Hello –

Are you restless for the road? Are you impatient to ride with others? Are you free from coughs, fever, a running nose, and sore throat? Is anyone in your immediate circle of friends, acquaintances, and family suffering from COVID19 symptoms? If not, now’s the time.

No, the official word hasn’t changed: groups of individuals must be five or less.

We can abide by that protocol by dividing into separate groups, if necessary, and by riding two abreast when safe to do so. The research from Belgium on cycling and running is controversial and doesn’t actually address the potency and probability of infection from errant ‘spray’. Further, recent research concludes that “close and prolonged contact is required for #COVID19 transmission. The risk is highest in enclosed environments: households, public transport, ships, and certain institutional settings (like nursing homes).” Being outside is less hazardous as a rule than being inside. Ergo, Alfresco Rules!

So, if you’re in good health, full of energy, vital, alive, and jumping out of your boots and can answer ‘no’ to the above questionnaire then, maybe, you’re ready to ride with others in a group setting.

Things to Bear in Mind First

The group ‘works’ best when rider expectations are aligned, when riders are compatible and make reasonable accommodations for each other, and when the routes are varied to distance and pace, and when voices are heard and listened to within the group about likes and don’t likes. It helps, too, if there’s a common goal to bond around and to serve as an incentive for riders for weekend training. Unfortunately, there’s no RLCT this season; so, fitness, health, camaraderie, and coffee will have to suffice.

Okay, I’m almost at the important part but I’d now like to thank KO for his contribution to the group for acting as the anchor and filling in willingly when needed. Thank you, KO!

Important Stuff – The tentative plan:

  • When/Who: May 10/20: 8 am ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Hurds Lake Crn via Stewartville
  • Coffee: MFB Arnprior after the ride(?)
  • Description: 76 kms/361 metres of rolling countryside from the Stewartville Hill onward
  • Weather: Mix of sun and cloud, wind west 15-30 kms

Meantime: stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

– RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled
– Tour of Whitewater July 11  Cancelled
– Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/
– Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/
– Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/
– Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

IN PASSING
How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness
and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:
as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost.  Lisel Mueller

Hello –

There’s a hint of spring in the air. It’s been a difficult start to the cycling season, what with the COVID19 Queen and the harsh, cold, wet weather. Did I forget to add windy. Yes, definitely windy.

But, like a new air mass appearing on the horizon, there’s a hint of a change in the current climate on social distancing. It’s too soon to get too excited but there’s a glimmer of hope in the recent news that the tide may have turned. We’re in ‘slack’ water as we await confirmation of COVID19’s direction.

So, I’m just reaching out and confirming that the group rides will resume as soon as we get a green light from the province. Meantime, ride as much as you can to be ready when the green light comes. It’s hard, I know, to stay motivated when the RLCT has been cancelled. But, hey, we ride for fitness and health and not just for the Grandfondos.

For my part, I’ve been riding solo, mostly; and, it’s not a satisfying experience, especially on the long haul rides. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Stinsons to reacquaint myself with the group riders. I wonder who has fared well, who has winter burn, who has emerged from their chrysalis of winter with a new body, a new attitude, and a new zest for life. Who is riding a new machine? Time is the measure of everything.

Speaking of which, I’ve come up with a new measurement: it’s the stomach fat-roll index – just another measure of COVID19’s insidious presence. I seem to have gained a fat-roll for every week under social distancing. First, there was one roll, then two, then three, then the three became a single larger roll upon which another single roll sprouted, then another roll until the two of them joined the bigger roll to make a tummy roll or bulge – not quite a beer gut but a handful now. But, don’t you just love the way the extra clothes we wear to stay warm this time of year disguise the inner body?

That’s what multiple Baileys do; but, one has to find light in the darkness where one can. That’s what I thought but no more. I’ve turned a new leaf. No more Baileys. She was never my friend, really … . Blindsided, I guess. A negative outcome is weight gain and a lower wattage output. Two w/kg is doable, just.

Regarding safety and group riding, accidents happen but some things are within our control. One thing we can do to minimize the likelihood of accidents is by riding a safe bicycle. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to get your bicycle fit for the season. That means a complete overhaul, especially if you rode big kilometres last year.  If  you’re in doubt about what needs done just google bike maintenance.

Meantime, from me: stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled

Tour of Whitewater July 11  Cancelled

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.” Alan Watts

Hello –

Here’s hoping you’re all well in these difficult times, more difficult for some than for others. If you’re like me, you’re lucky if you have only a few deprivations – inconveniences at most. Sure, we’ve all lost a portion of ‘paper’ net worth in the equity markets. Sure, I’d like to go for my morning coffee to the local shop the way I used to do; and, I’d like to take shelter and warm up with a hot coffee at the halfway point of my ride. Most of all, I’d really like to see all of you again, the way we used to get together like old times on the weekends for a 100+ km ride. Can’t do that now. Sure would be nice, though.

