Ride Report by Peter Grant
The weather was still dry when 8 riders left the Stittsville Park & Ride at 5:00 am. Gentle rain started to fall about 15 minutes later wetting our clothes for the rest of the day. I rode with David McCaw and Martin Lacelle for about 10km and we chatted a bit. Then Martin felt warmed up and rode away from us to do a 15 hour and 8 minute ride. Our group riding was libertarian. Other than Martin, the 7 riders stayed within about 2 hours of each other, but rode in fluctuating group collections and chatted at controls. At about 75 km Guy Quesnel and David Pearson joined David and me near Lanark, the first control. While 3 of us sat down for breakfast, David Pearson rode on to tackle the first hills on his fixie. Terry Payne soon joined us, followed by Alan Ritchie and Vytas Janusauskas.
After Lanark, the route becomes hilly. The old pavement twists and turns through the forest and over the granite hills. At Denbigh, 186 km, Terry commented that he thought he had been riding in circles. The road he said descended a hill, curved and went up another hill and then repeated…and repeated… Ottawa riders will have to prepare better cue sheets to help our friends from southern Ontario appreciate the subtle differences of the hills. Sometimes the beaver swamp is on the left. Sometimes they are on the right. Sometimes there are alders hanging over the ditch and sometimes cedars. You have to ride the route every year to observe the slow collapse of the old barn on Buckshot Lake road and the increasing replacement of the old farms and camps by cottages. Support options are limited for the middle 200 km of the ride. There are 2 general stores, a lunch counter and LCBO outlet.
Guy and David Pearson had been forging ahead most of the day but at the top of the Opeongo Line, David McCaw and I passed then just at the beginning of the descent. David P. was walking and Guy was on his bike and keeping him company. The day had been very humid with air feeling like steam. In fact warm light rain fell for most of our climb up the Quadville Rd but as we started descending an ominous black cloud filled the sky. I was nervous as we peddled steadily on to Calabogie, but we escaped the down pours which seemed to have left water on the roads in many places.
The food was good at Calabogie Pizza, but most of us had difficulty eating much. Only the salad appealed to me which I think is an indication of electrolyte deficiency. Most of the group assembled at Calabogie, but left in pairs for the 99 km back to Stittsville. At about 340 km our route leaves the forests and returns to the open farm land of the Ottawa valley. Gentle south east winds pressed on our faces as we rode south through mostly quiet roads.
Congratulations to our visitors from other chapters, Terry Payne and David Pearson. It was nice to have you on the ride. Congratulations David, the first fixed gear rider to do the Foymount 400.