It’s been an odd summer. We haven’t had the normal heat wave, and it seems like we get a good rain storm every few days. I’m not one to complain a lot about the weather, but as a cyclist, I’m always paying attention to it. I’m finally at the point in my concussion recover that I feel like I can ride a little harder and a little further, and now, the limiting factor is my lack of fitness, rather than my concussion symptoms. I’m not entirely symptom free, but I’m feeling better with each ride.
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.
Finally the nice weather is upon us! And I’ve been able to enjoy the sunshine by riding more. This includes some city riding to local destinations, and a nice weekend gravel grinder with my riding buddy Ron (founder of Contrabean – a local coffee roasting company). Ron and I used to ride a lot together and we entered many mountain bike events (24- and 8- hour relays, and Crank the Shield). Times have changed but we still enjoy getting out.
Finally, after half a year, I joined a group ride. I started the weekend gravel grinder rides with the Waterloo Cycling Club about five years ago and these rides have been very popular in the fall, winter and spring. Last fall, I was able to find a good group of folks to lead these rides in my absence. This Family Day weekend, I was able to join for these gravel grinder rides for the first time since the spring of 2016.