Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 40

We caught another break with the weather.  Today we went from Port Huron, MI, over the Port Huron bridge into Canada ultimately ending at London, Ontario, about 82 miles.  Because of the bridge crossing and going through customs, we had a very structured start which was a little stressful.  We had to load by 6:45 and at 6:55 (keep in mind Mike, the tour leader is a retired officer in the Air Force  so times are precise), we left for the road to go across the bridge as a group. The bridge is a suspension bridge and we had to be very careful going over the joined parts as a  tire can be very easily caught in one of them.  Part of the tension was the structure and going through customs and part was the forecast was t-storms last night and today.  We did have t-storms all last night and it rained hard, but it stopped raining shortly before we left.  30 miles south of Port Huron there was severe weather as well as in London.  We just had a wet road.  One of the riders hit a slippery spot on the bridge and went down but was all right.  If the t-storm had been on top of us, we still would have to leave as customs closed the bridge while we crossed the bridge stopping all traffic making our passage very safe. 

The first picture is loading the van, the second going through customs and the last, the sign for Ontario, Canada. 

The stormy weather produced a nice wind from the west so we made very good time.  Was cloudy and very humid, but no rain.  We were on local roads with not a lot of traffic and farmsteads every  few miles.  After 40+ miles a guy in a car slowed down as I approached and yelled at me there was “a big Rottweiler about 5 clicks ahead.”  Terrific.  With the wind I was in high teens for average mph but with inspiration I kicked it up.  Taking no chances on how far 5 clicks really is, for the next 5 miles I was in the 26-28 mph range.  Adrenalin is an amazing thing.  After four miles a big dog came charging out of a farmstead, but I was by in a blur (for someone with poor vision).  Other riders were chased by the dog.  Dogs can be very dangerous for cyclists and there have been a couple of encounters.  The main risk is not getting bit by the dog, as that is very rare, but the dog getting in front of the bike and running over the dog which can be serious for the both  the dog and cyclist.  I don’t blame the dog, but the owners.  Owners who let their dogs run free should be required to pick up dog poo for one year in a major city. 

We road by a lot of farmsteads, almost all well kept.  I am far from an expert, but the corn here and in Michigan did not look to be anywhere near the quality as what we saw in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.  I cannot describe how, but the terrain was different. 

It looks like the weather will move out for awhile.  Hopefully so. 

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