This is ride day. The first day on the familiar country roads surrounding the cottage in over 2 years. Oh, how I have been looking forward to this day.
I did a 45 km loop to Brechin, a small town on the western shore of Lake Simcoe. It is 10 km to the lake due west of the cottage and then another 12.5 km north to Brechin on quiet, rolling, rural roads.
This is one of my favourite rides. Quiet. Scenic. And, familiar. I have travelled these roads on bike (and car) for over 50 years. The first few kilometres were a struggle. Although it has only been 2 says since my last ride, the legs seem tired, stiff and sore but once warmed up, I felt like I could roll all day. There is always a wind in these parts. And, it always seems to be hurting. They were light today. A mere 15 kph. Enough to be noticed, slowing the pace to 22-28 kph most of the time under a warm, summer sun.
I forget my water bottle. I was in such a hurry to get out the door, I left without the most important accessory, particularly in this hot, humid weather. No matter, I stopped at a coffee shop in Brechin for a glass of water, a coffee and a muffin.
I like this coffee shop. It is a chain of ordinary shops that serve basic coffee and a selection of muffins. I like it because it is frequented by all of the locals. Contractors. Farmers. And, the cottagers.
I always meet someone interesting. Today, a fellow about my age dressed in a torn tee shirt, jeans and work boots sat at the table next to me. He was reading a newspaper he had just found dated 1963. Only he and I could relate to the headlines. It turns out he is a retired architect keeping himself busy with small renovation jobs in the area, bathrooms and kitchens in particular. These past few days I have been thinking I wanted to remodel both the bathroom and kitchen at the cottage. Although serviceable, I would like to enlarge the bathroom and update the kitchen with new cabinets and a seating area. It’s funny how people enter your life just at the right times.
My rides are an adventure. Each time, I meet someone new and interesting either on the road or during a mid-ride stop. And, each time, I challenge myself in some way. Today, I concentrated on maintaining a consistent pace in the wind, pedalling in circles ( a concept misunderstood by many and the subject of a subsequent post) and, rediscovering the familiar roads. I seldom used the large chainring. Instead, I spun quickly and easily as my body got used to the effort once again. The next few days will be more of the same. 45-50 km rides at a consistent, high cadence pace.
I am trying to lose 5-10 pounds while at the cottage. When I am alone, it is easier to manage my diet, particularly in this hot weather. I plan to eat a lot of salads for the first week and reduce my caloric intake. Little or no bread. 1% milk for cereal. Black coffee. Simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressings. Low fat yogurt. No desserts. But the occasional lager. I understand beer is a good recovery drink.