Friday, July 24, 2009

Glutton for punishment!

Well, it's been a bit of a week so far. Busy at work, which is a good thing. With all of this talk of recession, the increase in construction and construction type projects, doesn't appear to have been affected too much. Not necessarily new construction, but renovations of existing buildings, apartments and shopping plazas. A lot of the contractors coming in looking for drawings, all seem to have their hands in the mix trying to keep their crews working. So, whether they are willing to take on jobs for less or whether companies have really held tight to the purse strings there is a lot going on in our area. Believe it or not, one of the most steady increases has been the construction of churches of various denominations. Mind you, they start out with lofty ideas until the pricing comes in then, as the saying goes, it's back to the drawing board. Even a lot of the long existing fast food restaurants are in the midst of trying to revamp their tired looks. Desperately trying to bring in new clientele with upgraded looks and healthier menus. Whatever works I guess.

Next week end we have a long weekend here in Ontario. Some bogus holiday just to throw another long weekend into the summer. I'm not going to turn it down if that's what you're thinking. It just irks me the wrong way that we still don't have a day to represent those who have lost their lives serving our country. That's Canadian Government for ya. Anyways, I'm also thinking of taking next Friday off as well extending the weekend by a day. My plan is to go camping for those few days and get away from computers, cell phones and politics amongst other things. I have an area in mind which is about 70-75 kilometers away from here. Which, in driving terms, is not very far at all. So, I'm going to make it a little more difficult and ride my bike there instead. I've been working on that this week. Riding a 30km route I mapped out on the computer a couple of times this week. Have I mentioned how hilly our area is around here? That's because when you are in a car, you don't notice such things.

On Tuesday night, when I first set out on this little adventure, I questioned my sanity with every revolution of the peddles. When I began the first big climb, my main concern was to not stroke out halfway up the hill. When I was about three quarters of the way up, two young college aged girls, passed me with ease. I continued my steady cadence and was not about to try any macho shit. This, I was doing for me and had nothing to prove. Reaching the top was a small victory in itself. If I had known what was in store after that, I would have turned the bike around and coasted down the hill and headed home. But, being pig-headed, I continued on. The rest of the roadway undulated but not as sever as the first hill. By the time the first small town of Ste. Agathe was coming up, I was right back on the wheels of the girls who passed me. That was about the 14km mark and I needed some water so I stopped for about 5 minutes and the youngsters kept on riding at the first turn.

The next 4-5km stretch of road was relatively flat but was being prepared for re-surfacing. It was covered in a combination of loose gravel and sand and was not really compacted well. Which almost caused me to wipe out a couple of times. However, I persevered and made it to the next small town where I would make my turn and head back for home. That is when I got my first look at the monster. The first hill I climbed seemed like a baby compared to this brute. I wondered if I would make it or if I would have to dismount and walk it. Well, steady up I went, never focusing more than 20 meters ahead at one time. Not wanting to look up until I was sure I was nearing the apex. Again, I made it and figured the worst was over. But alas, it was not to be. There was one final nightmare. Not because of it's steepness, but because every time you thought you made it to the top, it stepped up just a little higher. There were about 4 or 5 steps before it leveled out.

Once the hills were out of the way, I only had to contend with the wind which began blowing right across my path. The good news was, I was only about 8km's from home. And I knew I could do with my eyes closed. I kept them open of course, just to be on the safe side. Coming up that long last hill though, I could feel my calf muscle start to cramp up and my fingers, (amongst other things) begin to go numb. Would I be able to do this with a full back pack of gear on? I guess we will see. The fact that I am writing this and somebody out there may be reading this, tells you that I made it. Now 30km's may not seem like a lot to some people but it was a good first stretch for me. I was happy when I got home, looked at my watch and found I managed to do the ride in 1 ½ hours. On the week end I plan on extending the ride by about another 20km's to 50km's and if that goes well, then I will decide whether I want to bike to that camping trip or wimp out and drive. I'm into the last month before hitting the big five-o. So, needless to say, I have some motivation for wanting to do this.

Anyways, I guess I have been a bit of a slackard in the blogging world this week. But I have had a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate and a lot to work on but I will definitely catch up.


Ai Shiang said...

Go go go Bogey! Cycling is a good exercise. My husband does the cycling (at the gym), he loves it. He perspires like hell too. After that he always asks me why does he torture himself.

