Really??? Yes, REALLY!
If you haven't heard of this classic bastion of Ontario bicycling masochism, beware, this ride can break even the most avid, strong and well-trained cyclist's spirit and body.
It is 100km of climbing some of the toughest and longest hills around on a route made up in the 70's.
We'll meet at Union Station and take the GO out to Burlington Station (you want to save every ounce of energy for the hills) and then ride out to the official starting point on Guelph Line just south of Dundas. There is an 8:45am train that gets to Burlington at around 9:45.
Absolutely only for those willing and able to tackle one of the greater cycling challenges available in southern Ontario.
I took the opportunity Thursday to drive the route to familiarize myself with it, and I managed to test out the hills at Rattlesnake point and Lowville on my bike.
Good news is that the roads are in good condition; there are no construction areas nor gravel stretches, so we should have smooth rolling for the day.
We'll do a few rest stops along the way, provisionally as noted here:
- Lowville Bistro at 19km
- Appleby Ln at Steeles, (roadside) after Rattlesnake Point, at 43km
- Dar's Bakery at 1st Ln and 15 Sideroad, at 61km
- Carlisle Farm Market at Centre and Carlisle Rd , at 79km
Please be aware that this ride is slightly longer than 100km. The official HHH route is 100km, but we have about 7km from the starting point to the Burlington GO station. (It'll be a nice warm-up for us before the hills start.)
For anyone joining us at Burlington, please meet in the NORTH passenger pickup/dropoff area (That's the one accessible from Plains Rd and NOT the one from Fairview street.)
For everyone, please make sure you bring supplies and nutrition sufficient for the ride with you. (Bring lots of water, it will be HOT in the afternoon!) You should not rely on the generosity of other riders for things such as spare tubes (or the knowledge how to replace them) or sunscreen. You bike should also be in top shape. If your derailleur is jumpy or brake cables loose, or any other mechanical issue, you will be putting your (and fellow riders') safety at risk on this ride.
Although we are riding as a group, every rider is absolutely responsible for him or herself and participates at their own risk. Please have the means to pay for a taxi in the worst case that you suffer fatigue, sustain an injury or unrepairable mechanical failure and cannot continue.
Finally, please be aware that this is a physically challenging ride. Don't underestimate this and think that a little extra "digging deep" will get you through it if you aren't already comfortable riding at LEAST 100km in a day, and/or get tired easily on hills. If you start falling consistently behind so that even our slow group starts disappearing from your view, please take it as a cue to call a cab. I don't want to sound harsh, but I honestly only have your enjoyment and that of the rest of the group in mind with this caution.
With all that said, I want to again let you all know how much I'm looking forward to this ride. The weather is shaping up fabulously and I think it will be an epic day and really a great achievement for everyone!
See you out there!