Day 38. Brantford to Niagara Falls Ontario. Today is the best day of the ride. Why? I got to see my daughters today. They drove to Niagara Falls to come see me. I'm so happy to see them and hear about their summer. We just finished having some lunch and we're just hanging out in the room for a little bit until some of the other Toronto folks get into town. I love seeing everyone. It's like getting your batteries recharged.
Today marked the end of the 5th leg of the ride. That's 5 legs in 6 weeks. Is it possible that it's only been 6 weeks since I rode out that rainy windy morning and dipped my wheels in the Pacific Ocean? No way! Not possible. Yet, that's when I did it. Only 7 more riding days to go. How can it be that we've ridden from the Pacific Ocean to Niagara Falls Ontario? Sitting here right now, writing this blog, I have to tell you it all seems like a dream to me. For the first time in 6 weeks, today feels like a normal day at home. I rode my bike, ate lunch, and now I'm hanging out with my daughters (and of course, The Duchess). It doesn't feel like any of the other days on the ride so far.
As advertised by ABB tour leader Mike, the leg we just finished was definitely the easiest leg of the 5 legs so far. That doesn't mean that it was easy by any definition. We did ride completely across Michigan and Southern Ontario in just 6 days after all. We rode over 500 miles in 6 days. But there was virtually no climbing and while we didn't seem to have any tailwinds, the crosswinds and headwinds we faced have been mild at worst. Here are my stats over the first 5 legs:
miles ridden – 3,145.2
average speed – 16.6MPH
My average speed seems to be dropping even though miles/leg, miles/day, and climbing are going down. I'm not sure if that's because we aren't moving with the same urgency anymore. Maybe it's because I'm simply not able to ride at the speed we have been riding at lately. We haven't been helped by the winds the past few weeks, especially compared to the first part of the ride.
My Duchess was the big star of the SAG today. She brought party sandwiches. Tuna, egg salad, PB&J, salmon, and smoked salmon pinwheels were the hit of the SAG. All the riders were happy to have a few sandwiches to keep them moving to Niagara Falls. I don't even know what to say about my Duchess. The Duchess took the time to make homemade egg salad, tuna salad, and salmon salad. She made really fancy smoked salmon pinwheels and made PB&J sandwiches. She carefully cut the crust off all the sandwiches and took her customary care in the creation of this most memorable snack in SAG history. It's not like she picked up the phone and merely ordered them from a local Toronto deli and then picked them up. No, not my wife. Only homemade party sandwiches are good enough for me and the other ABB riders. The Duchess insists on that. Really. I'm not making this up. Homemade is the only way for my Duchess.
So I have the afternoon off and a rest day tomorrow. I could use the rest. We have a lot of riding left to do, and 2 of the last 3 days are heavy climbing days through Vermont and New Hampshire. I'll enjoy the day with my kids and The Duchess, and I'll be at the load at 6:30AM Tuesday morning to start the last leg of the ride.
FYI – the DQ Blizzard, milk shake, and Snickers count is static today:
6 milk shakes
Now on to today's mail:
Allan and Esther from Collingwood write: "G
lad to see that the annoying Mark is back – welcome home." It's nice to be back, annoying The Duchess at the Major League level.