Sunday, September 20, 2009

Camp Dorset Ride

Terry called last night to see if I was up for a ride today. The run to Parry Sound had put me in the the mood so I said sure. I was at the Levesque Tim's having a B.E.L.T bagel when Terry rolled in about 8:45 AM. We decided to head for Camp Dorset and see if any of our friends attending the Ride For Dialysis were still there.

I need to say a word about riding with Terry. We met back in 1981, I think, and spent the next few years, along with Richard (Batman) attending rallies all around Ontario and, occasionally, across the country. We were members of the old Nickel Riders Motorcycle Club, but the three of us often ended up riding together. Terry led, Richard was second and I ran third, all moving as one unit, always at a high rate of speed.

Over the years, we didn't ride together as much. Richard left the club scene and, although he lives in my subdivision, I don't see him often. Terry has slowed down a bit but I have slowed down more. It is nice, once in a while, to ride with him alone. We can capture some of the spirit of the old days, riding fast with style.

Although Terry is slower than the old days, he still moves right along. We started south on Highway 69 at a steady 118 KPH, not quite 30 over the limit. We met an unmarked OPP car south of Rock Lake but he didn't seem to mind our speed, or perhaps he was just traveling. These days, most cars have slowed down up here as well, but today we got behind a Dodge Caliber who was moving at our speed. Then, near the French, we connected with a Jeep moving a bit faster and we picked up the pace. My one concern is to watch that we don't exceed 140 KPH (50 over) because, at that speed, the police seize your licence AND YOUR VEHICLE for a week. Then you can be liable for a fine of $2K to$10K.

We moved along like a tandem ballet, working in and out of traffic with ease, each rider knowing what the other was going to do before he did it. South of Shawanaga, we met four OPP Golden Helmets (the motorcycle drill team) going the other way. Their low speed maneuvers are great to watch. I did spend some time thinking, though. Many people here can ride at speed but have problems with tight maneuvering. The courses teach slow speed control in the parking lot and, it always seems to be assumed, if you can ride slow, you can ride fast. I do believe, however, that there are many who have mastered the art of the traffic cone but still aren't competent at speed on the open road. High speed skill does not imply low speed skill, and vice-versa.

We rode past Parry Sound and took 141 over to Rosseau. Almost there, we came upon three old cars putting along. One looked like it was from the 20's and the other two were so old they had the lanterns for lights. I would have liked to get a picture and really miss having my photographer behind me.

The former Shell station in Rosseau is now the Crossroads Pub & Grill. We stopped for gas but it looks like it would be a nice place for lunch as we ride the great roads all around here.

Terry at the Crossroads with Lake Rosseau in the background

Lake Rosseau is interesting. The cottages (we call them cabins north of here) along the lake are popular with celebrity folk. Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Steve Martin, Cheryl Ladd and many others come up here to get away from it all.

We continued east on 141 with no traffic ahead of us. The 50 and 60 KPH marked corners flew by and we had a clear run through the 40 KPH S's at Bent River. Then, the last way to Highway 11, we got behind a line of traffic following an SUV at substantially lower than the limit. There was nowhere to pass and I stifled the overwhelming urge to want to slap someone silly.

At Highway 11, Zippy The Wonderslug turned north while we continued straight through on Muskoka 10. I was now on road I have never traveled before. We wound through Port Sydney and, leaving town, passed a very large doe and fawn standing in a driveway at the edge of the road staring at us. That's how I like my deer, stationary. Or, better yet, as venison. We connected with Muskoka 2 and headed south to Baysville. Winding road, no traffic, a perfect situation. In Baysville, we turned west on 117 to Highway 35 and the little town of Dorset.

In Dorset, we had one problem. The Ride For Dialysis was being held at the Lions Club Camp Dorset and we had no idea how to find it. We stopped at a local OPP office in a mobile building and talked to a volunteer manning the desk. He gave us directions along several back roads and, following his directions, we got there with no trouble. Of course, everyone else had already left although we say lots of beer and liquor bottles outside the cabins. We also saw Barry's Spyder on his trailer and thought about hiding it, but settled for a picture to prove we had been there.

Terry at Camp Dorset

Back at Highway 35, we decided to ride home through North Bay and stop at the Chinese Buffet in Sturgeon Falls for a late lunch. We rode north on 35 and then got involved in some traffic heading back to the city from Algonquin Park on Highway 60. Don't let me get started about slow-assed tree huggers holding people up by driving 10 KPH UNDER the speed limit. We did some aggressive passing and got to Huntsville before most of them. From there, where most vehicles turned south, we went north and blasted up Highway 11. This is mostly four lane all the way to North Bay and we made good time.

West on 17, we got to Sturgeon Falls between buffets. Although the lunch buffet wasn't out on the table, they gave us the list of items and kept bringing us things we asked for until we couldn't eat one more thing, all for the low lunch buffet price. That's why we go here. Terry picked up the tab. Thanks for lunch, buddy.

Terry at the Chinese Buffet in Sturgeon Falls

From Sturgeon, we highballed it back to Sudbury without incident. It was a great ride with great company on a great day.

Today's Ride

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