Day 22- Whitby, ON to Burlington, ON – 74* Miles traveled
We could just say we went 74 miles today and leave it at that -we did go that far – but we confess that 69 of those were by train thru Toronto.
We did enough urban riding coming into the east side of Toronto to know that the traffic was only going to get worse, and city biking on a fully loaded tandem is no fun at all! Toronto has a wonderful transit system, including a passenger train system that allows you to bring your bike on the train. However, I don’t think they designed the train stations or the bike vestibules on the trains for tandems.
After some struggles getting the bike on the car, we got the bike positioned for the ride across town. We left enough room for people to get past us & onto the train, and also to pass us if they wanted to move through the vestibule to different seating section. We were fine with the bike until the track configuration required the doors on the opposite side of the train to open. That required a quick scramble to turn the bike 90 degrees to let the other door function. It was quite a train ride! After an hour and a half of riding we arrived in Burlington (Appleby Station) – our biking starting point on the west side.
After the grueling train ride, we stopped at our “go-to” spot in Canada for a quick lunch, Tim Hortons ( when in Rome!) we hung out a while, checked eMails, blogged a bit, caught up on news and then made our way to the bike and our 3 mile ride to the home of our our Warm Showers hosts.
Bill and Cristina were fun hosts and we spend the afternoon yapping in their living room. We had lots of connections, Bill is from Michigan originally, and went to Olivet College where my sister went and my mom and dad went too. We lived in Marshall – the next town south of Olivet – for awhile and Shawn even taught a semester at Olivet before we moved to Grand Rapids. We also talked quite a bit about RAGBRAI (bike ride in Iowa). Bill is a regular, as he says, “if there’s one thing I know, it is how to do RAGBRAI” …lots of fun stories. Cristina had interesting stories about immigrating to Canada from Romania. She saw her country fall from communist rule, and lived through many shortages and struggles in the 80’s. In addition, she is a software developer, turned project manager, same as Shawn. I laughed & said that Cristina had the same rants – except with a Rumanian accent! It’s amazing how we pass time chatting with these new friends. It’s probably us getting old, but the people we meet has been the highlight of the trip. I don’t think either of us would have guessed that would be the case a few weeks ago!
Us on the GO train:
The gals we spoke with & who took our pic on the train:
The kids (their moms are in the previous pic), going into the city to see the Aquarium. That’s the birthday girl looking so sweet in the red & white dress!