Total Elevation Gain (ft): 345.7
Weather: Sunny, Mild
Hillbilly Insults: 0
Roadkill: 44 (2 Possum, 1 Raccoon, 2 Unknown)
Bugs Swallowed: 0
Mean Dogs Chasing: 0
Animal Rescue: 0
My favorite thing about Canadians is their adorably lilting accents, even if they happen to be evil incarnate or find themselves in tremendous pain. I've not experienced any unpleasantness whatsoever, but I imagine this idea to be true.
The uber-friendly people I converse with along the coast of Lake Erie don't complain much, buy they do find three things annoying and they'll let you know "aboowt" it--the Québécois, tax amnesty for the First Nations and the perennial disappointment of Mapleleaf hockey.
As to the whole dual-language (English and French) nightmare that afflicts the culture here, I told my acquaintances Peggy and Lynne, over a Tim Horton's coffee, "If English was good enough for Jesus, then by God it's good enough for me!"
I lifted my statement from Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, spoken in reference to the use of bilingualism in Texas schools. I figured it was roughly analogous.
My ride was a flat hug of the coastline along the St. Clair river on my way to the Canadian coast of Lake Erie. I took a ferry across from Marine City where I was hassled by U.S. Customs agents. Their incredibly dumb questions reminded me that we are living in the age of the American Stasi. "Why do you need this type if credit card? Is this a weapon? (It was a small black mini pump.)
After paying a buck to get across the water and happy I wasn't reamed by a cavity search, I rode a few pleasant miles and came upon Tim Hortons. It surely will be the first of hundreds on this stretch through Ontario. More ubiquitous than Dunkin Donuts is in the States, Timmy's can be relied upon 24/7 for mediocre coffee, mediocre pastry and middling WiFi. I love the place.
A bit of background for those ignorant about this Canadian icon: Tim Horton's is an multinational doughnut chain co-founded by Tim Horton, a Canadian Hockey player. He died when he lost control of his 1974 Pantera driving 120 mph under the influence of alcohol and pain killers.
The company has brilliantly managed to use it strict Canadian origin, massive franchise expansion, corporate sponsorships and shrewd marketing to make itself more iconic than McDonald's is in the U.S. It's such a staple, it appears to me that
Canadians make it their patriotic duty to patronize the place.
Here's the bad news Canada. Tim Horton's is not Canadian owned! Just like we took the 13 Colonies in 1776-1778, us Yanks bought the corporation in 1995. Tim Horton's is owned by Wendy’s. Of course, this means that when I buy Tim Hortons, I'm being a patriotic American and a generous one to boot, since I'm injecting the once mighty dollar into a better economy.
I ride rural routes tomorrow, hoping to make it to the very Commonwealth sounding Port Stanley.