May 22-23 – Spin the Lakes – Part 1

Patti and I have been going away  for a long weekend each spring for seven years.  We take our bikes with us to do some riding, although cycling has not been the primary purpose of the weekend.  From 2008-2010, we went to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival and were delighted with what a cycle friendly city Ottawa is.  In 2011 and 2012 we went to Montreal.  Montreal is even more impressive in terms of cycling infrastructure.  The Copenhagenize Design Company just released their top 20 cities for cycling in 2015 and Montreal came in at number 20.  In 2013, we went to Corning and Rochester, New York.  The Corning Glass Museum was amazing.  Rochester has great cycling infrastructure along the canals and some painted bike lanes.  Last year we returned to Rochester.

This year we decided to do a few overnight stays with the sole purpose of cycling and some local cycling events.  Our first event was going to be MEC Toronto’s Century Ride starting at Kelso on May 10, however, we didn’t sign up in time and it sold out.  So, we started with Spin the Lakes in Huntsville.

We could chose from 20, 60, 96, 115, or 170 km.  Initially we signed up for the 96km ride.  Just after signing up, I mapped the route on MapMyRide and discovered that it had 1200 metres of ascents.  I hadn’t realized how hilly the area is.  The most I had done in a day in the past was about 500 metres.  I practiced on the Escarpment.  However, the week before the ride was stressful and my legs were sore so I decided, with Patti’s blessing, on the Friday to switch to the 60km ride.

Here are the bikes loaded on the car.

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Patti left work early and we stopped for coffee in Barrie at Panera Bread when Patti realized she hadn’t locked the bikes to the rack before we left.  All was well and we each enjoyed a Panera 400 calorie cookie knowing that we would burn plenty of calories the following day.

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The rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived at Hidden Valley, where the event was being held and where we were staying overnight, just after 5pm.  We were in the main building in a hotel-type room.  There were also what appeared to be townhouse units available.  Hidden Valley is located next to Deerhurst Inn.

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After settling in we decided to drive the route.  Even the 60 km route had over 750 metres of ascents.  I think we were even more worried after driving it than before.  It felt like we were climbing about a third of the time, descending about a third of the time and on relatively flat road about a third of the time.

We saw deer on someone’s front lawn at dusk.  There were three and they seem very nonchalant.

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We always seem to get our meals shifted when we are away and it was about 9pm by the time we stopped for dinner at Kelsey’s.  I had a great goat cheese flatbread.

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We got back to Hidden Valley and turned in just after 11pm.  I’ll write tomorrow about the actual ride.

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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 photographer and librarian at the Brampton Quilters' Guild. I build and maintain a community ice rink in my local park.
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