Day 37. London to Brantford Ontario. What do you call a bicycle paceline riding along a road in Ontario today? A frozen rope (see attached photo of cold cyclists in a paceline). That's actually not true. A "frozen rope" is a hard hit line drive in baseball, perhaps the description reserved for the hardest hit balls in baseball. I just borrowed that phrase for today's blog.
The forecast for today was supposed to be better than it turned out to be. It never got sunny and the temperature hovered around 16C (65F) for most of the day. Here's a shot of some of the Geldings, most of whom were underdressed for the weather today. Just before I left this morning I grabbed my arm warmers from my bag and shoved them in my jersey pocket. Less than a mile from the hotel in London I put them on because I was cold. I didn't take them off until I got to the hotel in Brantford. I'm glad I had them today.
As for today's ride, I guess the nicest way to describe it is "blah". After leaving London, we rolled out into typical Ontario farm country. It's very flat. One of the things the American riders have noticed so far is the incredible number of Canadian flags they've seen. They say we are way more patriotic (in terms of flag displays anyway) than Americans. That struck me as funny. I always think I see way more American flags when I travel to the US than when I look around for Canadian flags at home.
Anyway, we rolled along until we saw a detour from our scheduled route. It seems a bridge was out on one of our roads ahead of us. The ABB folks were on the scene and had already painted arrows on the road that followed the detour signs. It would have been hard to get off track. The detour added about 2 miles to the overall ride today, which ended up being 68 miles long. At one point along the early part of the ride today, ABB tour leader Mike was sitting on the side of the road warning the riders that there were a couple of aggressive dogs down the road. Apparently they had run after a few of the riders ahead of us at one point, but they didn't chase any in our little group. As of yet, we've only been chased by a couple of dogs in earnest and let me tell you that is scary. Angry dogs are fast and they can hold onto a top sprint speed for several hundred yards. It reminds you of just how vulnerable you can be out on the open road (even with the coverage and support of the wonderful ABB folks). Let me tell you, very few people (including Tour de France pros) can ride as fast as me over 200-300 yards when being chased by a dog (ahhh...the benefits of being a chicken...). Adrenalin is an amazing thing, isn't it?
After passing the dogs we rode on to the first SAG where I found my wife's Aunt Audrey and Uncle Milt waiting to see me (and everyone else). Aunt Audrey brought Uncle Milt to see the whole ride thing despite the fact that Uncle Milt recently had a surgical procedure and is just getting over an infection. They brought their poodle Lilly. Even better, they brought a cheese platter which got devoured by the hungry cyclists. Thanks for coming to see me and thanks for the cheese platter!
By the way, I must make a side comment on the appetites of long distance cyclists. I am at the forefront of our eating and I am not ashamed to say – wow can we eat. We eat everything that isn't nailed down at the SAGs. We eat everything that gets put in front of us for dinner (good or bad usually). And when someone brings something different for a snack at SAG like Jeff's Mom did in Sarnia or Milt and Audrey did today, it pretty much gets wiped out too. We are burning a lot of calories each day. I burn an average of about 2,300 calories/day, which is a lot. I'm constantly hungry. I am going to really have to dial all this eating down when I get home or else I will gain weight fast, and I have no intention of gaining back the weight I lost in the past year or so.
We've been told that after a couple of weeks of riding, our body's metabolism apparently ramps up substantially and becomes very efficient at processing what we're eating. According to everyone who saw me yesterday, I look thinner. I wonder if I've lost or gained weight. We'll see in less than 2 weeks.
Oh yeah, there was one other thing to report today. My Duchess is here with me right now! She came to the SAG today and dropped off her famous biscotti for everyone to eat. Then she hung out at the SAG, talked to Todd, Teresa, Andrew, Gary, Margo (little Margo), Mike, a few other folks, and drove into Brantford. The Duchess then went to Tim Hortons and did what she does best. She drank coffee. Way to go Duchess. The Duchess is now resting comfortably. She just told me she's hungry. Then she told me not to write that in the blog. Then she asked is she could read the blog to see if I listened to her about writing that she said she's hungry. I lied and told her I would not write that in my blog. Of course I would. And, now I have.
FYI – the DQ Blizzard, milk shake and Snickers count is static today:
6 milk shakes
Now on to today's mail:
The Duchess from Toronto writes: "Did you write that I told you I was hungry in your blog?" No Duchie, I would never do that. That would really annoy you, and, as you know, I never ever do anything that would annoy you.
Here are my Garmin stats for the day: