First Ride ‘n Dine of the year, A Dragon Slayer – April 10, 2011

Once upon a time in The King's Land, well, actually this Wednesday the 20th past …

It was a stormy evening, but four brave Veloists (John, Paul T., Rosemary, and Hal) rode their iron (no carbon or aluminium) silent steeds to meet the Kingston Brew Pub dragon for a chow down. Fighting head winds as they approached the dragon's den, they pushed their pedals evermore determined to quench their thirsts for the sweet nectar of the cask. Upon arrival they were weather beaten, but not broken, and quickly learned (from Veloist brother Bob C., who had arrived by other means and was taking his leave) that friends (fellow Veloist Paul The First and his beloved Noreen) were already there to welcome, and join the feast. Soon, two other silent steeds arrived carrying yet two other Veloists (Cary and Marilyn), who came forthwith from their dwelling. A bounty of lamb and buffalo was consumed, along with a few tankards of ale. A good time was had by all and the Dragon's Breath was finished!

For more adventures, join us next month on the 18th for the Ride 'n Dine as we make our way to visit our seafaring friend, The Loyal Oarsman.

The foursome mulitplied by two. Everyone looks up but Noreen (light sensitivity) while Hal takes a flash photo. Against the wall are Noreen, Paul R., Paul T., and Rosemary. In chairs are John, Cary, and Marilyn. In this photo, the lamb and buffalo have yet to be trotted out.
by Hal Cain

 

We’ll find it someday… – May 27, 2011

Where the deuce is Milburn? We still don't know! We've been along Milburn Road and there's still no sign.

Last Sunday, six KVC riders set out from the Battersea ball park to look for the elusive town on yet another "Where the Deuce Is Milburn" ride. A climb out of Battersea was followed by a ride on Round Lake Road to Inverary, then east on the Morland-Dixon Town Line to Sunbury. The group took a break at Brewers Mills Lock at the end of Washburn Road, then crossed Highway 15 to ride the fairly flat roads north of Joyceville. The riders were treated to the sight of a lone skydiver descending to a landing at the Gan Airport. A ride back on Sunbury Road took them to Ida Hill and Milburn Roads where, once again, MIlburn still could not be found. Lilacs were smelled in abundance, however, giving a preview of this coming Sunday's "Smell the Lilacs" tour. The intrepid cyclists were rewarded with ice cream at the variety store which is once again open for business.

Thanks to new member Wayne and to Hal, Marilyn, Real, and Margaret for joining the ride and for bringing ideal cycling weather.

by Paul Rappell

 

Ride the Scent – June 8, 2011

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CYLISTS GONE… long time passing…

FLOWERS there were in abundance – white, pink and every shade of lilac imaginable. They crowded old farm sites, edged fields, sometimes filling the whole horizon, and often formed a Guard of Honour from hedgerows as we cycled along. The sun stayed out, and always the smell of lilacs wafted over us.

But where had all the cyclists gone? Was it something we said? Couldn't have been that trifling shower as we set out this morning?

A select group – Hal, Bob C, and Margaret – enjoyed idyllic conditions on a 70km moderate Smell the lilacs‚ tour through Newburgh, Centreville, Colebrook, Yarker and Wilton, leaving from Camden East, while Rick led the 84km challenge ride from Kingston through the same villages, with new member Wayne for company. We met up to admire the Falls from the Yarker Waterfall Tea Room for a delicious, mostly vegetarian lunch, with another new member, Jack, joining us.

by Margaret Wild

 

Fun Fundraiser Features Fancy Food – June 15, 2011

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Thank you to twenty-four energetic riders who took part in KVC Cycle for Heart last Sunday, thank you to all the generous donors, thank you to Nancy Young hosting a BBQ in her beautiful garden, thank you to Sarah and Vince Loricchio efficiently working the BBQ, thank you to HSF for excellent door prizes, thank you to KVC picking up the tab, and a final thank you to the weather gods bringing us sunshine!

To date over $1300 has been raised for Heart and Stroke Foundation, well surpassing our $1000 goal, with some donations still coming in.

Gary, Ib, Gail, Dave, Dukke, Dugald and Margaret rode 36km through Cataraqui Cemetery, then along the K&P trail, returning by road. Jay, Real, Gari, Janet, Phiona, Ed, Wayne, Dora, Michelle, Mary Jean, Brian and Rosemary cycled 70km through back country roads battling a headwind to Bath, returning speedily along the lakeshore. Rick, Hal Jill, Bob C and Robert rode 95km through the hills of Round Lake Road to the even more renowned hills of Burnt Hills Road, returning against said headwind via Brewers Mills.

