Darlington provincial park isn't very nice, mostly because you can hear the constant traffic from the 401 and the CN train line. It was also a very cold night. It went down to 2 degrees and my sleeping bag was only rated for 4.
Day 2The next day was the longest distance of the tour. Just over 100kms to Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Right from the start things were not going well. OPG had closed a part of the waterfront trail, making me loose 5km.
+Laura Krick. I then set off to my next camp site. The wind had died down and the going was slightly easier. I saw a lot of fields.
+Laura Krick for helping me plan those. The MSR Pocket Rocket stove is very good and compact. Thanks to +Jane Sobil for the camp cookware set.
At this point I realized I was not going to make it to Kingston. I talked to Laura and we talked about being picked up a day early. That night was one of the deepest sleeps I've ever had. I don't think I woke up once during the night.
Though the next day I woke up at 7am, and it was overcast but warm. Laura and I sent a few messages back and forth and we agreed to meet in Trenton. That night was supposed to rain right into Sunday. Not a great prospect for camping, or packing up. I decided to head out and see the park and the bike paths it had to offer.
I rode out to the light house at the end of the park. There were a lot of bird watchers all over the park, as the birds like this area. This lighthouse is lime stone covered in ceder.
RVers also like this area
I went back to my camp after riding around. Laura sent me the GPS coordinates of where we would meet because I had screwed up loading maps onto my GPS and only had the basemap and routes for the tour.
Even though I failed in my goal, I'm happy I did this. I learned a lot about touring and my abilities. I look forward to the next one. You can see my entire ride in Strava.
What I will do better next time around
- Only pack the food I will need on the ride itself. Buy lunch and dinner items along the way so I'm not lugging all that food weight. This will also avoid the expense of freeze dried meals or the unhealthiness (saltiness) of shelf stable packed meals.
- Do not reserve any campgrounds, especially in the Spring and Fall. It costs more at provincial parks to reserve and also forces you to keep to an itinerary you may not be able to keep.
- Purchase and break in a Brooks saddle.
- Eat a small lunch and then often during the ride. Stomach cramps suck.
- Double check your GPS has all the data you need.
- Check wind direction forecast to better plan your distances.
- Buy a small multi purpose pot instead of a pot set like I took for weight and packability.
Other thoughts and learnings
One of the things I picked up for this tour are Continental Travel Contact tires. I got the folding versions at an amazing price from Chain Reaction in the UK. These tires have an amazingly low rolling resistance for their size and recommended pressure. I had no flats on the ride. When it was time to traverse gravel or dirt roads/paths, the tires offered enough traction to keep my comfortably controlled with or without load.
I might look into butterfly bars or trekking bars. These appeal to me much more than drop bars on my commuter, and would allow me to continue using the existing shifter/brake leavers.