I've lived in Ottawa almost all my life, and this has to have been the best March break of nearly thirty years in the capital. I'd hoped to go south with my family this year, but fate took a turn and we stayed put. But we still had the week off, and I was keen to get a few good rides in.
My week was kick-started last Saturday when I joined Neil, Anna, Rob, David of the TT team, along with Tricia, Imad, Ryan, and Cody and another Steven's rider who's name eludes me. I took the backseat and followed along for the McGregor loop, which was fantastic. Great terrain and a great group of riders.
Sunday was rainy in contrast to Saturday, and the regular fendered crew were out for a ride; well, at least those who got out of bed. I took a spin out to meet them at their staging spot, had a chat, and rolled back home. It was a pleasant hour in the rain.
Monday was sunny once more, and I headed out for two hours on bike paths, checking out snow cover and just cruising along. The paths are in great shape for March, rideable everywhere but the one up in the Park.
Tuesday was a big ride day with Thom and Rodd. We adapted the McGregor Lake loop to incorporate Woodsmoke and some more dirt. About 150k total, and lots of good climbing. Woodsmoke was, as always, very hard. But dirt conditions were great almost everywhere.
My Steelwool and Rodd's True North, atop Woodsmoke....er, I mean, Legsmoke.
Climbing Chemin Woods off the 105. Great climb, not steep, goes for a while. Looks alpine, but doesn't feel alpine. "Where do you ride?"
Wednesday brought a night ride, composed of about 8 of us heading West toward carp. About 2.5 hrs made for a nice ride, especially since we were in daylight for the majority of the time.
Thursday ended up being a big day. Craig and I headed out at 10 for Cantley, riding the full route (like the Quintuple), including the Chamonix 'hood, which was great. We headed past Woodsmoke and eventually crossed the river on the green bridge and Craig headed home while I continued on via Woods rd, heading West. My plan was to ride for a good while longer, and that's what I did, ending up at the end of Parent and beyond the Eardley entrance to the Park, which I dropped down into, heading South. This took me to the 148, and Mountain rd eventually. I had to refuel my liquids at a gas station near the top of Eardley. I think the sucralose in the Aquafina flavoured water I got was responsible for some odd sensations. Not recommended, any time (sucralose is one to avoid). All in the route seems to have been about 170k long; I quite liked it. Madness? Nah, radness.