Haliburton Highlands 600 Brevet

Ride Report from Stephen Jones:

Jerzy Dziadon, Stephen Jones(me) and Liz Overduin showed up to try the reworked Haliburton Highlands ride this year.

The forecast was for rain showers and a chance of thunderstorms, with cooling and clearing overnight. The riders quickly separated near the start, with Liz and Jerzy sticking together, and me heading off on my own.

I find it difficult to write a ride report when I do one of these on my own. I get the satisfaction of pushing my limits on the ride, but miss all the social interaction going on in the group. So, I sent out a few questions to the other riders and have compiled the responses below

Q. What did you think of the HH 600 route?

LO. Kathy Brouse recommended the Haliburton Highlands route for years and I now totally understand why – it is a spectacular brevet. The scenery is breath-taking and the hills are exhilarating. Once again this sport of randonneuring takes you to the out-of-the-way places like the amazing bakery in Orono and the “beary best” burger place in Gooderham, meeting friendly people along the way.

SJ. This is my third HH 600, and each time the route has been a bit different. Personally, I think a lot of the issues with road conditions and traffic have been addressed with this iteration.

Q. What was your favourite part of the ride?

LO. It would be hard to pick a favourite part of this ride but I did think to myself, “if this is a taste of the Granite Anvil, I can hardly wait!” (One thing that would be nice is if they re-paved the Ashburn road before August).

SJ. My favourite was big surprise to me in that it was the part I had initially not been looking forward to. Bobcaygeon Road north of Minden can be very dark at night, with no road paint or driveways or buildings for a good stretch. We do this road twice, and l managed to get to it the second time right around sunset, so I still had a fair amount of light. Combined with a full moon, and swarms of fireflies, what I thought would be a tense trip through a black hole turned into a lovely ride in the twilight.

Q. Did you have a plan for how to do this ride, and what was it?

A. Liz’s plan was ride to Haliburton and check into a hotel there. Mine was to minimize time off the bike and ride through the night. So, we had examples of two very different styles.

Q. Did you stop anywhere, like a store or restaurant, that you would recommend to other riders?

SJ. The Village Bakery and Café in Orono was introduced this year as a control, and turned out to be a lovely place to stop. I also stopped in Peterborough at Marty Moo’s restaurant and had a terrific steak burrito. It was easily the best food I had during the ride. Friendly too. I asked the waitress to sign my card, and my neighbours at the next table asked me to explain what I was doing. By the time I finished, the entire restaurant was listening and wishing me good luck on the ride.

Q. Would you do the ride again?

LO. Like Kathy, I have to recommend this ride to everyone, even if you don’t do it as a brevet, you should do this ride – take a week if you want. You will love it!

SJ. Absolutely.

Liz adds:
I(Liz) had expected that I would be on my own for this ride, (knowing that Stephen Jones is….well….he does rides a little faster than me is all I have to say) but Jerzy Dziadon had also signed up for this ride and we were able to ride together for the most part. We did not see any bears or moose, but in addition to rabbits and chipmunks we saw a skunk, coyote and a fox.

The second day, after a good rest in Haliburton, was a little tougher thanks to Heat and Headwinds. Jerzy also suffered with his saddle, describing that it was like sitting on a Hedgehog – ouch! We both struggled in the afternoon sun with Jerzy deciding to stop and rest in the shade, while I continued on very slowly. We met up again and finished the last 20 k together.

Grand River 200 Brevet

A note from Kathy Brouse:

On Sunday morning it was cold and pouring rain. Four brave souls set off from the Timmy’s In Erin Mills for the Grand River 200. I asked Guy Pearce to send me a description of the ride because I was not able to participate. Congratulations to Brian Neary for completing his first ever Randonneur brevet and to Michael B for getting all the way to the last control on his first RO ride. In true Rando and Father’s day spirit, Guy and Paul S assisted Brian and Michael along the way. Guy said I could share his write-up with you.

