Hello –

I’ve tried to get a definitive answer to whether we can ride as a group. Unfortunately Ford’s announcement came too late for me to contact the RCPH department for clarification. Their offices closed at 4 pm. I called the OPP and was told that the measures take effect on Monday. This is incorrect. The measures pertaining to us take effect at midnight tonight. Further, the OPP wouldn’t comment on whether they would ticket cyclists riding in a group. They referred me back to Ford’s announcement on social gatherings. So, I’ve been going in circles, which is another way of saying stuck in a rut.

Golfing has been banned. Is it a social gathering? I suppose it must be according to the Province’s definition. Using this logic, I guess, group cycling is also a social gathering. No one got back to my email with a contrary opinion so I’ve made the assumption that you are in agreement that group cycling of the type we undertake is prohibited.

If you think I’ve misinterpreted the prohibition on social gatherings as it pertains to cycling, then, please speak up. I don’t profess to speak for everyone on this issue. I’m just one voice to consider out of 22.

Here is a partial text from Ford:

“Outdoor gatherings with people outside your household banned, amenities like playgrounds shut down.

“All outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts and playgrounds, will be closed.

“Effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, outdoor gatherings will be prohibited except for members of the same household…” 

“Police will have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to indicate their purpose for leaving home and provide their address. That includes stopping vehicles and potentially issuing tickets of approximately $750.”

You may ask what is the difference from last week at this time with respect to Group riding. The key difference is the police authority to stop and fine and to question why we’re in a social gathering. Also, members of the public have been encouraged to report individuals disobeying the Public Order. I’m not your mum but Mr Ford is definitely your big Daddy. Disobey him at your peril.

Accordingly, not wanting to put anyone at risk of incurring Mr Ford’s wrath and a Fine by the OPP, I’m cancelling notification of group rides via this Blog until further notice.

Hello –

Thanks for coming out this morning. That was a great ride, although a bit testy at times. It was nice to have others to share the work at the front. It certainly makes it easier with many hands to share the load.

The plan for Sunday is to ride 81 kms but to reduce the effort. I hope you’re okay with that. I’m just giving you a heads-up now so you’ll know what to expect. As a reminder of why we ride: we ride for enjoyment; we ride to maintain/gain aerobic and neuromuscular fitness. That means the rides must be enjoyable for everyone. That’s the top priority. Our rides should not be tests of endurance. Such rides should be done on your own or with like-minded friends throughout the week or on the weekend but not on these group rides. Intensity is good; intensity has its place but not on these group rides.

Satisfying and meeting the expectations of all riders is nigh on impossible but we can find a middle ground. The stronger riders can treat the group rides as recovery rides or moderate rides. That’s the long and the short of it.

Important Stuff

Who/When: ArnpriorCycling/April 11/21
Start: 730 am (SHARP) from Stinsons on Vanjamar Dr
Distance: 81 kms (with options)
Where: Carp Area
Route: Fitzroy, Stonecrest, TDP, DV, Vaughn, Dwyer Hill, Hwy 17
Weather: Mainly Cloudy; Temps 10-15C; E Wind
Coffee: None

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (private)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

Billy Collins Writing in the afterlife
I imagined the atmosphere would be clear,/shot with pristine light,/not this sulphurous haze,/the air ionized as before a thunderstorm./Many have pictured a river here,/but no one mentioned all the boats,/their benches crowded with naked passengers,/each bent over a writing tablet./I knew I would not always be a child/with a model train and a model tunnel,/and I knew I would not live forever,/jumping all day through the hoop of myself….”

Hello again.

I just got word that NS will be riding from Stinsons on Vanjamar at 9 am tomorrow. He a few others have plans for a 50 km cycle with the route to be determined. If you’re interested in a shorter and less intense ride, Neil would be pleased to have you join him. All you need to do is to meet up at Stinsons a few minutes before 9 am tomorrow morning.

So, to reacp:

Ride 1) starts at 7:30 am

Ride 2) starts at 9:00 am

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter @arnpriorcycling (currently open)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP https://arnpriorcycling.com

Hello –

We are allowed to leave home for exercise and there are no specific kilometre limits. There is a prohibition on gatherings, however; so, with that in mind, we’ll not gather; we’ll ride; we’ll respect that by observing the COVID-19 protocols. Please bring a face mask even though you will not be using it when riding. Also, please maintain an appropriate distance from each other when off the bicycle.

