On the cold, grey, windy morning of Saturday, June 10th, Lynn kicked my butt out of bed for the 26 km Tour de Sudbury. Over the past years I've built up a tradition of long-ish June bike rides, from the Ride for Heart in Toronto with Mike, David, et al, to the Tour de Grand in Cambridge with Jamie, so it's nice to continue the tradition in my new hometown. This was the second annual Tour de Sudbury, and apparently the turn-out was much better than last year. I would estimate somewhere around 75-100 riders made it out to Bell Park this year.
I was pleased to see Tim, Lyla, and Antonia show up for the ride. For the first half of the ride, which took us around bike lanes on various Sudbury streets, Tim and I had a nice chat. He wrote up the event over at The Sudblog. Tim's going back to grad school, so he only has a few months left in Sudbury -- at least he'll get a chance to see Sudbury at its best. He also reminded me to get out to the Townehouse, as the local promoter still gets some great artists (in a [STRIKEOUT:cheap little]intimate venue).
Moonlight Beach marked the halfway point of the ride. I think I recall my uncle and aunt taking us to this beach back when I was just a wee brat. This is where the ride switched from roads to the packed gravel of the Laurentian Conservation Area trails, and within a few minutes the latent mountain biker in me emerged. These were wide trails, nothing too technical, but lots of steep hills and recent rain made for a lot of fun. It's nice to know that my seven year old Oryx can still bite into the dirt, even with semi-slick tires, a rear rack, and a pannier. (OK, the two-hour mountain biking odyssey that Mike and I took a couple of weeks back on the single-track in the area already proved that... but I need frequent reassurance!)
I returned to Bell Park a little over an hour after I left, so I definitely made good time on the second gruelling portion of the ride. The barbecue was over an hour away, I was in short sleeves and cooling down quickly, and Amber and Lynn were patiently waiting at home, so I rode back to make some fresh coffee. I'll definitely be back for next year's Tour de Sudbury.