Hello. Here’s to-day’s question: “What’s in your saddle bag?” When did you last unzip and check the contents? Do you have everything but the kitchen sink? Or, do you have the bare essentials? What are the bare essentials?  Some ideas here nicely stated with humour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnbHXaSKs0g

Now for Saturday’s ride. Let me begin with an alert: 7 am 7 am 7 am Start Old Orchard Lane.

Okay, it’s time for our annual ride to Pembroke. We’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s a key part of our training regimen for the RLCT. The 7 am start is a pain but the distance we’re riding on Saturday calls for an earlier start than usual.

Regarding the route, this is KO’s neck of the woods. It will be much the same as last year. For those with time constraints, there are various escape routes to get home earlier than the rest of us; such as, at the top of Story Land hill, at Haley’s Station, and in Cobden. So, if you can’t do the full Monty, you have options.

The route will provide a bit of everything – a change of scene, a longer distance than usual, hills, rollers, and a mid morning lunch (at Irving’s Truck Stop after about 82 kms – (May I take your order. Will that be B&E or Pancakes. Large serving please). In short, it’s a great ride and it serves as an excellent gauge of one’s fitness for the RLCT. It’s more-or-less the same distance with more-or-less the same elevation gain. If you can do this ride, you should be able to do the RLCT. It’s also a good test of your bike and its mechanical readiness for the tour. Also, it provides a great opportunity to dial in your on-road food – bars, gels, liquids, etc.

The plan is to be on the road by 7 am and ride straight through to the four crns (km 32), then straight on to Cobden for a brief stop (km 53), then straight on to Irving’s Truck Stop (km 82) for a mid-morning meal, then home via Beachburg (km 107)  for a short stop, then to the four crns (km 129) and home (km 161). Total distance is 161 km – 170 kms, in that range, depending upon the actual roads taken. Last year’s route was 168 kms. Count on at least 161 kms minimum distance.

Saddle time, barring any flats or other major delays, will be 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hrs, depending upon the wind and weather. So, if we say 6 hrs on the road, with an hour stop or less at Irving’s and a 10 min stop at Beachburg, we should be back in Arnprior between 1 pm and 2:30 pm.

Okay, here’s the tentative plan for Saturday:

Ride to Pembroke and back – Departure from Old Orchard at 7 am 7 am, then “River Rd, Storyland Rd, Cheneau, Magnesium, Mineview, Kohlsmith, Mansel Hill, Hwy 17, Cobden, Snake River Line, Mountain Rd, Stafford 3rd Line – all the way to the end (this is a departure from previous routes), Hwy 41, Irving Big Stop.

Return: Mud Lake Rd, Robinson Rd, Greenwood Rd, Beachburg Rd – all the way (through the hamlet and little lakes area-departure from previous routes), Forester’s Falls Rd, Queen’s Line – the entire length (newly paved with cycling lane), Helmer’s Corners, Storyland, River Rd, Stevenson, Braeloch, Golf Course Rd, Toner Rd, River Rd, Old Orchard. Total dist 166km”+/-

As usual, it’s steady as she goes, with minimal delays on the road.

“A group ride is not a race. If there’s no number on your back, it’s not a race.”

Weather: 10 – 18 C , winds west at 5 – 15. There is a low chance of showers.

Caveat: All this subject to change based upon the turnout and the weather and rider consensus.

Ask yourself, where else would you rather be?

New cyclists welcome.

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Okay, Ride your bike! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling


Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.           Christina Rossetti

After the Ride Essentials – bagel, egg, and coffee!