On Biking; or There and Back Again.

Well, that took a long time.

It would have been a lot shorter if I hadn't made three wrong turns. The first was missing the short turn South from Holland Landing Road onto Bridge Street, and instead going up Bathurst to the "No Exit" sign. (I'm very glad I decided to stop when I saw that sign, since the road got quite a bit worse after that.) The map I'm using makes it look like you can just continue along the Holland Landing Road, and it will turn into the Bridge Street, but you really do need to jog South.

The second was trying to take the North Simcoe Rail Trail, which turned out to be much like the Belt Line or the Don Valley Trail, in that it was unpaved gravel, but worse, in that it was overgrown by flowers, bushes, and grasses. It also turned out to not be a continuous trail, and at one point (between Golf Course Road and Hendrie Road) I came across an electrified fence, beyond which were six or seven cows. Now, there were warnings that some sections of the trail ran through private property, and because we're not in England, where there are Right Of Way laws which force people to let travellers through, some of the owners have decided to disallow access through their sections. I'm fine with that. Of course, since there was no way around, I had to backtrack to the last road. The thing that irks me is that there was no indication that that section of trail was a dead end, so instead of just cutting around it, I had to waste my time finding out for myself. Between that, and the slow pace I had to take while riding through the weeds, and the many road crossings, which slowed me down even further, I resolved to stick to paved roads for the rest of the trip.

The third was the longest inadvertent detour, and most disheartening of all. When I was heading out of Elmvale, I thought I was on Highway 6, which would take me straight to Balm Beach Road, but I was actually on Highway 27, which, if you don't take the Highway 6 exit, turns to the right, and heads off to Waverley after going up a huge hill. A nice couple asked me if I knew where I was, and I had them convinced for a second that we were all in Wyevale, because how could I be that far off course? But no, I was, indeed, that far off course, and had to backtrack to Highway 6 to continue my journey.

Between the extra mileage from the wrong turns, and the extra mileage from trying to avoid hills and traffic by heading up Leslie instead of up Yonge, and by trying to take the North Simcoe Rail Trail and the Tiny Trail, I ended up biking 172 km on the way there, making that my first Imperial Century (107 miles). (And I'm not just saying that so that I can have ridden more than Tanya.) For comparison, on the way back, starting and ending at the same points, I only went 131 km (81 miles).

Some more stats:

  There Back
Top Speed: 71.2km/h (44.2 mph) 60.km/h (37.4mph)
Average Speed: 23.7km/h (14.7mph) 24.6km/h (15.3mph)

Next up, some notes on the trip back to Toronto.

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