Many of us have been riding regularly and are consequently in each other’s bubble. Also, a few of us have had our first vaccination; and while that is insufficient for immunity or for stopping the spread of the virus, it does provide some measure of protection. Unfortunately the epidemiologists say that even when we’re all vaccinated (and there’s herd immunity in the community) we will still have to wear masks and avoid each other because of the potency of the VOC’s. The highest vaccine efficacy is +/-90%, leaving ten out of a hundred vulnerable to getting COVID even, when vaccinated. This is nasty virus.

I’m writing this as a reminder that we each must accept responsibility individually for our decisions to join the Group rides. This pertains to not only COVID risks but also to risks in general with respect to group riding. Consequently, I refer you to the Disclaimer Page on the Blog. Please read this now. There will be a test tomorrow!

Some may say enough of these editorial/preachy comments, “I just want to ride my bicycle. Cut the palaver and get on with the ride details”.

I hear you but a certain amount of ‘admin’ related palaver is necessary, in my opinion.

All of the above is not meant to dissuade you from joining the Group Rides but to remind you to consider the risks. Please join us tomorrow, if you can. The ride distance can be modified at Pakenham and Almonte, if you don’t have time/fitness to join us for the scheduled ride.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

Who/When: ArnpriorCycling/April 10/21
Start: 730 am (SHARP) from Stinsons on Vanjamar Dr
Distance: 101 kms (with options)
Where: Carleton Place
Route: Pakenham, Almonte, Appleton, CP, Pakenham Hwy 17
Weather: Mainly sunny; Temps 10-20C; SE Wind
Coffee: None

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter @arnpriorcycling (currently open)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP https://arnpriorcycling.com

Faith is a seafarer’s prayer on the deck of a stricken ship about to founder.

Hello —

It’s great to get favourable weather in mid March for cycling after several months when the only prospect of riding was on the trainer in the garage/basement. Some of you were out this morning with KO. Congrats on the first group ride.

Tomorrow were doing the same, a casual ride, a social ride, an easy ride, a spin rather than an all out effort. It’s early days, after all.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: March 21/21: ArnpriorCycling
Start: 09:00 am (SHARP) from Stinsons
Where: SE
Description: 81 kms with options to shorten
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Full Sun; 0-9 C
Wind: South, South East at 15 kms/hr

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (currently open)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.com

“Forgive First”

Good day. Day light is increasing; the sun is higher; the temperature is moderating; February is at an end; March is a hare on the hound (okay, I just made that one up).

I’m not mad as a hatter (yet) but I’m looking forward to freedom from COVID-19 and the confines imposed by the authorities. Covid-19 will end and I will end. Let’s hope it’s the former before the latter.

All to say that I’m restive and ready for the road, having spent many hours on the skate skis since January. I can say that I know every corner and curve and rise on the FLP in Gatineau, having climbed that stretch of road on my skate skis four times a week for several weeks. I can say, too, that the FLP is much easier to ascend on a bicycle. Skate skiing is basically an all out sprint for two plus hours; whereas, cycling has moments of rest, however fleeting. But, I learnt something the other day about skate skiing. It was a revelation, not in the biblical sense, though.

If you’ve been put off skate skiing because you don’t skate, think again. Skate skiing is actually akin to hiking more than to skating. Funny, eh. Everyone can hike; not everyone can skate. I’ve been doing it wrong for almost four years and am now trying to unlearn and to step forward in a different way. Progress has been slow but it’s coming. I should be good at by age 75. Haha.

Okay, so all this blather is by way of saying that I’m going to take a pass on the RLCT this year because a) it’s scheduled for August and I’d rather ride the PEI Grandfondo and b) I’m not interested in the RLCT 50 for 50 scheduled for May and c) everything is up in the air anyway because of COVID-19 and the question marks about the vaccination rollout. But, who knows. Maybe, things will change and the RLCT will become a thing of interest in 2021, after all.

It also looks as is air travel will be non-starter for several months. That means no Mallorca in April. That means cold weather cycling in April. I’m thinking we’ll have an early start to the season and would expect to be riding by April 01, maybe sooner. So, if you’ve been neglecting your fitness, it’s not too late to up the ante. Thirty days of concentrated training will see you in good stead for the start of the season.

Regarding your bike, if you haven’t already taken it to the shop for maintenance and mechanical fitness/safety, you might want to book now. If there’s another lock down, as Dr Tam is predicting, it might be difficult to get an appointment. Also bicycle parts are in short supply. Okay, I’m not your mum. Got it.

BTW, don’t you just love our MP, Cheryl Gallant. She never fails to surprise (but not in a good way). What a treasure – NOT.

Here’s to your health and fitness. May you have vigour and vitality in 2021.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (currently open)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.com; formerly arnpriorcycling.blog but no longer available as at March 01.

