Another day another century

June 20th, 2008 by becky

Distance: 125 km, 6h 50 min.

Today was a long ride, but I was expecting it. We set an ambitious goal of riding to Merickville for lunch and then onto home. On our longer days, our lunch stop had been at about 1:00 or 1:30 pm, today, it we didn’t make it until 2:30 pm. We had ridden 70 km before lunch.
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On the open road towards home. Note that Becky’s head is not really tilted, her helmet is!

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Bikes taking a rest break on the side of the road.

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Becky stretching during our lunch break.

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A “Scare-bike” ??? West of Merickville.

The ride was pretty uneventful. We followed some less busy roads at first, but as we got closer to Ottawa the roads became busier. Our chosen route into the city turned out to be a not so good choice. We rode down Prince of Wales drive to Woodroffe, which was much busier that I would have liked and did not have a proper bicycle lane. To do it again, we would have taken Greenback up to Fallowfield, and then Fallowfield to Woodroffe where there is a nice bicycle path between Barhaven and Nepean. Oh well, we’ll know that for next time!

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The might Rideau River

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Tired Becky

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A familiar sign. Home is not far away (about 35 km). Prior to this trip, an overnight at Rideau River campground was our only self-supported touring experience.

By the time I pulled into the driveway, I could barely walk. Riding was OK, but my leg muscles were toast. It is amusing as I have discovered that when I am sore at the end of the day, I’m fine the next morning. I guess my muscles are starting learn this new “normal” behaviour that is bicycling all day.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is a rest day. We will try to do some stuff (like updating the blog), but put off the stresses of too much to do in too little time until Sunday or more likely Monday.

Scott says:

We were very disappointed by the drivers as we got closer to Ottawa. We had more close calls in our last two hours of riding than in the entire previous three weeks (including rush hour in Toronto). It was still a relatively small number of idiot drivers, but enough to annoy us in several cases.

The teenagers racing down First Line Road near Manotick at 100kph+ (in a 60 zone), honking at us, then driving back towards us with the driver hanging out the window yelling incoherently was the only one who really made me angry though. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a picture, and possibly get his license plate.

4 Responses to “Another day another century”

  1. Friedel & Andrew Says:

    Hi you two,

    Sounds like you are getting in the groove pretty quickly, learning lots of new things. We can definitely sympathise with crazy driver experiences. Best thing is just not to get too upset. Take plenty of deep breaths and remember it’s training for places to come where the traffic will be considerably more hectic than anywhere back home. Hope you are using your mirrors to spot these fools and get out of their way before they get too close.

    Safe and happy pedalling,

    Friedel & Andrew

  2. scott Says:

    Thanks Friedel & Andrew. I think I would have had an easier time of it if it weren’t happening at home. I like to think of Ottawa as a bicycle-friendly city. Elsewhere (especially in Southern Europe, the Middle East and Asia) I don’t expect people to give us a wide berth. It’s a good lesson though, to assume there are idiots everywhere and ride accordingly.

    Good luck cycling in Bangkok. Hopefully you won’t run into too many more idiots like in Taldykorgan.

  3. Jean-Philippe Daigle Says:

    Everyone here has “crazy driver stories”, this sort of regrettable thing happens all the time.

    Last time I was biking in Gatineau (on the side of the road, not in the middle!), some kids in a Honda started swerving left and right toward me to scare me, rolled down their windows and shouted “nice helmet, faggot”. They then threw empty drink cups at me (and missed). Gatineau isn’t much more bike-friendly than Ottawa.

  4. Friedel Says:

    Bangkok drivers are great!! Wow, so friendly. We haven’t ridden into the city but we’ve ridden plenty around it and everyone is so nice, smiling, gives way and lets you into lanes without a problem. There is plenty of traffic but when everyone is so polite it’s a breeze. You guys are going to love it. By the way, I read your comment about coffee being hard to make. Have you heard of a coffee sock? I just saw one for the first time in Bishkek. Another traveller was carrying one. It looked pretty easy to make a good brew. Now I am on the lookout for one myself.

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