I hadn't had an omelette in ages so the one I ate this morning (Sunday, August 26th) to fuel me for the day's planned excursion was especially good.
I also hadn't done our usual Sunday bike day trip since early June. The summer was just wretchedly hot and stiflingly humid. I wouldn't have made it - well, not the whole 30 kilometres. So, today's trek would be particularly good given the less hellish conditions.
The morning air was perfectly clear and had that lovely haze so often seen here in late August. The light breeze was from the southwest (by my reckoning). We left early, in fact quite early, and took our usual route along Hunt Club Road, up McCarthy and along Southmore. We wound our way through familiar neighbourhoods, greening up once more from the recent showery weather that brought relief to us all. We safely crossed Walkley Road, meandered through a few more streets and then found ourselves at Mooney's Bay Park.
We cycled past people who were playing tennis at the enclosed courts and who were clearly enjoying themselves. It took us little time to get through the park and it was at that time we realized that motorized traffic was still permitted on Colonel By Drive. Therefore, it wasn't quite 9:00am (told you we left early). Having a few minutes to ourselves, we decided to just park our trikes under the shade of a tree and take a bit of a break. After a few minutes, my impatience grew too much and decided that we can risk riding our trikes on roads occupied by cars. It would only be for a few minutes anyway.
Colonel By was very very lightly travelled by the time we swung onto the road itself. This is pretty typical for the Sunday Bike Days here in Ottawa, I feel. My experience has been that most people don't venture onto the closed-to-cars roads until closer to 10:30 - and here it was not even 9:00. There were a couple of cars driving on the road, hoping to get past the barrier At Colonel By and Hog's Back Road before it closes at 9:00am (the barrier is moved to allow cars off the road, just not back on). The fresh air felt great, especially as the day was already starting to warm up. I didn't feel too tired and actually managed to get some good speeds on my trike.
We passed the usual groups of cyclists, joggers, roller bladers and dog walkers. Some were on the actual cycle path that runs along Colonel By and some were on the road itself but all seemed to be having a good time of things.
Admittedly, I was getting tired (MS does that to me, especially when it's warm) and I mentioned to Adam that I might want to turn around and start the return trip around the Campus area. "Campus" refers to that part of Colonel By that abuts the Campus transit stop at the University of Ottawa. However, when Adam replied that the end of the line is only another 2 or 3 kilometres beyond the Campus area, I saw his point and agreed to finish the whole trip.
We made it to the exit barrier, pulled over, took a few minutes break, sipped some water and then turned to head back home. By that time, the light southwesterly breeze had picked up - I believe the term is "freshened" - so it would take a bit more energy to get home. Yet, I didn't care. I was feeling good having made it all the way out. I would have to make it all the way back and I did.
I'm really shaving off what kilometres I need to meet my goal of no fewer than 300 this cycle season. Next weekend, Labour Day, will be the last weekend of the Sunday Bike Day so any trips after that day will be limited to the bike paths only. I don't care. At this rate, I may actually complete my goal. Stay tuned. I will.
Tally for all three days was 30.0 kilometres done. That leaves me 56.3 to go as of today.