Terra Cotta, a village in the Town of Caledon, was on my riding list last year that got sidetracked. It’s time to make that visit. To make it interesting, I checked the route for the annual Tour de Terra Cotta – 3 laps of 8.6km loop. Let’s try it out!
TO Terra Cotta (28.9km)
I rode to the edge of my limit without pushing past my max. I wanted to reserve some juice in the tank for an all-out-effort later at my mock “Tour”. The results were sufficient for me.
Tour de Terra Cotta (8.6km)
Each lap starts at the Terra Cotta Inn. It’s a give-and-take loop, starting with a 10% grade hill and ending with an exhilarating long downhill. The hill separated into 2 sections, eventually showing its steepest on the 2nd section.
My motivation declined before reaching the halfway point on my 1st lap. I tried not to listen to the dark side. Just finish it! Excuses were coming everywhere convincing myself to stop after 1 lap … the roads were not maintained well, I was already slower than the average pace from last year’s riders, so what’s the point?! On the descent, I received messages from the Almighty – a small rock hit me square in the face, followed by a fallen leaf that whipped my helmet. THAT was the last straw! I stopped after 1 lap. Mission aborted. If I wasn’t having fun, there’s no point continuing!
FROM Terra Cotta (29.7km)
I decided to take the ride back as “recreational”, taking in the scenery and soaking in the rays. Caledon is a beautiful quaint town after all with farmlands everywhere. Eventually I got bored. I’m finding long distance rides a bore this year and I’m struggling to understand why. This was never an issue last year. I’m hoping the primary contributor is riding in cold temperatures. It appears my sweet spot is around 60km before boredom consumes me; whereas last year was over 100km. I lifted my right hand in the air to test my balance, rolled my shoulders, sang, tested different out-of-saddle positions, leaned forward to hear my wheel spin …. ANYTHING to keep myself entertained without falling off the saddle. There was one thing I did for fun during this time that may be helpful in the future. I exaggerated my upstrokes, lifting my knees higher than what I’m used to while keeping my knees inwards. My strokes became more powerful. Although this slows down the cadence, it may be helpful on inclines where tempo is not as important. I will try this on my next adventure …