I had been looking forward to my long ride all week. I was actually supposed to ride earlier this week, but swapped my rest days around. (So tonight I will run instead of rest. And yesterday I rode instead of ran.)
I really enjoyed my ride from Ottawa to the Garnett rail depot last week, so I decided to do that route again. I also decided to go a bit farther to Crystal Lake, the next trailhead after the depot, because hey, Camp Crystal Lake? I already found Jason’s house on Flint, might as well visit his lake on Prairie Spirit.
Steven rode with me the first 5 miles to Princeton and then went back to the car so he could pick me up in Garnett. He wasn’t down with a 2 hour ride, but it was great that he got some riding in.
I did notice that my wheels were squeaking, even after a brake adjustment. So I am not sure if it is a brake issue, or a lubrication issue. I will do some maintenance this weekend (clean and lube the chain, etc.) to see if that helps.
I maintained a very steady pace out to Richmond. I really focused on keeping my cadence high, so if there was any incline, I shifted into an easier gear on the back. I left my front in the big gear the entire time. One big difference between my new cross bike and my old is that the new ones is a 2×10, and the old one is 3×9. So far, I have no opinion on which I like better. I tend to just always keep my bike in the big gear anyway. I feel like even on steep inclines, I am able to find a rear gear that I like. I don’t really care to ride pavement anymore after the near-miss with the car last week. There is a nasty hill by Le Loup that requires the easiest possible setting on both gears to make it up…. but that is a job for my tri-bike. (And, again, I am trying to stay away from cars).
Once I was past Richmond and heading into Garnett, I automatically picked up the pace again. I am not sure what it is about that section, but just like last ride, I flew through it. When I rolled into Garnett, however, my legs were tired. I just wanted to be done and seriously thought about calling Steven from the depot and telling him to get me there. I made it to the depot and decided that I was going to keep pushing. The lake was the next trailhead and not that far at all.
With that in mind, I was able to pick up the pace again and made it to Crystal Lake. Sadly, it was pitch-black out when I finished my ride, so I couldn’t’ take a picture of my bike by the sign. I really wanted a Crystal Lake picture!! I found a shelter and didn’t have much of a signal. (The car that was parked by the shelter drove away when it was obvious I wasn’t leaving. I guess I spoiled the make-out session). Eventually, I got a call through to Steven, who was on the other side of the lake, and I waved my bike light around so he could spot me.
I am so lucky to get so many point-to-point runs and rides in. Having a crew to drop you off and pick you up makes a world of difference on long training sessions. Out and backs, at least for me, are not as fun because I like to see new things and don’t care to double-back.
I am planning on attempting a 100 miler on the trail soon – so that will be all sorts of new sights. To be honest, 100 seems kind of crazy. A good, pipedream kind of crazy. Trail riding is a lot slower than road, but I just wouldn’t feel safe putting in that mileage with cars around me. Call me a baby, but every time I open Facebook, there is a new story about a cyclist being hit by a car. You can do everything right as a cyclist, have the best bike and all the experience, yet being hit by a car is out of your control. For me, the risk just isn’t worth it.