Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cambridge Ontario - Wasaga, Sudbury and Back

I had a 1:00 PM appointment at J&R Cycle on Highway 26 between Stayner and Wasaga Beach to get a new Metzeler ME880 tire installed and, if necessary, replace the front brake pads.

I left Sandy and Heather cleaning guinea pig habitat at about 10:00 and rode up Highway 24. Remembering the construction on Highway 7 in Guelph, I took a detour around the north side of town on Highway 6. I found that Highway 6 and Speedvale Drive were also under heavy construction. So much for that bright idea. Leaving Guelph, I continued on 24 to Erin.

I had left myself extra time to ride some of the fun roads so, in Erin, I left 24 and headed for the Forks of the Credit Road. Passing through Belfountaine, the entrance to one of the better riding roads in this area, Meat Loaf came on the radio singing Paradise by the Dashboard Light and I prepared to have some fun. Then, around the next corner, there it was. Road Closed to Through Traffic. Bummer. I sadly turned around, got out my map atlas and found a side road to take me back to Highway 24.

So that all would not be lost, I took 24 to Caledon and then went north of Orangeville on Highway 10 where I followed the Hockley Road through the valley to Airport Road. The run through the Hockley Valley is pleasant and has some winds to it. From there, it was a straight shot up Airport Road to J&R.

John and Rhonda Broderick (above) own J&R Cycle, a small shop selling Honda, Triumph and Victory. They both greeted me as I arrived and John took Quicksilver back to the shop to get to work. Before long, I joined him and helped as we changed the oil, pulled the wheel and installed the new tire. The brake pads had about 25% left, but we changed them anyway and I wrapped the old pads up to carry as spares. Then John took it out for a test ride. I warned him to look out for the wobble but, when he came back, he said the wobble wasn't there. After settling up, I headed out and found he was right. Thinking back, the wobble started when we put the Dunlop Elite 3 tires on in the spring. Now, the old bike was back and I was happy.

I continued on to Sudbury, breaking my 20 Km over the limit rule most of the way. You might wonder why I was headed north again. I've heard on the radio that less than 4% of the eligible Canadian population donates blood. I am one of the 4% and my next donation day was Thursday. I skipped donating many years and then, after I got back to it, I was deferred for a number of years due to blood pressure issues. Now that my BP meds aren't a problem, I give every 56 days or as soon after as I am in town. This year I have a chance to get in seven donations (topping my previous best of six) and I intend to succeed. I could get more in as a plasma pherisis donor, but they won't let me since my O-Negative blood is universal and is more valuable as whole blood. For anyone who hasn't gotten around to giving and is eligible to, I urge you to give it some serious thought. Blood is the gift of life.

Anyway, I got to Sudbury with a smile and without incident, stopped at Harvey's for a burger to go and went home for a quiet evening. One very good thing was that the upper headset cord I had ordered from Calgary was in so Sandy and I would both have unbroken music for the rest of the trip.

Thursday morning, I headed down to the blood clinic for 10:00. Donna, the lady who does the bookings, signed me in and we talked about the trip she and her husband had taken on their bike to the NASCAR race in New Hampshire. The lady who tested my blood iron levels had done the trip as well. Ray, the lady volunteer who greets donors and sees they get to the right places, gave me a hug and a nurse put me through the involved screening process. In the chair, Nathalie stuck me expertly and soon it was all over except for the juice and the donuts. I was surprised to see that a letter I had sent to the Editor of the Sudbury Star on how I thought they could better fix our atrocious roads made the Letter of the Day, especially since I only E-mailed it in on Monday.

From the clinic, I headed directly south. Stopping at a convenience store on the way out of town, I saw Sid Segsworth, the retired manager of Inco's Copper Cliff Smelter. He is looking really well and says he has been golfing a lot. Sid is a very good golfer and was also a pretty damn good manager.

Again I exceeded my self imposed speed limits. I've been careful because, after the one speeding ticket last year, I don't want a second one to screw up my good insurance rates. But the day was nice, the traffic was light and I didn't really care. Today, I was having fun.

At former (damn Mike Harris) Highway 89, I stopped for a McDonald's sandwich. On the way out, I ran into Claudio Bertolli, a retired Italian teacher from the Soo. I spoke with him last month at the Bawating Reunion. Fancy running into him twice after not seeing him for 36 years.

I went through Cookstown to a sideroad around Nottawasaga, down Tottenham Road and then across County 1 to Loretto and back through the Hockley Valley. At Orangeville, since I wasn't going through Guelph construction again, I continued around town on Dufferin 16 and then took Dufferin 3 south through Marsville to Fergus. I even went down through Elora, not taking the short cut, and came into Cambridge the back way. It was another good ride.

We had a quiet evening after packing Heather's car with the gear we would be taking to the rally site tomorrow.

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