welfare bum

Successfully missing the point since 1977.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

a little late on the update, but still here


so this past weekend was the weekend of cycling insanity.  let me bore you with the details...

friday morning after numerous false starts and returning home once for forgotten items, i finally got officially off on my trip at about 7am.  i headed out from the centre of Mississauga and worked my way towards downtown toronto (41 km from end to end for this section).  at the CN tower, i started following directions i yanked from Brian Hedney's cycling website

the next stage was downtown toronto to Oshawa.  a 71 km mostly along the waterfront trail through the majority of toronto's eastern suburbs.  this was, in my opinion, the easiest stretch next to the part that actually got me into downtown toronto.  by the time i arrived in Oshawa, i had cycled about 112 km over the stretch of about 5 hours and felt i was making a pretty good pace.

from Oshawa to Port Hope is a 58 km stretch with very little to no traffic, but also very little to no human interaction.  my recommendation to anyone planning to ride this stretch to bring more water than you expect to use and lots to snack on.  there's nothing out there folks, especially the last 30 or so km.  it actually took me longer to do this distance than the first (nearly twice as far) stretch.  the roads are quiet, but are quite full of hills and very very hot sun.

oh, did i mention that it was 35 degrees + (95 degrees for americans) for the entire trip?

when i (finally) got to Port Hope it was the end of a 12 hour, 170 + KM day.  i won't bore you too much with the details of when and where i got lost, or that there are two slight errors in direction from Hedney and one spot where someone fucked with the signs (don't worry, i fixed it).  i stayed at a lovely little bed and breakfast called the Tall Spruce.  a very comfortable place that will serve you good food, offer great company and a fun, pleasant place to stay.  ask for Tom and tell him mathieu sent you.

day two was originally going to be the remaining 110 + km from Port Hope to Picton, but i decided along the way that this would be better suited to a two day bike ride rather than one because of the heat.  my dad ended up meeting me in brighton and gave me a ride in the car the remaining 50 km.

was that the end of the weekend's cycling you ask?  of course not!  day three involved me riding for about 20 km on my own to keep my muscles from seizing up, then going out with my dad for another 20 km later in the day.  day four - monday - the trip home.  i took the train from belleville to toronto, then rode my bike the remaining 41-45 km from downtown toronto to mid-mississauga.

and here's what i learned out of all of it:
  • the Trek 7.3 FX is a great all-purpose bike.  my gears started to get themselves out of wack after about 300 km into the trip, but that's mostly to do with the fact that the bike had about 2000 on it total and hadn't been serviced yet.  the good fellows at Skiis and Biikes did that for me on my lifetime free service plan that i got with the bike (an extra 10% of the purchase price which has already paid for itself).  i would recommend to anyone considering buying this to put two bottle cages, some bar ends and new grips on it.  total for those should run around an extra $40.
  • a bumblebee to the face is better than a butterfly to the face.  why?  because at cycling speeds, the bee won't have a chance to sting you, just bounce off.  butterflies stick to sweaty faces.
  • sunscreen is to be reapplied every two hours.
  • when you're not riding in the city, bring at least 1.5 litres of water more than you think you'll need.  you will run out, and it will suck.
  • i'd do it all again, but i'd take an extra day and wait till it's cooler
so it was fun.  i'd recommend the trip to anyone who's a semi-avid cyclist and wants to get away for a few days.

and join the Untastic Music swap already.  i'm gonna get something started this week.  y'all's welcome to join.

2 Comments:

  • At Thu Jul 20, 10:09:00 PM, Anonymous pirategirl said…

    You're safe! And muscley-er, I'm sure! Rowr, as they say.

    When I grow up, I want to ride bikes like mmat.

     
  • At Fri Jul 21, 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous pirategirl said…

    Holy crap I love the squirrel pirate. And I love you for showing it to me.

     

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