Thursday, August 5, 2010

Starting With A Bang Aug 5

Breakfast was 25 minutes late this morning. The folks putting on breakfast never showed up until 6:30 Am and by the time it was ready it was 6:55. So we are behind schedule but as there are no climbs and the ride is only 75 miles no big deal. After a quick bite I am off down the road but not very far before I hear this huge bang. I have heard that sound before and it is not good news. I pull over, and yes I have a flat rear tire. However this is not just a flat but my second brand new Armadillo tire is has blown out the side wall. Now this isn't just a little hole but an eight inch rip in the side wall. I can't believe it. My first Armadillo got only 1500 miles, but I was over some incredibly tough roads. I ground up 5 miles of fresh chip coat to a mountain pass and then down some really bad gravel roads and over lots of construction. This tire has less than 1200 miles. So I walk back to the school where John, who is one of the mechanics pulls a tire off of Greg's bike and puts it on my bike. OK now I am 2 hours behind schedule and the forecast is for hot and humid.

At the 20 mile mark we take a ferry across the St. Lawrence River and cross into Canada. It is a quaint little private ferry which takes about 20 minutes to cross the river. I was wearing my Canadian jersey so there is no mistake at the boarder as to what is going on. The customs guard has seen lots of cyclists this morning and is very friendly. In the Calgary airport the customs agents wear flack jackets. Here they are in short sleeves.

Once in Canada the road is straight and flat, with a good tail wind so I make good time down to picnic, which is at the 45 mile mark. At picnic I am too late for the water melon but there is still lots to eat. As it is now getting hot I have to hurry, however my stomach is starting to send me signals that it is upset. So I rolled into a store and drank some ginger ale hoping to settle it down. Luckily it worked and was off again.

About 6 miles out Steve the rider from Wales is pulled over and is working on his tire. I could see that he was having trouble with it so I pulled over and helped change his tube. I have this great pump and can pump a tire in no time. I figured I had been helped this morning so it was time to pass it on.

As I rolled into West Lorne where we are staying I could see an ice cream shop on the corner. Now I had been promising myself a milk shake for the last 15 miles so now it was time to make good on my promise. They didn't make milkshakes but they did have huge ice cream cones so I had a two scoop cone which was great.

The school were are in has the weirdest showers which are either all on or all off and have to be turned on somewhere in the mechanical room. So Greg is waiting for a number of riders before he turns them on, so I go set up my tent. The showers are now on and I have mine. When I come out there is a quick cloud burst. I went out to my tent and crawled in it was so nice and cool so I just laid down and had an hour nap. It was perfect as I was exhausted. The nap was just the thing I needed.

When I was in Frankenmuth I was in one of the tourist trap stores which specialized in dog stuff. They had a sign which said "LIVE LOVE BARK" I thought it was a good attitude to have.


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