The weather was perfect. Cool, yes, but we hardy Canadians are used to riding when its cold enough to freeze the spit in the corner of your mouth and ice up the nozzle on your water bottle. Sunny, blue sky, dry. Awesome day for the inaugural ride of the newly formed ‘Charlie Bucket Cycles‘ team. Our objective for the day was 100 km, which given the fact that none of us had ridden that far in one sitting since the end of last season, was probably born from the overstated confidence that so often accompanies the amateur cyclist. No matter, we met up at Andy’s place at 8.30 a.m. and immediately set about weighing our bikes (can you spell N E R D) with the fancy electronic gadget that Hugo brought along. I was pleased to note that my bike has not gained any weight since I bought it four year’s ago, although slightly surprised that after more than 20,000 km it had not lost any either.
This was a big day for Andy. He was riding his new Cervélo for only the second time and what a beauty. We all spent more than the appropriate amount of time ‘Ooh-ing’ and “Ahh-ing’ at the form and design, and I have to say none of it was forced. It is a bloody gorgeous bike. Of course, will it make him ride any faster? I hope not! Although he did mutter something about the power transfer being particularly impressive. “What a nerd“, I muttered to myself, ever so slightly afraid that he might be right.
Riding in and around the Montreal suburbs is a largely flat affair, however, when you go a little farther west and leave the island itself you can find a couple of climbs, nothing more than bumps by European standards, but they test the winter legs nonetheless. The other major test our green legs took on today was the wind. We had a pretty gutsy head wind on the way out, thankfully offset in large part by the mini peloton we formed, each of us taking brief pulls at the front.
It wouldn’t be a good ride if we didn’t have to stop for some sort of mechanical issue. Last year some of you may remember that Paul and I had to abandon Andy in the middle of the Laurentian mountains when his chain snapped and we, all three, had no chain breaker tool. Well, this time around it was Andy again, this time with a wobbly seat. Obviously the huge power he was transferring through the crank was too much for the new seat and it worked its way lose. A quick adjustment and all was well though, and we enjoyed a tailwind for the final 17 km back into Dorval that saw us fly along the Lakeshore at an average of close to 40 kph.
Our objective for the day had been a century, metric-style, but we closed off at 75 km. Well, we just ended up back home and it seemed silly to head off again! It had been a terrific start to the season and I for one am pumped for more and looking forward to the next Charlie Bucket Cycles group ride. The new jersey’s are almost on order and let’s just say that we’re going to be an impressive force on the Montreal bike scene this year. (This is all in my head of course, but a lad’s allowed to daydream, right?).
I dare you to check out the two minute film of our ride by clicking here. You won’t regret it, especially if you’re a Queen fan.