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Monday, May 21 Meet at Stinsons for a 7:30 am sharp start. Route to be determined but expect it will be in the 50-80 kilometre range. Shorter rather than longer. Pace will be dead easy, as in AS 25. If you want to go hard, please do not ride with us on Monday.

Howdy …

Just asking you, “When the alarm rings on Saturday morning, where else would you rather be than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits?” (at 7 am)

Okay, truisms:

– You can’t buy fitness; you can buy a fancy bike, you can buy a fancy kit, and you can buy new bike gear; you can look stylish and fast; you can be as slight as a knife’s edge; you can ingest supplements and powder and pills galore; and you can have lots of Garmin and Strava data and stats to ponder; but, you can’t buy fitness. You gotta ride your bicycle! Uphill, especially.

So, for the next two weekends, we’re going full Monty (girls and guys). That’s means physical overload for May 19 at 130 Kms & 816 Metres (Middleville – Calabogie); May 20 at 67 Kms & 1202 Metres (Gatineau); Pembroke May 26 170 Kms; May 27 to be decided.

FYI, Sunday’s ride is a 7 am start from P3 in Gatineau Park. Details on Saturday.

This weekend is the time to experiment with on-ride food and drinks. Better to feel queasy now and to bonk now than to do so on the RLCT. If there is one thing I can say with certainty, “you won’t be saying I wish I had trained less”. Heck, you might even thank me for being such an SOB.

Rain or Shine: Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:00 am 7:00 7.00 am start and ride to Middleville-Hopetown-Calabogie; a circuit for 130 kilometres; elevation gain 816 Metres. Coffee at the Neat Cafe (108 kms); possibility of a stop at Hopetown (57 kms), if necessary. 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:  7C – 16 C; cloudy; winds E and SE 20.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95gu6758320

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

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

“You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.” CB

May 13/18: 104 Kms; 3 Hrs 25; 513 Metres; Eight Riders.

Well that was another great cycling morning, if somewhat cold to start at 7 am when we saddled up from Stinsons. No matter, we pedalled on, and said little to each other, tried to conserve energy, and looked to the sky for signs of warmth, rode the shady sections of road with vigour, and generally hunkered down to the task at hand. We greeted the little inclines on the road to Fitzroy with pace in the hope of staving off the windchill, until at Stonecrest we stopped in sunlight by the side of the road. Spirits were high and rising by the minute with the temperature. The lads were in top form and vying for turns at the front as we cycled mostly downhill towards Kinburn Side Rd. And so it went for several kilometres until the fateful climb up Thomas Dolan to the Sixth Line. That double crest caught us unawares, and some of us were spent before the top, having given too much on the initial slope. Blair and Keith, of course, cruised on as if it were a molehill.  You know, you just should have been there.

Remarks

– Kudos to Blair for leaving home on his bicycle from Kanata at 5 am. Now, that’s commitment to the group rides and much appreciated; also, a shout out to Steve from Pembroke for an early morning drive to join us. No flies on Steve as he rode with grace and strength for the entire trip.

– Also, thanks to all for cooperating with the 7 am start and for accepting the change without complaint in the planned route from Quyon to Kanata. That’s why I write, “The tentative plan … .”

– Next Saturday’s ride is the Middleville-Hopetown-Calabogie circuit for 130 kilometres; elevation gain 816 Metres. Stops at Hopetown (57 kms), Neat Cafe (108 kms) for coffee.

– Riding to Kingston is one thing; riding back is another. Also, bad weather creates extra physical strain and sapping mental fatigue. Think of your training as building fitness and reserves for day two and inclement weather, possibly on both days. What a thought! Aren’t you really happy you signed up now. But, really, it’s so much fun, especially the beer garden on the common. You know, you’ll just want to be there.

– Supplies/inventory at MEC/Bushtukah, etc dry up leading up to the RLCT. If you need to replace your cycling shoes, for example, or maybe you need tyres, tubes, a new  helmet, Gels, Chews, energy bars, etc, it would be best to get them now. Don’t procrastinate or you’ll have little or no choice. Not meaning to sound paternalistic but I do count on everyone to be at his best to get me to Kingston and back. Vested interest, I have in this.

– Cross-training is a great thing. Just don’t begin new exercise regimes just before the RLCT. You still have time to add running into your weekly schedule but keep it light and short.

– Finally, if you know any mother cyclists out there, wish them a happy Mother’s Day.

What I’m listening to: Jann Arden Mother https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SOrmtqTVHc

Pointless – ultimately all human endeavour is, given that entropy will result in the universe collapsing inwardly on itself. “because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit” Ecclesiastes

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

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

“And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.” Alan Watts

Well hello there. Aren’t you just enjoying the these last winter/early spring days. I am. Totally stoked with my new-found love – skate skiing. I highly recommend it. If you’re looking for something as much fun as cycling and just as much hard effort, then, skate skiing is your ticket to high cardio. Why, we may even form a little group to head to the Gatineau several times a week next December-March. Something to think about. More to come on this front when we start cycling, itself.

On another note, the newspaper clipping below deals with a matter we shelved last year. Just wanting to bring it to your attention. I’m feeling less and less comfortable but I’m only one voice. Still, you’ll forgive me for mentioning it again.

