Aspotogan Peninsula Bike Ride 1999

I was careful to leave Halifax at a time that would get me to Hubbards plenty early for the mass exodus from the shopping center at EXACTLY 8:00am (not one second later - Warnica's Rule). I dropped by to pick up "Cordial Chris" Hollebone at 7:15. After a quick stop at Tim's, we hit the road and risked our lives, at high speed, to ensure that we wouldn't be late.

Upon arriving in the parking lot the only sign of life that came into view was Greg Vail, and several beer-bellied locals headed for Home Hardware to make an early Sunday morning purchase (probably a set of Styrofoam beer can collars in preparation for the oncoming sunny skies). Whew, Gordie wasn't there yet - something about losing time when the bikes had to be transferred from Nancy's car to his car because Nancy couldn't find her keys (at least that was his story).

All collected, there were seven of us: Gordie, Nancy, Greg, Malcolm Pain, Bruce Duffy, Chris and myself. We headed out along the #3 to the Blandford turn off. I hate Malcolm - he's at least a hundred years older than any of us and the guy is in amazing physical condition. Duffy has more fat in one of his girlie-like boobs that Malcolm has on his whole body.

It was a great day for a bike ride. And, I was able to keep up with the gang (something I've been working on for the past few weeks). Of course, on the Blandford road I somehow screwed up my chain and popped it off the front sprocket. I figured it would take only a minute to correct the situation - wrong! It was one of those deals where you need three hands to make it happen. Just when I was ready to hurl my bike into the nearest thicket, Gordie kindly came back to provide assistance. It's much easier when you have that third hand, and that second brain that comprehends the situation much more than you do. Thanks Gordie, you are a true buddy. And thanks Betty Hollebone, who had previously given me the surgical gloves that saved my hands from a thick coating of chain oil.

By the time Gordie and I caught up to the rest of the gang, they were already seated on the deck at our breakfast destination in Blandford. As we joined them, I asked Bruce if they had ordered yet. "You're getting scrambled eggs, I hope you like them", was his response. I guess the waitress was alone on duty and wasn't interested in preparing seven separate breakfast plates. So it was scrambled eggs for everyone. Mind you the breakfast was delicious, especially the home- made bread, and the coffee was plentiful.

Several important items were discussed during breakfast - like the urinal in the washroom. Malcolm issued a complaint that it was mounted too high for his short little legs (obviously something else was too short as well or he would have been able to arc his stream slightly upward to reach the desired target).

Then Nancy had to comment on Gordie's newly purchased biking underwear. She was giving a verbal description of the padding in the underwear and how it allows you to wear any pair of regular shorts over them rather than always relying on biking shorts. Well you know Gordie - why waste words - a picture is worth a thousand words and a demonstration is worth a thousand pictures. In a flash he was on his feet with his shorts down to his ankles, showing off his new underwear. The waitress and passing motorists had difficulty reading the situation, not that the rest of us were particularly enthused with what was hovering near the table as we were eating our breakfast.

Shortly thereafter we headed out on the second leg of our journey - back to Hubbards via Bayswater, Aspotogan, Mill Cove and Fox Point, bringing us back to the parking lot in a total cycling time of 2 hours 13 minutes, 27 seconds (according to my new Cateye Mity3), and I hit a top speed of 60k/hr (a new PB - just think how fast I'll be able to do the downhills when I get brave enough to keep my hands off the brakes). The total distance is about 51.5 kilometres, having great scenery all along the way. There's a few hills, but nothing that will kill you. It a wonderful route.

Now that my arse doesn't get as sore as it did the first few times, I'm enjoying these bike rides a lot more. I like the fresh air, the quietness of the ride, the scenery but, most of all, the camaraderie. I'm blessed with a great bunch of friends and it's fabulous that I'm invited to tag along on these excursions. Thanks guys and gals.

by Jerome Bruhm