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Hello –

The sun rises and sets daily but nothing is certain. Our group rides used to be an automatic, recurring, regular affair. We’d check the blog on Friday afternoon or check for KO’s email about the weekend rides; we’d enjoy a coffee and sweet buns after a ride; we’d tease each other in a friendly, bonhomie manner – now all just a memory. We used to take for granted the little things that gave us pleasure and the things that we thought nothing about at all. Not any more. Now, we line up to buy groceries and other essentials and we ride mostly alone, or maybe with one other person. We used to train diligently for the RLCT. But, not now. Now, just a memory.

OBC has cancelled the RLCT for 2020, falling victim to COVID19 social distancing measures. So, for the first time since 1990, we will not be riding to Kingston in June.

My first RLCT was 1988. In 1989, I relocated from Ottawa and was unable to train for the Tour. Since then, I’ve ridden the RLCT every year and I’ve completed the tour every year with the exception of 2007 when I crashed and broke my collar bone about 100 kms from Ottawa. Come to think of it, I have crashed too many times; and, all of them my fault. What does that say about my bike handling skills and group riding ability? Hmm, not good.

Age now presents new challenges of balance and fitness. My expectation is to ride the RLCT until age 75 but nothing is certain. Now it’s really only one year at a time. “Eternity belongs to those who live in the present.” (LW) And, “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” (WW)

So, I try to ride everyday for pleasure as well as fitness. I like to go hard but I question the value of doing that now – to what purpose? It’s the long game, really. How to stay healthy and fit and keep riding, without injury or illness or fatigue or burnout. This becomes increasing difficult as the pool of potential riders of a similar age decreases. Solo riding then plays a greater part of one’s cycling experience, since younger legs and lungs and hearts have greater capacity. Still, one missed the camaraderie and challenge of riding with other like-minded ‘souls’. We all desire comanionship – Adam needed Eve, after all.

For many, you are still in the get faster stage – that sweet spot before the aches and pain of age, and the questions of purpose undermine your resolve. You are also under time-pressure and cycling hard is great for time management and stress relief; but, cycling too hard, creates deleterious physiological stress. In the long term, this causes injury, sometimes permanent injury, leaving you to abandon or modify your cycling/fitness goals as a result. How long we continue to cycle is unknown. Nothing is certain.

I can say this for certain. That 6 ounces of Bailey’s costs me 60 minutes of cycling time to earn.

I can say this, too, for certain. It’s been a pleasure and joy to ride with you and to take up the challenge of doing it better from one weekend to the next. I hope do so again, once the COVID19 Queen relinquishes her hold on our lives. Meantime, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

In memory of John Prine:

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled

Tour of Whitewater July 11

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13

– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP


Little fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die. wb

Hello –

It’s been an up and down winter, with temperatures fluctuating wildly like emotions in a torrid romance, one day steamy followed by a day of cold indifference, before exploding again with new energy, like a solar flare in the night’s sky. Delightful, maddening, enlivening – always on edge waiting for the morrow.

Here is an update on the Tour de Whitewater, courtesy of Alastair:

Registration is now open, with a sign up early bonus for a free entry draw for those that register by Feb 29.

Other Tour Dates

RLCT June 13/14

Tour of Whitewater July 11

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13

– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP

What if Father Quinn had said, “Of course you’ll recognize
your parents in heaven,” instead of saying “Being one with God will make your mother and father pointless.”   b ras

June 08/19: 175 Kms; 5 Hrs 29;  620 Metres; 10 Riders

June 09/19: 175 Kms; 5Hrs 48; 620 Metres; 10 Riders

Required Reading:

  • Next Ride: Saturday, June 15 for a 7:30 am start from Stinson’s
  • Where: Burnstown via Pakenham
  • Description: Dwyer Hill, Pakenham, Waba, W-L, Burnstown, Fraser Rd, Burnstown (Neat 61 kms), Stewartville, #508, Russett, Arnprior – Total 90 kms
  • Purpose: Training for WWT July 06.
  • Weather: 14-16C; Winds 25 SW; POP 80%
  • Always check the blog by 6 am on day of ride.
  •  the official website for latest news/corrections.

Take it or Leave it

Okay, Stay fit, fine, firm always! Bye-bye, ac.

Look forward to hearing from you at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; Tweets by @ArnpriorCycling. Also available on private Instagram. Please request to follow. I won’t follow back.

“Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.” C M A McKinney

Hello. This is just a reminder that registration for the 2018 RLCT opens on January 31. Here is the link: FYI, most of us sign up for the Classic route on the registration page; but, we actually only ride the classic route to Kingston; we ride the Cruise route back to Ottawa. This is a nice variation on the out-and-back Classic route and affords a welcome change of scene. As well, the Cruise is not as heavily travelled as the Classic. Others choose to ride the Century from Perth. Whatever route you choose, you’ll be ready for the RLCT if you join us on our weekend training, beginning April 2018.

With that in mind, please don’t leave your annual bike tune-up until the last-minute. Do it now when you have lots of time and no need for the bike. A well maintained, clean bicycle is a safe bicycle to ride. This is absolutely paramount when riding in a group. Don’t endanger yourself or your cycling friends by riding an ‘unfit’ bicycle. That means a total check-up and overhaul by your favourite bike mechanic, and includes the inspection of the frame for scratches, cracks or dents; checking all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals; checking quick releases, cassette and chain rings, spokes; truing wheels; checking bottle cages for tightness; replacing cleats and chain as necessary.

