On two previous occasions I’ve tried to check out the remains of last summer’s Stony Swamp forest fire, as described here and here, but was denied access to the site. So when Pedro suggested we ride out there Sunday morning I thought OK, let’s try again! Well man-oh-man it was definitely worth it. Here’s how it went.
Blue line is how we got there. Orange line is the route home.
On my previous trips to the swamp I headed out along the Ottawa River Pathway, but this time we scouted out a route through the Experimental Farm, and made it all the way, mostly along paths, without ever having to ride along a busy road. The trickiest part was figuring out how to get from the end of the Experimental Farm Pathway at Woodroffe to Stony Swamp. It helped that Pedro almost grew up in the area during his teen years. Here he is in front of the house he lived in on Hobart Crescent.
OK, straight to the site of the forest fire. It was mind blowing. Check it out.
The path from the pond through the area affected by the fire is covered in this mulch, which requires extra energy to bike through, although it shouldn’t take too long before it’s all packed down.
We chose to head home along the Ottawa River, taking advantage of NCC’s Sunday Bike Days to ride on the parkway devoid of vehicles.
Pedro taught me about drafting. Mostly me behind him. Now he’s a much stronger rider than I, so we kept up a pace that was challenging but didn’t leave me exhausted. Nor did he make me feel like I was holding him back. It was a whole lot of fun. I highly recommend everyone get themselves a bike buddy like Pedro.