Author Topic: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++  (Read 10144 times)

Andre Jute

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Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« on: March 12, 2021, 10:59:33 PM »

Everyone knows why "Rides 2020" was a bit of a disaster area, with only 92 posts (and one of those belongs in this thread!) and 8870 views. Or we can take the view that for a pandemic year, 2020 demonstrated our ingenuity as cyclists.

But now there is light at the end of the tunnel with the promise of effective vaccines, and summer around the same corner.

Here at Chez Jute, a pedal pal called this week to say next week looks like cycling weather...

This is a place to post odd rides, short rides, day rides, long rides, extended tours, whatever you want. If you intend to make a very extended tour with many separate but linked reports, you're of course welcome here but readers may find it easier to navigate your reports if you give them a thread of their own. Photographs are always welcome. This thread is a vicarious holiday by other members on your roads.

The photo is from back when every day was a cycling day, and the larger the party the merrier.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 08:59:26 AM by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 11:46:50 PM »
Thanks, Andre.

Re-posting this from "Rides of 2020" (RIP):

First ride of 2021 chez nous yesterday!

Just a tiny one, 3-4 kms to buy a couple of pounds of coffee and do a few things at our credit union, but hey!  Gotta take whatever you can get.

Wednesday was 15 degrees and sunny, that temp making it the hottest Mar 11 on record in Ottawa. Thursday was not far off, so the streets were awash with water from melting snow, people walking and jogging in shirtsleeves or less, giant puddles everywhere 'cos the ground is still frozen and a lot of drains are still covered in ice & snow.

The crows were celebrating, or just making a racket, as they do, and it was a welcome sound.  No geese yet, though--another month or so, I'm guessing.

With a 50-60 km/h westerly behind me, Osi the Raven fairly whizzed to the coffee shop. On the journey back, not so much, the headwind and modest neighbourhood hills reminding me how much cardio-vascular work awaits me when regular cycling resumes in a few weeks' time.

My spiffy new SKS silver chromoplast fenders kept everything pretty dry, tho' I'd fitted my 'glider just in case.  One stretch generated some anxiety: going along a bike path, I had to navigate a puddle 2-3 inches deep and about 25 yards in length. It was a muddy-milky colour, slightly translucent, and I thought, "Oh jeez, hope those milky streaks aren't ice beneath the surface!" as I steered towards the darker bits.

It's going to be colder over the next few days, daytime highs just above zero and nighttime lows down into the mid-teens, so all those huge puddles will become sheets of ice.  In a week's time, with luck, the riverside paths will be rideable, and I might be able to post some photos of the start of spring breakup/runoff.

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2021, 09:17:49 AM »
Thank you for that, John. The puddle that gave you pause, here in Ireland we would either ride through gaily, bubbles in our soul, or not even attempt, depending on whether it runs north-south or east-west and, crucially, on how close to the sun-side hedge it is. This time of the year and sometimes into April, we're on the lookout for black ice, which forms on narrow tar macadam lanes where the sun, low on the horizon, or behind the ridge enclosing the valley holding the road, never reaches. Those can be treacherous, and last for many days on blacktop in the shade when cyclists are already taking their sweaters off on wider or better-sunned throughways. There's one piece of road on a steep hill where there is a well directly under the road and no matter how often they retar it, there is always a distinct hollow in the road, where guests on our rides are amazed to see us stop and dismount and regard the road downwards from the hollow gravely for a sign that is invisible to any except old hands before riding over it slowly or turning back.

I had to chuckle at "'Rides of 2020' (RIP)". We didn't do too badly in the black death: we're here and have the maps out for a new year.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2021, 04:03:07 PM »
Quote
we're on the lookout for black ice

Yep, that's a dangerous treacherous thing in these parts, for sure, Andre.  It tends to be more so for motorists than for cyclists, however, mainly because there are many fewer of the latter here during the winter months, December through March. And, the hardcore riders in those months pretty much have to use main or secondary roads, which have been snow-ploughed and salted.

Happily, we're rescued from the dreaded low-lying sun by the fact that Ottawa is just a couple of degrees of latitude N of Marseilles, so that by mid-late Feb., the sun is well and truly up in the sky.  Thus, even when it's several degrees below zero, the roads are wet with runoff from melted ice and snow.

We're hopeful that there'll be many more opportunities for cycling when the roads are fully open, usually by mid-April. (The hills across the river are a couple of weeks later.) There are these spoilsport variants lurking around, however, so precautions will be necessary for a while yet.

Safe journeys!

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2021, 01:15:05 AM »
Signs of spring along the Ottawa River: As we plod towards the spring equinox, I took advantage of a sunny/hazy Wednesday afternoon to see what was happening on the big river. Just a short 8km there-and-back to Bate Island, in the middle of the river 4 kms from downtown.

Early March has been cool, so the snow is melting slowly, upstream and in the city itself.  A slow melt is no bad thing -- warm weather and rain can produce serious flooding.  Yesterday, the river was gentle, even placid, a metre and more below the retaining walls on the upstream (western) side of Bate Island. There are still aprons of ice along the shores of the river proper, as well as on its islands.  And, as I returned home along main & secondary roads, I saw a cross-country skier skating along the trails through the woods.

