July 25, 2018
After breakfast, I packed by bags and headed to the hardware store to find some screws to fix the broken saddle bag. I found the store, which was a very small home hardware store in a renovated house. As I parked my bike, a customer who had pulled up in a car directed me to the entrance in the back. The lady behind the counter directed me to the area where the screws were and helped me select a box of screws that were the same length and diameter of the rivets that had secured the mounting bracket to the bag. When I got back to the bike, I found the lady that had directed me into the store, watching my bike. She informed me that I shouldn’t leave my bike unattended or at least park it next to the entrance or it might end up disappearing. I thanked her for watching it for me and I rode the short distance to the Smith Cycle and More bicycle shop to have my wheel repaired.
When I got to the bicycle shop, they weren’t open yet, so I started the repairs on the saddlebag while I waited. When the store opened, they replaced the spoke and the tube ( because the tube ” blew ” when he tried to replace the spoke ) on my bike, while I finished the repair to the saddlebag. The technician informed me that I should carry spokes with me because it is one of the most common things to break on a bike and if one spoke breaks, there are probably a few more that will break soon, due to fatigue, so I bought 3 new spokes to take with me. Before I left, he recommended a route to take towards Sarnia.
At 10:45, with the bike rolling smoothly, I headed towards Sarnia, with the intention of riding along the scenic St Clair River after I reached Wallaceburg. There was a headwind, so I was making slower progress than usual and when I reached Road 29, I decided to go West and continue my route on Highway 40. I had only gone a short distance when I heard that ” pop ” again and when I looked at my rear tire, I saw the all to familiar wobble. With the tire rubbing against the brake pads, my progress became slower, so much so that I was having trouble maintaining half the normal speed of the other days and I still had at least 66 km (40 miles) to get to Sarnia. When I reached highway 40, I stopped to see if I should replace the spoke, but it would require the removal of the gears to get access to the spoke insert so I decided to take the most direct route to Sarnia and have it repaired the following day.
When I finally reached Wallaceburg, it was 1 pm, so I stopped at the Black Goose Grill located on the edge of the river running through the town and had yellow perch for lunch on the patio overlooking the river.
From Wallaceburg, I slowly headed north on highway 31 to Sarnia. With the headwind it seemed like a long ride from Wallaceburg and I was conserving the little water I had but I was getting extremely thirsty due to the heat. When I finally reached the stop in Lucasville there was an Esso station where I drank an ” Monster Java ” energy drink, a large Gatorade and took a bottle of water with me.
I hadn’t checked the directions clearly and I rode east without knowing it and I was 5 km down the road before I realized that I was going the wrong direction, so I rode back and headed north again. It was on this route that I saw a farm I hadn’t seen before.
This solar farm that stretched for at least a mile. Apparently there are quite a few solar farms in the area.
I was following the google map on my phone and at one point, I had trouble following the directions because I didn’t realize that it was directing me to a bike trail and I rode in a zigzag pattern until I understood where I was supposed to go.
I finally arrived at my destination, the home of Sauro and Marianna DiGiacomi. Sauro and I went to University together and I have known them for 40 years.
I will be staying in Sarnia for at least a day to have the wheel fixed. If all goes well, I plan on leaving on Friday and heading towards Grand Bend.
Day 8 – Chatham to Sarnia
Distance Travelled: 98 km
Travel Time: 6 hrs
Conditions: 22 – 28 C ( 72 – 82 F ) mostly sunny and hot with a headwind.