Cold fall day for a long ride

Very cold this morning. Getting down to the single digits!

One of the local clubs (Ebow Valley Cycling Club) was doing a Calgary-Cochrane ride so I decided to ride out there and see if I could keep pace with the group. As was typical of the club, I was told no one can participate in their rides because members think they are the only ones allowed to use the roads at whatever time they plan the rides. Such pointless comments are easily ignored because that rule only applies to club members, not anyone else. If you are not a member you don't have to abide by their rules. Ah, FREEDOM!

The need to control members has in the past elevated some dangerous members on a pedestal where they don't have to care about anyone's safety (you have to sign away your legal rights to be a member) and this is a good reason not to be in clubs. When clubs put the safety of their members at the bottom of their list of priorities it is best not to be a member and to do rides at one's own volition than it is to be subjected to a serious lack of common sense by some of the worse ride coordinators. Another one of the EVCC rules was that no one can be on their rides without a helmet. This enforces the nonsense that cycling is dangerous and that helmets reduce injuries and deaths. Some cyclists have even pointed out that the only thing helmets do is create a false sense of safety so people take excessive risks like they do when wearing seatbelts. Yes, common sense can be legislated out of club activities when you sign away all your legal rights to expect common sense from ride coordinators the moment you sign a waiver. Besides, how great can some people be if you have to join their clicky group and salivate all over their every word. That's not what a real cyclist is!

The last two rides out to Cochrane with the club resulted in my best average speed to Cochrane of 19 kph and lower. Not exactly race quality but a buddy of mine says I should get into racing for those retirement years sometime in the next few decades. Never hurts to have a hobby.

Oh yeah, have a bike for sale. I think 3 is enough. Well, maybe 4 cause the spare bike came in handy since one has studded tires installed and they wear out fast on bare pavement so I have to wait for snow. My second bike had a broken axle and shot bearings which explains the bent skewer which was discovered while replacing the worn freewheel. Let's call it a rear end overhaul. Maybe I should do the front end and crank bearings this winter. Almost 9000 kms on it. The 3rd bike is a folding bike and goes like snot. It has a higher gear than my latest entry race style bike but my 4th bike is far faster than it is.

After a few miles I got ahead of the group. Quite a few more miles and I spotted a porta potty on the side of the road in what looks like a new park or campground being developed. The group had almost caught up to me by the time I was back on the road. Next time I looked back they were gone. I had outrun them again.

Just when I thought no one could touch me, this guy comes barreling past on a white bike just before reaching Cochrane. Wasn't sure if he was a lone rider or part of the group arriving late.

I continued on at my best pace without overdoing it, I prefer to enjoy going hard but not suffering horribly especially with another 50 kilometers of hill climbing to get home. Think I hit 64 kph somewhere on the ride. Was watching my speed in the 50 zone so it must have been on the way home that I sped.

At the coffee shop I saw the white bike while checking my 23.6 kph average. Got lots of food in me what with not having enough time for breakfast. The group was gone by the time I was ready to roll and I never saw them after that. They probably took the highway back while I retraced the scenic route.

That long hill slowed me down quite a bit climbing out of Cochrane. About 2-3km long with a break in the middle. Maybe it was all the eating which slowed me down haha.

On the way  back the porta potty welcomed me for another pit stop. The sun was out so I soaked it up for about 20 minutes while having a picnic. Not being in a club means the freedom to go at your own pace, to stop and smell the flowers as it were before hitting the roads and zipping back to the boundary of Calgary with 23.5 kph average.

At least I was consistent! Considering all the climbing on the way back and the strong south wind picking up I have no idea how I almost tied my outbound speed. The return trip is usually a couple of kph slower.

At least for one day the cars didn't harass me which was nice for a change since I was not wearing a helmet (in BC is it required for adults). That reminded me about something I read about drivers giving a wider birth when passing if you are not wearing a helmet. That's as good an explanation as any I suppose.

My good waterproof helmet was stollen about a month ago. Have to wait until next year when Costco gets bike helmets in again. In the mean time, I won another RockiNoggins helmet cover and that helmet isn't going anywhere near a thief!

100 kilometers of hill climbing is enough for one day.

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