Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The good times keep on rolling...mostly

Sunday served up great weather once again, and the pack swelled to more than 10 riders. Out to Wakefield again; should have been pretty straight forward. Not quite. Along River Rd. in the neighborhood before the last set of train tracks (low lying) the pack rolled through a section of cambered black ice. Pulling in a double paceline beside me, Jamie blurted "Oh, that's black ice...I just slid sideways." I eased toward the centre of the road so Jamie could get clear of the cambered section, which worked, but those behind us didn't all get through. Candace lost her front wheel, and Anna couldn't help but go down as she had nowhere to go. Both suffered road rash, Anna's was bad enough to cause an early return trip. Both were gracious about their misfortune. Good to get it over with early in the season I guess.

Whilst lingering at Pipolinka, Pascal pulled up, having been on a solo mission. He too fell on the ice, also sustaining a significant patch or RR on his upper leg. Bummer. He too took it in stride.

The bulk of our group opted to continue on for an extra 25 k loop - the same as the previous Sunday - which went down rather well. We did encounter a large patch of ice on a backroad that prompted various Flintstoning maneuvers, but all got through fine. The key there is to try to keep calm, don't brake, don't turn. That tends to work well. Winter riding is obviously good for honing those skills.

Once back to the covered bridge, four of us said adieu to the rest as they headed back toward River Rd. We four were up for some more action, so we headed back east and connected up to the route we take through Cascades. The conditions were quite good, despite the odd bits of ice. As usual, the Cascade hill was terribly painful. We all wished we had bigger lungs I think. We prefer to come down 18% grades. Beyond that everyone finished strong - for spring anyway - and were happy with the ride. About 120k total from town; a solid day.

Today more riding was required. Jamie and I rolled just before noon and pulled off a great mixed ride. On the way to Wakefield, we rode a section I've been eying for a couple weeks. From Pine road off the 105 we headed north on Cross Loop, which took us back to the 105, where we crossed into a neighborhood and dropped back down to River Rd. (dropped as in 16% descent). The section was beautiful, carrying us over a covered bridge on smooth dirt. This section actually seems to be a short-cut. From Wakefield we hit some of the dirt to the north for the first time this year: McLaren, Shouldice and Parent, then we dropped down to the 366 on Fournier and rode tempo back to Wakefield. From there we climbed the 16% grunt (which really burned), and back over Cross Loop. Very nice. My knee warmers came off here and my legs were exposed for the first time this season (an embrocation was involved, of course)! When the day was done we racked up about 125 k, with a lot of really good effort put in. A great way to spend a Tuesday I think.




10 comments:

Rodd Heino said...

where are the damn pictures?

Andrew said...

Nice ride, man. I'd hoped to make this my first with you guys (and my first real ride of the season). However, Saturday night was a bit more heady than anticipated, and I was not awake in time on Sunday.

I'll make it this weekend for sure. Please let me know the time and the place! Cheers...

Matt Surch said...

Sorry, guess everyone thought someone else was bringing the camera on Sunday, and Jamie and I were too busy hammering on Tuesday. And all we had was an iPhone. The pics are great, but sometimes you have to just ride.

Pascii said...

Excellent article on treating road rash from Velo News :
http://www.velonews.com/article/3909

DomF said...

Are you guys heading out anywhere tommorrow?

Matt Surch said...

Pas moi Dom; its all about Sundays for me.

glacialridn said...

nice... my plans to head out to wakefield have been side tracked by busted cyclocross and just running out of time.

Good to hear about exposure!
I have a pair of shorts that exposes my rear end. I love wearing those shorts!

the original big ring said...

matt - what size tires you guys running on these rides out that way? just wondering if I could hook up with my old road bike a set of 23's?

Matt Surch said...

Craig, many of us run 28s or 30s, but some ride 25s if necessary. 23s have been done; just rougher and more prone to flatting. At the moment the dirt is still pretty soft, so flatting is less of a concern. If 23s are your only option, go for it.

Check back here for meeting time and location.

Andrew said...

23s are my only option right now as well. Im running conti ultra sports and they were ok for winter commuting. Have not tried them yet in dirt, though.