It's Tuesday and I'm now sitting at Ben LaHaise's place in Toronto, happily making use of his computer. I have to say this man has the sexiest computer I have ever seen. The monitor is an insanely huge LCD that's so big I actually had to drag the window in which I'm typing closer to myself to see it better.
My trips over the past few days have been good, although tiring and semi-eventful. On Sunday, after I departed Mom's place and headed out for the MacDonald residence, I got a little bit lost finding my way from county road twelve to the 509. I inadvertently took a detour that had me running parallel to it instead of towards it. Eventually I realized the error of my ways and turned around, taking the appropriate turn onto a back road whose number currently eludes me. Eventually I got there though, and ate very well. I have to say those two have some of the cutest kids in town. Their oldest son, Hugh, who is just over two years old, could charm the habit off a nun. I departed their place the next morning feeling well fed, energetic, and ready to tackle the road
This brings us to the 15th, when I tackled highway seven toward Peterborough. This is a very busy highway and I would not recommend it to an inexperienced rider. although large portions of it have a paved area about two feet wide to the right of the rightmost lane, there are many portions that do not. I actually pulled off onto the shoulder at one point, when there were fleets of large trucks aproaching me from both ahead and behind.
The traffic didn't really bother me much though, as I take the eastern end of that highway all the time. My trip took a down turn just before I hit Kaladar, as one of the spokes on my rear wheel broke. This wheel has a bit of history for that, and I wasn't too worried. Although this would slow me down for a while, it would not leave me completely screwed, as I had brought spare spokes with me and the tools required to replace them. That is what I thought at least. After several minutes of fiddle-farting around with the casette (the gears on the bike, which I need to remove in order to replace this spoke), I realized that I was missing a necessary tool. I did not have a small haxagonal device that holds on to the casette as I rotate the sprockets. Apparently this tool is on vacation too, happily sitting on a shelf in my room in Ottawa. I managed to true the wheel sideways at least, meaning that it would not be rubbing the brakes, and had a bumpy ride the rest of the way to Peterborough.
Upon arriving in Peterborough, I stopped at the first sign of a semi comfortable place to sleep, in this case a "Best Western" hotel. I have to say that, as much as I did not want to pay a lot of money for the night, it was very nice to sleep on a big, fluffy, queen-sized bed. I woke up feeling very refreshed and managed to put down enough high-energy food that I was almost shaking before I left.
And that brings us up to my trip today, from Peterborough to Toronto. My initial plan was to take the 115 from Peterborough south until I hit the 4 west, which goes right through Toronto. I could see by the map that the 115 is a separate lane, heavy-traffic highway, and was very carefully watching to see if there were any "no bicycle" signs. I saw none, and as far as I know it's only 400's and otherwise marked roads that are closed to bicycles in Ontario. So, not having seen anything to dictate otherwise, I headed on down that highway, and moved quite quickly too. The lanes are wide and there is always a good chunk of asphalt to the right of the outside lane, leaving enough room for vehicles to get around you. I ran into problems just before reaching highway 35, which runs up north towards Lindsay. A construction zone had decided to impose itself at that point, narrowing the road down to one lane. One rough, messy construction lane that is not wide enough to share between a bicycle and even a small automobile. One moron squeezed past me and damn near ran me off the road, at which point I took the center of the lane and went as fast as I could. Thankfully, this was on a sharp downhill slope and the next exit was near the bottom of that hill. Also since the speed limit had been reduced to 80 km/h, I wasn't going too horribly slow relative to the traffic (between 55 and 65 km/h). The real kicker though, is that once I got off the exit lane, and looked at it's corresponding entrance lane, I could clearly see one of the aforementioned "no bicycle" signs.
This of course left me to plot another course into town. Which I managed to do. It was in fact very nice, the traffic was quite light compared to the 115, and a very large portion of the trip was downhill. Eventually I got down to the #4 (or Taunton road), and was back on course.
The rest of this ride was not too bad. another one of my spokes broke when I passed through Oshawa, and the traffic in Toronto is nasty (almost as bad as the hills). I'm here now though, feeling fresh, clean and very hungry. On that note, I'll end my writing here and go eat out somewhere.