The Garden City Refugee

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On the Road to Port Colborne

September 11, 2021

Highlights from yesterday’s two-wheeled adventure to and from Port Colborne:

0. I didn’t film the ride on this trip, but for those who haven’t covered the Welland Canal trail before, here are videos I’ve shot from past trips showing the route from north to south:

1. The green initiatives governments are pushing are obviously having an effect on the Welland River . . .

2. Scenes at Sugarloaf Harbor:



3. While enjoying a break there, a guy leaving the marina office suddenly yelled an obscenity, did an about-face and went back inside. “Brain dead!” he exclaimed. Who am I to argue?

4. That same guy was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Let those who ride decide,” advocating for motorcycle riders who want the right to choose as to whether or not they want to wear a helmet. I support that right. I also support our right not to pay their hospital bills when they get a head injury as a result of an accident.

5. Also at Sugarloaf Harbor, a man yelled “Great hair!” to a woman. The woman seemed flattered as she stopped to show off the Tibetan terriers she had on a leash. The more appropriate comment, however, would have been “Great fabric!” as she was wearing an outfit several sizes too small that was stretched to the max across too much blubber.

6. Visitors to H.H. Knoll Park had the pleasure of being serenaded by an aspiring singer in a nearby apartment block with a stork in his open window.

7. A B & B along West Street done up nicely:

8. Video along West Street, the trendy, touristy area of Port Colborne across from Port Promenade:

9. Spotted on the side of a pickup truck was a sticker with “Salt Life” on it. Well, this is Saltario.

10. I’ve noted in the past that I think there’s a bylaw in Welland requiring every resident to have at least one tattoo. In Port Colborne, I think there’s a bylaw requiring every resident to have at least one dog.

11. Before leaving, I checked out the Farmers’ Market. I was surprised to see that it was much larger than the one here in St. Catharines, a city roughly 10 times the size of Port Colborne:

12. At the Farmers’ Market, I stopped by the Terry Fox Run table, where the four volunteers were too deeply engrossed in their conversation to notice this passer-by who showed some interest.

13. Rest assured I was not among those standing in line at the restaurant serving up helpings of some smelly dark brown liquefied goop out of a plastic tub that they were trying to keep the flies out of.

14. If only I had come on “Sataday” instead so I could have checked out this garage sale:

15. Don’t be one of the “violaters” . . .

16. When in Port Colborne, check out



17. I think these might be cormorants, but from a distance, they looked like buzzards. So they’re buzzards. And that’s that.

18. In Welland’s Merritt Park on my return trip, an overweight cyclist with a straggly beard and no helmet stopped nearby. He put down his bike, which had a black tire on the back wheel and a light brown tire on the front wheel, then pulled out some papers to read. Once finished reading, he did some stretching exercises and moved on.

19. Not far from this scene was a guy infatuated with a woman who was wondering whether or not she should get a massage. Listening to this exchange, I couldn’t help but think that the words “Welland” and “massage” don’t exactly go hand in hand.

20. The large pink bow in the hair of the cyclist I spotted north of Welland wasn’t going to help much if she fell and hit her head. Try a helmet instead.

21. Spotted along the trail on this day were three mini-bikes and one four-wheeled ATV. Do what you want out in the bush, but cyclists like me take that trail so we don’t have to go elbow to elbow with high-speed traffic. There’s a reason why motorized traffic on the trail is prohibited.

22. Closer to home, I was following a guy from Toronto (sans helmet once again) who stopped for a selfie. Then after I passed him, he tailgated me. He eventually passed me after we stopped at a light, then he pulled out his phone again and filmed himself as he was pedaling along before checking something else on the display. Just like texting and driving don’t mix, texting and cycling don’t mix either. I was relieved when Toronto Guy finally pulled over and got off his bike so he could take more pictures of his favorite subject.

22a. Don’t ask me how I figured he was from Toronto.

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