Archives for category: Uncategorized

ArnpriorCycling Nov 14/20 1 Rider; 98 kms; 3 hours 35; 523 metres

Well, the narrative this morning was the wind. There’s really not much else to say, except like a dessert of yoghurt, rhubarb, and ice cream it was a mixed bowl of delight. One could talk about the cold air and the brooding sky but they were minor players in the morning’s drama. It was Jekyll and Hyde wind, friendly and fierce.

But, in the context of fourteen days of quarantine (now history), it was a welcome breeze from the confines of house arrest. Where else would you rather be – under COVID-19 scrutiny or free as a bird buffeted by the wind?

Those 14 days appeared to me like an eternity of deprivation. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But, quarantine was no fun. The COVID-19 Minders hounded me like a Border Collie does sheep, keeping me penned and on edge. But, I’m COVID-19 free (non contagious) and free also from the hassling authorities.

Now, I’m left to muse on the greater threats posed by the inevitability of one’s death and of certain damnation. Eternal themes in the minds of man. To which I now add age and declining performance on the bike and in the bed. I’m not commenting on the latter but I’m doing my damnedest about the former.

Inactivity is not good – being off the bike for two weeks doesn’t help. The body ages quickly when not stressed. Before you know it, there’s a spongy belly and flabby dabby arms and moobs, appearing – like a moth pupa from a cocoon.

That’s not fake news. Getting slower with age is not fake news. It’s a fact, as is Trump’s defeat at the polls. One might rail against it but physical deterioration with age is a reality: VO2 max and cardio decline, muscular strength degenerates, body fat increases, and recovery time between bouts of exercise increases.

All of this is not a welcoming prospect but who’s going to jump off a cliff or hide in bed, shutting out the world with a pillow over one’s head. Not me. I may struggle; I may lag behind; I may get slower but I’m not given in. In time, Zen will come and I’ll reach a higher plane of consciousness and not have to chase my tail. I hope it’s a long way off.

“Do or decline” jb in jhp

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

When/Who: November 15/20: ArnpriorCycling
Start: 7:30 am start from Stinsons
Where: South and East
Description: 50-60 kms
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Cloudy with rain in the forecast
Wind: SE 25+ kms/hr

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

“The best way out is always through” RF

Hello –

This in from Hillary Mantel’s The Mirror & the Light. It’s a delightful read. There are many marvellous passages. As an example, the following paragraph and the sentence below, which comes at the end of the paragraph, is set up exquisitely, like a behind- the-back pass at the net in basketball:

“But you cannot make a wife out of bonnets and sleeves; hold all her rings together, and you are not holding her hand.”

You’ll appreciate the artistry/craft when you read the paragraph in it’s entirety.

Hope all is well with everyone. I’m suffering greatly in my quarantine. But, of course, I exaggerate. My table is full, my bed warm, my hand firm, and my heart steady. Comfort and peace are relative. I have no grounds for complaints.

Complaint but querulous to the end. Frustrated, yes, but with aspirations, hopes, ambitions, and desires – impotent to change outcomes, and wishing things might be otherwise.

I will emerge into the light, likely; but, for the frail, in these COVID-19 times, in their retirement homes and nursing homes, for them their outlook is bleak, their prospects narrowing for enjoyment, with few remaining pleasures in life.

Eventually, the light fades and we’re bereft of friends and family, left alone looking out forlornly into an unfeeling world. Soon or late the end comes.

So, breathe deeply and often and exult in your sweat from hard efforts on the bicycle because it won’t always be so! Embrace the climb as well as the thrill of the downhill.

“Seven years back, when Florence was besieged by the Emperor and begging for French aid, the burgesses went to the merchant Borgherini’s house: ‘We want to buy your bedroom.’ There were fine painted panels, rich hangings and other furnishings they thought might make a bribe for King François. But Margherita, the merchant’s wife, stood her ground and threw their offer back in their faces. Not everything in life is for sale, she said. This room is my family’s heart. Away with you! If you want to take away my bedroom, you will have to carry your loot over my corpse.

“He (Cromwell) would not die for his furniture. But he understands Margherita—always supposing the story to be true. Our possessions outlast us, surviving shocks that we cannot; we have to live up to them, as they will be our witnesses when we are gone. In this room are the goods of people who can no longer use them. There are books his master Wolsey gave him. On the bed, the quilt of yellow turkey satin under which he slept with Elizabeth, his wife. In a chest, her carved image of the Virgin is cradled in a quilted cap. Her jet rosary beads are curled inside her old velvet purse. There is a cushion cover on which she was working a design, a deer running through foliage. Whether death interrupted her or just dislike of the work, she had left her needle in the cloth. Later some other hand—her mother’s, or one of her daughters’—drew out the needle; but around the twin holes it left, the cloth had stiffened into brittle peaks, so if you pass your finger over the path of her stitches—the path they would have taken—you can feel the bumps, like snags in the weave. He has had the small Flanders chest moved in here from next door, and her furred russet gown is laid up in spices, along with her sleeves, her gold coif, her kirtles and bonnets, her amethyst ring, and a ring set with a diamond rose. She could stroll in and get dressed. But you cannot make a wife out of bonnets and sleeves; hold all her rings together, and you are not holding her hand.

