Up to now, my training for Ride For Karen, taking place on September 9, has been mainly along the waterfront westward from Toronto. Recently, I’ve been going east. I discovered that the route involved quite a bit more riding in traffic than I am used to’after the dedicated cycling trail ends at Bathurst, you’re forced to ride along Queen’s Quay where there’s quite a bit of traffic. The good part, though, is that when that ends after about 3 or 4 kilometres [and endless traffic lights], you can turn right and get back to the lake. This was uncharted territory to me. and I’ve done it twice in the past couple of weeks.
The first time, I just followed my nose’ie, kept as close to the water as possible! The trail unfolded through parks and past beaches for a few kilometres, then took a right into Tommy Thompson Park. This is the Leslie Spit that goes far out onto Lake Ontario. It’s open to the public only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and only to pedestrians and cyclists. I had never been there before, even as a pedestrian. The day I discovered it, I was getting ready to turn around; I’d been out an hour and needed to get back home in an hour. I kept thinking as I cycled along the paved road, ‘just a little further…” because it was so, well, empty, and just growing wild. But, watching the time, I had to abandon it for another time. It was hard to turn my back on the beautiful open lake!
I just did my second trip out there and this time I set aside enough time to do the whole thing. Honestly, I had no idea it was so big. It’s about 4k each way along a big ‘arm’ of land that turns back on itself westward, towards downtown. There’s a huge cormorant sanctuary with a unique view of downtown through the branches, and there was a lighthouse I didn’t know was there. Again I had this sensation it just kept going forever’then I discovered you could even do a loop around some inland ponds’no need to go out one way and head back the same way.
Another purpose that day was to do a big chunk of distance, and this day I did 46k’my second-longest distance so far (after the 80k from a couple of weeks ago). Back home by 11a.m. and starving, I enjoyed an omelette made with vegetables now ripening in our back yard.
I’m contemplating how much more work I still have to do to get ready for September 9, and I’m a little worried: we’re leaving this weekend for a week of backwoods camping and I won’t be able to bring my bike. So, I’ll have to get more intense when we return. I’ve signed up for a training ride with the Ride For Karen organizers that takes place in a couple of weeks, and have no idea what that entails, but I’m sure it will be on the actual route of the ride… a whole new frontier of challenges… Yikes!
If you want to sponsor Bonnie Munday for Ride For Karen, go to www.rideforkaren.com, Click ‘Donate’ and look up her name.
Read all Bonnie’s cycling blogs at besthealthmag.ca/BonnieonaBike