Ottawa to Wakefield: A (metric) century.

Its easier up north.

It's easier up north.

There are many benefits to cycling in Canada.  Like everywhere else, we can debate which city has the friendliest motorists (having lived on the east coast for four years, I’d venture to say that it’s Halifax), we can ride through warm summers and crisp falls, and we can defy the laws of climatology (and sanity) by cycling (bicycling?) through the winter. We really are lucky.

However, there is one distinct advantage that Canadian cyclists have over our American friends: The Century.  Just as Canadians will dip below the border to shop when the dollar is strong (or weak, nobody needs an excuse to visit Syracuse), so too will we take advantage of the differences in weights and measures to boast about our cycling feats.  We follow, after all, the metric system.  In fact, most Canadians love all things metric (even though few of us can list our height in centimetres or our weight in kilograms).

This Thanksgiving Monday I gave thanks by riding a (metric) century.  100 glorious and leisurely KILOMETRES over about 5 hours, including a lovely lunch.  Were I below the 49th I’d have nothing to boast about, as riding “60 miles” doesn’t have much of a ring to it.  In Canada, though, I can pretend that something heroic has taken place.  Thanks, Simon Stevin.

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