Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour 2005

I rode the RLCT again, just like in the last three years. This year there was a detour due to a road closure in Kingston, so the distance was slightly longer.

It was brutally hot on Saturday, 31°C with high humidity. I found myself close to heat exhaustion, and after Westport, took whatever measures necessary to keep cool, which meant keeping my clothing wet. I carried a couple of extra bottles that I would fill at lakes, to periodically soak down my shirt and shorts. Once I asked for the use of a garden hose to spray myself down, and once I went swimming with my clothes on. By such means I made it to Kingston. Talk was everywhere of people who had been taken to emergency rooms with incipent heatstroke, of sag wagons doing overtime duty, and of people who really should stop riding but were refusing to.

I managed to hook up with a good pack of riders until about kilometer 95, at which point heat and dehydration took its toll and and I had to let them go. I rode the rest of the ride down solo, into significant headwind, with many stops to cool off.

In Kingston, strong rehydration and sodium restoration measures (i.e. eat salty food) were required to recover enough to ride home the next day. After dinner I was so tired I just wanted to lie down, and slept great.

On Sunday morning, they were advertising that for $30 you could get a bus ride home, with your bicycle. I don't know how many people took up the offer, but the day was forecast to be the same sort of scorcher, and with no handy lakes to jump into during the hottest part of the ride (because north of Westport it's mostly open farmland). But it actually went great. There was a light tailwind, the sun only rarely broke through the murk, and the temperature stayed reasonable. I managed to join a pack of 4 riders who were riding just aggressively enough for me to join their rotation, and we flew. I made my best time ever back to Ottawa as a result. My end-to-end time would be even better except that I had a flat tire 17km from the finish.

Distance: 179.6km

Ottawa -> Kingston

Riding approx 50% with group, 50% solo

25.6km/h average speed while moving
19.7km/h average speed end-to-end
9:07 end-to-end
7:00 time spent moving
2:07 time spent stopped

Kingston -> Ottawa

Riding approx 90% with group, 10% solo

30.7km/h average speed while moving
24.8km/h average speed end-to-end
7:15 end-to-end
5:50 time spent moving
1:25 time spent stopped
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