Thursday July 4, 2002, 93 km (58 miles) - Total so far: 93 km (58 miles)
I woke up and after making sure that I ate a good breakfast and filled up my water bottles I headed out the door.
My destination for today was Port Burwell. First I travelled through the city threading myself through as many small streets as possible rather then going on the main roads.
I immediately noticied that my bike felt somewhat top heavy and that there was a ton of weight on the back wheel. I had a bike tube with me but no spare spokes so I had a bit of concern about this.
The day was sunny and hot since the heat wave had still not passed. I carried both a waist water bladder as well as a shoulder water bladder. The shoulder one was actually secured on top of the rear rack. An additional water bottle was on the bike as well. I believe I was carrying about six litres of water.
A nice tailwind accompanied me for parts of the ride to Port Burwell. I was pleasantly surprised to complete whole sections of the ride doing 30 to 35 km/hr. I forgot to put sunscreen on soon enough so I managed to obtain a slight sunburn before I remembered. I believe that from London to Port Burwell there is a downward slope so I was also descending slightly which doubtless also helped my speed.
Along the way I stopped in for strawberries at a fruit stand. I couldn't finish all of them and I didn't want to carry them with me so I donated them to the next family that came along.
When I arrived at Port Burwell Provincial Park I discovered that camping sites were available so I booked one for two days and went off to see what there was to do in Port Burwell.
I discovered an excellent maritime museum which actually discussed the old iron ore ship that used to cross Lake Erie from Ashtabula and deliver iron ore to the railroad. When the ship ultimately sank the railroad also closed down. Today the old railroad has been converted into a rail trail.
I also visited a lighthouse museum and spent some time eating a nice fish dinner complete with a pitcher (yes really) of ice water.
After dinner I returned to the provincial park and went swimming in Lake Erie at the beach.
There were some mosquitos in the campground but they seemed rather insignificant compared to the jumbo sized, aggreesive monsters that share the Moskokas with their friends the deer and black flies.
Two cold fronts moved through the area in the night which sharply reduced the heat and humidity for the remainder of the trip.
I travelled a total of 93 kilometers today. This is the longest I can remember travelling in one day. It is possible I travelled further before but if so it would have been the result of a bunch of 20 km errands.
I considered going another seven kilometers so that I could achieve a metric century but after reflection I realized that I didn't really feel like doing mindless cycling just to do this. It's much better to do the distance while going somewhere or doing something!
Port Burwell is a very beautiful area. It reminds me of a sleepy fishing port. While there are people on the beach and nice restaurants in town it doesn't strike me as a huge touristy area. Instead you receive a feeling of peacefulness.
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