Twitter: @arnpriorcycling; email at arnpriorcycling@bell.net

About the blog:

The Arnprior Cycling blog informs interested cyclists about cycling rides/routes from Arnprior to Renfrew and Pembroke in the west; and to Pakenham, Almonte, and Carleton Place in the east; Bristol, Norway Bay, and Quyon to the north; and south to Calabogie and Mountain Chute. Distances ridden vary depending on the time of year, the weather, and whether we’re in training mode.

About the cyclists:

We started out as two guys (both new residents of Arnprior) riding to Storyland; then, to Braeloch Road, up and back; and then beyond to Thompson Rd and River Rd. All told in those days, our rides were in the 50-60 km range; and that was the way it remained for a few years until we gradually learned more about the many excellent back road (circuits) in the area.

By the late nineties, our core number had grown to six, with usually three regulars and occasionally four or five riders on any given weekend. These days there is a pool of some thirty plus cyclists who might choose to join us on one or both of the weekend rides.

For all that, we are just avid cyclists. We are not an organized ‘group’ per se. We are not a club. We are not affiliated with any club. We do not race nor time-trial. We ride both Saturdays and Sundays throughout the cycling season. We pay no dues, no membership, no insurance; we are not a constituted body. Still, we have a name. We call ourselves the mafia (men against flab in Arnprior), but we welcome women cyclists, too. We had the name early on before we had the benefit of a female point of view. We’ve  been riding the roads of McNab-Braeside, Horton, and Mississippi Mills and  surrounding area since 1990. Our motto is–we ride to eat.

About the rides:

As a rule, we start the cycling year in late March/early April, with 50-75 km training rides on Saturday and Sundays. By the first of May, we are riding about 150-200 kms per weekend. By the end of May, we are riding 200-300 kms per weekend. All of this is in preparation for the annual June, Ottawa Bicycling Club, Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour–a 360 km circuit from Ottawa to Kingston, and back.

After the RLCT, we reduce the weekend mileage but ride enough to maintain a high level of fitness. Most years, we cycle until Thanksgiving, more or less.

What to Expect-Why We Ride

We ride for health and fitness, the camaraderie and the coffee, the repartee, the fresh air–the smells and sights of the countryside. We ride, also, I think, to improve our bike handling, our fitness and our health. As a general rule, we do not ride to race, although there are times when we go hard or sprint.  And, since we are a diverse group in age and fitness and commitment to training, the group dynamic requires flexibility on everyone’s part. Regardless, we always regroup and try to remain a cohesive unit for the most part.

As for the weekend rides, they are a pleasant mix of pace, distance, and routes to suit most recreational riders. Oh, we like hills, too. If you race or are a ‘Club” rider, you may find our rides of little interest and no benefit. There are lots of competitive clubs/organisations catering to those with this interest.

For an overview of training, please, please see these links:

http://www.joefrielsblog.com/ and http://www.endurancefactor.com/Articles/article-heartintro.html

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