Really the only downside to cycling to get groceries at the Allen Street Sobeys is the hill climb from my house to the crest of Upper Prince Street. As arduous cycling goes, it ain’t no Andean trek. But it’s a hill. And on a hot tired day, maybe that’s enough to be too much.
I thought I could play an end run around gravity tonight by sneakily cycling over the bridge to the Stratford Sobeys, benefiting both from the absence of the hill climb and from the delights of the “Extra” in that location.
‘Twas not meant to be, alas: I couldn’t figure out why the cycling was so sloggy-going on the way there. I was pulling a trailer, yes, but even with allowances there was a molasses quality to the ride.
It was only when I turned around and essentially coasted all the way home, and then consulted a topographic map, that I realized that Sobeys in Stratford is at 23 meters above sea level while the crest of the Upper Prince hill is only 17 metres. So Stratford Sobeys is atop a higher mountain.
Even that, and that it’s twice the distance from home, the Stratford Sobeys has one killer feature for the cyclist: almost all the route there is on dedicated cycle lanes (Hillsborough Bridge, MacKinnon Drive) or on streets with a marked cycleway (Water Street), whereas the ride up to Allen Street is a relative hellscape of parked cars backing up, squeezing through the needle of Upper Prince, and a tricky turn onto Allen Street.
We’ve got some work to do.