Ride Report from Guy Pearce:

A quick write-up of yesterday’s proceedings!

The day started off very wet, with only four silly souls choosing to ignore the weather to go out for a ride; Paul and I, and two newbies, Michael and Brian. It’s always a challenge dressing for rain – deciding between rain pants and no pants, booties or no booties, and rain coat or shower jacket – as whatever you end up choosing, it somehow always seems to be the wrong choice. Whichever way, it was certainly more inviting inside Timmies, but such is the randonneur’s life, and we ventured forth, leaving Kathy, Vaune and William behind in the comfort of Canada’s favourite coffee shop.

By the time we had reached the rollers of 1 Side Road, it became clear that the pace had to be dropped a little if we were to stick together, especially in the rain. So we regrouped at the intersection with Guelph road, and thereafter continued together without incident, at least for a while.

The downhills of Mineral Springs road are awfully good fun. In the dry. On this particular ride though, Brian understandably found sub-zero delight in inspecting the rain-drenched pavement, close up, at speed. It’s not the greatest sound hearing what you know to be one of your mates going tire-side up behind you, incidentally on the steepest part of the downhill, but amazingly the damage was minimal; Freshly character-scarred handlebar tape (a bit more than that actually), a dislocated brake lever – which Paul strongly encouraged back into proper service – and no doubt a sore hip on the part of Brian. After some fettling, making sure all was in order with man and machine, we continued, somewhat more gingerly to the first control, having become increasingly aware of how slippery the surface actually was.

Given all the rain, I had ample opportunity to reflect on the English audax tradition of mudguards with long mudflaps, purposefully fitted to keep the mud and other gunk out of the eyes and off the face of the person behind you. It’s a good practice, and I hope the sentiment lasts long enough for me to modify my rear mudguard in the interests of the person behind me…

The scoot down to Cayuga is probably one of the nicest parts of the ride, which was made even better when we decided to stop at a diner for lunch, in order to help replenish our spirits after mostly rain and wet roads to this point. Interestingly, although it is well known that beer makes you faster, neither Michael nor Brian had a glass, which probably explains their subsequent pace :). Once we finished, we stepped out of the restaurant into some glorious warm sunshine, which was oh so welcome!

It didn’t take us long to realise that the route back to Ancaster would involve some wind. Michael battled bravely with an old injury, finally deciding to take a shortcut home about halfway to the control in Dundas. We then continued, eventually reaching the downhill into Dundas, which is always welcome, more so that it was dry now. At this point though, you try not to think too hard about the little climb out of Dundas… An almost mandatory chocolate milk and a snack later, we were on our way again.

It was great finally getting on to Britannia, with a tail wind to boot! With its assistance, we soon made it back to Erin Mills, with Brian having successfully completed his first brevet! In the meantime, Michael had made it to Oakville before calling his wife to fetch him, and was on his way to meet Brian (they had driven in together). I then left Brian to start the ride home, looking forward to a hot shower and a hot dinner!

2013 Devil Week – Controls….and all that is between

Ride report from Liz Overduin:

There was a total of 26 Controls during Devil Week – if you include each start and finish. For us Randonneurs, it seems to be all about the Control – how far we have gone, how far to the next one, getting a signature, etc. We are truly Control Freaks. I have heard cyclists pre-plan what they are going to order when they get to the Control – homemade ice-cream at Big Bay, a real milk chocolate shake at Thornton, Creemore lager at Creemore (yup, right before the steep hill), or soup at Tim Hortons always goes down well. Riding together on the first two rides to the first Control – a double pace-line of 16 or more riders, going over 35 km/hr – that was great! (The dog coming at us was not so great.)

The wonderful thing about Randonneuring is not only the Controls, but those amazing moments between them.

