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Day 40 - Port Huron, Michigan to London, Ontario

posted Jul 30, 2010, 1:28 PM by Jeffrey Douglas   [ updated Jul 30, 2010, 2:09 PM ]

The day had come that we were to cross over the bridge and enter Canada. For most people there was the excitement of going into a different country, some for the first time. There was a lot of talk about it and many didn't know what to expect. For me, I was crossing over to visit the city I grew up in, and to see Mom. Memories of my youth were abundant.

Last night, I offered to the group to take them on a tour of Canatara Park, the beach and then under the bridge in Point Edward. It would be to show them a couple of the nicer parts of Sarnia, instead of just heading out past the busy mall and shopping area. When asked, every one of the 50 some odd cyclists said that they would like to follow my route, every one except Toronto Mark as he had a conference call at the same time. I hadn't expected to have such an overwhelming number, but I guess that they would prefer to see some sites, instead of simply cycling along the farms fields that cover the land between Sarnia and our destination, London.

In the morning, we started to get everything ready to head over the bridge and were ready to go by 7:00 for a 7:30 crossover time. You see, this is a fairly big deal in getting us over the bridge. The twin bridges in Sarnia are two very busy ones, with a huge amount of tractor-trailer traffic. They actually close down one of the bridges while we are going over. No other traffic is on it, other than us 50 or so cyclists and our 3 support trucks. The other traffic had to simply wait. Once at customs, we waited while the officer basically asked if we were carrying any weapons, and then simply let us all go through. We didn't even have to show our passports. The whole process was easy and fast.

On the other side of the bridge is where I started the special tour. We would head down about a quarter mile, where my mother was waiting to meet us, and had a stash of butter tarts and Nanaimo bars waiting. I would imagine that she felt a bit overwhelmed when I brought the whole gang, as she really didn't know how many to expect. The gang was quite kind and greeted her with the special America by Bicycle “Hi Mom, my name is ...” greeting, all done in unison of course. After a couple of photos, I led the long line of cyclists into Canatara Park and to the beach. This is a beautiful park basically across the street from where I grew up. It is quite large and was originally purchased in 1932 by a special donation of $10,000 by Mrs. Hanna. The park was to remain generally undeveloped, and available to all residents of the city. It encompasses a small lake called Lake Chipican, and also is along the shore of Lake Huron. After a few pictures, we headed out of the park and down under the bridge, for a few more shots. The previous day we were looking at our location, from the other side of the river.

The rest of the day was quite fast paced as I sped along to catch my usual riding partners. I had dropped back to the end of the pack, to make sure that everyone was fine, from my little tour diversion. It took me about 10 miles to catch back up to my cycling buddies.

At the 1st SAG, people were sampling the butter tarts and Nanaimo bars. I'm not sure which one was more of a hit, but they seemed to like them, judging by the comments and thank-you's that were being said. The roads today were all good and fairly flat. The winds were generally behind us, but occasionally we had to cut into it a bit.

Here's the video from crossing over the bridge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4M7LMwCOQI

Here's the GPS data from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/42442034

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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