Friday, May 21, 2010

Pushing the Needle

For the last two months there's been plenty of riding. From Spring classics, to Kanata Lakes one or two times a week, and many road rides. The needle has budged. Every night my legs feel abused, but by the next afternoon they spring back. Two weeks in Texas I'm off the bike: jogs from the hotel.

 Dog-days of Summer and long rides await. First up is the Ride of the Damned route. Later on I'll link this up to the stone dust path to Maniwaki for a really big day. I plan on doing a Garanaska race, Lost in the Rocks and Trees in Mattawa, and perhaps the Wilderness 101 in PA. Then off to Utah for another bikepack in the South Central mountains near Boulder.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mufferaw Joe Lucky 7 Sportif

After four hours and 45 minutes we rolled into Quyon to find a dusty parking lot full of cars and empty bike racks. Quyon was our starting and now ending point for the 83-mile Sportif event. Our six-man group was the only souls around. About 10 minutes later some of the "faster" riders came in, on accounts that they started 15 mins after us. The ride was named after the Canadian lumberjack folk hero of the Ottawa valley called Mufferaw Joe (see video, credit to the Vegan Vagabond for finding this). It traversed the the farm country at the edge of West Quebec bush: Hilly, gravel roads. Awesome. Like the legend, the course was more of a concept and easy to get lost on.

Our fast time was attributed to the lack of getting lost, and the fitter-than-thou Quebec Wheelers who led the way. I can only take credit for having been able to hang on to the pack. This took everything I had.

After a casual first 40k, the main pack broke into fast and slow components. There's me in the grey (photo cred to Gary Monette). As per usual, I tried to follow the fast group. Halfway through I blew up and rode the next 15 miles solo down the highway. Those 15 solo miles were great. Riding in packs makes for speed, but I relish solitude in country riding. I eventually merged with the aforementioned finishing group. By chance, the fast riders took a wrong turn, and the slower riders got lost as well. Our middle group stayed on course and on pace, and the no other competitive teams passed us, which was weird for me.