I’m just 5 miles from the Falls and really looking forward to seeing them. The motel last night was ok, as predicted, more expensive but about the same facilities wise.
Coffee and a small danish included so thats an improvement.. 😏
Out to the bike and off we go… Or don’t… I can’t get the bike out of 2nd gear, the shifter isn’t working properly…. Shit, unbelieveable. Again very lucky for me there is a Harley shop just 4 miles away, in North Tonawanda, so I coax the bike along in 2nd all the way.
I can’t believe it, two problems in a few days… Lucky old me 😒 however I am actually pretty damn lucky because the guy can look at it right away. He diagnoses it as the rubber bush in the heel and toe shifter has swollen, probably in the heat, so they can take it out and drill the metal centre to free it up… Fab
Meanwhile, I shop of course… So, another late start, really putting me under pressure to ride late into the evening making me very tired and feeling like am I ever going to actually enjoy this trip!
Only an hour this time so am able to get to Niagara by 1, but still not ideal. The Falls don’t disappoint… Magnificent. I really would have liked to go on the Maid of the Mist boat to see them up close, but a) I don’t have time and b) the queues are enormous. I do manage to get some short, (shaky), video and fab photos so am pleased with that.
I spend a good couple of hours in the park and souvenir shop… of course.
The Falls are literally awesome, the thundering of the water is really something, I am just so glad I turned around in Gettysburg… right decision Pogs!
Unfortunately it is time to move on… Next stop is on the way to Chicago, but which way? I can go along the lower edge of Lake Erie to Toledo, or via Canada.. Are you kidding me, who wouldn’t want to visit Canada, however briefly? It’s just gotta be done. I ride the 1/4 mile to the US/Canadian border, which takes an hour… Seriously a whole hour in the queue waiting to cross the border and the bike is cooking my leg as usual. The customs guy is very nice and engaging, he asks me about my trip etc. He also asks if I have any weapons, foodstuff or animals in my luggage… Yep I have Battersea Dogs Home in my left saddlebag… No I didn’t actually say that, I’m not completely stupid.
I am wearing my Raybans and as I wait my turn at the border I take them off and hang them on my jacket. After I pull away from the border and make my way into Canada I look down and yep they’re gone, flown off and probably in the Niagara river… Bugger, so galling that I rushed to pull away from the border and didn’t take time to sort them out. Just gutted.
It is extremely windy and has been all day, but riding in it is just very draining especially when I am already pretty tired. At one point there is a neon sign warning of high winds on the ‘skyway’ and I think oh no I’m not going up there I’ll turn off and find an alternative route; that’s how bad that wind is. Unfortunately there is no turn off and no where to turn around so I have no choice… am really worried because of the huge bags but in the end it is ok and obviously I survived.
So the plan now is to ride as far as I can and stop off when ready. In what feels like a matter of minutes it starts to rain… Heavy… OMG again!!! I manage to stop and get my gear on and everything before it gets soaked so that’s good. I ride on and after about 40 or so miles I see the turn off to Woodstock… Is that THE Woodstock I wonder?? I decide I’ve had enough of the weather so pull off and find a hotel. I just stop at the first one I see and get a room. It’s a little more expensive than the other stays I’ve had so far, but needs must. It is actually the same facilities as the cheapest one I’ve stayed in so money doesn’t get you anything special. I’m a little surprised by Canada, I thought it would be a bit more like the UK, for some obscure reason, when in fact it is very much like its neighbour, which of course makes perfect sense.
Looking at the route it’s still over 400 miles to Chicago, so I plan to ride about 250 tomorrow to Kalamazoo, zoo, zoo zoo, zoo.
p.s. No… THE Woodstock is in New York state….