Monday, April 03, 2006

Nigh a Century Has Passed

20 miles from my house to the start point and so, combining the two distances I managed to run up 96.5 miles. My longest ride is still the Dunwich Dynamo at 120 miles although this my not last much longer.

The weather was in something of a fickle mood, which didn't help matters a great deal, but thankfully didn't turn prohibitive. As we left Markham there was the occasional moment of drizzle but not enough to warrant raingear and with a very enjoyable tailwind the group managed to hit a good 20mph average, including one moment where I managed to just break the 60kmh (40mph) speed limit on the flat.
However, keeping up with the remarkably fit randonneurs was a mistake on my part and as soon as we turned into the wind my recklessness caught up with me as I slowed to a crawl and was dropped. Once again I was a victim of my own ambition. Thankfully I was able to see the error of my ways and fell into a far more relaxed pace. At about this time the rain decided to kick in, taking that fine drizzling form that managed to get everywhere.

Away from the main roads the gentle rolling hills are peaceful and welcoming, even in adverse conditions. There is something about the farming communities, with hints of differing european heritages that make you question city life and while I doubt I'll move there anytime soon I do love to visit.

The rain was kind enought to stop as I rolled into Port Perry for lunch and caught up with the other riders. I would caution the use of the Country Time cafe here if you are particularly hungry as the servers sem predisposed to ask an inordinately large number of questions about a simple soup and sandwich combo. Still, it was satisfying fare once it arrived.

I left the lunch stop on my own and was solo for the rest of the journey, which was a bit of a shame as I would have welcomed some company whilst tackling the prevailing headwinds, returning to Markham. I have to confess that my spirits were rather flagging as I pressed on and I did consider cutting out a small portion that headed more into the headwind and away from the finish point but managed to steel myself to take on the challenge. It's gratifying to know that I can be that stubborn as it's a quality that I imagine I may need to draw on this summer during the trip. I was also rewarded with a flat 10km, tailwind fed finishing stretch back into Markham from Stouffville.

I was planning on riding back from Markham and thus going over the 100 mile mark but when I was offered a lift home it would have been foolish arrogance to decline. I do realise that foolish arrogance has driven many a randonneur to go that bit further but I wasn't in the mood for it at the time.


Anonymous Trepid Explorer said...

Well done on actually riding with a group. I still believe I am too slow and recognise I'll get dropped on the first hill. Still working on pushing myself!

I was tempted to clock the last 0.78km to top 90kms but every direction from the house involves a hill so my legs decided against it.

Though the 24 hours since the end of my ride has been filled with very hot baths and showers, I am determined to get back in the saddle tomorrow.

Blogger Edward said...

Ah, foolish arrogance.

Excellent report: cyclists are always going on about food and the bloody weather. Though I guess you're getting proper weather out there.

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