Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Century

So it has been 4 days, I think I have finally recovered.

This was the furthest I have ever cycled, 101 miles in 6 hours...

It was a cool start at 7am, the fixed gear guy was there, first up, wasn't expecting him but at this point we thought the day as only going to be 88 miles...
After about 10 minutes the Fit Cyclist arrives, like me he has two water bottles and pockets full of energy bars and gel packs, we are well prepared, maybe not mentally but at least we have the gear.

We set off, hitting our starting pace quickly and although we have stiff legs there is chatting and a general sense of well being... past the Humber Bridge and out of Toronto where we thought we have left the fixed gear guy behind, there are some lovely swooping cycle paths out to Port Credit. Suddenly a shout, 15 miles in and the fixed gear guy has kept up, 200 meters back but keeping up. We had to be honest and point out we were cycling at warm up pace and we were going to get faster...

Out of Port Credit and down to a peleton of two we were off again, there is some great tarmac on sections of the Lakeshore Boulevard, we were hitting 20 - 24 mph and it felt good.

At 25 miles we had our first food stop, a croissanterie in Oakville, wow, fresh baked pastries, this is one of the (main) reasons I cycle!

Then we are off again, great weather, heating up slowly but perfect for cycling, at 45 miles we passed the longest distance I have ridden in Canada still feeling good but I did have to point out we are now cycling on the edge of the Niagra Escarpement and we should be there, I was promised 44 mile to get there and yet we are still on the road! (and on hills) The fit cyclist of course handles my whinging by just cycling ahead knowing I will try and catch up to complain.

Finally Dundas, luckily finding the cafe, Domestique was easy and the final 7km of the Tour is on the TV, life is good, I have ginger beer, as much water as I can drink and there are lust worthy bikes all over the walls!

After about an hour I am ready for more food, cake and water maybe good but I must of got through 3,500 calories cycling here and I know I am going to do the same on the way back, at this point I am also feeling apprehensive but good about a possible century, having not done it before I quite scared!
Off round the corner to a family restaurant, the fit cyclist was examining the menu but my mind was made up early, how can you refuse anything called the 'hungry lad'? 3 eggs, 2 peameal bacon, 2 canadian bacon, 2 sausages, toast and pancakes, yummers!
Yes we finished it all, and two iced tea for hydration, I tried to eat slowly as finishing would mean hitting the road for the 50 miles home!

By now it is 1:30pm and true to form the temperature and humidity was rising, although we were making good time our pace was suffering, with sections where we were only doing 16 mph and we were both flagging, we even had to stop and wait for a while recovering.

On the way back into Oakville although we wanted to go further a decision was made to stop for a drink, for about 10 miles I had been slower than the fit cyclist, this of course was allowed as we had so far gone 65 - 75 miles... Luckily lemonade came to my rescue!

These were as delicious as they looked! and although it doesn't look like it in the picture the weather was turning, as we were finishing up there were raindrops, this was exactly what we wanted and needed. Then again we were not so keen on the thunder and lightening, especially as it seemed to be directly above us, still, only 25 miles to go!

Powering through the rain we spied the CN tower and I felt a new lease of life in my legs, power came back and I was on... of course I nearly broke down as we passed my apartment, we were at 99 miles so not reaching the century would be a crime but I was passing my house...

Anyway, I managed it and with many thanks to the fit cyclist I have managed the biggest ride ever. This may well be a regular part of my life - here we go century!

No comments:

Post a Comment