Monday, June 29, 2009

KNBC Picton Bike Trip

On June 26th-28th 2009 I attended the KNBC Picton bike trip. This was my first Canadian overnight bike trip and my first overnighter with the club.

Rowena and I arrived on Friday and spent time at the Sandbanks provincial park. This was where I had spend many a childhood weekend. Oddly, it seemed smaller. To a child's eyes the dunes went on for hundreds, even thousands of miles and yet in reality, they are only 7km long. That night we all had dinner at a culinary cooking school where I had a wonderful desert of creme brule!

We checked in at Harrington House B and B and arranged our room. The room was really for one person and we dubbed it the 'submarine'. The submarine did have a great pool, hot tub, wonderful breakfasts and affable hosts.

On the first day of the trip, the Saturday the group as a whole met at the war memorial in Picton. There were some 26 cyclists all anxiously wanting to explore.

Our tour leader tried her best to keep 26 adults with egos working as a group but it prooved impossible. We were led by Jo Jo who roared past all of us!

Prince Edward County is a sensory delight. The rural scenery is charming. I saw many farms with barns painted red, or cream. The crops were fenced in with split rail fences and were very healthy and blowing gently in the breeze. The roads were in great shape and there was no traffic to speak of except in the town of Picton itself, population 4000.

The first day we cycled from 9am to 6pm with a stop for lunch. We cycled to Sandbanks provincial park and on to a vineyard where we sampled wauposs cider. I had tried the premium cider at lunch, but the winery offered more delightful varieties of this elixir. There is nothing quite like sampling cider in a limestone tasting house that overlooks the water.

There were a lot of hills on that first day, and I discovered that I did not have any of my lower gears. In Ottawa I only use the larger chain and assumed all was functional. I walked many of the hills.

I also discovered that prescription lenses, can and do fly out of your glasses onto the road for no apparant reason.

After 80km or so, some in our group, decided to do extra in order to stop at the fifth town cheese factory. We had already visited the black river cheese factory where I had purchased some soap and had an icecream but the fifth town cheese factory was having an open house AND was organic.

I did not care how tired I was, this HAD to be seen.

I was thrilled. Not only was I able to sample sumptuous goat cheese and taste a variety of fine wines but I learned about their organic practices and met their sweet little mascot, Oliver, a baby goat.

We arrived back at the B and B, at 6pm, hot and tired. I took a dip in the pool and went in the hot tub with a glass of Black Prince Wine in hand. All was right with the world.

That night we went to the funky carp for dinner. Although the setting was pleasant, the restaurant should be renamed the Crappy Carp.

The next day, Monna wisely decided to split the group. I joined a group of four faster cyclists and we followed the coast towards Consecon. We met in the lovely little town of Bloomfield and at the bike shop, I had my bike repaired. I now had a FULL set of gears and no hill would stop me.

We did not go to consecon beach where I had vacationed as a child, but ate a meal at an old mill in Consecon. One of the guests, albeit outside, was a splendid great blue heron, fishing near the weir.

The ride took us through farmlands and we rode on shady roads covered with large arching oak and maple trees. You could smell the ripening strawberries in the fields!

It was a great trip!

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