Adventure, Just for fun, Motorcycles

9 + 1 cool things that happened on a june loop to collingwood

Photo credit: James Amundson


I was struck by something coincidental in the Collingwood sunset pic above as I looked through the loop photos.

Maybe it’s just me, I thought.

“Do you notice anything interesting in this pic?” I messaged James along with the image he himself had taken.

“I think you wanted to hold fishing poles like the holders to your right and left.” He LOL-ed in reply.

“Is that what those things are? Fishing pole holders?”


“I had no idea,” I said. “It was pure coincidence that I held my arms and hands up like that. I hadn’t seen those posts at all until I looked at the pic just now.”

The synchronicity got me thinking about other cool stuff that happened on our return trip to Collingwood. Here’s a partial list:

  1. Unusually, we left at 9 a.m. sharp on Thursday morning. I say ‘unusually’ because I am forever behind schedule and invariably late – this time was an exception to the rule.
  2. We picked up our Dynamite Alley Ride the Highlands at The Granite restaurant in Bancroft on the way to Collingwood (pics in the first Relive video) and had a great lunch there on the way back. Bikers: beware of the entrance coming from downtown Bancroft – it’s a left-hand turn on a right-hand uphill curve; entering from the other direction is MUCH easier. Beware, also, of the parking lot, which is mostly sand. There’s a flat, bike-friendly space for bikes in the street above the parking lot but it was full when we arrived.
  3. I re-learned just how much weather conditions impact my ability to ride well. The combination of strong, gusty winds and cool temperatures made riding uncomfortable and challenging for most of the way up to Collingwood from Almonte. I realized that feeling cold and being blown all over the road causes my whole body to tighten up and the tightness resulted in my ability to negotiate curves, corners, turns and twisties.
  4. James has been riding motorcycles for fifty years, having started at age eight. He reckons he has ridden well over a million kilometres throughout Canada and the United States; he even dipped his toes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific on one cross-Canada trip.I, on the other hand, started riding less than three years ago and have a mere 70,000 kms in the saddle. Lennoxville, QC, is the furthest east I’ve been on my bike and now, on this loop, I added Collingwood, ON, as my furthest point west.
  5. James’ sister, Heather, and brother-in-law, Ron, cooked us a great dinner followed by a delicious desert of angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream (yummy) and James stayed overnight in their trailer where he says he “slept like a log” after the long day. Nevertheless, he still took a curbside nap when he came to pick me up at the Airbnb the following morning (evidence at the start of the second Relive).
  6. When they saw we were taking pictures, two women cyclists at Wasaga Beach stopped to ask if we would like them to take a photograph of us with the bikes and the sign. “Sure,” we said. Yes, there are wonderful cyclists out there. The pic is in the second Relive below.
  7. An Ontario Provincial Police Officer at whom I waved just outside of Orillia, waved back at me on our return trip. Yes, there are many wonderful police officers out there too. I wouldn’t have known the rider was OPP had James not told me so – he has a good eye for that kind of thing. No idea why…. Speaking of traffic, there wasn’t much of it and we didn’t have any riding-related or mechanical issues, except we had to pull over a couple of times because I forgot to do my helmet up again after a stop. Typical.
  8. While we were gearing up to go after lunch at The Granite on the way home, another rider came up to me in the parking lot. “Hey, I see you have a Gryphon jacket,” he said. “I love mine.” I was surprised and delighted because, while Gryphon is a great brand, I hadn’t yet met anyone else who had Gryphon gear. “Yeah,” I said. “I do.” I asked if he might like to talk about his jacket on video. “Sure,” he said. I captured his enthusiastic reply in a clip.
  9. When we stopped at the top of Centennial Lake road, I kibitzed for the camera and was able to stand unsupported for a few seconds on my right ankle, which I sprained in late May. It’s a sign the ankle is healing even though I think there’s still a long way to go.

This Collingwood loop comprised 844 kilometres over two approximately nine-hour days. I have learned over the past season and a half during which I have made many loops, that it takes me about two hours (including stops) to cover a distance of about one hundred kilometres. Very twisty loops may take a bit longer; straight roads may take a little less. But 120 mins / 100 kms is a good rule of thumb for fun for me.

It was a great two-day ride. I’m so thankful to have been able to do it.

© 2024 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.

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