We had good wind and good motivation today as we zipped along through the Ontario countryside. The wind was at our backs and created the motivation — a large front that was moving from west to east and seemed to be carrying a lot of water. We were racing a rainstorm and that kept us pedaling hard through an agricultural landscape and a myriad of small rivers. The wind and motivation helped me deliver the fastest average speed yet on this entire ride.
The other factor that upped my speed today was that I fell in with California Leslie and Ann. You may remember them from Mankato — they’re the ones who taught me the dollar bill trick. (I still have the dollar bill). They also ride Serottas. In fact, Ann and Leslie and Loco and I form the Serotta club on this ride. We’re always swapping tips on how to get the most out of our bikes. Ann and Leslie are also very strong riders and I sometimes find it hard to stick with them. Today, with the wind at our backs, I was able to hang with them for the last half of the ride — almost 40 miles.
Then we got to Niagara. What can I say? The natural setting is just spectacular and I can certainly see why people would want to come and view the falls. On the other hand, so much of what’s been built up around the falls is just plain unfortunate. You can find a lot of cheap hotels, t-shirt shops, wax museums, and bus and boat tours — just like you would find in any tourist town.
I mentioned the other day that Canada was named after the Kanata Indians. Actually, there’s another explanation that I find more intriguing. The Spaniards were among the first Europeans to explore much of the Americas. As they explored North America, they didn’t find anything on par with the fabulous cities of México and Peru. The story goes that they wrote “Aca Nada” — literally “Here Nothing” — across the tops of their American maps. You can see how AcaNada would easily transform itself into Canada. I have yet to find a map with this legend on it. If you see one, be sure to let me know.
I’ve also added a new feature to this web site. I get a lot of questions on how to protect oneself from saddle sores on long bike rides. So, I’ve collected all the tips I’ve ever heard on a new page called “Your Bum”. You can find it on the black navigation bar near the top of the screen.
Tomorrow’s a rest day. I’m sure I’ll write something but maybe not ’til late.
Day’s distance: 74.6 miles (120.1 km)
Average speed: 18.1 mph (29.1 kph)
Day’s climb: 1,400 feet (426.7 meters)
Total distance: 3,172.3 miles (5,105.3km)