Next Sunday I am signed up to ride the 100 kilometre route in the Tour de Mississauga. Last year I did the 60 kilometre route on my hybrid bike. This year I have a road bike, but fell off it and hurt my knee on my first ride with clipped in shoes. I bruised the bone and it still has not recovered more than a month later. Fortunately, I can still ride but I had to take several weeks off and it messed up my training schedule. Yesterday I decided to do 70 kilometres as my last long training ride. I also decided to ride up the Niagara Escarpment as there will be nothing that difficult in Mississauga.
I rode for 16 kilometres before stopping to stretch which is the longest I have gone on my road bike before a stretch. That put me at the bottom of what I though was a 4 kilometre long climb, but turned out to be six kilometre climb up onto the Escarpment.
I stopped to catch my breath and take a picture at the top of the first hill.
While the ride is generally up hill, for every hill I crested there was another hill to ride down again giving back some of the gain before riding up hill once more.
At the beginning of the second or third hill I accidentally shifted up when I should have shifted down and I lost my chain. With some fiddling I got it back on, but ended up with fingers covered in chain grease. I cleaned the grease off my hands as well as I could but I needed to eat before I got to soap and water.
This is looking south where I just came from. I thought, as I rode up to where this picture was taken that I would be done when I crested the hill.
Turns out I still had this hill to go.
There was a lovely row of trees bordering a farm on the Escarpment where I stopped to have a snack.
I had planned to cycle 1.5 kilometres along Highway 9 to the Tim Hortons on Airport Road, but when I got a look at Highway 9 I decided it looked too dangerous. Fortunately, I took some snacks with me in case I needed them.
I saw this pretty scene just south of Highway 9.
Coming back down the Escarpment I hit the highest speed I have ever gone on a bike – 56 KPH. I headed back south to Caledon East for lunch at Subway where I treated myself to chips and half a litre of chocolate milk in addition to a sandwich as I had burned 1100 calories at that point. Since I hadn’t had my coffee in the morning, I did a 10 kilometre roundtrip east of Caledon East then came back to Gabe’s Country Bakeshop for coffee and a cookie. The ride back home is mostly downhill and put me just over 71 kilometres for the day for my longest ride this year. It was also the second longest ride I have ever done. Back in 2008 Patti and I rode from Cataract to Elora and back over the course of a day. It was 93 kilometres on aggregate and I was never so glad to get back to the car as I was that day.
I am still not sure that I will be able to ride the 100 kilometres next week, but I am going to try my best.