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.

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%).

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.

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).

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.

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.

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!

At the Vélorution cycle shop


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. :-(


Martina said...

That's cheerful Bryan!

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


R & A said...

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

Shaun said...

I suppose I could have kicked it across...