Buffalo to Toronto

It was a great game at the Ralph Wilson Stadium, with the Bills beating the Oakland Raiders by one point – scoring a field goal with three seconds left on the clock. The highlight had to have been when my brother shouted out “Let’s go, Toronto Bills!” Some people laughed, a lot of people gave angry looks, and some warned us to “Take it easy”.

The traffic leaving the stadium is the stuff of nightmares, as is the line up at the border. An electronic sign indicated that the Fort Eerie Peace bridge had the shortest wait at 20-30 minutes. I shut the motor off several times and pushed the bike to reduce wear/emissions/waste gas while waiting.

I wasn’t far over the border when it hit me. “Our roads are in terrible condition,” I thought to myself. A lot of it had been ripped up to be repaved, but it seemed to stretch on and on, from immediately after the Peace bridge in to St. Catherines, and again on the 427 as well as the 401. Not only is it uncomfortable to drive on, it is dangerous at those speeds. Several times the front end of my Honda Magna started to shake in the grooves, like a mock speed wobble. I had to keep a close eye on the roads to anticipate the grooved pavement as for the most part they are poorly marked.

In the least, these areas should be better indicated, and motorists should be aware of the danger this grooved pavement presents to motorcycles and drive appropriately.

Instead of heading home I decided to go to my girlfriends place in Oshawa. So non-stop from the Peace Bridge to Oshawa, on about $10 worth of gas, I drove for four hours. Not sure of my average speed as my speedometer was still inoperable but I was keeping pace with traffic. And just as I pulled into her driveway, the low fuel light turned on. Gotta love it.


Toronto to Buffalo

My father and brother are NFL fans. Every year, on the weekend of my dads birthday, we take him to Buffalo to catch a Bills game. This year I decided to ride the motorcycle down.

I was doing some work in the Halton Hills area with the Bruce Trail hiking club so my day started very early – I was on the road at 6 am. I was heading north on the DVP when I realized my speedometer wasn’t working. Odd, I thought, as it was working fine the previous day.

It was nice riding without much traffic to the 401, west to Trafalgar and north to 10th line, all the while measuring my speed by that of other cars around me. There was a fog lingering just above the farmers fields that made me regret leaving my DSLR.
I worked till 3 then began the trip to buffalo, taking Winston Churchill Blvd south to the 403 where I was supposed to meet with my dad and brother. They were delayed several hours and suggested I continue on and we’d meet near the border, so I decided to take the Niagara wine region tour. For those of you who have done this trip before you know how beautiful the area and the ride is on a gorgeous day. I’ll post a map of my route when I’m home.

After the wine tour, and still with time to kill, I headed to Niagara Falls. Despite the pedestrian and car traffic this is a sweet ride. There are many groups you can hook up with for short rides and the scenery doesn’t disappoint. Even the plethora of tourist based attractions have a peverse appeal.

Finally at 7:30, I got a call that my family had arrived at the Queenston-Lewiston bridge into the USA. I followed my dad and bro through the border customs, where the guard said they warned him I was transporting a ‘green, leafy substance’. Thankfully he was kidding (yes, some of them do have a sense of humor), then he started talking about motorcycles, suggesting I check out the Suzuki Boulevard.

Finally pulled into the Lord Amherst hotel (highly recommended and affordable) around 9 pm. Picked up a pizza and wings at ‘La Nova’ and cracked some beers, settling in for a relaxing night before the game!