Sunday was a treat, an absolute treat. After the rides of January and the first 27 days of February it felt fantastic to be out without all my skin covered in the company of friends. Knickers, exposed ears, embro, perfect. At up to three degrees above zero, the sun, when it made an appearance, was warm and smile inducing.
Great group today, Brad, Martin, Pascal, Jamie, Craig and myself. Occupied with conversation, or perhaps just riding on autopilot, we headed toward Old Chelsea from Gamelin rather than heading East toward the river to cross over to the Cantley side as we'd agreed. No problem, we simply cut over from old Chelsea to the 105 and backtracked a bit until we could cross over to the other side.
Like last weekend, the Cantley route was good, and surprisingly, the snow up into the Chamonix 'hood was mostly gone. We avoided the loop anyhow, playing it safe, but it'll likely be clear all round next weekend. That'll be fun. With time constraints for some, we opted to stay together and return on the Wakefield side after the obligatory stop at Pipolinka for coffee and snacks. Pascal and I parted ways with the others at Notch and Mine Rd to head to Aylmer so he could rendezvous with his family. The extra loop was great, accessing some nice dirt roads and a great stretch of paved road along the river. We discussed using the day's route for a pre-spring-classics ride in March. There is a stretch of rail to trail that is a great ride that heads back West to Hull that would be nice to use. It would be the "Trench' sector. We'll see how things shape up. I suspect a number of people would like to do a solid ride to tune up for the Almonte Roubaix and new RwR race in April. At about 120k, I think the route might be just right. To avoid the difficulties associated with running a large no-drop group format, I'm thinking a 3-person team format might work. It would likely be relatively easy to hook up with a couple other riders at about the same speed this time of year. Stay tuned.