Day 40 - Port Huron MI to London ON
Mileage: 84 miles
Weather: Upper 50s to start. Mid 80s to end. Winds out of the NNE.
Highlights of the day:
We crossed into Canada today over the Blue Water Bridge. It’s quite the event complete with 37 riders, 3 vans with drivers, and one staff member taking pictures out the back of the mechanics van. They close down the eastbound side of the bridge for us, stopping all auto and truck traffic. Up and over the bridge and then it’s time for Canadian Customs. Behave, take this seriously, and no jokes, please. The Canadian customs officers were all business. They processed all 41 of us and went through all 3 vans & 2 trailers very efficiently. It went very smoothly thanks to the efforts of the bridge authorities (both Canadian and US) and the Canadian Border Service Agency. We thanked them all and continued our way east.
Once in Canada, we had a bit of a challenge getting out of Sarnia. Less than 4 miles into the ride, there was construction. The road was down to gravel but the construction workers let the riders go through as long as they paid heed to the workers & their equipment. Back on the road, we went another 4 miles to a bridge out & road closed. This was one we ran into last year and hoped it would be finished. No such luck. With last year’s knowledge of the detour options, arrows were down quickly. No riders lost they way on our detour around the Sarnia Chris Hadfield International Airport. (Pausing for a moment to celebrate…) Back on route, our next potential challenges were the loooong trains that often stop & block crossings. Last year we had far too much fun getting the riders and vans on the other side of the tracks because of all the trains. This year? No issues. Perhaps it’s because we got through town about 30 minutes early than 2018. 🤔 A couple staff members cheered when we crossed the tracks. The riders looked at them quizzically and road on. We successfully “Escaped from Sarnia!” 🎉 🎉
Canadian farms don’t look all that different from the American ones. We saw corn and soy beans. We saw amber waves of grain, Canadian-style. There were some dark leafy root veggies as well but we didn’t get close enough to identify them. We did see many and sensed even more cows, in an olfactory kind of way. Lots of long buildings with fans. Based on our vast bovine-related experience, our best guess is we were passing sizable dairy farms.
Our food find du jour was in the town of Delaware. BJ’s Country Market did very well by our riders (and staff…). Smoked brisket. Broccoli salad with cheese and bacon. Sandwiches. Pastries. Ice cream. It was all good and all consumed efficiently with great enjoyment.
Roads were lovely and smooth, for the most part or except when it really wasn’t. Terrain was flat to lightly rolling, for the most part. Wind was either very light or crossing, for the most part. It was a relatively fast day for just about everyone. It gave anyone who was interested plenty of time to check out the bike shop and outdoor co-op for Canadian jerseys. Day 1 in Canada complete!