June 24/18: 93 Kms; 2 Hrs, 54; 587 Metres; Five Riders

Joy abounds and the “world is charged with the grandeur of God”. Well, that’s if you’re not a refugee, an asylum seeker, a migrant worker, a single mother working minimum-wage jobs, an east-side junkie, a persecuted minority, or any number of other downtrodden and disadvantaged people. Life for many has no solace and few pleasures. Why do we get to enjoy the fruits of the tree? Uneven and poorly distributed are life’s delights.

So, we humbly give thanks for our good health, our good fortune, our sound mind and body, our abundant leisure time, our material possessions, our freedom and liberty, and our great joy in the simple pleasure of riding a bicycle.

At times, I can’t contain my spirits, so like an artesian well springing from a high pressure aquifer deep in the earth and flowing to the surface without priming or pumping. Are such thoughts from a sound mind, you ask?

Well, one never knows but I do know that I feel alive. My thanks to you for making these cycling days we share so immensely gratifying. To-day was another example of what great pleasure can come from riding a bicycle. It’s such an elemental thing, involving balance and movement, like walking – with roots in childhood, and it reverberates now into ‘old’ age. I mean, really, what do we bring with us from those years long ago. Not much – no hair but memories and the ability to ride a bicycle.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYna-UAt75c   Neil Young

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;   https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;     https://www.instagram.com

“Who seeks perfection in the art of driving well and ass and cart; or, painting mountains in the mist, seeks god although an atheist?”

At ease, no pressure, happy

June 23/18: 66.28 Kms; 2 Hrs, 23; 1214 Metres; Five Riders

Hello!! Sorry, too many exclamation points. But, I just had to emphasize my greeting, so enthused am I from the effect of this morning’s ride on my mood. Not that I need any supplements to get me up, being a naturally ebullient person. Riding is mental therapy and physical pleasure and pure joy, all together. Now, that’s a threesome! And, like I said, no drugs –

“Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew” ed

Yes, that’s what riding in the Gatineau does to one/for one. As Tony the Tiger might say, “It was Grrreat”. Conditions were near perfect, with just the shadow of rain on the pavement, like a dash of horseradish on a dinner plate with its pungent promise close at hand. But, like a picky dinner guest playing with his food, the rain wasn’t serious. We rode sans jackets, enjoying the fresh air on arms and legs. You know, you just should have been there.

The pace was quick, and I soon found myself (last man) several metres off the back as we approached the Pink Lake climb. Soon after, it was a hard left turn onto the Champlain Parkway and a steady climb to the Lookout. Exultant we were, at the top. But, with only 20 kms ridden, we had lots of work yet to do. So, off we cycled – down Fortune Parkway to the Meech Lake Rd and then back up Fortune Parkway and then down King Mountain to the t-junction, where we swung left to make a final counter-clockwise ride to P8, P9/P10 and the Corkscrew, again. Did I mention we were having a blast? Unbelievable. In fact, we almost did a third loop. No kidding, you just should have been there.

Thanks to the lads for showing up early, especially JG. Also, special thanks and a big surprise to welcome Steve G, who drove down from Pembroke. This was his inaugural cycle in the Gats; and, he loved it, as shown by his strong riding (what hills?) and happy smiles. Well done!

Strava Live, courtesy of TS: https://www.relive.cc/view/1656878207

Okay, here’s the plan for tomorrow:

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for a 7:30 am 7:30 am 7.30 am start and rideto Tim’s on O’Brien for Coffee (km 56) or Neat Cafe (km 73); home via Whitten, L-W, Goshen, #508, Burnstown, W-L, etc for a total distance of 94 kms and elevation of 587 metres.

Ask yourself, where else would you rather be when the alarm rings on Sunday morning than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits? You know you’ll just want to be there.

Caveat: Route is tentative and is depends upon rider consensus, the turnout, and the weather.

