Bike Your Age

When I turned 65 I decided to ride my age in KM. So in 2007 my friend Andy & I did it. The route was a circle through the south then east of Kitchener-Waterloo, up to Conestogo, over to St Jacobs then back down the west side of K-W.
Every year since, I have done the ride at least once. In 2012, we tried a different route. In 2013 we tried another new route. In 2014 and 2015 we went back to the original circle tour.
Last year (2016) I had a problem with my knee, which meant hills were to be avoided.
So, a new route was plotted trying to avoid hills. 

2017 – 75 km

This year we did the ride on my birthday. We left early (8am) originally to beat the heat. But during the week the forecast changed from hot and sunny to cool and rainy!
Ed, Andy, Judy & I left from our house and met the rest in Victoria Park. We used last year’s route with a few tweaks.
We had bursts of rain, but it did not come down hard. The rain stopped in the afternoon and we were basically dry by the end of the ride.

Ed, Linda Faye, Johnny, Me, Gary, Judy & Ed

Candice took a selfie with the group

 

Andy with daughter Linda and grandaughter Faye

 

Ed, me, Son-in-law Johnny and son Gary

On the Iron Horse Trail

 

Grandson Oskar having a snack

Oskar checking the tire

Gary, Johnny, Gary’s wife Candice, my back and Ed

Faye with Oskar on the loose

Ed and Gary

 

 

Johnny, Andy, me and Linda

The crew that made it to the end: Gary, Johnny, me, Ed and Andy

 

 

2016 – 74 km

Here is the Ridewithgps route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14918254
This year we did the ride on Labour Day Saturday – Sept 3.
It was a beautiful day, with temps in the high teens to start and 23 as the high. There was a nice (ie not strong) breeze and few clouds to give occasional relief from the sun.

This year, the family got involved.
At the start we had the following:

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Andy, Dave, Son Gary and Ed

Actually, Judy joined us as well, but we did not have anyone else to take pictures, so here is one with her in it:
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We biked down to Victoria Park where we met up with the rest of the family:

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In front: Daughters Heather and Linda, Dave & Andy. In back: Ed, Gary, Grandson Oskar. and Son-in-law Johnny.

We biked south on the Iron Horse trail, past Rockway Golf course to Rockway gardens where we stopped for a photo op.

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A friendly lady who was there took a group photo for us:
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We did a loop that took us past the Dare Foods factory. Nice smells, but they were not open. After going through Stanley park, the ladies headed back home with Oskar.

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Oskar’s trailer is switched from Johnny’s bike to Linda’s for their ride home.

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Dave & Judy

At the end of the ride, we don’t look so bad!

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Next year will be 75. We should have T-shirts made!
Andy has challenged a few of his buddies to join us next year. We shall see who shows up.

Our granddaughter Faye had to work on Saturday and was disappointed to have missed the ride.
She biked with Judy & I last year in Holland, Belgium and France. Here is a picture of her in Holland. Trip details on this website.
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2015 – 73 km

This year we did the ride in October. Joining me for the first time was my brother Bryan. He is a keen cyclist who bikes 70km to and from work.
Also along were Andy & Ed.
Here is the route we took: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10653112

It was a cool morning (5C) when we took off. Long underwear and full gloves were in order.

Here is the team before and after the ride:

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It turned out to be a pleasant day for biking as it “warmed” up to 10C.

2014 – 72 km

In 2014 we went back to the original circle route with a change to avoid the steep hill into the village of Conestogo . Here is the route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5819106
I did the ride twice.

August 30, 2014
The first ride was with Ed. It was an uneventful one on a beautiful day. We appreciated not having to climb the hill into Conestogo. Perhaps next year we will do the route in reverse to avoid the Country Squire Rd hill.
We stopped for ice cream in St Jacobs at the “Caboose”. Refreshing.

Myself and Ed after the ride

Interesting wood carving

September 2, 2014
The second ride was with Andy and his friend Bernie.  This ride was eventful. Bernie & Andy are old friends who enjoy cutting each other up. Andy also likes to take a contrary position just to spice up the conversation.
We had a lot of fun until the discussion got into whether marijuana should be legalized in Canada. So, Andy thought we should do a survey of the people we met as we biked along. We were near the University by then and he stopped and quizzed a number of students. He got some interesting responses.
With only about 8km to it started to rain. We sheltered under some trees for a while but still got wet. So we decided to just ride in the rain. We got soaked!
But it was a fun ride. Good to be able to still bike my age!

