This year, I focus on cycling. And what best than joining the locale randonneuring group? Here is a report of my first populaire ride.

The course is called Uxbridge Ice Classic 110km populaire. I discovered Uxbridge last fall as the head of the trans canada trail, and I was curious to go back there, winter bearly past.

I was also the occasion to do my first long ride with Orange Mecanique, and test some gear:

Before the ride… #biking #cycling #randonneuring #machomandisc #allcity

A photo posted by Xavier Briand (@xavierbriand) on

The start of the ride would be north of Toronto, so I decided to ride the 20km to the start which would bring the ride close to a century.

Stephen, the Toronto chapter VP asked me to keep track of the participants, as he wasn’t riding with us today. After a short pause at the Tim Hortons (I’ll discover that Tim Hortons is the randonneur’s favorite spot), there were the 5 of us that would do the ride today: Dave, Henk, Jack, Brian and I, and off we went.

I’m familiar with the road as it’s the playground for a number of local cycling club. Though the ride on Vivian rd to Uxbridge was surprisingly hilly.
We stopped and had lunch at the local Tim Hortons. I got the time to learn more about each of the participants. First impression of the groups was great and I’m glade I joined them. We splitted in two group on the way back and Dave was kind enough to shield me from a persistent head wind. When we finally turned South on Leslie St the wind eased but we saw flurries… Guess winter wasn’t done.

After the ride. Look tired, and I am 😁 152km on the GPS. From #Toronto downtown to Uxbridge and back. Took an amazing shower (everything feels amazing after a long and windy ride) and now I'm passing out on the bed. #cycling #biking #randonneuring Love that? Support the Heart and Stroke Foundation #rideforheart

A photo posted by Xavier Briand (@xavierbriand) on

Well, it was a good introduction ride and my first long ride of the year. Overall it went well. I started strong and gently suffered and the way back. Winter training was showing its fruits but I would have to keep training for the next ride dubded “Gentle Start”: a 200km west off Toronto.