I’ve been cycling a lot lately, which is probably why I haven’t been blogging. Most of my cycling has been along the great network of paths. It’s probably the one thing the NCC does right.About a week ago I discovered Watt’s Creek Path, which takes you from Andy Haydon Park all the way out to Kanata. It’s about a 40k round trip, and when I added to my ride on the QC side out to Aylmer beach, you can really get a good workout. I love riding the paths, not having to worry about traffic, just the odd spandex jerk who doesn’t call out and passes on blind corners.

Today’s rain was not going to deter me. After all, if I’m going to do a cycling holiday, I may have to cycle in the rain. I wanted to test a theory about cycling in the rain. A former cycling buddy swore merino wool was the only way to go when cycling in the rain. He said you need to stay warm because you’re never going to stay dry if it really rains. His point of view was confirmed in a couple of blogs and by a Berlinerin I recently met in Bushtukah.

NosyNeighbour believes in rain gear. He puts it on to cycle back and forth to work, a whole 6-minute ride. So I wanted to know if it was worth having rain gear. This morning’s test was rain gear:  yellow gortex rain jacket, helmet condom, half gortex cycling pants and cycling shoe booties.

I headed west in a light rain with a slight wind at my back. I wasn’t overheating and I wasn’t getting wet so I was beginning to believe NosyNeighbour was right. But just over halfway into my ride about five minutes after I turned around, the rain started to come down in sheets. And the raindrops that had previously rolled off my blue gortex pants were now burrowing towards my skin.

By the time I reached Moodie, the rain had worked its way into my booties, and as I crossed the puddles on Moodie, the water came up from the under side. I continued on wondering where I would stop to refuel. I’d forgotten my water bottle this morning, but was happy I’d remembered to put a granola bar into my bag. It wasn’t an energy bar, but I wasn’t going nearly as fast in the rain.

I usually stop at a bench by Britannia beach to reload my water bottle and mow down any food in my bag. Obviously that was out with the buckets of water being dropped on my head. That’s when it hit me: the old Trolley Station in Britannia Park.

As I pulled off the path and under its cover, I was reminded of the dry stops along the Millford Track. Sigh, I miss New Zealand. I ate my granola bar and was trying to snap some pics of myself and the bike and all the rain when I met Ode from Gatineau.

Ode was heading to Calabogie for the night, where she was going to camp and watch her friends who play in a band perform at the Neat Cafe. She had started from Gatineau and had already gotten lost on the paths a few times. She asked me if I knew where James something or other was. Then she pulled out her three pages of laminated google map cycling instructions.

We discussed whether she should continue on Watt’s Creek to Kanata or go south on Moodie to get to the Trans Canada trail.  She decided to stick with her instructions.  I told her about training for a cycling holiday.

Ode then grabbed an energy bar out of her backpack and asked me if I’d like to go to Calabogie with her. She said I could think of it as training. She was planning to camp tonight in a tent a friend was bringing up. But she did have her sleeping bag in her backpack.

Now, let me tell you about Ode’s attire. She had dress shoes on! Yes, dress shoes. Flat ones, but definitely dress shoes. She was wearing spandex lightly fleece lined pants and a thick fleece sweatshirt. No rain gear at all. She said she was nice and warm. And I almost forgot she had a bottle of wine in the waterbottle pocket of her backpack! I think she was going to have fun tonight.

On my return ride home, I was very thankful that I’d met Ode or I might have been part of an accident that happened at Merivale and Island Park. It was a nasty one involving two cars and the road was still blocked off when I got there.

So thank you Ode. I hope you make it to Calabogie today and have a drink for me.