This past weekend I was fortunate enough to have two memorable rides for my 50-memorable-rides-in-my-50th-year goal. For Ride #21, on Saturday morning, I met up with friends Ana-Maria, Bob A., Ken R., Kevin S., Stephen B. and others at the Hydrocut mountain bike trails. These wonderful trails of about 25 km of flowing singletrack are my “home trails”, and I’ve been a member of the Hydrocut trail committee (which is part of the Waterloo Cycling Club in agreement with the Region of Waterloo) for a few years, and I’ve been volunteering on trail days since about 2003.
In recent years, I’ve spent more time on my road and cyclocross bikes, but I got into cycling as a mountain biker, and I still consider mountain biking to be my favourite cycling discipline. The Hydrocut trails are some of the best trails in southern Ontario, and while we may not have the hills of the escarpment or the rock and stunts of Kelso or Hilton Falls, we do have a continuous network of nearly 25 km of one-directional singletrack, with some quick elevation changes. Although some trails are labelled as “Very difficult”, beginners can still ride there because the expert features have easy options. The trails have become very popular in recent years, and on Saturday morning, June 4, the parking lot was full with probably more than 50 cars by mid morning.
I arrived at 8am and our big group started on the trails from the Glasgow Street parking lot. The group included some of my riding friends who do a fair bit of mountain bike racing, so it was a challenge to keep up. My mountain bike handling skills are out of practice, but I know these trails quite well.
My plan was to ride the entire trail system twice, but after a hard road ride on Thursday, my legs were still tired, I decided to do the entire trail system once, plus some add-ons. Ana-Maria said she wanted to ride for 3 hours, so once we completed the all of the trails once, we doubled back and re-rode some of the loops, for a total of about 30 km (we did Adam’s Run and Jessica twice, plus we did the entire multi-use trail). After a couple of hours, it was just Ana-Maria, Bob and I riding together at a relaxed place. Overall, it was a fantastic day with great friends!
On Sunday June 5, for ride #22, my family and I went to Toronto to ride on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway for the annual Ride for Heart. We’d previously done this ride in 2013 and 2014, and each time, I was able to raise over $1000 thanks to my very generous family and friends. We rode 25 km and finished in a little over an hour. Thankfully, the rain held off. There’s something special about riding in Toronto on major highways that are closed just for this event. It feels very post-apocalyptic….. Imagine a world with no cars… (Next year… 50km?… I’m hoping to inspire my family to increase our distance!)
This year, I set the ambitious goal of raising $1500 and thanks to those who sponsored, me, I was able to reach this goal! And thanks to Kent at Cat5Gear for providing some draw prizes for donations over the past week. Winners of the Cat5Gear prize packs are: Dawn F., Greg S. and Corrie B. I’ll be in touch with each of you to deliver your prize of a Mini Companion and The Sac from Cat5Gear See details here:
And check out Cat5Gear’s Cyclist Case – a great product that helps me keep my cycling gear organized for rides and events.
So it was a fine weekend with two memorable rides. Thanks for my co-riders on both rides, and the organizers/volunteers at Ride for Heart and of course all the wonderful people who sponsored me!