The first intermediate road ride of the 2022 season has finished. It was a cool morning, less than 7C, so the start was delayed to 930AM at RIM Park. Winds were brisk from the East ish so Fergus was selected as the destination. 8 fellow cyclists showed up and off we went.
Headwinds slowed us down all morning. Beautiful morning. More traffic on the road later in the morning it seems. The original route was modified on the fly by David for better road conditions. Line 6 to the 10th to the 4th. More better.
Our infamous Ice Cream Lady of Elora. A real treat LOL
May 14th WCC Intermediate fondo ride. To Drumbo and beyond. 9 riders. Some new faces, welcome Mike and Ian. Some old familiar faces. Beautiful warm spring morning. Off to Wollarton as I call it, down Ira Needles and Trussler. Picked up a 10th rider out there. Mannheim, Dundee, Wolverton, Drumbo. Stopped for refreshments at the Drumbo convenience store. On to Bright, Haysville. Ah the sights, the smells, the company, the laughs, the photographer insults. LOL
May 21 WCC Intermediate Fondo ride to Balzacs in Stratford. There was concern at the start for the weather but everything went north of us. No worries my weather man said. He brought a rain jacket just in case. Hmmm
Humidity rose after Bamberg, I was sweating profusely. A DR broke in Wellesley and Hugo turned back.
Super brisk wind heading to Stratford but the reward would be the return trip, flying back so the theory went.
This is what over took us. Pounded on us on Wilby. Some were picked up by locals in pickup trucks. Bless them.
Others fought to the end, with a brief shelter in place at the height of it. Hit the ditch. The eye had passed over us.
Trees down across Wilby, minimum visibility, extremely high winds. Wowza
I’m slightly wierd on this but I actually like these epic rides ( as long as no one gets hurt!). Something to reminisce about later with those that were on the ride. All the rides I remember the best from years ago were when something unusual happened.
This was a memorable ride. As we cycled out of Stratford, on the return trip, we noticed dark clouds off to the west. They didn’t seem too bad at that point, but we were motivated to keep the group rolling fairly briskly. The new pavement on Line 40 and a nice tail wind along that section helped us believe that we could out run the storm. Turning north on Perth road 107 however, revealed that the storm was almost on top of us. We made a right turn on Perth Line 43 (becomes Erb’s Rd) and gave it everything we had. We were getting rained on, but it wasn’t torrential (yet). After the bend in Erb’s Rd. the surface dried up a bit and Oliver and I kept hammering. Along that section, I set a new maximum heart rate. When we got to Nafziger, we decided to go up to Wilby and get away from the busier Erb’s Rd. That halted our progress away from the storm, but was ultimately a smart decision to get away from traffic and the zero visibility that was about to arrive. Once we were on Wilby the storm had arrived in earnest and Oliver and I were deciding the best course of action. I was looking for a place to get some cover - a group of trees or a barn or something, but there was nothing close by at the moment we needed the cover (which was probably just as well, so as not to attract lightening). I was losing control of my bike and decided it was time to ditch. I layed my bike on the side of the road and jumped into a shallow ditch (a tornado seemed like a real possibility). The rain was torrential and according to news stories, the wind was 130km/h in the Kitchener area. I could see Oliver’s tail light up in the distance and nothing else. The rain was horizontal.
After 5 minutes or so in the ditch, as the rain and wind continued, a pick-up truck pulled up and asked if I was doing OK. It’s really hard to answer yes, when you’re lying in the ditch. They offered a ride and although I wanted to be independent and decline, common sense got the better of me and I said yes. The occupants of the truck were two nice ladies (sisters) Tammy and Sherry. After loading me and my bike, they proceeded up to Oliver and offered him a lift as well, but he decided he could make it back on his own. The ladies had been planning to do some errands, but the weather and the new occupant of their truck changed those plans. They said the truck was getting thrown around in the wind so they decided to go back to the farm (on Sandhills) and wait for the weather to pass. Once at the farm they gave me a towel to get dried off and offered me some lunch which I declined, primarily because I felt guilty for taking so much of their time. We chatted for 20 mins or so until the rain and wind subsided. They then decided they would continue with their planned errands and head to Costco (with me in tow). On the way back to town on Wilby, we unexpectedly came upon a downed tree covering half the road which we had to swerve to miss. After getting dropped off at Costco, I rode in the Columbia extension back to Sobey’s. In retrospect, I’m amazed at how incredibly kind Tammy and Sherry were to help out a complete stranger. One of those - restore your faith in humanity moments.
