A few weeks ago, I did my “longest ride ever” with some strong friends who pulled me around on my road bike for 210 km. It was a long day, and I won’t say it was easy, but compared to this long-distance ride on my fat bike, that 210 km ride a ride in the park (a very big park).
A few weeks ago, my bro Greg invited me to join him on a ride that he dubbed “Trans Fat”: a fat bike ride with a few of his riding friends starting at his place in Ancaster to Port Dover, and back, for a round trip of about 170 km. Without hesitation, I accepted the offer, and put the word out for more support (i.e., more people to pull me around). We had a couple of last minute cancellations, but still ended up with five: Greg, Rob B., Mike C., Mike D. and myself.
The day started around 8 am under dark skies and steady rain. The forecast called for clearing within an hour, so we decided to head out in the rain, which continued until we hit Brantford (about 30 km in). By this point, we were soaked and covered in dirt from tires of bikes ahead (except those of us who were in the front of the group most of the time). We shed our jackets and continued south on the rail trail.
I should mention that the other four riders were very strong: Rob is training for a 24+ hour adventure race in September, Mike C. rode from his home in Wellesley to Ancaster (starting at 3am!), rode with us for about 135 km, before riding west towards St. Thomas for a 340 km day!), Mike D. is an Ironman Triathlete who has completed three Ironmans, and bro Greg is the energizer bunny who can ride forever, effortlessly. We all rode fat bikes… except for Mike and Mike.
We made it Port Dover just after 12 noon, and stopped for lunch by the beach (in hindsight, I’m not sure if fish and chips was the best lunch option…). Upon remounting our bikes and heading back north, my legs were sore and stiff,my stomach was bloated, and I was suffering. This second leg of Trans Fat was more about survival to me. I never felt comfortable on the bike and just tried to get to the finish. The head wind didn’t help, but my co-riders certainly did. I didn’t take any pulls at the front, I just hung on at the back as long as I could, and when I fell off the back, my bro would drop back and ride with me.
We pulled in to Ancaster at around 530pm, exhausted and hungry (I need to admit that Greg, Rob and Mike D. rode up the Martin Road climb at the end of the ride… the big climb that is featured in Paris to Ancaster each spring. I had no energy left and was feeling dizzy, so I skipped the hill and took a short cut back).
Now, a few hours after finishing, I’m tired, I need a shower and I want to sleep for about two days. Thanks bro for organizing and for the fine cuisine after the ride. Thanks to those four fine cyclists for allowing me to draft behind them for most of the ride! Ride #32 is in the books and it was, indeed, epic!