Day 9
June 19
Distance Travelled: 148.87 km (Velorution, Sault Ste. Marie)

After eggs and home-made cinnamon buns and banana bread with Warren and company, I set out on what turned out to be another fairly long haul. The Trans-Canada continued to suck; the side roads continued to be great. I saw a drunk man wandering along the highway at 11 a.m. There were no towns nearby, just forest, and he wasn’t hitchhiking, just walking against the flow of traffic. We both said “Hi” as I passed.

The best part of my day came at the end with a stop at Velorution, which I went to at Warren’s suggestion. It’s a cycle shop right off the highway in Sault Ste. Marie. They have a little patch of forest in the back where they let touring cyclists camp for free. There’s free firewood and a picnic table next to the firepit, free potable water, wireless internet and free washroom and shower facilities. Velorution was closed when I got there, so I learned all this from a pamphlet they had on the poster board and from postings in the guest book. The pamphlet also showed local grocery stores, laundromats, banks, restaurants and internet-access cafes. Plus, there was a map swap for cyclists going in different directions (where I got maps for the next three U.S. states on my route).

There were two other cyclists camping there, who I met later in the evening. Dave, from Winnipeg, was cycling from Vancouver to St. John’s. Wesley, from L.A. (or at least from California and flying out of L.A.), was biking from Vancouver to Montreal. We went for a beer at the only place open and serving alcohol at 10 p.m. on a Sunday: Boston Pizza.