Sunday, 26 September 2010

Cambridge to Brantford - big burn

I hooked up with one of my friends today who teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University. We have known each other literally from the very first day of frosh week 22 years ago. This is amazing when you stop and think about it.I try not to as it makes me feel old :)

We met at the trail head in Cambridge and set out for Paris. This morning was cold. It was the kind of cold that seeps right through you when you are on the bike. I usually dress in a series of layers - cycling jersey on the bottom, a wind blocking vest next, and a long sleeve insulating synthetic shirt over that and mountain bike shorts with Sugoi leg warmer - and manage to  be quite warm. Today, it was not working. There was fog on the river, and the sheltered, shaded trail made for a very chilly start to the day. My phone was indicating it was about six degrees out, and I would guess that on the trail it was nearer three. Our intention was to head out slowly and finish waking up as our legs were pretty much dead. The chill meant that lasted all of about 30 seconds. It took about four or five km of cycling to chase away the effects of the chill and damp.

Anyhow, the ride was good. We ended up bypassing Paris and rode all the way into downtown Brantford where we sat in the sun and enjoyed (very much) a nice piping hot coffee and some snacks at the Coffee Culture there.

The Coffee Culture in Downtown Brantford is situated at the edge of a large public square with shops on one side and some pretty nifty looking condos on the other. A street fronts it. There are fountains, and lots of benches and things for people to sit on. Over all, it is quite lovely.

(Photo taken using my HTC Legend Smartphone and a nifty retro camera app - in this case it is simulating an old toy camera. Clicking the picture will make it bigger. One of these days I will get a proper small camera. I would like the rumoured Lumix with a 4/3 sensor and a bright Leica lens stuffed into a body the size of an LX3. What a gem that would be.)

Today, there were a large number of people doing stretching exercises to the loud amplified encouragement of someone standing a touch too close to the amps (feedback ouch) and a rousing remix of Lady GaGa's "Just Dance". It was loud. No sleeping for you if you live in those condos!

It took me a minute to figure out what was going on - a charity walk.

The truly strange part of it (to me, I am sure there was good reason for it but whatever the reason was escaped me) was the bagpiper and drummer who lead them out playing "Scotland the Brave".
Anyhow, after that, the ride continued as normal.

For those interested in such things, here are some speedo stats:

Time: 2:55:27
Distance: 68.39km
Average Speed: 23.3 kmph
Maximum Speed: 51.3 kmph

Pretty slow, no? Considering I only got my season going about seven or so weeks ago (dumb dumb dumb), I am reasonably happy with that. The gravel of the trails coupled with the knobbies on my cross bike serve to make it feel some days like I am riding through glue or oatmeal. This is especially true between Paris and Brantford for some reason (I keep checking there to see if I am running 20 or 30 psi down on my rear tire, but nope, it is just the trail.)

Either way, the ride worked and my legs are dead.

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