Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 4 - Hazeldean

We don't have many pictures from today,
so here's our 9:30am lunch.  
Where do you even start with a day like today?

Let's start at the end , where late tonight, we get visitors from back home - Lindsay and Jason - with a special delivery.  It was great to see some familiar faces - but what prompted the drive to Ottawa?

The deal is, if Grayson ever cycles across
Canada, we'll buy him a pitcher and nachos.
Well, today had been another great day physically.  Much hotter than yesterday - 35/42 with the humidex, so we made sure to stop early and often for water and rest.  That's how we ended up taking a 1.5 hour lunch break at 9:00.  In total, we did the 115kms in about 7.5 hours, again with little ascent and straight routes.  We are completely on pace, having done just over 500kms in four days.

We finished the day in Ottawa, which is special for a few reasons.  Again, we were blown away with the hospitality: first, with Kyle's cousin Lisa and her family, who took us in and pampered us with food, care, and beds.  Second, we got a chance to visit our good friend Grayson, finally, because he's been living in Ottawa for almost a year.  He took us out for drinks and to show us a bit of the city.  Also, it is Tyler's first time in the city, which is surprising given the circumstances.
McDonald's in Stittsville, ON.
Thanks Perry!

But getting back to Lindsay.  Great day, but it was largely shaped by one simple factor: no BlackBerry today.  Strange circumstances - the alarm went off this morning, but then before we could send out yesterday's blog, it quit.  And I'm not talking about the battery - I have three - the device just failed.  It wasn't so bad, because the day was again mostly Highway 7, but it is also our principal camera.  We decided to roll on, and figure it out later.  We inform our home crew about the situation, and Lindsay works this Twitter magic:
WOW!  So RIM donates $500 to the Heartwood Place to get us back up and mapping.  Crazy!  But we're still on the ground, pedaling, with only verbal directions.  Which brings us to our final anecdote, which is the namesake of this blog.  

As we're heading up Highway 7 towards Ottawa, our instructions are to follow 7 until the Hazeldean exit.  Simple, except that 16km before that exit, Hwy 7 becomes a closed-access, divided expressway.  What!  But as a cyclist, you don't actually realize that until it's too late.  So we're just in the shoulder of major highway.  We want to exit, but it is just so gorgeous - wide, paved lane, no stops, no close traffic at all - and also, we would be completely lost if we do.  So Kyle convinces us to stay on the 7, which is exhilarating - we're doing an easy 35-40km/hr.  But all we can think about is "gotta get off...gotta get off...Hazeldean."  And then we see it:

A google streetview caputre of the sign.  Couldn't pull out
the cell phone camera there, for obvious reasons.
This sign was the highlight of our day.  And so Lindsay makes the commute all the way from Kitchener to Ottawa to bring the BlackBerry and some new mounts for our Drift HD cameras, so we're all set for tomorrow: Parliament and Quebec!

On a related note: my new PIN is 29B76242.

In case you missed it, click here to see yesterday's post.


  1. another amazing day! Nice to hear there are great people out there, RIM helping, Heartwood Place coming through with a drive to get you what you need. come on people time to donate for this great cause

  2. Thanks!

    The irony of this post is understood finally in hindsight. Around Waterloo Region (including the 400 series highways), bicycles are always strictly forbidden from closed access highways, which are always clearly and promptly marked. This is why we were quite nervous cycling on this type of highway for the first time.

    After having completed the journey, we probably spent (and I'll look into this, if possible) about half of the entire trip riding on closed access highways with speed limits at or over 100km/hr. I still remember how nervous we were at that particular moment (Tyler wasn't listening to his iPod, I didn't take a single photo) and how much that experience changed over the course of the trip. Crazy!