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Ontario Cogal

May 29, 2012

Sunday’s Ride: 190km—Erin, Fork of the Credit

Weather: Overcast, warm

Some rides serve as strong reminders of why I love to ride, and Sunday’s Ontario Cogal was just such a ride. 190 kilometres, taking in some of the big climbs in the area: Sydenham, Snake Rd., Rattlesnake were all on the cards on our way out to the Shed Coffee Bar in Erin (which, incidentally, I can strongly recommend: beautiful place with great food, coffee, and service).

Sunday’s ride was a bunch of things for me. First and foremost, it was the first Canadian Cogal. What’s a Cogal? Well, the Illuminati had their cabals; the Velominati have their cogals. Basically a group of like-minded cycling misfits—for whom looking pro is almost as important as riding like one—congregated at Café Domestique for a challenging ride through some of southern Ontario’s beautiful cycling country. The course was not for the weak of heart, but we were six departing from Dundas under cloudy skies. The forecasted thunderstorms never materialized, but they seemed like an ever-present threat.

Furthermore, I was the host, so I was proud to show off some of the great riding available around here, and picked out a course that took in a number of my favourite roads and some of the climbs that would present a bit of a challenge.

At the same time, we were tasked with special cargo. In addition to the Cogal, the group served as the first espresso post ride. We took with us a Café Domestique jersey to deliver to the Shed and returned with a Shed jersey for Domestique. Kind of cool exchange. And neat to be a part of that.

Finally, the ride was kind of preparation for the Vermont ride. 190 kilometres is a long day, but I felt good. I was strong going up, solid on the flats, and confident descending. Even better: I definitely could have maintained the pace longer. In a lot of ways, this ride was the acid test to see if I could actually manage Vermont. Today was a good sign.

Riding in company was nice, too. There was a range of fitness and strength in the ride, but everyone survived, and I enjoyed riding up and down the ranks and chatting with everyone as the group accordioned out on the road and came together. I also enjoyed the moments of exertion as I raced to catch up with the lead riders. Legs felt good. And not so tired the next day. All good.

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