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As the title suggests, I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake and came back.

It was a nice day for it though. A little warm, but a nice breeze. I had a tailwind all the way to NOTL.

Tailwinds are funny things. You don’t notice them when you have them, but you sure notice when you don’t. Reminds me of privilege. Anyway . . .

The ride into NOTL was good. The main street was closed for patio expansions, I think, so I detoured a little through the back streets. I took a selfie by the gazebo and then hit the parkway headed for Queenston.

Riding the Niagara Parkway between NOTL and Queenston can be a tricky proposition for cyclists. There’s a multi-use trail beside it which many drivers think bicycles should be on. I’ll probably discuss that over on The Niagara Guide website at some point, but I’ll state here that I think bicycles should be ridden on whatever road of path they are legally allowed to be used on. In this case, I took the road.

Facing the climb at Queenston Heights, I was quite glad I’d installed the third chainring. It made the climb less of a punishment and more of an enjoyable workout. Going uphill on a bicycle hasn’t been a strong point for me since I was in my 20’s so I was happy to get to the top of Queenston Heights. Interestingly, the climb goes past the roundabout as I headed down Portage Rd.

Streetnames are interesting things. Portage changed to Niagara Town Line at Stanley Avenue. I knew going down Niagara Town Line would take me downhill. What I didn’t realize was just HOW significant that downhill was. It was surprisingly steep and swift, and there were also a series of potholes that could be quite hazardous to cyclists. At the bottom I turned left onto St. Paul Ave. and essentially climbed the escarpment all over again. Perhaps not quite, but that’s what it felt like. I stayed in my 2nd chain ring for that climb so it was a good but more intense workout, especially coming at 42 km into the ride.

Climbing doesn’t stop when you turn onto Mountain Rd., but it’s almost over at that point. Perhaps another 250 meters and then the ride became mostly flat. I followed Mountain to Taylor and then rode past the dump. There are often smells by the dump. I think Walker Industries uses some kind of air freshening spray to reduce the odours. What concerned me as I was riding by was the thought that I was inhaling quantities of some unknown chemical. It was a little disconcerting so I think I’ll make some inquiries.

Taking Taylor to Thorold Stone Road, I turned right, heading to the Thorold Tunnel. It is closed for construction so there is no pedestrian or cyclist access. There was a sign saying a shuttle service was available. When I called the number I was informed the shuttle doesn’t run on weekends. I could order a taxi but they would not be able to take my bicycle as their cars are “too small”. I wasn’t planning to take the shuttle but I was curious to know about it as it had occurred to me previously that residents of Thorold South who rely on the tunnel were being cut off from the rest of Thorold. The weekday shuttle is a van and it can accommodate bicycles. I wonder if it can accommodate people who use e-bikes and the like.

Anyway, I rode down Davis to Hwy 20, took the bridge, then came back along Holland, Kottmeier, Beaverdams, and Decew to get back home. This was my longest ride of the year to date at 64.41 km. My speed was a little slower, but I think that was due to the extra escarpment climb I added in. At least it was a good workout.

As usual, here are the stats:

D: 64.41 km (272.99 km cumulative in 2020)
A: 42.1 km/h
M: 59.5 km/h – probably down Niagara Town Line
T: 2:40:05

This is now the furthest ride of the year. Legs and back are a little more tired than previous rides, but I’m feeling like I’m pretty good shape for a relaxed 100 km ride with Georges in August. That’s now scheduled for the 15th although things may change . . .