Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cyclostravaganza 2007, Day 7: Shelburne NS to Summerville NS (thence to Chester NS)

(Sable River, NS: the foam at the river's top was moving fast, but the surface was mirror-smooth.)

The rain overnight was very, very heavy. There was some infiltration at the edges of my tent. I was glad to have bought paper-towels the night before, as they helped with drying things out. I took down my tent and hung it between two trees to dry. It took me a long time to get everything packed up and to get going - it was probably 11am by the time I got going. By this time, breakfast was but a distant memory.

I stopped at a Subway restaurant in an Irving gas station on the edge of town for lunch. I was chatting with some touring motorcyclists, comparing and contrasting our two-wheeled travels, when they pointed out I had a flat tire. This was the second flat on this trip; both were on the front tire whose tread pattern seemed perfectly designed to trap shrapnel. On the bright side of things, if you had to choose the place where you'd get a flat tire, a gas station is one of the better places. After I fixed the flat tire, my brake decided it would rub - and I was pleased as punch with myself when I managed to fix that, all my previous attempts at brake adjustment having done nothing but make things worse.

On the downside it was now very late, some time between 1pm and 2pm. I called Gretchen and asked about possibly exercising a get-out-of-jail-free card later that afternoon, since at this point it would be nearly impossible to make it to my goal of Chester, some 160km away, solely by bike power.

I cycled east, mainly on route 103. There were a few stretches where I would have had the option to take the old road (#3) but I was pressed for time. In most places, the 103 was the only option. Much of the ride was inland, but there were occasional glimpses of the ocean, and some very nice bays and coves. It was a beautiful day, nice and warm, sunny, and the sea was a gorgeous azure blue. While inland, there were many brooks and rivers. Some were rocky and rapid, some were wide and broad (as at Sable River, pictured at the top of this posting and just below), but all were very dark-coloured, somewhere between the colour of coffee and that of tea.

I made it as far as Summerville, exit 20, where Gretchen's husband Bruce met me on the highway. We loaded my bike into his big plush vehicle, and we drove back to Chester NS, about 100km away.

We had fish and chips for supper at Bruce and Gretchen's cottage. Later that night, the sunset over the water was stunning. It was great to sleep in a real bed again, and to be among friends who spoiled me.

(Chester NS as seen from the deck of Bruce and Gretchen's cottage.)

MXS 43.7
AVS 19.9
DST 56.93
TM 2:51:14

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