My ride started out in Amherstburg, I road north on mostly quiet and smooth county roads until I hooked up with the Chrysler Canada Greenway trail. The Greenway is for the most part well taken care of with the added benefit of being sequestered away from vehicular traffic. The only down side is that at a few points it becomes painfully obvious that it used to be railway, but trails are trails so I'll stop complaining, also the fact that I had my supplies in a back pack probably didn't help.
Another nice thing about the Greenway trail is it brings you through and near a lot of nice little towns. It starts out near the southern end of Windsor, makes it's way to McGregor, through Harrow, Kingsville and ends near Ruthven/Leamington. A portion of it at the end was off limits, it appeared as though it was under construction but upon doing a Google map search it appears it's been that way for a few years now. After getting off of the Greenway trail I made my way to Talbot Road/County Road 34. I was surprised out how courteous the drivers in Leamington where, also there was a paved shoulder for a lot of the way into the town core. Ounce I got in the core I became disoriented (I was pretty dehydrated, always bring more water than you'll think you'll need...).
Anyway after taking a little break and finally checking my phone I found my way to a hotel so I could recuperate...It was a good ride but I made some painful mistakes that I'd still be paying for the next day.
The second day started a little late, mostly I was being lazy. Packing all my supplies in a back pack didn't help, I had sore hands, shoulders and buttock...Whenever possible, pack your stuff on the bike.
I took off on Seacliff Drive, which was a mistake. If you're ever out riding in that area steer clear of this road, it isn't safe unless you want to ride on the shoulder which isn't that great either...From there I made my way back to the Greenway trail, once I hit Harrow I took a little detour onto Dunn Road. I was pleasantly surprised to find a bike lane there that took me all the way to County Road 50. If you're ever looking for a nice spot to take a riding break in the shade there's a little beach at the end of Dunn Road just past where it meets with County Road 50. From there I took County Road 50 back into Amherstburg, it was relatively peaceful with some traffic but no close calls. A good ride, but I learned a few things the hard way...
What I learned
- Don't do a bike tour with a back pack: Even if you're packing relatively light like I did on this ride, it will put un-needed weight on your shoulders, hands and butt. Put the extra weight on the bike, you'll be glad you did.
- You can never pack too much water: I had two 25oz bottles on the ride. That's not enough, especially in the swampy/humid climate in Southwestern Ontario, and especially if you sweat a lot...which I do. You don't want to be in a position where you're having to ration your water. Next time I'll most likely bring a bike mounted water bladder.
- Research your route: For the most part the ride was calm when dealing with traffic. But one short stretch of the ride was on a major arterial road that I wasn't familiar with at all. It was scary as fuck to say the least, the drivers on said road (Seacliff Drive, out in Leamington) was not pleasant. A little bit of extra route research would have helped...
- Kona Private Jake
- Chrome Citizen Bag
- Giro Privateer Shoes
- 2 Camelbak Podium Big Chill Insulated 25oz Bottles
- A big bag of mixed nuts
- Change of clothes, regular walking shoes
- Ontario Bicycle Touring Atlas
- iPhone, multitool, patch kit, etc.