My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 40 -- July 30th -- Port Huron, MI to London, Onatario

Miles Ridden: 87.8
Avg Speed: 16.0
Avg Heart Rate: 108 bpm
Climbing: 1,283 ft
Calories Burned: 1,635 (so says my Garmin ... it's higher!)

Blue Water bridge crossing .. Canada ... Sarnia tour ... butter tarts and Nanaimo bars ... another flat ride ... alone with my thoughts
Today' route and map --
Check out yesterday's interview on Federal News Radio (AM 1500) -- Read Article  -- Listen to Interview
A big day for our tour leaders ... a big day for the 50 riders ... another day of work for the Canadian customs folks.  A carefully orchestrated and effective logistical effort went off like clock work.  After an early breakfast at 6:00, load at 6:45, and group photo at 7:00, Mike Munk got the green light to take his minion of cyclists, 2 vans, and 1 truck across the the Blue Water Bridge that connects Port Huron, Michigan with Sarnia, Ontario Canada.  It was quite a spectacle and was made even cooler when the bridge was closed just for us.  A parade like no other that had to pause a few times in order for us to walk our bikes over the huge "kingpins" that are large expansion joints with sewer like grates.  Riding across those would have caused instant crashes. 

The Entire Crew Ready For Canada

At The Start Of The Bridge
We made the 5% climb up and over the bridge and then queued up at the customs booth for processing. It was the simplest and smoothest event ABB has seen. They asked us if we had any firearms and then sent us on our way ... didn't even check our passports. From there we headed on a tour of Sarnia that only a local could provide. Fellow Gelding, Jeff Douglas, grew up there and took us to Canatara Park, the beach, and the base of the bridge. We met up with his Mom and received some yummy Canadian treats for our SAG stop ... butter tarts and Nanaimo bars (more on that later). Sarnia was very clean, had great roads, a wonderful park, and provided us some good photo ops.

50 Bikers At Customs

Joe Snaps A Shot Of The Crowd

My Second Country

Jeff And His Mom

The Beach (Lake Huron) In Sarnia
After meandering through town, we headed out for our first day in Ontario.  A few detours helped break up the group and spread us out over the road (we had been riding together through town).  As we cleared Sarnia, the flat roads revealed farms similar to Michigan.  One difference ... no wind turbines.  In fact, the locals have quite the campaign to keep it that way.  A brief turn into the wind just before Watford, Ontario revealed the only SAG of the day.  The highlight of that was Jeff's Mom's butter tarts and Nanaimo bars.  The butter tarts are a Canadian treat that are similar to mini pecan pies.  Nanaimo bars are just awesome chocolate and custard cream squares named for west coats city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. They were a great energy boost for the next 55 miles.

Nanaimo Bars ... Yummy
Somewhere after the SAG and the town of Watford, I saw a neat old tractor that was for sale.  Not just any old tractor ... a 90 year old, $80,000 tractor.  A few small towns later, we went through Delaware (the town).  Just about everybody stopped for lunch at BJ's Deli and Ice Cream.  It looked like a nice spot and several riders told me they had a great lunch there.  I pushed on as I am not a big mid-ride eater. That put me totally on my own for the last 30 miles. I was feeling good and pushed along through the quiet back roads with just my thoughts to guide me (on yeah, the queue sheet too).  It was another wonderful chance to ponder and think ... to remember those who inspired me to make this ride a reality ... to look ahead just a short 10 days from now to seeing my wonderful crew in Portsmouth.  So many people will be there ... my soul mate Karen, my darling daughter Leah, my Mom, my Dad, my mother-in-law, my sister, my sister and brother in law, close friends Ed, Cheryl, and Dave, and maybe more.  My brother Joel will be join me later in the week and my son is wrapping up his internship so I will see him when I get home.  I am sure my eyes will swell when I see them all waiting by the ocean.

Neat Old Tractor For Sale
London, Ontario is our home for the night. A modern skyline, great bike shop, busy roads, and ummm, a XXX massage parlor (no more on that topic).  Dave and I grabbed a nap before dinner at the local diner.  Tomorrow we head to Brandtford ... a short (66 miles) and mostly flat day.  We get to sleep in big time with luggage load scheduled for 8:30.  The big 3,000 mile mark was surpassed today with only 700 left.

London, Ontario Skyline
Good night moon ... good night Sarnia ... good night Jeff's Mom ... good night Nanaimo bars ... good night Koltz/Lambert crew (can't wait to see you all!)