On the 200 Big Bay ride we cycled through the forest of Lilacs, wishing we could just breathe in, without stopping, for the time it took to go through. In the warm sunshine we stopped for a refreshing drink at the Pub on the beach in Sauble. Then 10 km from the finish we stopped again at another favourite Restaurant – The Elk and Finch in South Hampton, where we ordered pizza and more refreshing drinks.

The highlight of the Bowle Buster 300 had to be the presence of the Devil himself at the steepest grade on Bowles Hill. Dressed in red, with horns and tail, the Devil of Devil’s Week (Bill Little) harassed us, yelled at us, belittled us and whacked us with his pitchfork to get up the hill. Not even showing concern for David Pearson who was on a Fixed Gear bike. (By the way – huge congrats to David for completing the entire Devil Week on a fixed gear bike – amazing!)

The Creemore Classic, with the famous Scenic Caves climb, also included the chance for any cyclist to stop for a game of 5 pin bowling and become the 2013 Champion. Terry Payne was not on the ride to defend his title, and we have a new winner – Larry Sowerby. It should be pointed out that even if you added the four total scores together (only 2 strikes between 4 people), it would still be a low score that no self-respecting bowler would be proud of.

Devil Week finished off with the March to the Marsh 600. With a much needed rest day between the 400 and the 600, the ride started with a spectacular sunrise. Many riders commented that they had never been on a 600 km brevet that had so many participants – it was awesome! Thanks also to John & Laurie Maccio for doing the drop bag service.

Devil Week needs a new title – with the opportunity to ride a bike for a week, it was a week of Heaven. The weather was mostly great – no crazy highs or lows in temperature, no wild thunderstorms or gale force winds, and everyone stayed safe – lots to be thankful for. Who will ever forget Abhi, the store owner in Dornoch who stayed open an extra hour when he heard there was another rider “still out there”. How about those steaks, salmon, pastas and salads at Carey & Donna’s place on Friday night. Was that the Devil at the BBQ, or was he really an Angel? (Thanks Bill Little)

One last thing I should add, my Bob took one look at me when I arrived home after the week and said “I will have to have a talk with your friends – look at you! Here I send them a beautiful wife and this….this is what they give back to me!” With my bleary bloodshot eyes, puffy face and crazy hair, he said I looked like one of those apple dolls.

Bob is currently living in the dog house.

A test of the B&M Luxos U on the Shenandoah 1200

Equipment review from Dave Thompson:

I just completed the Shenandoah 1200 with the B&M Luxos U. Riding time was roughly 4am to 10pm the first day; 2am to 10pm days two and three and 1am to 12:30 pm day four. Of course rolling time is actually shorter than that, considering stopped time at Controls etc.

The Luxos U replaced a two-light headlight setup that I had before, the Inoled 10+ and Edelux.

I liked the Inoled for its wide lane-filling beam and the Edelux for its bright spot that I had focussed further out. Either would be slightly brighter by itself but I liked the setup.

The key feature of the Luxos U, for me, was the USB charging “station” on the wired remote control. I ride with a Garmin 705 and enjoy having the backlight on 24×7. To accomplish that, I have been using a Gomadix 4xAA charger, always connected, swapping the AA batteries old for fresh, every 24 hours. I figured that with the Luxos, I wouldn’t need batteries anymore, one less thing to pack in my drop bags.

I mounted the Luxos at my front caliper with the included bracket. I had the old lights mounted on the handlebars so the new mount location also gave me some more room for my hands. That’s a good thing too!

The remote is mounted on the top tube with cable ties. A USB cord is connected and runs forward to the Garmin 705. Because the instructions that came with the Luxos said that the USB charging station shouldn’t be used in the rain, I put part of a ziploc bag over it, tightly tied to the two cords with electrical tape. I can see through the plastic to the indicator light on the remote that shows that the USB connection is live and I can operate the remote to turn the headlight on.

I also use a wired taillight. Yes, there are a lot of wires! I have to do a better job tying it all down neatly, now that I’m happy with the setup.

I’ll post some pictures when I get a chance.