A few views of the river below.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 01:17:31 AM by John Saxby »

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 12:35:27 PM »
A river genuinely that big only looks placid. Underneath it surely has rippling muscles. I also see in several of the photos a nasty little wind chopping up the surface: not a day for dinghy sailing.

Compare "the Mighty Torrens" in Adelaide in South Australia: it has a whopping great weir across it upriver, just out of sight from the Festival Centre's expansive plaza, so that a rather insignificant stream is suddenly a fairly impressive river (by Australian standards, not Canadian). Mind you, the Lee, which most international cycle tourers will tell you is a largish river in which Cork City zentral makes up two long islands and which at Cobh Harbour is a big estuary, to serious local cyclists is more notable for its origins among pretty and easy-cycling back roads within striking distance of a far (by Irish standards!) shore, where it is a fingerling you can step over without noticing the origin of a famous river unless someone tells you or you're paying close attention to topographical lines on the map.

UKTony

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2021, 05:13:21 PM »
The River Severn here in Gloucestershire has a very benign appearance at the moment owing to settled weather - high pressure, light winds - and high tide is at the bottom of the curve at about 5 metres AOD. But spring tides can go to 9+ metres and the river though comparatively smal is perfectly formed to have the second highest tide range in the world next to the Bay of Fundy, or maybe third if one counts Ungava Bay 🙁
So although there’s a lot going on under the surface even now in the present mild conditions, it does get much livelier.

Photos:

Navigation beacons.
The wooden piers at the entrance to the small harbour of Sharpness.
St Mary’s Church, Shepperdine - a rare ‘tin tabernacle’ (a misnomer as it’s galvanised iron) dating from about 1914 thought to have brought over from Wales. A prefabricated church intended to be temporary but still functioning with monthly services.
CAKE yippee 😀

UKTony

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2021, 05:15:19 PM »
The other three pics......

UKTony

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2021, 05:17:07 PM »
And the fourth!

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2021, 06:48:57 PM »
CAKE yippee 😀

If that cake is to scale, you have enough to share with all the county's cyclists!

An old sailor told me, "You want to be careful in the [Severn] Estuary. The Bore will get your ship, and I don't mean the fellow at the end of the bar." You're right: it is generally agreed to be the second highest of the 60 plus in the world, though I've never seen anything even nearly as big, never mind higher, generated by a river. I once saw what was claimed to be a 30ft wave at Kuta Beach in Bali, and that was frightening enough -- I took my rented board out on its distant, much less ambitious relatives.

in4

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 10:34:41 PM »
Apologies for hijack but cake you say?!

LorenzoB

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2021, 09:59:47 PM »
Sunday morning ride to the market in Gouda (NL), with my Sherpa "COVID". Of course, the rear bag is full of cheese  ;D

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2021, 11:03:21 PM »
Sunday, the first day of the new season, was a proper spring day -- bright sunshine, 16-17 degrees, mild westerly winds.  So, I took Osi the Raven for a canter to the Hogsback Falls on the Rideau River, in the south-central part of Ottawa, about 7-8 kms SE of where I live.  It's a pleasant ride through the Experimental Farm, across the Rideau Canal at Hartwell's Locks to the edge of Carleton University, then due south for a km or two, between the Rideau River to the east and the Canal to the west.

The Falls are the point where the Rideau River diverges from the built Rideau Canal. (The Canal system runs for 202 kms between Ottawa and Kingston. It's not a single built canal, but a remarkable collection of 49 locks and short built canals linking lakes and rivers. There's more here if you're interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rideau_Canal)

The Rideau is a gentle river for most of its south-to-north course to the Ottawa River, but changes its character dramatically at the Hogsback, especially in spring. The section of the Rideau Canal which runs north from the Falls to the Ottawa River is the longest built section of the entire Canal system, culminating in the magnificent staircase of eight locks descending to the Ottawa beside Parliament Hill.

The Hogsback Falls are our neighbourhood (lite) variant of Murchison Falls. The Rideau is hardly the Nile, of course, and a visitor will not see the ghosts of Bogart, Hepburn and the film crew of "The African Queen".  And, there are no crocs, hippos, elephants.  But, there is a splendid torrent bursting between narrow rocks, and best of all, it's less than 30 minutes from my back door.

Signs of spring were everywhere, even before I left the house:  sunblock on me nose for the first time in six months  :)  Then, I passed by a small flock of geese in a field in the Farm, maybe 15 or 20.  They were sleek and plump creatures, looking more like bourgeois geese who'd spent the winter in the fleshpots of the nation's capital  than hungry aviators who'd just touched down after several days' journey from the southern states.

Have attached some photos of the Falls and Rideau River downstream. 

The first two are taken from the side of the road between the Rideau River and the Canal.  The third shows the shale rock beneath and around the Falls, with my Raven pointing back to the spot from which the first photos were taken.

Three more photos follow in a separate post: two close views of the torrent, and a final one of an Orthodox dome which has kept its shine despite the winter.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2021, 11:05:35 PM »
And the remaining three photos:

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2021 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2021, 12:44:24 AM »
Cake and cheese for a picnic, and spectacular views to eat it in!