It rained hard

Myself, Bernie & Andy - the rain stopped when we got home


 

2013 – 71 km

A new route was in order. Given that our region had built 2 new bridges over the Grand River in the past year, it was appropriate to include them in the ride.
Check out the route at: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2935002

July 26, 2013

Ed & I had a great weather day for the bike ride. Partly cloudy and 16C to start. A slight breeze picked up as the temp rose to 24C.
Here we are at the start:

A beautiful day for a ride

 The ride was basically downhill to the Grand River Brewery in Galt (Cambridge). We each got a couple of bottles including some Tabby – a new brew modeled after Belgian Abbey Ales. Had one later that evening – it was good.

Ed at Grand River Brewery

Grand River - Parkhill Dam


Heading back north we cross the Grand River at the Parkhill dam. There was a plan to build a hydro electric dam here, but Ontario government subsidies have been reduced, so it probably won’t go ahead.
We head north on the the west side of the Grand River, following the beautiful bike trail into Blair. We cross Hwy 401 on the pedestrian bridge, then ride through Doon Golf club. A new pedestrian/bicycle bridge crosses the Grand River.

New Pedestrian bridge over the Grand

We bike up past the Pioneer Tower, through Deer Ridge, past Sportsworld and the Regional Police HQ. We cross the Grand for the final time on the new Fairway Road automobile bridge.

New Fairway Road Bridge from below.

We head down along the river on a bike path that has steeper sections. On Forwell Rd we have trouble finding access to path that would take us to Lackner. We have to go down a ravine, cross a creek and up the other side.
Later, in Stanley Park we see the results of last Friday’s storm. There are 6 large trees down across the path. Two we biked around, two we crawled under and two we lifted the bikes over.

Stanley Park – Over and under we go!

The rest of the ride home was without incident.
Another great ride – glad that I can still do it, even if it was tiring!

 

9 August 2013:

Two weeks after the first 71km ride, I went out with Andy and followed the same route.
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2935002
We left earlier (7:45am) to beat the heat.
It was a great day for biking – cool to start and only 23C by the end.
In the old part of Galt we stopped at the Victoria Park tennis courts where Andy plays. We say hello to Andy’s friends. The Grand River Brewery was closed when we got there, so no beer to carry back.
We stopped at friends of Andy’s for whom Andy had planted a garden.

The groundhogs have eaten the beans!

 Heading along the Grand River, we meet a fellow Andy knew years ago from the Y.
In Deer Ridge we stop for a brief visit at a mutual friend’s house. Pat was in a wheelchair after breaking bones from a fall!
The trees that blocked the path in Stanley park 2 weeks previous had been cleared up, so the rest of  the ride was clear sailing.

Another great ride!

This ride seemed easier – must be getting fitter.  Good thing as Judy & I will be off to France & Germany for a month of biking at the end of August.

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2012 – 70km

October 7, 2012 – another 70km ride

Rich & Ed joined me for the second 70km ride. It was Thanksgiving Sunday. The forecast was for a 30% chance of rain and a high of 10C. Weather forecasts are so negative – really there was a 70% chance that it wouldn’t rain. Guess what: it did not rain! It was cool though – about 6C to start.
We changed the route for this ride based on Rich’s suggestion. We biked the Elora – Cataract rail trail. It worked out well.
The trail is all crushed stone and in overall good shape. There were a few stretches where the horses had chewed the trail up causing us to bump along.
We started in Elora and rode through Fergus where the trail stops then starts at the other end of town. The trail then follows the Grand River, across the dam which forms Bellwood Lake, then north along the lake.
We stopped to take a picture when 2 bikers came along and also stopped. One asked if we would like all of us in a picture. So, we have a picture of the 3 of us and the gentleman who took the picture.

The cool three: Rich, Dave and Ed

Our happy photographer


Rich noticed that our photographer had a Peugeot bike that was older than the one he had when he was young. Turned out to be 32 years old – made in Canada! He and Rich then discussed the merits of the Peugeot bike.

