After a couple of seasons of consideration and planning (along with the open calendar created by the covid pandemic ), I convinced two of my friends to join me on a bike pack adventure. Ever since buying my 2015 Norco Bigfoot I have been researching how to go about doing a bike pack trip. I was most inspired by Summittoppler and his intrepid Salsa Mukluk.
The reason I chose to do this trip was because the destination was a Brewery called Cowbell which does an incredible job of being environmentally friendly, being charitable, employing a large number of people from the town of Blyth, Ontario and utilizing many of the local farmers for produce and meat for their restaurant. The trip seemed straight forward. 100km from my house along an abandoned rail line to a camping spot just a couple hundred meters from the Brewery. It seemed simple enough for a first timer. However, what I learned was that not only were there several poorly marked road detours to get from one part of the trail to the next, it ended up taking the better part of 9hrs of biking and close to 135km total distance. A slight 70km round trip miscalculation, oops!
The morning started at 7am under a cool sky with no chance of rain for two days and a high of 15 degrees Celsius. Bonus, Bonus! The first part of the journey was a 30km road ride that included getting passed by a semi rig doing 90km/h. Terrifying! It was beautiful scenery and easy peddling with great conversation as we passed apple orchards and farmers fields filled with grazing cattle. Along the way, I found a $20 bill laying beside one of our rest stops! First round on me fellas!
We passed through several little towns and noticed that despite it being Saturday, the main streets were deserted; no cars, no people. Stopping at red lights seemed almost comedic.
As we finally reached the town of Blyth, we happened upon a lady named Helen. She not only gave us a history lesson of the town, but also showed us where the campsite was and informed us that because the gentleman, that normally handles the campsite booking was away on vacation for the weekend, the camping was free.
We set up our tents and changed out of our kits and peddled the last leg of our journey to the prize; delicious craft beer and some fantastic food. The Cowbell Brewery does not disappoint. A great menu to satisfy every palette and they have no problem fixing a meal that can accommodate dietary concerns, not to mention the beer. Several of the beers are dedicated to historical figures from the town.
Well fed and exhausted from the day, we grabbed a six pack to go and headed to camp.
Dawn broke and we packed up our things and headed to the Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons to fuel up for the ride home. No time for a “homemade “ breakfast if we wanted to arrive home before dusk.
The ride back seemed to pass with ease other than Roar-E’s knees feeling very worse for the wear. My other friend Zed seemed to have energy for days. There is no better feeling than that of completion of a trip with no mechanical or medical issues. It was not too many days later before we were planning our next bike pack quest. ‘ till then – Allroy