Suggesting Listening: Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
- Despite knowing almost none of the lyrics to this song Shantel kept singing the little bit she knew all day, haha.
Total Distance Cycled: 300km
Oshawa to Belleville: 152km
It was just after 6am when I woke up this morning. Not wanting to wake Shantel as I knew she wanted to sleep I remained resting in bed until her alarm went off at 7:00am. From here we began packing up some of our things, got our dried clothes, and went downstairs to have breakfast. For breakfast this morning Karen had a bunch of fruit again for us and we ate some toast with PB&J. Simple and delicious. During breakfast Shantel spent some time chatting to with Karen and Carly (sorry if I’ve spelled that wrong) while I loaded the gear onto the bikes. Carly is the partner of Katie’s brother who we unfortunately didn’t get to meet since he was sleeping. Once the gear was loaded on we all chatted a bit more before saying our goodbyes and thanking Karen again for spoiling us.
Leaving Oshawa and for much of the day we relied on my the navigation from my phone since we hadn’t really looked over our route much. While it was pretty reliable one issue we quickly discovered was that even thoughI told Shantel the directions it was obviously pretty hard to remember them and when she got into the groove of things she zoomed past where we were supposed to turn. I tried to get her attention and hoped she would look in her mirror and see me waiting at the intersection, but she just kept going despite my shouting and blowing my Fox40 whistle. If she didn’t hear the whistle I knew the only way I was going to get her to turn around was by speeding up and catching her. This was going to take a bit of work since by this time she was now totally out of sight. Eventually I caught up with her and explained how frustrating and stressful it was that she went so far ahead without looking back. After talking for a bit we resolved and made a plan to keep in sight of each other unless otherwise discussed.
In terms of weather today it was bright and sunny which was a welcomed change from the storm yesterday. The sun did seem to drain more energy out of the both of us though and I found myself going through water more quickly than usual. We up for first stop along the way about 35km into the day when we couldn’t resist the sight of the water any longer. In this little park area on the water we ate some leftover pizza and chatted with some folks about our ride that had been doing some motorcycling. One of the kind folks we talked to here gave us $20 which was so kind. We us took a bit of time here to “ice” our legs by walking into the freezing cold lake. It was quite refreshing and felt really good on the sore muscles. After our break though we continued on up and down route for a little while stopping again to fill up the water and chat with folks. Another motorcyclist we spoke with gave us $5 dollars again for the ride. $25 dollars in one day from total strangers felt pretty awesome. Spending most of the day riding along the waterfront trail/country roads and away for most cars made for a nice day of riding.
Not long after the chatting with the second set of motorcyclists we found ourselves a bit hungry again so we stopped into a Tim Hortons to get beyond meat sausage sandwiches. Shantel got some other frozen Java thing and I quite foolishly ordered a large Jolly Rancher slushie. It may have been the sweetest thing I’ve ever had in my life and even as a self proclaimed sweet tooth I couldn’t finish it all. After this little pick me up we settled on riding hard for the next couple of hours so we could make it time to meet her grandparents for dinner. Along the way we met another cyclist named John who was cycling from Oshawa to Montreal, but at about half our pace. He had just turned 50 and told us that he had wanted to take a ride like this for his 25th birthday, but kept procrastinating. It was great to see him finally getting around to it. We ended up spending at least an hour, but maybe it was a couple hours riding together and chatting which was so nice. We got so distracted talking and riding at that it wasn’t until we were 5km past where he was stopping for the day that he realized. We said our goodbyes on the road with a quick handshake and were off again.
With Shantel’s grandparents having a trailer close to Belleville we were lucky enough to arrange to meet them for dinner along our route. Shantel’s grandma seemed so proud of us and was telling anyone she could about our ride. It was so sweet. We spent most of dinner talking about the trip, Shantel’s hair and her family. On top of this they ended up treating us to the meal (which for Shantel and I was a yummy salad, vegetable stir fry, and pasta and veggies dish.
The last 19kms of the day after dinner zoomed by quite quickly as Shantel hunkered down and road hard towards the hotel. It was awesome seeing her push herself so much. We made quick time, checked into our room at the hotel ringing our bikes and gear to the room. Once inside we started to get settled in and unpacked things. It was only a few minutes later when we went to shower though that we noticed the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned. We weren’t thrilled to say the least. Shantel called the front reception and they said someone would be up to clean it. We opted to use the time we were waiting for someone to come clean for some stretching. After 30 minutes of waiting though we were eager to have a shower so we could use the pool. I called back and explained and the said they’d send someone up. At this point we were sick of waiting and decided we would use the pool showers to rinse off before swimming. Unfortunately for other pool patrons these showers were even grosser so we said screw it and jumped into the pool all sweaty and gross. Being an outdoor pool the water was a bit chilly so we didn’t stay in too long. It was nice to see the moon in the sky while we wanting swimming though and it did feel good to move around in a different way.
From there we made our way to the sauna where Shantel wanted to stretch a bit more. I didn’t stay too long since I figured I had sweat enough already today. Nowa full 1.5 hours since we checked into the hotel I went back to our room to see the washroom hadn’t been cleaned. Annoyed I called reception again and asked if they could put us in a different room and they agreed to do so. I went downstairs to get the key to our new room which was a slightly better one with two beds in it rather than one. The receptionist also offered us a few Gatorade for the inconvenience and told us to let them know about the issues when we check out.
From there we made our way back to our first room to pack everything up again move it to the new room. Once settled into the room we ate our leftover pasta from tonight and pizza from yesterday. Since we had no cutlery we ate it all with our hands which was pretty fun. From there I finally had my much desired shower and I must saw if they done anything right at this hotel it’s their water pressure and shower head. It was amazing. Once I got out of the shower Shantel declared the one bed would be strictly for farting proceeded to do so. You might think I’m joking, but this actually happened. It was as glorious as you might expect. We then spent the next little while laying in bed updating the trip blog and Instagram and both managed to type a bunch of stuff and then have it get deleted. It was quite frustrating. Not as frustrating as the people in the room next to us that were talking so loudly at 12:15am that if even if we were ready to sleep it would have been impossible to do so. It wasn’t until 12:30 that Shantel finally decided to shower when the smoke alarm in our room started to go off. I nearly lost my mind. All I could think was “how the hell is this even happening?” I eventually was able to get it to stop beeping, but likely no before it woke up everyone around us.
After the fire alarm mess Shantel went to bed and I stayed up writing until about 1am before joining her a short time later. With tomorrow’s ride to Gananoque being a slightly shorter day for us we set our alarm for 7am, but agreed we would take our time in the morning and enjoy the free breakfast at the hotel.