I tried to cycle, boy that was hard!! Running is still easier. I run a few times weekly.

Keep up the 30km route. Maybe soon, you can't do without it!

James said...

I was just drinking my coffee and wondering what is Bogey up to, then I fin this post.
Right on Bogey! I am very impressed, 30km seems like a lot to me, I haven't rode a bike in 30yrs.
Regardless if you ride your bike to the camping area or not I bet it will be great. I just think the long ride back would be the hardest part.
I feel inspired to get off of my lazy bum and do something like that.
Great job Bogey!

Hilary said...

Well good for you! That quite an undertaking you're planning and I'm impressed. I love camping and biking - neither of which I've done for the last 5 years or so. I'm sure you'll have a great time. Be safe. :) And happy almost 50th!

Lori ann said...

ah bogey,

this is torture to read. i am a lop laying around, going on 7 weeks now. no activity at is very hard for me.

this plan of yours sounds like a dream, and of course you can do it. i am glad you didn't care about being passed. that doesn't matter, it isn't the point, you are so right. is it possible to maybe borrow or rent a bike trailer so you can pull your things, it might be a good idea?

or drive and then bring your bike to do some biking from your campsite! shall i send you some good and easy camping recipes?

ooh i am envious...☺

lakeviewer said...

Impressive goal: good for you! You will enjoy the trip as well as the destination. Your body will hurt, but it will thank you ten years from now.

Rob-bear said...

Hey, may; way to go. Keep on bikin'.

Nancy said...

Way to go, Bogey!! I have been doing the same thing with hiking. Some of those hills seem unending!

On another note, we have been finding the same thing with construction - not much new, but lots of remodels. Having just gone through one, I can relate to the sticker shock. Glad your job is secure, however.

Have fun on your camping trip.

Amel's Realm said...

WOW!!! That's quite a feat, actually. And I nodded when reading about going by car versus going by bike - in terms of not realizing the hilly areas he he he...

That was what I felt when I first bought this bike. I hadn't been biking in 20 years and then I had to ride my bike on snow...I was going SO slow that I was ashamed at my stamina ha ha ha ha...

I haven't gone too far by bike, I SALUTE YOU!!!!

HAVE FUN during your long weekend later on!

ms toast burner said...

My 'sit bones' are screaming just from reading this post! ;-)

My bike is against a wall in my condo pretty much where the movers plunked it down about 2 years ago!

Good for you, Bogey! And I hope that you had a great unplugged weekend.

Bogey said...

Thanks for the support Ai Shiang. I used to run, a long time ago when I was playing hockey. Now my knees make funny noises so, to me, biking is a little easier. If you can believe that. If you aren't perspiring, you aren't working hard enough.

James, so far I am kind of worrying about the weather. We have had torrential downpours all week long. It has been difficult to get in a good ride in between Thunderstorms but I am managing. Once you get out there, nothing much really matters. Like Santa, I'm making a list and checking it 100 times.

And so Hilary, what is preventing you from getting back at it now? I just hope this trip doesn't prevent me from reaching my 50th.

Lori Ann, I am so sorry that you are still under the weather and that you are confined to quarters. That would drive me batty too! The idea of a bike trailer is a great idea and I did some research already. If I continue to go out on these types of excursions, I think I just may invest in one. And by all means, if you have recipes to share, please, be my guest.

Thanks for your encouragement Rosaria. Believe me, if this trip is a success I will take the joy now. It will compensate for any aches and pains. So far, I have rebounded fairly quickly from the small runs.

Planning on it Rob Bear...planning on it.

Thanks for the support Nancy. Hiking sounds like a lot of fun also. I also hear you are interested in getting a kayak...go for it.

Thanks Amel. I hope it will be fun and that the weather cooperates. So far it has been pretty wet. The more you bike, the more stamina you will build up. That is why I like watching the Tour de France. Those guys are absolutly amazing.

You mean to tell me Marnie that you don't even hang clothes on it. The trip isn't until next weekend. This week I have just been building up to it in 25 to 30km trips. We will see how it goes with the added weight on it. Kind of scared and excited. Now if I were living around your area that bike would be a permanent fixture.

Winifred said...

My that's some exercise you're getting.

Don't you have Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday in November?

Anyway have a lovely weekend. We have to wait until the end of the month, our last holiday before Christmas. Our government are meanies with holidays. Think we have the least in Europe. Spain has the most. Doesn't seem to do their economy any harm.!