Thursday, 29 April 2021

Tiger Tales: finding twists and turns in a straight line desert

I know I live in the wrong place when I ride 20 minutes out of my way to find two consecutive corners that let me lean the bike.  One day I'll escape the tedium of Southwestern Ontario and live somewhere with geography that delights rather than depresses.

In early April I rode for over an hour to get to River Road out of Horning's Mills.  That's a 60 minute ride to get 13 minutes of corners, except Ontario, in its wisdom, has decided to make the whole thing a 60km/hr zone now, so you're going so slowly you end up tipping over rather than enjoying the corners.

The other fun thing (besides the tedium of the geography) is that the roads are falling apart after another long Canadian winter. Between that, the lack of geography and ever increasing population pushing speed limits down to dribbling velocity, it's time to find some corners elsewhere on a trip, except there aren't any trips in year two of COVID.

I've still got a stupid grin on my face though because I'm back out on two wheels after nearly a hundred days of the weather trying to kill me.

45 minutes to the east are the Forks of the Credit, a 5km wiggle that follows the Credit River as it tumbles down the Niagara Escarpment.  You actually get a switchback out of it, but the proximity to Toronto means it's usually very busy, even though it wouldn't rate a second look in California or anywhere else with mountains.  I went on a mid-week day and managed a couple of clean runs in the mid-April sun.

Last weekend I headed south to near Campbellville, another 45 minute slog to get a couple of curves.  I don't usually head that way often because it's perilously close to the GTA, so you not only get tedious roads but also a lot of tedious people.  It took me a couple of tries to get a clean run at it, but even then you're waiting forever for the odd corner.

We live west and south of the Niagara Escarpment (yep, the same cliff Niagara Falls flows over an hour and a half south west of us), which winds around us and up north into Michigan.  It's one of the few geographical features that break up the monotony, but not by much.  After having ridden the Arizona mountains and Vancouver Island's spectacular scenery, it's difficult to take the tedium when you know other people live in places that make riding a thrill.

Not all Ontario is this dull.  As you head east you get into the lake of the woods and the Canadian Shield which offers some interesting riding options, though the road conditions are still rough.

Maybe one of these days I'll get a chance to head out Peterborough/Ottawa way and enjoy the curves the Shield and the lake of the woods offer.