If you have carbon rims, use only approved brake pads for the specific wheel rim. Finally, well almost (the list is endless), treat yourself to new bar tape, and helmet, maybe. Check it out anyway.

As well, now’s the time to kit out your saddle bag. Remove the detritus from last year and resupply as necessary. Keep it simple – a spare (working) inner tube, tyre levers, tyre boot, patch kit, master link, CO2 cartridge, multi-tool, ID, some spare cash. That’s about it, unless you’re the safety guy, in which case you can add a  medical kit – bandages, medication, etc.

Okay, you know all the above anyway. Right? So, why bother with this post. Hey, I got things on my mind and needed to talk to somebody. That’s as good a reason as any.

Okay, Stay fit! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at;

August 28/16: 102.5 Kms; 3 Hrs 08; 546 Metres; Eight Riders

Cloudy conditions but great weather just the same, for this our third MEC Tour. It was good value and well run. The turnout was disappointing, however, with only a couple of hundred entrants taking part. Unfortunately that small number of cyclists didn’t mean any extra libation for us, hovering as we were near the brew-master in hope of an extra glass. Oh well, no worries, we had to drive home after all, and Rob and Blair had another 10 kilometres to cycle. Just as well there were no refills.

All in all, a rock and roll ride right from the get-go as we chased down the 160 km group, catching up with them on Huntmar Drive just before Palladium. From here, it was a hard pace, alternating with erratic accelerations after each stop sign before the group (now consisting of the 100 kilometre riders and the 160 kilometre riders) sped towards Aston and Cemetery Road, where we turned to follow the 100 kilometre circuit. Once on our own, we throttled back but nevertheless soon found ourselves crossing the overpass on highway 7 and then shortly after riding into Appleton and then to county Rd 29 (for a short distance) before taking concession eight to Almonte, where we made a brief stop for cookies, bananas and water. That’s where I took the photograph. You can tell by the body language and aggressive stance that these boys meant business. Don’t let the smiles fool you. They are tough cookies.

The rest of the ride was a breeze, literally. We had a strong east wind changing from a tail to a cross until at Kinburn it became a head-wind. At this juncture, the easterly cancelled the fun quotient and all conversation ceased as we now hunkered down to await our pull. It was on one of these that Mark exploded to the front, showing another strong effort late into the ride. The tough conditions didn’t impede his progress as he cranked up the watts on the final run down Donald B Munro towards the fair grounds. But, there still remained one last challenge, the short but steep incline on Craig Side Road, which soon saw us all racing for glory. You just should have been there.

For non-subscribers: See Contacts

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


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be. Sara Teasdale

June 08/14: Nine Riders; 170 Kms; 425 Metres?;  5 Hrs 38

June 09/14: Nine Riders; 173 Kms 321 Metres?; 5 Hrs 41 TFW 343 Kms!!

Okay, well done. Favourable winds, good weather, good company  –  and when all was said and done, good and tired. That about sums it up. If we have to endure wet and cool training rides and missed weekends in April and May, let it be; it is all good, if the sun shines and the winds follow the wheel on the first weekend in June.

Two great days (in a row). We pinched ourselves on Saturday. Couldn’t believe our good fortune. Only to find that we had to pinch ourselves twice on Sunday. How do you say ‘fair’ and ‘fairer;’ how do you say ‘good’ and ‘better’?

A big salute to our riders, who all rode to make sure we remained a group for the duration of the ride (both ways). Sure, there was the occasional uptempo, good spirited run off the front and the follow-up mad chase to capture the escapados – not always successfully. But, no one was complaining because the regroups were quick and effective, especially on the hills,  where a modulated pace was the order of the day(s). Good spirits prevailed throughout, with the stronger riders sharing the front-going.

Kudos to Rob for his long pull into a steady headwind as we closed in on Kingston and to Eric for his metronome pedaling for several kilometers on the long road to Keelerville. Also, a big mention to Raymond for a gnarly pull on a bad road into the wind to Kars (not our favourite place). Still, we were happy to arrive there and we soon took advantage of the seats and the shade at the General Store. No one said much. Each in our own thoughts until Rob summed up what we were all calculating, ”Just an hour left.” Well said – and we made short work of that, even overcoming the gravel on 1ST Line Road.

Oh, and have I mentioned Keith’s pace setting from Easton’s Corners. This is a great stretch of road to Merrickville for a full-out effort. Here the long curves, steady rise, and dips in terrain make for interesting riding. Keith didn’t disappoint as he gradually upped the tempo, as Terry commented, to ”TDF speed.’

We all hung on as the big engine pulled us forward.

And, finally, not to forget Mark’s memorable flamme rouge commentary as he rode (with the wicked). You just should have been there! And, you can when we do it all again in 2015. Here’s hoping anyway.

Notables Achievements: Raymond and Keith with Ten RLCT in a row! Rob, with Eight. Congrats. Sorry, I don’t have numbers for the others at this time.

Okay – bye bye, ac. Comments welcome at; ps: This weekend’s rides will be posted on Friday

Where's Raymond?

Where’s Raymond?