The 365 Cyclist

Cycling Year Round in Canada

Archive for the category “Ride Log”

Video of Niagara-on-the-Lake Ride

This is a short video capturing some of my Niagara-on-the-Lake Ride. I followed the Waterfront Trail from Mississauga to Niagara-on-the-Lake. I only filmed about 1/4 of the ride because I discovered that my video camera battery was dead when I left. I was charging it as I rode and only got enough power to film by the time I got to Burlington. After that it was dark and the camera didn’t work in the dark.

Alex’s New 24″ Trek Mountain Bike

My neighbour, Alex, got a new 24″ Trek mountain bike. He moved up from a 20″. Here is a video from our ride last Sunday when we tested it out on the paths and trails at Erindale Park along the Credit River.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Ride

I thought it would be fun to do a little ride to Niagara-on-the-Lake one evening. This week was ideal because I took Thursday off to celebrate American Thanksgiving. I decided to leave work a little early on Wednesday and head to Niagara-on-the-Lake knowing that I could sleep in the next morning.

I installed a seat post mount rack onto the Guru and filled a single pannier. I was ready for a nice ride.

Guru Equipped for Touring

As I left the driveway I heard a THUMP. Darn it, my pannier fell off the rack. Well it’s a big bump at the end of my driveway so I realized that I had better take it easy over the bumps. I re-attached the pannier and took off.

As I started down Glen Erin Blvd past St. Claire school I hear THUMP. Dag Nabbit … there is my pannier in the middle of the road again. Something’s not right.

Another kilometer … THUMP. Another 2 km … THUMP. My pannier is starting to get ragged from being tossed onto the road so much. I figure that there is no way I’ll make it to Niagara-on-the-Lake with my pannier in one piece.

I stopped and made a phone call to my bike shop (Van de Velo). I said “I’ve got a problem and I’m coming in.” I felt like an indy driver calling into the pit crew.

There were some problems with my rack attachment and pannier clips. Paul, the owner and chief mechanic, modified the clips and mounted a sturdier rack on the back.

Fixing the Rack

It took a little while to figure everything out and swap the racks. I lost some daylight but at least the problem was fixed.

I headed down to the Lakeshore and was on my way.

Lake Ontario

It was pretty windy and the sound of waves crashing onto the beach was pretty nice. As I approached Burlington it was getting dusk.

Burlington at dusk

I was carrying about 20-25 pounds of gear (I’ll pack lighter next time). The weight was not much problem when I was moving but when I stopped the front wheel kept turning and the bike wanted to fall over. It was really annoying. I decided to head to Mountain Equipment Co-op and get a second pannier to balance the load. MEC wasn’t too far off my route but I ended up killing another hour getting there, shopping, installing the second pannier and redistributing my load. Now I was ready to go. The only problem was that I had killed the afternoon and only got about 40km … I had 80 km to go and it was dark.

This is the last picture I took because all of the rest turned out black.

Hamilton at Night

I had my Cygolites charged and a recharge pack as well. I knew I had about 4 hours of night riding. I’ve been practicing night riding and I am comfortable riding in the dark. But my night rides have only been 60-90 minutes so far.

My plan was to follow the Waterfront Trail the whole way to Niagara-on-the-Lake. When the sun went down the temperature dropped to near zero. I put on an extra base layer and as long as I was moving I was comfortable. When I stopped I got cold.

I stopped for a meal around 7:30 in Grimsby. I was going to lock my bike to a fence but as I approached the fence I did not see 6″ of standing water in the weeds until too late. I stepped in and both my feet were soaked. I was a little worried about wet feet, zero degrees and two hours to go.

My socks were wool. I had only bought them a few days earlier for winter riding. My feet remained wet but the wool held the heat and it was not a major problem.

I arrived at Niagara-on-the-Lake at 10:30pm. My Cygolites worked the whole way … over four hours of night riding and still going. I was really impressed by that. Those light are amazing.

I enjoyed riding at night. The wind died down and the traffic was almost non-existant after 8pm. I was rolling down country roads and along the lake enjoying the lights from Toronto and the stars above.

