Sunday August 29, 2010 – Drew and Scott visited the mountain biking trails of Silent Lake Provincial Park. The park is located off of Route 28 between Apsley and Bancroft in the Kawarthas.
The park office was not open when we arrived so we checked in using the honor system.
It would pretty easy for them to figure out which car hadn’t payed since we were the only car in the parking lot.
We got ready to go and hit the trail. The trail started out narrow and a bit rough. It seemed like we were climbing for a long while. Not steep but steady. We startled a good size deer and observed it’s tail as it crashed through the woods escaping our intrusion.
Early into the ride Scott got bogged down in some deep mud and then lost his momemtum forcing him to stop and brace with his foot. Not much bracing as he plunged his shoe into some very wet dark wet mud.
We continued to climb. The temperature was about 20 C and pleasant. We made our way a few km then met up with a paved road that led to campsites. A left turn and a quick connect on the pavement and we were back on trails. However these trails double as cross country ski trails in the winter. They were wide, in good shape and nice. These were “beginner” type trails as opposed to the intermediate difficulty trail that we started on.
The sun was working it’s way up and the sunlight was streaming through the trees. It is turning into a very nice ride at this point.
We continued this trail for about 15 to 20 minutes. It rolled gently up and down and was easy to navigate. There were a few wet spots but nothing to give us any grief.
The trail led to a “warm up” hut that would be very handy in the winter.
We stopped and took a break.
There was an outhouse for comfort. At this point it was decision time. There was an intermediate trail that was about 12km that went the left. The other option was to continue on the ski trail which would loop us back around. Due to the time we opted to continue on the ski trail and start making our way back.
I took that shot with the camera balanced on a log using the self timer.
The trail continued along in a mild decent. It was a bit wetter and bumpier along this section but still very navigable. After about another km we came upon a tree that had fallen and was blocking the trail. This was evidence that this part of the trail was not getting much traffic. There was no way other riders had gone around this so we determined nobody had been on the trail since the tree fell. It was windy the day before so perhaps it had fallen then. Scott stepped up and in lumberjack fashion he wrestled the tree to the side allowing us to continue.
We continued on and the trail started ascending again. It was fairly wet through this part and I was having some trouble with my shoes slipping off my pedals. In a few steep spots my feet came off as I pushed hard and I lost all momentum. I ended up walking my bike up over a short distance. Note to self: change from the low profile clipped pedals to some pedals with some grip for the next mountain bike adventure. The trail was pitching a bit harder in this section. I decided to stop and lower the seat post on my bike by about 3/4″ – 1″. That made a big different and I felt a lot more comfortable going down some steep inclines.
The trail ended at about 8 km and we found ourselves back on a paved campground road. We had been riding about 1 hr 15 min at this point and we had planned to go about 1 1/2 hours. We decided it would take too long to double back using the trails so we headed down the road. We got to experience the reward from all the climbing we had done as the road was a 1.5 km downhill coast back to the parking area. We could see the campers starting to rise and smell the bacon and coffee as the campers made breakfast.
We worked up some speed descending on the roads and the mud started flinging out of our tires. We both were getting pelted with small clumps of mud as we raced downhill.
We returned to the parking lot which now had 1 car besides our own. We still had the place to ourselves.. We took a few minutes to enjoy a final view of the lake.
The water was calm and it was very peaceful.
After that we loaded up and headed out. No crashes this time. This was a really nice ride. No bike traffic here. We never saw even one other rider the entire time. This is ride for the repeat list.
Saturday August 28, 2010 – A short bike ride with Scott, Drew and Mike Walker.
A little ride ending up at Sandy Beach. A combination of dirt road and Route 620 with rolling hills. The destination was to check out Sandy Beach. It was late afternoon and not too much was going on at the beach. In fact it was nearly secluded. Read more…
A beer bike is a pedal bike which is powered by up to 10 people. It is basically a means for partying, a bar on wheels. One of the drivers is a designated driver and does not drink.
Riding on a beer bike, you would think, would be relatively safe compared to riding, say, on a motorbike. However, it does have it dangers. Amsterdam is considering placing regulations on beer bikes. They have been banned from the red light district of Amsterdam already.
To date my kids have shown limited interest in biking. They both have decent bicycles and proper fitting helmets so we’ve eliminated those excuses for not wanting to ride.
It is a bit frustrating for us parents trying to set a good “active lifestyle” example. There are only a few activities that the whole family can do together that remain in the affordable category. Biking fits the bill.
