Prince Edward, Canada - Polarsteps
Trip mileage: 5414km
CHEAT DAY. Our next stop was my dad's place in Prince Edward County, over 200km away-- a two-day flat ride along the Lake Ontario segment of the Waterfront Trail, something we were definitely up for, except for the part where we needed somewhere to stay on the way. Poor timing meant we were going into Labour Day weekend; campgrounds were booked solid, Warm Showers hosts reponded saying they were vacationing, moving their kids to university, etc, and it would have been dicey to count on finding somewhere to wild-camp in or adjacent to the GTA, along the populated lakeshore (we have some limits. Touring cyclists who have camped under a bridge in Mississauga or behind a Walmart in Brampton: we see you, carry on, we will not be joining you).
So we skipped a bit; we took the subway to Union Station before the morning commuter rush, then navigated a LOT of elevators (some of which were big enough for us to get in, too small for us to get out when the doors opened on the opposite side; this was a series of bumbling shenanigans) until we got to the GO Train, where thankfully very, very few people were heading east out of the city first thing in the morning and we could awkwardly wheel the bikes on board and ride to the end of the line in Oshawa.
The trail route was beautiful; it took us through parks, mostly kept us lakeside, and led us easily and safely through industrial areas that could have been sketchier cycling otherwise. It was also a long way on a slower route, and we biked it hard to try to make it before dark. We didn't, which for a while was fine; coming towards the County we were on quiet country roads, well-shouldered because they're part of the Waterfront Trail, and we put on our bright bike lights and enjoyed the night-ride. We were in the home stretch, with under 9km to go, when we turned onto a parkway, our riding shoulder turned into loose gravel, and the road turned busy with Torontonians flooding into the County for the holiday weekend-- not safe riding in the dark, and we called my dad in for another rescue mission in a dark parking lot.
We had a great, restful week in PEC; we drank a lot of wine, met some alpacas, figured out how to cook a giant Italian squash, toured some artists' studios in Wellington, went to the beach at the south tip of the County, washed all our camping gear, and got our second covid boosters. Many thanks to my dad and Brenda for the reset-time on the lake, and all the comfy sleeps.
🚲 Bike Jaunt 🚲