Thanksgiving weekend activities

We (Torontonians) are so lucky this long weekend – the weather has been so beautiful so far and I think tomorrow will also be another great day.

Yesterday, hubby and I slept in (that’s nothing new) and then after lunch, we went for a bike ride. We decided to try a new route – we rode to Square One in Mississauga. We stayed on the multi use trail versus being on the road because we don’t know what Mississauga drivers are like when it comes to sharing the road with cyclists. They don’t have as many designated bike lanes on the roads. That ride was 54km and took us 2 hours 45 minutes. We got home and quickly cleaned ourselves up and headed to my parent’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with my immediate family, hubby’s dad and my mum’s sister and family. Dinner was delicious and dad looked and sounded really great! I’m so glad we were all together.

Mum had suggested a great bike ride location, which we did today. She had suggested taking in the changing fall colours at St. Jacobs, just north of Waterloo. Their website offers a number of ride routes around the area. Hubby and I did the Bloomingdale to Elora ride, but the extended version, meaning we tacked on a little side trip through St. Jacobs.

View Bloomingdale to Elora, extended version in a larger map

This was our longest ride so far. Oh, and I tried out a few tips and techniques from, Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling book. One of the tips (and not guaranteed for all) is having a small cup of coffee before your ride. She cites that Australian researches found that a single cup of regular coffee drunk an hour before saddling up could increase cyclists’ time to exhaustion by almost a third during a stationary bike test. I have to say, I had quite a bit of energy during our ride, but whether it was from the caffeine, I can’t say. I’ve also been working on my RPMs, cornering, and smoother shifting. Hubby also wants me to work on doing short sprints.

I’m definitely much more comfortable on the road now, and we are great at communicating with each other. Whoever is leading will point out “dangers” to look out for (e.g. pot holes, glass, road kill), and hubby who is usually the lead, is excellent at signalling in advance so I know if he’s about to stop or make turns. We also both indicate when cars are coming when we are on less-travelled roads. Today, around the 70km mark, hubby wanted to help keep my legs fresh since we had another 15km left on our route. When we ride together, I always push myself hard to keep up so that he has fun too, but he’s also aware of my limitations and my comfortable speed, so he told me to draft him. I have mentioned drafting in a previous blog post, but it’s a critical skill to learn and it really helped me out. For new riders, it may seem daunting, but it’s quite easy. Just stay on the leader’s tail, but try not to overlap your front wheel with their back wheel. I usually leave about a wheel distance between us, but you’ll feel and see the difference immediately. Hubby’s legs will be pedalling much faster than mine, but I may still need to break to prevent hitting him. Also, when it comes to hill climbing, I can hear him down shifting, whereas I will only have to down shift 1 gear (my rear), and not worry about down shifting my front gears. Fall behind too far, and you’ll have to work hard to keep up.

This was our longest ride to date at 83.6km, taking us 3 hours and 48 minutes. I also hit my top speed to date, 48.2km. Hubby’s top speed on this ride was 59km. My fitness level has improved as my body does not get tired as quickly and my sit bones do not start to feel numb as early – I used to get the numbness around the 50km mark – today it wasn’t until the 77km mark.

Here are some pictures from our ride today. You can click on the images to enlarge them with a description. Click again to enlarge further.

It would be great to go back in the next few weeks for a photography session. Also note that if you choose to visit St. Jacobs, the farmer’s market is not open on Sundays.

I’m not sure what we’ll get up to tomorrow. Maybe a short ride, but I think we need to let our sit bones rest. Thanks hubby, for taking me on 2 super rides! I wish the weather could be this perfect year-round. I also wish we can hang out and ride our bikes together all the time! 🙂

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