For three years, Neworld bikes down in Burlington have agreed to give the proceeds of their annual century ride to Spin For Limbs, a charity that i am intimately involved with that raises funds, awareness and networking opportunities for families with children needing limb reconstruction surgeries at SickKids. Last year the 165km ride was conducted on one of the hottest days of the year at around 36 degrees if i remember rightly. This year was quite different, but at least we got to be Badasses (see rule#9).
Nils, Keld, Lucas and i flew the flag for BCC amongst a group of 33 riders taking on the 165km ride from Burlington up north to Fergus, past Belwood lake and back down south via Rockwood. I knew we would represent BCC well as Nils had just completed the Ottawa Superfondo of 234km the day before and was looking for a 400km weekend; Keld has just completed the Marmotte in France with 5000m climbing and 4 major alpine cols completed in 9 hours fuelled purely on brie and Bordeaux, and who is now Danish champion of Hammersmith Road and sponsored by Saxo (see pic); and Lucas who was very close to World Champs qualification in his 70.3 in Tremblant, and he only eats gels for breakfast. I, on the other hand, rode Brimley last week.
The weather looked iffy, more akin to summer cycling in England, and indeed it was to be rather challenging. We had two torrential downpours amidst light rain, on and off, in which it became rather perilous to see the proposed direction of forward travel. I couldn't decide if it was better to cycle with glasses on or off as the visibility was so poor. The decision was made for me as my removable lens removed itself whilst trying to be cool and wedge it into the vents of my helmet like the big boys do. It was one of those days where i wasn't going to stop and collect anything that fell recklessly from my person. One thing i did learn however was to cycle with my mouth closed. Some may say that it is about time.
The roads out in the Halton Hills are really excellent for cycling, with little traffic, and a nice rolling profile, which would normally assist for smooth quick rides, with enough little rollers for some surges to get the heart rate going. It is terrain, that we should definitely explore for some remote starts in the future. The 45 minute car drive to get out there is not much longer than the trip out to Major Mac and Leslie, that we normally use for BCC remote starts.
Jeff from Neworld marshalled the ride very well considering the weather was rotten, the group was perhaps more mixed and large than it should have been for a planned 33kmh average, about 8 or 9 mechanicals, and a crash. Morbidity count at the crash was one broken wheel, 2 bent shifters, and a lot of road rash. It essentially happened due to tiredness, weather and a sudden deceleration on a rolling hill at the back of the group. No BCC riders were involved in the crash, as we are so damn Pro that we were working at the head of the peleton to avoid such nonsense at the back. (I learnt that from watching the Tour last week). We got back averaging somewhere between 30 and 31kmh, which was probably fair considering the events of the day.
The Neworld crowd did a great job of making us BCCers very welcome, and as always in the cycling community we made a few great new friends that it would be good to ride with again. They hosted a BBQ back in Burlington which carried on regardless in the rain. Rule #5 also applies to post ride festivities it seems. Once we (actually I) started shivering uncontrollably and turning blue we decided that it was time to make our excuses and come back to sunny Toronto to dry out. Inexplicably Nils fell asleep in the back of the car after 401km of cycling in the last 2 days. The shame.