So … in action …

The light is great. It’s very wide, the bright and lengthy beam nicely replace my previous setup. The Garmin stays fully charged, mostly, but I’ll get to that. I really couldn’t see the light adjusting itself to my speed, but wasn’t really looking for that. It’s supposed to focus light closer when you’re going slowly, further at speed, but perhaps it’s subtle. It’s probably easier to measure and detect on a stand than when riding.

The light has a built-in rechargeable battery that stays charged as long as you are maintaining enough speed. If the charge drops below some level, the electronics in the light turn off the USB charging function. The electronics favour the standby light when you’re stopped, turning off the USB rather than sacrificing the light.

During the day, for a short stop like a traffic light, the battery in the light keeps the USB charger active the entire time. Stopping at a Control, I’d come back to the bike and see the “external power lost” message on the Garmin, but that would disappear immediately upon starting to roll again. The Garmin stays fully charged during the day.

At night, with the headlight (and taillight) left on, the “power lost” message comes much quicker — not for the duration of a traffic light though. That’s assuming that the light’s internal battery has been kept charged by riding at a speed greater than 12mph/20kph. That seemed to be the point at which the output from the Schmidt hub (mine’s what they now call the Classic) would keep the headlight and taillight at full brightness and the USB charging station live. For short periods of time below that point, the USB charger would stay on. For longer periods, it would turn off and on as I crossed that threshold.

Below 6mph/10kph, the headlight would flicker if I had been riding slowly enough before that to deplete the light’s internal battery. On the 8-9 mile climb out of Mt. Airy back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the switchback climb up the Edinburg Gap, the headlight’s battery was depleted and I would notice the flickering every time my speed dropped. During that time, I’d have the external power lost message on the Garmin and as a result, the backlight would go off. These were climbs in the dark; during the day even low speed would keep the USB charger alive.

I didn’t run the light during the day. It has a daylight sensor and produces a diminished light during the day but I didn’t use that. I expect that with the daytime light on, and the taillight, there might be some speed below which the USB charging would stop after depleting the internal battery. I also have two Cateye battery taillights mounted vertically on my rack (like seatstays) that I leave flashing during the day. They can be seen for longer distances than the wired taillight. At night, riding with others, I’ll leave those on steady; by myself, they’ll be on flash.

I also did not use the floodlight function of the light. If I recall correctly, the light output is 70 lux normally and 90 lux with the floodlight. The floodlight will run until the battery is depleted, apparently, and no doubt will shut down the USB charging at some point.

All things considered, I’m very happy with the setup. Since the Garmin’s own battery life is something like 12 hours, there’s never going to be a problem with it running out of juice. I cannot imagine riding at less than 12mph/20kph for 12 hours in a row in the dark! If I was touring perhaps, pulling a trailer, but then I’d not likely be riding in the dark.

With the USB charging station sealed against moisture, I cannot swap my cell phone USB cord at the charging station if I wanted to charge that instead of maintaining the Garmin charge. I have a little dongle that adapts the mini USB connector that works with the Garmin 705 to a micro USB connector (I think that’s what the two are called). I’ll probably carry that in the future and try charging my cell phone, see how that works.

The speeds that I mention are approximate. I’m sure that they’ll vary with the hub output and would be different without the wired taillight. It would be interesting to put the bike on powered rollers and test all combinations…

That’s all for now.

Markham – Lindsay 300 km Brevet

People have been so great about sending ride reports, we have three for this ride! Interesting to get different perspectives on the same ride. Thank you to Stephen, Peter and Alex for contributing!

Ride Report from Stephen Jones:

With a forecast calling for rain all day, seven brave souls started off on the Markham-Lindsay 300. The group included a few experienced riders, like William and Stan, but four of the riders were newcomers to our particular brand of insanity. Peter P, Hannes, Andrew, and Alex were all attempting to complete their first 300.