Yeah, I was in two minds there. Just let the wind take me on or just stop. In the end I just made like a statue in the middle of the road. I was worried about trees blowing over ( there were a few near where I stopped) so putting the most distance from them seemed best. I got absolutely battered with no cover though! Good decision to stop since over the rise were some downed trees ( that would have hurt!)
Just as the pickup arrived Tommy, Brent and Jeff came past so I decided to carry on with them since it seemed the worst was over. Tommy dropped back with Brent and I stuck with Jeff. Nearly went into one of those fallen trees right away ( might be time to upgrade to discs Jeff if we are riding in more of that kind of weather!)
Once we go into town isn’t wasn’t too bad. I decided to leave Jeff with his car at Sobeys and just ride right home before I started to get too cold. Took me a while to warm up once it got home though!
Saturday May 28 Intermediate Road Ride Review
Off to Conestogo Lake Country Sisters. 19 riders. Started out very civilized. Nice pace to Floradale. The pace was very brisk heading to the lake even with the wind in our face. Group started to break up but recovered every one at the lake.
Largest group in a long time
Refreshments at Country Sisters, winds at our backs now. Brisker pace.
Headed home. More than a brisk pace now. Spicy. Fastermediate. +40KMPH to Millbank. Hmmm
Down Streicher Rd, really flying there, someone had an electrical malfunction. But all was well in the end.
June 4th group ride to Milverton. Emphasis on the group aspect today. Well received.
Wind in our faces on the way to Streicher Rd. Good rotation through the group of 12 made it easy for all.
Headed for Milverton, just an out and back route. My stop in Milverton was unclear and Kevin S. our local guide had some good suggestions. We ended up at Karen’s Kitchen. Milverton was packed with Amish buggies in town for the town garage sales. So Karen’s was a little busy. But mmm
Turned around and headed east for Waterloo.
Some spirited runs down all those straight roads home. Like Deborah Glaister Line. Nice
And then 1 misplaced turn down a gravel road and O the complaints yelled at me! Too far! Not the dreaded gravel! This is a road ride. But I may be exaggerating Jeremy’s rant. haha
It was most definitely intermediate in speed and nature. We had one rider join us from the rec group…by accident…and we kept him together with the group and got him to the finish. He was very grateful for the support and the group ethos… hopefully he will come back in the near future.
It was great seeing you out there Brian. See you on Saturday!
June 18, 2022 Intermediate ride from Waterloo to Drayton. The NNW wind was quite brisk, +30KMPH. The route to Drayton was reversed so the crosswind effect was reduced and we would return through Floradale with the wind squarely on our backs. Group of 14. Perfect for the headwinds. The load was well shared at the front.
Arrived in Drayton and we went directly to A la Mode Café. Warm. The smells, mmmm, the service!
The Fast group was just leaving as we arrived. Timing!
Leaving Drayton we headed east, looking for that one paved road going south. None to be found, under construction. The traffic was fast but very courteous as we rode through Goldstone. The tailwind was so helpful that we didn’t even noticed the large elevation change from Drayton through Goldstone. At the Alma/Floradale road we split the group into 2 and we never saw each other again. The first group flew (big horses out front).
At Sobey’s a lone rider arrived just behind us, I think it was Andres who chased us all morning solo but should have caught us in Drayton, but we were in the back patio, he came in the front.
Good group. Good ride. Good times.
July 2 2022 ride to Balzacs. Originally the route was south but the weather changed and the wind moved to the west. So Balzacs in Stratford was the chosen destination.
Good size group showed up, 12 to start. Good pace out into a slight wind. New pavement down 40 Line to the airport was smoooth.