Christophe says, ‘You are not sad, sir?

No. I am not sad. I am not allowed to be. I am too useful to be sad.’”

Hello –

Ever hopeful but reality intrudes, like the prospect of a second date, always a possibility but not likely. Such are expectations shattered on the rocks of disappointment and rejection – twin boulders crushing the heart.

Just so, I report that the forecast is still calling for crappy weather – showers and mid teens temperatures. Not the best outlook for a group ride. Road spray, if not actual rain, would make for a nasty cycle. So, no change in the status of the group ride for to-day: Cancelled.

Ciao for now, ac

There’s two people in this hallway
But there’s only one of us
That’s tryna keep this fire goin’ ab

Hello –

At the risk of proposing another ride that doesn’t suit anyone, I’m giving it another try to-day. I say this knowing that some of you may be riding with Joe and Perry in Lanark. That’s a beautiful county for cycling so if that’s your plan that’s great. You’ll enjoy it, I can vouch for that.

For those of you hanging around these parts, there is a threat of rain but the temperature and humidity will be high. That means road spray and wet legs and wet clothing but no cold weather to deal with. Also, the rain is likely to be scattered showers. Sunday’s weather as of now is not looking good.

I’ll check the forecast and look outside in the morning and I’ll do a Blog Post to confirm or to cancel the group ride. I’ll send the Post by 6 am.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: July  11/20: ArnpriorCycling
Start: 7:30 am Start from Stinsons
Where: Carp via W-L and Pakenham, Panmure, Stonecrest
Description: 91 kms of rolling countryside
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Scattered rain; Temp 24-26C
Wind: NE 12-20

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

Let the rain kiss you/ Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops/Let the rain sing you a lullaby/The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk/The rain makes running pools in the gutter/The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night/And I love the rain.    Langston Hughes

Hello –

This may not suit everyone or anyone that’s why I’m sending it out early so you can plan accordingly. I hope you can join me on Wednesday for a great ride in the Gatineau, an absolute top of the line venue for road cycling. I think it a go-to place to ride at least once or twice a week, if that suits your schedule.

We could also make it an annual tradition to cycle the Gats every July 01, as a way to celebrate Canada Day. Next year (when  COVID19 is history), we might even be able to celebrate with a beer afterwards!

However, if the prospect doesn’t appeal or you have other plans or you would rather ride locally with others that’s fine. Everyone has to choose his own path and compatible companions. My choice may not suit you.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: July  01/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
Start: 5:45 am P3  Gatineau 5:45 am Start from P3
Where: Three Loops – Black’s x2; FLP x1, Lookout x3
Description: 83 kms of rolling countryside
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: >>>>>Sunny; Temp 08-17C
Wind: >>>>>>NE Light. Haha

The early start will allow us to avoid the crowds and get us back to Arnprior around 10 am(?). On the other hand if you’re not in favour of the 5:45 am start, what time would suit? The earlier the better, given it’s the National Holiday and the park will be busy. Also, the temperatures will be in the mid twenties. Still, I’d rather enjoy company than cycle alone.

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

Filed under Mind Blowing

“According to some Jewish traditions, Adam and Eve were created by God on Friday morning, September 26, 3760 B.C. They were given life (according to tradition) several hours before sunset.”

Hello –

I won’t be at Stinsons this weekend.

All is well. Just reevaluating my cycling goals in light of the potential negative effects of hard exercise on endurance athletes, especially when pushing the extreme limits of cardiac output. There is mounting evidence of atherosclerosis and atrial fibrous of the heart from overuse. This is not the most recent report but there are several others. I do enjoy the group riding but find that my heart rate to keep up is considerably higher (as a % of MHR) than my younger cycling companions and thus subjecting myself to greater physiological stress.

” …. any athlete can develop overuse injuries in their joints, there is concern that endurance athletes may also develop training related cardiac injury. Moderate exercise is well established as better for health than a sedentary lifestyle but vigorous exercise may prove to be harmful in some individuals.”

“Just like any other muscle, athletic activity modifies the heart in predictable ways. These changes are structural, functional and electrical.”

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-08-left-atrial-fibrosis-arrhythmias-athletes.html

The Mayo Clinic has published similar research.

Not wanting to be alarmist, of course. This study and others are mostly relevant to susceptible individuals. So, if you’re not susceptible, you’re probably okay.

Weather forecast looks good, however. For those of you riding have fun and safe cycling.

I’ll leave it to KO to send an email, or not.

