Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Back in Canada

28th July: Newberry to Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Odometer: 121 km, Start: 9.00am, Finish: 5.00pm, Avg: 22.5 km/h,
Weather: Cloudy then Sunny, Temp: 16-24°C
Mosquito Bites: 80, Hills walked: 0, Bridges nearly fallen off: 1
Road Conditions: #28, 0.75-1.5m shoulder, very good surface, less so after 65km. Light traffic (not sure why different from yesterday?). Small store at Strongs (40km), gas station at 70km. Ascent: 400m/400m.

Well I'm back in Canada this evening! Thank you America for providing a pretty safe route around Lake Superior. I’m a bit sad I had to straight line this leg of my trip to save a little time as I would’ve liked to explore this part of the States properly, especially the Upper Peninsular in Michigan.

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The International Bridge at Sault Ste. Marie

It was slightly fresher today after a few storms during the night, but it was still humid in the morning when I took to the road. (I looked up some data. Around here mornings typically have around a 85% humidity index, afternoons around 65%).

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Old Thresher Engine

I was rolling along the #28 again with a strong west wind that made me smile a lot. Services were a little scarce on the road. I made use of the colourful general store at Strongs, after passing their restaurant that was closed because of a recent fire.

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General store at Strongs

One wildlife encounter today. I met a turtle on the shoulder about to cross the #28. I rated it’s chances as reasonable, as the traffic was lighter than yesterday for some reason. (There were no major towns en route and no major junctions either, so I don’t know where yesterday’s traffic went).

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Turtle (resting) before attempting the crossing of the #28...

Approaching Sault Ste. Marie, MI, I had to navigate across town to the International Bridge to cross back into Canada. At the toll bridge entrance, it’s initially confusing as there’s a sign saying “Motorised Vehicles Only”, even though bikes are allowed to cross. I ignored the sign and had to pay $1.50 at the toll booth.

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Toll booth at the International Bridge. I had to pay $1.50

Once on the bridge, the cross wind was extremely blustery. I was having trouble steering a straight line. At one point I had to take up the entire single lane to avoid being blown by gusts into the side barriers. Luckily I had an understanding driver behind, who could obviously see I was having problems. He patiently sat behind me all the way across the bridge. It was no hardship, because there was a 15 min queue to cross the customs point on the exit ramp. He probably knew this.

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Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie, ON!

So I’ve made it back to Canada. I had one thing to do in Sault Ste. Marie, ON and that was to visit the Vélorution bike shop. This shop, owned by André Riopel, is well known to Trans-Canada cyclists as a welcoming place. They offer free camping to all touring cyclists, as well as quick repairs. I just went in for a chat with André. He was very interested in the Rohloff hub and S&S Couplings on the Nomad. I was a bit sorry I couldn’t put any custom his way. My bike doesn’t have anything wrong with it at the moment!

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At the Vélorution cycle shop

4 comments:

Bryan said...

Good luck on highway 17 out of the Soo. It was the worst road of any on my entire X-Canada tour last year. It was absolutely atrocious and I feared for my life sometimes. :-(

bryan
--
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/X-Canada-2009

Martina said...

That's cheerful Bryan!

Glad your back in Canada and sounding more cheerful. Enjoy your day.

Mx

R & A said...

And you didn't offer the poor turtle a helping hand!!!!!!!!

Shaun said...

I suppose I could have kicked it across...