Hairshirt 2011 - Now THAT was a long day in the saddle!

I remember the first time I saw an event post for this ride on the site.  I remember thinking "Holy crap that's an insane amount of riding!"  I remember thinking that there was no way I'd ever do something like that....then Thursday morning rolls around and I receive an email in my inbox from Steve with the subject line "IDEA"  All it said was "Toronto to Niagara and back.  One day.  You and me."  We kicked the idea around for a day, I emailed James to see what he thought, and the next thing I knew it was 3:45am on Sunday and we were waking up about to ride our bikes 322kms.

As we were eating breakfast, trying to remember why we'd signed up for this, thoughts turned to France, where QB would have been racing his IM already - made the task ahead seem a bit more manageable.  

We arrived in the Square One parking lot just before 6am and it looked like there were about 45 or so others who were joining us in this task.  I had looked on last year's posting for finishing times and saw only one other woman had done this, so I'd kinda hoped that I would be the solo female this year - not to be.  There were four of us in total...oh well, so much for being the first woman finisher!  We met up with Dave Adams, Brian Blakely and James and got set to ride. 

The group was a bit messy on the start, not like our usual club rides.  I have to say that riding with the BCC really makes you appreciate what good group riding is all about.   Brian, Steve and I rode together for the first 120kms or so, where we met up with James at a gas station.  Great timing!  We were then able to continue on as a foursome.  We lost Dave at the start, and assumed that he and James were together but that wasn't the case and although we hoped to see him somewhere along the way, we didn't.  Dave we hope that you had a good ride!

The route out to Niagara was pretty much flat - a few hills here and there, but really nothing to write home about.  With the exception of one LONNNNG stretch of road that went on forever, the route was quite nice.  The weather cooperated all day - overcast on the way to Niagara and sunny and beautiful for the return home.  Our pace was pretty moderate and to be honest before we knew it we were at the half-way mark.  On a ride like this, there are no designated rest stops, so you basically just have to keep an eye out for Tims or other places for food, water and washroom breaks.  (Note to self - NEVER stop in Binnsbrook if you need a washroom, or hospitality because they are sadly lacking in both). 

After a bite (yes at one of the many Tim Hortons that we visited) we were on our way home.  The route back was stunning - through Niagara-on-the-Lake, past a ton of wineries and gorgeous landscapes.  We stopped quickly at the falls for a photo op (just had to) and basically enjoyed the company and the ride.  Just like it should be. 

All in all, it was a fabulous day out - despite the aches and pains that are associated with this type of riding (yes, I am standing as I type this!), it was something that I'm glad I tried.  All told we were on our bikes for 14 hours if you include our stoppage time for breaks, a flat tire (impressive that there was only one!) and our photo op at the Falls. 

Thanks to Steve, James and Brian for the awesome company out there - couldn't imagine doing this solo, that's for sure!

Cheers!

 

 

Views: 119

Comment by Jodie Ferneyhough on June 27, 2011 at 9:42pm
WOW! awesome job folks...I'm in awe...sounds like a great day had by all!!! a full 26th of June had by the BCCers in at least two continents!
Comment by DRU on June 27, 2011 at 10:00pm
Holy crapola! Good job! You people are cycling animals!
Comment by Jon Spira on June 27, 2011 at 10:58pm
Unquestionably one for the books!  Congratulations to all of you.
Comment by Dave Adams on June 28, 2011 at 12:30am
Okay.  So odd man out.  Lots of crap packed in jersey pockets and under seat but - it didn't want to stay there.  Circling back to pick stuff up - losing time.   Regressed in time overall from what was a decent 13:49 I believe, last year to 17:26 this year - shades of the 18:33 it took me the first go around two years ago.  To James, Kerri, Steve and Brian - good on you nice times.   I ended up hooking up with a 59 year old guy who hadn't done much riding this year (uh... what wereyou thinking?)  James knows the guy as we were riding with him out Waterdown way.   Anyway, he seemed to develop sever leg cramps at several points along the way necessisitating long stops and a slower avg speed when we were rolling than I would have liked - although my own training was not what it should have been this year so I am not going to lay all of the fault for the slower time at his feet.  Given his situation, I really didn't want to leave the guy on his own.  That said, he finally completely seized up at Eastport bridge in Hamilton and encouraged me to go on alone as I think he was going to call someone to pick him up.   Averaged about 26-27 through Burlington and Oakville before the long climb up Winston Churchill and back to Square One along Burnhamthorpe.   I ask myself why I keep doing this and come up with the same answer  - it's a nice ride (generally except for Fly road) and I have the ability to do it (although slowly!) that many people don't.  So I'm thankful for small mercies and the ability to cycle 322kms (or to just cycle period!).   Put June 24th 2012 in your calendar for next year's ride and maybe we can increase the contingent of BCCers
Comment by Steve Wolowich on June 28, 2011 at 9:29am

The best fuel ever. You and Me.

Comment by qb on June 30, 2011 at 8:11am

Great work to all of you, a great group effort and wonderful to see that BCC was represented once again in fine form. Too bad Dave that you couldnt get hooked up, although riding solo certainly helps build our capabilities.

qb

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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: 

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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.

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

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

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

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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



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