Sunday Sept 4th, 2005
Its been a while since I last did a ride with the Ontario
Randonnuers (then the Toronto Randonneurs). It didn't hit
me till the morning of the ride that 1997 was a long time
ago. In that year I completed 200, 300 and 400 km rides. The
600 was planned but it conflicted with my yearly ride to the
Thousand Islands for a family reunion. Since '97 my kilometers
per year have fallen off, and basically the only goal each
year was that one ride to the kingston area. THis year however
I finally got off my butt and toured across Canada, coast
to coast in June, July and August. Finishing that tour August
4th, its been a lazy month since then with just a few mountain
biking rides and a couple of commutes into the city. Essentially
I've been off the bike most of the last month and when I signed
up for this ride I was a bit concerned how well I would fair.
I'm always nervous when I need to be somewhere in the morning,
so i was at the start around 7:15 and pulled up the same time
Steve showed up. Paul rode up a few minutes later and before
we headed out Eli, Ken and Jerzy had all arrived. All names
I recognize from lurking on the Ontario Randonnuers email
Pulling out of the parking lot just as the clock turned 8am,
and down avenue road. I'm surprised I've never been down this
road, but the decent down to the waterfront was a gentle start
for the day, in fact it was a blast zipping through the city
early on a sunday morning. Traffic was sparse, the weather
was perfect, warm enough at the start for shorts.
The first re-route was along the Martin Goodman Trail, a
sketchy section along the sidewalk to avoid parts of the CNE.
Every year they reroute this section in this dangerous manner.
We lost Ken during a bathroom break along the MG Trail, well
actually he lost us. We saw him briefly before halfway towards
the first Control but lost him again. Navigating the bike
paths up the river valleys was difficult, using the Toronto
Bike Map made the job much easier, but unlike roads, there
are no signs to point you in the right direction. Paul's knowledge
of the paths came in handy often.
At the first check point we all regrouped at the bakery before
heading off along the top of the city through some industrial
areas, around york and past the washed out bridge on Finch.
A bathroom break at the Harvey's at Yonge/Bayveiw turned into
a quick lunch. I've always been a pretty poor eater on rides,
I was surprised when others joined me for greasy burgers.
Off again and out towards the north east end of the city.
Its amazing how fast you end up out in the countryside. Up
swells road and on the only road that i found a bit uneasy,
from Sewells rd to Beare Rd on Steels. A pat on the back to
who ever designed the a 200km route in toronto with only 1-2kms
of bad roads. The decent and climb on Twyn Rivers was new
and very enjoyable to me, even after my aborted attempt to
sprint up the climb. I must remind myself, despite having
urges to sprint up a climb, I should never listen to these
urges, I must learn to ignore the voice in my head that says
'go for it'.
The hills in this area had broken us up, Ken and Jerzy and
Steve were ahead, with paul, Eli and myself coming into the
second control at Reid's Dairy a few minutes later after missing
a turn. We somehow forgot to see Rougemont Dr, ended up at
Atona and Kingston Rd, about 300 meters from Reid's, but in
the spirit of the journey, we backtracked the kilometer and
took the correct route to the Dairy. Our rewards, under priced
ice cream, milkshakes and chocolate milk.