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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Report: Kawartha Classic Fall Cycling Tour

Ride Review: Kawartha Classic Fall Cycling Tour
AKA: My first century ride
AKA: My warped logic is very logical

(Thanks to Richard from the Oshawa Cycling Club for this great picture!)

Conditions were perfect for my first century ride - no wind, a fairly flat course, sunshine and friendly riders.  I completed the ride in 7 hours, 5 minutes (but if there had been a gun, my gun time would have been 8 hours, 39 minutes - we were a slow ship that enjoyed the sights and rest stops). Other than my right ITB being a little tender (that's the side that I grab my water from), I feel awesome. I stuck to my standbys of Just Plain GUs, nuun, PB&J and water and didn't bonk - in fact I had lots of energy at the end.

Is this ride for you? Here's an overview of what to expect if you sign up for the Kawartha Classic.

What the organizers say:
This community non-competitive cycling event is a great experience for everyone.  There are 25km, 50km, 100km, and 160km routes ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Registration fee:
$25 early bird, $30 race day. Your registration fee goes to A Place Called Home.

Cambray, Ontario (2 hours from Toronto)

Mostly flat with a few small hills. Ironically the town of Uphill we rode through is flat. Rural with paved roads, some in excellent shape. Few paved shoulders. There is one small convenience store at the 60K mark if you need to refuel. The course is well marked if you are paying attention. 

Promotional material described the ride as fully supported. This could wrongly be interpreted as a buffet and mariachi bands at the rest stops. Rest stops are stocked with bottled water, orange slices and fabulous home made cookies. If you use gels or electrolytes or anything other than cookies and water, you'll need to pack it. Because my routes take me in the middle of no where, I had packed enough gels, granola bars, sandwiches, nuun and Honey Stinger waffles to feed the entire ride should we have been stranded. 

The SAG wagon, equipped with a mechanic, checked on riders regularly. Because we were so slow relaxed, we saw a lot of the wagon. In fact, as early as 30K into the ride he checked on us!

(SAG wagon at the back - it was hilarious to see it so soon in our ride)

Volunteers were very enthusiastic and friendly - great local folks to cheer you up along the ride.

There is 1 public rest room along the route, in Kirkfield. Any other business needs to be taken care of in the bushes - pack accordingly. There were honey buckets along the highway belonging to who knows who, but I took my chances with the poison ivy and open quarries (yes, there were signs warning of the danger of open quarries where I was trying to pee).

Post-ride meal:
Because we were about an hour behind the other riders (and two hours behind when the meal was served) we were worried that the food would have been packed up. We were happy to find that there was lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, coffee, water, cookies, salads and sandwiches waiting for us.

Whether you're a speedster looking for a nice flat course or like me, wanting to complete your first century ride, the Kawartha Classic Fall Tour is a must for your fall calendar.

About Jen Pinarski

Jen is a mother, freelance writer, runner and cyclist based in Ontario. She is a popular blogger with Today's Parent, where she shares the challenges and triumphs of being a stay-at-home mom. Find her on Twitter.


Michelle said...

Sounds like it went fabulous! I knew it would! Congratulations!!!!

"In fact, as early as 30K into the ride he checked on us!" So was that the way they check on me, when they used to pull up next to me and say in a very concerned voice, "are you okay?" and I had to say, yes, I really am this slow.

Congratulations on your first century! And thanks for the sweet offer of a hat band, but I ordered a beaded/Native American one and since I rarely wear hats, it will probably last a while. I'll post a picture of it soon.


Morgan said...

Well done chica! You totally rocked it and even better that there was no issues! I'm sooooooo jealous of your century ride and hope to complete one next year once I'm back up and running so to speak.

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