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

May 12/18: 119 Kms; 3 Hrs, 47; 574 Metres; Eight Riders

Howdy …

Sorry, no time to write. Under the influence of an alien force. Best, I could do. Ciao

Just asking you, “When the alarm rings on Sunday morning, where else would you rather be than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits?”

As for to-day’s ride, what do you say when the day beckons you for an embrace, like a young child –  eyes sparkling and open wide, arms outstretched, joyful, and a mouth full of a sweet laughter. That was our surprise greeting as we soft pedaled, light of mood, and full of delight into the morning air. Yes, it was cool but the sky was deep blue with promise. We embraced it, holding nothing back, like two lovers long-time parted and now reunited. You know you just should have been there.

Yes, our days are filled with little moments of magic even though we don’t know at the time. Reflection adds a patina of nostalgia; and while physical effort hardens the body, repose afterwards calms the mind and enlivens the spirit.

A full Ten to Kevin for discovering this route and for his steady riding. Kudos to everyone for showing up. Appreciate that. Also, it was nice to see a couple of new faces at Stinsons this morning: SG and WR. Hope to see you guys again soon.
Sunday 7:00 am 7:00 am Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:00 am 7:00 am 7.00 am 7:00 7:00 start and ride to Starbucks in Kanata for coffee after 56 kms; Rob’s route, mostly. Total distance 104 kms; 489 Metres. 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:  6C – 19 C; sunny; winds SE 15.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFGs7HP15d4

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/

 

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.   Seamus Heaney

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?”

To-day’s poem salutes the unselfish and loving, but unacknowledged, act of kindness of parents for their children. It reminds me of when I was sixteen in Ireland getting ready for work at Ulster Meats, and of my mother who used to get up alone in the dark to light the hearth fire. Back then, the kitchen in Drumnakelly was a cold and damp place but when I entered it was warm and cozy and inviting. I would sit down in my granddad’s big chair, with my feet in the fire coals, and sup a steaming hot cup of tea prepared by my mum and set by her on the hob. It’s too late now to say thank you for those times … . Sunday is mother’s day.

Okay, this is an early blog post about tentative plans for Saturday and Sunday. I’m thinking you’d like to know sooner rather than later of plans for this weekend’s riding. So, assuming there is no major change in the weather forecast and wind direction, we’ll head south and east on Saturday and ride the Quyon circuit on Sunday when the wind is from the north. You know, you’ll just want to be there.

To put this in context, we’re riding 220 this weekend; and a minimum of 240 May 19/20; 270 the weekend of May 26/27; 200 June 02/03; 344 June 09/10. All told, this may be insufficient for adequate RLCT preparation. Ideas welcome.

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:30 am 7:30 7.30 am start and ride to Almonte for coffee after 81 kms;  route (condensed version) via Conc 9, Pakenham, Tatlock, Galbraith, Wolf Grove, etc. Total distance 120 kilometres, 569 metres of climbing. 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:  4C – 13 C; sunny; winds E 15.

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/

Those Winter Days

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?   Robert Heyden

May 06/18: 96 Kms; 3 Hrs 05; 443 Metres; Eight Riders

Well, that was a bit of alright, as they say – albeit the wind was unseen in the NE and appeared sudden and unannounced from the west like a Messerschmidt stalking a Spitfire. We maneuvered accordingly and hightailed it for Carp for respite and cover.

Kudos to all who rode this morning. The air was cool and the prospects were a grim as we saddled up; but, like a slow start to a gripping drama, the tension found a happy resolution. First, Neil cleared a swath of air big enough to drive a bulldozer through. We followed willingly in his wake for several kilometres. Then, on cue, as if waiting for the right moment to surprise and delight, the sky cleared and the sun shone on our ragtag formation. Soon, jackets were shed, as we warmed to the effort, and the joy of such fresh-air bonhomie. You just should have been there.

At Alice’s, smiles were a penny a dozen. You can tell from the Cheshire grins that hilarity filled the air like a refreshing fragrance. We lingered it its sweetness, until dictator time and unwanted duty called us away.

The return ride was fraught with an alternating head wind and then a cross wind. We each took turns at the front, pulling with much effort. But, CAM didn’t seem to notice as she led us in turn, fast and furious towards home. We suspected a hidden motor but the infrared camera found nothing. Yes, it was glorious. Again, I say, You just should have been there!

Right, stay tuned for details of next Saturday’s route. Quyon is a possibility, as is the Gatineau. Maybe both? Unfortunately, the long-range forecast is not good. All to say, get out and ride as much as possible this week.

