Pre-ride report, expected weather and Durham College details

The two pre-rides are complete.  The first group got some rain and wind; I was in the second group; we had a lot of rain and then a lot of wind.  C'est la vie.  There were some minor route changes after the first ride; none came from the second.

We did hit two short gravel sections, both in Algonquin Park.  The first was about 2km long, started before the Control at 564 and ended shortly after.  The second section was about 4kms long, further into the park.  I did not make a note of the exact starting point of the second section.  There are no easy alternatives so we'll have to live with that gravel.  It's very hard packed; we had good riding to the extreme right-hand side of the road.  It looks soft, but it isn't.

At this point, knock on wood, the weather looks much better for the Main Event.  There's always a chance of rain, of course.  A clear overnight sky does mean that you should expect it to be cool early a.m., especially coming out of Bancroft on the 3rd day.  My forecast shows about 7C / 45F -- but it will be colder outside of the city.  Be prepared.  Daytime temps might be around 18C / 68F that day.  Add a couple of degrees on Saturday & Sunday -- very nice weather if it plays out that way.  Bring your sunscreen.

32 Commencement Drive, Oshawa will get you to the College.  The entrance is on the south side adjacent to the parking lot. 

The college rooms are spartan, but clean.  Two bedrooms have a shared mini kitchen with a microwave and small fridge - no coffee maker.  As I mentioned before, you will leave your luggage in the room while you're riding.  Towels, soap etc. are supplied.  Don't expect thick plush towels ...

For those arriving on Tuesday and for those leaving on Monday, you should get a coupon for breakfast from the registration desk.  We will supply breakfast the morning of the ride.  The desk will supply parking passes for those with cars.

An updated rooming list is attached.  This is the list that the college will be using barring any changes.

That's about it ... our team is looking forward to hosting you for the 2017 Granite Anvil ! 


Rider Tracking


Do you have a SPOT device ?  Please let us know !


During the ride, at Controls, we will be updating an online spreadsheet showing rider progress.  There are some Controls with little or no cell service so some updates might be delayed.

We also have a means of showing your position on the route if you have a SPOT device or are able to turn on your smartphone and click a "check in" button occasionally.  The SPOT will track along the route; updates come from their server.  The "check in" will only update when you initiate.  Whether or not you choose to use either of these methods, the spreadsheet will be maintained.  We will provide more details on tracking closer to the ride start date.

Room Assignments

We will assign two riders per Durham College suite (separate bedrooms, shared kitchen and bathroom) for the start and end of the ride.  You will maintain possession of the suite during the ride so that luggage etc. may be left.  We'll do our best to accommodate sharing requests that we have already received and will publish those before the ride.

During the ride, volunteers will do their best to pair up those who are riding together and/or intend to depart together, however, all rooms are on a shared basis.  There are no single rooms.  One motel has more limited two-bedroom rooms and we will be using cots in some rooms.  It's far better than either sleeping on a mat on a gym floor or sharing the bed ... please be understanding if you're the one who must sleep on a cot !

Food during the ride


We are still tinkering with the food menu for the overnights and welcome your feedback ... but no promises.  Note that we're using  restaurant facilities for dinner on the 2nd night and for breakfast on the 4th day.  The 2nd night facility is a couple of hundred meters from the motel; the breakfast is a few blocks away -- it was well received during the 2013 edition so we are offering that again.

From a menu standpoint, our plan is to offer soup and make-your-own sandwiches the first night, the restaurant buffet with chicken & ribs on the second night and lasagna the third night.  Each night will have vegetarian options so no one should go hungry.  Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions !

On the road we will have a variety of foods to offer at some of the intermediate controls such as bars, fruit, gatorade and water.  In 2013 we hit most controls; how that works out this time will depend on the weather, the spread of riders and how our support cars are keeping up.

Reflective Gear and Lighting

1) we do require a reflective vest, not a sash.

2) while we do not check for spare lights, they are always a good idea.  Ontario allows blinking rear lights but if you are riding with others a steady light is better.

Dinner before the ride starts

Our contact at Durham College has provided the following:

There are a number of dining establishments nearby but the closest are (walking distance):


A little further away (driving distance; Simcoe Street and Taunton Road) are: