Month: May 2019

Monday 20th May

Had the best nights sleep so far in a really comfortable bed. They have a lovely house right on the side of Lake Erie, we had use of the garage for our bikes as well as our own room.Amy and Mike made us a tasty omelette with onion, tomatoes and spinach just right for the day ahead.

We thanked them and said our goodbyes and set off again against the wind. There is a choice of two campsites for tonight. The 1st one is 31 miles away and the 2nd is 42 miles. The wind is strong against us so the 1st one it is.In just 5miles we cross the border into a new state, welcome to Pennsylvania.

There’s nothing on route for the 1st 20 miles until we find a petrol station for cake and coffee. It took us three hours to do the 20 it was hard work.

Refreshed we pushed on to do the last bit and arrived at the site 3:30 pm. Not a bad site with a pizza place so pizza for dinner.

Sunday 19th May

Camp site left nice and early we found a diner 5 miles away for our usual breakfast.

We have another campsite ear marked 45 miles away the weather is hot. Lots of factor 50 today.

A day of heat, hills and headwind. What a day, both Mike and I were suffering. We followed the coast of Lake Erie. Nothing really on the road, we grabbed a snack bar from the one and only petrol station and was getting concerned that we were running out of drinking water and had nothing for food tonight. We were 10 miles away from the campsite but it had taken a hour to do the previous 5 miles against the wind. A couple of times the wind was so strong I just couldn’t cycle against it and come to a complete standstill. It was also over 88 degrees. Hard work.

A car in the opposite direction gave us a friendly beep we both waved back. A few seconds later the same car had turned around and came back to us. He pulled next to us and asked us where are we headed, we told him we were going to the next campsite 5 miles up the road. He introduced him self another Mike and said he was a warm showers host. We could stay with him if we want it’s just 100 yards back. We would love to we have definitely had enough for the day.

Mike introduces us to his wife Amy and son Jacob. They make us very welcome, we have a comfortable bed for the night. A en-suite and have had a lovely meal cooked for us. We can stay as long as we like and breakfast has been promised.

Sorry no photos today, to busy fighting with the sun and wind.

Saturday 18th May

Back on the road. We left the hotel early and was over rainbow bridge before 7:30 am . We weren’t looking forward to today’s ride as we had to go through 2 cities, would of been so much nicer in Canada. Oh well just have to get on with it. It was a long day following the bike route. It was full of dead ends and detours, or in some places dug up with no alternative route suggestions. It manly followed the river Erie and was quite industrial.

We did 55 miles and rode into the campground at 4pm. There was no one in the office and the notice on the door stated that office open times were 8-3. Ridiculous who pulls into a camp site before 3pm! Anyway people were camping so the showers and toilets were all open we found a dryish pitch and set up camp. It’s not are fault there’s no one to pay.

We sat eating dinner, just cheese sandwiches and a bag of crisps, when a man come over for a chat. He’s name was Norman and was interested in our cycle ride so invited us over to his pitch later for some beer and sit around the fire. We thanked him and explained that we would have to come empty handed, not a problem see you in a hour.

Showered and a short walk to stretch our legs we end up at norms. He’s already drunk and his mrs has gone to bed, they’ve been drinking all day. He wakes up Mary and lights the fire, we fill awkward but he hands us a beer each and insists that we sit down. He carries on drinking heavily and Mary finally comes out of their camper. She starts to drink again. They were friendly enough and fire was good, Mike and I had 2 beers each but the conversation was getting repetitive. They were drinking heavily and kept forgetting what was said. At this point Norm couldn’t stand up. He told us about his life, it’s not been easy for him. His 1st wife died of cancer after 31 years of marriage. He’s family don’t approve of Mary his 2nd wife because it’s to soon. His 27 year old daughter is a heroine addict that still lives with them but is always in trouble stealing.

Mary’s life wasn’t that much happier. 2 failed marriages and 3 kids. We thanked them for the beer wished them all the best and left. I truly do hope that their life turns around for them.

In the morning packed up early and left without paying.

Friday 17th May

Last day off for a while. We had a nice lay in and late breakfast omelette of course. We walked over rainbow bridge back into America to see the falls from that side.

Everyone bar 1 had told us that the view from Canada was better. Time to make up our own minds. I’m not sure. It’s spectacular both. From the American side you’re looking down, from the Canadian side you’re looking up. Both worth it so why choose.

The rest of the day was spent sorting out maps. We plan tomorrow’s route and total mileage. We had planned to follow the coast of the Erie lake on the Canadian side and cross over using the peace bridge back to the USA, but unfortunately the bridge is closed to cycles due to maintenance so back over rainbow bridge it is. We should do about 50 miles and the weather looks good.

Thursday 16th May

Day off the bike. The plan today is just relax, look around and do the washing. Normally on a cycle tour we can hand wash as we go,but the weather has been against us,so we’ve been left with damp smelly clothes. I’m positive that people were noticing! So a twenty minute walk to a launderette with a bag of washing it is. It felt really weird walking definitely uses different muscles to cycling.

Loaded up the machine nothing else to do but sit and wait. Exciting!

Washing washed and tumble dried. We went for breakfast, there was a all you can eat buffet nearby so we tried that. Food was good and yes we definitely over ate. Neither of us wanted coffee so asked for a jug of tap water, they refused. Said they didn’t serve tap water and we would have to buy bottled water. I thought this was strange I’ve never been refused tap water before. Not sure of the law in Canada but I’m pretty sure that that’s not right especially as they served alcohol. Anyway food was good and cheap so we probably will go back tomorrow with our own tap water!

Time to look around and be tourist

As expected the falls are spectacular. We took a boat to have a closer look. They give out ponchos and you most definitely need them. It’s cold and you get soaked but worth it.

As expected the falls are spectacular. We took a boat to have a closer look. They give out ponchos and you most definitely need them. It’s cold and you get soaked but worth it. We wondered around the Main Street for a bit. It’s like Disney tacky and touristy

So belly’s full, boat ride done we’ve been walking around for ages we decide to go back to the hotel and rest. The falls get illuminated at night so will come out to see later.

The street also comes alive party town.

Wednesday 15th May

Not a very good nights sleep. It’s funny how things play on your mind. So with the thought of if I move I’ll set of alarms and be surrounded by armed police in the middle of the night, or mr jobs worth decided to come back with reinforcements and move us. I ignored the need to pee and led as still as I could till morning.

True to our word we were all packed up and ready to go at 6am, he arrived just as we were cycling away so we waved him goodbye and he reluctantly wished us a good day.

We had at least 60 miles to do 1st stop breakfast. It was to early for the nearest diner so we ended up in a McDonald’s 14 miles up the road. Not ideal but it would have to do. Not knocking McDonald’s but you get more for your money at a diner.Eggmcmuffin and coffee later we get down to some serious miles. The weather is good.

It’s early so roads are empty there’s a slight incline but not too bad. But we have a head wind making going slower. We just keep pushing on it’s funny what rubbish goes through your mind when you’re cycling for over 8 hours, you drive yourself mad with that inner monologue!

Small things that keep us amused along the way. Keep going on. Ignore the discomfort there’s a shower and bed waiting for you. Tomorrow a day off and clean clothes. Onwards push push push shower and clean clothes push push push.

So with a couple of bum breaks and coffee stops along the way 70 miles in total we cross rainbow bridge into Canada. Bliss a couple of days off here to explore niagara and rest.

Tuesday 14th May

We had a comfortable night under the pavilion but for the fact of needing to go pee after all those beers! Packed up and headed to the nearest diner for breakfast about 5 miles. The usual omelette and home fries with toast but this time they added onion to the fries nothing like variety. The locals last night had told us about the 4 churches on the 4 corners of a cross roads the only place in America to have this apparently.

We were going that way anyway so promised to have a look unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo with all four in.

The days total mileage was 52 winding along the Canal path and hoping onto the road every so often when the path was to muddy

After we had completed our total days mileage we headed to a McDonald’s for a internet connection. We were 60 miles away from the Canadian border at niagara and there’s a travel lodge just over the border for £30 a night cheaper than campsites this side, so we decided to go there tomorrow. Just need to complete our online visas

Application completed time to find somewhere to put up our tent for the night. A old boy in McDonald’s started talking to us about our journey so we asked him for ideas. He told us about a park about 2miles away with pavilions in it and gave us directions. It was on our route so thanked him and set off.

We are the king and queen of pavilion camping! Tent up all snuggled in at 8:45 pm when a voice out side the tent told us we had to move the park was closed it wasn’t a campground and we had to go. We explained that we cannot find a campground and asked if he knew where there was one, he didn’t but we couldn’t stay there. We asked where were we supposed to go at this time of night and we had already cycled 50 miles, please can we stay here we’d be gone at 6am. He protested again and said we had to go and he had to lock the park gates. Ok but it will take us 30-40 minutes to pack away. This worked I guess he didn’t want to wait that long to go home, but he protested that we’d be locked in and that he’d be back at 6am we better be ready to go then. No problem we thanked him and settled back down. He left.

