Day 39 Rest Day in Sault Ste. Marie

High tech camping

High tech camping

Somehow a rest day doesn’t truly seem like a rest day if you are busy doing things most of the day. What it really means is a day off from riding. A day for one’s butt to recover a bit.

That said, I did sleep in until about 8:00 this morning. I then stayed in bed until nearly 9:00 writing my blog. The fact is that I hadn’t written much since Thunder Bay so had lots of catch up to do. Normally I write my daily posts each evening while things are still fresh in my mind. Then when I have Internet access I upload the pictures and publish my post. This week I was in bed, asleep, most nights shortly after 8:00 pm. While normally I am in my tent around 9:00 I am often working on my blog and don’t go to sleep until after 10:00. The result has been a push last night and this morning to get my posts for the past week completed. Unfortunately that meant a lot of little details got forgotten.

This last leg, from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie has been a very tough both physically and emotionally. We have battled long mileage days, headwinds, rain, cold, wet tents and gear, and fatigue all while grieving the loss of Bob and Irene. Several days felt like we were riding in late October rather than July!

I suspect that in the first couple of days when emotions were running high there were likely a few riders contemplating the tough question whether to continue or not. It appears that everyone, with one exception, is continuing on. The exception, Fred, who was only going to ride as far as Tottenham, left for reasons of his own several days ago. I think most of us who are riding to St. John’s now feel it is important to finish for Bob and Irene.

Perhaps the best part of the week was Saturday afternoon when the sun shone through as we rode into Pancake Bay. You could feel the spirits lifting after two and a half long days of riding in the rain. It was wonderful to see smiling faces and laughter returning to our group. That really seemed to be a turning point in the week.

OK so back to this morning. When I finally emerged from my tent around 9:00 I had some cereal and coffee then set off for the laundromat about a kilometre away. While my clothes washed and dried I continued updating my blog. On the wall in the laundromat was a map of Canada. It was amazing to see how far we have come.

Returning to camp with clean dry clothes it was time to turn my attention to my bike.

Alain working on his bike

Alain working on his bike

Being halfway through the trip it was high time to replace my chain. My rear brake pads needed replacing as well. And of course the routine bike cleaning needed doing. With the old chain off it was easier to clean the gears and dérailleur pulleys. Several days of riding in rain and grit along with extra lubricating of the chain because of the rain made for lots of gunk that needed to be cleaned off. The new chain, when I put it on, looked so clean and shiny compared to the old one.

Shiny new chain

Shiny new chain

Installing the new brake pads on the rear wheel didn’t go quite as smoothly. The new pads rubbed the rim on one side. I tried a couple of things which didn’t really make a difference. Part of the problem seemed to be that my rear wheel had a bit of a wow in it. Dan was kind enough to true the wheel for me and that seemed to pretty much rectify the problem. I took my bike for a test ride and all seemed to be fine.

By mid afternoon I was ready to go find a place with better WiFi than the campground. I set off in search of a Tim Hortons but came across a McDonalds first. A hamburger and fries and about 1.5 hours later I had my pictures uploaded and had my posts up to the end of yesterday published. It felt good to have it up-to-date again.

Back at camp pizza had been ordered. Before I left I had asked to be included in the order. When the pizza eventually arrived it was very good. There was lots of chatter and laughter as we ate which was good to see.

Pizza time

Pizza time

As soon as the sun goes down it gets cold quite quickly. I retreated to my trusty little tent. My tent provides shelter, my sleeping bag provides warmth and together they provide comfort.

And with that said I am going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is another long ride.

Total distance to date: 4187 km
PBJ sandwiches consumed: 61

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One Response to Day 39 Rest Day in Sault Ste. Marie

  1. James says:

    Good to see you and the group are back into the swing of it Neil. Such a tragedy but tough times tend to bring people closer together, which I’m sure you are all experiencing. Hope the sun stays out a bit for you in the coming days. Take care and ride safe!

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