We started out heading up Ninth Line from Markham. The rise between Major Mackenzie and Elgin Mills often splits the group, but I was pleased to see the new guys gamely hanging on. Stan, riding with his head rather than his heart, dropped off the back to ride his own ride. Ninth Line is in horrible condition and gets busier every year. Fortunately, we were early enough to not have much traffic to deal with. There are signs that the road will be improved over the next few years, but it’s a slow process.

The group stayed together through Stouffville and Web road, but the rollers on 2nd Concession proved too much, and we got our second split, with William, Peter and me in the lead group. The wind was developing out of the south-west, which gave us a nice tailwind and a sense of déjà vu as we backtracked large portions of last weekend’s Markham-Woodville ride. We managed to get to the first control before the store was open for business. So, we recorded our times and then headed off to Little Britain and the promise of butter tarts at the bakery.

Lindsay’s Tim Horton’s was very busy, so we didn’t buy anything. There was even a line for the washroom, which we gave up on. We got a bystander to fill in our cards for us and found a convenience store on the way out of town to top up fluids and food for the stretch to Millbrook. As we turned south, the winds started to work against us, and the long rollers started to take their toll on Peter, who is now looking into switching to a more reasonable gearing setup. He was riding a 53/39 crank with a 12-25 cassette, compared to my 50/34 with an 11-28. Having to push the bigger gearing on his bike made the ride just that much more difficult.

Lunch was a quick bite at Subway. It’s not fine dining, but the washroom was clean, and you can fill your water bottles for free from the soda fountain. I was looking forward to doing CR10 south from Millbrook. Typically I find myself riding this road the other way, and my legs remember a fair amount of climbing when going north. Turns out there is some climbing going south as well. This section, from about 150 km to 250 km, is the most challenging with lots of climbing. A stiff wind from the south-west added to the difficulty. Peter was gamely trying to keep up, but fell-off the pace when William and I felt the stirrings of our inner terriers and chased down another cyclist on one of the climbs.

The route has been changed a little since the last time Markham-Lindsay was offered to eliminate a section of Ganaraska Road, which can be very busy during certain times of day. The route now follows the revised Granite Anvil route to cross Highway 35/115 into Orono. Orono proved to be a very picturesque little town, but we didn’t stop as the next control was just ahead.

The name of the next control, Enniskillen, is bigger than the place itself. By this point, we could no longer see Peter behind us, even looking from the tops of hills. A somewhat woozy William decided that a large shade tree was in need of company and set up for a picnic underneath. Since he and the tree seemed to be getting along, he sent me off to finish the ride on my own.

Along Myrtle road, I was just starting to think that we might actually be able to finish the ride without any rain, and that I was going to look a bit foolish telling everyone to bring their rain gear. Of course, ten minutes after that, the sky opened up in a real deluge. Oops. The rain wasn’t unpleasant, and even inspired an offer of charity. A passing motorist pulled alongside with his windows down and asked me if I wanted a lift.

The rain didn’t really last that long, and was heavy enough to wash the grit away so I didn’t even get that dirty. The winds seemed to die down a little bit as well. The run into Uxbridge took me past a showcase of large estate homes. A quick turn-around at Macs Milk, and it was into the home stretch through my regular training grounds.

Back in Markham, I asked a couple of fellows standing outside to sign my card for me. They asked how far I had gone, suggesting 10 km as being a long distance. I think the truth strained their credulity. After a pleasant chat, I reset my GPS and headed home.

It took until noon on Sunday to account for all the riders though email. Peter and William finished together. Stan came in on his own, and Andrew and Alex got in in the dark after being chased by an invisible dog. We had one DNF due to stomach problems, but everyone is home safe, which is what counts.

Congratulations to all, especially the first time finishers. See you at the next one.