About 15 minutes later a car pulls up next to the tent, great he’s ether changed his mind or called for reinforcements. Same voice outside the tent. Hello I forget to say the building is alarmed and has motion sensors if you set it off the police will come. Great so now we’re to scared to move all night! He leaves.

Monday 13th 2019

Another wet start to the day,breakfast at the nearest diner was cheese omelette home fries and toast,after a good fuel up we hit the road ,47 wet miles we pulled into a campground we had earmarked,only to find it inches deep in mud,so no go there.pushing on we looked on google to find a small motel up the road ,reaching it found that to be closed. Pushing on again mike spotted a VFW (veterans of foreign wars ) building with a tank outside,next to it was a large pavilion,Mike went in to ask if ok to camp up there overnight ,the said no problem,then told us to come back in for a beer

Tent all up and changed out of our wet clothing we headed in to the bar,the people in there were intrigued to hear our story,they filled us up on free pizza and beer ,loving the America hospitality.

Monday 13th May

We managed to put up the tent last night in a pavilion so had a dry night. Packed it away in the morning and cycled in the rain to the nearest diner for breakfast. Cheese omelette, home fries (part boiled then fried potatoes) and toast. We seem to be living off this at the moment. It sets us up for another long cold wet cycle ride. We pull into a petrol station just missing Ervin pulling out. He never saw us I guess he is doing similar distances to us.

After a quick coffee break we get going the weather still not being kind. We do in total today 47miles keeping a look out for some shelter for the night. Luckily we spot a ” veteran of foreign wars” building with a large pavilion in its grounds. We go over to investigate and find that it has a bar in the building it’s open, so we go in and ask if it’s ok to put up our tent under it. No problem. So tent up, change into dry cloths and go for a beer in a warm bar.

In the warm bar there are 5 people and a barman we order 2 draft beers and then the locals start to quiz. We tell our tell and that’s it free beer and free pizza bonus so far people are so friendly.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Been wild camping the last couple of nights so no internet sorry.

Friday we only cycled 20 miles. We woke up in our nice warm motel room,looked out of the window to see rain and lots of it. Breakfast was included so we took our time over that, making the most of the unlimited buffet and filled our pockets with some plastic wrapped boiled eggs and sachets of mayo good protein packed snack thank you. So forever concerned over budget we decided no matter what we had to wild camp tonight. We left check out to the very last minute 10:59 am (had to be out 11am). And cycled into the rain.

We had earmarked a spot on the Canal that looked like it had a pavilion and picnic tables so headed there hoping for the best.

Success the pavilion was there and it had drinking water nearby and the added bonus of electricity. Luxury should be in for a good night.

Food was pot noodle and added eggs from breakfast.

Saturday morning awoke to a fairly nice day, packed up camp and looked over to the other side of the Canal and spotted another camper. We recognised the bike/ trailer combo as Ervin the guy we had chatted to a few days earlier. We crossed over to him to say hi. He never pays for campsites or motels but wild camps all the time. Can’t blame him it’s expensive but sometimes it’s worth it to get warm and shower! He shared with us places along the route that you could camp up and gave us he’s phone number as he’s mum lives along our route and would be happy for us to stay. We bid him farewell and head on 35 miles to do today. More empty roads .

After we had put in the miles we started to look for a place to wild camp. We pulled into a shop car park and decided to ask inside if they knew any good camping spots and they very kindly said we could put our tent up in their backyard.

Another comfortable nights sleep apart from the sound of wild dogs howling in the early hours.

Sunday morning. Not wanting to out stay our welcome we leave early. First stop a diner for breakfast,toast and omelette. I feel guilty not saying goodbye but being a Sunday and Mother’s Day over here I didn’t want to disturb them. We had decided to go 50 miles today it was cold and wet and after 2 nights of wild camping we wanted showers.

We stuck to roads today as the cycle way would of been too wet. Heads down keep pushing on cold,wet and miserable. 52 miles on into a campsite $40 so dear but the shower was hot and there’s WiFi. Also a bar to sit and keep warm in, drinking free refills of coffee putting of putting up the tent in the rain.