Day 25 – Thamesford, ON to Alvinston, ON – 53 miles
The rain from last night had stopped before we hopped on our bike this morning. We had some fruit & coffee before leaving the home of Norma & Jim and met up with them a few miles down the road for a great breakfast at a local restaurant. After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Norma & rode with Jim, as he was bicycling to work. We rode side by side down quiet roads, past beautiful farms, with him blocking us from the crosswinds and answering all our silly questions about farming. He said it is a very public profession & now we understand. If your crops are doing particularly well (or not), everyone notices.
Shortly after splitting off from Jim, we turned more into the wind and made our way, sometimes feeling the brunt of it but sometimes it wasn’t bad at all due to trees blocking it or turning down different roads. Regardless of whether it was a crosswind or headwind, it was blustery and loud. We took frequent breaks, ate & kept drinking. Norma gave us some wonderful homemade peanut butter cookies and we sure enjoyed those! By the way, Norma is a judge for baked goods at the county fair & so you can imagine how well we ate with her cooking!
We did some grocery shopping in Strathroy. When we first got into Canada, we kept seeing these Giant Tiger stores and we wondered what it is that they might sell! I mean, with a name like that, it could be anything! Jim kept wanting to put “leaping” into the title, so was often confused with the name, it turns out it was a like a scaled down Target store without the dollar section or electronics. We found our favorite flavor of ramen and a can of beans, Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries, life is good!
The afternoon riding was hard, no doubt about it. The cross wind and head wind at times was a pretty tough go. At one point Jim was belting out 50’s tunes while Shawn pedaled away quietly (that’s because he couldn’t hear her over the wind!) but Jim had to dig too far back in his memory bank for lyrics (“Everyone knows it’s Wendy” – or is it WINDY?) and lost concentration. Nothing too dangerous other than drifting into the gravel on the side of the road, in a location where it was a bit soft. No harm no foul, but Shawn immediately stripped Jim of his best captain award for a one day until his singing or driving skills improve. Stay tuned!
Getting to our camp spot involved 2 1/2 miles of gravel road plus another mile of loose dirt in the campground (we walked that) but we made it. This campground is AW Campbell Conservation Area, and the sites are lovely, grassy sites with very clean showers & restrooms. We are just a couple miles from Jim’s grandmother’s hometown of Alvinston.
It was a hard day of riding, but in the end, we got 53 miles in – a very good accomplishment on a very windy day!!
Breakfast at George’s (pictured on the right) restaurant with Jim & Norma:
Jim rode with us:
A happy stretch of road – has wind blocks!