Life is short, and art long, opportunity fleeting, experimentations perilous, and judgment difficult. Hippocrates

Hello –

As an atheist, the X-mas story has no resonance for me. The birth of Jesus fulfills no prophecy nor offers any hope of salvation nor any prospect of ever meeting my mom and dad. Still, I find joy and pleasure daily, knowing life will end for me in nothingness, and possibly in eternal damnation in the ‘lake of fire’ for acts of denial.

That’s a terrifying prospect; yet, I wish my Christian friends (and those of religious faith and conviction), a Happy X-mas: may god answer your prayers and live up to your high expectations for an everlasting life and a reunion in the hereafter with loved ones.

My xmas wish is that you enjoy the company of family and friends in whatever numbers the authorities allow; may you have food and drink and good cheer in abundance and a belly full of laughter, as you recount the year gone by, and life’s folly and foibles. May your pleasure be great in remembrance and may joy overflow your cup in moments of gladness, while the world halts its scurry, however briefly.

May you have vigour and vitality in 2021.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (private)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde

ArnpriorCycling Nov 29/20: 3 Riders; 62.7 kms; 2 hours; 246 m

Hello –

Now, that was more like it, just a superb morning for a brisk cycle. There was sunshine, dry roads, and cool air with a taste of the glacier in it’s breath. It was a great, lung bursting gasp, as one might attempt on the death bed to flee the grim reaper’s grasp – another moment, however briefly stolen before final extinction. Ah, but, it was glorious. You just should have been there.

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (private)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
       But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
       But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
       No use to talk to me.” (aeh)

ArnpriorCycling Nov 28/20: 3 Riders; 67.6 kms; 2 hours 14; 416 m

Hello –

The bed is cozy, the morning dark; there are other more enticing options to consider. Why put warm toes onto a cold floor; why test resolve against icy winds and wet road spray? Why ride a bicycle? Might as well ask, why does the moon wax and wane. “I exist as I am, that is enough” (ww).

We exist but for a blink, like a day fly on a summer’s day – unaware of the ephemeral. Now, I find myself too late and too obdurate for salvation. That offering was a cold, unappetizing, tainted dish. Damnation awaits, is expected if not welcomed.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: November 29/20: ArnpriorCycling
Start: 09:00 am (SHARP) start from Stinsons
Where: SW
Description: 60 kms
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: A mix sun and cloud 0-3 C
Wind: South West 15 kms/hr

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (private)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” kjv

Hello –

Snow, rain, wind, wet roads, dirt, grud, in general messy conditions for cycling but where else would you rather be that riding your bicycle in late November pedalling away the fatty bits. Hey, we all have fatty bits. They’re hard to eradicate because they multiply like rabbits in a warren. Give them an inch of waist and they’ll take two, then three, then four and before you know it there’s an extra notch in your belt. The fatty bits are everywhere – torso, legs, and arms. Some people even have fat heads. Scary!

Here’s a bit of whimsy by way of a poetic statement of gratitude for all that is and for all that came into being for reasons we don’t know or understand; but, as a consequence of their ‘being’, we should marvel and be grateful. I’m an atheist but I, too, marvel and sing, in my fashion, a ‘canticle’ of thanks for my own existence and the wondrous world in which we live. A glass or two of Cabernet Sauvignon takes the mind from the atrocious Christian denouement awaiting the damned. Enjoy, and revel in the moment; may the moments be continuous, memorable and many!

So, here’s the Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: November 28/20: ArnpriorCycling
Start: 10:00 am start from Sweet & Sassy
Where: Westward
Description: 50-70 kms
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Sun and cloud 0-3 C
Wind: West 20 kms/hr

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling (private)
– IG @arnpriorcycling (private)
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

AS IF TO DEMONSTRATE AN ECLIPSE

I pick an orange from a wicker basket
and place it on the table
to represent the sun.
Then down at the other end
a blue and white marble
becomes the earth
and nearby I lay the little moon of an aspirin.
I get a glass from a cabinet,
open a bottle of wine,
then I sit in a ladder-back chair,
a benevolent god presiding
over a miniature creation myth,
and I begin to sing
a homemade canticle of thanks
for this perfect little arrangement,
for not making the earth too hot or cold
not making it spin too fast or slow
so that the grove of orange trees
and the owl become possible,
not to mention the rolling wave,
the play of clouds, geese in flight,
and the Z of lightning on a dark lake.
Then I fill my glass again
and give thanks for the trout,
the oak, and the yellow feather,
singing the room full of shadows,
as sun and earth and moon
circle one another in their impeccable orbits
and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude. bc