April 22, 2018 – 30.5kms
Finally spring has arrived and I had planned a short 20 kms bike ride for today. We had Ralf’s home-made waffles for breakfast, pumped up the tires on the touring bikes and headed out.
We followed the Brock Trail from our house to the northern end of the trail at Laurier Blvd. The trail is going to continue to the Conservation Area but at the moment that section has not been paved and was not open.
The trail was quite good, paved but a little bumpy in areas where the tree roots have edged through the pavement. There were a few areas where you had to guess which way the trail continued after the road crossing but for the most part it was easy to follow and well signed. We went under the railway and the short tunnel was thick with ice. We had to get off and walk through the tunnel.
At one point we took the wrong route and ended up on a dead end street. Fortunately there was a lady working in her garden so we asked her where the trail carried on.
Well wouldn’t you know it she was Scottish and we ended up chatting to her and her hubby for about half an hour. Grace and James were really nice and James found us a local map of Brockville with the trail on it and gave it to us and bid us farewell.
Our second error was after heading out on Centennial Road. We were supposed to make a right turn at Reynolds Street actually it should have been Kelly Road. I for some reason was looking for Reynolds Street – which didn’t exist and we ended up going through South Augusta to Maitland almost 5 kms outside of Brockville oops. This made our short 20 km ride into a 30 km ride. It was lovely though. This area is very rural, lots of farmland and gently rolling hills
All the car drivers gave us lots of room, the sun was out and there was a light breeze. A great first ride in our new neighbourhood.
April 23, 2018
Brockville to Lyn – 33.03 Kms
Another beautiful ride going west of Brockville and again an error in navigating making a short 20 km ride into a 33 kms ride!
Again we took the Brock Trail, this time heading west to Highway 2.
If you are coming to visit us on a bike, look for this sign and the trail will bring you almost to our front door.
We headed west along Highway 2 which has a cycle lane and then a nice wide shoulder. The cycle lane had already been swept of its winter debris. There were some nice rolling hills along this stretch before we headed north to the small Village of Lyn. Again, the scenery was very rural with farmland that was shedding its winter grey. The trees are barely showing any buds, very grey and stark. However, the sun and slight breeze made for a very nice ride.
Of course we took a wrong turn in Lyn, there were only two choices and we took the wrong one. We ended up north of Brockville on the busy Highway 29. This is not where I wanted to end up. However the car drivers once again gave us plenty of room. The shoulder was sporadic, when it was there it was nice and wide and fairly clean. There were a few short climbs on this route and it is well worth doing in the opposite direction (the 20 kms route) not the 33 kms.
May 9, 2018
The Flights are Booked – June 7, 2018
Finally we have settled into the house, the furniture has been delivered, the new fridge and stove are here. There have been some hiccups with the hardwood floor, which delayed the booking of the flights. I will not dwell on that as the good news is we have booked our flights to Europe.
The plan was to fly into Amsterdam and then follow the Eurovelo Route 15 from Holland to Switzerland, along the Rhine (basically EV15 in reverse).
The best laid plans do not always work out. We are now flying into Brussels (Belgium) and cycling into Germany then following the Eurovelo Route 15 down the Rhine. The map below shows the approximate route. We are heading to Wesel as that is where some of Ralf’s family lives and we are hoping to visit with them for a couple of days.
There were no direct flights from Montreal to Amsterdam. When you have connecting flights and you are flying with bicycles you pay for each leg of the flight. We looked at getting a taxi to Toronto but the cost was almost the cost of one flight to Amsterdam.
I looked at other airports and found we could fly direct into Brussels from Montreal and return direct from Rome to Montreal for less than the original plan of flying into Amsterdam. The added bonus is that we can take the train from Brockville to Montreal airport. We both have points on our Via Preference cards (the train rewards card) and we are going on the train for free. Life is Good.
It gets even better, I sent out a few requests for Warmshowers hosts for our first night in Belgium and a very kind couple have said they could host us and pick us up from the airport. It is about 17 kms from their house. How nice is that.
Now we really need to get some biking in as we are both chunky monkeys and need to get some training. Although the first week or so is relatively flat along the Rhine, I do not want to “cycle into fitness”.