Or ATYC Vs. Smiley. I'll save you the suspense, Smiley won. Hands down.
Me and Smiley are practically neighbours, and after several failed attempts to line up schedules, we were finally able to meet up for a ride today. We arranged to meet at 1pm, but the day was so nice I set out alone at 0930hrs for a back roads and gravel ride to A Vicious Cycle in New Dundee, ON.
About 40kms into it, I stopped to fill up. Only about 10 degrees C when I left home, but already I was able to peel off a layer and switch to Summer gloves. The sun was shinning and not a cloud in the sky.
BUT, it's the first day of Fall, and the colours are starting to change...
The big clear sky from the top of Cherry Hill:
Interesting planters on the roadside in Bright:
The first thing I noticed on arriving at A Vicious Cycle was that they are moving/expanding to the space next door in the plaza. That's good news for them as business must be doing well. The bad news is that empty space used to be the diner I planned on having breakfast in today.
I spent a little "kid in a candy store" time inside their shop before I selected a Pyramid fender extender - $45.20 taxes in. (The DIY one I made this Summer refused to stay curved and/or attached.)
The loss of the neighbouring diner meant a pre-packed butter tart and sugar free Red Bull would have to serve as my fuel for the next leg of the trip.
I spent about 45minutes dodging trucks on HWY 401 on my way to meet Smiley and his orange Versys.
As soon as he pulled in and I got a look at his well weather faded riding jacket, I knew that it was going to be a good ride.
We exchanged some mutual observations about each other's modifications on the Versys. It's impossible not to admire the exposed and polised header pipes on Smiley's V. And off we went, with Smiley in the lead.
Most of the guys I ride with are cruiser riders, and have less than 5 years experience. I generally lead the way and relish the opportunity to widen the gap whenever a curve appears.
Today was a whole different story. Smiley is a most spirited rider who schooled me on many roads. It was a total blast having someone to chase for a change and I had a hoot the whole ride. I even learned a few new and interesting area roads.
We stopped for a coffee in Port Burwell and exchanged some stories. Then I chased him once again as far as Belmont where we said "see you later" after 170km ride.
I made it home at 5, and the sun was still beaming. I felt like I could go a few hours more. But alas, it had been 7.5 hrs already. A total run today of 425kms over gravel, backroads, superhighway and chasing Smiley through some twisty stuff. Now, I have a fender extender to install...