Having built seriously hearty appetites, nearly all riders were able to do ample justice to the BBQ afterwards – with healthy choices of course!

by Margaret Wild

 

Roll In, Roll On – June 8, 2011

The KVC has been hosting the Clean Air Day roll-in breakfast for cyclists since 2003. This year we had what must be the most successful one yet. A horde of cyclists descended upon the KVC’s food setup at Princess and Clergy Streets last Wednesday, 8 June, to eat, socialize, and celebrate the KVC’s contribution to Cycling Week in Kingston.

With buns from Pan Chancho Bakery, muffins from the Wolfe Island Bakery, and the KVC’s own store-bought goods, riders had a good choice of brekky treats. So many cyclists came that we ran out of coffee, and that was a huge amount! Remember the slogan, “Ride to Eat; Eat to Ride”? That was certainly the case last Wednesday!

Thanks to all our organizers, volunteers, and donors. Very well done!

by Margaret Wild

 

Two Beaver (Lake) Tales – July 13, 2011

This year's ride to Beaver Lake included more area villages. Luckily for us, while initial development centred around local water mills, larger populations were drawn to hydro-electric sites, leaving behind these sleepy, picturesque hamlets just oozing century charm.

Robert led Jill and Rick 138KM from Catarqui Community Centre through Yarker, Colebrook, Moscow. Enterprise and Tamworth before arriving at Beaver Lake. Margaret and Real left Camden East in westerly direction to take in Newburgh, Croydon, Marlbank and Erinsville before meeting the others for breakfast in Lakeview Tavern. (A splendid affair costing all of $5, five choices offered, coffee included! The Marlbank Pheonix Tavern has reopened, somewhat less upscale than before, but is not available before 1 p.m.).

Suitably refreshed (nobody swam!) each group retraced the other's route back to start. To do so, Margaret and Real, inspired by Real's Randonneur exploits of 400 and 600 KM daily, extended their trip to 80KM+. Avoiding Bethel Road (freshly tarred and gravelled), we marvelled again at the beauty of the countryside, and excellence of the quiet roads – truly a cycling paradise!

by Margaret Wild

 

Bicycling Back to Battersea – August 10, 2011


Bunched up to Battersea. The group poses for an action shot on Sixth Concession on last Saturday’s “Battersea back Country” tour.

Portage. Riders cross Upper Brewer’s Mills Locks after finding a new way to get there. Boaters were surprised by the sudden appearance of so many cyclists.

And you thought sewer grates were bad! This one is a major wheel catcher. Lock machinery makes good bicycle parking, too.

“Move a little to your right!” Not! A boater kindly took the camera to snap the group as they paused at the lock.

“I scream, you scream!” Okay, so they didn”t scream, they just quietly held up their cones. KVC riders pause at the general store in Battersea for an ice-cream break.

Photos by Paul Rappell

 

We’re Here to Pump You Up! – August 18, 2011

THE INAUGURAL CYCLE PUMP RIDE.

The conditions were ideal: warm, not too humid, sunshine and NO wind for the first of regularly scheduled Tuesday night bike rides originating from the Metro parking lot at Bayridge Drive and Taylor-Kidd Boulevard. Kristine MacLeod set an invigorating pace as she, Doug Angle and myself set out north on Westbrook Road, west on Unity and Mud Lake Roads to County Road 6 for the leg south to Loyalist Parkway and the return home. Well paved roads on this 38 km route helped us achieve a 29.2 km/h pace, somewhat higher than what yours truly was expecting but, then again, that’s what this ride was all about: improving your speed and fitness ability in a group setting. With the summer winding down and the evenings growing shorter, there are not too many more opportunities left. So if this is the type of ride you would like in a weeknight setting, come on out and join us before it’s too late!

By Darrell Wood

 

Six Days on the Road (and Trails) Part 1 – August 25, 2011

By Hal Cain

On August 14th we (Margret, Robert T., Bob C., Maureen, Rosemary, and I) started out from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec on our week-long cycle tour of the Eastern Townships and Northern Vermont.

Taking a combination of rural roads and bicycle trails (La Route Verte system), we had a wonderfully flat day of riding through the countryside. Just before noon the path took us through a sky diving area where, as Maureen commented, “Men were raining from the sky!”.

