The past week has been rather hectic, what with getting back from an awesome week off in Connecticut, and throwing myself back into work. A week off from the routine of conference calls and spreadsheets is not long, but it’s long enough to feel more than slightly lost when you submerge yourself in it once again. Was everything done that you asked to get done? How many emergencies cropped up that apparently only you could solve? There was only one thing to combat the rising stress levels: a ride.
I’d ridden every day of the week preceding vacation, and I intended to do the same for the post-holiday week. My first foray on two wheels was a trip down to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for some loops. Quick reminder, it’s 25km down to the track from home, 4.5km per lap, and then if you take the alternative ‘longer’ route home, it’s another 30km. What I love about coming to the track, one of the reasons anyway, is that you can choose how long your ride is going to be. You know how many clicks the return ride is, and so you can determine how many laps you want to do knowing that you still have one hour of pedaling left before you can put your feet up and pay yourself on the back.
There was a lot of hubbub at the circuit last Monday. A team of workers were dismantling the grandstands and I found this to be slightly odd when I later heard an ad on the radio for the NASCAR race coming to Montreal in August, at the very same track. Why would they dismantle everything, no doubt an enormous cost, only to have to rebuild in a few weeks time? Not my business, but it does not seem terribly efficient.
Leaving the circuit from the south-western end is my preferred return home. After a kilometer or so of paved bike path you’re onto a long section of unpaved, but flat, road that runs down the centre of the St. Lawrence river. On your right you have a magnificent view of downtown Montreal, and on your left…well, it’s the South Shore. Not quite as exciting in my opinion, but he locals would no doubt take me to charge on that one.
There was a headwind the whole way back, although it only became truly apparent as I climbed the hill that takes you onto the ice bridge that crosses the St. Lawrence. Here you are totally exposed. No trees or hedges to hide behind. You are at the mercy of the wind and he cross-head nature of the gusts that were prevalent this morning meant that I was getting pushed about quite dramatically.
I got back having completed 76km which for the first day back in the saddle after a week off was fine with me. I am noticing in the heat that I have to make use of the saddle cream that can be a rider’s best friend. Certainly if you don’t use it, you quickly realize that the riding experience takes on a whole new sensation, one that is not desired nor pleasant. But all of this is probably bordering on too much information, so we’ll leave it at that!
Keep riding folks. We are enjoying a splendid summer here in Montreal and I only hope that wherever you are you’re getting your fair share of good riding weather!