Ride Report from Alex Weber:

This was my second ride with Randonneurs Ontario, and my first 300 km ride. There were only about 8 or 9 riders on Saturday. We stayed in a group for the first 20 or so kilometres, but then the more experienced riders took off at, what seemed like, a break-neck pace. The weather had been calling for thunderstorms for several days back, and although the clouds loomed ominously above us all day, we never got more than a few sprinkles. After 50 km, there were only three riders in my group: myself (Alex), Andrew, and Hannes. It was at this point that Hannes told us he wasn’t feeling good, and was going to drop out. To be honest, I understood why, since he looked white and sickly. Amazingly, Andrew talked him into riding for more, so we slowed down our pace and tried to ride better as a group.

The next 150 km involved short stops, rolling hills (*shakes fist*), and head wind. I distinctly remember that after Emily Provincial Park, the scenery became very beautiful and there weren’t too many cars around. It was around this point that I had to point out to my riding partners just how awesome the whole experience was, and that I was really happy to be there at that moment. At the 200 km mark, Hannes had had enough, and told us he was dropping out. He would ride to Oshawa and take the train back to Toronto. We were saddened by his decision, but understood.

The next 100 km were alright, but for the first 50 km I was really starting to slow and felt like I wasn’t getting enough energy. I can’t remember the control, it was before Uxbridge, but I was convinced that I would stop there and grab something more substantial than a cliff bar, a PB&J sandwich, or baked potatoes to eat. No such luck. All there was a convenience store…so I bought some cheese curds.

Once we got to Uxbridge, I wolfed down a slice of pizza, finished all of my food, drank a chocolate milk, and drank way too much water and Gatorade. It was at this point that night was descending, and as we began the last 40 km of our ride, I realized I ate too much and was worried I might puke it back up. Luckily my stomach knew better and I miraculously made it up several hills with only suspicious burps.

Night riding is both an eerie experience and a sublime one. There’s something about the stillness and the solitary blanket that night brings that both relaxes you, and makes your brain think of worst-case-scenarios in macabre detail. Our single dog chase happened somewhere on a country road with no visibility except for our lights on the front of our bikes. Andrew yelled “GO! GO! GO!”, and as I gave my legs hell and forced them to accelerate faster than I knew they could go, I couldn’t help but be struck by how surreal it is to be chased by an invisible set of jaws that you can only assume will devour you if it could grab hold of your leg. Luckily it tired and we escaped unscathed.

We finished at 11:15 pm, happy and safe, and looking forward to a bath and getting off our saddles.

Fantastic ride! Can’t wait for a 400 km!

Ride Report from Peter Phillips:

My first 300 km ride.

I did my second Brevet and first 300 km ride this Saturday. The group of us left the Tim Horton’s with rain threatening all day. The group split sometime after our first pass through Stouffville. Stephen, William and I went ahead at a quicker pace. We hit the first control at Leaksdale shortly after the “open time” on the control card, but the control was not open. So we rode onto Little Britain for bakery purchases and re-fueling. Butter tarts might be God’s gift to cyclists.

We experienced intermittent misty rain through to Lindsay. More re-fueling and back on the road. The ride continued at a quick pace with Stephen and William leading the way. The sun started to break out as we rode into the next control in Millbrook. After a quick lunch stop, we now faced the more challenging part of the route, between 150 and 250 km. I lost touch with Stephen and William at about 180 km and resigned myself to finishing solo. I needed more frequent re-fueling, in Orono and again at the control in Enniskillen. I have to admit I had reached the low point of my ride… looking for the easy way back to the car.

To my great surprise, William was napping under a shady tree across the street from the Enniskillen control. We started out together eager for the “short” hop to Uxbridge. For me, the ride was becoming more challenging and difficult. It finally occurred to me that my gearing was totally inappropriate for the route… I will put on proper gearing on the bike for the next ride! We had dodged the forecast of rain for much of the day, but we encountered very heavy rain for about 20 minutes between Enniskillen and Uxbridge… serious climbing and descending in pouring rain is not fun!

