Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Hawkesbury

Cycling Ottawa-Gatineau En vlo!
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Sep 16 7:30AM - 8:30AM

This is a 200 km ride to Hawkesbury. We will get there on the Ontario (South) side of the river and come back on the Quebec (North) side. On the way back, we will stop in Montebello for lunch.

Note that there are ferries in Cumberland/Masson, Clarence/Thurso, and Lefaivre/Fasset. So, if you don't want to do the whole ride, you can join us along the way and cross back on the return; or just cross and go rest and wait for us on the other side.

You can find a map here.

I have done the Quebec side numerous times. With typical winds, reaching Hawkesbury takes me 3 hours solo and the ride back takes me about 5 hours. But the ride can take me as much as 10 hours with bad winds. I would guess a disciplined group will be much faster than me.

I can do the Quebec side with my eyes closed but have never done the Ontario side. So I would appreciate someone with knowledge of that side to comment on the map. Dan?

Some recommendations.

There is a big difference between 100 and 200 km, so the equipment and preparation are a bit more involved.

Bib shorts: If you have never done this type of distance with the seat/bib combination you plan to use, bring a spare bib. Even my $400 Assos Cento bib, designed for long distance riding, fell apart when coupled to my Fizik Aliante saddle: it works fine with my Brooks C13 though. Anyway, a spare bib may keep you from having to ride the last 60 km standing up.

Gloves: Chances are that your hands will swell: mine do over these distances. I recommend bringing two pairs of padded gloves with different patterns just to change the location of the pain.

Compression clothing: Chances are that you will feel a little bit of numbness in your hands and feet. Bracelets, knee braces, compression socks, anything that will put a little pressure close to your extremities will reduce the numbness. A tight compression top (e.g. Skins A400) is also great (keeps you warm and reduces back pain) but I would recommend, if it is very tight, to remove it about halfway since these tops can take out a lot of your energy. Speaking of cloths, don't be afraid of dressing sexy and avoid wearing kites. Aerodynamics is pretty important.

Tires: We will probably have mechanical issues. It will be my pleasure to help you deal with them but please lets not tempt fate. If your tires have seen their better days, consider replacing them before: fixing a ripped tire in the middle of nowhere is not obvious. I would recommend looking for some that have reinforced side walls (like the Michelin Pro4 Endurance or the Gatorskin) as little rocks tend to scratch the side of the tires when you pass on them and they bounce.

Emergency equipment: You never know what may happen, a mechanical problem can make us lose tons of time. So bring lights and warm cloths.

Preparation: I recommend a large breakfast: eggs/meat/potatoes/toasts. You may struggle with digestion at the beginning of the ride but the energy will last you at least till Hawkesbury. As gross as it sounds, I consider that emptying my intestine is one of the most important steps of my preparation. A natural fiber supplement (psyllium husk) and coffee work well for me.

That's all I can think of for now. If anyone has advices they want to share, please go ahead.

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