Richard Nelson

Back in the saddle: Tuesday, May 2

In Uncategorized on 2006 May 5 Friday at 21:22:00

Tuesday morning dawned bright and clear—not a cliché for once!

In my Jetfuel Coffee jersey, I tore down Pottery Road, my maximum speed of 32 mi/h only limited because I was slotted into motor traffic. I then turned north on the unnamed but now closed road that connects Pottery Road and Beechwood Drive. At the police kennels Beechwood Drive kicks sharply up the eastern wall of the Don River ravine. The idea is to do the steep quarter-mile seated. Last Tuesday I did it three times. I did the three, and felt enough energy to do another. And another. And another.

A few dog-walkers. A Ford Crown Victoria and Jeep Cherokee in Toronto Police livery. One elbow-jutting exercise walker. Oh, and a young woman on a nice-looking bike rocketing down the hill. But not up. Only I did that.

The seventh time was my last. Seven times seated. Very good.

I’m not a fan of multi-use paths for cycling. Sightlines too poor, and too many opportunities for accidents. And there’s a special reason not to like the Don Trail these days (see below).

I had the inevitable encounter with an unleased Labrador retriever ambling across the road, but of course I just hung back until its mistress brought it to her side. Otherwise quiet.

At Queen Street the Don Trail is closed while the Conservation Authority rebuilds the old Toronto Viaduct to save downtown Toronto from flooding. So I humped by bike up the Sherk Stairs to the Queen Street viaduct. Then I risked the Toronto streetcar tracks to get to work.

“Coach Bogie” was surprised and a bit pleased—as I was!

That evening I had my swimming lesson with Coach Kelvin. I was tired—and quite dizzy. We took it easy, and I took lengthy breaks between lengths. But I not only did the requisite thousand yards—my skills have hit some new level. I could actually kick and get forward motion, even doing, e.g., skate drills. And I was lucky that Mona decided to pick me up—it was 9:15 p.m., after all, a long night when I wasn’t feeling well.

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