The Return of the Leisurely Ride

Halifax, NS to Bridgewater, NS

Disclaimer: Today was a really good day; however, not much really happened so if you’re looking for a big adventure you’re going to have to wait – or go back and read a previous update.

As I acknowledged in yesterday’s first update, my leisurely ride through Canada’s east coast somehow got hijacked into an unsustainable (and unnecessary) endurance race. Today was the day to put that behind me and return to the original intent of this adventure. A leisurely cycling trip. Not to use the phrase “re-boot” because that gets overused, but after needing some extended recovery in Halifax it would seem a fresh start was in order. That fresh start started today. I even considered shaving – but I didn’t think doing so with my Swiss Army knife would have particularly favourable results.

Having spent the night at the Coastal Inn, I woke this morning refreshed and ready to go – although, I likely didn’t need to stay up until midnight watching U.S. Open tennis. I was so ready to go that I forgot to take a picture of the hotel. Maybe I’ll borrow one from their website.

DSC05631_BridgewaterMy biggest concern for the day was the wind – new start, old concerns. The forecast for the day was 30 km/h southwest winds gusting to 50. And, of course, I was heading southwest – to a city called Bridgewater, 100 km away. As this was the new me and a new beginning, I decided before I even started riding that I would not force myself to get to Bridgewater if I was getting pounded by 50 km/h gusts all day.

The ride started out very well. There were winds, but nothing overpowering. My pace was slower than in the past – partially because of the wind, and partially because of my exit from “race mode”. When I passed the sign for Peggy’s Cove, I even considered a detour. However, while that’s only a short detour in a car, it would’ve been a 3+ hour detour on the bike. I opted to not do that and pedalled on. Looking back, I’m a little undecided if I made the right call.

I have to say I was a little surprised how quickly the first couple of hours passed – even with a couple of stops for food, water, and rest. I felt good, even as the wind gradually increased during the day. I pedalled on, stopping every hour for food, water, and rest. Some stops were brief, some were longer. I felt like I was on a bike ride with no schedule again. And that was a good thing.

By 3:00, I was about 10 km from Bridgewater. The winds had picked up considerably since this morning but it didn’t feel like they ever had the strength the forecast had predicted. I didn’t mind. And when I arrived in Bridgewater, I was greeted by a town with all sorts of amenities. Turns out this was a good place to stop. And I even found a chocolate popsicle. According to my GPS, there’s an Atlantic Superstore just down the road which I hope to visit before heading out again tomorrow.

Courtesy of J.T.

Courtesy of J.T.

I stopped at Swiss Chalet for dinner, where I had a half chicken dinner and a bottle of Keith’s. The latter was courtesy of J.T. and his generous clicking of the “Donate” button. J.T. was actually the inaugural clicker of said button but I was waiting for the right time to buy the beer he donated. This seemed like a good time. And it turns out it was. Thanks J.T.

Good place to set up a tent. I hope.

Good place to set up a tent.
I hope.

My campsite for the night would definitely fall into the definition of wild camping. I’m on the outskirts of town, down the street from a school, and behind a “Road Closed” sign. I was originally going to camp at the school – I figured it would be clear since Labour Day is tomorrow. However, while scouting the area a few cars did stop by so I opted for the road closure area. There are no facilities. No water. No WiFi. But I feel pretty good about the location. We’ll see how I feel in the morning. Until then, today was a very successful return to the leisurely bike ride. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Today’s totals:
Distance travelled: 102.72 km
Time on bike: 5:54:25
Maximum speed: 47.49 km/h
Average speed: 17.36 km/h

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