Stage 46 – Tobermory to Owen Sound

Stage 46 – Tobermory to Owen Sound. By the time I leave Toronto (where I’m taking a week off with Susie and her family) next week the Tour de France will be over, so I’m retitling each etape in my blog for three days. Although I have way more stages than they do, we have so much else in common. Similar daily distances (sometimes – not so much today), eating on the go, getting very very wet occasionally, being on a bicycle (that’s enough. Ed) It rained so consistently today that it was only listening to the TdF podcast that got me through. 

  • Today’s Distance (miles/km): 61/98
  • Time in saddle: 7h 34
  • Max/min temp (°c): 22°/13°
  • Climb/descend (feet) : 798 / 1331
  • Calories used: 2632
  • Cafe time: 1h 11


For the first time in ages I travelled all day without seeing the water once. Lake Huron on my right, Georgian Bay on my left, but never a glimmer of view. It was just a tunnel of road through trees, with the dreaded headwind combined with torrential rain wearing me down. There’s a Dickens line somewhere, a character who welcomes hardships as a test, because, he says, where would the credit be in being cheerful if life were easy? Can anyone fill in the huge gaps in my idle reference? I used to know these things…

So it’s very much a photo-lite day here on the blog dear readers. I started early from Tobermory planning to get as much in as possible before the predicted storm arrived:

 I kept at it as long as I could, wanting to make good time towards Toronto, but called it a day in Owen Sound and am once again in a nice warm dry comfy motel.

Last night I walked into town to visit the well-known Tobermory Brewing Co & Grill, and had a pint of some great pale ale with a lamb burger. It’s a very impressive joint but the place was heaving and I was ready for some peace and quiet so turned down the repeated offers of another pint and had a very early night after strolling around the harbour:


Everyone I spoke to was talking about the severe weather warnings in place for a storm system that’s been heading our way. NOT what a cyclist wants to hear before going to bed, but forewarned is forecheesedoff. 

The rain held off long enough after leaving for me to stop and take this, for Susie really, who loves sweetpeas:


After that my appreciation of roadside treasures went downhill fast. Second breakfast was taken bang on 50km, as I arrived in a town with construction going on. I had the place to myself and sat feeling slightly stunned, eating and drinking. The rain was in a brief lull, but the moment I got back on the bike….you know what I’m going to say.


I ducked under an awning 30 windswept kilometres later in Wilarton when there was of those comedy deluge moments when everyone runs for cover fast. Luckily the awning sold pulled pork buns and root beer, and was the home of the world’s smallest Adirondack chair:


At least the distance here wasn’t too bad, and the rain stopped with 10km to go. Owen Sound is a nice-looking town with plenty of Victorian buildings still in use and lots of independent shops. I thought I’d head back in from my motel until I saw the monster hill I had to climb to get here. A local lady saw me crest the top, and stopped with her shopping to offer some very friendly encouragement, gym attendant-style. “Way to go – nice job. Keep it up!” So, trip into town cancelled, big Chinese restaurant opposite highly preferred.
Forecast fingers crossed for tomorrow…

17 thoughts on “Stage 46 – Tobermory to Owen Sound

  1. That rain must be a pain to ride through Ben. Ah well at least you have family reunion in Toronto to look forward to. I guess Susie is flying out there very soon? Great to see them here in CAmbridge, Laurice is rehearsing for Chineke concert Sunday, wish you could be there!! There are so many cyclists in Cambridge, I wonder if any of them have cycled across Canada?! Ol xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the sweet peas. You’ve missed my amazing huge mass of fragrant sweet peas which I grew from Holkham Hall seeds. I just stand there with my eyes closed breathing it in.
    Susie xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did the same, the scent is just incredible! Strangely similar to Jasmine or one of the night scenting bushes at our old place.

      Hang in there Ben. If it’s any help (you’re going to hate me for this) then here’s some perspective: there were cracking photos of the great spot of Jupiter on the guardian today, now that’s a storm!! The team in command of the probe released all the data of the fly-by to the public, so there’s some great stuff online. I’m sure your storm is a right pain though. Great finish to the Tour today, check out the latest podcast asap.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben, we are enjoying reading your daily posts. It feels a bit like an extended vacation for us. Mark says, Hi! We hope our paths will cross again someday. Safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an ordeal through rain and wind, but it wouldn’t be the same if it was too easy, would it. Hope the home run to Toronto is better and thatyou have a great break.

    Mozart requiem in Kings College chapel yesterday with Olly. Listening to the strings I wondered if you miss the violin at all?
    Keep the blog going!xx

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  5. Just been reading the CAM mag – a piece called “There’s a book for that”, prescribing a novel to cure every problem.One is ” flat bicycle tyre”. Book suggested is The Old Man and the Sea. How not to rage against fate, all impediments met with equal composure. Eg ‘ I’ll take whatever weather comes along.’ ! You’ve got the right attitude. Xx

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  6. Ben just wanted to let you know the Dickenson quote you are referring to is from Chuzzlewit. It is spoken by the young man who works at the Blue Dragon when he leaves to accompany the younger Martin Chuzzlewit over hill and dale. I cannot for the life of me remember his name though I know the book itself so well. And I must say, in spite of the near drowning you got many days with the weather being so foul you certainly do deserve much credit for cheerfulness. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tammy that is such a pleasure to have the quote identified, thank you. I’ve been thinking Bleak House but couldn’t for the life of me guess who might have said it. I love Chuzzlwit and it feels appropriate being here on the continent of North America. I think Dickens did come to Toronto though, didn’t he?

      Like

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