For those with time constraints, there are many options to cut it short. Don’t miss out, just because the route is longer than you have time for. Weather:  16C – 20 C; Cloudy; winds N 12.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9GlC9GyF4Y   Elvis Costello

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;   https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;     https://www.instagram.com

At the door of every happy, contented man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him–illness, poverty, loss–and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn’t hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen–and everything is fine.”       Anton Chekhov

At the top, now what?

Howdy, this will be short.

For those interested, meet at Stinsons for a 7:30 am start.

Route and destination, mileage, pace etc to be determined by those present.

Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber!    Lord Byron

June 17/18: 67 Kms; 2 Hrs, 35; 468 metres; Five Riders

Happy Father’s Day and a belated thanks to CAM for her purchase of our coffee and treats yesterday at the Bistro. A couple of the lads pulled me up for failing to mention this. I guess some of you do read the blog, after all. My apologies to Cathy.

Well, that was a pleasant cycle this morning in conditions that were both warm and lacking in turbulence of any kind. And, yes, we kept our word about the pace and effort. It was a relaxing ride, with no agenda other than to exult in the freedom of just being. And, we had the rare pleasure of the good, gentle company of Mr MG, who was celebrating 63 years of a full life. Mark has spent many happy hours cycling — his long-term drug of choice, requiring no legislative approvals or retail dispensary, no consultations or dosage recommendation; an activity that increases awareness of the moment by not obscuring it in a mystical fog wrapping.

Yes, we were totally laid back as we sat at the Neat Cafe sipping hot coffee and reflected on the passage of time and our good fortune to share so many special times. All that was missing were the familiar faces of our regular riding crew who were otherwise engaged with family, but who shared so many of these memories. We struggled to leave the Neat not from lack of energy but from reflection, preferring to let the moment have its hold on us. Yes, you just should have been there.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y&list=RD5uKGWpqnS8E&index=11

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;   https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;     https://www.instagram.com

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing” Aristotle

June 16/18: 111 Kms; 3 Hrs, 24; 532 Metres; Eight Riders

Hello. Well, that was a stupendous Saturday cycle. It doesn’t get better than this, with cool air to start, lots of cloud cover, a gradual but noticeable warming of the air, a mild wind – and compliant and companionable cycling mates. It was absolutely delicious, even better than ice-cream on a hot day with no dripping down the cone on to one’s hand. We savoured every kilometre. That’s another pinch in the butt we need to give ourselves.

Is this cycling-life real, or are we dreaming? You just should have been there.

Kudos to Raymond for a superb effort, with few kilometres under his belt;  also, to Steve, for riding like he’s always been there with us. Also, a belated shout out to CAM for completion of her first Imperial Double Century last weekend. She rode with éclat as if to say what’s the big deal. Fantastic.

Nature Watch – Fox, Turtle, Vulture – and always the unseen presence.

Well, Sunday is Father’s Day and that means many of the lads are having BF in bed or are serving BF in bed. Not for me such prandial delights. Actually, BF in bed is at the bottom of my list of delights. All to say, the pool of potential cyclists for Sunday’s ride is depleted. Such being the case, I propose that we ride down-market at a proposed pace of 25 Kms AS, for coffee at the Neat Cafe. This will be a zone 1,2, and low zone 3 ride.

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for a 7:30 am 7:30 am 7.30 am start and ride to the Neat Cafe for coffee (km44); route via Usborne, Gilles Hill, RR, Toner Rd, Golf Course Rd, Braeloch, Stevenson, L-W, Goshen, #508, Burnstwon Rd to W-L to Arnprior for a total distance of 65 kms and elevation gain of 449 metres.

Ask yourself, where else would you rather be when the alarm rings on Sunday morning than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits? You know you’ll just want to be there.

Caveat: Route is tentative and is depends upon rider consensus, the turnout, and the weather.

For those with time constraints, there are many options to cut it short. Don’t miss out, just because the route is longer than you have time for. Weather:  18C – 27 C; Mix of sun and cloud; winds S 12.

