sarah. Mike, Han and a friend were playing croquet when I arrived. Bella was happy to see me as was Cathy. I would write more but sleep beckons.

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