The ride was 120km and I was pedalling at an easy pace (16-20km). Rolling time 6:25. Total time, with all the stopping, 9:13. My worst case planned scenario was 10 hours so I wasn’t disappointed. I had some leg left but after working that morning for 6 hours and then riding for 9 hours I was just plain tired.

This was my longest distance ride; my longest solo ride; my longest night ride; and the ride with the most problems. It was also one of my best rides.

The next morning my legs still felt good and I started pedaling home around 10AM. I got to Welland and had to wait about 20 minutes for a ship to pass through the lock.

Ship at Welland

It was windy and 1 degree Celcius … I got very cold waiting. The headwind was strong and was wearing me down. My legs were feeling heavier and heavier. I started thinking about Turkey and Football. I decided to call my pit crew (Denise). She picked me up in St. Catherine and we rode home to enjoy the rest of Thanksgiving day together.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Ride 120km


Credit River Ride on a Warm November Day

It is November.

This morning it was 14 degrees Celsius (57 F).

We sure have been lucky with the mild temperatures so far. The leaves are off the trees and it feels like winter is coming. Today was a ride along the Credit River while shooting some video of the ride.

Windy Ride on Sheridan Bikeway

I took a ride this afternoon along the Sheridan Bikeway.

Sheridan Bikeway

As I headed West it got really windy. I took out the iphone video camera and tried to capture the moment. In hindsight I needed a little more footage to make a decent video but here it is.

November Challenge Park deja vu Ride

The weather is getting cooler. Last Sunday I awoke to a crisp morning with a hard frost. There were little ice crystals blanketing mother nature.

I took a ride along the Credit River with Ange and Erick. We visited the Challenge Park along the way. It brought back a few memories.

Here are a few pics from Sunday’s ride.

Bad Boy outfitted for a Trail Ride - Frosty Morning

Frosted Boards at the Challenge Park

Erick Takes the Challenge

November Riding - Drew, Ange, Erick

Damn Leaves

I was doing a solo night ride last night. It was a beautiful evening, about 10C and a little foggy with no wind. The Cygolites cut the fog nicely and it was serene. After about 30 minutes of riding I got a second wind and started to pickup the pace as I returned home.

The paved bike path was covered with leaves. As I made my way around a bend my front wheel dropped off the edge of the path. It was enough drop that I lost my balance. In a split second, which seemed to happen in slow motion as I felt myself going over, I took a hard spill. I was clipped in and hit hard … first my shoulder, then my head. I slid about 20 feet while I remained connected to the bike.

The good news is that my body protected the bike from any damage. The bad news is that my body took all the damage. I got up slowly, checked for blood and broken bones. Nothing serious, just scrapes and bruises.

That was my worst crash this year. But it was not bad enough to slow me down. I’ll get over being stiff and sore. I am already looking forward my next night ride!

The Goodbye October Ride

Drew, Alex, Erick

On the last Sunday in October the weather was mild and nice. In the morning I had done a 20km solo ride to Oakville on my Bad Boy “touring” bike.

When I returned, I was invited on an afternoon ride down to the Credit River with Erick and his 8 year old son Alex. It was so nice outside that I decided a second ride was a good idea. Since Alex and I ride at about the same pace I had to accept.

I morphed my Bad Boy into a mountain bike. Erick’s family and other neighbours were outside enjoying the sunshine. We told them “We’ll see you in 45 minutes” as we peeled away and headed down to the River.

Alex has some pretty strong legs and can really tackle the climbs. We needed to stop a few times to adjust the velcro bands securing Alex’s pant leg. The cuff strap kept slipping. Alex’s legs are small and the velcro on the cuff straps couldn’t be wrapped tight enough.  After a few tries a little twist in the cuff strap did the trick.

Riding through the foliage on leaf covered trails was great. I really love this time of year.

Our neighbourhood bike trail.

Soon we left the paved trails and hit the dirt. We found that the trails were still a bit soft from the rain earlier in the week. We lost track of time as we enjoyed the leaves, the river and the sunshine. Before we knew it, we had made it to the 403 bridge. A quick time check made us realize that we were running a little late. We promptly turned back.

