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.
With the month of June upon us, cycling season is in full swing and despite the rainy May that we had, the weather has been good to get out on the bike. On this first weekend in June, I was able to add two new rides to my nearly-complete “50 memorable rides in my 50th year” quest: Ride 47: 70 km of city trails in Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ride 48: 2017 Ride for Heart in Toronto.
As the end of May approaches, I thought I’d blog about my week in cycling, my continued recovery and some other thoughts. After a nice long weekend camping at Killbear (and riding to Norse Brewery), I decided to take a few days off cycling to let my head rest. As such, I didn’t commute to work last week.
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.
I’ve blogged several times about the Paris to Ancaster (P2A) cycling event. I’ve blogged about my thoughts during the ride, how I prepare and even tips for newbies. Yesterday, I completed the shorter St.George to Ancaster event on my fat bike, and 2017 marked the 16th straight year I’ve entered the race.
When faced with something new, we tend to react in one of two ways: we can embrace the change in a curious manner and learn about it, or we can turn our back on it and rationalize our fear of something we don’t understand.
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).
I’ve been blogging a lot lately about this Ontario Spring Classic. The 2017 version didn’t disappoint as over 300 riders entered the fifth edition of this event. In past years, there has been a wide variety of challenges in the Steaming Nostril and the shorter Runny Nose: slow, slushy trails, minus 20C wintery conditions, epic mud, strong winds… this race has had it all!
Last fall, I blogged about the lack of continuity of bike lanes in Kitchener-Waterloo. Specifically, the lack of safe crossings of the Conestoga Parkway. I realize these things take time and money to implement, and I hope that the cities and region are moving towards better connectivity for cyclists.