Day Out in Kingston

Truly it was a day out in Kingston. The main goal of the day was the Eastern Ontario-Southern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Challenge Race at Lake Ontario Park. This race is part of the OBC cyclo-cross series and is always good fun. Well, I should amend that – this year I had a lot of fun. In years past, I have found every excuse in the book not to race in Kingston. The course used to really stress me out. But not this year.

We arrived with enough time this morning to get in some good pre-ride laps. I did a few by myself and then went over a few of the tricky sections with Marc. This helped a lot and gave me some extra confidence. We watched the start of the first race and then I was off to the car to do the usual pre-race stuff: pin numbers, ponder tire pressure and relax a bit.

The race itself was a blast. I had so much fun. True, I did not race that hard at the beginning but after two laps I opened it up a bit and started racing. Not sure what clicked but something did and I started applying some pressure to some of the guys around me and to myself! All in all, a fun day was had on the cyclo-cross bike. You can read the race report over here.

I think the best aspect of the day was the people. I just felt so at home and welcomed at the race. I bumped into people I hadn’t seen all year. I met knew people. I was cheered on by so many different people. It was just great. The day reminded me why I fell in so hard with cyclo-cross racing. The community of people that come out every week to race, cheer, and hang out is just top notch. Also, the local OBC series is where I got my first taste of cyclo-cross. So it was nice to come back and race at “home” again.

Many many thanks to Bob, Cheryl, Ian, Rosemary and the countless other volunteers who were out super early this morning setting up the course, marshaling, timing, tearing down and really make this racing opportunity possible for us.

After my race I quickly changed into dry clothes and hit the streets of Kingston for my recovery ride. What a great little ride. I discovered some interesting bicycle paths and wound my way around the shores of Lake Ontario. I was impressed with how many people were out enjoying the fresh fall weather.

Quick change and a little bit of a clean-up at the car and we were off. Second item on the agenda was the outlet mall. It was pretty good. Lots of smooth clothing and shoes to be had. Bumped into the Austen’s and had a nice chat with them. It should be noted here that Ian Austen is the one who can be blamed for my bike riding life – way back in 1994, Ian took me to Pecco’s and there he and Greg Christie set me up with my first ever road bike. So many many thanks to Ian for helping set me on this path!

After a wander around we grabbed some lunch and made our way back home. But first we took a detour to Manotick Station to check out the general store. We had heard tales of the impressive Dutch licorice supply. It did not disappoint! Finally at close to 6 p.m. we rolled into our driveway and set to work cleaning bikes, doing laundry and getting sorted out.

Definitely a most excellent day was had. Apart from Marc’s bike problems, the day really was quite perfect. Great way to close off the weekend and get ready for my last week here in Ottawa. I’m looking forward to racing next Sunday at Kanata Lakes. Great way to spend my last day in Ottawa before getting on the plane for Belgium. Geez, amazing how time flies. Must be having fun!

Thanks again for the cheering, words of support and wisdom, and encouragement. See you next Sunday.

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