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Bikepacking trip through Ontario - The Second day.

" What a day"

I would be writing in my journal a few hours later that day. Leaving my friend's house early (around 7:30 am), went to Timmies for a quick breakfast. I remember thinking "I am about to bike the whole day and my breakfast is just a bagel a donut and a coffee". My rough idea of the trip was to reach a bike trail that starts near Orangeville and it takes you all the way to Owen Sound, I didn't know the type of road this would be but decided to reach it anyway.

Ate my bagel and had breakfast in front of the Orangeville Town Hall.

The trail was beautiful some of the views at the beginning were the best.

The marshes around the trail reminded me of the "Dead Marshes" from the Lord of the Rings movies. They were mesmerizingly beautiful and to a degree scary. It was my first time really seeing a marsh in my life. I stared at it for a while before moving on.

You see that little pond, well it ain't that little. While crossing it on foot I missed and step and fell down hip-deep into the marsh. The only reason why I didn't sink completely was me holding my bike for dear life. I pulled myself out and my shoes were wet and covered in mud. I told to myself "You wanted an adventure right?".

Once there, I found out that said bike trail was better suited for a mountain bike or ATV, it wasn't great for my road bike tires*. Some of the areas were flat enough for me to move but the majority of the road was gravel. Biking around the path was painful and difficult to ride, it didn't take me long to decide to ditch it.

Now I was faced with the dilemma of finding a new paved route and also finding a new destination as my original plan was to take the trail all the way to Owen Sound, I already have envisioned a situation like this the night before. My plan b was to take the paved roads to Collinwood.

It felt much better once I move on to the side road that was much flatter and paved-like. It was still a dirt road but better suited for my bicycle. I was moving faster and easier the problems came when I started to run out of water and decide to make a stop in a gas station. The problem with this and what I learned was that small distances are very long when they take you off course for more than 3kms. I was going north and the gas station was about 3 to 5 km east. The road to it was hectic as there was barely space for me to ride without being exposed to cars very closely.

After the stop, I continued north but decided to take a different road as the one I was originally on, it felt super far away when coming back. This was a mistake as the side road ended at one point and had to take another deviation from the original route.

The 15km deviation gave me the chance to make a couple of stops for rest and I was able to see a windmill up close. The landscape was filled with them by the Honeywood area.

"Weather has been unforgiving, not a mother f**cking cloud around"

I wrote in my journal as my ears were getting cooked by the uncovered sun.

Later that day I adapted my cap into the helmet so it would cover my ears from the sun. Also in my journal I wrote about emailing the company Mio Sport Electrolytes for keeping me alive. They make these squeezable electrolytes that you can just squirt into your water and have it infused with the vital electrolytes. On the road pedaling, all day keeping hydrated is essential if you want to cover long distances, same with food.

I must've finished 4 liters of water that day.

Just before reaching Collinwood, I end up in a residential area full of crazy steep but short hills, they are a killer while carrying a bike loaded. While going through one of the flatter areas I spotted this Tommy Lee looking guy with what I assumed was his kid on the side of the road by a small canal that ran next to the road. While I'm passing close to him he tells me something that I cant understand as I had music going on. I stop to chat.

He starts talking about this story of how 3 cyclists were going in the middle of the road and how that was dangerous. I just go with it because the guy looks kind of crazy to me. I ask for directions and while he's talking his kids interrupt him to tell me "Did you know this river has a bunch of frogs" I couldn't answer before his dad shutting him down.

I was so tired I ended up just lying down for a while in somebody's yard. The guy was cool he let me lay in there without even bothering me. He was just cutting his grass. When I finally reached Collinwood I stopped at a small gas station to buy a Coca-cola. I was dead after 97km of travel.

Before leaving Orangeville I booked a camping site with Airbnb which I reached after having some dinner. I set up my tent and was ready to relax.

Total: 97 km

*Road bikes have thinner and softer tires than a mountain bike. Road bikes are great for paved roads where they are light and fast. When faced with offroad situation road bikes perform absolutely horribly.

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