Carrying our original bike seats, we were able to loan one to Ken to replace his broken seat. Yay, less weight for us to hump during a day that would take us 11.5 hours to arrive to our destination.
Within the first couple of kms, Claire saw a bear scramble toward us on the opposite side of the road. Ken was ahead of us so we think spooked it. When it saw us in all our modesty, we think we scared the daylights out of it more so because it vanished into the bush without even a turn left! Made Claire’s day which was awesome as happiness makes the pedals go round better, ahem!
And then we met Phillip from England and Andy Buchanan from Scotland soon after, cycling in the opposite direction. You would have thought that they had been drinking beer before they started out today. They had camped just back up the road on the lake side and shared the experience of Bear 101 – hanging food from the tree. Once they had it swinging, they discovered they had forgot to include their sausage roll so it became a conversation of how to protect the sausage roll or more like, where to hide the sausage without the hassle of swinging it with the other stuff.
They grinned at our bike set up so I explained that I carrying a blow up sheep being from NZ and all. Well, Andy said that back home, they have vending machines where you can buy blow up sheep as an alternative lucking out picking up a chick when out drinking! Only the pomes purchase them though. He suggested we should blow it up with helium and tie it to the back of our bike and then we will meet all the Aussies also traveling Canada!
Laughing = happiness makes the pedals go round better.
We stopped for a break from the biking at a market type place for touristy knick knacks. There were some fantastic quotes on plaques that could have been purchased and fill the vacant spot where the bike seat was housed. Minimalist discipline was held not to clutter the travel bags. Photo’s only take up space on the camera already being carried.
A favourite, ‘I have been putting a lot of thought into it and I don’t think being an adult is going to work for me.’
More happier pedalling was to be had.
As we came down the decline into Batchawana Bay, a woman accosted us and as we pulled up, it was Sherry from yesterday. They had finihsed their kayaking and were on there way home living in Batchawana Bay. An invitation to have lunch with them was extended for which we accepted and rode to their home with a shaking of the head at the hospitality being extended. They live on the edge of the lake with an amazing view. A pontoon floating off the beach right out in front of their home in chest high water was also inviting.
Off came the bike apparel and out I walked. With clear water to see the sandy bottom, the Lake Superior fresh water was soothing to the flesh. Got out to the pontoon and someone had affixed two plastic snakes to the thing. I nearly turned the water brown and ran on water back to dryland. Not happy and when I did returne, everyone else saw the funny side of it.
But wait, there is more. We stopped at a place called Chippewa Falls. This is recognised as the halfway point on the Trans-Canada Highway, even though we rolled over 4,000 kms yesterday. We are now officially cycled halfway distance wise. A huge milestone and one that brought a happiness tear to the eye.
Going up the hardest incline of the day (the mile hill), Ken’s chain snapped halfway up. What a shit thing to have happen as it meant a road side repair. By the time we summited the hill, the intent on tenting was gone and so our arriving was more relaxed. Huh, as we rode passed a truck weigh station, we hung a right, rode up onto the scales and weighed in at 220 kgs bike and all (minus the bike seat Ken was carrying). Individual weights -Claire 60 kgs and me, 80 kgs. Bullshit banter got the three of us home the last 18 or so kms – it was 11.5 hours after we started.
We celebrated with a steak dinner and glass of plonk probably putting on 5 kgs in just that one sitting.
The journey on this day’s ride was full of experiences within the overall experience. The share beauty in the terrain has topped itself also, making it one of the best riding days to date.
Just as significant, we have made it around Lake Superior having crossed the halfway point meaning the noses are pointed toward Toronto.
However you create your happiness, just get on and do it.