Peggy’s Cove loop
Days here are long; I was shocked when I finally reached my hotel — I didn’t believe it at first — all that time on the bike. Half of it in a fierce headwind, the second half blissfully with the wind at my back. I’ll mention the winds to my local friends, but I can hear them now, “That’s nothing…”
I only planned to do about 30 miles. Why not spend the night in picturesque Peggy’s Cove? But when I got there at 3:30pm I knew I had to keep going because I had great weather; wind, yes, but it could rain in the morning and I have an 11am car trip to Moncton, NB arranged. The great weather compelled me to keep going. And I’m glad I did.
Once I made up my mind to press on, it was as if the bike gods answered my prayers — headwinds turned into tailwinds and I was flying north along lovely St. Margaret’s Bay.
Just like last September’s Erie Canal ride, I felt great pressure to keep going. Any thoughts of a leisurely pedal out to the coast and an overnight stay, well it seems kinda ridiculous. There are always too many miles to cover.
One favorite moment: there are so many times each day when I think I’ll pull over and take a drink and rest my bones. One time was very important — I’d just made it off the peninsula and back to Route 3, maybe 25 miles from Halifax. I was beat, but I knew I had the route nailed. I see a driveway ahead on the right; I think I’ll pull in and take a drink, relax. It turns out it’s a EMT station, and I assume they’re sitting in there thinking I’m coming in to report a heart attack. But as I chill for a moment and look around, I see two bicyclists across the street, they’re in the woods, off-road on the rails-to-trails path I’d read about. Gotta try it, because I’m tired of all the hours riding the fog line. Then I spot it, only 100 ft away, an access path onto the trail. In a minute I’m on this sublime trail and I’ll ride it all the way to Halifax as I enjoy peace and quiet and relief from the close shaves of rush hour traffic.
It’s a ritual that started with my Erie Canal companion Kent: a martini before dinner because nothing else salves the pain as quickly. Getting up out of the chair after dinner is a raucous affair with lots of groans and a limp as I take the first few steps back to the hotel.