The bike path along the river was fairly busy with walkers. To avoid the pedestrian traffic we decided to come back on a side trail along the ridge. We thought we would save some time but a recent wind storm had knocked down several large trees across the trail. The obstacles required dismounting and lifting our bikes over the logs and branches. It was not a big deal and it added a little twist to our adventure.

When we had made it to the Burnhamthorpe bridge we decided to take the Burnhamthorpe Trail back to save time. We soon were back to find the group we had left earlier was still outside. They said “Hey you were only supposed to gone 45 minutes!”. Somehow our 45 minute ride turned into a 1:22:39 ride.

Time flies when you are having fun!

Ride data here.

Oakville Loop 50k

Sunday April 3, 2011

Ange, Scott, Denise and Drew - Oakville Loop 50k photo in Jack Darling Park

Sunny and 4C. I had mapped two route choices of 40km using Map my Ride. We decided to do the Southern route to Oakville, Lakeshore, Port Credit and back.

The group started out strong with Denise setting a brisk pace … better than planned. The roads were good and the traffic light as we headed to Neyagawa Blvd. The descent down Neyagawa Blvd was smooth and fast. We were riding just under 40 kph. When we reached Upper Middle we headed East toward Dorval Drive. We navigated some traffic as we continued down Dorval Drive to Lakeshore Road.

Downtown Oakville was bustling with traffic, walkers and bicycles. There were a lot of people out enjoying the mild temperatures and sunshine.

We continued East on Lakeshore Road to reach Southdown Road. The section of road near the refinery had a lot of dirt and dust. The road conditions had been better than I had expected with the exception of that small section.

We had only planned a 40km ride. When we reached Orr Road we originally planned to continue north up Southdown Road to Erin Mills Parkway.  However, we were ahead of pace, so it was decided to ride to Port Credit and take Mississauga Road home. That would add another 10km and turn our first ride into a 1/2 century. Everybody agreed and we turned right onto Orr Road to follow the Waterfront Trail to Jack Darling Park. At the park we stopped for a blog photo moment.

From there, we headed to Port Credit along Lakeshore Road and then turned North onto Mississauga Road.

We had held a decent pace so far but fatigue was setting in on Scott and me. Denise and Ange still had strong legs so the group split up with Denise and Ange cranking the pedals homeward. Scott and I slowed the pace a bit and enjoyed the scenery as we rode up Mississauga Road.

I was pretty tired when I got home. It was a great ride but I didn’t have much leg left. Denise was ready to go for a 10k run when she got back and she was serious. We took a little longer on the ride than planned so she decided to get a few things done. I took a nap.

The ride data is from my Garmin. Even with my pace slowing for the last 10 km we averaged 22.2 kph. Denise beat me home by about 10 minutes so I imagine she was averaging 24-25 kph. I’ve got some more training to do.

Ride data here.

Ahead by a Century

Sunday March 21, 2011

Today was the first day of Spring. It didn’t feel like it when I woke to an outside temperature of -5c. It was sunny and the forecast was for the temperature to rise to 5c (it hit 4c).

I decided to ride to Humber Bay West. I prepared the Bad Boy and took off.

Long story short … I had time, I felt good, and I just kept going to complete my first Century!

And that is why I am Ahead by a Century.

I took a few wrong turns in Toronto. I have a Toronto bike map but I had misplaced it. I looked on the internet before I left to get a general idea of where to go. It’s tough getting old, my memory let me down after I passed through High Park and reached Annette Street. That was pretty much the last of the bike lanes. Traffic was pretty lite. Even zooming down University Avenue past the ROM and Queens Park I pretty much had a lane to myself.

When I was nearly home my Garmin indicated that I was 10k short of 100k. Then I decided to do a little loop over to 9th Line and up to Erin Center Blvd. That was enough mileage to hit 100.5 km.

That’s a long ride … on a hybrid. My legs held up, and even though I was not wearing padded bike shorts, my butt wasn’t sore thanks to my B17 now broken in and custom moulded to my ass.

Tonight the stairs keep reminding me that I did some distance. I’ll consider the ride a success if I am able to walk tomorrow.

Ride data here.

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