Sunday April 26 – Failing to Climb the Escarpment

Patti and I have signed up for Spin the Lakes on May 23 near Huntsville.  It starts at Hidden Valley resort, and they have a deal with the resort for participants to stay at a reduced rate, so we will drive north on Friday, stay overnight, ride and head home after the ride.

The routes offered vary in length from 20 to 172 km.  We signed up for the 96 km route.  After booking the hotel and paying our non-refundable registration fee, I then mapped the 96 km route using MapMyRide and was horrified to see that it has 1206 metres of climbing.  The most climbing I have ever done in one day is 479 metres climbing the Escarpment last September the week before I did the Tour de Mississauga.

I have been doing physiotherapy for years for my left leg.  The top of the fibula is slightly rotated towards the front of my leg.  This leads to tightness and pain on the outside of my leg from my hip to ankle.  I saw three different physiotherapists before the underlying issue was determined.  The treatment was to use tape to hold the fibula where is should be and then to strengthen the muscles in the area to keep it there.  I also had to change my running style from a heel-toe strike to just a toe strike.  It all helped and I was able to get back to running again.  However, whenever I get lazy and slack off on the strengthening exercises I get pain again.  Over the winter I slacked off.  Now I am back to physiotherapy visits every couple of weeks and strengthening at home in the evening.

On Friday, my physiotherapist worked me particularly hard.  My legs were very sore by bedtime, no better on Saturday morning when I went running and worse by Saturday night.  I had planned a 60km ride on Sunday, but could tell that was unlikely given how my legs felt.

The winds were from the north about 20kph with gusts to 35kpm as I set off to the northwest.  I saw a truly impressive sight about 7km into my ride as I approached an intersection.  Look how many bags he’s carrying!  I stopped to pull out my camera to take a picture, but he turned the corner before I caught up to him.

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I love this tree.  I often stop to photograph it.

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Here it was last fall.


When I got to Walker Road West in Caledon East I had to decide whether to go over to Airport Road to get lunch or to try to climb the Escarpment.  From Walker Road to Charleston Sideroad, a distance of about 7 km, there is 180 metres of climbing up and down rolling hills as the land rises.  Here I am looking back from the top of the second or third rise.

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I had to walk my bike up the top part of three of the first six hills.  3 km into the 7km, I gave up, turned around and had a wild ride back down hitting my all-time maximum speed on a bike of 57kph, starting at the top of this hill.

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Then I headed into Caledon East where I tried Paradise Farms Beef Bistro.  I noticed it last fall while cycling to Gabe’s Bakery for a coffee.  It is owned by Shane Baghai.  From the website:

Shane Baghai is a successful real estate developer who purchased farmland in the rolling hills of Caledon in 2008. As an advocate of the local food movement and responsible, sustainable living, his initial intentions were simply to raise a few cattle without the use of artificial hormones.

Today, the Paradise Farm herd has grown to include thousands of Purebred Aberdeen Angus, hundreds of rare Japanese-style Wagyu (Kobe) cattle, Scottish Highland cattle and Italian Chianina. They are all grass fed and grain finished, with a zero-tolerance approach to the use of added growth hormones. The result of all this care is a more delicious, superior quality cut of beef.

The opening of Paradise Farms Prime Beef Bistro is just a natural extension of Shane Baghai’s concern for fresh and healthy eating. When you enjoy the delicious offerings at Paradise Farms Prime Beef Bistro, you do so with the knowledge that the meat was raised in Ontario with only the highest standards. 

I was really in the mood for an interesting salad with some juicy steak on top, but the salads didn’t appeal to me, so I ordered an 8oz sirloin on ciabatta bread.  It was a good steak, but too heavy a meal for half way through a bike ride.

The ride home was much faster being slightly downhill and with a tailwind.

I’ve got to get back up there again, once my legs are rested, to work on my climbing for Spin the Lakes.







About Lisa Stokes

I am a stay-at-home mother of four whose hobbies include photography, quilting and cycling. I have recently started to advocate for better cycling infrastructure in my community. I am the photographer at the Brampton Quilters' Guild.
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