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Old 09-13-2011, 04:57 PM   #73
Underboning OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Back in PDX again!
Oddometer: 725
9/11 Ride to Toronto

We rose early and got going quickly as we couldn't wait to get on the road again. Re's mom cooked us omelets, potatoes, and sliced tomatoes all accompanied by some good coffee. We loaded the bikes under gray skies (again) and said our good-byes and we were off. Heading north towards Lake Erie, the sky began to lighten and the sun made a brief appearance. Our spirits felt lighter than they had all week as we approached the North Coast. We turned east on US 20 and crossed into Pennsylvania.

We stopped for a quick commemorative picture at the border as we had just completed the first 5000 miles of this trip. The ride was pretty even though the sun decided to hide again, and the light traffic allowed us to enjoy the fields of grape arbors that cover this region.

Enjoying the sights and smells, we soon found ourselves at the New York border where even the light raindrops dotting our face shields didn't dampen our spirits. We turned onto NY 5, which followed the coast more closely, and we spied glimpses of the water through the grape arbors as we cruised along. We stopped in Dunkirk, NY late in the morning to stretch our legs and have a peach. Refreshed, we continued toward the ever darkening skies which finally let loose near Angola, NY. At first we attempted to keep going, but the pummeling rain limited visibility to only a few hundred feet. I spied a car wash on the left, and we quickly pulled off through the standing water and into the shelter of an empty bay. We hid out for about 30 minutes, waiting for the rain to subside. We enjoyed another Clif Bar and water lunch to bide our time. Only the best for me and my lady! The rain eventually slacked off, and we made for the Canadian border and (hopefully) drier pastures.

As we approached the Peace Bridge we were happy to see blue skies ahead. A few minutes later we had completed our first border crossing, paid our $6 toll and promptly missed our first exit. But with just a couple of u-turns we were heading west through the Canadian countryside. This was our first real visit to Canada and, we were surprised to see how similar it is to the US. There are some notable differences, though. We really are enjoying the cultural diversity and the associated cuisines. I am also enjoying the denim shorts that seem to be the style here for women. As an unrepentant ass-man, I certainly appreciated the “scenery” as we rode. (Sorry, I didn't get any pictures) We wound our way through the countryside and eventually made it to the hotel that will be our temporary home until 9/15 when we depart for Cape Town. Tomorrow we take the bikes to the craters for a fitting.

279 miles an about 9.5 hours. The bikes are running well. It was a day of firsts - our first 5000 miles, our first international border crossing and our first country crossed off of the list.
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