The Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour is hosted by the Ottawa Bicycle Club and attracts riders from all over the country. This is a long standing tour – this is the 46th year! There were over 2100 cyclists. The ride is supported in that there are organized rest stops, police patrols and a large group of volunteers manning CB stations, rendering first aid as required, and monitoring the progress of cyclists.
The weekend started with an easy drive up to Ottawa on Friday and an overnight stay at the Algonquin College dorms to get an early start on the first day of the tour. Despite our best intentions, we did not roll out of Ottawa until very close to 8:00 am.
We started relatively slowly, planning a very moderate start and then picking it up as the chill came out of the morning air. It was a pretty relaxed ride all the way to Perth, our first stop, some 70 km into the trip. We were met by Killy in the support van and it was time to take off the warm up gear and have a little food for the remaining 100 km into Kingston. We had covered the first 70 km in just over 2 ½ hours averaging just over 30kph. A decent start!
We rolled out refreshed and warm … maybe we could pick it up a bit. The rest of the ride felt like an unending series of rollers and as fate would have it … a head wind. As the miles clicked away and legs got heavier, the average speed dipped a bit, but only temporarily till the first signs indicating that Kingston was not far away. Killy was always close at hand so we could to top-up bottles and get any refreshments to keep us energized for the remaining miles ahead.
We rolled into Kingston, mid afternoon … We managed to cover the 175 kms in 6 hours 13 minutes., with an average speed of 27.3 kph. All of those little rollers had added up to just over 1km of vertical climbing.
We were not long getting to our Queen’s University accommodation to get showers, a rub and a short rest before heading to the mess hall for dinner.
Sunday morning came early enough and after a good breakfast in the mess hall got ready to roll out of Kingston. We left Kingston around 7:35 enjoying the slightly warmer weather and a tail wind. The return trip traces over the same course as Saturday.
Everyone seemed to be feeling really good and we get carried away with perhaps too high a tempo. This causes the withdrawal of one rider. Thankfully we have the support vehicle. At the end of 100 kms we lose another rider … we are down to four riders. We manage the speed and the effort over the remaining 70+ kms to roll into Ottawa, a bit tired but absolutely elated by the accomplishment of a great weekend touring ride. A check of our computers show that we had broken the 6 hour mark and increased our overall speed from Saturday to 28.4 kph.
After hitting the showers and having some last minute banter about the ride and the weekend we jumped in our vehicles and headed back to Toronto, feeling tired but all the better for taking on this challenge. One cyclist is already talking about being back for 2018. We would love to have a group of 10 or so we could build an effective pace line to make the ride even easier on all the cyclists and, oh yes, faster!
See you in 2018!This entry was posted in Uncategorized by hummingbirdscc and comments are closed.