Have I blogged about how much I love our folding bikes? It’s just so much easier to fold them up and put them INSIDE the car instead of having to put them ON the car.

This past Friday we put them in the car, grabbed our bags (but left the cake at home) and headed off to Kingston. We arrived later than expected at the Hochelaga Inn, which is very affordable and  either a very large bed and breakfast or a small hotel. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the breakfast area is large and tastefully directed, with a choice of closed in veranda, porch and garden area to sit down.

Our room was oddly configured. Instead of adding a wardrobe, a wall divided a small area just inside the door as a closet. The queen bed was in the corner against the wall to allow enough space to pass between the corner of the bed and the corner wall of the bathroom to get to the desk. Being a very old house (built in 1879), central air conditioning isn’t an option. But each room has a window air conditioner, which is great for hot nights, but a bit noisy. The breakfast buffet reminded us of German pensions, with hard boiled eggs, cold cuts, fruit salad, coffee cake, croissants, muffins, yogurt and cereal. It wasn’t the same breakfast we had at other B&Bs, but it was more than adequate. We also grabbed an extra piece of fruit for our cycle ride.

The weather forecast for the weekend was a bit sketchy for cycling. We planned to cycle on Saturday even though the original forecast looked better for Sunday. By the time we arrived on Friday, the rain had already started. We set off for the Kingston Brewing Company for supper, about a kilometre away. In that short walk we were almost swept away as a torrent of water gushed down a path in a churchyard onto the sidewalk. It was hopeless trying to stay dry with my tiny umbrella over my head and NosyNeighbour wearing his gortex jacket. Our jeans were soaked and stuck to our legs.

NosyNeighbour loves KBC because they sell real ale, that is the cask-conditioned type of beer that gets pulled in pubs around England. We started off with a pint each, then ordered the feta dip. I’m sure it wasn’t made with low fat cream cheese, sour cream or feta, but it was tasty and came with fresh veg so we tried to start off healthy. I had the fish and chips and NosyNeighbour had the lamb burger. We were both pleased with our choices and mentioned that it’s usually better than we expect.

The rain had finally stopped when it was time to head back to the B&B and the walk seemed much shorter on the return trip. We watched a bit of the Olympics re-cap then settled in for a good night’s sleep.

In the morning, we unfolded our bikes and loaded up our bike bags with rain gear, tubes, tools and extra water. We’d never been to Wolfe Island, but had read enough to know that the outer ends of the island have no services. I didn’t think we’d make the 9:30 ferry, but surprisingly we arrived just as it was pulling in.

About 10 cyclists joined us for the ride. Three of them represented three generations of the same family: grandfather, father and son. The grandfather explained that he still lived just east of Kingston and that his family was up from the U.S. visiting. He was fascinated with our folding bikes and recounted stories of taking his kids on a long loop ride over to the U.S. when they were kids.

I’ve since mapped it out and it’s about 110km, which is very impressive for young kids. Starting from Kingston you head east on #2 to the Thousand Island Bridge. Cyclists don’t have to pay a toll, but they are supposed to walk their bike on the sidewalk over the bridge. Once on the American side, you head west to take the ferry back to Wolfe Island, then back to Kingston. I think that may be our next trip to Kingston, possibly with a stay on the U.S. side.

I’d printed a map of various cycling routes and slipped it in a plastic sheet protector because I was expecting rain. The instructions were confusing and we made a wrong turn leaving the village of Marysville, where the ferry docks. Eventually we found our way back to the red route, but the signposts indicating the route along the way were few and far between. The red route takes you to Port Metcalfe and back. But it’s not a port like I was expecting. There’s no dock, just a bunch of rocks arranged into tables and chairs, and an outhouse. With cottage magazines for your reading pleasure.

Wolfe Island has installed loads of windmills that you can see from the Kingston shore. Our route took us to the eastern end of the island, away from the windmills. But it wasn’t away from the wind, which was in our face for most of the return ride.

About halfway back, my feet started to really hurt. Eventually we pulled over, and I took off my left shoe to massage it. I’d been having sharp shooting pains up my lower leg and couldn’t figure out what was causing it. After letting it breathe for a bit, I put back on my sock and shoe and tightened the laces a bit tighter. And ta-da … the pain was almost eliminated! I decided not to clip back into my pedals, using the flat side instead.

When we arrived on edge of town, the car line up for the ferry greeted us. As we pedalled closer to the ferry dock, we saw a small chippy on the right with tables, chairs and umbrellas. The sun had been beating down on us for 2.5 hours. And I thought we’d just missed the ferry. And they sold beer. And not just any beer. They had Steamwhistle. We wet our whistle and scarfed down a pogo each. It’s been ages since I’d eaten one. The only food we’d had was the apples at Port Metcalfe.

As we relaxed in our chairs looking at the water, NosyNeighbour noticed the ferry coming in. We chugged the rest of our beers, dropped off the garbage, loaded up the bikes and raced around the corner to get in line. Note to self: ignore the ferry crossing schedule and just sit on the patio to wait for the ferry.

I had a bit of a mishap as we cycled through downtown Kingston heading back to the B&B. My feet were still sore so I was riding not clipped in on either side. When starting up with traffic beside me, My left foot slipped and my ass fell hard on the front of my seat and I continued to slip until my feet both landed on the ground. Ouch! I clipped in after that since my foot was now not as sore as the tush.

We capped off the day watching the men’s 4×100 relay at a nice pub while eating some tasty hummus and veg, had a nap back at the B&B, then went to Amadeus for supper and then off to the Ale House to see David Wilcox.  All in all a better than expected weekend given the forecast. We even got to see a huge rainbow on our drive home. 

Just a few pics from our latest adventure:

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