Today’s ride was really quite pretty, and we kept it short, but the overriding theme for the day was wind. The wind was dead against us, and blowing at 20 – 25 kph. So even though we only rode about 50 km, it took us until mid-afternoon to do it.

Before leaving Southampton we took a short detour down to the beach to enjoy the morning scenery, then we headed out of town following a rail trail. The rail trail had a really good, firm surface, it offered a bit of shade, and it kept us off 21 which carries very heavy traffic and has no shoulder.

Our plan was to use the trail for about 20 km but before we had covered half that distance we came to a section where ATVs were also allowed to use the trail. I’m not sure who thought that bicycles and ATVs are compatible users, but it certainly wasn’t me. ATVs had worked up big berms of loose gravel along the trail that made cycling difficult at best, so we quickly switched to Plan B and worked out some minor roads that went in the same general direction.

Along this route we soon came to a stretch of road being repaved. They had our side of the road marked off with cones and were repaving it, forcing us into the oncoming lane. Confusingly, there was no traffic control flag-person so we waited for a couple of pickup trucks coming towards us to pass then we started down the road in the opposing lane. When we were about half-way through the section we met a tractor trailer coming the other way so had to pull off into the weeds to let it go by. I wonder what would have happened if we had been driving a car.

At the next cross-roads we came to a woman holding a “SLOW” sign and while the road ahead was freshly paved and still marked off with cones, she told us we could ride on it. I know “first tracks” is a thing among skiers. Well, we got first tracks on our touring bikes!

The last 12 or 15 km coming into Kincardine had us on a road following along the top of a ridge with farm fields stretching away to either side so there was absolutely nothing to buffer the wind. We were headed straight into its fury and barely making progress in our low gears. A couple of times I thought a sharp gust was actually going to stop me in my tracks,

Once we got into town we stopped at a local pub and had a really great lunch before hunting down a motel room. Then this evening we walked back into downtown for dinner at another pub / restaurant that sits right on the Lake and has nice views from the patio. But we noticed that the Tour de France was on the TV behind the bar so we sat there instead and watched today’s stage. They ride a bit faster than we do, but they don’t carry their own luggage. Wimps!

The wind is going to be in our face again tomorrow, so we have another modest day planned down to Goderich.

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