Regarding the blog, I know many of you receive this directly into your email box. It’s worth noting that the formatting is better when also obtained via google – arnpriorcycling.blog. FYI.

What I’m listening to as I write – Van Morrison The Van Lose Stairway (brilliant). I just want to head out on the town and grab a cold one or two. So mellow, mellow, mellow. Alas, it would be a solely drink.

I’m wondering if you have ever been close but not quite close enough; have you ever been almost there but not quite there; yet, you continue ever hopeful, even while knowing it’s an impossibility.

Look forward to hearing from you should you feel inclined to write.

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

Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling;  arnpriorcycling.blog; https://www.instagram.com/

“My summit is just out of reach,” he said … “The first thing I will do is have a hot cup of tea, perhaps some cake.” Henry Worsley

Raglan Road

On Raglan Road on an Autumn Day,
I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I may one day rue.
I saw the danger, yet I walked
Along the enchanted way
And I said let grief be a falling leaf
At the dawning of the day.
On Grafton Street in November,
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen
The worst of passions pledged.
The Queen of Hearts still baking tarts
And I not making hay,
Well I loved too much; by such and such
Is happiness thrown away.
I gave her the gifts of the mind.
I gave her the secret sign
That’s known to all the artists who have
Known true Gods of Sound and Time.
With word and tint I did not stint.
I gave her reams of poems to say
With her own dark hair and her own name there
Like the clouds over fields of May.
On a quiet street where old ghosts meet,
I see her walking now away from me,
So hurriedly. My reason must allow,
For I have wooed, not as I should
A creature made of clay.
When the angel woos the clay, he’ll lose
His wings at the dawn of the day. Morrison/Kavanagh/Moloney

Hello. Good evening. Snow is falling as I write and rain is in the forecast. I just checked the calendar to see if it’s  January or had I slept through till April. No, just as I thought, it is January.  I like the snow fine but not the rain.  Rain is not welcome now. Spring, well, that’s different. The earth needs renewal and water (h2o) is essential for life. In January, snow is good, especially this year for me. I’ve become an addict of the white stuff. And, that’s not an euphemism. I mean snow, itself. The kind that brings joy in its abundance to the outdoor enthusiast, and makes a playground of fields and woods, transmission corridors, deserted campgrounds, and pine plantations. No, I haven’t lost it or maybe I have. Energy levels are high fueled by alfresco activity; and, enthusiasm for life excites the imagination. All to say, childlike abandon is welcome at any age. Who needs limits?

So, I remind you spring is 38 days away. RLCT is 137 days away. I ask, “Where else would you rather be on June 9/10?” You know, you’ll just want to be there. Registration opens in 9 days: http://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow

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

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me
She showed me her room, isn’t it good, norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair
I sat on the rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, “It’s time for bed”
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath
And when I awoke I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, norwegian wood?   Beatles

Hello, it’s been a while since we had a chat. Like old friends that used to talk regularly, I miss you guys.  It’s funny how you take things for granted until their gone; and, then, you wonder “what happened?” The cycling season is like that. It brings us together for several months in like pursuit of a common interest; then, it’s over  – cold turkey, like a lover’s petty quarrel leaves no room for goodbyes. And there remains a void until the rhythm of life takes us inevitably onward and beyond. I’m not quite there yet, meaning I’m not quite past it.  And, so, I write now as the year is coming to an end to say hello and wish you Merry X-mas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, the Best of the Season, etc. You choose the expression.

It’s been a great year. By that, I speak about cycling only. I cannot account for the pain and sorrow in life, as loved ones pass-on or struggle; or, of the hurt felt in many households, each with its own difficulties. No family is without its suffering and troubles. So, I recognise that saying it’s been a great year is rather glib.

Still, it’s important to celebrate the small and the inconsequential, such as cycling. We had many firsts this year in mileage ridden; we had good turnouts and many, many good rides, with distance and at pace. We had our share of laughs. We were fortunate to suffer no major mishaps, although a vehicle struck one of us on holiday. Fortunately, all is well. All this to say, let’s not take our safety for granted or our time together or our fellowship and camaraderie – all essentials to a good life. One year is never like another and one never knows when we’ve climbed our last hill.

You know, a person may have few close friends, if any at all; yet, may have a wide and varied group of acquaintances. This is important, I think. And, while we don’t share much in each other’s lives beyond cycling, we do share sweat and pain and the joy of the road. That’s something – that’s much, I think. So, I say “thank you” for all the good times of the past year. I expect to ride-on in 2018. Will you join me. Don’t give up; we’ve come too far to do that.

Hello.

The forecast is for heavy rain around 7 am and for heavy winds all day. Temperature, with humidity, will feel like 23 C. I’m thinking of changing the route and the time of departure.

Here is the revised info:

Start Time 8:30 am Stinsons >>>>>8:30 am.

Route to be determined by the group; say, approx a two+ hour ride because it’s thanksgiving. We’ll head west towards Renfrew and loop back via Castleford, possibly. I hear that CM on RR has some special dessert ready to serve passerbys.

Comments always welcome about this or anything else on your mind.