Posted by: Silver | November 5, 2011

Petrolia to Dresden

Petrolia to Sarnia:
Distance: 27 km
Ascent: 60 m
Cycling time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Sarnia to Dresden:
Distance: 94 km
Ascent: 252 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 19 minutes

SOS Children’s Villages was front page news again! And this time it was in Sarnia, a city of over 70,000 people: far and away the largest community in which my story has been displayed so prominently. 🙂 It’s actually a bit ironic really, because the interview that preceded it was possibly one of the most unsatisfactory ones that I’ve had: not because I didn’t feel I’d adequately conveyed my passion for SOS, but because the reporter seemed obsessed with my private life. Despite politely (and rather elegantly, I thought) side-stepping his questions about my age, marital status and other personal details that I consider 100% entirely irrelevant to the story, he refused to take the hint and kept badgering me on the subject as if I were some dissembling politician. Journalists are clearly trained to seek these details – almost every reporter I’ve spoken to has asked the questions – but it would appear that some have not been taught that ‘human interest story’ does not necessarily mean ‘investigative exposé of someone’s private life’. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but throughout the entire interview, my interrogator didn’t ask a single question about SOS Children’s Villages. 😦 But, he did get their name right, and put them right at the top of the article, so if a few awkward questions is the only price I have to pay for bringing SOS to so many people’s attention, I reckon I can handle it… 😉

And the ride down to Dresden straight after the interview was truly lovely, so I’d soon calmed down again. 🙂 One advantage of being in southern Ontario is that, for almost the first time on this journey, I think, I generally have a choice of paved roads to take to my next destination, so with a little local advice from my hosts as to which are the quietest, I’ve been able to enjoy some pretty peaceful rides just recently. One disadvantage of being in southern Ontario, however, is that this region is far more populated than most of the places I’ve been through so far, which makes for rather fewer discreet, uninhabited places in which to take a ‘comfort break’! So my heart was gladdened to see a public washroom in one of the parks I passed – then crushed to find it had been locked up for the winter. As I was trudging dejectedly back to the trike, however, a gentleman cycling in the park with his little girl (on a tricycle!) stopped to offer me the bathroom at his house! I prepared to gratefully follow him home, but he pointed out that his daughter’s trike didn’t go quite as fast as mine, so recommended I should just go on ahead: “the garage door’s open – just go on in; the bathroom’s on the ground floor – you’ll find it!”…

For all the problems I’ve been having finding hosts round here, even southern Ontario is clearly still full of extremely kind people. 🙂

Sarnia is another border city. The St Clair river that separates it from Michigan is still an active shipping lane, so the international bridges (they had to build a second one to handle the amount of cross-border traffic) were pretty high and pretty impressive!

More kind people in southern Ontario! After almost 11,000 km, Ranger's left brake was starting to stick a little, so James at the Revolution bicycle shop in Sarnia gave it a good clean - and refused to take a penny for doing so!

Much of my route to Dresden took me along the river, and along bike paths through parks such as this 🙂 This area is known as 'Bluewater', and I think you can see why...

The fall foliage season is definitely coming to an end now, but as I cunningly keep heading further south, I do still keep catching up with pockets of it: this was in Dresden



  1. Glad you met up with James at Revolution! How kind of him.

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