On Friday, my husband and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a trial run, make that a trial bike run. We're still trying to use up my husband's vacation time before he has to forfeit any unused time in August. We're now down to about 25 days. However, if you throw in the weekends in between, we still have a lot of time to "use up."
I have always wanted to bike "Le P'tit Train du Nord, the linear park that runs from, St Jerome, just north of Montreal to Mont Laurier in the Laurentians. We have biked parts of it before and know that it is fairly level and not too difficult in most places. What we had to find out first was 1. Could we still bike and 2. Could we bike the first leg of the journey which is 55kms in one day.
With helmets, packed we left Toronto about 9:30am and got to our destination in just over an hour an a half - no traffic!! We knew of a bike rental place on the main street that was quite close to the bike trail, which runs between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls, (30kms in total). We paid our money and we took our chances - Yes, I could still get up on the bike, keep my balance and pedal!!- so could my husband!! Most of the trip to Queenston is slightly downhill, which means, of course, it's uphill for the return. We got to Queenston in about an hour and had the usual, warm soggy sandwiches for lunch from the backpack. The bridge on the trail here was under construction and we knew that there was a huge hill after Queenston, which you had to climb, before biking onto The Falls.
This bridging gap was a very good reason to turn back at Queenston, which we happily did. The "uphill" ride back, wasn't as horrible, as I had predicted and we got back to Niagara-on-the-Lake in about an hour and a half. The total trip was 24kms in 2.5 hours - yes we could do 55kms in a full day.
Before we left for home, we rewarded ourselves with a glass each of Ontario Chardonnay and a lovely artisanal cheese plate at the restaurant, Zee, which is part of the boutique hotel, Shaw Spa - very swish!! Add to all this a summer's day - not too hot, gorgeous sun, patio tables with festive umbrellas and no guilt - we had earned it!!
The picture? The sink(s) in the washroom at the boutique hotel. Why I didn't take pictures of the bike trail, the cheese plate or the town is beyond me. The only picture I have of the trip is this amazing sinkless washroom, which is more of a slanted glass trough with taps. Travel is all about the surprises and where you find them.
Have an awesome day!!