This past weekend I participated in the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour. This was my first time doing this ride – and definitely not my last. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time – even with the crazy wind and cold on Sunday. The riding was great. The group I rode with was top-notch. The setup at Queen’s University was excellent – good food, decent room, relaxing times. The organization was amazing – the OBC really has this ride well-organized and to me everything seemed to work very seamlessly.
It was two big back-to-back days of riding featuring two very different days of riding. Saturday was a humid but dry day. The sun was out and the wind was blowing and we rolled along at a decent clip from Ottawa to Kingston. Three stops on the way for bathrooms, food and drink. Lots of good conversation and riding chatter. I was amazed to see how many people were out riding – all types of cyclists – awesome to see. Sunday was an epic day with crazy rain, cold and wind. A lot of people quit the ride either in Kingston, Westport or Perth. For the most part, our group pushed on with three of us making it the full distance (though admittedly we did consider packing it in in Perth but we felt good so decided to push on).
This was a totally different cycling experience than I’ve ever had. I’ve only ever raced. I’d never done a “tour” until this weekend. It was very enjoyable. Relaxing bike experience with everyone just out to have fun and enjoy the bike. I really can appreciate the attraction people have to these large bicycle tours. I was fortunate to ride with a fast group – making the day rather fun and energetic.
I really wasn’t sure how I would feel on Sunday – I had never done two big days back-to-back. But luckily I felt great. I think that the advice I heeded on Saturday made a big difference on Sunday – I ate a lot during and after the ride, I drank a lot, I went to bed early, and I didn’t blow all my “bullets” on Saturday. This all made Sunday a much more pleasurable experience.
Today – well – today is rest day. Just some yoga on deck for me. The rest of the week shapes up with some more solid days in the saddle with the usual intervals and long rides. Looking forward to another good week of training.
As for next year’s Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour? Well – I’m hooked. I’ll be there again. Hoping to get a few other racing friends to come out as well. It is a great weekend of riding and training. Besides – there is chocolate milk and ice cream with supper on Saturday night – can’t beat that!