Bikes and Boats: The 2020 Weekend Edition

This weekend was Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere–the longest days of the year. After long indoor days of working from home, videoconferencing all day long, and working into the evenings, Sarah and I were ready for a break and the great outdoors. The timing was good too. Ontario has been opening up as the pandemic eases (for now).

We set out for her family farm in Prince Edward County and then made it to Gananoque to visit Jeff on the boat and ride our bikes.

Success! I finally felt comfortable recreationally riding away from home.

In May I was mostly riding indoors. In June, I ventured outside but stayed close to home.

This was my first time riding my bike beyond the boundaries of Guelph. It felt like a holiday. It helped that we were riding on the bike path that runs alongside the Thousand Island Parkway. It’s separate from traffic which is less scary. The odds of needing to call for help were pretty low. I recommend this path for nervous cyclists who can ride some distance but who hate riding near cars. It’s one of my favourite sections of road on the Friends for Life Bike Rally. We didn’t even see many other bikes, just one pair of Brompton riders early on. We only passed one lone jogger.

While friends were posting on Facebook about the days being shorter from here on in, I resisted the urge to give in to anticipatory sadness. We’re out and about now, riding our bikes, and eating lunch on patios with long days of sunshine. I don’t expect this degree of openness to persist through the fall. I know the sun won’t last. But I intend on enjoying the sun, the outdoors, and meals on patios while they’re here.

We’ve been doing the “bikes and boats” thing for awhile. We have a routine. Drop stuff off on the boat with Jeff. Ride our bikes and then meet at spot down river (canal, or whatever). This time we met up at Gananoque and then again at Rockport. We got back on the boat with our bike at Rockport and toured around the islands. They’re so cool.

They also give you an idea of how porous the border is between the two countries. On our left, American islands. On our right, Canadian islands.

I’ve had friends in Ontario wondering what to do about holidays. Let me recommend houseboat rentals. It’s not cheap but for those who usually fly for vacation, it’s affordable by comparison. It’s beautiful out there and easy to keep distance from other households.

Enjoy the photos!

You can read about earlier versions of bikes and boats here and here.

You can also check out Jeff’s boating blog here and follow his adventures.

Jeff’s boat, Mazurka, at the wall in Gananoque.
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