The title kinda sums up all the riding for this period as I am in the true Canadian Shield, the climbs are short and sharp, the descents the same and majorly fun and all of this interspersed with stunning views of Lake Superior.
For those who don’t know Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world by surface area at 31,700 sq mi (82,100 km2), that’s only a touch smaller than the whole of the UK! It is the 3rd biggest by volume at 2,900 cu mi (12,000 km3). More important though is that I don’t think it tastes great.
White River to Wawa (28th July 2017)
First stop today was the statue in White River dedicated to Winnie the Pooh, the bear that inspired the story was bought from White River before eventually ending up in London Zoo, apparently named for Winnipeg where the owner was from.
After the day with the younger and lightly loaded guys yesterday my legs feel like lead but after the first 10km they seem to loosen up but going was still going to be slow and its a long day planned at just under 100km.
To make life interesting my phone has started playing up and its my main system for navigation, I am now relying on a SatNav that seems to want to take me the long way round everywhere. Other than that the day was pretty uneventful I have still yet to see a bear over this side of the country even though nearly everyone I talk to says they see them all the time!
In Wawa I am staying at Naturally Superior Adventures located right on the lake and its an absolutely stunning location, possibly the most beautiful that I have come across since leaving the mountains! They had a local rock band playing in the evening so I went and watched followed by admiring the sun set.
Wawa (29th July 2017)
Today started with a paddle board lesson, it took a while to start to understand the balance and quite honestly the appeal, but after the first hour I started to get it. I am used to fast paced adrenaline sports and paddle boarding is a calm sport and would be a great way of travelling although I feel on rough waters it may be… interesting!
Naturally Superior Adventures
After the lesson I chilled for most of the day on the rocks around NSA… I may have even had an afternoon nap.
During the evening a group of us had a fire on the beach, good times!
Wawa to Agawa Bay (30th July 2017)
Although I slept well I felt tired, but surprisingly not achey! After a 4 course breakfast I was back on he road. Everyone says how nice this section is, and they are right it is pretty in the small sharp hills coated in pines kinda way. To be honest though its not really that different to the previous days although there is a bit more access to the lake and the beach’s.
When I was setting up camp it was “invaded” again with a couple of Canadians bearing gifts of cold beer that was most appreciated although my tolerance is quite low these days!
Now that my kinda gift!
Agawa Bay to Voyager (31st July 2017)
As I was leaving camp in the morning I met up with two other cyclist, Nate and Wade, who are cycling from Vancouver to Hamilton, a distance of 4,500km in 38 days in aid of Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, there blog is worth checking out, it is located here.
Wade (left) and Nate (right)
I can’t really tell you much about the ride as we were too busy chatting all day, it was really nice to have company again and Nate and Wade were both happy to have someone new to talk to even if they had to slow down slightly to do so!
Lunch was had at one of the resorts that pop up occasionally round the lakes, as we were leaving another bunch of cyclists came along a quick exchange was passed but there was still a long way to go, I had planned to get to Sault Ste Marie today but that wasn’t looking likely.
Wade leads the way
After a few more hours of cycling we came to a service station and we all needed some snacks and the other two were looking at staying round this are so a break was needed. 10 mins later it was back on the bikes, one of the locals had suggested a place about 10km down the road so that’s where we were heading, At this point it was about 16:00hrs and another 60km to Sault Ste Marie but at the other guys were stopping and I decided that it was a good plan, at least I would have people nearby who I knew although we ended up having dinner separately.
As I was just going in for food the other group of cyclists were just coming in so we I invited them to my table, save them having to wait around. I discovered they weren’t one group but two although all from Quebec and went to the same uni they didn’t know each other and just bumped into one another on the road, its a small world on the road! Anyway, plans were half made to meet up the following evening in Sault Ste. Marie for a couple of drinks, I like this crowd!
Voyager to Sault Ste. Marie (1st August)
Everyone left at different times this morning, predictably I was the last out after a huge breakfast! I still felt sluggish, not sure why I am pretty sure it wasn’t the 1/2 ton of fried food I had but you never know!
The day seemed to be flatter than previously until about 15-20km from the finish when I approached 1Mile Hill and boy does it live up to its name! I switched down to grannie gear and just spun, sweat dripping into my eyes and of the points of my elbows as I worked up the hill in the heat and humidity. Then down into town and to find a motel for the night and take the bike into the shop for a pro to have a look at.
I had dinner with Nate and Wade at an all you can eat sushi place, I think we went through enough food for about 8-10 people! After dinner I got a call from MJ, one of the Quebeckers and went to meet them, they were camped out at the back of the bike shop with another two cyclists. When I got to there camp there was also a rather drunk local who was bragging how he had ridden “over a million km in the last 10 years”…. now don’t get me wrong, I guess its a plausible distance if you cycle for 6 months each year but this chap wasn’t in that kinda shape. I think he was also making the others slightly uncomfortable, I guess I am more used to drunken louts than some though!
We got a taxi into town and went for some drinks followed some Karaoke which I thankfully avoided doing any singing at. Got to say thanks to MJ, Nic, Will (the Quebecers), Fernando and Sylvan for a great night. Hope the rest of your journey goes well!
Sault Ste. Marie (2nd-3rd August)
I decided to have a couple of rest days, my right knee feels tweeky so I think it might be worth it.
Anywho, you must be bored of my rambling so I shall yet you go. Happy trails and may the wind be forever at your back!