Monday, July 17, 2006

Sunday’s work-outs, July 9/06

Coach Steve wrote, “Cycle 2.25 hours easy”.

As always, trying to fit in the work-out is the hard part. Where should it go? What obligation should I not meet?

This was a tad easier, because Coach Kelvin and I had scheduled a swimming lesson for 11 a.m. I took my ten-year-old stepgranddaughter Andrea with me; a much better swimmer than me! The John Innes Community Recreation Centre in Moss Park was closed, but a staffer saw us standing at the door and let us in. Kelvin arrived a little closer to our start time.

Andrea just floated from one end of the pool to the other, usually playing with the pufferfish key holder that had come with her swimsuit. When it sank, she even retrieved it from the bottom of the pool. And she outswam my lengths. I am, of course, a very poor swimmer, but I think she’s a good one.

(The other interesting thing is that Andrea was eager to see who won that day’s stage of the Tour de France; we’d had to leave before it concluded, but I’d taped it.)

When we have Andrea we usually drop her off at her other grandparents’ home in Hamilton about 5 p.m. We were a bit early, and went off in search of Gatorade. The mall where I’d intended to start my ride was closed, so we ended up driving to Brontë, where a 7-11 provided me—and where I was a complete space cadet. I wonder what was distracting me.

In any event, Mona drove me to the Brontë Athletic Park, and I headed east in the early evening light. For several miles I rode on Lakeshore Road through Oakville and into Mississauga, then north on Southdown Road, back on Lakeshore Road (thus named), and into Toronto where the road changes its name to the more pretentious Lake Shore Boulevard (although, particularly in Long Branch and New Toronto, pretentions are not justified).

The trick in riding across Toronto is picking the right route, really the least bad route. I do not want to ride the Goodman Trail even when it’s deserted, much less on a warm summer Sunday afternoon. And although some vehicular cyclists like Bloor Street, I’d decided my main route across town would be Davenport Road, which is usually a good bike route.

Now the trick was getting from Lake Shore Boulevard to Davenport Road, so I had concocted a rather odd route: at Humber Bay Park, I turned along Marine Parade Drive, jumped over some grass to get to the Goodman Trail, and crossed the famous Humber River foot/bike bridge. I was passed, by the way, by a guy in full-on Aquila kit on a speedy bike, weaving among the Sunday walkers.

I turned north along Windermere Avenue, and climbed the old shorebluff there—quite steep. At Bloor Street I was stuck at a red light, so I made a right turn, and then a left turn on Durie Street, a quiet residential street with rather a lot of stop signs.

Finally I was at Annette Street. I turned east, made a vehicular left turn north on Keele Street, east on Junction Road, north on Old Weston Road, and finally east on Davenport Road. The horror (okay, it wasn’t anywhere near that bad!) started at Annette and Keele. The flags! The honking! Italy had won the FIFA World Cup, and every Torontonian who could claim Italian descent (rather a lot) were out waving the tricolour, honking, and yelling.

Oddly enough, this was not as bad for me as it was for motorists or even pedestrians. By the time I got to Bathurst Street it had pretty much died down, and in any event I’m only a metre wide, and so I can fit in narrow spots. I just couldn’t (or didn’t feel I could) ride fast.

At Yonge Street, Davenport Road becomes Church Street and turns south. I made a vehiculr left turn onto Bloor, which becomes the Prince Edward Viaduct, and then Danforth Avenue. At Logan Avenue I took another vehicular left turn and (as usual!) was being held up by a tourist looking for parking and bemused by the speed humps.

In total: 32.90 miles in 2 h 12 min.


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