Oakville

I love living in Toronto. But for some things, you just can’t beat Oakville. I went for a bike ride today, in beautiful 20+ degree weather up Sixth Line through Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills (which I had forgotten existed). There’s a bike culture here that’s so different from that in Toronto. In Toronto, it’s all about the short commutes, the hipster bikes, and the couriers. Just like when you walk on the sidewalk, you keep your head down (so to speak) and don’t make eye contact with strangers.
Oakville (and the surrounding suburbs) is a whole different ball game. If you don’t make eye contact with a fellow cyclist, say hi, AND wave (something I’m having a lot of trouble doing while maintaining a vertical state), you are considered rude, rather than normal. Early into my ride I realized that another cyclist was drafting me (riding closely behind me to take advantage of the air stream created by me, just like geese flying in a V shape). He rode up beside me later and introduced himself, thanking me and explaining that he was recovering from a knee injury and that I was going the perfect pace for him to not push himself. Of course. I knew there was no way a racing bike cyclist would be going my pace! I’m picking up speed, but lets face it, in the world of cycling I’m a turtle. We chatted for a while and then he broke off to speak with a couple of other cyclists. Everyone is so friendly!
In Toronto, you are lucky to get 2 feet of distance between you and a passing car. On my ride through Oakville today, I had a car move to a different lane to give me enough room. The luxury!
My only beef with Oakville, and the rural areas surrounding it, is the hills. I hate hills. I understand that on my cross-Canada trip, I will be going through the Rocky Mountains, and that I should be training more for this and taking advantage of the great practice hills I’ve been given. But that won’t stop me from hating them. The hills were so steep, and I was so unused to them, that I took my bike into gears so low that I had never been in them before. And those hills were still tough. Very tough. And I hated them. A lot.
Fortunately, my ride for the day is done. I clocked in at about 70 km, which includes a bit of a walk along Trafalgar Road (there are certain parts of that road I refuse to cycle on, mostly because I would like to continue living), and one hill that I just couldn’t talk myself into doing. On my rest day tomorrow, I’m hoping to go to Canadian Tire for a few last camping things, and perhaps take my bike in for a really good tune up (not at Canadian Tire)as my brakes are starting to sound like a Chinatown bike.

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