So first things first....so, so many thanks to give....but the greatest thanks have got to be to all of you who came out to participate and donate to Freedom Bike. A deserving young person will get to experience the joy of owning and riding a bicycle because of your generosity. In fact, preliminary totals show that we may even be able to squeeze two bikes and bring more happiness to two young lives!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We will keep you up to date!
- To RobT, and Unglued for leading out the 50km and 100km groups. They did a great job of dealing with last minute re-routes due to trail conditions and herding a large group of wild mountain bikers of varying abilities.
- To BicycleWorks Waterdown for hosting the first aide stop for the 160km route, supplying water, electrolytes, and nutrition....much needed after 2.5 hours of energy draining gravel and wind conditions. Additional thanks to BicycleWorks owner Paul Schnepf for leading us over 30+km of his local gravel in the Brantford area.
- Thank you to 97 General store on 97 Road near Valens Conservation area for dealing with 30+ dirty, sweaty, hungry, thirsty cyclists...and having a healthy(??) supply of famous Dee's buttertarts; and ice cream for Oggie!
- Gotta give gratitude to Mother Nature for giving us a beauty day amidst a couple of trashy weather weeks.
And so many stories, could fill months worth of blog posts. Don't worry...I won't do that to you.
- Fatbikes. Ya, a number of folks on fatbikes....that had to be incredibly tough! Especially the dude on the 160km route!! JeffS...awe and respect!
- What would have made it tougher for fatbikes was re-routing required due to wet trail conditions. We didn't want to be responsible for damaging trails...plus some of the local trails are rooty, and rocky, and come dangerously close (centimetres close) to the sharp edge of the escarpment. I didn't think losing someone to a 1000 foot fall off a rock wall would be a good thing. The result was more road/pavement than planned...but this may have been a bit of a blessing given wet gravel and hefty winds.
- As mentioned now a couple of times...the life sucking railtrail and gravel. Still frozen enough to be rough and bone jarring...but soft enough on the top to act like glue to skinny CX tires. And after making up a good portion of the first 100kms of the 160km route....some solid pavement felt civilized!
- At the 97 General store stop (at about 120km into the 160km route, and 55km into the 100km route) I faced a bit of a mutiny. The remainder of the route included 25kms of fire road that made for 700ms of climbing. The overwhelming consensus was that this was too much after what we had just been through (there had already been plenty of swearing at Riot...)...so we opted for a flat, direct, paved route home. In hindsight...this was likely the right call; this time....
And I didn't want to be seen as this guy....so I reneged...
- 15kms from home...one of the route leaders became violently ill...having to pull over and passionately dispatch all gastro contents...then limp home concentrating on preventing further dumpage. According to Dr.Kate (who was in on the 100km route), an apparent reaction to too much Advil gel capsules (3 X daily max) on an empty stomach. Thank you to Oggie for dragging my sorry carcass home...and to JennR for coming back to check on me. Got home just in time to release all further contents...but in the civilized comfort of a modern washroom...
Finally...so very thankful to the universe for a day with 50 fellow mountain bikers...with no significant mechanicals or crashes over 7+ hours of riding. Amazing!!
Then there was the after... Thank you Lois for directing the massive amount of food and beverage for the post party as folks came and went...
And again...massive thanks to everyone who participated, and supported this day and the cause. Jeff Ward founder of the Tilsonburn and Freedom Bikes passes on his unending gratitude to each and everyone of you! Deserving teens will enjoy life a little bit more because of you. A totally amazing day spent with such great folks...it was an honour spending it with you all!
Now we can look forward to the proper Tilsonburn in 2019!
Also...there are so many kilometres of local challenging trails just metres from my home...so a plan for an endurance all trail ride is in the works for later this season...stay tuned!
In the meantime, I have a freshly broken thumb metacarpal bone I need to let heal properly (this ride didn't seem to help much). Which means I am going to miss out on early season events. The first one is coming up this weekend...the Steaming Nostril. If you are not registered yet....get on it HERE!!
Then Substance Projects (DanOfSubstance) has events coming up the following week. The first race of their XC MTB Marathon series....the Homage to Ice...check it out HERE!
So much going one...here comes mtb season!!! Finally!!!
And finally....the end of this post!