Spring in Barrie

May, 2017

We arrived home on April 26, 2017 and my daffodils were in bloom in the garden. They bloomed throughout the month of May and were a very cheery sight on the cold, wet, miserable days that we endured for the first two weeks of the month of May.

Cheery Daffodils

Cheery Daffodils

It seemed to rain every day for the first two weeks and the weather was cold, wet and dreary. Both Ralf and I were wondering why we had left South Korea and the good weather, the friendly people and the excellent bicycle paths.

Of course, it was my return to work at the greenhouse that bought us back. I started back on the first of May and took the car. Ralf worked on the photos of the trip: clearing the bad ones, filing and backing-up onto the computer.

It is very nice coming home from work and have dinner ready and waiting for me.

All the bicycles went in for their spring/post trip service and are ready for the next adventure and the summer riding season. Although, at one point in the beginning of the month, I thought the weather would not warm up and I would have to set the bike up on the trainer again.

Eventually (May 10, 2017) the weather warmed up and MrsSweetCheeks was taking me to work. I had forgotten how steep the hill was on my return – 8% grade for one kilometre. Down into the lowest gears to slowly cycle up the hill, huffing and puffing like an old steam engine. I blamed it on the fact that I had a hard day at work and was already tired from being on my feet all day. By the end of the month I was scooting up the hill in the mid-range, albeit with a tail-wind helping me up the hill. I had also forgotten how windy it was in this neighbourhood!

The second week-end in May we enjoyed shopping at our local and one of our favorite outdoor stores (Sojourn). In May they usually host all the tent manufacturers who have their tents set up in the parking lot and on the surrounding land to showcase their tents. This year it was so wet, they didn’t have suppliers on hand. However they did have an end of season sale and a “No-tax” week-end. This meant that we “saved” 13% on everything we bought. As we have almost decided to go back to Europe for the Grand Adventure Part Three, we wanted the comfort of having chairs. Most of the camp sites in Europe do not provide picnic tables and we found ourselves cooking and eating on the spare ground-sheet, which wasn’t very comfortable. We convinced ourselves to buy two Helinox chairs for the next trip in Europe. They are very light and compact, I think we will be sitting outside of our tent watching the night skies more often than we did on our last European adventure.

Ralf needed new sandals and I spotted a merino wool skirt. I really enjoyed wearing my little black skirt on this trip, after getting out of cycling shorts it was nice to wear a skirt. The skirts are a must for our next trip. We topped off our purchases with some new underwear for Ralf. Now he no longer has to wear them front to back and then inside out and front to back (4 days wear)!! only joking. (I just understand the problem? Ralf )

The weather finally improved and I cycled to work almost every day, except the noon until 8:00 shift, I knew I would be too tired after a long day to cycle home and up that hill!

Spring cleaning – why is it so difficult to get rid of cycle jerseys? Most of my jerseys I bought on the various trips we did – Bon Ton Roulette, Haliburton, GOBA, Pennsylvania. I really should get rid of some of them, but the memories they invoke I find it so hard to trash them. I have had to throw out the two jerseys we wore on this last trip – the red dust from Vietnam and Cambodia became ingrained into the shirt. Maybe I should keep one of them to remind me of the trip – no they have to go.

Spring Gardening – we tidied the garden and bought some nice planters for the tiny patio area. The perennials I planted last year are finally showing and we are looking forward to hosting traveling cyclists and sitting out on our little patio with a glass of wine or a beer sharing stories. We have already had one request from a couple from Montreal. Unfortunately, she was having problems with her knees and had to return to Montreal before getting to Barrie.

Ralf has been so focused on getting the photo’s organized he forgot to go for a ride. He finally went out and in typical Ralf style his first ride was 72 kms. No cycling for a month and then he goes out and does 72 kms ! He was hurting a little coming up the hill home. He said he had originally planned a 40 km ride, but spotted another cyclist on a Trek 520 and started chatting to him – 50 kms later the other cyclist was almost home and Ralf had to cycle another 10 kms!

I have requested every Tuesday off at work and I am also getting one additional day off each week-end either a Saturday or Sunday. The last week-end in May I had Sunday off and although we had a late start we went for a nice ride. Just a quick and short 30 kms Shanty Bay route. It had been a nice steady ride, enjoying being out on the very fast and light Green Mean Machine. What a difference from the sturdy Mrs SweetCheeks, the Green Mean Machine wants to go fast.

As we were heading back into Barrie a young woman on a nice Trek passed us with a customary “On Your left”. I thought that’s a nice Trek she is riding – then it hit me and the Green Mean Machine why the heck were we letting her pass us. The legs kicked in and I caught up with her, at first I was just going to sit on her wheel, but she slowed down. Bugger that, I passed her “On Your Left” then I realised what a stupid thing I had done, I had passed a young thing just before the short and steep climb, that I historically struggled to get over at 15 kph. I hate that little climb. Well, I had to prove myself. Ralf passed both of us and I laughed as I took it up another cog and pushed myself up the little hill. I guess the winter cycling had kept me in shape, as we left the poor lass in our dust. She didn’t even catch up with us on the downhill!!

Today is Ralf’s birthday and I treated him to a new lense for his camera. He often talks about getting extra lenses, but never gets around to it. He was so surprised and very pleased with the 50-200 zoom lense. He will need to buy the macro lense for himself to complete the set.

As soon as we got home Ralf sent away for a new passport. He received his new passport yesterday May 29, 2017. We can travel again:) and no “Guess what Jacky” my passport…… for the next ten years.

It was nice to have a home to come back to after this last trip. However, it is always hard to settle down and not ride every day. I miss being on the road. I think our next trip is going to be Europe, whether that is later on this year or spring next year we don’t know yet or maybe another one year trip !!! Stay tuned.

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