I managed a couple of days out on the bike around my birthday this year. Thanks to being freed from the shackles of the school year, I was able to do it outside of the May long weekend when the roads would be utterly mad with with ravening hordes driving the largest SUVs they could find and hauling every possible motorized toy to their second homes in the near north.
|It ended up being just over 800kms over two days. 500kms on day one from home and up through and around Algonquin Park, then 320kms home on day two. The Map.|
The ride down Highway 9 to the 400 north was packed solid with transport trucks, to the point where I missed the turn north on Highway 27 because I was literally surrounded by the bloody things.
Finally on the 400 north (which was moving well on the Thursday morning before the long weekend), I let the Kawasaki fly and we shot up the road, finally clear of the convoy. I had three things going for me when I crested a hill right into the eyes of a waiting OPP cruiser.
#1: I was making time in the middle lane rather than the fast lane and was following another car
#2: The bike is awfully difficult to get a reading from thanks to not a lot of metal to bounce radar off of
#3: You can always count on some citiot blasting up the fast lane in a mega-sized German SUV
The cruiser lit the lights and pulled out only to collect said SUV out of the fast lane. He wasn’t going much faster than I was but he can enjoy that ticket.
The 400 was (incredibly) fully functional and I was around Barrie in no time and moving up Highway 11 at pace. I pulled into Webbers because they have a nice new Starbucks where I got a coffee and stretched. In under two hours I’d covered the 172kms that got me clear of the gravity of the Greater Toronto Area and into the near north.
After a warm up (it was 5°C when I left just past 9am), I was back on the Kawasaki and heading north again. Gravenhurst was (incredibly) efficient and I slipped past what is often a backup without delay. By 11:30 I was grabbing a quick lunch and filling up in Huntsville and then it was Highway 60 into Algonquin Provincial Park.
I stopped at the West Gate to have a chat with the wardens and get my pass as I intended to stop at the Visitor Centre. After a nice chat with the young ladies at the desk I got my pass, set up the 360 camera and then got in motion ASAP because it’s blackfly season and boy do they come out of the woodwork when you stop!
Into the park there was very little traffic. The only one I had to make space for was the massive German SUV thundering through one of the most beautiful places in the province at well over 120kms/hr (it’s an 80 zone). If you play your cards like that, you’re not likely to see anything!
Once clear of the traffic by the gate things got really quiet. An occasional car would pass the other way but there was nothing on the road in front of behind me as I went deeper into nature. It was midday so I wasn’t likely to see any big animals (and I didn’t), but birds were plentiful with birds of prey over the road and many others in the bush.
After a quick pit stop I was on my way again. The 118 is one of my favourite roads in the province and I twisted and turned my way down it towards Canarvon and Minden where I was spending the night. Only a long delay in Haliburton for road works slowed the ride down. At least I know the fans are working on the C14. They cycled three times while we sat there wondering what the f*** was going on. It turned out a water pipe had burst across the road holding things up.
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