Dirk and Cora are early risers, and (despite their invitation to sleep in) we were determined to see them before they left for work. After a brief explanation of the garage door mechanism, they left us to finish our breakfast, and by 9am we were on the road again.

After an hour or so, we felt the need for a caffeine fix, so stopped in London for a ‘Tim Horton’s’ and a pastry.

At Sarnia we stopped at the customs office to claim back the tax on Brigid’s new jacket. Then we held our breath as we crossed the US border. “Just try and look ‘Normal’”, said John. Mercifully, the border guard didn’t bother to look too closely at the bikes. So we breathed a deep sigh of relief as we dismounted at the gas station at Port Huron. We rang Gina Atilano (who we had agreed to meet that evening) and said we would let her know when we got to Chicago. Things were not too promising. Mark was away in Maui, and Gina had had her car stolen that morning.

No sooner were we back on the open road, than the sky turned grey and threatening, and it began to rain – lightly at first, then heavier. Then the rain turned to thunder. Brigid was making furious signals to John to pull off. In the car park of an ‘Arby’s’, Brigid looked distinctly unhappy … the new Joe Rocket jacket was soaked through, and she was cold … and cross. We had a sandwich and coffee, and began to repack the bikes.

Just to add insult to injury, Brigid’s rear flasher had fallen off. John’s comment, “I thought women were supposed to be good at tightening nuts …” was not appreciated, as we struggled with the fiddly fixing.

Three thunderstorms, two sense of humour failures, and several hours later, we pulled into the car park at Fairfield Inn, Willowbrook. It took a while to get through to Gina, but (amazingly) she said she thought she would be able to meet us as her brother was going to drive her over.

It was too late to eat, but we enjoyed several pints of Guinness in the Kerry Piper.