The weather having been nice on Saturday, I sat down with John Crouch’s cycling book and planned a Sunday ride. I wasn’t sure I was up to a century ride, so I did not plan a pure out and back. I joined some loops that might add up about 80-90 k with the option of cutting the loop and coming back straight down the Lochside or the Interurban Road, and the option of a loop around James Bay or along Dallas towards Ross Bay to top it up. I made the century. Use it or lose it.
I went up Cook Street and Cedar Hill Road into Saanich, around the foot of Mount Douglas, in Mount Douglas Park, then west on Royal Oak to West Saanich Road, and up the West Saanich Road through Brentwood Bay, past the edge of the airport to Patricia Bay. I kept left along the Bay to Deep Cove and Land’s End Road. Land’s End curves around the end of the Saanich peninsula and heads east. I had done about 52 k when I crossed the highway at the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay. From that point I followed the Lochside trail though the eastern part of North Saanich to Sidney. Coffee, a brownie, and a rest at 58 k in Sidney. I was at 75 k when I recrossed Royal Oak southbound, 83 k when I reached the Gorge. I headed east on Gorge Road and Hillside to avoid riding through downtown. I came down Cook to Dallas. It was about 91 k when I passed the end of Boyd (almost home) and I just kept spinning around James Bay until I turned over the meter at 100. I thought my legs were going to cramp, but it was fine. I did some chores and went shopping. I didn’t feel like riding on Monday, but I went for a walk down town. My legs were more tender than sore.
One of the chores I attended to right after riding was removing the Topeak Bar End Mirrors. I had bought them at MEC a couple months ago. I found they were not useful as mirrors – two small and impossible to get a good angle on the traffic that might be coming. On this ride I confirmed that they are not comfortable as bar-ends. I went back to my cheap MEC generic bar ends that have served on long hard rides on the Yukon. Most of Topeak’s products are good, but this one works better as a concept than on the bike.
My average was only 18.1. There were lots of uphills at 15 k, sometimes falling off to less than 10 k. Most of the climbs were in the first half, up Cook, Cedar Hill, West Saanich and the heights between Deep Cove and Swartz Bay. There is gravel on the Lochside where it crosses some IR land along the highway, and in rural and park areas. There was also some adverse sea breeze on the open parts of the Lochside around Sidney. I was pleased with the ride overall.
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