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I have a Canada Day weekend tradition: go for a bike ride that is significantly longer than what I’ve done in the current season. Usually that means I’m not in appropriate shape for the ride. This year was no exception.

All in all, it was a good ride. The wind was from the northwest so I headed north then west to be able to take advantage of a tailwind on the return stretch. Took Government Road down the Welland Canal up to the top of Bunting. Saw Don Blake driving his classic Pontiac so caught up to him at a light and we stopped for a chat. Then I carried on via Lakeshore to North Service Road to Victoria Ave., turning around to take South Service Road to 21st Ave. and then down into Jordan. I stopped to make a Canada Day video at what used to be an ice cream shop but is now home to a bakery in Jordan Village, then continued onto Hwy. 8 west back to St. Catharines, down First St. and then up the hill at Decew.

I had been keeping a decent pace for the ride, trying to keep a good spin going. I’ve never been a good spinner, but I was able to keep a pretty good pace into the wind and back of between 25~30 km/h without too much effort. The weakness in my legs came when I passed the 25 km mark and I started hitting hills. Everything before that was a gentle uphill, but the hills going into Jordan, and then along Hwy. 8 were a challenge. By the last hill on Hwy. 8 I was doing better with endurance, but I also knew Decew was coming. What a joy.

The Decew hills have never been my friends. Today, I thought the long one was going to be the end of me. Standing in the lowest gear made me realize that all the spinning in the world wasn’t going to help me get up this one. I don’t have a granny gear on my road bike so it was just a long grind to the top alternating between standing and sitting. I made it and I’m glad I did it, but as with most things, going through it is the worst part.

Overall though, a good ride. Here are the stats:

Dist: 55.76 km | Avg: 25.3 km/h | Max: 70.7 km/h | Time: 2:11:53

Interestingly, I used the MapMyRide App and it said I only went 55.41 km. I’m sticking with my bike computer 😉

Cumulative Distance: 104.42

Can we get out for another ride tomorrow? Only the Shadow knows…