27 June 2014

Succumbing to Optimism

It was a really nice day today, after a couple days of, respectively, threatened toad-strangling rain and actual toad-strangling (or at least "divided highway and subway station flooding") rain.  So I was dithering between riding up the Humber and riding along the Waterfront trail going west (World Pride is on, in a downtown still with much ongoing construction; staying the pluperfect out of downtown is a Good Plan until after Canada Day.)  Turns out my feet wanted to go up the Humber.

The end of the West Humber trail just short of Steeles Ave.
 The last, oh, it's just barely an entire kilometre, of the trail is rather varied in composition; large gravel, stone dust, water-sorted gravel, and it's got noticeable up to it, so it's a small ring and caution stretch.  It's also one of my very favourite trail sections anywhere in Toronto because hardly anyone uses it and the forest has flashes of feeling actually wild.
Reality lacks a road
I had the clever idea of actually emerging on to Steeles, something one does not necessarily ever want to do with a bicycle.  (Reasonably nimble armoured vehicle is more the thing for Steeles.)  I was going to try to drop down at an angle once across Kipling and try for the other branch of the West Humber, which would get me back to the main part of the Humber via at least different tree-shaded paths.

This is complicated by the presence of railroads, divided highways, twisty old subdivision road layouts, and my own rather lamentable tendency to optimism; I wound up well north of Steels on Martin Grove Road (we call this "turning the wrong way"), and started trying to figure out how to pick up some westing without, preferably, having to travel on Steeles or Highway 7, since I didn't have that reasonably nimble armoured vehicle.  The GPS showed a bike-path scale road that might just make it between Martin Grove and Highway 27, and 27 would at least get me south again. (So would have turning around; that would have been much more sensible.)  Said bike-path is actually not, it's a full two lanes and paved and in gorgeous shape, because it's the access road for the Claireville Transformer Station.  Which, alas, has a fence; a large, alarmed, multi-layer, extra barbed wire, fence. Which I crept around, on the little gravel fringe, in the hope of road continuing on the other side.

So, pluses; I can slog through three hundred metres of tall grass, thistles, and whatnot in the new cycling shoes; I can get around the fence on the little gravel border without too many thistles or raspberries, and I even found the actual gate gap in the far fence, the one that picture is looking back from, rather than trying to lift the Hypothesis over full-up pagewire fence.  I should still have turned around.

But I did get back over the 407 intact, despite the best efforts of a concealed ~15cm rise where a sidewalk started at a crossing light (nearly took the rear wheel off!), and was able to mostly follow the plan, so far as getting home goes.  And (so far) my legs haven't fallen off.  (And average cycling speed's up a bit, which the transformer station slog makes less than obvious in the available track stats.)

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