Friday, August 16, 2013


I'm happy to be back in Ontario, but I dread its highways. Some of the quality of the roads in this province, especially in the north, remain the same as they were in the 1960s. This homestretch is going to be not as comfortable as the start out West.

I met Adam at a rest stop on my last late afternoon in Michigan. He's cycled from Toronto to Vancouver and is on his way back, probably more than twice the distance I've done. I decided to join him to camp out in a rustic forestry campground — way out, it seemed, in the middle of nowhere. The place was deserted except for the mosquitos, of course, but had a decent source of water.

The next day, we made a run for Sault Ste. Marie, making really good time. With two cyclists on the road, it seems cars slow down a bit more. Strength in numbers. There was lot of construction towards the end, at one point we used the pyloned-off centre part of the highway where we really weren't supposed to be. It felt like a weird reversal, a bike path with car lanes in the shoulders. Going up on the big bridge across St Mary's River — which empties Lake Superior into Lake Huron and separates the USA from Canada — was quite exciting, too bad we couldn't stop to take pictures. We were actually slowing down traffic, as the big truck behind us was following us at our speed through the narrow bridge. It all did not matter, as there was a bit of a line up at border control anyway.


It's like a bike highway with car lanes :)

Climbing up the big bridge to Canada

After parting ways with Adam, I went in search of Velorution, the best bike shop in Northern Ontario. The owner Andre is a great advocate for cycling in the area and has set up a free campground for cyclists behind his store, complete with a nice shower.

Sault Ste. Marie has come a long way since I was last here ten years ago, but I fully expect some of Ontario's highways will have me cynically singing old this song from Expo '67 to keep my courage up:

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