The bike trip from Belleville to Tamworth has been in the works since last November. It finally became a reality over the past weekend.
The plan was to drive to Belleville, park the car at a Carpool lot, and cycle onwards to Tamworth which is a little town on the outskirts of Napanee. We’d stay overnight at friend Mary’s house, & repeat the journey back the next day. Here’s the catch – this is not an ordinary house. It’s located across a lake & is only accessible by boat. PLUS, the entire house was built with her bare hands – blasting granite rocks & all. Amazing lady!
DAY 1 (Saturday) – Belleville to Tamworth
Being an overnight trip, this was the 1st time I rode a decent distance with a backpack. The adventure started at the get-go when we failed to get right directions to the Carpool lot. We eventually found it, setting us back by 45min. It was noon by the time any pedaling started.
The route was relatively flat. At 20km, we reached the Mohawk Indian Reserve in Marysville and Shannonville along Hwy 2. The reserve looked like any town in the area – unless you count the cheap cigarettes and gas, or shops like Smokin’ Joe’s!!! 😀 The people didn’t look any different either. You wouldn’t be able to tell they are Natives. The road, however, was not at the best condition. It was bumpy with potholes here & there. I rode over at least 2 potholes. Poor bike. Luckily, no harm done.
Once we reached Napanee, it was uphill all the way to Tamworth. Thankfully, they were mostly gradual hills. On the last KM, we turned onto an unpaved narrow side road that heads towards the lake. The sharp rocks and gravels were daunting. My tires wouldn’t like that!! Hesitant at first – I wanted to walk it. But a swamp surrounds the path. Walking would make me an easy meal for the swarms of flies & mosquitoes. Cursing under my breath, I rode on hoping not to hear anything go “POP“. Sigh of relief when we reached the lake. I gave my roadie a pat on the saddle for excelling at being a hybrid! 😀
Time to cross the lake, commemorating Roadie’s 1st time on a boat! It was a full house when we arrived. The 6 of us spent the rest of the day on the patio chatting while enjoying the beautiful scenery. It was nature in its rawest form. Can’t get any more natural than that!! 😀 This house is so remote that it’s off the grid. They use their own diesel generator for electricity & pump water straight from the lake. If no one talks, it can become so quiet that you’d feel like you’re deaf. It’s a surreal place for sure.
DAY 2 (Sunday) – Tamworth to Belleville
It was a late start the next day. Perhaps a little too late. Showers were in the forecast. We woke up to sunshine but when we set out at 2pm, the showers had already arrived. I was prepared with my booties and bag cover. 🙂 It didn’t take long for us to get soaked. We reaped the benefits of the downhills from Tamworth all the way to Napanee, maintaining over 30km/hr with minimal effort. But we were having severe saddle sore – wet cycling shorts just stuck in the wrong way!
We tried out a shortcut – it ended up shaving about 2km. Better than nothing! We stopped at the Indian reserve to fuel up. Drenched at that point, it was pretty chilly when we set out again with the wind blowing in our face especially on downhills. The dirty construction road near the end made the situation worst, throwing bits of mud all over us & our bikes. Gross.
Rain aside, it has been a good “get-away” trip. Loved the route with total distance of 170km. Best of all, I got to experience nature in a special way. Can’t wait to be back at Mary’s place.
Stay tune for a similar but more picturesque post in the near future (hopefully this summer). It will be a similar trip, except we’ll be traveling over 200km in a day from Oshawa to Tamworth but with a personal support car!!! I hope to bring my actual camera next time to let you all experience the beauty of this area. 😀