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Chemin—Chimay

October 11, 2011

Today’s Ride: 91km—Jerseyville, Harrisburg, Sheffield, Clyde, Valens, Orkney

Weather: Mild, overcastish

The legs. They make you pay. On Thursday morning, we started our Thanksgiving weekend early by driving down to Princeton, NJ to visit my sister and her family. Long drive and hard to eat well on interstate highways. We had a very nice time and spent the Sunday in Philadelphia, visiting our old haunts (we lived in Center City for a year before moving to Ontario). That included dinner at Monk’s Café, a fine Belgian bar, which does fine Belgian beer, fine Belgian mussels, and fine Belgian frites. These are all very fine things—and given the Belgian influence on cycling, very à propos (Chimay Tripel with the Ardennes Burger: very fine stuff). All this to say, I spent the best part of a week off the bike and enjoyed myself more than I should have.

The beginning of a beautiful evening.

Monk's on 16th & Spruce; just around the corner from where we used to live.

Which is to say that this morning’s ride left a little something to be desired. Maybe not a surprise. Cramped in a car all day yesterday, I was stiff and sluggish. Climbs weren’t painful so much as they just seemed to go slowly and trying to persuade my legs to spin was a bit of a lost cause. Maybe it was the bike, which just didn’t seem to have its regular pop, but I’m guessing it was the engine that was a little rusty. Not the end of the world, but the ride lacked its usual lightness. I followed last week’s new discovery, and tacked on a run up to Clyde and back via Valens.

To make matters worse, we had spectacular weather while we were away, and I couldn’t help thinking that this kind of warm sun in October was best enjoyed in the saddle (which it is and which it wasn’t) and that it couldn’t possibly last (which it won’t). Today, the clouds were starting to descend and we’ve been promised rain for much of the rest of the week. Still, fall colors make even the blandest, straightest road look more interesting. And a little rain might not mix well with fallen leaves, but it certainly adds some flavor to the ride.

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