1100 Miles to the Hill & Back

20160610_100419

For this year’s annual bike trip the S.O.B.’s did a run up to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and then back. Our total damage was just over 1100 miles in four days.

We had an extra biker this year, Karl, who joined Tim, Devin, Chris, and myself (Papa Bear). The destination is different every year, this trip was planned by Chris and Tim. Our departure on Thursday morning was delayed by the late arrival of the boys from Michigan, but they made a pickup at the duty free shop in the way of an apology.

IMG_2926[1]It was almost lunch time when we met Karl for breakfast at the Country Diner on Manning near County Road 42. With our bellies full, and a big blue sky looking down on us, we slipped into the middle lane on the 401. Our first stop was at Earl’s, in London, where the beer was cold and waitresses hot.

The ride along the 401, 407, and 400 were boring, but light traffic and perfect weather helped the world become a better place. Chris had his heart set on dinner at Weber’s, near Wonderland, but the rest of us would have preferred a sit-down restaurant with the option of another beer.

Continue reading “1100 Miles to the Hill & Back”

Rocky Mountain High – Colorado

100_4528

This story is an excerpt from Ed’s Book, “A Casual Traveler

I had been following a storm in the middle of Nebraska, so the roads were a still a bit wet in spots. I came upon a barricaded bridge that was impassible. The problem was I didn’t recall seeing any previously posted detour signs; I had no choice but to turn around.

I retreated all the way back to the previous town and took the first crossroad, figuring I’d out flank the bridge by crossing the river further west. It was a lovely detour through cow country, but it brought me right back to the same closed bridge. Crap!

I formulated plan B and headed east along the river until I found another crossing. The road eventually veered away from the river, but then I came across a good road heading in the right direction that looked big enough to have a bridge on it.

Before long the road took a few turns, going into the middle of nowhere. Then I saw a sign that said, “Paved road ends ahead.” No biggie I thought, as I slowed to the appropriate speed and continued on the gravel. I thought I could see the river ahead and I hoped for a bridge.

 Just when I was getting comfortable riding on the gravel, it disappeared and the road became dirt. It had been raining earlier in the day; you know what happens to dirt gets wet—it becomes mud.

I’d never ridden on a mud road before, but I had little choice. I immediately tried to gear down, but dared not brake; I was already sliding in the mud and doing a low-speed wobble. The front wheel only plowed and the wobble got worse. I knew I was going down; it was only a matter of how hard and where.

I slid closer and closer to the big creek on my left; that’s the way the road sloped. There was a grass shoulder, where I thought I might get some traction, or at least have a softer landing. I really didn’t want to crash in the creek.

Continue reading “Rocky Mountain High – Colorado”