1 down on my 2012 To-Do cycling trips!! I wanted to visit Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon, ON since October 2011 (ROUTE MAP). I originally planned on riding to The Shed Coffee Bar in Belfountain, ON with a detour to Cheltenham Badlands on the way. Yesterday I found out The Shed is relocating to Erin, ON!!! Uncertain whether their Belfountain location is still opened, I decided to only ride to the Badlands and back. No mid-ride coffee!! (UPDATE: According to this Forum, The Shed closed since Dec 2011 due to a dispute with the landlord. Awful!! 😦 Glad they found a new location!!)
Nerves about falling off the bike resulted in a delayed 1PM start. The gorgeous sun definitely disguised the nasty strong wind. The trip to Caledon was mostly head wind as I pedaled up the escarpment. The wind speed was faster than my bike; I was only going at 18km/hr on flats & 13km/hr on hills!! 😮 There’s a particularly nasty hill at ~17km. I’ve done this route countless times & I ALWAYS stop at this house at the top of the hill to catch my breath. If you ever read my blog, thanks for the hospitality on your driveway!!
I’ve never used the ‘grannies’ so much on this route. Must get my climbing legs back!! I tried the “ankling” technique today in hopes of perfecting my pedal strokes. I could feel the difference. Too bad it never lasted long. “Ankling” requires a lot of concentration! I kept it up for a couple of revolutions before getting immersed in my nonsense thoughts. My mind wanders frequently especially when I’m biking solo on country roads with nothing better to do. This ranges from stupid thoughts like “my legs burning”, “is that a dead bird”, & “what should I eat after the ride” to horrible music stuck in my head. Britney Spears was my companion on my return trip.
My 1st impression of Cheltenham Badlands? Breathtaking! I’ve visited the Badlands National Park (South Dakota) last summer. So this was miniscule in comparison. But I couldn’t believe such a rare geological formation was so close to home!! What a natural gem! Badlands are areas that can no longer support vegetation. Poor farming practices in 1930s resulted in soil erosion, exposing the underlying shale. The iron oxide in the shale forms the reddish colour. So cool!! I didn’t stay long since there was no where to park my bike. I’m NOT leaning my bike on those wimpy trees!! 😉
Aside from the wind, today was a good start to my usual cycling distance again. My bike was shifting much smoother since my hanger finally got straightened a few days ago. I guess I never realized I’ve been riding with a bent hanger for a while. What a difference! Oh & bonus, I didn’t fall today!!!! 😀