“Reached Jaffa Rd. @ 2 p.m., then biked uphill to Pleasant Valley Rd. (saw Golden Eagles on motorcycle 5 years ago).”
CHAPTER THREE - About motorcycles and ointment
I left my motorcycle in storage this year so that I didn’t have to pay to insure it because I’m trying to save money for an important trip to Scotland. (A museum, built after World War II and dedicated to soldiers, sailors and airmen involved in Combined Operations (e.g., my father, a member of RCNVR) is found in Inverary).
Some will soon say, however, my ability to save money is a lot like my ability to pack light, i.e., it’s a work in progress, because the $700 I saved on insurance this year I used to purchase the Miele bicycle I rode to Port Bruce, as well as the CCM trailer I hauled behind it.
Thanks to recent purchases of bicycle accessories I’m actually in the hole. However, if I sell my motorcycle next spring I’ll be way ahead in the savings department. That is, if I sell it. (“Scotland, here I come?”)
I thought about my motorcycle a lot during the bicycle trip. Every time I felt the trailer tug at the back of the bike - almost every ten seconds, especially often on uphills - I thought about how much easier were past camping trips when I strapped all my gear to the back of a Suzuki or Yamaha.
[“My motorcycle and heavy load in Halifax, 2010”]
Every time I felt the sharp strain of a leg muscle or the dull ache of my hinder parts I thought of the lovely 1100cc Yamaha Virago sitting in storage. Every time I saw another hill - short, medium, long; they were everywhere - I thought of my motorcycle’s reliable motor.
I asked myself several times, “What was I thinking?”
[“It seems all uphill to Pleasant Valley Rd.”]
But for every uphill there is a downhill (never of equal length in my mind) and for every negative thought there is a positive.
For example, after passing Jaffa Road, two miles north of the historic village of Sparta, I climbed - slowly, on legs beginning to cramp - toward Pleasant Valley Road and recalled the moment several years ago when two golden eagles passed silently over my shoulder while I motorcycled toward the narrow bridge at the base of Pleasant Valley. I sensed the presence of the gliding eagles before I saw their shadow upon the ground. Hair raised upon the back of my neck. It seemed the sky grew dark, and when I lifted my head I saw the pair pass above me 15 feet away. Though I shivered for a few seconds at the thought of them carrying me easily (Maybe not ‘easily’. I do weigh a lot more than a baby sheep.) to some distant aerie for lunch, I was happy to be afforded such a good look at such rare and majestic birds.
And during this bicycle trip I wrote the following about Pleasant Valley Rd.:
(It) may lead to a pleasant valley but it felt great, for the most part, to coast easily into Sparta on the downhill side.
I suppose I said “for the most part” because my legs were tired and my rear end was numb. I took great pleasure in standing up on the pedals and airing out my shorts for half a mile. And thank goodness one can buy ice cream at Sparta’s one gas station.
[“New York Cherry Cheesescake - all for me!!]
Had the gas station sold soothing ointments I would have sat down in a bucket of their best, but the cold ice cream helped me forget my aches and pains for a few minutes at least. As well, the short break set me up nicely for my last hour of pedaling for the day. I was on Dexter Line inside of 20 minutes and soon thereafter snapped my first views of Lake Erie.
And it wasn’t long before I flew down a steep hill into Port Bruce to receive an unexpectedly cold welcome to my campsite for the weekend.
Please join me here again for more ‘Discovering the World’ and ‘Photos from along the way’.
[Photos by G.Harrison]
Please click here to read Chapters 1 and 2