(I had to put the route this way, after lea
rning how to do it in Google Earth...only to realize I don't have a webserver to drop the kml file on for you. I'll have to work on that.)
Lots of wind, lots of cold, but Scott and I headed out anyways. We just took it easy today, aiming for time in the saddle over pace, and taking in the sights and sounds. We meandered past the pile of construction in the north end of Kanata and took some backroads to get to Carp. From there we headed north out of Carp, past the Diefenbunker, and into the wonderfully old-style twisty road with roadside farmhouses and farmland all around. The first test on this ride comes on Thomas Dolan Rd, in the form of a hill with a "false top" - just when you think you're done, it rolls off to display yet another hill to climb. Scott told me to meet him at the top, so I cranked it out and snapped a photo from the top. That's Scott in the photo.
Being at a higher point on the ridge, we got both a tail wind and the downhill for a bit to let the lactate pump out. Very little traffic here, so we got to chat a fair bit without shouting at each other. It's great to chat with Scott 'cause he's been there - he won the Ironman Lottery a few years back and did Kona...on just a few months of seriously hard training. Now he's trying to get back into it. Lots of lessons to learn from, and lots of experiences to share.
(Now I just need to make sure he keeps hitting the pool - right Scott? :D )
Heading down the hill, you can see the Ottawa River (well, bits), and the Gatineau Hills just across the river in Quebec. I've gotta start riding in those hills - all the hardcore guys get out there, and their race times show it.
Crossing the mainroad into the Dunrobin area, we headed in the direction of Scott's parent's home as we prepped for the next hard part - a monster of a hill with a false top on it too. This one was longer and higher than the first hill, and once again Scott ushered me ahead. The only bad thing about being pushed ahead is that now you've gotta make it stick 'cause you just know he's watching you. So I gathered my resolve and dug in deep for a near-4min climb, and snapped yet another photo at the top just as Scott crested the top. If you look at the background, you can see the altitude difference on this hill.
Another aside - I'm enjoying this new cell phone. It's quite comforting to have a mobile phone you can rely upon (my other was so old that the batter wouldn't hold a charge for very long).
The rest of the ride was right along the Ottawa River, getting within a couple hundred feet from the banks at points, past Pinhey's Point, and along the north side of a Canadian military training grounds. Grinding back into the headwind, we were nearing the end of the ride and got back to the northern tip of the subdivisions. When we got back, I felt really refreshed and pleasantly tired having a full 2hrs or aerobic work today.
Mentally, I needed this too. It really helped me unwind and release all the stress I had gathered over the last few weeks. I'm now ready for the week to come, and ready to get back to some normalcy - personally, professionally, and training-wise.
Thanks to everyone around me this weekend for a wonderful weekend full of good times and good friends.