Saturday, March 31, 2012
good leadville training
This bicycle ride was way to enjoyable to be considered training, but I do know why it is recommended to take three days to actually do this "circuit". Shes a toughy, but the scenic views, and encounters with friendly folks made it well worth the tired legs.
Started out towards Anten Mills, where I jumped on the first rail trail section which I followed to the historic Fort Willow. Hike a bike up some stairs and I was in the middle of the fort with a british flag flying overhead and lots of plaques and monuments about stuff. I just kept trucking though, followed the nine mile portage trail from the fort to Sunnidale road, which is a really nice trail that I have never seen another soul on before. Not sure if anyone knows it exists.
Followed Sunnidale right downtown where I jumped into sport swap to place an order and to make sure someone could confirm my whereabouts at that time before I headed to Orillia.
This was the least enjoyable leg of the journey, slighly uphill, soft limestone, very reminiscent of the rail trail of doom at Crank the shield. 90 minutes later I was in the heart of Orillia, picked my way through, thought about making another check in at the bike stop but figured Tristan would forget when I was there anyway.
The Uhltoff trail(or whatever its called) was really nice, about 18k long to coldwater but always changing, the surface was a mixture of grass, soil, limestone, rock and the trees varied from Pines and other softwoods to hardwoods. Even got to see some Canadian Shield.
Came upon three young people with a bow and arrow I assumed there was 4 at one point and they were playing "hunger games" or something so I got out of there pronto.
Coldwater to the waub the trail was sketch, ended up hiking through some bogs and across a ditch to get back onto hwy 12. Came into the waub and noticed they have a traffic light now, moving up in the world. Got a hello from a Spak who of course just happened to be driving by.
Waubishene to Midland is a hidden gem of a multi use trail, paved for 20 ish km right to downtown midland. Passing St Marie among the hurons, again lots of plaques and stuff to look at. I just kept trucking, to be honest I was a little worried about daylight.
Got to Penetangue at about the 5 hour mark, and found the 13 bridges trail which was a blast to ride, another hidden secret gem of a multi use trail, probably going to be shot for talking about it here.
From there it was a straightish shot south to wyevale, elmvale, phelpston and then home on Rainbow valley road.
180km, 7:40 ish ride time, probably use a 29er mtb next time the cx bike was a little harsh for that long. and bring a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers for the half way point.
On every trail I came upon folks bundled up in their winter dh ski gear riding beat to hell department store bikes with the biggest smiles on their faces. Stark contrast to the roadies you see on $10,000 bikes in full Assos clothing, looking pissed off at the entire world.
If you have a full day to kill on a bike, or a few days to meander while staying in B and B's this route is pretty awesome.