I consider myself a moderately-skilled, but passionate cyclist. When I decided that I wanted to experience traveling from Toronto to Montreal, emissions free, and within three days, it took a mere status update on Facebook before two other friends (JD and Joanne) were on board. We were an eclectic bunch. I was the only one who had recently been on long distance rides, but nothing even remotely close to what we were about to embark on. JD rides a fixed gear Masi recreationally, while Joanne purchased her first road bike a month before our ride. Weeks and days before, we were fairly confident. With hectic schedules and no comprehension of the severity of this ride, we had barely trained. This is a 3 part, day-by-day tale of the challenges of our journey.
Day 1, destination: Picton, Ontario (Duration: 177km)
Despite having slept for only 2 hours (at most), we are up at the crack of dawn. The sun is shining, morale is soaring. Our gear is undesirably heavy but away we go. After getting lost (x3) within the first 45 minutes of riding, we ditched our cycling atlas for the GPS maps on our iPhones. Here, JD and I anxiously await the arrival of Joanne on a bridge near Lovekin, Ontario. We really just wanted to stop and enjoy the view.
Lakeshore Rd., Port Granby: Three chairs, three cyclists… perfect. Morale = still soaring. Comprehension of the distance that we still have to travel = zero. We devour a couple sandwiches I had made. I was starting to think that I may have underestimated the amount of food we needed.
Cobourg: A great town for recreational cycling. We were complimented on our bikes several times as we sat on a patio of a local organic restaurant. We did not come across any dedicated bike lanes downtown, but the traffic was courteous enough that we felt perfectly comfortable riding. It was already 4pm, and we were still about 100km away. With knowledge of the hilly terrain that awaited us, we checked into reality, turned on our iPods and made it a goal to only rest at every 25km mark.
24km later…close enough. Joanne and I discuss our saddle sores in Greek, for the sake of JD.
When JD showed us the loaf’s worth of peanut butter and jam sandwiches he had packed, we laughed… By dinner time the joke was over.
Picton: We arrived at 9pm. Going along a very long stretch of pitch-black country road on our way to Picton made us realize three things: Firstly, my single LED front light is useless without the ambient lighting of a city; Secondly, no noise is the scariest type of noise; And thirdly, that we should never ride at night again. Exhausted, we walked up the final hill after losing the momentum to ride. With no food establishment within a 4km radius, or delivery service available, we ordered a taxi to pick up and deliver sandwiches to our motel. Day 1 was done, and I still could not fall asleep. When I eventually did doze off, I imagine I was probably sleep pedaling.