Local Motion - New Brunswick

Welcome to Local Motion where we celebrate hiking, biking, camping, paddling, skiing, and exploring in Southern New Brunswick.

July 20, 2009

Ride to the Headwaters Sum-Up

Was it a success? I think this photo sums it up. I snapped it on the flat stretch coming into Corn Hill just a couple miles from home. All in all, a perfect ride. A hundred and some kilometers in about 5 hours. No flats, no breakdowns, good pavement, great views, plenty of water, and a new sense of how compact Southern New Brunswick is.

Smiling on the final stretch into Corn Hill

I realized as I left my appartment in Saint John at 2 pm, that I was nervous. I thought, this is good. It means I'm doing something beyond my comfort zone. Raindrops made me hesitate as I crossed the Courtney Bay causeway but I carried on. It was a boring ride through Loch Lomond and traffic was steady until I passed the airport. I am blown away by the size of Loch Lomond (the lake). I stopped to drink some of its water that I had brought from my tap at home.

After that it was quiet back roads through Upham, Upperton, Hillsdale and all the way to Hammondvale. I followed the Hammond River past fresh cut Hay fields and cow pastures. This was a very mellow and peaceful section of biking. I used this opportunity to snack on carrots and trail mix that filled my pockets. As I turned toward Sussex Corner I crossed the Hammond River for the last time and began a section of big fast hills. Hills so long that on the way down you reach terminal velocity.

And old barn in Hillsdale with one summit of Saddleback Mountain in the background

Looking over spokes at the community at farm country near Sussex Corner

Wide open fields near Sussex Corner

I made it to Sussex Corner, hooped and hollered to myself, then swung through downtown to get water at Winter Wood Natural Foods. Being on my bike for the first time in Sussex it occured to me that this is a perfect town for day to day biking. Its completely flat and relatively compact.

The last section of biking, Sussex to Corn Hill, I knew would be the toughest. Not only because I was getting tired but because its got lots of hills.

Hesitant rain started falling as I left Sussex but it wasn't enough to slow me down. Once you get moving on a bike its psychologically hard to stop. After a few kilometers the rain stopped and the warm wind dried my shirt. I past more freshly cut Hay fields, big barns, and front yard vegetable gardens. My pedalling slowed on the straight aways and now I was for the first time using the easiest of my ten speeds on most of the hills. With about 12 kilometers to go I decided it was time to pull out my secret weapon...Sauerkraut! I ate a few mouthfuls of my homemade energizer and life flowed back into my legs. I'm not sure what it is about homemade fermented sauerkraut but it gives a huge rush of nearly hyperactive energy.

Looking west down the valley towards Sussex

The last hill, the killer, just before pulling into my parents' driveway

My dad biked out to join me for the last kilometer and together we sped our way up the final hill which just also happens to be steepest hill of the entire route! And as we turned into my parent's drive way, it started to rain. Which is a fitting way to end the journey to the top of a watershed. That night we enjoyed a delicious meal from my parents' organic vegetable garden, topped off with homemade strawberry ice cream from their garden's final berries.

Good Food from the Garden at my folks' place
local motion, graham waugh, bicycling, new brunswick, sussex, saint john, cycling, bike, birthday challenge

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