I woke early this morning and set off at sunrise, which in these parts is at about 6am. The distance and weather conditions were similar to yesterday's. The main difference was that there was only one place along the route where food and drink could be bought and it was two thirds of the 98 km to Eureka.
Another difference was that the zigzagging included one segment headed south, into the wind, to cross the Verdigris River. That was soon followed by a longer segment headed north. I was powering along this stretch, the wind at my back, when I noticed a van coming towards me slowly in the other lane, its hazard lights flashing. When it drew level, I realised what was happening. The van was supporting a cyclist riding close behind, sheltering her from the wind. A minute later the same thing happened again. This time, two male cyclists were riding behind the vehicle. None of them seemed keen to stop for a chat so we shouted greetings and pedalled on.
|Have I strayed into Canada?|
I reached Toronto, which the map indicated had shops and restaurants. As expected, on Sunday morning everything was closed. I knew that just a few minutes further on, at the turn on to US 54, the Lizard Lips Grill and Deli would be open. I had my second breakfast there and stayed more than an hour, talking to Miles when he arrived. That may have been a mistake for when I got back on my bike for the remaining westbound segment of the day's ride, I found that the new road was more exposed than the earlier ones, lacking a shelter belt of trees. The south wind was gusting quite strongly, blowing me to the right. I had to fight to prevent being thrown off the narrow shoulder, at the same time being pushed back and forth in the slipstream of the huge cattle trucks and container lorries that hurtled past.
|At junction of SR 105 and US 54, north of Toronto|
I reached Eureka in good time to check in to a motel, shower, change, and head over to the Cherokee Lanes American & Chinese Restaurant for the lunch buffet. Since cyclists need food for fuel and eat enormous quantities, buffets are always good value.