Tour de Greenbelt – Sunday September 27, 2009 – Durham

On an overcast Sunday morning I boarded a school bus at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Co-op to participate in the Tour de Greenbelt. Traveling along the 400 series highways in Ontario you’re bound to pass at least on sign proclaiming entrance in to the Greenbelt. Here’s a handy map to show you where this Greenbelt is:

Ontario's Greenbelt

Essentially, to do an entire tour of the Greenbelt, by bicycle, would take days to complete. Instead, the organizers of the Tour de Greenbelt have selected a few interesting areas to run meandering bicycle tours and allow people to explore areas they may not have thought to do so on their own.

As the event continues to grow I’m certain more and more of the Greenbelt will be uncovered by cyclists. For me, I had the chance to discover a little bit of rural Ajax.

Our Living Countryside

Our bus landed us at Greenwood Conservation Area where we registered for the ride and had some coffee and bagels.

The mayor of Ajax, Steve Parish, was there to welcome us to his part of the Greenbelt. His speech was very passionate as he encouraged us to continue to set an example as ambassadors of cycling and that every time we hit the pavement (wheels down of course) we’re influencing others to do the same.

And then we got to do some embarrassing exercises:

And in a huge group, off we went:

You can’t really see it, but this guy had a crying baby up front. Brave guy:

Now, it may have been a coincidence, but a convoy of Ferraris passed us as we started the tour. Mr. Mayor, are you trying to sell us your town through quiet country roads populated only by cyclists and luxury cars?

Our first rest stop was in the hamlet of Whitevale. There’s a creek running through the centre of town, and a steep, bumpy road leading us to the bridge over this creek. While I held on for dear life I’m certain we passed through a quaint little slice of rural Ontario, but I missed much of it making sure I didn’t go ass over teakettle. At the bottom of the hill there was this cute snack bar:

Then I parked my bike to get an artful “city bike in the country” shot in front of the Whitevale flour mill:

From here we set off to finish the remainder of our 43 km ride. It was a relaxing ride where not one single car horn was honked at us. While fields may bore some people, escaping the city to experience country roads with a couple hundred cyclists is more than just seeing some nature. This event is about exploring our own massive backyard by bicycle. See you in 2010.

Did you go on any of the Tour de Greenbelt rides?