October 2018 – Still Cycling

The first week of October it rained every day from Monday to Friday. Was it time to bring the bikes in? By Thursday Ralf hadn’t cycled and was becoming a bear. If he doesn’t ride, even if it is in the basement he becomes a very grumpy person. On Thursday when it was raining again, he took the “MadOne” aptly named (Trek Madone) into the basement and cycled like a crazy person for an hour and a half. It helped.

Sunday October 7, 2018

I woke up and squinted at my watch, age does that to you. You squint and assume you can read a watch that you read clearly 20 years ago. I thought it read 9:45, what a pair of lazy old trouts we are. I got up and checked the weather – it was cold. I should really go for a ride. The first week of October was wet, and I didn’t ride one single day. A lazy and fat old trout. I stood in the bathroom trying to convince myself it was a good idea to go for a ride. Eventually I opened the shower door. I didn’t turn the water on. The weather was cold, it wasn’t raining, it was grey and cold, it wasn’t raining. Go for a ride, and really if the OLD friend in Ohio can do a 29.9 mile ride, you with your younger legs can beat the OLD legs. Unbeknownst to him we have a competition going. I need to beat the OLD guy in total kilometres for the year.

I dressed warmly: leggings, socks, warm hat (inside the helmet), gloves etc. Ralf and I headed out at 9:30. The temperature was still cold 7.5 degrees c (45 degrees F). Those squinty eyes read the watch wrong, it was only 8:45.

We cycled the Parkway, we had a tail wind pushing us out to our turn-around point. A cold headwind on the way home. Ralf took the lead and I tucked in behind him, the wind was cold and my feet were getting colder. Damn you Richard Tool, I could be snuggled up in bed instead of out here below Ralf’s cycling threshold (10 degrees) battling a north-easterly headwind.

The trees are changing colour and on a sunny day this would have been an amazing ride. We arrived home cold but glad we had gotten out of our early autumn stupor and cycled 50 kms. Thanks Richard for challenging me, even if you didn’t know you were doing it.

Sunday October 14, 2018

The second week in October was quite nice, the temperature is still cool but we had more sun than rain this week. Sunday was a lovely day, the sun was out a slight breeze blew from the west with an average temperature of below 10 degrees. As some Norwegian fella once said there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing. We were dressed for the weather; socks, thermal leggings, liner gloves and gloves, heavier cycle jersey and a good windbreaker. My toes were cold for the last few kilometres but apart from that it was a lovely ride.

The Parkway was alive with colour, when the sun hit the trees at the right angle, beautiful reds and rusty oranges, with the occasional green it was lovely.

Jones Creek

The County have been working on this section of road all summer.  They have finally got it finished.  You can speed down this hill and get half-way up the other side now that it is all nicely paved and smooth.

Sunday October 21, 2018

It has been way too cold for me to cycle. I have reached my threshold – if it is not above 10 degrees and sunny with no wind I am not cycling, my threshold used to be 5 degrees. Ralf has been very dedicated cycling way below his usual threshold of 10 degrees. He even went out one morning when it was below 5 degrees and a wind chill of 0.

I prefer to go for a walk if it is cold. I can wrap up warm, and enjoy the changing of the season.

Sunday October 28, 2018

We woke up to snow on the ground and it was still snowing as we sat eating breakfast. No cycling today. As we sat eating breakfast a red fox ran across our lawn. It came back and stood watching us watching him. Ralf scrambled to get his camera out, but something startled the fox and he took off.

I decided to go for a walk in the snow. Outside of our front door we have a beautiful red maple. Our neighbours have a Norway Maple that has not changed colour or dropped any of its leaves. The Norway Maples are the last maple tree to change colour and drop their leaves, usually after a snow fall. Our red maple has changed colour and is leaving a mess of leaves in front of the house. That is o.k we don’t have to rake leaves here, the maintenance company does that.

Our Red Maple with Snow

The weather improved during the week and I managed to go for a couple of rides this week. I waited until the temperature had reached 10 degrees and then headed out.

At the beginning of the month Ralf checked his cycling log and realized that he needed 714 kms to reach his goal of 5,000 kms for the year.  He has been so dedicated cycling in temperatures well below his usual cycling threshold of 10 degrees.  He would come home from his morning school bus run, change into his cycling gear and head out.  If it wasn’t raining Ralf would be on his bike trying to reach his goal.  He was 74 kms short at the end of October, but we might still get some k’s in if the weather stays mild and doesn’t snow.

Warmshowers Guests

As I said at the end of September, we thought we had come to the end of touring cycling season. We were wrong. We had two couples stay with us this month.

Dominic and Michel an older French couple who have been cycling around the world for the last 7 years. Dominic spoke good English, Michel didn’t speak any English, but we managed. They go home to France every couple of years to visit their grown children and grandchild.

The other couple were a lovely young couple from Quebec and Argentina – Daphnée and Oris. We spent a great evening with them “putting the world’s to rights”, discussing everything from Argentinian politics and economy to global warming and the environment. They are cycling to Toronto (against the wind) and flying to Hanoi to cycle the east coast of Vietnam, the same route we did in Jan 2017.

Daphnée and Ores ready to leave

Our new fun word is “Oupsie”, when you have done something unexpected. Daphnée and Oris have camping gear and a small stove. After they left us, they wild camped about 55 kms east of Brockville (Gananoque). They got their stove out to heat up their dinner “Oupsie” they forgot to bring a cook-pot. They may mail their stove back to Quebec as the “street food” in Vietnam is so cheap.

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1 Response to October 2018 – Still Cycling

  1. luke says:

    Great Commentary. Thank You.
    We just had a season-opening bushfire in the hills behind Canberra. We waited with trepidation as it was discovered, remembering our 2003 experiences where we lost 500 homes and 4 people died …in the capital city! it is now out, but we are in for a torrid hot season. We can’t change the climate but we are learning to live with changing weather patterns. We will do our bit to “reduce’ the effects of man on the climate…we walk and ride now! Spain and Portugal were wonderful!

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