The trail winds east away from the Grand through Orton (don’t blink) up to the watershed line between the Grand and the Credit rivers and through Hillsburgh. We rode to the 35km marker which we found was missing the 35 sign. We turned around and headed back.

35km turn around point: Rich & Dave

Where is the 35Km sign? - Ed & Dave


We stopped in Hillsburgh and had coffee and snacks at the Coffee Time. It was easier going back as the gradient was generally down. Bellwood Lake water level was really low. The colours were beautiful, but not vibrant as the sun was still hiding.

Fall colours at Bellwood Lake

We made it back to the car with a few sore muscles, but feeling good. We stopped at Shepherd’s Pub in Elora for a pint to celebrate the ride.

A celebratory pint!

 

August 15, 2012  – 70km Ride

Andy & I took off around 7:30am on a beautiful day for the 70km bike ride. It was about 15C when we left and a little cloudy. So, we started with our jackets on. The day would unfold with a number of very different and interesting experiences.
I took my Playbook to get more experience with it.
We began the trip following our usual route south on the Iron Horse trail, past Rockway golf course, under the expressway across Franklin then through Stanley Park.

Andy – our first break after an hour

After riding over Victoria and along Shirley, we decided to head left on Guelph St and go under the expressway, then take the first right and visit the Hacienda Serra. Andy had been to 2 weddings here and had been quite impressed with the place. He had not seen the vegetable gardens that had been put in this year. Judy & I had been here in early July. There were a number of people picking veges.

Andy by the new statue of Cervantes at Hacienda Serra

We went through Kiwanis park and up to Grey Silo golf course. Not too many golfers on the course.

Dave at Grey Silo golf course

Just north of the golf course we met a couple who had Trikke bikes. (Leo & Jane van Pelt) They are the dealers for the bikes in our area. We tried them out. Quite a different biking experience.

Jane showing Andy how to get started.

You have to swing the front wheel back and forth and press down on the pads as the frame swivels back & forth.  It would be quite a workout if you went any distance.
Here is some video of the lessons:

 

Many thanks Jane & Leo for taking the time to show us how these work.
Next up were a couple of hills. I had to walk up both of them! We went through Conestogo and into St Jacobs. After riding along the Mill Race path we turned south on Three Bridges Road. We turned off the road to see if there were any model planes flying at the KW Flying Dutchmen club. I have a friend (Dave Bevers) who flies there. Dave wasn’t there, but we watched as 3 different planes were flown. One was an electric Striker jet fighter made out of styrofoam. A gentleman came and talked to us as it was his son flying it. It was fast!
We left and went back out to the road – about 1 km. As we continued south my friend Dave drove up. He said he was going to fly his plane, so we went back in to the club.
Dave has a gas powered Chipmunk with a 7ft wingspan. He hand built this. He had some trouble getting the motor going but finally it started.

Dave B and Andy with the Chipmunk

Dave flew the plane and did a few loops and rolls and a near stall before coming in for an uneventful landing.
Here is some video of the plane.

After leaving the model airplane club we headed south towards home. We were rather stiff after our stop and it was getting close to 1pm. So we discussed having something to eat. As we headed back south we saw a new feature on the horizon – a wind turbine.

Apple Grove Orchard Rd – a new wind turbine (But not a big one)

The turbine was not part of an industrial wind farm. It looked like the farmer had installed it on his property for his own benefit.
The clouds were building up so we decided to head straight into Waterloo instead of going to the Heidelberg Hotel. (Sorry Bob M)
We found the Laurel trail and biked to the Duke for lunch. It is not often that Andy or I have a beer at lunch while biking but we felt this day was an exception!
We were only 8km from our 70km goal- we could handle a pint!

A rare beer at lunch time

We finished our 70km with 2km in the bank for next year. It was a great ride with an amazing variety of experiences.

You only turn 70 once!

 

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 2011 – 69 km

In 2011 I got out twice to do the 69 km.

2011 Ed dave 69
69km with Ed

 

2011 69k Andy Dave
69km with Andy

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2010 – 68  km

In 2010 I did 68 K three times with 3 different friends. Once each in August, September and October.

Andy 68 K

With Ed

With Rich - October

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 2009 – 67 km

2009 – After the 67 K

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2008 – 66 km

2008 – After the 66 K
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2007 – 65 km

Dave Andy ride 65
2007 – After the 65 K