Lunch was at Le Café De La Brûlerie in Granby, just off the paved bike path, where a few of us indulged in our first beers of the trip and had largish meals, establishing that this tour would be experienced to the max!

Besides the men, there was some very light real rain in the afternoon, but it was welcome and cooling. Arriving in Waterloo, our first night stop, we were still full from lunch, so ice cream (sundaes and banana splits) was our just dessert for the end of the day; and, dinner before heading to our accommodations (3 at hotels, 3 camping) for the evening.

On Day 2 we headed east and soon picked up an on-road Velo Route through some beautiful roads among farms and forests. About 15 km from Magog (our planned lunch stop) we opted to take a path/trail that eventually took us through the Parc National du Mont-Orford. The trail through the park was not, I repeat, not a rail-trail! While it was reasonably groomed packed dirt and stone-dust, it had its ups and downs, more suitable for MTBs. We did make it through with our loaded bicycles. Who’s idea was that anyway?!

This detour was fun, but put us behind schedule. We stopped for lunch in Orford (just before Magog) at a nice café just before the rain set in for the day. As we were donning our rain gear after lunch, the first flat tire (rear, of course) of the day was discovered. That fixed, we continued in the steady rain on to Ayers’ Cliff, via North Hatley.

Crossing over QC-55, east of Magog, there was a nice down-hill to the river. What goes down must come up, so began or longest climb (about 2 km) of the tour, so far. Just before the start of that climb, three of us waited and waited for the others. We decided to go on and hopefully hear from them (via cell phone) soon. Somewhere shortly after reaching the top, we got a call to report yet another flat, different bicycle, explaining the delay.

At this point, the first three of us continued (don’t forget it was raining) on to North Hatley where we found a nice covered patio of a café for coffee as we waited for the others to catch up. At just a little before 6 o‚clock (that’s p.m.), the three dealing with the flat rolled up to the café. Given that we were having a long, wet day, a decision was made that we campers would stay in the hotel (above the bar in Ayer’s Cliff) like the other three, good decision. We rolled into Ayer’s Cliff around 7:30p.m., glad for a dry place to sleep and a wet cold beer!

 

Six Days on the Road (and Trails) Part 2 – September 4, 2011

By Hal Cain

On the third day of our tour we awoke to find that the steady rain from yesterday decided to stay the night with us, outside, of course. Over a good diner style breakfast next door at Chez Maurice Restaurant, we put our departure time on a thirty minute rain watch, the forecast indicated precipitation ending before noon.

Luckily, this was our shortest day of the tour at just under 40 km. Waiting out the rain, our bicycles safe and dry in the garage/barn behind the pub/hotel, some of us went shopping (for food for lunch, etc.) while others relaxed and read the newspaper, Margaret read a book on her e-reader. We had to clear out of our rooms by 11 a.m, so we used the front porch as a staging area for our panniers and other gear. Half-an-hour later, the rain let up and by noon we were on our way.

We picked up the Tomifobia Nature Trail (19 km rail-trail), just metres from the porch, and headed south to the U.S. border. With all the rain the trail was wet and there were a few puddles to negotiate, but very manageable and a scenic route. The Massawippi River wound its way back and forth beside and either side of the trail. Somewhere around Comestock Corners, there was a memorial to two railroad workers who lost their lives in the 1800s due to some accident caused by a boulder. There was a picnic table there and a good place to have our ploughman’s lunch.

Continuing on, it was only a short distance until we left the trail in the village Beebe just before the border. Crossing the border was uneventful, thankfully for one in our party, and we were off to connect with the final rail-trail of the day, the Beebe Spur Rail Trail which took us the rest of the way to Newport, VT, our overnight stop.

The three of us who camped made our way to Prouty Beach & Campground (a very nice municipal campground) where we were the only tenters among many RVs. We set up camp just before a series of short rain showers set in for about an hour. Later, we campers set out riding to meet the others for dinner but, due to the strange layout of the town’s streets, we ended up riding about 8 km trying to find their motel. And, after the debate on where to eat and a poor way-out-of-scale map the motel provided, we ended up cycling another 3 or 4 km in search of a pub, only to find it was way out of town, so we abandoned that idea at the local drive-in.

