What a day! I accomplished quite a bit in 81 miles! Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).
I actually left my campsite shortly after 7:00, but I talked to Mark for another 30 minutes before I actually left the park. Still, 7:30 was a decent start time.
I thought I had 65 miles (70 tops) to do today. Obviously, I miscalculated somewhere. I didn't end up riding with Mark and Cameron as they weren't quite ready to go, and they were going to be stopping in Dunkirk at the lighthouse anyway. I needed to get going because, well you know, I had those 65 miles to do!
I pedaled steadily until I got to Silver Creek where I stopped at the library for wifi. Unfortunately, their wifi was password protected, and the library wasn't open yet. However, my cellphone data cycle clicked over today, so I'm back to being able to use my phone as a hotspot.
I stopped once more at a grocery store at the edge of Silver Creek to resupply. It was one of those Save A lot stores. I got two bananas, a package of tortillas, a box of hot cocoa, and a box of cookies for $6.42. Pretty cheap!
I came to a part of the route where I probably could have stayed on Hwy 5, and cut a couple of miles off, but since I was making pretty good time with a bit of a tailwind, I decided to stick to the route. It was quieter, and more along the lake.
When I returned to Hwy 5, I again had an option to cut, perhaps, a substantial number of miles by staying on the Hwy, and skipping Hamburg and Orchard Park (that's what Mark and Cameron were going to do). Again, I chose to stay on the route.
In Hamburg I had done around 45 miles, and really needed a break and some food. I had my eye out for a Subway because I hadn't checked of a New York Subway yet. I didn't see one in the vicinity, so I went to a place called Mary and John's at 1:00 it was pretty busy--always a good sign. I had a mandarin chicken wrap. It had chicken, pecans, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, greens, and a honey lime dressing. It was delicious! I also drank about a quart of Dr. Pepper (that's actually the first soda I've had in several days).
Refueled, I rode to Orchard Park where I switched to Map number 10. Although it is a separate city, it really just seems to be a suburb of Buffalo. It was pretty heavy duty urban riding the rest of the way.
I was riding on Hwy 277, keeping my eyes peeled for a Subway (it counts even if I just get cookies). Finally, I spied one! I pulled in and got my cookies. New York Subway--Check! I came out and got back on the bike. I was looking for a right turn onto a street called Ridge, then a left on Seneca. I came to the next intersection, and it was Seneca. What??? I pulled out my phone. Apparently, the magnetic pull of Subway was enough to cause me to miss a turn (that and there was just a shitload of traffic and major intersections). No worries, though, I needed to be on Seneca anyway, I just got to it a different way.
Now I really was coming into Buffalo. There was a detail map which was great except instead of reading it from left to right (like all the other map panels), this one went right to left. So I made one small wrong turn, but only went a block before turning around. There was also a ton of people with some big event happening. It was at the Navel Museum. Unfortunately, I took no photos.
I found the the bike path, and continued my way toward the Peace Bridge that I would take to cross into Canada. Fortunately, there were signs directing bicycles and pedestrians. I crossed the bridge on the sidewalk, looped around, and got to Customs. The ACA map said to get into the farthest right open lane. There were a ton of cars in line, but I just took cuts, and rode to the front of the line. Once through Customs, I again followed the signs to get to Niagra Blvd.
|Bike Path toward the bridge|
|Last of Lake Erie|
|Not sure what this is|
|Almost to Canada|
According to the map, I had 9 more miles to get to Riverside Campground. I didn't look to see where I was mileage wise after I crossed the bridge, but if it was just 9 miles to the campground, they were the longest 9 miles I've ever ridden! I suppose it didn't help that I was riding on the Niagra Recreational Trail which was not the smoothest pavement. Finally, I came to a restaurant. It was on my map, and the campground was supposed to be in the same vicinity. I didn't see any campground, so I stopped and asked the waitress. She Googled it for me, and said it was just a bit further. It was, and I rolled in at 5:45. Before I left home, I got some Canadian currency. This place cost $42.75 (Canadian)! I don't know what the exchange rate is right now, but that sure seems expensive!
|Niagra Recreational Trail|
Anyway, like I said, it was 81 miles. That now is my longest day on this tour. Kinda hoping it remains the longest day! Oh, not only did I check off another Subway, but I can now check off another Canadian Province--Ontario!