2) A little warm up ride during the apocalypse

posted Mar 26, 2012, 6:48 PM by Ali Burke   [ updated May 9, 2012, 9:19 AM ]
Sibbald Point

I (Ali) took a little warm up ride last week because the weather was incredibly warm and eerie.  I took four days to ride from Toronto up to lake Simcoe, then around the lake and back into Toronto.  

It was a neat ride,  but also strange as there were mid-July temperatures in mid-March.  Very little had emerged out of winter hibernation yet, I only saw a few crocuses popping their heads up. There were still ice floes on Lake Simcoe, and they misted like mad in the mornings.  It all had an apocalyptic kind of feel. 

I camped in provincial parks for the first and third nights, but they weren't technically opened so I pitched my tent in these giant campgrounds all alone.  It was very strange and lonely, but also amazing.  The second night, I didn't end up in a park. I had intended to stay at Bass Lake park, but the whole park was gated with barbed wire...so I couldn't get in.  Instead I found a little wetland conservation area a few kilometers away.  However, being a wetland there weren't a whole lot of places to put my tent, so I hung out on a wooden pavilion, made some dinner and waited for dark.  No one seemed to be around so I put my tent in I middle of the dry path...it was actually my best nights sleep. 

The biking was beautiful.  Quite hilly for much of the ride, but incredible views and solitude.  My knee actually started hurting a little on the third day, but I just took the hills a little more slowly and took more breaks and that seemed to do the trick.  But certainly something I will have to pay attention to.

I learned a few important things on the ride:

1.  I would like to take a shower every few days, at least.  After a couple of days I accumulated several layers of dirt, salty sweat, sunscreen, and bug repellent on my skin.  And my hair was becoming a giant dread lock....

2.  I am afraid to camp alone at night in abanonned campgrounds.  I had flashes of myself being raped and killed each night.  It is pretty incredible and disturbing what the mind can create. 

3.  I can confront fear.  After nightfall, I had many moments of wanting to go home.  The feeling reminded me of the homesickness I felt when I 17 and on exchange in France, a pit in the stomach married with the knowledge that it would be far worse to bail.  But, not wanting to bail and reminding myself that the world is a mostly safe place seemed to help me fall asleep.  Having biked in the heat all day also helped : )

4.  I dont want to Bike the Americas alone.  I missed Glenn intensely, and it is sooo much better biking with him...And not being alone in a tent at night!

Around Lake Simcoe

Ride stats:

March 19 - Toronto to Sibbald Point Provincial Park - 108 km
March 20 - Sibbald Point Park to ~10 km northwest of Orillia - 84 km
March 21 - Orillia to Earl Rowe Provincial Park - 84 km
March 22 - Earl Rowe Provincial Park to Toronto -  105 km

Money spent: $23.00... But I did bring a little food from home...