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Winding Roads

September 18, 2011

Today’s Ride: 20km—Mineral Springs loop

Weather: Sunny, cool

Is there a more inviting sign to a cyclist than this sign? It might account for this being my regular weekend route. Add to this that I reached it by climbing the equally windy Old Ancaster Rd. and on most other weekend mornings would have added the winding Crooks Hollow to the ride (the littlest Velonista has an earache, so today was a very quick spin), and there’s a lot of fun to be had just outside my door. Add, too, that much of this is rolling through Conservation Area, rather than residential estates, the riding gets even better. No: you don’t have to go far to get in some good riding.

I was reminded of this, as I rolled over a couple of small humps on the run-in towards the horseshoe turn at Mineral Springs, which amounts to a dozen houses the speckle (rather than line) the roadside. With the sun shining and my being warm already in the cool sun. This is a very, very nice little loop. It’s quite challenging if you decide to push yourself and keep the pace high, but quick enough that you don’t need to be gone long. After all the longer rides I’ve been doing, this was very much an easy spin. The legs felt good and I maintained a high cadence. I felt very good and strong climbing the Old Ancaster Rd.—breathing heavily but not winded. But the fun of this loop, as the sign suggests, is the winding road, especially on the descents, where you can pick up a healthy bit of speed and take the turns on a good angle, drifting to the edge of the road before cutting to the middle at the apex of the bend and then swinging wide again on the way out. I’ve done this route enough times to know how to handle each turn—the horseshoe can be tricky with bumps in the road you want to avoid and blind corners, which discourage one from being completely brash. But the familiarity is nice and the ride is interesting enough that it doesn’t provoke monotony or boredom. Changing seasons help with this, too, as the whole experience of the ride shifts with light, temperature, and colors.

The descent towards Mineral Springs

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