Day 1: Lawrenceville, PA to Dearborn, MI
Had a cool start with temps at 45 when we left. The sun soon warmed things to low 60s when we arrived at the Peace Bridge. We had a short 10 minute wait to cross the border, paid our $4.75 bridge toll and then headed up the QEW to Hamilton. It was 69 degrees as we headed up towards Lake Ontario where it very quickly dropped to 49 degrees! That lake is cold. It was like riding into a refrigerator.
We made our way across southern Ontario to Windsor passing through a few fairly light showers. Things slowly warmed up as we neared Windsor where it was sunny and 70. We then crossed back into the US at Detroit. The border crossing was nearly empty. We were 3rd in line and got across in less than 5 minutes. We got to our hotel about 6:30 and headed to nearby Ford’s Garage for supper. What a fantastic place. I had the best fish and chips outside of the UK. They actually had real wedge “chips” like England, not plain Jane french fries. The only thing missing was the vinegar, salt and newspaper wrapping. If you are ever in Dearborn, this is the place to eat.
Not much to show for pictures today as southern Ontario is kind of like Kansas.
PS. At first we weren’t sure about the new Russell seats. They feel much different than stock. Linda and I both feel like we are being slid/rotated forward all of the time. It is a somewhat disconcerting feeling. However, at the end of the day, we had almost no butt burn as we normally do and other than the normal (for us nearly 60s folks) stiffness in the joints, we ended the day in pretty good shape. So, even though the seats feel a little odd while riding, I think they certainly are living up to the “day long” claim as we had a pretty long day (437 miles and probably 8 hours in the saddle) and ended the day in pretty good shape. We aren’t iron butt contestants by any means, but this day was on the long side of our typical touring days. I try to keep us in the 300-350 range most days and most of our trips average only about 200 miles/day counting the few days we spend mostly visiting a sight of one form or another.
I see why Russell really emphasizes getting a 1,000 miles or so before calling them about issues. They say this “breaks in” the seat. I suspect it is more of “breaking in” the riders to get used to the seat and it does feel odd at first if you are coming from a stock seat.
As for the Vstream tall shield, Linda says it is better for her than stock. She feels less buffeting on her helmet and less wind overall. I find it worse than the stock shield for a couple of reasons. First, I get more wind on my arms and shoulders due to the funky shape at the midpoint that supposedly creates the vortex that National Cycle advertises. This was very noticeable when we got along the cold lake yesterday. I had to stop and put in a jacket liner where I likely could have toughed it out with just my t-shirt and mesh jacket with the stock shield. Second, The extra 3/4” of height puts the top of the shield almost within my line of sight even when fully lowered. I could easily see over the stock shield when fully lowered. I can see over the Vstream, but the edge of the shield is high enough to be bothersome. However, Linda is happy so it is a win overall.