General Info

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uKGWpqnS8E&list=RD5uKGWpqnS8E&index=1 (Jessie Winchester)

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;   https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;     https://www.instagram.com

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”    Abraham J Heschel

June 09/18: 172 Kms; 5 Hrs, 21; 620 Metres; June 10/18: 175 Kms; 5 Hrs, 50; 540 Metres: Nine Riders + MG, EC, SC – Century Ride From Perth

Done and dusty.

At what point is an activity checked off the bucket list. This was my 30th consecutive RLCT. And, it was a good one in the agreeable company of fellow cyclists. In fact, it was wonderful. The conditions were near perfect, the ride was incident free, my fellow cyclists were incomparable – all courteous, with sweet dispositions and one metre smiles, a delight to be in their company.

This was the 47th year for the OBC and RLCT. It seems like a no brainer to go for three more to make it to the grand quinquagenary. Okay, that’s a bit highfalutin. The 50th. But, really, where does one stop? In three years or five, or just call it a day now? Whatever I do, I hope you come along for the ride. You know, you’ll just want to be there.

As for the ride, The conditions were near perfect on Saturday. Sunday was hard work, with us having to combat a strong north-east wind. We managed well, however, in having 6-9 riders to share the work load. This made a huge difference. Still, we were relieved to pull into Algonquin on Sunday, after 175 kilometres. No one wished for a longer ride.

In fact, with about eight kilometres to go on Woodroffe, and Blair at the front taking the full force of the cross winds, I focused as much on the cold brew soon to be within my grasp as I did on holding the wheel in front of me. That beer would symbolise the completion of the Tour and of thirty years of long distance cycling. Yes, I have been cycling for thirty years, not including all those years as a child and as a youth riding my bike to the local swimming hole. Do you get a pension after thirty years of riding a bike? I guess not. No matter, I savoured every gulp and caped it with a second beer, unprecedented for me. It was special to have my regular cycling buddies close at hand to share this moment, even if they were not aware of its significance to me.

Yes, thank you to Jeff (1990), Max (1992), Mark (1994), Peter (1998), Raymond (2003), Keith (2004), Glenn (2007), Kevin (2012), Eric (2012), Blair, (2014) Joe( 2014), Neil (2014), and Cathy (2015) for your encouragement and companionship on thousands of kilometres. It’s no small goodness to have a fraternity of friends for so many years sharing both the hardness and the joy of intense physical exercise. It’s not easy but that’s probably why we do it.

Yes, I know, too much text and not any information about Saturday’s ride yet.

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for a 7:30 am 7:30 am 7.30 am start and ride to the Renfrew Bistro Cafe (Km 79) via Russett, #508, Goshen, Gillan, Hall, Opeongo, #132, Stone Rd S McNaughton, Butler, #60 to the Bistro; home via Hall, Gillan, L-W, Stevenson, Campbell Dr, etc for a distance of 111 kms and elevation of 542 metres.

Ask yourself, where else would you rather be when the alarm rings on Saturday morning than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits? You know you’ll just want to be there.

Caveat: Route is tentative and is depends upon rider consensus, the turnout, and the weather.

For those with time constraints, there are many options to cut it short. Don’t miss out, just because the route is longer than you have time for. Weather:  15C – 23 C; Sunshine; winds NW 15.

General Info

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBNRBBR8C24&list=PLwOxgqLQK7oahKTlBRi1CwmY4XJk-Jww4&index=25

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;   https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;     https://www.instagram.com

“. . . Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”     Abraham J Heschel

Howdy –

This is a short message to tell you that several of us are riding the RLCT this weekend. There will therefore be no group rides from Stinsons this Saturday and Sunday. For those of you still in town, you can reach out to each other. The weather is looking great. You don’t want to miss a chance to saddle-up. Meantime, you can be thinking of us enjoying a brew on the Queens’ Commons about 2 pm on Saturday. I know you’ll be there in spirit. Where else would you rather be? Wish us a safe journey.

Our usual weekend rides will recommence June 16/17, with me posting ride information on Friday afternoon.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-af9Q-zvQ

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.nethttps://arnpriorcycling.blog;  https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;    https://www.instagram.com

“Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and Spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature, if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you, know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus you may feel your pulse.” hdt