Thursday, August 19, 2010

ride for africycle day nine (part one)

bronte creek provincial park, oakville to uxbridge
110 km (part one)

the morning broke relatively cool and sunny.

a fragile time in the lives of many people.
how to get fourteen people to take care of that most critical and vulnerable phase of the day?

it was a miracle that took place each and every day of the ride.
a miracle that most miraculously always included coffee.
a few of the more truthful and inwardly confident riders admitted that this had been one of their main pre-ride anxieties. not the weather, the distance, the people. nope, would there be coffee!

here's michael carefully assembling the food to break his fast.

after observing that michael the hungry beast has moved on,
john paul steps over and assembles his morning meal.

here's part of the team huffing back their breakfast in the cozy confines of their camp chairs
under a gorgeous beginning of the day sky.
the raccoon that had showed up last night was still at work and reappeared to the left of the
orange bike just moments after i took this picture.

somehow, miraculously, everyday this and so much else was achieved.
like most things, this was a team effort. somehow people got things done. food bins were brought out. dishes and cutlery appeared, and eventually when the frenzy was over, snacks for the ride appeared, and then the whole was tidied up and put away. different people chipped in each day to help make this, and everything else happen.

you know this is how things should be in all parts of our lives,
but to actually be a part of something like that - well it's special!

a member of the oakville rotary club arrived at our campsite to escort us safely and quickly out of oakville and through the circuitous route that gets us north of toronto.
i'm sorry i can't tell you his name but he really was a super nice guy and a strong cyclist!
i'm pretty sure that he is a member of the oakville cycling club so here's the link to their page.

the route he took us on was safe and gorgeous, and while longer than what we had planned
it was definitely the better route.

we travelled through beautiful countryside and eventually met up with the rolling hills that characterize much of the land that sits north of the toronto conurbation.

speaking of good people.
here's an over-the-shoulder shot of bike buddy jolianne.
jolianne is one of those very quiet people who do amazing things.
jolianne completed the tour d'afrique.
never heard of it?
well, it's a 12,000 km ride from cairo to capetown.
no typo - 12,000 kilometres.
think about that.
almost 12 times what we were cycling!!!

if you're interested in the incredible details of the tour d'afrique
then you need to nip over here and have a look and learn about this gruelling and incredible journey!

our rotary guide left us at belfountain to heaps of gratitude from the team.
on we went through the hills and valleys.

bike buddy ben and i spent quite a bit of this day up front
racing along at a good clip and gabbing.

here's a shot of ben at speed going uphill.

with nice open roads, beautiful scenery, and the prospect of
a special lunch and a special dinner at the end of the day, speed was easy to find!

lunch was sent out to the park we stopped in.
i'm pretty sure that it was provided by the rotary club
and consisted of subs and cookies. wow!
then some of the boys from the uxbridge cycling club arrived to guide us the last fifty km or so into uxbridge.

these were really nice guys who at first took us out at a slower pace than we were used to.
not to worry, eventually the pace picked up and so did the hills!
long rolling hills and some of the heat - dry heat, but heat all the same - returned
and the combination made for some hard cycling.
going down the other side of the hills - well there was lots of yelling and high speed!

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