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The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA)

By Roy Crooks   (July 29 – Aug 3, 2018)

Four 3C members cycled the 2018 Waterfront Trail ride, and what an adventure it was! Of the 179 riders registered, the foursome included Roy and Diane Crooks, Margot Dixon and Jeanne Winters. We thought it was worth submitting some notes as an update to Margot’s earlier Dispatch of February 9, 2018. It was her report that prompted us to consider the ride this year.

Margot tented in the parks, as most riders did. We elected to go with the motel option for three nights. The other two nights were with the group at Queens University in Kingston, and the NAV Centre in Cornwall.

Many sections of the route were familiar to us, and the six days of continuous riding “stitched” the trail together into one amazing route. Much of eastern Ontario is known to many only by way of highway 401, whereas our route took us along quieter, historic, scenic and smaller communities.

The highlights?

  • Doing our ‘personal best’ in cycling the 511 km, including 114 km on the second day. We didn’t use a shuttle option except for the recommended transfer from Bath to Kingston due to road construction. We were taken to the Kingston ferry which goes to Wolfe Island. No cost for cyclists and we had a pleasant ferry ride and cycling on the island instead. Total kilometers? 511 km, with 114 km on one day.

  • Meeting fellow riders from other parts of Canada and even the U.S. We felt fortunate in starting out from nearby Ajax Rotary Park. It would be a long day to get home for those who were from Brockville and beyond.

  • The overwhelming reception when the four of us got to Wesleyville on day 1, for the afternoon refreshment stop. Yes, it was the best refreshment stop of the tour! After the long hills earlier in the day, we were ready to stop. It felt as if we were crossing the finish line at the Olympics, given the welcoming: cheering, bells ringing, photo ops and all. Thanks, Pete for providing ‘valet parking’ of my bike. Thanks to Jim Boate and the many contributors and to the 3C members who came out on July 29th. (See the details in the earlier Dispatch of August 12, 2018). Then, back on our bikes and on to Cobourg for our first overnight stop to finish day 1.

  • The many reasons to revisit and recommend stops, such as the Brockville Rail Tunnel.

  • No rain, no flat tires, and a general good feeling and appreciation for all the ‘behind the scenes’ work done by the staff and volunteers for the 2018 tour.

Other comments?

We got home on August 3rd, and the Tuesday ride on August 7th started from Ajax Rotary Park. It felt like ‘déjà vu’ to once again ride out from Ajax.

Margot was really pleased to once again ride through the Upper Canada Village area, and meet with former workmates at the site where she had worked for 29 years. She said… “Although I have been saying that this would probably be my last full GWTA…I am making a note to reserve that week for cycling.”

Jeanne said that she missed the daily routine of getting up and jumping on a bike. “A great ride…wonderful company…lots of memories…and who knows…as they say…never say never.”

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