July 18, 2018
I spent a little longer than I had anticipated at home making sure that I had taken care of all of the important things before I leave, so I didn’t get going until 9 am.
I had installed a new seat on my bicycle that is “ supposed “ to make the ride much more comfortable. Although I had tried to take along only the necessities, I still had too much stuff. I need my tent, sleeping bag and ground sheet for sleeping, my computer for journalling, my mobile phone for the GPS and to keep in contact, my solar charger for charging the electronics, a pair of shoes, bandaids in case of injury, my fishing pole ( just in case I get the opportunity to fish ), some clothes so I don’t chase everyone away and a few toiletries. I didn’t bring any heavy clothes, a jacket or my razor, but the “ pannier’s “ (saddlebags) are still too heavy and that makes it a little more difficult to ride. I should have gotten some bags for the front and evened out the weight distribution. The front of the bike is very light and the back always wants to tip over.
I left the vineyards of Niagara and rode to the bicycle path along the east side of the Welland Canal starting at “ Homer Bridge “. This is the first time I have ridden along the bicycle path that follows the length of the canal and anyone that has been on it, knows that it is a very nice ride. You get a good view of the canal and little or no interaction with cars.
Just south of the Homer Bridge is the The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre as well as the National Lacrosse Museum, which is definitely worth seeing. Lock #3 which is next to the museum has a nice viewing platforms that visitors can have a closeup view of the lock in action, whenever a boat comes through.
When I reached the spot where the Allenburg bridge used to be, I watched the small ferry taking people back and forth across the canal. The bridge was never rebuilt after it was damaged by a ship many years ago and the ferry is the only option for crossing the canal at this point.
When I reached the Glendale bridge, it was being closed for the day so I was able to easily cross the street, but when I turned back on to the path, there was a large bump in the entrance from the road to the path and the bungie cord holding my right saddlebag stretched just enough to loosen it, allowing it to fall to the ground. Everything was so tightly packed that I had to unpack some of the gear to get the bag back on the bike. Note to file – watch out for potholes and bumps!
The bike path at the south end of the canal is very close to the abandoned section of the canal and this area of the canal is used by several of the rowing clubs for practicing and by locals for water sports.
Shortly after I passed through Welland my GPS had found a route that was 9 minutes faster so I decided to try it. It ended up being an abandoned overgrown road and I quickly was surrounded by horse flies that were trying to pick me up and carry me away.
The ” road ” continued to get narrower and overgrown with large potholes, so that I had to walk my bike for a short section. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough and after floundering about for a bit, I gave up on the GPS and found my own way along a paved road. It was a little longer but much better for riding.
It wasn’t much later that I arrived in Port Colborne and I headed along the regional road 3, also known as Lakeshore road. I knew that the Gabriels has a cottage in the Belleview Beach area and I stopped by. Its a lovely cottage and it has a view of the lake, however, when I got there, no one was there.
I talked with them on the phone and they suggested I go to the Hippos Restaurant that was about 13 km away. I started out that way but I was hungry and I found the Hungry Putter about 6 km away so I stopped there and had a twisted chicken club sandwich and a milkshake. They were both very good. This little eatery has high ratings and I would recommend it for a simple meal.
After lunch, I continued riding west and it was about 30 minutes later that I rode by the Hippo’s Lake Erie Perch Restaurant and I saw a lot of people there, but I wasn’t hungry at that time so I continued on my journey.
I was mid afternoon and I decided to find a place to stay for the night, so I opted to check the Rock Point Provincial Park. I arrived at about 3 pm, checked in. I asked the lady at the checkin counter regarding restaurants and she suggested Hippos, but I told her that I had already ridden 75 km and I was too tired to ride back the 8 km ( 25 min ) so I though I would skip a meal. After setting up my campsite, I took a shower and rested for a few hours, at which point I was getting a little hungry. In fact, at 6:30 I was hungry enough to ride back to Hippo’s restaurant get a perch dinner and another milkshake.
There was long a long lineup of people and it took me about 30 minutes to get my perch but it was good, even though it was a little greasier than I like.
By the time got back to the camp it was 8:30 pm and although there wasn’t any wifi in the campsite I started writing my journal until it got dark and the mosquitos came out.
Distance travelled: 91 km ( including the ride back back to Hippo’s restaurant )
Riding Time: 5 hrs 20 min
Temperature: ~ 25 C ( 77 F ), sunny to partly cloudy.
Accommodations: Rock Point Provincial Park campsite ( $41 )