By that time it was getting dark and the three decided to eat at the drive-in while the other three headed back to town to find dinner. Oh, yeah, this drive-in happened to be where Robert’s bicycle sustained a nasty puncture of the front tire and tube, which required a tire-booting the next morning. For a short day, a lot happened!

Day 4 was the longest (96 km) and highest (610 m). Our plan was to be on the road by 8:30 a.m., but … Robert and I just finished the repair on his tire around our planned departure time. Rosemary had already left camp to meet the rest of our group. With a few things to load on his bicycle, I left Robert and rode on to see if the outfitter/bike store (in town, on our route) would be open. It was, and Robert was able to buy a good replacement tire, which he strapped on the back above his tent, no time to change now and, besides, we needed to test of our tire repair. We caught up with the rest of our group in Troy, a planned rest stop for the day.

After a good cup of coffee (and the half of a cinnamon crescent roll Rosemary had saved for me), we were off again and soon to start our ascent of Jay Peak. This climb was a series of four (depending how you count) “steps” of 9 km with an elevation change of 366 meters. The maximum grade according to one sign I saw was 10%, and another sign I saw as I glanced back at the top of one rise said 9% for one mile! The last climb to the top was less than 1 mile, but more than 10% grade I’m sure. The only sign there said “Trucks Use Lower Gear”.

At the top there was a pull off area where a dozen or so sportif cyclists from Québec we’d seen passing us, had stopped. I think they were impressed, or maybe perplexed, at us cycling up the mountain with heavily loaded bicycles! After a brief rest at the top to enjoy our accomplishment, it was a 12 km descent to Montgomery, Vermont, for our lunch stop. Robert ate a quick lunch and decided to install the new tire on the rear, as it was a higher-pressure tire more suitable for the rear, and moved the old rear tire to the front, replacing the damaged tire. In the process, it was discovered that the rear brakes were damaged and, after a trying to repair/adjust them, ended up disengaging them. (We suspect that the spring that broke did so on the descent from Jay Peak).

Meanwhile, the other four had left and we caught up with them in Enosburg Falls on the last rail-trail (35 km of the Missisquoi Valley Rail-Trail) of the trip at our schedule rest stop, good maple soft serve ice cream. The Trail ended in St. Albans, our overnight stop; and, as planned, we all slept indoors (3 of us at a B&B, 3 at a motel) that night. We all had a wonderful meal at One Federal Restaurant and celebrated our longest day.

Six Days on the Road (and Trails) Part 3 – September 10, 2011

by Hal Cain

 

Four days completed and two to go. On our fifth day of the tour, we cycled to Grand Isle in Lake Champlain, a short day (distance wise, 50 km) but full!

After a fantastic breakfast (French toast, my personal favourite touring breakfast) at the B&B, Moe, Rosemary and I headed to the south end of St. Albans to meet Bob, Robert, and Margaret at the motel where they had stayed the night. Part of the pre-ride discussion of the day included locating the only cycle shop near or on our planned route, in Georgia (that was on my mind for the whole morning!). After about 15 km of rolling hills and a couple of turns we found White’s Bikes & Outfitters, a small but complete shop.

Down to business: brakes were found and installed on Robert‚s bicycle at a very reasonable price. While that was job was being done, other shopping was happening (Bob bought an air pump, Moe some oil, and Margaret got a deal on a pair of cycling shorts). We also got a little free air, using the shop’s floor pump.

Repairs and shopping completed, we headed off to the back roads that would take us to through hills of farmland; bucolic landscape and minor climbs compared to the previous day made this a pleasant ride. Just before our route connected with US-2 (Roosevelt Hwy) and onto Gran Isle, the last of our punctures occurred (rear tire, of course) while climbing the last hill. (In case anyone’s counting, that’s five for the trip, if you count Maureen’s pinched tube puncture while repairing a flat on the second day.)

The others already over the hill (no pun intended), Margaret and I made the repair at the top. Bad rim tape appeared to be the culprit in this case, suspect the extra air at the bike shop did it in. Hockey tape to the rescue once again. Re-taping the rim took time, but it took much longer to get the wheel back on, tightest fit between dropouts I’ve encountered. Wheel back on, the two of us started off down the hill and shortly got to US-2, but Margaret was off her bike and looking at the rear wheel, what now? There was a bump-wobble. A quick look, everything seemed okay, but another km or so down the road and it was getting worse. Stopping and looking again, we discovered that the tire was not seated well at one spot; so, deflate, manipulate, inflate. This helped, maybe, a bit but still some bump-wobble.