Important Stuff  – Check back another time

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” jrt

May 23/20: Ten Riders; 109.9 kms; 3 hour 35; 552 metres

Hello – That was a great group ride that tested my limits of endurance and pace. I’m spent but expect to recover. The conditions were great, too, albeit with a surly east wind. Perfect temperatures, though. Does it sound good? It was.You just s/h been there “to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” MUeshiba

I don’t know about you but it will take several more rides to toughen my body and to tighten the slack around my middle; my spirit though is in high order – irrepressible and still reverberating and crackling from the big bang, devoid of meaning as it was but marvellous in the extreme – a motley perfection of happenstance. In the end, entropy will win but for now I’m still vibrating with the original impetus of the life-force fire. And you?

If you missed this morning’s ride, you’ll have a second chance tomorrow when we ride to Almonte, 7:30 am start. We’ll have a head wind for the outward leg and then a tailwind home. You’ll just want to be there.

For now, I say, a big thank you. There’s no group ride without riders showing up to ride. I appreciate your  commitment to the endeavour.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

  • When/Who: May 24/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: 7:30 am Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Almonte via Tatlock
  • Description: 90 kms
  • Coffee Stops: None
  • Weather: Mainly sunny; Temp 13-23C
  • Wind: South East 15-22 kms

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

“It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”      Sarah Bernhardt

May 18/20: Six Riders; 50.9 kms; 1 hour 49; 256 metres

Hello. Well, we  had three fantastic days of cycling last weekend, capped off with a delightfully easy 50 kms on Victoria Day, under the warmest conditions we’ve had this cycling season. If you haven’t been out, you’ve missed some great riding but it’s going to get even better based on the latest forecast for tomorrow and Sunday. You won’t want to miss this great weather now that it’s finally here. There s/b lots of bare arms and legs visible, as we shed our winter cycling garb for seasonal vestments. About time!

By that I mean, as of now, it’s looking very nice; so, shorts and short sleeve jerseys will be the order of the day at 7:00 am. When was the last time you rode like that? Like nine months ago? Crazy climate we live in?

Okay, thanks to all those who ride because there is no group ride without riders showing up. It’s that simple. If you’re looking to “tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit”* and you’re looking for a really good workout, great company, and questionable conversation, join us. Your company would be welcome, given the wind force expected. You know, you’ll just want to be there at 7:00 am for an early start.

Any questions, just get in touch.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

  • When/Who: May 23/20: 7:00 am 7.00 am ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Quyon Ferry; Fees $3.00
  • Schedule: Every 20 mins PQ side. Longest Ferry on the Ottawa.
  • Description: 109 kms with lots of climbing. 7:00 am Start
  • Coffee Stops: None
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy; Temp 14-23C
  • Wind: East 20-40 kms

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

“What is easy is seldom excellent ….. Exercise is labour without weariness” SJ

*MUeshiba

Hello to the COVID19 free –

That was another hard week of cycling with cold, windy weather but conditions are looking up for the weekend. That means leaving from Stinsons at 7:30 am (sharp) on Saturday morning.

The route will take us across the hills to Renfrew and beyond, meaning after a leisurely warmup of 7 kms, we’ll be climbing into White Lake and it will continue on from there with lots of ups and downs to test the legs and lungs. For those short of time, there are good options to swing off and loop home via a shorter route. The road surfaces should be fair to good, with sections of hardened shoulders for additional safety. I hope you find the route of interest and that you’re free to ride for an enjoyable few hours, pedalling and conversing with like minded individuals. You know, you’ll just want to be there.

The poem, Things (below), has an imaginative take on the common objects of life, naming them after parts of the body – face, legs, back, tongue, lips, neck, heart, eye, and mouth. I particularly like the “emotional language” of the bells. I reminded of my Camino walks and the ringing of cathedral bells in the villages and towns and how the sound of the bells was, as if, from centuries past.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

  • When/Who: May 16/20: 7:30 am ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Pinnacle via Burnstown, Renfrew, S McNaughton
  • Coffee: MFB Arnprior after the ride(?)
  • Description: 95 kms of rolling countryside
  • Weather: Mix of sun and cloud, wind west 15-25 kms; Temperature 9-15C

Meantime: stay fit, firm, fine – always.

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

Things
What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.
We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,
and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.
Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety. Lisel Mueller

May 10/20: Six Riders; 76.4 kms; 2 hours 36; 598 metres

No sign of the COVID19 bear this morning but there was wind aplenty from the west – gusting hard and causing speed wobbles. It was a day to fly a kite or sail to New Zealand or some far away clime where the sky is blue and the air warm and the beach inviting. No such luck. So, we rode from Stinsons into the gale and zigged and zagged to thwart the wind to little avail. Eventually, we made a final turn north-east and were rewarded handsomely by twenty plus kilometres of freewheeling. Well, not exactly freewheeling but we were free from the wind, at last. It was a joyous blast of emotion all the way back to Stinsons. You really just should have been there.

Perhaps, next week?

Now, for a Baileys!

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

“Into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir