Ontario, Canada Cogal

Ontario, Canada Cogal

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202km of rolling, hilly, Rattlesnake-infested riding goodness (Rattlesnake Point @~35km is absolutely vicious at 22%). Starting with the province’s best coffee at Domestique Café Cyclo-Sportif in Dundas, ON and riding out to Belfountain. Lunch and food options at Belfountain, Glen Williams, and Moffatt. Finishing with V-Pints waiting for us back at Domestique, where Krys has a nice selection of local beers on tap (if folks are interested, we could look into Krys making up some Domestique/V-Cogal t’s to commemorate the event).

More on Café Domestique.

Event Details

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Date - May 27, 2012
9:05 AM - 6:00 PM

Café Domestique

Cogal Details
Route Details

Ride Classification

// Cogal // Rule VV (Climbing)

  1. More deets to follow, but here’s a taster for some of the early climbing in the Ontario Cogal.

  2. Good thing there’s a pay-off, because I have a feeling you can probably expect to be the target of an expletive or two on the way up Rattlesnake…

  3. Ah, thanks Steamy.
    Great to see the old Ontariario roads again.
    I can remenber climbing Rattlesnake with Gerry Bruce and some of the Veltec boys (whose names escape me) on their Thursday evening rides way back when.
    Would have climbed that f*cker with a 42×23. Don’t know how I did it now.

    Jeebus! 202km as well! Beers will be well deserved! I’ll be with you in spirit.

  4. @mouse
    42×23?? Good heavens! My knees hurt just contemplating that.

    Later in the ride, we’ll be going up the Old Grange Rd., too. Did you ever ride out near Belfountain? It’s a dirt road with a pretty fierce grade.

  5. @Steampunk
    Hmm, no. I don’t think I ever did.
    The rides I used to do most were the Saturday morning Scarborough CC rides up to King City. I always used to find that 100km in my legs the day before a race did wonders.

  6. @mouse
    It was my discovery late last fall. I’ve only done it once””very wet and heavy mud at the time””but I was hooked. A real uphill slog, which will be fun. Certainly not local iconic on a Rattlesnake Point level, and a bit far for me to do regularly, but as I up the distances, I’ll need to work my way back out there for another go. It’s the last time I found myself really on the edge while in decent form…

  7. The only solace I’ll take is that, according to MapMyRide/Strava, I climb nearly over 1,000m in a round trip commute to work (70km total). The cogal is no doubt steeper in spots (namely the aforementioned Rattlesnake & Old Grange Rd), but only 200 more meters of climbing over 3 times my commute distance – at least that sounds good in my head.

  8. @Mikael Liddy
    Ah! But that’s where you’re wrong: no one will have the breath to curse. And if they do, they won’t need to be cursing. Of course, I also have a retort prepared. It involves invoking Rule V.

  9. @Steampunk
    Are there any ancillary activities planned for the Ont Cogal as the wife and 2.5 year old will be in tow. We will be driving up from Pittsburgh Saturday and leaving Monday. Any recommendations on hotels (I have one booked, but can cancel it if a better deal comes along)? If you want my email, ask Frank to look it up and pass it on.

  10. Looking at the maps and the nearest GO station, I’m not sure what to do given the Train/Bus transfer at Aldershot. From Union, should I get off at Aldershot and bike in, or is it worth taking the bus to Hamilton?

    Ideally, I’d just HTFU and bike in from Chinatown, but that’s not really too feasible unless someone is willing to take me in for a night and massage my legs/wash+dry my kit.

    Failing that, any Toronto-based Velominati willing to drive an additional passenger out?

  11. @Tartan1749, @Adrian
    Steamy’s in Europe or something so I will see if I can get his attention on email to answer these queries. Queries. Heh-heh.

  12. I realize these are open to all, but what is the typical rider skill level. Would not want to get left in the dust.

  13. @Tartan1749
    Sorry to miss this. I can look into local B&Bs if you’re interested. Alternatively, the Visitors’ Inn on Main Street is clean, reasonably priced, and on the right side of Hamilton. A short ten minute ride to the start of the Cogal. There are closer options if you want to do the B&B route. Best to hit me up directly. (E-mail below). Re. family, there’s a fair bit to do in Hamilton and surrounds. Lots of nice parks, a good children’s museum, etc. My family is otherwise engaged, I’m afraid, so I don’t think there will be a collective of mourning bike widows (and widowers), but the café where we’ll start is very kid friendly and near a nice park or two.

    Maybe @MikelPearce might be coming that way, but I don’t know. Aldershot is the closest train station, and it might be worth taking the bus from there. The other option is to take the GO Bus to Hamilton (or McMaster University), and get off at the first stop. It’s then a short ride to Dundas (I can provide more specific directions upon request). I’d take the bus over the train for convenience sake, but I don’t know how they handle bikes.

    This is going to be a reasonably tough ride. 202kms is a long day, and we’ll be taking in some pretty tough climbs. The pace won’t be insane, but it won’t be a Sunday stroll either. We did list it as VV; 22% grade is not for the weak of heart.

    I’ll try to post a longer discussion of the route and event in the comments below in the next day or two, but any questions might most sensibly be directed to me @ velonista (at) gmail (dot) com.

  14. Looking forward to this, although the distance is a bit daunting at the moment. I had planned to get in a good 80 miles this weekend, but in the first 20 on Saturday, I was barreling down this 9% grade road and there was a hairpin that was sharper than I remembered. Off the road I went at a pretty decent clip. Scrapes (legs, arms, chest, etc), 4 stitches in the chin, sore wrist, and most likely a slightly fractured nose later, I took yesterday off. The bike and helmet had nary a scrape on them, so that is the good news. I am planning on getting back on today for some laps around the local 1/2 mile track, mainly to test the wrist out.

    Note on the Strava screenshot below: you do not want your speed to be a straight vertical line when viewed when the x-axis is time …



  15. @Tartan1749
    OHBRIAN! (am I using that right?) heal up well and quickly.

  16. It’s very simple. Canadians know a thing or two about the V. After all, this is the Great VVhite North, a frozen, hostile vvasteland. To survive in the vastness of this landscape, hardened by the elements, is to understand what kind of suffering is necessary to ride. Our national bird, the mighty Canada goose even gets our passion for two wheels. When it comes to aerodynamics, geese get it (and in what configuration do they fly? that’s right). We apologize to our southern neighbours for being more naturally imbued with the V and offer up our services this fall.

    The Ontario Cogal, then, will set a new standard for V-suffering. 202km of riding, taking in some beautiful scenery and some absolutely beastly hills. The ride begins and ends at Café Domestique in the valley town of Dundas, on the western edge of Hamilton (affectionately known to locals as The Hammer). The day will start with the finest espresso and conclude with local pints on draught on the back porch.



    Any questions about accommodation or logistics can be sent my way @ velonista(at)gmail(dot)com.

  17. @Steampunk
    I am driving out from the west end of Toronto (or I should say I’m planning to) but negotiations are still ongoing with the VMH regarding this ride. 3 kids, one of which is a newborn, and a traiing camp the next weekend are the obstacles in play at the moment. I should be able to pull it off, and I will likely have room in the car for one more.

    Steamy has my e-mail address if necessary.

  18. @Mikel Pearce
    Dude: it turns out I’m missing my son’s birthday party for this. See Rule V. We can ride at the back (enjoying the cool air our VMH’s have been sending our way) and compare notes en route.

  19. Can I get a rough estimate of who is planning to attend? It would be good to know in order to plan for the ride, but also to let cafés in Dundas and Erin know we’re coming.

  20. @Steampunk
    Dude. Velominatus Paterfamilias (x3). Did I say negotiations had come to an end? Did I? You know what I do for a living right? I negotiate shit. I will deliver. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

    See that photo of Mr. Yates on the front page? I have that sucker as my screensaver as my inspiration to be a hardass when appropriate.

  21. @Mikel Pearce

    See that photo of Mr. Yates on the front page? I have that sucker as my screensaver as my inspiration to be a hardass when appropriate.

    That’s a little bit weird. And not “good” weird.

    Just rode the first half of our Cogal route this morning (sans Rattlesnake). Roads look pretty good.

  22. @Steampunk
    Yeah, sometimes I am a little weird, and I’m ok with that …

  23. Two weeks to the Ontario Cogal. Hope everyone’s ready!

  24. @Steampunk
    Last year’s pushing 10+ kilos of pannier up the escarpment to Ridge road on a 42/23 is probably enough to get me ready.

    @Mikel Pearce
    Is there room for two on the way out/back? The wheels can come off the bike, but my knees don’t have quick releases.

  25. @Steampunk

    @Mikel Pearce

    Oop. I seem to have no knowledge of wordpress functionality. See the post above for my questions/comments.

  26. Please note the time change. Official departure from Cafe Domestique is 9:0V.

  27. Left a lung two-thirds of the way up Rattlesnake Point this morning. Good to get that one in the legs before Sunday. Really looking forward to Sunday’s ride!

  28. Have a great time everyone. As usual, looking forward to the cogal articles!

  29. Looking like great temps for Sunday with a 50% chance of Rule #9 showing up. Scattered rain only, I presume. Is there a final count? Or will it just be Steamy and myself?

  30. Bonne route, lads!

  31. I have it on the authority of a man I trust but whom I’ve never met and can’t say with any certainty isn’t crazy (@Steampunk): Rain will fall on you tomorrow. Good luck and enjoy the Rule #9 Awesomeness!

  32. Happy riding Steampunk et al. We’ll be thinking of you as we wend our merry way round the glorious Northern Kettle Moraine here in WI. Roads and scenery in top notch condition and the green tunnel is looking fine!

  33. @Adrian
    Adrian, yes there is room for two. Google me and e-mail me and we’ll get it sorted.I’m a lawyer in Toronto. You should be able to find me pretty easily with that information. Oh, and Mikel Pearce is actually my real name.

  34. @frank
    Sunday now calls for thundershowers and 5-10mm of rain. I might try to affix a pair of Speedplay cleats to my galoshes…

    Happy riding to you, too, my friend.

  35. For those about to Cogal, we salute you.

  36. @Mikel Pearce
    Never trust a lawyer. His real name is actually Ralph.

  37. Well gentlemen, this is going to hurt. Oh so fitting the ride starts at 9:05. If it didn’t, my rule-noncompliance would probably cause a crack to open up in the earth and swallow the entire group.

    Grab your gore-tex socks and four-bolt open-toed sandals. Problem solved.

    @Mikel Pearce
    Oh dear. I forgot about that lexicon item. Another Adrian I hope. I’ll send an email soon.

  38. New forecast for tomorrow calls for limited rain, so we may stay relatively dry. Chance of thunderstorms early, but then cloudy, sticky humidity the rest of the way. Drove out to the far end of our ride this afternoon to pick up my son from an overnight hiking expedition; roads and country look beautiful.

  39. I dare say those recovery beverages will be tasting pretty sweet this afternoon (your time), enjoy the win.

  40. Hail Canuckia!

  41. Just returned home to Pittsburgh. The Cogal route and my, ahem, performance can be found using the following links. Full writeup to come via Steampunk

    Strava: http://app.strava.com/rides/9575472

    RideWithGPS: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/675004

  42. Obviously I wasn’t able to make it. Next year looks promising though if there would be a repeat. Did you guys get hit by the massive downpour?

  43. @Tartan1749
    Dude. You were Rule V compliant all day, despite having an off day. Smile on your face and nary a complaint was heard. Chapeau.

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