Tour of Rice Lake

Saturday June 24th, 2006

I started this ride already in the hole, I have barely ridden for the last month, and the day before the ride was one of the hardest most physical days on my job ever. I wasn't sure i would be ready and able for a 300km ride, specially one that climbed over every hill in region.

The group left the starting control right on time, and it was obvious by the first few hills that I wasn't going to be hanging around the front. I found myself between groups after the first set of valleys. Eventually Ken caught up with me, and we rode together or near each other for the rest of the ride. We never saw the lead group again.


Having not ridden on this side of Toronto much, the entire route was new to me, it was my first time up the Ski Hill in either direction. During a quick stop at a store in Kendall for fuel Eli, Tristian and David passed by. We rode as a loose group into Bewdly for a junk food lunch before heading off into the another drumlin field. Going back to elementary school geography, I had this vague knowledge of what the last ice age left us, now I can't forget what a drumlin is.

  An unplanned stop in Roseneth allowed us to grab a snack while Eli fixed a flat. Then it was off into the hills again. Hastings could not come soon enough for me, I was pretty hungry and the snack at Roseneth really did not fill me. Along the way Ken and i lost contact with the Eli/Tristian/Dave and did not see again.

The north shore of the lake was much less hilly, al thought the hills seemed to be longer when they did occur. Half way to the last control I started to run out of gas, right around the 175km mark. It felt like I was battling a headwind, which did not exist. Ken pulled ahead but was waiting for me under a shady tree in Baillieboro. By the last climb and drop into Milbrook I was feeling better with my energy restored. Perhaps it was the food kicking in, or perhaps it was digesting the food the slowed me down.

Ken and I both felt that Millbrook was a misplaced town in some undetermined way, we tried to verbalize it, but couldn't quite put our finger on it but something was odd. We road off into the evening, watching the sun get closer to the horizon. Thankfully there was no repeat of energy drain on the way back to Markham.

We hit Reglan and Simcoe Rd and decided to light up at the country store on the corner. As we approached the convenient picnic tables our ears were pierced with loud proximity alarm that must have annoyed the few local residents. We backed off, and set up our lights while the alarm continued to blare. Eventually an amused looking security guard drove by, and shortly later the annoyance was gone and so were we.

This was the first time navigating through darkness for me in a few years. Thankfully Ken knew the route well and was able point us in the right direction. Under the cover of darkness we rolled into Tim Horton's just before Midnight to find it closed, after the drive-thru cleared out we were able to get our cards signed.

The bottom line, the person who designed that route is a sadistic bastard, I told him that several times as we rode most of the route together. Ken Dobbs will be forever known as SB to me. I think he found every single hill between Markham and Hastings, perhaps I just wasn't ready for it.

3610 Meters of climbing over 304 kms, 11843 Feet. THat's what my older altimeter registered after the Tour of Rice Lake. To be honest, it actually reset itself after 2999 meters, and counted back up to 609m. I'd be really interest to see how that compares to the GPS numbers.

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