Now, I ride solo, like you, in the rain, in the cold, and in the heavy wind, always the front runner – breaking wind, so to speak. No encouragement, no hand-off to the next in-line; no good job there, no well done – bereft of comments and company, I pedal on and take what pleasure I can from the countryside and try to reflect on it all. I’m getting a glimpse of what it’s like for the aged, alone in nursing homes.

Solitary confinement doesn’t suit me. I’m not that gregarious, really; but, I do like select company, especially on long rides. Conversation is good but just the physical presence of another like-minded individual is much. Closeness doesn’t require words.

Now, new patterns supplant the old ways. It takes getting used to. Looking back serves no purpose other than to sow discontent. Moving forward is all, as is drinking. New reality. I’ve set parameters though – no Bailey’s except after 75 kms; and unlimited after 100 kms. I do enjoy one or two – one too many at times on a Saturday afternoon after a long hard ride on the bicycle, like to-day.

Life is short and in the end nothing matters. We are just a random collection of atoms after all. Nothing more. Detritus of the big bang; or, if you prefer the children of the big bang. Soon or late we expire, leaving not even a contrail of our existence. Here and then gone, as if not having existed in the first place; just a re-assemblage of cosmic matter. So, from my cosmic matter to yours, I miss out atomic interactions!

I can say this for certain. That 6 ounces of Bailey’s costs me 60 minutes of cycling time to earn.

Meantime, from me: stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Sam Stone in memory of John Prine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLVWEYUqGew

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias. Maya Angelou

Hello –

The sun rises and sets daily but nothing is certain. Our group rides used to be an automatic, recurring, regular affair. We’d check the blog on Friday afternoon or check for KO’s email about the weekend rides; we’d enjoy a coffee and sweet buns after a ride; we’d tease each other in a friendly, bonhomie manner – now all just a memory. We used to take for granted the little things that gave us pleasure and the things that we thought nothing about at all. Not any more. Now, we line up to buy groceries and other essentials and we ride mostly alone, or maybe with one other person. We used to train diligently for the RLCT. But, not now. Now, just a memory.

OBC has cancelled the RLCT for 2020, falling victim to COVID19 social distancing measures. So, for the first time since 1990, we will not be riding to Kingston in June.

My first RLCT was 1988. In 1989, I relocated from Ottawa and was unable to train for the Tour. Since then, I’ve ridden the RLCT every year and I’ve completed the tour every year with the exception of 2007 when I crashed and broke my collar bone about 100 kms from Ottawa. Come to think of it, I have crashed too many times; and, all of them my fault. What does that say about my bike handling skills and group riding ability? Hmm, not good.

Age now presents new challenges of balance and fitness. My expectation is to ride the RLCT until age 75 but nothing is certain. Now it’s really only one year at a time. “Eternity belongs to those who live in the present.” (LW) And, “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” (WW)

So, I try to ride everyday for pleasure as well as fitness. I like to go hard but I question the value of doing that now – to what purpose? It’s the long game, really. How to stay healthy and fit and keep riding, without injury or illness or fatigue or burnout. This becomes increasing difficult as the pool of potential riders of a similar age decreases. Solo riding then plays a greater part of one’s cycling experience, since younger legs and lungs and hearts have greater capacity. Still, one missed the camaraderie and challenge of riding with other like-minded ‘souls’. We all desire comanionship – Adam needed Eve, after all.

For many, you are still in the get faster stage – that sweet spot before the aches and pain of age, and the questions of purpose undermine your resolve. You are also under time-pressure and cycling hard is great for time management and stress relief; but, cycling too hard, creates deleterious physiological stress. In the long term, this causes injury, sometimes permanent injury, leaving you to abandon or modify your cycling/fitness goals as a result. How long we continue to cycle is unknown. Nothing is certain.

I can say this for certain. That 6 ounces of Bailey’s costs me 60 minutes of cycling time to earn.

I can say this, too, for certain. It’s been a pleasure and joy to ride with you and to take up the challenge of doing it better from one weekend to the next. I hope do so again, once the COVID19 Queen relinquishes her hold on our lives. Meantime, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

In memory of John Prine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ujOTP8oPpY&list=RDOVhA01J0Zsg&index=14

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

THE FLY

Little fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die. wb

Hello –

How are you doing, eh? Are you bearing up under the strain of COVID19 and the COVID19 police.

For most of us, we’re lucky it’s only an inconvenience but for small business it’s a death knell. The authorities have put a gun to the head of the economy and pulled the trigger. The scale of bankruptcies and the destruction of Main St in towns will be enormous. If it’s not, then, our currency will be worthless because the printing presses will have been working overtime to print dollars to make restitution. Say goodbye to new roads, hospital, schools, and all public infrastructure. The country will be broken. The only good news here is that every other country will be in the same boat.

My take is that the official response to COVID19 has been an ill-thought-out strategy. The issue isn’t the number of potential dead; it’s really about saving the hospitals and the rate of fatalities. We could have dealt with COVID19 by a rifleman approach involving mass testing, proper segregation of the infected, and certificates of clean health for everyone else. But no, we quarantine everyone.

