Saturday, 27 July 2013

60% of the time it rains 100% of the time...a ride on the Lower Don Trail

Today the Nerd and I went for a nice cycle on the Lower Don Valley trail (purple line on the map at left).

The trail has some detours at its south end by the highway/railway tracks, and then runs along the west side of the Don Valley beside the river / train tracks / highway.

Alternatively urban and semi-wild, the trail is paved and makes for an easy cycle.  At times you ride directly beside railway tracks or the Don Valley Parkway, and at times you cannot even hear the highway and you ride through forested paths (see below).  It is quite a stark contrast - - riding past graffiti tagged bridges and infrastructure, and then through beautiful lush and green woods.

Today promised to have a 60% chance of precipitation, and I can tell you for a fact that this actually meant that there was a 100% certainty of rain.  When we took off on our bike ride it started to gently sprinkle and this held for most of our ride, but by the time we made it back to the Waterfront trail to head for home it was a torrential downpour. 

I do not exaggerate when I say that it was a torrential downpour - - an ark may have floated by, but it was hard to know for certain because I was immediately blinded by all the rain on my glasses.  This made for a rather more exciting ride on the city streets on the way home than I prefer.  I can tell you now that it is difficult to ride a bike using braille. My glasses were actually filling up with water due to the force of the rain, which is something to see.  Not that I could, but it must have looked very interesting.

On the good side, a rainy day keeps the crowds down on the trail, which is probably good because I'm still a bit wobbly on the bike.  On the down side, riding a bike in the rain is not what you would call "glamourous", as you can see from the before and after photos, below:

The Nerd and I actually had a great time on our bike ride through the valley.  We stayed out for an hour and a half, and it was only raining torrentially for the last 10 minutes or so of our ride. 

I don't mind riding in the rain, actually (except for the whole being completely blind thing) - - once you are completely soaked, you can't get any wetter, so there's no need to stress about it.  Plus, as I noted above, there's the added glamour.  And street people no longer hit you up for handouts, because you look even more disreputable than they do.

We rented our bikes today (shout out to Bixi bikes), and all went smoothly until we tried to return the bikes - - the two stations closest to the palatial estate were full, and we had to go to a third station south of the St. Lawrence Market.  It left us with a 5 minute walk home in the rain, but it was warm and kind of pleasant.  Completely ridiculous rain, but nice.

 All in all, a super fun bike ride in the rain.  I only hit my shin with the pedal after erroneously shifting into 1st from third 7 or 8 times.  That will leave a mark...

Can't wait for our next ride.  I am loving our Bixi subscription this summer.  All the benefits of a basic bike, without the bother of having to store a bike.

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