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Friday, July 14, 2017

Ride Report: Tour de GTA

Description and route are here.

What a great day!  194km of riding from Whitby to Burlington.

Whitby to Musselman Lake (0km-50km)

Started off in my hometown of Whitby.  The route technically starts at the GO station, but I didn't want to go down there and back up so I just started at my house.  (I did the part from the GO station back home after, so I'm at peace with it).

From 0 to 37.5km it's net uphill, starting at about 300feet and climbing to 1200feet.  Two climbs of note - Country Lane from Columbus to Brawley is pretty tough, and Concession 7 going south out of Uxbridge is steep.

After that it got very zippy - rollers, and I might have even had a tailwind.

Musselman Lake to Yonge Street Aurora (50km-75km)

This was a really fast section, EXCEPT... St. John's Sideroad was closed at Highway 404!  This added 5km of detouring.  It would have only been 4km, but I thought it would be open west of Leslie and it wasn't... so had another detour to finally get back on it.

St. John's Sideroad got pretty busy through Aurora, but it wasn't too horrible.  Wide road.

Yonge Street Aurora to Schomberg (75km-95km)

Immediately after Yonge things got tough... some steep climbs along 18th Sideroad.  But there's a hell of a reward on the other side!  The descent from Dufferin to Keele was awesome!

Kettleby looked like a really pretty town - but a heck of a climb leaving, and it was under construction so got a dose of gravel.  Nothing too bad (and fortunately it wasn't raining badly so not a mud pit).

After Kettleby is a long exposed flat-ish section until Schomberg.  Several gas stations along this road if you need to refuel!

Hit the convenience store at Schomberg.

Schomberg to Mono Road (95km-119km)

Quite a few climbs here and there, and encountered a bit more construction (gravel again!).  Really pretty.

Mono Road to Hurontario (119km-128km)

Boring mostly flat exposed fields.  I was heard to retort "this is boring".  WHY DID I SAY THAT...?

Hurontario to Mississauga Rd (128km-132km)

HUGE hill.  Steep.  Long.  Oh and under construction.  I span and span but man, what a challenge... and I was starting to feel some fatigue at this point.

Mississauga Road to Glen Williams (via Terra Cotta) (132km-147km)

This section was fantastically pretty - beautiful road, lots of downhill.  Nice looking communities and the Credit River roiling below.  I'd like to go back and check it out sometime.

Refueled at the convenience store at Confederation & Wildwood Road... then.....

Glen Williams to Nassagaweya (147km-167km)

HILL.  Of course.  Steeeeep climb out of Glen Williams.  Just lots of climbing here, and I was really feeling it... sun was out (where was the rain I was promised!?).

15th Side Road was really pretty, enjoyable ride.  More hills.

Nassageway (6th Line) south to Appleby Line (167km-173km)

WEEEEEEEEEE!!!  Downhill!  I hit 80km/h - not a word of a lie.  Terrifying.  But WEEEEEEE!!!!

I really needed that.

Appleby Line to Burlington (173km-195km)

I had an inkling I wasn't out of the woods... I vaguely remembered a climb on this road, before the nice downhill.

And wow, what a climb.  So steep... it's not as long as going up the escarpment from the other side, but it's not short either!  I had a hard time just keeping the pedals going with 175km+ in my legs...

After that it's Rattlesnake Point, and the switchbacks down the escarpment.  That was a hoot.

The rest of Appleby Line is net downhill and pretty fast.  A few little climbs (which I really felt) but mostly fast.  In town there's a bike lane - it's a bit sketchy at times with cars blasting out of parking lots, and it was rush hour... I would avoid rush hour if possible!

Words of Wisdom

The climbs on the west end are way tougher than the east end... I think if you can find a day where the wind is blowing West to East, that's the way to go.  There's still a few climbs that will get you in the last ~50km, but nothing nearly as serious.

I don't know if I have any more wisdom than that really!  I'll try this ride again in the opposite direction next year.

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