Cycling Update – July 2018

Another month has come and gone and we’re right in the heart of summer.  As I blogged about earlier in July, I don’t do well in the heat. I sweat a lot (fellow cyclists have marvelled at the amount of sweat that drips from my helmet).  However, I still managed a pretty good month of cycling.

One of my favourite websites that uses Strava data is Stravastats.  Each month, they send me an email with a summary of my month:

600 km is not a bad month at all.  That’s an average of about 20 km per day.  My longest ride in July was also my longest ride of the year so far: 114 km on a ride to Stratford and back with some good friends.

My July 2018 cycling heatmap is shown below:

The western extent is that ride to Stratford.  There’s a little squiggle line in downtown Toronto where I used a Bike Share bike for a ride along the lake shore.  And there’s a gravel-ride loop south of Cambridge with my friends at Fresh Ayr Farm.  We managed to avoid the lightning, but still got some rain on that ride last weekend.

For the calendar year so far, I’m up to about 3800 km, so I’m getting close to my goal of 5000 km for 2018.  In fact, I might even reach 6000!

Annual cycling distance plot – 2012 to 2018.

Certainly, the commute helps.  It’s about 50 km round trip and I’ve commuted 15 and a half times (to the end of July).  The half is for one day when I rode to work but got a drive home because of threatening thunderstorms that never materialized.

August 1, 2018 Bike commute with Gaelen M (photo cred) and Kelly M.

July also marked two of my favourite local cycling races:  The Kitchener-Waterloo Twilight Criterium and the Fieldstone Criterium in Galt (Cambridge).  Crit races are great spectator events because the racers speed by every couple of minutes, so you can really see the race evolve.  It’s very fast, with dangerous high-speed corners.  I’ve never raced in a crit, and I don’t have any inkling to do so.  However, I do have a new camera that I tested out at these events:

The first crit was Friday July 27 in Victoria Park, Kitchener.  Different categories raced in the afternoon, while the women and elite men raced in the evening.  The men’s race was cut short mere moments before a thunder storm hit the area.  This was my first real field trip with my new camera:

Experimenting with a slow shutter.
Elite Men. KW Twilight Crit, July 27, 2018.
Elite Men – preparing for a high-speed turn.

The next day, Saturday, July 28, a similar event was held in Galt (Cambridge).  The course featured two bridges crossing the Grand River and was set in an older part of town where there seemed to be century-old church on every corner:

Elite Women crossing the Grand River – Fieldstone Crit, July 28, 2018.
Elite Men – Fieldstone Crit, July 28, 2018.
Elite Men – Fieldstone Crit, July 28, 2018.
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