Saturday, May 21, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Does the Zoo Ride

The weather has been awful in Toronto for the past week. The day after my last ride, it started raining; it has hardly stopped since. But today was beautiful, at last, and I made the most of it. As you can see from the above pictured, I lived dangerously. The road was broken, but I risked it.

Greg Curnoe Bike waiting for the Go train at exhibition station. The CN Tower looks on. If you look closely, you will see my new Spécialités TA-made Cinelli water bottle.
If you were looking extremely closely, you would have noticed that I had my tubular wheelset in place. Here is my spare Czech-made Tufo tire, which I bought while on vacation in the Czech Republic in 2007. (I tried to visit the factory, for some reason, but the day I planned by trip, a wild storm blew in. I took this as a sign and walked around Olomouc.)
God bless the Go train. This one took me to Rouge Hill station, in about 40 minutes—enough time to read every section of the Saturday Star that interested me. Then off I went.
The eponymous Zoo, which is on the very margins of the Greater Toronto Area. Ride a few more minutes and you see...
... beautiful sights like these. (Did I mention it has been raining a lot?) 
But the fun doesn't really start until you hit the gravel—which happened about two seconds after I took this photo. (This ride was about 85km, and I would guess about 35 of them were on gravel.)
Ah, the gravel. Empty of cars, and smooth-yet-rutty, so you're kept on your toes. I made Greg Curnoe Bike to ride over roads like this one. His big fat tubulars are designed to soak up the gravel-bumps, and his big orange fenders are designed to deposit stray pellets safely back on the road.
Greg Curnoe Bike doing what he was designed to do.
A picturesque gravel crossroads. (No souls transacted.)
Riding flat on gravel is fun, but climbing steep gravel hills is more fun.
What my ride companions (none of whom could make it today, alas) call The Roman Aqueduct.
Shortly after the Aqueduct, there is a really windy, hilly section. I needed a break at the top of the steepest of the climbs. (Note spare tubular hanging somewhat perilously, and the aforementioned Cinelli water bottle [my lugs, remember, are Cinelli CSes].)
A particularly glorious, rolling, quiet, wooded stretch. The Italians can have their strade bianche. We'll keep our strade marrone.
And so to Goodwood, the traditional resting place. Normally there is a hotly contested sprint for this sign, but today, being alone, I rode by slowly and took this photo.
The wonderful bakery in Goodwood, which provides all necessary motivation when you're struggling on the gravel roads.
More gravel on the ride back to the Go station.
Waiting for the train near surprisingly scenic Rouge Hill Station.
Today was an excellent test for Greg Curnoe Bike. Lots of rough road, lots of shaking, lots of climbs. He felt very comfortable, no bolts loosened, I rode quickly—and the rear brake finally stopped squealing. He is very good at his job. (And, yes, more teenagers said nice things about him on the Go ride home.)


XO-1.ORG said...

I'm envious of the bike, the gravel, the whole experience. Bravo!

AH said...

It is a distinct pleasure to make you jealous, Chris, because it's not at all easy to do :) Thanks!