Once upon a time, 4 years ago I embarked on an ambitous fundraising ride from Toronto to Montreal. Yes, 630kms by Bike. In those days, I actually spent 5 vigorous months training, cycling everyday at least 20-40km plus gradually increasing distance in my weekend rides till I worked up to back to back 100 km rides on weekends.
Well that was then and this is now. I cycle nearly everyday from end of March through to October or November each year. However, this is the kind of riding that your body gets accustomed to, where the habit is formed in your muscles and it’s not necessarily challenging you to new levels.
Having dispensed of the above information here, last weekend, I decided to test out the GO train’s new bike cars for a ride of the Niagara Circle Trail: http://www.niagararegion.ca/government/initiatives/gncr/default.aspx
We decided to start at St Catharines, head south on Welland Canal, across the Friendship Trail, then up the Niagara Parkway and take the GO Train back to Toronto from Niagara Falls. Probably the longest ride I had completed all summer was about 50km, whereas my Cycling Mate has a much fancier bike (as evidenced by the above picture) and heads to Oakville for fun on Sundays.
The ride down the Canal was fairly smooth. Getting onto the Friendship Trail a bit tricky as it’s not very well marked and moves away from the actual Canal towards the last 5km or so. The Trail across was decent as well. In the interest of time, we decided to cut through the farm back roads to catch up with the Niagara Trail. An incredibly windy and long ride that seemed to last a lifetime. Here’s where training and building up to this moment would have come in handy. There’s special technique to riding into a headwind, especially with a hybrid bike.
Getting bikes onto the GO Train is fantastic. There’s a whole car just for the bikes. You lock your bike up and head upstairs to relax for the journey. It’s great to see public transportation encouraging active travelling. For more information on the Niagara GO Train: http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/travelling/seasonal.aspx