Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Manitoulin Island

31st July: Espanola to South Baymouth

Odometer: 132 km, Start: 9.15am, Finish: 6.30pm, Avg: 19.5 km/h,
Weather: Some sunny intervals, Temp: 15-22°C
Mosquito Bites: 80, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #6 (to Little Current), 1-2m paved shoulder, excellent condition. Traffic moderate by mid-morning. #6 (from Little Current), 0.3m shoulder, poor and more traffic. I took country roads west from Sheguiandah to join secondary roads #540/551/542 to South Baymouth. Regular enough food stops available. Ascent: 700m/800m. (Some hills today!)

I had a surprisingly good shoulder on the #6 out of Espanola, heading south down to Little Current and Manitoulin Island. It was quite a hilly section, the first in a long time, with numerous 0.5 km rises and falls through exposed rocks and past pretty lakes. The traffic was busy, though, as it’s a Canadian long weekend.

Cresting a hill through the rocks

Approaching Little Current, I crossed the narrow Swing Bridge onto Manitoulin Island. (This tiny bridge is the only land access to the island). Traffic was queued both ways as the bridge only has one lane and access is controlled by traffic lights. I breezed past the queue, of course and crossed over quickly.

The one-lane bridge onto Manitoulin Island

I met Adam and Katherine outside the supermarket in town. They are cycling to Vancouver and then on down the west coast to California. (They have a nice journal going at www.biketrip.ca). They’ve recently got married and this was a sort of honeymoon trip! So far they haven’t fallen out (too much). We talked about routes. Katherine said they were still debating about going through the States v. the TCH in Ontario. I told them my preference. A nice couple. Good luck and stay safe!

Adam and Katherine heading for Vancouver and then down to California

I started down the #6 again, but the road away from Little Current had a different complexion. It had a narrow to non-existent shoulder and it was clear that this part hadn’t received the recent upgrade of the road further north. There was still quite a lot of traffic, so I didn’t fancy the 60km on that road down to South Baymouth. I decided to take a country road across from Sheguiandah to continue on some secondary roads. A lot less traffic was the reward for an extra 25km travel, as well as some nice lake side views and little towns.

Lake Manitou at Sandfield

I’m in South Baymouth this evening and camping too! I’m due to catch the morning ferry to Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula, tomorrow.

FOTD. Saw a lot of this one today


Adam and Katherine said...

Hi Shaun! It was great meeting you too! We are taking a rest day in Sault Ste Marie today at Velorution. You have an awesome blog, we'll definitely be catching up on it when we get some down time. I linked to your blog from ours as well!

Best of luck and hope you have an amazing rest of your trip! We were really glad to have been able to meet you!

- Adam & Katherine

Anonymous said...


May I invite you to repost your Manitoulin article to manitoulincycling.com? We've started a blog to collect posts from cyclists who've visited the island. We'd like to encourage more to come and visit/cycle. Your's would be a most welcome submission.

Many thanks,

Alex Baran
Manitoulin/Providence Bay