August 28/16: 102.5 Kms; 3 Hrs 08; 546 Metres; Eight Riders

Cloudy conditions but great weather just the same, for this our third MEC Tour. It was good value and well run. The turnout was disappointing, however, with only a couple of hundred entrants taking part. Unfortunately that small number of cyclists didn’t mean any extra libation for us, hovering as we were near the brew-master in hope of an extra glass. Oh well, no worries, we had to drive home after all, and Rob and Blair had another 10 kilometres to cycle. Just as well there were no refills.

All in all, a rock and roll ride right from the get-go as we chased down the 160 km group, catching up with them on Huntmar Drive just before Palladium. From here, it was a hard pace, alternating with erratic accelerations after each stop sign before the group (now consisting of the 100 kilometre riders and the 160 kilometre riders) sped towards Aston and Cemetery Road, where we turned to follow the 100 kilometre circuit. Once on our own, we throttled back but nevertheless soon found ourselves crossing the overpass on highway 7 and then shortly after riding into Appleton and then to county Rd 29 (for a short distance) before taking concession eight to Almonte, where we made a brief stop for cookies, bananas and water. That’s where I took the photograph. You can tell by the body language and aggressive stance that these boys meant business. Don’t let the smiles fool you. They are tough cookies.

The rest of the ride was a breeze, literally. We had a strong east wind changing from a tail to a cross until at Kinburn it became a head-wind. At this juncture, the easterly cancelled the fun quotient and all conversation ceased as we now hunkered down to await our pull. It was on one of these that Mark exploded to the front, showing another strong effort late into the ride. The tough conditions didn’t impede his progress as he cranked up the watts on the final run down Donald B Munro towards the fair grounds. But, there still remained one last challenge, the short but steep incline on Craig Side Road, which soon saw us all racing for glory. You just should have been there.

For non-subscribers: See Contacts

Okay, Ride your bike! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

Barter

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be. Sara Teasdale