We decided to continue and look at it again when we stopped for lunch, which was only about another 6 km. That’s where we caught up with the rest of our group who had already eaten sandwiches from the Apple Island Store. Everyone stayed around while Margaret and I had lunch. As to the wheel, Robert stated he was experienced with the problem of her wheel and would correct it at our camp, another 9 or 10 km. All of us rode together, for the most part, through South Hero and to the Grand Isle State Park. Maureen and Bob continued another 3.5 km on to The Maples cottages where they and Margaret overnighted. Robert re-seated Margaret’s tire at our camp and she rode off to the cottages.

Assessing dinner options we discovered there was not a restaurant in the village of Grand Isle (where The Maples is located) so the decision was made that the three non-campers would buy food and drinks (i.e., beer and wine) at the local store for a picnic dinner in the field behind the cottages; and, the three of us campers would cycle back to South Hero (10 km round trip) to eat at McKee’s Island Pub & Pizza. Both venues worked out well in the end, the end of a busy day.

The last day of the tour, back to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, promised to be a good ending to our trip, 80 km, good weather forecast, and a route without any appreciable climbs. After breakfast alfresco, the campers packed up dry tents and gear and headed out to rendezvous with the others in Grand Isle at the cottages, the six of us together, again.

Rolling into a planned coffee break in North Hero (at Hero’s Welcome café / bakery / deli / gas station / general store), a two-camera crew was working taking video. The “director” informed us that they were doing a video for Lake Champlain Region Tourism. They took shots of us as we arrived, parking our bicycles, and mingling before entering the café. We all signed the releases and mused about our potential fame on the Travel Network; or at least some website!

After the “photo shoot” some of us consumed good cups of coffee and various fresh baked goods while at least two checked out the crafts store next door. Back on the road, we had one more stop before crossing the border back into Canada. Seeing our last chance for cross-border shopping, we stopped at the Alburg Beverage Mart, the New England Via Vermont card and gift Shop next door was ignored.

Purchased at the Beverage Mart were a few 4-packs of 187ml wine in plastic bottles (some because of the bicycle-theme packaging) and a couple of frozen margaritas in a bag (thawed at the time, but ready for the freezer or a long cold ride).

Say “Cheese” … Wait … Say “Big Cheese”! – September 10, 2011

by Paul Rappell

 

Not so cheesy! A dozen riders showed for tha KVC’s annual tradition, “The Big Cheese” ride to Wilton. Some of the riders (John, Darrell, Rosemary, Andrew, Adrienne, Maureen, Paul, Kristine, and Margaret) pose with their purchases (cheese and otherwise) outside the Wilton Cheese factory).

 

 

 

 

 

Free bicycles at Ella’s! It was another “Where’s Waldo’s bicycle?” moment outside Ella’s Cafe in Harrowsmith. Inside, KVC riders munched brunch in friendly surroundings.

 

Not so cheesy! A dozen riders showed for tha KVC’s annual tradition, “The Big Cheese” ride to Wilton. Some of the riders (John, Darrell, Rosemary, Andrew, Adrienne, Maureen, Paul, Kristine, and Margaret) pose with their purchases (cheese and otherwise) outside the Wilton Cheese factory).

 

 

KVC Century Tour 2011 – September 19, 2011

 by Hal Cain

It was a cool but sunny start for this year’s KVC Century Tour on Sunday. There were 15 riders (the most ever) who participated – 10 on the Imperial Century and the other 5 on the Metric Century. For two of the riders, one on the 100 km route and the other on the 100 miles (163 km) route, this was their longest and first century rides. There was one guest/non-member on the tour.

Unfortunately, no photographs were taken, but picture this: a beautiful day with a clear sky, temperature starting around 10C at the start and going up to 18C, light winds out of the southeast shifting to the south; groups of riders, pairs and single riders winding their way through pastoral countryside and towns and villages of various sizes on mostly quite roads with just enough ups and downs to make it interesting, crossing and riding along lakes and rivers; and, gelato / ice cream, pizza/wine, sandwich stops.

The first riders got back at 12:30 pm and the last rider returned a few minutes after 4 pm. Most riders stayed around at The Ports for a pint or two and some food until after the last rider arrived. We all celebrated a wonderful day of cycling and completing the challenge of riding a Century Bicycle Tour. For those of you who were not part of this event, now, envision yourself part of this scene next year!