What I’m listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTCXVyWDlQ. Gotta love this guy!

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/

“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”    LC

May 05/18: Five Riders; 110 Kms; 3 Hrs 43 Mins; 621 Metres

Howdy …

Just asking you, “When the alarm rings in the morning, where else would you rather be than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits?”

I’d hoped for/expected to see several cyclists at Stinsons but the prospect of a 123 kilometre ride into a gale may have been a factor in the  low turnout. One never knows from weekend to the next who will appear or when we might see them again. Certainly, we could have used a chain gang of cyclists taking turns at the front. It was an effort, full stop; and, we were almost stopped at times by the force of the wind.

My kudos to KO, JG, and MB for hanging in there, given their physical challenges. It’s never easy and it can be especially hard when one is suffering from ailments of one kind or another. Really appreciate you guys being there this morning. All said and done, we altered the route to maximize our pleasure and to make the most of the prevailing tailwind.

As for the ride, there’s not much to relate. It was steady as she goes for 57 kilometres, until we met a ‘friendly’ dog attacking us with vigour – to the point that we couldn’t saddle up, after a brief stop at the side of the road. That was a first. And, quite annoying. JG and CAM walked for a hundred or so metres to get away as we tried to confine the ‘friendly’ animal, until the owner took pity on us and corralled the beast. After that, it was full sail ahead on South McNaughton’s undulating terrain. It was glorious, and a breeze, so to speak. You really just should have been there. And, you can tomorrow.

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:30 am 7:30 7.30 am start and ride to Carp for coffee (60 kms) with Alice. Total distance 98 kilometres. Route is a surprise (no one reads the description anyway). The teaser is that we will head down White Lake Rd. 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 – 13 C; cloudy; winds N 15.

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/

Nature

As a fond mother, when the day is o’er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.   HW Longfellow

Howdy …

Just asking you, “When the alarm rings in the morning, where else would you rather be than on your bicycle pedalling away the fatty bits?”

And so the season begins, leaving us with only a few weekends to ‘clock’ significant kilometres in preparation for the RLCT. There is no time to waste. Are you keen to ride? That’s a pointless question. Of course, you are. Ready and impatient, too. So am I. But, regrettably, it will be arm and knee warmers, maybe tights even, for tomorrow’s ride. Dress appropriately and bring energy bars/gels for on-the-road consumption. We have a long ride planned so stops will be at a premium.

But, first, some administration. Please read the Disclaimer Page. If you receive this Post via email, you’ll have to visit arnpriorcycling.blog to review it. The key point of the disclaimer is to remind readers of the inherent risks in cycling, especially in a group setting. We must ride and conduct ourselves with the safety of our fellow cyclists paramount.

Next, a clean bike is a safe bike. Please arrive with a mechanically fit and tuned bicycle. If you haven’t had yours to a mechanic, you should have at least checked it over thoroughly. Also, please carry essential items in your saddlebag. All this was covered under a January 11 blog post.

Next, just a reminder that we leave Stinsons on White Lake Rd (corner with Vanjamur Rd and across from Antrim Truck Stop) on time, with only two minutes grace. If you’re not there, we don’t wait. This is not a popular convention but it’s our longstanding practice. In fact, it would take an executive resolution to change it. And, someone has veto.

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:30 am 7:30 7.30 am start and ride to the Bonnechere Cafe for coffee after 90 kms. Route (condensed version) via Stewartville, Goshen, Renfrew, Stone Rd, S McNaughton, Butler, Pinnacle, GoE, Bruce St, etc. Total distance approx 123 kms.

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 – 15 C; sunny; winds W 25.

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/

Sea Calm

How still,
How strangely still
The water is today,
It is not good
For water
To be so still that way.   Langston Hughes

April 28/18: Five Riders; 2 Hrs 42; 71 Kms; 496 Metres

Hello. Time  passes but somethings never change. Yes, it’s  me at the keyboard disturbing your afternoon quiet, again. It’s my pleasure to write and your burden to read. Another cycling season is upon us. It’s time to pedal like the billy oh. It’s too bad the guy in the sky didn’t read the memo about the start of the cycling calendar. All this to say that while we rode this morning we will not ride tomorrow. I have had enough of snow. I won’t be riding on Sunday. I’ve been spoilt by fairer climes in faraway places. Indulgent and particular, I am. It comes with age. So, does reflection and gratitude. It’s then that good friends and special times take on a patina of rarity, there being fewer of them.

I thank CAM & KO for a memorable morning.

Will post details of next Saturday’s ride on Friday, May 04. Where else would you rather be?

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/

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul. Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.~ John Muir”