A weekend of cycling in Prince Edward County is always a pleasure – riding the bike, sampling the local wines, cheeses and cider – an excellent way to unwind from the racing season!
“There is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing” held true on Saturday. The weather was what should be expected for this time of year, but I was really not ready! Cold weather riding gloves were yet to be unpacked, toe covers only just making it into the weekend bag. My fingers were too cold to take any pictures – they just held onto the bars and were thankful that the roads were so smooth. (If, like me, you do forget to bring any of your bike gear – stop in at the County’s “church of two wheels”: Bloomfield Bike Company – they will be able to help you out!)
Waking up Sunday – what a difference! Sun shining, blue skies, temperature rebounding after Saturday’s chill – the perfect recipe for a day of cycling in Prince Edward County.
The roads from Consecon were super smooth and we sailed along to Picton in a heartbeat, tailwind at our backs, passing vineyards preparing to welcome the weekend tourists and farmers going about their daily business. We were quite surprised to have the roads to ourselves as we pedalled along. We saw the occasional riders, and got the thumbs up from one of the friendly farmers.
Lunch in Picton was nothing short of delicious. Many of the local eateries pride themselves on serving local produce, and it pays off! The food was so fresh and full of flavour – it was nothing for us to devour our lunch before hitting the road.
Back on our bikes and climbing out of Picton along County Road 8, we headed off to Waupoos in search of wine and The County Cider Company. Should you make it to Prince Edward County, the County Cider Company is worth a stop. Their ciders are award winning and the views are to match. As we were on our bikes, it was not possible for us to carry our bounty of cider goodness home – they were only to happy to oblige and we arranged for a car pickup after hours.
Next stop – Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company. Specializing in goat and sheep cheese, Fifth Town’s approach to cheese making means “preserving the environment while striving to delight and surprise the discerning palate” – I would have to say they were successful! We sampled a number of their cheeses, again returning by car to collect our bounty. We would have happily left with a number of cheeses, but had to settle on two – the Peta Luna – a hard goat milk cheese infused with locally grown calendula petals and a chevre log that was beautiful and creamy. I am sure it would go brilliantly with Huff’s Reisling!
(Editors note: I recently learned that Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company is currently out of business. With such amazing cheeses – we hope they are able to come back.)
Lake on the Mountain provided some spectacular views over the Bay of Quinte. The Lake is a natural curiosity: it has a constant flow of clean, fresh water, with no apparent source, 60 metres above Lake Ontario. Mohawks offered gifts to its spirits and settlers thought it was bottomless.
After 127 kms in the county, we headed back to the car. It wasn’t the worst race to sunset – we have raced to the car in the dark on occasion, however when we turned the corner, headed down the hill and saw Emm’s Restaurant in the distance, we couldn’t have been happier! A brilliant weekend of riding culminating in the freshest cinnamon sugar donuts as we hopped into the car and drove off into the sunset! Perfect.
Another season of racing has come and gone! Prince Edward County – a great way to unwind!
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