Ride report from David Hamilton:
After a rather miserable time on the Maberly 200 last week, I decided to rethink my approach to riding distances with a focus on the “randonnee” part instead of on the “gotta go faster” part. 13.5 hours is a generous amount of time in which to complete a 200k brevet, so I looked at the Burnstown Café ride as an adventure.
I switched out my rear tire before this ride, replacing my damaged high performance Compass tire with my bombproof but sluggish Jack Browns. The last thing I wanted was another blow out.
With a start point in Kanata, I rode out from my house near the QCH in the breaking dawn. The full moon was still visible in the sky as I meandered along the Watt’s Creek bike path and negotiated the construction on Corkstown Road. When I arrived at the start point at the Comfort Inn, I had some food (boiled, salted potatoes) and then took off on the ride.
The wind, again, was nasty and particularly brutal in the open spaces. I was glad that Richardson Side Road and Beavertail Road had been repaved last fall…they were starting to feel like Shea Road! The route takes you through mostly farm country where small, family farms are still operating. When I came to Tatlock Road, I thought, hm, if I go left instead of right, I could have breakfast at Temples! Despite taking it easy, I arrived at the first control in Clayton in pretty good time.
The next leg to Calabogie was only 44 km long, but full of hills and into the wind. I really enjoyed the Tatlock Road up to 511… hardly any traffic and beautiful scenery. The 511 to Calabogie was a little busier but nothing scary. I checked into the control and had some lunch.
The temperature was still cold and I replaced my balaclava with a head band. I think the cold bothered me more than the wind on this ride. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am tired of the cold! Please, I want to ride in shorts and a jersey! Highway 508 from Calabogie to Burnstown was very busy, and some of the drivers were complete assholes buzzing me when there was no need. Fortunately, the section from Burnstown to Highway 17 was way better. Way. And the wind wasn’t quite so bad as I had envisioned.
Crossing Highway 17 on a Saturday afternoon was a trick.
When I turned onto Usborne, I was finally with the wind and sailed along into Braeside and Arnprior at a good clip to the control at the Tim Hortons. From there, most of the last section was with the wind (or at least, not completely against it). It was super fun sailing down Stonecrest and Diamondview Roads at a wind-assisted 30kmh. I arrived back at the Comfort Inn for a ride time of 11:05, had another quick snack, and then started on my way home.
Funny thing, even though I consciously decided to ride at a real easy pace, the total time for the brevet was pretty much the same as last week’s Maberly. The big difference was I felt stronger at the end and I enjoyed it a lot more.