Tonight we had a bit of a break through. After dinner I convinced the kids to take a short ride around the block. We did a 1km loop with Stefanie leading. In typical fashion, at least in our house, Andrew decides to lead for the next loop. Then he decides to stray onto the bike path. He must have been feeling adventurous. Before long he is leading us down through the woods towards Erindale Park.
It was a cool evening and the trail was in perfect condition. I’m sensing that the kids are starting to have fun. Stefanie noticed a large toad and we stopped briefly to check him out. Stef has a thing for frogs so she was pretty excited to see one.
I kept following along wondering when Andrew might turn around and head back. But he forged on. We arrived at the intersection of Mississauga Road and Dundas Street. Andrew takes a right and heads uphill following Dundas Street when things take a turn for the worse.
I had decided to ride the Schwinn Sierra this evening. I hadn’t noticed that the crank arm had started to loosen. I certainly noticed when it fell off the crank. Now the bike only had one pedal.
I experimented trying to pedal with one foot and it simply doesn’t work. I nearly always bring tools, money or a phone when I ride. Of course tonight I had brought nothing. Reality sets in that I’m stuck 5km from home, with two kids and no way to repair the crank. There is no choice but to walk the bike home. So walk is what I did.
The kids weren’t happy with this setback. They wanted to ride some more. It’s funny how the events had turned.
The kids pedaled ahead then they waited while I would eventually catch up. I tried putting Stefanie on my bike and pulling her while riding her bike. That was unstable and I feared we might collide or become tangled. I gave up on that idea quickly.
The kids ended up stopping at a playscape along the trail. They played while I continued to walk then they caught back up with me.
This story does have a happy ending.
We ended up returning home an hour and a half after we set out for our “trip around the block”. We rolled in just as it got dark. The kids admitted that they enjoyed the ride and had fun stopping at the park. We all got some exercise and covered almost 10 km together.
Stefanie really enjoyed riding the dirt trails. Later I told her about the dirt trails at Hilton Falls and she expressed interest in maybe going there some time. Andrew said he would like to try the same loop again when I could ride instead of walk.
There might be a next time very soon. I’m feeling a small sense of victory.
I did a little research for a ride convenient to our cottage rental at Diamond “In the Ruff” in Muskoka.
Diamond “in the Ruff” is located at 1137 Old Parry Sound Road, Utterson, Ontario.
Denise and I did this loop a few days earlier based on a map that was hanging in the cottage. Using the three finger scale method I estimated the ride to be 20km. In fact it ended up being 28km.
On a rainy Sunday morning August 22, 2o10 I rode this solo. I took a few pics along the way.
Learned a few things riding in the rain. First my Voyager bike bag is not waterproof … at all. I guess that’s why they provide a little rain cover. I put my iphone in the bag and when I stopped to snap a picture about an hour into the ride the phone was sitting in a puddle of water. The iphone is now dead but after some Google searches it seems there is a chance it might work again when it dries out. I’ll report on that later.
Second thing I learned was I’m going to invest in some gore-tex socks. My rain jacket kept me warm and comfortable. My bike shorts and legs were wet but warm and not uncomfortable. My shoes were SOAKED and the wet socks were rather uncomfortable.
From Wikipedia – Although Mark Gane was not aware of a real “Echo Beach” when he wrote the song in 1978, several people wrote to him asking if it was about a beach in their local area. However, Echo Beach, as mentioned in the song, does not refer to a real beach but is rather a symbolic notion of somewhere the narrator would rather be, somewhere ‘far away in time’. In reality, the song was created while Gane was working checking wallpaper for printing faults. He found the work rather dull and his mind drifted to times he would like to live over again. One such time was an evening spent at Sunnyside Beach on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Toronto in summer.
Hit 55km / hr on this ride. That’s the fastest I’ve been so far on the “Bad Boy”.
I use a Garmin ForeRunner 405 GPS and heart rate monitor.
It’s a cool toy that keeps track of where you rode, how far, how fast and lots of other useful information. The data from the watch can be uploaded to a PC or Mac and the route is displayed as a route on a Google map.
I find it useful to see where I’ve been and find shortcuts and options for subsequent rides. If I’m going out for a workout the heart rate monitor keeps me honest. Here is a link to the manufacturer’s web site.
32,000 riders and another awesome bike tour that I did while living in Connecticut. We parked on Wall Street and made our way to the race start. A great way to see NYC. When we came back the convertible top on our car had been cut open and the car broken into. Another event to do again some day in a hard top. The next one is Sunday May 1, 2011.