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I was chatting with my friend Dave and said that I’d been getting on the bike more. He whimsically suggested we go for a ride. Of course, I said “Yeah, we should”. That set the wheels in motion for a visit from Dave and his wife Vanessa.

They brought their tandem down on a day that was at least in the running for title of “hottest day of the year”. They arrived around 1:00 so our ride took place on a beautiful, sunny, hot, windy afternoon. It was a nice ride that I didn’t quite plan out 100% but that turned out well, all things considered.

The route: Abbey, Decew, Beaverdams, Kottmeier, Port Robinson Rd., Pelham St., Hollow Rd., Holland Rd., Roland Rd., Effingham St., Wessel Dr., , Pelham Rd., 9th St., 81, Third Street Louth, Eight Ave. Louth, First Street Louth/Decew, back home.

A few highlights:

Hollow Rd. is one of the hidden cycling treasures in Niagara. It’s a very nice ride. Just watch for traffic at the yield sign where Hollow meets Barron at the entrance to Saint Johns Conservation Area. It’s a bit of a blind corner when turning right, and traffic from the left seems to have the right of way. I’ll have to check that out in more detail to be sure – worth another ride 🙂

At the top of the climb going west on Roland Rd., a very nice person has set up a bicycle / rider repair center, complete with free water, tools, a pump, and a first aid kit. There’s a donation box with all proceeds going to Pelham Cares. Thank you to the Leferink family for doing this 🙂 The image at the top of the post is Dave and Vanessa circling back to take a break here.

At the intersection of 81 and Seventh Streeth Louth is the unassuming Regional Variety & Gas Bar. For years I have driven by and marvelled at the sign outside advertising fresh samosas and scoop ice cream. We stopped in for a rest there and were amazed at the somewhat-surprisingly fresh samosas and the generous scoop ice cream. I wouldn’t have pegged Orange Pineapple to go with samosas, but there you have it. They go well 🙂

The climb up Decew was tough. Probably tougher for Dave and Vanessa on the tandem. We were nearing the end of the ride and despite the rest stops we were probably dehydrated beyond our awareness. Still, we managed to get to the top without walking so it couldn’t have been that bad 😉

Here are the ride stats:

D: 39.81 km (343.84 km cumulative in 2020)
A: 20.8 km/h
M: 64.8 km/h – I think down 9th Street Louth. Either that or on Pelham St. north of Fonthill
T: 1:54:49

I think I could have gone further, but not much further. It was just the right length, and the company was terrific. We had a few physically-distanced beers and burgers in our backyard and had a great time. Thanks Dave and Vanessa! We’ll have to do this in your neck of the woods next time we ride together. Hopefully soon! 🙂