May 03/15: 96 Kms; 3 Hrs 10; 922 Metres; Seven Riders.

Well, any doubts I had about our fitness for this morning’s ride were soon dispelled as our legs responded easily to the ups-and-downs of the terrain on Pucker St. Now, that is not to say that it was without effort. There is always effort on a bicycle. Suffice it to say that we were pinching ourselves with the delight at the conditions and the modest improvement in form now becoming evident. Hills are definitely worth doing, repeatedly. If you haven’t ridden Pucker St., treat yourself: rural, rustic, wooded, with some pastoral sections. And, it is all good pavement except for the last 5 kms to the Norton Road junction.

In short, we had a most enjoyable ride. One key to that is staying hydrated and taking in carbohydrates at the rate of about 35 grams per hour, especially during long, hard efforts. Liquid drinks (not Gatorade) work well, I’ve found.

As for the riders, Perry and Keith and Rob and Eric were in their usual top form. Eric especially did yeoman’s work keeping us all together on hwy #508 by tapping out a modulated rhythm of consistent effort (up and down hill). That is the secret. Well, maybe it is not a secret but not everyone can do it well, or for long. Of course, we through this all out the window on the final 14 km run home from White Lake. And, while it wasn’t a white knuckle roller coaster ride, it was heart pounding, nonetheless. You just should have been there.

Well, it has to happen every so often. This was flat weekend. We had another two to-day. Three yesterday. They always seem to come in bunches. Sharing tubes has become a bonding exercise. If you don’t already, why not carry think two spare tubes plus a canister of air. You are bound to make friends.

Not sure about the plan for next weekend yet. We’ll probably keep the distance to around 100 kms each day, give or take. There will be hills, of course. The big distances come on the following two Saturdays: (130 Kms) Almonte-Middleville-Hopetown-Calabogie-Arnprior; and (170 kms) Pembroke; after that it is taper. Stay tuned.

Hope you have a good week. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Bye, bye. ac. Comments welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; http://www.twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Living the life ... .

Living the life … .