Pink Lake, which is green
Determined to take advantage of the superb weather, I headed back out to Gatineau Park at 8:30 this morning. After 25 km, I found myself at the parking lot on Meech Lake Road, waiting for the others. The roads were closed, but only until 10 am but a huge number of cross-country skiers were out enjoying the asphalt on their wheeled skis. Some of them came downhill impressively fast.
Skiers in September
Bob and Daryl from the Oakville Bicycle Club soon arrived and we set off along the Gatineau Parkway, turning right onto Camp Fortune Road and enjoying a nice steady climb. A powerful-looking woman rode past us and we were debating reeling her in but she looked pretty serious and was probably not even trying very hard, so we just cruised at our own speed. Although the roads were now open to traffic, there was not much of it at this end of the park. However, I noticed that as we headed south, many of the small parking lots were filled to overflowing and we actually came upon some cars. An NSX passed us, swerving by without enough room, and then he immediately had to sit on the bumper of a slower car ahead.
Me, Daryl and Bob at the Champlain Lookout
A right turn at the top and we rode the brief interval to Champlain Lookout, and then turned around to enjoy the downhill recovery stage as we headed back to the parking lot. Lap 2 was turning left towards Camp Fortune itself and although we were happy that the road was paved, the ski resort was only a short distance up the road. So back up towards Champlain Lookout we went, but turning left onto the Gatineau Parkway.
At this point I bid adieu to Bob and Daryl and with some soreness in my legs I headed back downhill towards Hull and once more across the Alexandra Bridge, with its excellent view of the Houses of Parliament, the Chateau Laurier Hotel and the impressive series of locks that mark the end (or beginning) of the Rideau Canal. Once I arrived at home, I took my trainer's advice and went running for ten minutes. It was pretty painful and I will definitely have some work to do before the duathlon in ensuring fast transitions.
So today was a good day: good company, a great ride, superb weather. 1504 vertical meters in 91.4 kms of riding.