Paul and I visited family in Ottawa this weekend, and despite the fact that it poured rain the whole time - as it did here, I hear - we managed to pick the only 3 rain-free hours to do a lovely ride in the Gatineau Hills.

With a great map and tips from Mike H, we drove to the visitors' area at the start of the 22km loop up and around the Gatineaus. I had done this loop once before with Paul when I first got my bike a few years ago. It was a rather blurry bad memory - me straining to ride up the massive hills, stopping several times up every hill, feeling like I wished I'd never come... I remember it being way to much for me at the time, and that I was exhausted, frustrated, and felt useless by the time we'd made it around the whole loop once.

The day before we left, I went out for a ride and thought I might try doing the Bayview hill just to see how I felt... Now, I had done the Bayview Hill at the beginning of the season, before we joined BCC, and hadn't done it since. So, when I started up it, I was surprised to find that it was nowhere near as hard as I had remembered! In fact, it was so exciting to be able to ride it comfortably with my new cycling legs (and my new 39 crank - thanks Marco!), that I did it 5 times in a row without stopping! I felt quite pleased with myself, and hoped that I would have a much better time in Ottawa this year.

We started around the Gatineau loop and got into a nice pace. Paul was kind enough to ride with me, despite the fact that now and then small groups of fast-guys would ride by, and I think he'd have loved to keep pace with them (he had that look in his eye like a dog watching a squirrel run by... thanks for stickin' with me Paul!). We started climbing, and everything felt pretty good. There was one steep climb - about 3 km long, and a bit like Brimley, but without the super-steep part right at the beginning of Brimley. I got to the top with my legs throbbing a little, but not out of breath, and feeling good! As I was climbing, I thought of all the great advice I'd been given this summer - keep my cadence up, keep breathing, active recovery at the top and keep going, 1 gear harder,... I pictured Marco riding beside me up Brimley, coaching me to keep spinning, breathing, and before I knew it, we were at the lookout at the top! "We're here already?" I said. The fog had moved off and the sun came out for long enough to see the lovely view from the top.

We continued around the loop; great swoopy long descents and several more challenging rollers. We stopped at one point to watch 3 deer who had come out to munch grass by the side of the road. I stopped to rescue a turtle who was starting out across the road (does anyone know whether you're supposed to turn the guy around back to where he came from, or assume he's going to cross the road anyway, so help him across? I turned him around back down the bank, but I'm not sure my turtle-saving etiquette is correct).

Anyway, the ride was nothing like I had remembered! It was great! We had a marvelous time, saw lots of critters and beautiful scenery, and met other nice cyclists. We ended up doing the circuit 3 times - something I never would have thought I could do! I even passed some people on the big hill my second and third time around! I can't believe how much I've progressed this summer, thanks to all the kind help, patience, and tips from all of you helpful BCC folks. We were wearing our new BCC kits, and many nice people asked where we were from. Some had heard of the club, and a few commented that they'd ridden with some BCC folks on other rides and thought they were very nice. I wish we had a Gatineau loop here - we'd all be out on it all the time!

See you all soon, and thank you for all of your help!

Alexx

Views: 20

Comment by Kerri on July 27, 2009 at 8:58pm
Thanks for sharing Alexx, and congrats on conquering the Gatineaus! Awesome to read hard work paying off. You should give yourself a huge pat on the back for your progress. I can see why people were complimenting you guys on your kits - lookin' good my friends! :)
Comment by Alexx Hooper on July 28, 2009 at 1:14pm
Thanks everybody! It was fun, but Paul and I couldn't help thinking "I wish all the BCC people were here too!" Y'all would've loved it - it would be like the new Brimley... we'd be up to 5 laps in no time... Thi, of course, would do 7. See you guys soon! (Paul's gonna kill me for the dog-and-squirrel comment... ha-ha)
Comment by Alexx Hooper on July 28, 2009 at 1:15pm
Oh - and Mike - the third lap was for you! You said to do three, so I couldn't go home without doing 3!

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BCC Rides

Cycling in the summer can be about casual riding, sprinting, spinning, big-ring hammerfests or what ever your chosen type of riding is. The BCC was founded for the sole purpose to network cyclists. It has grown into a successful club which accommodates Riders at almost all skill/fitness levels. Everyone should be able to participate and have fun at their respective levels.

 

Weekend Rides: 

Saturday

Saturday Morning
Start time is 8:00am early season, 7:00am as days get longer. Route distances vary from 55-120km and several pace groups are available. Saturday morning rides focus on a social vibe.

Sunday

Sunrise Sundays
Rides will start around sunrise. Rotating routes will focus on distances from 55-160km.  Remote start rides outside the GTA.

Weekly Rides:

 

Tuesday

Advanced Turbo Tuesdays
For this ride, advanced group riding and bike handling skills are required. You must also be aware of your limitations. Riding speed is 35kph+.

Thursday

Hillicious Thursdays
Starts at 5:40am. This ride includes Bayview, pottery rd, redway other local hills.

Tues/Thurs

CX/MTB Ride

Starts at 5:30AM. Bring your CX or MTB out for a great Don trail ride. Some weeks, we'll head to a local park to practice CX skills.

Informal Rides Click Here



Other Rides:

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Please join if you will be racing in 2018 as part of the BCC Race Team!

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BCC Track Cycling Group

A place where those interested in, or already addicted to, riding the boards can share info.

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BCC Youth Group

An initiative to have weekly skills sessions and rides for young riders.

Interested in finding a new route or refreshing your memory on an old faithful? Check out the Routes page.

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