Posted by: Silver | April 9, 2012

Oshawa to Peterborough

Oshawa to Kawartha Lakes:
Distance: 74 km
Ascent: 822 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 43 minutes

Kawartha Lakes to Peterborough:
Distance: 66 km
Ascent: 539 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

My progress through Ontario certainly continues to be full of the unexpected… Only a couple of days before I was due to arrive in Kawartha Lakes, I discovered that the ‘city’ of Kawartha Lakes is actually a mainly rural area, larger than some whole counties in Ontario, and that, for some locals (including my host-to-be it seems), the definition extends even further than that, taking in some good-sized chunks of the neighbouring counties of Peterborough and Haliburton as well. And how did I come to make this interesting discovery? By finally receiving my host’s street address, which indisputably placed her quite squarely over a hundred kilometres away from where I thought she was! Fortunately, very fortunately, I was saved by a lovely couple who lived only about ten kilometres away from where I needed to be, and who stepped into the breach with a wonderfully warm, last-minute welcome.

Before I even left Oshawa, however, there were yet more unexpected changes of plan. Pulling up outside City Hall in search of a town pin (the largest, heaviest souvenir of each community that I can possibly manage to carry with me), I came upon a bustle of TV cameras and people with clipboards. Instantly demonstrating what a shameless media whore I’ve become for the sake of SOS, I capitalized on the interest one of the presenters showed in Ranger to ask if they might be interested in having a little chat with me about what I was doing there. I assumed they were recording a news segment, but it turned out they were actually counting down to a live outside broadcast. And so, to the accomplishments of this journey, I can now add ‘gate-crashing daytime television’! Everyone was actually very kind and accommodating, given that they had, understandably, already scheduled everything they needed to fill the show that was about to air at any moment: they couldn’t squeeze in an interview, but did open with some shots of me pedalling around the plaza while the presenters briefly enthused about what I was doing (and about Ranger too, it must be admitted). I have no idea how it came across, of course – it’s not like I had the time to ask someone to tape the show for me, after all! – but they mentioned SOS Children’s Villages to an audience across the whole of Durham, and that’s good enough for me! 🙂

More unexpected surprises! I saw this couple during my ride to Kawartha Lakes, and couldn't help being at least a little comforted to see that they were struggling with the headwinds almost as much as I was

A photo especially for my brother: this is Lake Scugog 🙂

As serendipity would have it, my last-minute hosts actually lived right on the Trans-Canada Trail, but sadly, the trail isn't paved and, at this time of year at least, the surface was way too soft for Ranger to make any sort of acceptable progress over: soon after I took this photo, I retreated back to the road route 😦

In a change to the usual Rotary club meetings, my presentation in Peterborough was to the Kawartha Bikers' Church. Ranger had been looking forward to hanging out with all the big bikes, but in the end, only one turned up! Everyone else said it was still too cold! Which, when you're going five times as fast, I suppose it probably is...

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