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Coast to coast by recumbent bicycle

Strathroy ON to Long Point ON

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Lake Erie

Expenses($ US)

The rain cleared up. Now it's hot, hazy, and humid. Winds are still out of the East. Rode the first 40 miles on Ontario highways: 81 south, 2 east, then 4 south with a brief detour into St. Thomas to replace the rear deraileur cable. It's started to shred and will snap anytime. The repairman grabbed the shredded cable with his bare hands. In and out quickly with little chitchat. "We don't see many recumbent bicycles. These are touring bikes. Around here the roads are shitty and there's nowhere to go." Riding back to the highway, I had the wind at my back. It was five minutes of bliss.

Rode Ontario 4 nearly to the end. Switched on to county highways parallel to Lake Erie: Elgin 24 then 42, which continues into the Haldimand-Norfolk Region. Ran into two cross-country cyclists in Port Burwell: Diana and Linda. They started in Florence, Oregon a week after I did and are headed home to Maine. Saw an army of Harley riders headed in the opposite direction. They're all going to be deaf by the time they reach Sturgis. Loud pipes everywhere and none of them were wearing hearing protection. I've seen two or three farmers today with noise-reducing headphones. "Loud pipes save lives." "Say what?"

Detoured south on Ontario Highway 59 to find lodging at Long Point: a thumb of sand nearly 20 miles long that sticks out into Lake Erie. There's a cottage community at the joint, but the remainder is national park. Looks full up. I find a small resort with the vacancy sign on. "All we have left is a cabin. If you don't use the second bedroom, I'll let you have it for the price of a single." No problem there. The town is unusually crowded because of a bass fishing ordeal. "It's either feast or famine out here." We're practically in the lake and yet the toilets are ultra-low flow. There's nowhere for the sewage to go. Must be less than three feet above lake level. A small increase and the whole place will be underwater. The tap water is super-chlorinated.

I head down to the national park for the beach and a quick swim in Lake Erie. The water is warm and shallow for a long distance. Quite a nice beach. You have to climb over the sand dunes to get to it. Stopped at a hamburger stand. One high-school-aged girl in a shack by the side of the road. She looked like a prisoner.

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