July 15/17: 102 Kms; 3 Hrs 17; 782 Metres; Six Riders (and a coffee guest)

Hello. Well, our little gruppetto turned out to be a few more than expected. It was a delightful surprise with GG and RM appearing out of the blue this morning. Spirits were high to begin with and they grew lighter now as we began our ride towards the Pucker rollers. At least, in my little world, that’s how I imagined it as we rode in single file, exchanging turns at the front every couple of minutes. The conditions were good, the wind so-so, and the mood effervescent, as we chatted about the latest stage of the TdF. In all this, we kept moving, not stopping as we are sometimes want to do at the Crevier and Pucker/Burstown Rd. It was only at the T-junction at the top of Pucker/Norton that I detected a slight annoyance with the route, more particularly the Pucker pavement. Apparently, my companions were not impressed. I knew to hesitate now might be fateful. So, with a weak smile from me, we saddled up and rode down #34 to Whalen.

The good news in all this was this mild annoyance was put to good effect. It translated itself into significant forward motion as we sped to #132 and then Renfrew. Wow! These guys can ride. In fact, the wet road was drying under our tyres as we rushed towards a rendezvous/date with a ‘former rider’ at the Bonnechere cafe. You know, you really just should have been there to experience it all. And, that says nothing of the next 33 kilometres, when, with the wind solidly at our back, we rode with considerable ease on buttery pavement down L-W and Thompson, holding just a little back for the inevitable whirlwind of a ride down Campbell Dr. Stupendous.

Just listening to Pavarotti as I write this. Did I say stupendous!

Here’s the tentative plan for Sunday:

Meet at Stinsons on White Lake Rd for 7:30 am 7:30 am start and ride to Renfrew via Pine Grove, Moore, RR to Castleford to Renfrew, Raglan, Burnstown Rd to Neat Cafe for coffee (km 50); home via White Lake, Bellamy Rd to Bayview Lodge (out and back), Campbell Sd Rd, Waba, Conc 8, White Lake Rd to Stinsons for total distance of 82 kms.

This route is flatish to Castleford, then it’s a gentle climb into Renfrew and a more difficult set of rollers to Burnstown/White lake. After that it’s plain jane all the way to Stinsons.  Ask yourself, “Where else would you rather be?” Our training goal is to gain power and strength and to build upon our existing endurance base.

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

Weather: 17 – 30 C, sun and cloud; winds west at 15; POP 20 – 30 %

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

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Events: See Pages

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

I wished I had you in Carrickfergus,
Only for nights in Ballygrand,
I would swim over the deepest ocean,
The deepest ocean to be by your side.

But the sea is wide and I can’t swim over
And neither have I wings to fly.
I wish I could find me a handy boatman
To ferry me over to my love and die.

My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy days so long ago.
My boyhood friends and my own relations.
Have all passed on like the melting snow.

So I’ll spend my days in endless roving,
Soft is the grass and my bed is free.
Oh to be home now in Carrickfergus,
On the long road down to the salty sea.

And in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink,
With gold and silver I did support her
But I’ll sing no more now till I get a drink.

I’m drunk today and I’m rarely sober,
A handsome rover from town to town.
Oh but I am sick now and my days are numbered
Come all ye young men and lay me down.     Van Morrison