Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

This weekend started off with a surprise trip to Charleston Lake. Couldn't have worked out better. My mom texted me around noon on her way East via Toronto wondering if I'd like to join her. Already, I'd been mulling over the idea of going home for Mother's Day weekend, but was a little daunted by traveling alone.

So this was perfect! After work, we packed up my bike and drove out to Charleston, joining my aunt and uncle, and of course my grandpa who lives in the area was around as well. Always great to get a chance to visit with family!

Saturday, after an amazing sleep in the quietest, darkest place to catch some z's in Ontario (seriously -- the sleeping there is worth the three hour drive, every time), I woke up and got myself organized for a quick little skills ride to check out the riding in the back of the house my mom grew up in.

The woods and fields back there were sporting a spring carpeting of trilliums. There are some great farm roads and lots of rocky features to practice riding up and down. Very enjoyable appetizer before heading back to the house for lunch.

After lunch, I headed back out again, planning on just spending some time on miles and endurance. Since I had the mountainbike for a whip, that meant I could be free to explore some roads I travel less often (in Leeds/Grenville, sometimes the pavement stops abruptly and turns into gravel, so a road bike is best used on trusted routes only).

The second installment of the day's training turned into an unexpected epic ride*.

*rides are billed "epic" if they include one or more of the following features: long hours/miles, water crossings, 2+ hours climbing, muddy conditions, above-average danger, long hike-a-bike sections, questionable directions. Feel free to add criteria in the comments

I meandered around, letting my iphone maps app guide the way. However, I can't believe what passes for a "road" on that thing. Before long, I found myself leaving the pavement, riding some gravel, and then that too gave way to what can only be described as double track.

Also, here's a law of nature I discovered the hard way: if there is a puddle covering the 'road' of questionable depth and integrity, then FOR SURE, the sides of it will be lined with hawthornes. Luckily, this was only a problem for a few "crossings" because it didn't take long for me to lose my balance and fall in, thus negating the need for caution on future water traps.

And so I continued. The ride also included snarling packs of dogs keen on taking a bite out of my ankles (two packs of four, actually) and I'm fairly certain that at some point around hour 2, the black flies hatched, making stopping impossible.

Even with all the unexpected obstacles/hazards, it was a great day on the bike. I got home safely and treated both bike and rider to a good hose down, and then for a recovery drink, white wine spritzer with some of my favourite ladies: my mom and my aunt.

Needless to say, I slept well that night, no thanks to the Canucks however.

The next morning, we all had breakfast together again and packed up our things to head into Gananoque for a Mother's Day lunch with Grampa. I had some training I still wanted to do, but with my bike shoes still wet from the day before, it was a great excuse to head out for a run. Absolutely perfect weather for it too.

So I headed out ahead of my mom, and she picked me up in Lansdowne after a personal best on my ten k time. I think I have her to thank for that actually, because about half way through, she pulled up and said I'd better run faster or we'd be late for lunch. And when you're dealing with Hortons, you don't want to be late for lunch!!

We picked up my grampa, and then dined at the Champagne Bay Grill which was super yummy and a spot I'm sure we'll go back to in the future.

Perfect weekend! Thanks mom, and Happy Mother's Day! Glad I got to spend it with you.