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Monday, December 31, 2012

D'oh! 500 KILOMETERS, not MILES! - Festive500

As Fear Rothar raised his glass in toast tonight for completion of the Festive 500, he said, "Next time pay attention to the UNITS."

What? It was only 500km, not 500 miles?

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
The ride up to Harold Parker is another of my favorites. Wait, I've said that about every route, haven't I?  I admit it, I like them all! This ride is another of my semi-urban rides.  I've again tried to find the quietest possible roads through a very densely populated area. It's easy to find quiet roads going west, but it can be a real challenge when going north or south. Still for the sake of variety, I have taken on the challenge and have rides heading away from RSC in all directions. This one goes north.  But it's not just to fill out the spokes in the map-wheel. There is some absolutely gorgeous and quiet countryside up around Harold Parker State Park, and the Ryer's Country Store is a treat too.  

Pamela, Patria and Henry ready to start the final ride of 2012
The road conditions were only slightly improved from yesterday. No snow had melted, and no additional plowing had taken place. The temperature had plummeted overnight into the low 20's F, but at least the sun was out! That might help melt some of the snow that was still on the roads.

What is that bright thing in the trees?

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
We still managed to find a few slushy bits of road here and there. I was quite happy to have my winter tires and was even more happy than Patria that she had a studded tire on the front of her bike to slow her down a wee bit - although she didn't seem handicapped by it at all!

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
It was pretty cold to remove gloves for photos, but we all took the opportunity as we rode through the park.



But fingers and toes were a bit chilly as we approached the lunch stop. We passed on sitting outside at the picnic tables, and instead warmed up with hot soup and coffee indoors!

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
Ryers has bike parking too!

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
Two hot chicks, pretending to be cold!

photo courtesy of Henry van den Broek
Last beautiful light of 2012!
What a wonderful way to finish off a fabulous year. Thanks Rapha for putting on this challenge again, at a time of year when sane people might hang out by the fire. Thanks to all my riding companions this week, who kept me company and endured my progressively slower-each-day pace. And thanks to John for loaning me a winter tire and not giving me too much grief as I claimed exhaustion.

Now to put my feet up and eat a Panettone!

And Fear Rothar, for his part, escaped for a few km's after work. He took the scenic route to RSC and accompanied me home.












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