My cycling season has been ram-jammed with fun, challenging and FAST rides. I love pushing my limits and I'm always looking to improve. But, for the first time this summer I did a bike ride that was truly about relaxing and soaking it all in, and it was exactly what I needed.
Today, I got the amazing opportunity to check out the "meander" route for September 11th's Tour de Greenbelt! Off I went at 9am with the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and other media people to check out what's in store for the riders on this upcoming Greenbelt Tour!
We started and ended at Henry of Pelham Vineyard and Winery in Niagara. Our route (for me) was a short 22km jaunt around the Niagara countryside. I, honestly, felt a little out of place on my Pro Machine and in full spandex get-up, but this VIP Taste Preview reminded me of how lovely it is to slow down, enjoy the country view, and stop to smell the roses (or eat fresh peaches) no matter what bike your riding or what outfit you have on.
Rarely, do I get the opportunity to stop at local shops and look around, or local markets and purchase fresh fruit when I'm out for a ride! If we're stopping out on the road it's either to take a leak (on the side of road), or to unwrap a powerbar, or maybe to catch your breath at the top of a good climb. Stopping usually isn't an option. Also, I'm so focused on cadence, heart rate, speed, pedal stroke, relaxing my shoulders, watching for potholes, eating at the right times, gearing at the right times, that I could be riding ANYWHERE! The scenery, natural beauty and local wildlife goes unnoticed a lot of the time.
Knowing that this ride was a "meander" made me a bit nervous because I don't "meander", but once I got in the slow pedal stroke groove, I totally relaxed. I took time to look around, to take pictures, to shop and I loved every minute of this VIP Preview!
The Greenbelt has so much beauty and so much to offer, I felt so lucky to have the chance to take it all in on such a beautiful sunny day, and with amazingly nice people (who rode all kinds of different bikes).
Can't wait to slow down again and ride one of the many Greenbelt Tour routes in September!