Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 50 - Ivy Lea to Ottawa

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, but once the sun went down last night - it got COLD and next thing we knew it was dark. The clouds came and well it looked like it might rain. But no rain. After our late dinner (which was delicious) everyone pretty much went to bed. I know - it seems I am going to bed earlier and earlier. But I got all my stuff organized in the tent, read a bit and then off to dream land.

I woke up around midnight and then it started to rain. Not a lot, but enough that everything was WET WET WET in the morning. Those rubber boots are coming in very handy. I decided to leave early - shortly after 7 am.  I was all ready and might as well get into camp earlier rather than hanging around camp.  So I was off. The first part of the trip was on the bike path which was very nice. Then we turned north and ran into a "nice" head wind which was pretty much with me the entire day.  Yes - my favourite thing a lovely headwind.

Nothing too exciting happened all day - imagine that!   At the forty KM mark,  Guillaume caught up to me.  It was my time to stop for a snack so he rode ahead. He is young and obviously a much stronger cyclist than myself. Imagine my surprise when I caught up to him about 10 KM later although I do admit that he is having a lot of trouble with his bike and he had stopped.  Then it was his spot to have a break. So I went ahead.  We kept passing each other all day until about 120 KM. Then I went one way (I followed our map) and he went the other way. He was trying to find a short cut to get to visit some family members.   Either way - we both had massive head winds and they seemed to get worse as the day went on.

I stopped by the side of the road for lunch.  Sat under a tree in some auto repair place.  And this crazy caterpillar just wouldn't leave me alone.  I tossed it and next thing I knew it was back.   The next time - I threw it a bit further!!!!   After I got up, some dog came along and peed right where I was sitting. I guess I had invaded his territory! 

I stopped a bit more often in the afternoon - either to take pictures, to get chocolate milk that I missed at lunch or to have a snack. And my legs needed the break. At some point, I think they were so numb from the stress of riding into the wind that they could no longer register pain. And the funny thing is that the harder the riding conditions, the more uncomfortable that you are. You are sitting heavier, you are leaning heavier and that just makes all the bits hurt.  But I really didn't find the day that bad.  My legs felt strong, despite the head wind.  That is good news - good training for that last day in Newfoundland.

I had no problems with the map.  Of course - lots of places, I remembered and OH MY - as I was flying down the road into Kemptville (on the only 2 KM that I had a tail wind). There is the OPP station and OH MY GOD  - they are having a fund raising BBQ.  Just like last year when Neil and I went by.  I got a hot dog and a pop.  I was the last customer served!!!!!  I think Kirk was not far behind me because he said they were still cleaning up went he went by.

Then we got to the last couple of KM - riding through Ottawa.  This is a harrowing experience - OK - so it is not so bad, but I was riding along the side of the airport and this massive gust of wind almost blew me off my bike!!!!   No idea where that came from - there was no airplanes or anything near by. And then we were on the Airport Parkway. Yikes - while there is a wide shoulder - it is a busy road but people cycle on the shoulder - I saw people on the opposite side.  I felt that I had to speed up while I was on this road even though my legs were tired!!!    Then off the Parkway and around the corner and into Carlton University.  Amazing - but I did remember most of it from last year.  It sure helped a LOT that I had already been here.

When I got my room and dumped my bike - it was time to get my stuff.  Well first - I couldn't find the hidden key to unlock the truck.  YES - I should have asked before now, but I kept forgetting.  I did manage to find it. Then I realized how lucky I was that my shelf is near the back of the truck.  There is not a lot of room on this truck and everyone else's shelves were pretty unaccessible because all the tent bags were in the aisle.  Mine however was free and wide open. I grabbed some of my stuff and brought it back to the room.  By this time a few more people had arrived and so back to the truck to get my tent bag.  I got the tent all dried out.   Now my laundry is done and I pretty much have everything done that I need to do.  Yeah - that means I get the entire day tomorrow to do whatever I want.  OH yes - because I have been blogging as the trip went on - I don't have to do that either.

I have to say that Carleton is like living in a prison. You need your pass card to get anywhere.   Want to go to the laundry room - three locked doors.  Want to get to your room - about 5 locked doors for that.   There certainly shouldn't be any issue with strangers getting in unless someone lets them in.

We had a late dinner again as people straggled in. I guess they are stopping way more than me. I can't imagine they are that much slower than I am.   But I did stop and take pictures today, stopped for chocolate milk, stopped for lunch, stopped to chat with Guillaume on several occasions so I wasn't just pushing through. Of course when you are in a group - your stops tend to be longer - just because.

I am really enjoying riding by myself and think that I will continue to do that. No quilt stores on the route today. A tiny smidgen of rain and it wasn't nearly as hot as yesterday was.

So the unofficial mileage for this segment of the trip - day 1 - 113, day 2 - 137, day 3 - 160, day 4 - 160   - total for the four day - 580 KM or thereabouts!  That is so amazing!!!!!

On that note I am out of here - perhaps to hit the sack!!!!   It is 9:23.   I am very thirsty -so better find some water.

Have an awesome day!!!!


I love this PURPLE DOOR out in the middle of nowhere.  It is along the Thousand Island Parkway - advertising for a book store. 

Tulips in Merrickville

Hard to see in this picture, but see that Canada flag.  Well I was going from left to right in this picture. So YES - right into a head wind!!!!
The secret gate to getting onto the service road around the Ottawa airport

1 comment:

  1. Did you get your Garmin working? What is a typical average daily speed for you?