The sun was hanging low in the Southern sky and the naked tree branches, shed of their leaves for a few weeks now, were bowing before the strong easterly winds. The mostly cloudy sky held a promise of rain, but perhaps not for a couple of hours yet. Meanwhile, below patches of blue, the temperature had risen to a November 12th record of 20 degrees C or 68F.
I had lots to do around home, but since a day like this doesn’t come around that often I decided, as the H-D marketing folks would say, “Screw it, let’s ride”.
I didn’t have anywhere special to go (although I was under instructions to pick up a litre of milk) so I just followed my nose.
No matter what my destination the first 6 km is a given. We’re on a dead-end road and that’s how far it is to the first turn. It was also along that stretch of road that some of the worst damage from the July 23 storm occurred. With the leafy veil lifted I could now see further into the woods at the carnage. Much like the ‘98 ice storm we’ll be seeing the remnants of this one for decades to come.
By the time I hit that first decision point I had decided to head towards Burnstown, some 20 km northwest. But just before I got to the village I came to a side road that I had never been down before. No time like the present, eh? While an interesting diversion the road unfortunately just looped back to White Lake, which I had passed 10 km back, so I got to ride the Burnstown road twice.
At Burnstown I hung a right, heading north-east towards the Ottawa River with the intent to follow the river back into Arnprior where I knew there was a Tim Horton’s coffee and a dutchie waiting. I could also pick up some milk there. (See, You’ve forgotten about the milk already, haven’t you?). The winds had really picked up by this time and I was getting hit with strong crosswinds. Fortunately there was little traffic because I was being moved around a lot by sudden gusts coming from my right, trying to force me into the oncoming lane.
Made my way into Arnprior (the ‘Prior), stopped at the bank, the grocery store, and Timmies for my coffee and dutchie. By now it was starting to cool down as the sun was near setting and the promised cold front started to move in. Filled the tank for the winter and from there it was a straight shot home.
All told, 100 km on the bike, and 2 hours of riding, on a freakishly warm November 12. Can’t beat that.