We had an amazing ride this morning with tailwinds on very lightly traveled, smooth roads, and then onto a rail trail, that was like a cycle super highway – paved and signed and surrounded by trees. It was wonderful.
After lunch in Brantford the rail trail deteriorated, with gravel on most sections, and asphalt on grades. I think the morning had given me a false sense of security and I continued occasionally taking pictures with my point-and-shoot camera while continuing to ride, as I have done for the whole trip.
On one of the downhill grades, it switched from asphalt to stones, even though the descent wasn’t finished. I hit a depression where water had eroded the gravel right where the asphalt and the gravel met and it spun my front wheel 360°, launched my back wheel into the air and threw me off the bike. I landed on my left side. The bike landed on my right leg. It was very jolting, but I didn’t hit my head and I think I’m going to be okay, but I am stiff and bruised and my right knee is starting to feel strained as I write this. I decided to drive for the rest of the day, once we got to our next meeting point with the van in Paris.
It’s hard to see it in this picture, but I was coming off the asphalt, on the right side of the trail (left in the picture) where the slight drop and loose, large gravel is. My bike has 2-inch, well treaded, mountain bike tires, not road bike tires. I have to take some responsibility for losing control, as I did have the camera in my hand. Perhaps, had both hands been firmly on the handlebars I would’ve been able to recover when the rut grabbed my front tire, however it’s possible I still would have crashed.
It makes me so angry that cycling infrastructure just gets crumbs of transportation money that has to be begged for from various levels of government and private donations, so that we get compromised infrastructure because there isn’t enough funds to do better. There’s no way that any municipality would risk the liability of building a road for motor vehicles in such a manner.
There is more bad news.
Because I was holding the camera when I went over, grit from the trail got in between the rings of the lens and the lens won’t go in and out any more. It keeps telling me to power off and I am unable to wirelessly transfer the images to my iPad. So the rest of my post for today will have to wait until I get home to a card reader and computer.
Here’s the funny/not really funny thing about this trip. It has been very accident prone. My crash today numbers only one out of five crashes that members of our group have sustained.
Rani fell twice. Once taking a curb ramp at a too shallow angle in the rain on Day 3. Then again today taking a sharp dirt dip on a desire line from the rail trail to our lunch spot. She is a bruised, but otherwise alright.
Nelson got caught on a fence on a very rough trail just before ending our ride on Day 2 and has a very bruised and cut upper right arm.
And tonight, about 10 metres from our hotel David fell and cut his hands and banged his ribs and wrist. The group accidentally went past The Sunbridge, where we are staying, to the Comfort Inn. Instead of riding back out to the road, they decided to cut across a very narrow strip of grass between the two properties. David hit a bump in the grass and fell.
Tomorrow is our final day and despite our falls, and the rain, and the headwinds, we have all had a wonderful time and feel the trip is ending too soon.