It's been a couple years since I've been able to do the tour. Time conflicts with Summer Solstice usually has me hearing about it instead of pedaling. The Rideau Lakes Tour is run by the Ottawa Bike Club and lets just say that it's huge. Over 2000 registered riders and lots of bandits. I've been a bandit myself once or twice.
So what's the big deal with this ride. Well back to back 180km days on some amazing roads. Did I mention the hills yet? I'll get to those. Basics first. We start at Carlton University in Ottawa and ride to Queen's University in Kingston. Eat, Sleep and ride back the next day.
Our crew slimmed up a bit with only half a dozen of us. I'd be riding with some of the Big Ring Racing guys. Up bright and early we headed out from the University. Let's just say that if we could have left at 5am and missed some of what was to come I would not have complained. We can start with he word headwind and I'll go from there.
Unfortunately our small group of 7 had different paces in mind which put us down to 3. Tobin Rick and myself which meant lots of work ahead. Hopefully we can hook up with a couple more riders to share the rotation.
We did ride with one group for a short time but things looked a little scary. There were a couple wobbler's in the group and the last thing on my list of things to do for the day was to hit the pavement at 35 plus.
The boys agreed and we broke away.Of course this meant no rest. The pace also kept creeping up as did the temperature. I have not really had much heat riding to date. By the time we hit Kingston I was not all that happy. Now the part about the hills. The first 100km is relatively flat. Some roller but nothing much. From Westport on the fun begins. Now of course the famous Westport hill is a decent on Day 1. I hit 85km/h at the bottom as I crossed the bridge. How strong is carbon?
We had a rest before the real suffering began. the temperature is now hovering in the low 30's with humidex higher than what I can count with all my fingers and toes.I really do love climbing on the road bike. I'm one of those freaks that loves to jack up the pace at the steepest point of the hill. Today I was just riding to the hotel. That's all my mind kept saying. Something was playing with my stomach, probably the heat, but I had no craving to eat.
By the time we hit Kingston I was pretty much running on empty. Even on empty I still keep a bit of energy for some good photo ops.
Tobin,myself, Jenn(little sister) and Rick
Notice the solstice jersey's This was a prequel to the race in 2 weeks. These are just 2 of the boys I will be battling it out with at Solstice.
It took a while but I finally ate. Lots of sleep and hydration helped.
Day 2 looked like it would be a little more enjoyable. Tail wind and a little bit of cloud cover. Temperature was still going to rise though. On the bike by 7:30ish and hitting those hills. I love starting with hills. I know sick. We hooked up with a father,son and son group. Now to explain a little more 2 bikes a father and son on a tandem. This guy could move. We got a great flow going and hammed the hills. Of course getting a little enthusiastic the pace did ramp up a bit more and more.
My legs were back and my body was feeling good today. We managed to hook up with a couple riders at the right times all the way to Perth. This was the ride that I was looking for and was hoping to have. I was having fun. Riding fast without killing yourself to do it is the best feeling. At Perth this is where I decided to break free and ride on my own. Of course I couldn't miss taking this picture.
I think there needs to be a name change for Tobin. For those that read the Big Ring Racing Blog, he is known as Coco the Monkey. I know he is not to impressed with that.
How about turtle boy? The resemblance is kinda close and they move at about the same pace. Shall the trash talk start now?
I wanted to get a few hours of controlled riding in. With a pretty much flat ride now back to Ottawa and a tail wind this was what I needed. For the next 90 km I had a smile most of the time. I stayed in the high 30's low 40's all the way to Ottawa. Yes the tail wind helped!
This didn't help me from racking up a few extra k's and taking the long way back tot the University. Guess I should have had a map for the city. My appetite was definitely back though. When I hit the university, I found my sister dropped the bike and managed to put a sausage and burger in my stomach faster than I can breath. I know great recovery food. The boys rolled not long after me. A few goodbyes and see ya in a couple weeks and it was back to Jenn's for more food and downtime. The perk of having a sister that lives 30 minutes from Ottawa.
My legs actually felt pretty good this morning. Just the normal tired. Of course I had a nice long drive ahead of me. I think Molly was more exhausted than I was.
Maybe she should have driven and I slept? So the totals of the last 60 hours. 11 hours of driving, roughly 12 hours of seat time on the bike and 24 hours of sleeping. 1000 km on the car, 375 on my legs and zero on my pillow.
The heat training was perfect, the crew I road with were awesome and the ride itself was amazing! I'm hoping to do it again next year.