Posted by: amelia | August 16, 2010

U.S. Re-entry

By Amy

Just to clarify, our blog posts have been lagging a bit and folks are uploading them as they get a chance. The post for Milwaukee was a little late, and we’re now packing up to leave eastern Ontario, and enter Buffalo, N.Y. Hopefully our team of writers will continue backlogging stories as we have Internet access. In the meantime, I’ll give you a quick rundown as I wait for others to finish breakfast.

We crossed Lake Michigan in style- waking up at 4 a.m. to bike through sleepy Milwaukee and catch a super fast ferry that landed us in Muskegon, MI that afternoon. Michigan proved to be full of interesting farms and we shared some incredible meals- including those at Earth Keeper Farm, Three Roods Farm, and Domaine Bell Family Farm. We also traded a little work- harvested lettuce, chard, tomatoes, and squash at Earth Keeper, which was a nice switch from the weeding we’ve done almost everywhere else. For some reason, farmers don’t exactly jump at the chance to let eleven strangers handle their produce.

We entered Canada via a bridge near Port Huron, MI. Biking up to a huge bridge full of trucks is a pretty sweet feeling that gets significantly sweeter when the border patrol shuts down the entire bridge to allow us to bike over. Which is what happened. Usually they shuttle cyclists across in trucks but we have a pretty big group. Oh yeah- that’s how we roll.

Eastern Ontario was pretty flat and metropolitan, and we spent a rest day in London. We scored a house to ourselves through the generosity of Katrina of Downtown Yoga Studios, where we also hosted a screening of a film about migrant labor issues with Mexicans in Ontario’s produce industry. We met two young cyclists named Jodi and Monique, who biked out of town with us the following day. We rode to Plan B Farm just outside of Hamilton, where Mippy ended her cross-country tour by leaving with her parents for her home in Toronto. She had been planning to ride to Toronto from the beginning and we weren’t quite able to convince her to come the full way to Boston, mostly because of the logistics of being so close to home at this particular point in the trip. We each said our goodbyes to one of our most colorful and high-spirited riders, and have been musing about the change in group dynamics that comes with every new or lost rider.

From Plan B, we rode to the home of Spencer’s aunt and uncle who were gracious enough to host us on short notice (a farm we had lined up canceled due to illness). Our cyclists had a pretty long day- worked out to be around 80 miles, I think, and we’re looking at an 88-mile day today. I say “our cyclists” because I can’t really count myself in that- I spent most of yesterday either driving the van or lying in the backseat because I’ve had a nasty stomachache for the past few days. I suspect food poisoning of some sort because at least half of our group has felt it at some point or another but it seems to pass pretty quickly. I think I just got hit the worst, or I’m that much more of a pansy.

The riding today should be beautiful, though, (biking along the Erie Canal) and there were some scenic stretches of lake and rivertowns yesterday. I’m feeling better and I think most others are, too, and we’ve learned a lesson in keeping our water coolers/bottles super clean and maintaining a fresh food supply. We’ve been stressing these good practices along the way but it only takes one slip for sickness to set in.

Only ten or so days left and today we cross back into the U.S. It’s surreal to know that we’re so close to finishing and many of us aren’t quite ready to believe it. Places like southern Washington and Montana feel like forever ago, and it’s hard to imagine a change in life’s pace that doesn’t involve biking seventy miles a day.

Here’s to riding!


Responses

  1. Wow, I can’t believe there’s only ten more days! Ride on, my friend!

  2. I drove the last 7 km home, probably on an expired license.
    Yesterday I biked 10 Km (but really it was 20 because I went too far and overshot the turn. Weird how things repeat themselves (a.k.a. summit overshot)) to a family dinner while my parents took the car. All I could think about during dinner was you guys, and having dinner with you guys. I miss the silence.
    On the way back home I got caught in a thunderstorm. The streets were flooded and so were my clothes. It was also weird being the ONLY cyclist on the road.
    How strange it is to be ‘back.’ A warning to all.

  3. You all have got to be incredibly proud of yourselves -all your friends (new and old) and family think you are! I’m sure this journey’s end will be bittersweet…
    :-/


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