The 365 Cyclist

Cycling Year Round in Canada

Credit River & Challenge Park – 17k

Sunday Sept 12, 2010

Mike's Face Plant

Mike's Face Plant

Things didn’t go so well at the Challenge Park.

Today it was Drew and Mike R. doing the Sunday RRS ride. We left from my house at about 7:40Am. It had rained the night before. The sky was a bit overcast but it looked to be clearing.

I had decided to do the Credit River loop because in mid September the Salmon begin heading up the river to spawn. I expected we would see fishermen along the way and maybe see somebody catching a fish.

We had pumped Mike’s tires full of air the night before. This morning he was so excited to ride that he left home without his water bottle. I was carrying the 24 oz bottle so we figured we could share. I pulled off the 700 cm skinny tires and switched over to the 26″ trail tires. Then we were off.

It was nice ride down to Erindale Park. The trails were a little wet but didn’t have any problems. We arrived at Erindale Park then began following the Culham Trail up along the river. We biked for 5-10 minutes then decided to stop and take a few pictures of the fisherman.

Fisherman on the Credit River

Fisherman on the Credit River

We didn’t see anybody catching fish. We continued along the trail.

Mike R. on the Culham Trail

Mike R. on the Culham Trail

We passed under the Burnhamthorpe bridge heading towards the 403 overpass. Mike was thinking that there was a no fishing rule for the river section above Burnhamthorpe bridge. We didn’t see any more fisherman in this section so it must be the case.

We started seeing several packs of runners. We were thinking that it must have been a running club because their were a lot of them running in packs and chatting it up.

We arrived at the 403 overpass and downshifted as we climbed out of the valley. That is one good long hill. We both made it up but we were breathing pretty hard.

We followed the trail along the 403 until we came to the Ellis Leuschner Challenge Park.

The Challenge Park

The Challenge Park

For more pics of the Challenge Park taken in August of 2010 and posted on Flickr follow this link.

Ellis Leuschner died June 18, 2005 at the age of 13 as a result of a bicycle accident on a construction site. The City of Mississauga built the Challenge Park, with support from the Ellis Leuschner Fund and other community partners, to provide an area for children to ride mountain bikes.

I think the key word here is children. Check out this photo I found while googling information on the park.

Young Rider enjoying Challenge Park

Young Rider enjoying Challenge Park

We could see the potential for lots of fun and I thought it would be to get a picture of Mike sailing off the end of the ramp with the wind in his hair and a grin on his face. That was the plan.

I asked Mike if he would like to attempt the 1st obstacle in the Park. Being young at heart and with excitement in his eyes he enthusiastically replies “of course!”

I position myself for the photo op and give Mike the thumbs up. He starts along the ramp in full confidence and control and a wide smile on his face.

Moments later, as he approaches a “Y” on the platform, his grin disappears and I see his eyes dart back and forth in indecision. A moment later I snap the photo.

Mike goes down

Mike goes down

He had dropped off the platform and went over the handle bars. It happened very fast. I rushed forward and yelled “are you OK?” Mike lifted his head. I acted fast and in pure paparazzi style I snapped another picture.

Mike's Face Plant

Mike's Face Plant

After some moaning and groaning we assess the damage: bloody lip, muddy face, sprained thumbs, chest trauma. The bike is all right.

Mike composes himself. I’m torn between worry for my buddy and an uncontrollable recognition of the humor of the situation. OK … I admit it. I was pissing myself laughing. Mike is not sure what to make of it all.

What happened?

What happened?

Mike begins to clean himself off. We discuss the situation and decide it would be best if we started heading back.

We began retracing our route and enjoying the scenery on the ride back. By following the river down stream we were rolling down a gentle downhill. Mike’s thumb was in pain so he rode the bike using his one hand to steer and the other hand propped on the handle bar.

We made our way around a lot of walkers and joggers. Mike suggested that we go to a Tim Horton’s  for a coffee. It was a good idea but I suggested we try a Starbucks instead because that’s where fellow bike riders always hang out (that’s another story).

We arrived at the Starbucks just as they wiped the tables of the morning dew getting ready for business. Mike placed our order (Thanks Mike!) and we made our way to the patio.

I asked the server if she could take a picture of us. She agreed after Mike prompted her with the explanation “We’d really appreciate it … it’s our first date.” So after an odd look and some muttered response about creating a memory she snapped the photo.

Reflecting on the ride at Starbucks

Reflecting on the ride at Starbucks

We relaxed, enjoyed our coffee then headed home. I hope that Mike makes a full recovery in time for next Sunday’s ride.

When we got back to Rainbow Crescent Mike had a theory that a soak in the hot tub would be the perfect therapy to start his recovery.

It was.

Credit River Ride - Sept 12, 2010

Credit River Ride - Sept 12, 2010

Data - Sept 12, 2010 Credit River Ride

Data - Sept 12, 2010 Credit River Ride

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