Today I rode in the Tour de Mississauga for the third year in a row. Two years ago I rode the 60km route with Patti. Last year I rode 100km for the first time, but Patti was jet-lagged from a recent trip to the UK so I made friends along the way. This year Patti and I rode the 120km route.
I set three cycling goals for myself for 2015. Today I achieved one of them by completing the 120km route.
I awoke at 5:20 so I could get ready and have breakfast before leaving home at 6:15. It was still dark when I left the house with the sun rising as we assembled for our 7am start time.
We received safety instructions and were off about 7:10. One poor fellow ran into the rope holding down the inflatable starting arch as we set off. Fortunately, he was startled, but unhurt.
Here we are waiting for the light at Rathburn Road and Duke of York Boulevard.
My legs felt strong, but I was concerned about my neck and shoulders as these are the body parts that have given me pain as my rides have gotten longer this summer.
This year all the routes rode the new Mississauga Transitway.
We got a great view of the beautiful blue sky and the Marilyn buildings as we approached Central Parkway from Bloor.
I brought some cut up oranges which we stopped to share after 30km on the Queensway. Mississauga has built some new cyclist crossrides on the Queensway in anticipation of the recently passed legislation allowing cyclists to ride through intersections adjacent to the pedestrian crossing.
This path was at least 4m wide. I think it is eventually planned to run the full width of Mississauga from Oakville to Toronto.
We stopped at the Tim Horton’s in Port Credit for chocolate milk and smile cookies after 45km.
There was a rest stop at 70km where I had some sesame crackers and we refilled our water bottles. I laid down and stretched and rested my neck and shoulders. A month ago I quit the MEC Burlington Century Ride at 77km due to neck and shoulder pain. Since then I have had four massages and have been doing a lot of stretching and some strengthening. While I still have a way to go, I was feeling better today. My legs did not feel tired at all at this point. If I can just get the neck and shoulders sorted out, I should be able to go even further in a day next year.
We stopped at Starbuck’s for a frappuccino at 93km. At the end of Second Line, after descending from the bridge over the 401 we encountered this huge stop sign. I wonder if a car ended up on the front lawn across the street some time in the past.
Just after 3pm we crossed the finish line.
We weren’t even the last of the 120km riders to finish, having left behind a couple of groups of young men less than half our age. We did miss the BBQ, as we did on the Tour de Cambridge, Tour de Guelph and MEC Burlington Century rides earlier this year. Perhaps we need to work on speed next year. We didn’t really mind, though, as it gave us an excuse to go to Panera Bread for lunch – one of my favourite restaurants.
- Length: 123.37 km
- Ascents: 587 m
- Riding Time: 6:13:14
- Elapsed Time: 8:16:52
- Average Speed: 19.8 kph
- Top Speed: 37.8 kph