There’s a mouse in the shed (figuratively speaking) but instead of setting a trap selectively we set the traps in every house in the neighbourhood. Meantime, no one can walk around his/her house for fear of stepping on a trap. Crazy nut-bars in charge of the Pandemic. For my part, I don’t subscribe to the hero status of the Public Health Officials, Dr. Theresa Tam, et al. The medical professionals, the janitors, the essential workers, the shop assistants, etc., yes, for sure. The others are out to lunch. Thank God (sorry, don’t believe in God just an expression) we are not at war because if these guys were generals they’d have us all slaughtered for lack of foresight and planning.

Sorry, but, there’s way too much self-congratulations on how we’ve responded. I don’t buy that. The whole thing is a soap opera, like OJ’s trial on CNN.

Mind you, COVID19 has impacted my personal routines in the past few weeks.

I used to be abstemious about food and drink, had a reasonable diet, and had good habits but not now. Now, I’m eating, snacking really, all the time – chips, chocolate bars, candy, sesame snaps. My consumption of cheese and crackers is, well, over the top.

I used to drink one, maybe two, cups of coffee a day but not now. Now, I’m drinking coffee with the crackers and cheese, almonds, and other kitchen goodies throughout the day.

I used to be slim but not now. Now, I have a bulging waistline and my tapered, body fit cycling jerseys are a tad tight. I thought it was the bathroom scales. In fact, I was sure it was the bathroom scales but there’s no denying the fat rolls, as much as I try to.

I used to be a tee-teetotaler for most of my life but not now. Now, i enjoy a regular Bailey’s. It used to be a single drink once a week on a Saturday after a skate ski or long, hard cycle but not now. Now, I enjoy a drink anytime. Well, to be truthful, it’s one or two drinks at a time. Life just seems better afterwards.

I used to be a reasonable person, looking to the future, planning adventure and good time but not now. Now, my retirement $$ have diminished and I’m left enjoying the moment because instead of one more day it’s ‘one day less’. But, really, is there any point of cycling when there’s no coffee stop? It’s a hard grind.

Right, that’s it. Always interested in contrary points of view, ideas, suggestion … .

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14 https://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” Seneca

Hello –

In my last Post I had anticipated the start-up of group riding to begin as early as this weekend. Since then, Cycling Canada (March 30) has published recommendations against this:

“If cyclists do not practice proper social distancing, the government may feel it has no choice but to intervene and prevent all outdoor riding which has happened in some other countries,” (NB: Spain, France; Restricted cycling in the UK; Province of Quebec under consideration).

URL here: https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/ridesevents/if-you-have-the-equipment-consider-training-inside-says-cycling-canada/

Accordingly, I will not post group ride details until further notice. If individuals want to make their own arrangements to ride in ones/twos, that’s fine. I don’t see an issue with that; whereas, a group of five riders may cause undue concern among the COVID19 police. The last thing we want is to be banned from cycling altogether, except for up and down one’s driveway. If the messaging doesn’t change, we will all die in bed from a coronary. It’s dangerously lacking in matters relating to exercise, in particular 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous per week. I wish the Heart Institute would speak up.

The way things are going it won’t be long before corpulent politicians and public health officials will demand permits from us to get out of bed in the morning. Instead of Stay at Home, it will be Stay in Bed! That, and the blanket dictate that 70+ individuals should stay at home is an indictment of their shotgun approach and an indictment of a society that assumes 70+ individuals are feeble.

Right, that’s it. Always interested in contrary points of view, ideas, suggestion … .

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14 https://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

ANIMALS
Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
it’s no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn’t need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water
I wouldn’t want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days (Frank O’Hara)

Hello – good day to all.

On a day that began in cloud and cold air and remained so for many hours, I found it difficult to get started.  Yes, there are many impediments to starting out. Comfort is a powerful anesthesia, a warm blanket not easily thrown off in the early hours of morning. Who doesn’t want to stay in bed, shun the light, roll over, and hide? Life is an uphill grind, beginning with climbing out of bed. It was ever thus … .

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Gen 3-16

Sloth is a voluptuous siren. Entropy is omniscient. Determination, resolve, discipline are inadequate to the hour of need. Insatiable ‘Desire’ is a driving force – an Archimedes lever against lassitude and procrastination. Who has regretted the effort, hard as it sometimes is, to get out and ride. Carpe diem because COVID19 is a sneeze away. Exercise activates immunity. Were you ever more alive than gasping for breath on a long, hard climb? What’s holding you back? Go for it. Ride on!

Okay, the Premier has announced new regulations regarding group size – no more than five. And so, our group rides will remain on hold for now but there’s a possibility that we could start up soon, since many times we  have five or fewer riders at Stinsons. Stay tuned.

Right, that’s it. Always interested in contrary points of view, ideas, suggestion … .

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14 https://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“If men applied half as much common sense to their theological investigations, as they do to every other subject, they could not worship a god, who, having filled this world with millions of his children, would finally consign them all to eternal destruction except for a few” elect.    Lydia Child

Concrete