Sunday, September 18, 2011
Are We There Yet?
We could see our breath as we patiently waited for all the speeches to conclude and the MS Mountain Tour to begin. In my impatience, I have to remind myself that we are here to raise money for a very worthwhile cause and that it's not just about cycling.
I know that in a few minutes, the organizers will let us go in groups of 10 and that there will be lots of jockeying for position as we charge out of the gate. As riders continue to pass me, I remind myself that this is a tour not a race. This is supposed to be a comforting thought but doesn't comfort me as another participant shouts "On Your Left!" as they pass me. I look over to discover that this particular rider is the same one I labelled as a couch potato in a recent blog. Even his commuter bike is a faster ride than "Furry Lewis" (my TREK).
There is no need to rush. I know that just up ahead about 3 kilometers is a water - filled ditch with a turn to the right that every year becomes congested with cyclists as inevitably someone spills into the muddy ditch and everyone else piles up behind that unlucky soul. Some will have stopped to offer assistance but most of the riders, given half a chance will skirt around the site and continue on their merry way.
Liking a bit of solitude in the mountains and enjoying the sunny weather, my favourite time of the tour is after lunch when you know that you're already half way and your belly is full of a healthy lunch but more importantly, the participants in the tour are spread out and there is a lot of opportunity to be alone in the woods. You can even stop and enjoy being in the mountains on a beautiful, sunny, almost fall afternoon.