The last few kilometres to Uxbridge were a bit of a blur for me: fatigue, dehydration and stomach distress (I will have to stay away from Gatorade). After a longer stop in Uxbridge, fortified with a gel and a hot chocolate, we faced the final part of the ride. It felt good to hit familiar roads like Wagg and the final turn south at Mussellman Lake. It felt really good to once again turn up the pace as we “raced” downhill to the finish. The topper for the day… it starts raining again just as we finished.

I am happy to have completed the adventure. I know I got off course a few times, as my computer says that I did 311 km. And a big thanks to William for riding with me through those last 90 km. While I did not finish as quickly as I had hoped, I learned a lot from the ride to apply to future rides 400 and 600 km rides.

Foymount 400 km Brevet

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.

Huron Chapter’s Wiarton Willy 200 km Brevet

Ride Report from Carey Chappelle

Huron Chapter hosted the Wiarton Willy 200 km brevet Saturday June 1st. Wiarton Willy started at Tim Horton’s at 0800hrs. From a Randonneuring point of view, this was the first time I had ridden with as many Women as there were Men in a Brevet! The Weather forecast was a little unnerving to say the least…thunder showers and strong West winds. We headed up the peninsula with our first turn in Oxyden towards Kemble Rock. After 19km we enjoyed the infamous Kemble Rock downhill… Donna and I took it easy on our Tandem until we successfully went through the short turn then tucked in … hitting 83 km/hr. We hoped we could have received a speeding ticket but no Police were around! Enjoying a tail wind and no rain we toured along before stopping at the Kemble Women’s Institute where Liz served Tea!

From there, the Randonneurs headed towards Owen Sound, passing through Balmy Beach, then Kelso Beach across a bridge in Owen Sound then back up into the peninsula towards the Hibou Conservation Area and Leith. As far north as this brevet went, the Randonneurs headed south stopping at Inglis Falls for some photos and relaxation. I let everyone know that Tilley’s Café and Bakery was just around the corner, so we got back on the bikes and headed towards Kilsyth. Our timing was perfect! The cookies were still warm and we all enjoyed treating ourselves…because we earned it!

From Kilsyth to Sauble Beach for lunch, we had to stop at about 89 km to let the Ladies put their rain gear on! No thunder yet, but with a light rain and BLACK clouds….we were nervous, and fortunately able to get to the Sauble Dunes Restaurant for lunch with only the West Wind to fight. From here we headed out to Sauble Falls, then to Oliphant where we toured the Lonely Island on our way to Pike’s Bay. NOTHING BUT SUNSHINE and a WEST WIND!! Somehow we lost Con as he left the Sauble Dunes Restaurant ahead of us in search of Ice Cream in Sauble Beach, he found the Ice Cream but we couldn’t fine him! So we stopped in Pike’s Bay, where the Ladies and I enjoyed our Ice Cream and then…as Con flew by…Liz yelled at him and we were able to get back together again.

Our next Control was at the Lion’s Head Inn, Lion’s Head. We enjoyed a beverage on the Patio before heading back up the Escarpment to Wiarton. The wife and I noticed the 9 and 10% inclines and fell a little behind Liz and Con before passing them on the downhill section leading to Colpoy’s Bay. Just before Wiarton we were all back together and arrived at the last Control with a few hours in the bank.

Before this ride I made reservations for 10 at Southampton’s Elk and Finch for 19:45. Knowing that Bill Little couldn’t do the ride, I emailed him and told him to join us, but call in and make additional reservations. Bill showed up at the Elk and Finch on time and wondered where we were. He called me on the cell phone and I let him know that we would be late, so asked him to touch base with the Chef Bill Hodgkins and let him know we’d be 1/2 hr late. While standing there, another Lady that he didn’t know heard his discussion with the Chef about the Randonneurs being late for dinner and let him know that 6 of the 10 people who were having dinner with the cyclists were already there! Bill enjoyed meeting everyone and then enjoyed teasing us when we arrived!