September 24/16: 83 Kms; 2 Hrs 47; 707 Metres; Seven Riders

That was an absolutely brilliant morning but it was slow to shine. We had doubts. The air was cool at Stinsons as we waited for the obligatory two-minute warning. There was little conversation except for the nervous laughter that proceeds a venture into the unknown. No, we weren’t about to jump out of a plane but there were questions about why we were doing this. Some queried their clothing and the cold and the wind, and the so-called flattish route.  All this contributed to a few restive minutes before we saddled up. But, once under way, we pedalled with renewed anticipation of what the morning might hold for us. It didn’t disappoint; it was glorious under a blazing sun and a clear sky. The air was crisp and sharp, with the clarity of a high quality Zeiss lens. We rode past quilted fields of ocher soy, ripening corn ready for the thresher, and a Monet hanging on the Madawaska – rising wisps of mist floating like diaphanous ships across the river. All this within the first thirty minutes. What else was to come, you ask? You really just should have been there.

Here’s the tentative plan for Sunday, assuming wind is from the west:

Meet at Stinsons at 7:30 am 7:30 am and ride to Almonte. I know this makes no sense but the lads would rather pedal home into a headwind than ride to Renfrew.

As for the ride, this is straight tack down Dwyer Hill to Vaughn and Burnt Lands. That’s where we’ll encounter a sharp rise in the road; otherwise, it’s flat as a pancake. Dress warmly. And, don’t forget to wear a smile against the cold. I hope to see you at Stinsons. Let’s take full advantage of the wall to wall sun in the forecast. Be there or be square. Besides, it’s too soon to mount the in-door trainer just yet.

Here’s the Route: Ride to Almonte via Dwyer Hill, Vaughn, Burnt Lands, Cnty Rd 49, Martin, Blakeney, Pakenham; home via Waba Road and Conc 10, Young’s Side Rd, etc. for a total distance of 72 Kms. Coffee at The General Store after 53 Kms. As usual, it’s steady as she goes, with minimal delays on the road. Bring gels, bars, water, electrolytes, etc. Liquids will be a key element tomorrow.

NOTE the Venue and Time: Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:30 am departure. (Sunrise 6:57)

Temperature will be in 2 C to 11 C; wind W at 15. Details here –

Alert 1) The Rideau Lakes Tour – June 10-11, 2017

Alert 2) Important information: These are ‘no-drop’ group rides, except for the hills where it’s every man for himself. Regroup at the top. Honest effort required by all. New cyclists welcome.

For non-subscribers: See Contacts

Okay, Ride your bike! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at;

Goshen Road – Buttery smooth, almost!