With the end of April upon us, I thought I’d summarize my cycling year to date. I started this blog to write about my goal for 2016, which is to have (at least) 50 memorable rides in this, my 50th year. I’ve been careful not to define “memorable”, and I’ve purposely avoided the word “epic”, which is over used. To date, I’ve completed 14 of these rides, ranging in distance from about 6 km, to nearly 80 km.
Do I have everything? Helmet, check. Shoes, check. Water bottles filled. Extra layers if it’s cold… I laid everything out last night so I should be ready. Bike on the roof of the car. Cat5Gear bag packed and ready. Drive to Tim K’s to pick him up. 10 minute drive. Do I need a coffee? Nah. Do I have to pee already. Yep. I’ll ask Tim to use is bathroom. Load up his bike and gear. Off we go to bro’s in Ancaster. Drive goes quickly, under 45 minutes. Do I have to pee again already? Yep. Bro and buddy Rob are ready and waiting. Where’s Michelle? She was supposed to meet us here. Message from her… her dog stole her car keys? That sucks! Load up the pickup and drive four riders and four bikes to Paris to the start. Park, get out and get ready. Damn it’s cold. Line up for another pee. OK, I’m nervous.
This past Wednesday evening, I joined a CX gravel grinder with some of my friend from the Waterloo Cycling Club. The ride was organized by Mike E. through the online club forum, but was not an “official” club ride. It turned out that Mike couldn’t make it, but we still had eight riders. The ride started at 6:30 pm in full daylight, and the route was just under 50km, starting and finishing at the St. Jacobs outlet mall.
This is my second year as a P2A ambassador and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to spread the word and share my experience in the event. This blog also appears on the parisancaster.com webpage where, in previous blog entries by other ambassadors this year, you can read about Rob MacEwan’s push to get into the top 100 at P2A with focused training, Meg Siegel’s non-panic approach, or Alex Flint’s conversion from an ultra-distance runner to cyclist. In this blog entry, I’ll tell you about the different ways I have prepared for P2A as a mid-pack rider, having entered the event each year since 2002.
One of my previous memorable rides for 2016 was about a month ago when I crossed the Grand River 12 times (OK, it was 11, but the 12th was impassable, even by my standards!). For my 12th ride of my 50 memorable rides in my 50th year, I decided to cross 12 different bridges across the Conestogo River.
Ride #10 of my “50 in 50” was the Tour of Pelham – another of southern Ontario’s Spring Classics – on Sunday April 10. This was my first time entering this event, which was shorter than the other classics at just under 35 km, but still very challenging and enjoyable. Continue reading
Ride #9 of my “50 memorable rides for my 50th year” was this past Saturday in Toronto. It wasn’t memorable because it was a race, or because of distance, speed, or duration. Rather, it was memorable because of the location.
I thought I’d add a short blog on a short portion of the Steaming Nostril race this past weekend. As mentioned in my previous blog post, each previous year of the Steaming Nostril has had an epic component, whether it was the cold -20C temperatures from 2014, or the nearly-unrideable slushy rail trail from 2013. The 2016 version added a new component of adventure with “The Longest Kilometre”. Continue reading
For my 8th “memorable” ride of my 50th year, I entered the Steaming Nostril event in St. Jacobs, Ontario. The event is run by Cycle Waterloo and 2016 marks the 4th time they’ve organized this event. The first year was highlighted by slow, slushy rail trail near Elmira, while the second year (which I skipped) was notable for it’s minus 20C temperatures. Last year, I entered the event, which was marked by cold and strong cross winds. This year, organizers moved the event into April, hoping for better weather.