In my hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, we’ve been extremely lucky to have one of the best mountain bike trail systems in Ontario. The Hydrocut has been a favourite mountain-biking destination for many years, with as many as 40,000 riders visiting each year. I first rode these trails more than 20 years ago (around 1992) when I heard a rumour that there were some trails “behind the landfill”. After lifting my bike over a fence, I discovered a hidden gem of a forest with a confusing network of trails with elevated platforms built between the trails in some areas.
In addition to cycling, one of my favourite outdoor activities is camping. Since I was a kid, travelling to different provincial parks in Ontario has been a big part of each summer. This past weekend, I spent a couple of days at Awenda Provincial Park, near Midland-Penetanguishene, on the shore of Georgian Bay. As usual, I took a bike with me to explore.
When I started my quest to have 50 memorable bike rides in my 50th year, I purposely avoided any specific goals. I also avoided the use of the word “epic”, since it’s relative. I simply wanted to have 50 rides that were memorable to me. And “memorable” could mean any of the following:
It doesn’t seem like too long ago when I only needed one bike. My rides were to and from school, or friends’ homes. My bike riding season was spring until fall, when I’d put the bike away over the winter. I’d ride only on roads, sidewalks (gasp!) and paved trails. This was on a road bike I bought in Toronto for $300. A stainless steel, charcoal black Bianchi, it was the first bike I bought myself (I was 17), and I still have it in my basement.
One thing I haven’t written about in this blog since I started it a little over a year ago is my “day job”. I may have mentioned that I’m in engineer (so I like numbers), but I apply those engineering skills to water. When I’m not riding my bike, cleaning/tuning my bikes or thinking about cycling, I’m often thinking about water.
My previous blog post was about the 2017 Steaming Nostril/Runny Nose event a few of days ago. I don’t do a lot of racing, so when I do, these events tend to stick in my mind for a few days (maybe because my body is still reminding me of the effort).
There are some good options for fat biking in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. This winter is only the my second winter with a fat bike, so I’m only beginning to explore. Because my speed and distance are lower right now, my fat bike rides have been closer to home. This has given me the opportunity to check out local multi-use paths and trails. Continue reading
January is month when a lot of people will set their goals for the rest of the year (Note: I’m avoiding the term “resolutions” on purpose). My goals tend to be modest. A year ago, my goal was to ride 50 memorable rides in the year I turned 50. That didn’t quite work out after my crash in September, but I still completed 41 rides (I complete this quest this year, before I turn 51 in August). I also wanted to ride 5000 km, which also didn’t happen due to a low-mileage autumn.
In the final days of 2016, I’ve pulled together a summary of my year in cycling. There are countless resources available online, particularly for those of us who use Strava for our ride summaries.