Ride Report by Dave Thompson:
Every time I do a new ride I see more of Ontario, reminded that you haven’t really seen Ontario until you see it on a bike. I’m also reminded that Ontario isn’t flat! I think we came in around 4000 metres of climbing – one short little bump registered around 22% on my Garmin.
We headed off at 6am – Dave, Terry, Tim, Will, Smiling, Martin and Jerzy … well, actually Tim and I left about 15 minutes later. Tim rode on and I saw them all at the next Control as there’s a little bit of a reverse-course at that point. All of the group save Terry and I stopped at Hockley Valley for something to eat; Terry and I saved our appetites for the Subway at the next Control. Although we didn’t exactly ride together, Terry and I were within sight of each other for most of the ride and then finished together at 1:41am. The “peloton” came in later; I haven’t heard details yet or even how much they stuck together.
The first 100 km has a good chunk of the climbing from Erin Mills to Orangeville. From there we headed east and were treated to mostly tail winds and some flatter riding. When we turned south, we had some headwinds to contend with but nothing too daunting. By the time we got to Stouffville heading west, the winds were starting to die down and we followed a route north of but then intersecting with, the LOL route back into Erin Mills. It’s actually a better route because it doesn’t go through northern bit of suburbia that keeps encroaching on our pleasant bike routes!
I was reminded again that Toronto is a BIG city. I was also reminded that the roads at that point are sort-of perpendicular to Lake Ontario making the trip south into Mississauga seem endless at times (are we there yet Dad?). Riding on roads SE or SW makes you feel that you’re somehow zig-zagging your way in, but when I look at the map, it’s pretty direct. There’s something about night, close to the end of the ride that stretches things out.
Terry and I agreed that 400 km isn’t our favourite distance, but we got ‘er done.
When we started out in the a.m. there was a line of rain heading towards us on the Doppler. We really lucked out because we seemed to ride west then north around the system in the morning and then as the day wore on, we could see rain in the distance and at times, lightning, but we didn’t hit one drop of rain. I exchanged emails with Tim and he had a short shower for a few seconds but no more.
It was a good ride even though we didn’t stop for beer or bowling …
I’ll let Terry explain the part about dancing with the Polish lady at the deli…