As we are staying in the house where the group departs from it is simply a matter of falling down the stairs into breakfast.
Anyway we trundle into the kitchen and it is a sea of lycra and high-vis apparel.I comment to Kathy about how professional she looks and she responds with an Americanism that I love and have constantly misquoted since: “All hat and no horse” ;-))
Stephen briefed us on the days bike trip today which will take us into Vermont in the U.S. for which we have a visa waiver. I have gotten all the details together but imagine that with a small border post that this will be a breeze.How wrong I was!
At the border post Mel and get I called into an office,and get quizzed by a serious woman officer. Mel’s photograph and finger prints are taken. This has taken quite a time so the group has gone on. Mel is through – my turn.
After a lengthy time trying to get my prints and photos recorder they discover there was a “national outage” We would have to wait. When I asked if there was a manual process I was told simply “No’. A process with no contingency planning at all-I can’t imagine what it was like at airports. Later we could not find any reference to the event on the web but were told later that people had heard about it.
Later when I was standing outside the office the officer addressed me -I moved towards her and she snapped” Sir keep your distance we are trained to be alert”. She later said that she found it stressful not being in control when the computer was slow!
Meantime Joy had come back looking for us, followed by Stephen in the SAG wagon. Eventually we cancel the application cross back into Canada after a phone call from the U.S. Border guys to the Canadian border guys.
Realised after going back we had paid $6.00 each for the visa and I neglected to get my refund.I decided not to push it!
Stephen and Joy take us some way on the route that the others were on and let us catch up to the tail-enders. Passing most of the group going in the opposite direction caused some concern from our fellow cyclists
It was pretty and flat farming country making for a pleasant easing into our week of cycling. Even better to end up at a winery-“Domaine Du ridge” for lunch.
The Rosé was special, as was the Vidal which we purchased for later consumption.
Both of us happy to get to lunch Day 1.
After a tasting and sandwiches we hop back on our bikes and start to ride another 13 kms to Frelighsburg
A ride of about 30kms for the day.
Joined the team for a beer in Frelighsburg and boy did I get a roasting about not being allowed into their country!! It actually broke the ice and I was able to trade verbal punches with all the others without getting into too much trouble.
We get home to another amazing meal and then a talk by a guy called Eddie Vos. Eddie is a retired mechanical engineer and neighbour of Stephen and Joy’s.
He has decided that he will take on medical science and big pharma by debunking the myths he says around cholesterol’s impact on heart health.He questions the evidence that medication such as statins are useful an in fact believes that vitamins and good food are better pre preventatives. His handout had much information for our further investigation.
Given that a good percentage of the room was on statins the responses to his talk was interesting to say the least. You can find more on his site.
Went to bed wondering whether I would ever be allowed into the US again but happy with the ride and really appreciating the group of people we were with and the dynamics.