On Canada Day Sue and I took the kids down to the Gorge for their party. Wow, what fun. Lots of vendors out, lots of people to see, the road was closed, there was a car show, lots for the kids to see, and to top it off, it was a beautiful day.
5 hours, 140 km, 28Km/h average speed, 1500 calories, 2.5 litres of water, and 1 small crash. That was my @TourdeVictoria
Saturday night I could feel a little pang of nerves. All my prep for the ride had been done, the bike was set. All I needed to do was get up, eat breakfast and head downtown. In bed, suddenly Sue remembered we hadn't set an alarm! Yikes, that was a little close.
I woke up and could see light peeking around the blind in our room. I had set the alarm for 5:15, but it was only 5:05. I got up anyway and made my regular pre-ride breakfast. I ate this, got dressed, grabbed my bag and my bike and started heading out the driveway at 6:20. In the driveway I could hear a bad sounding noise from my front wheel. It sounded like a broken spoke. Thankfully I didn't find anything wrong so I headed out.
Once downtown I ate my banana, put my bag in the bag check, hit the portapotty for a nervous pee, then got in the staging area. It was about 6:45 at this point. I took out my phone and made one quick tweet before the ride started. I was very calm, and not feeling nervous. My training had gone well, and I was pretty sure I could go the distance. I had done lots of trips over all the big hills on the course.
I looked over and there a few feet away was someone I knew. He was the father of one of the kids in my sons kindergarten class (we'll call him B). We chatted for a but before the start.
When the national anthem started playing I started to get excited. The ride was about to begin! The airhorn went off and B and I started off with close to 1000 other riders. What an exhilarating feeling.
The pace car led us out for quite a ways, and B and I rode together and chatted some more. On the Old Island Highway there were a few times the group had to slow as the road narrowed. What a sight to see a swarm of cyclists own the road like that. Once we got onto Sooke Rd, we could see how far away the pace car was. B and I kept getting closer to it.
We made the turn off towards Esquimalt Lagoon. Nearing Lagoon Rd B mentioned that he hadn't been doing a lot of climbing, so we wished each other well on the ride. When the road turned up, I tried climbing at my regular pace, but there were so many people to dodge that I ended up going slower than normal. At the top of that climb I felt great, not winded or even out of breath. From there we rode out along Metchosin Rd, with a turn onto Lombard. Lombard has a short, steep pitch, but again, my training paid off and I zipped up there without any issues.
Backtracking towards town we then turned onto Kangaroo Rd. The hills along here weren't too bad, but I knew Lindholm was looming. Kangaroo road was blocked off for us which meant the turn onto Lindholm could be taken at a pretty good clip.
I made the big climb and started the descent. This descent is a lot of fun, though I am always tentative and never take the corners without riding the brakes. Well, coming up to the fastest corner someone was running towards us yelling to slow down. There had been an accident and several people were in the ditch. This was a very sobering sight. A very stark reminder to be careful when riding with other people. You never know when something bad can happen, and all of us were out there to have fun.
After this we made our way over to Glen Lake and to the start of the 100KM ride. At this point I realized my pace was faster than my training rides had been, and that I was going to meet up with Sue quicker than we had anticipated. I crossed their start point saw my truck in a parking lot and began to set my sights on Munns Rd.
Unfortunately I caught the tail end of the 100KM riders at the Goldstream Ave/Atkins Rd intersection. There was a small path between the roads, and a large mass of people. This also meant riding on Atkins with the slower of the 100KM riders.
I passed quite a few of them on Atkins, then we headed over to Prospect Lake Rd, then Munns. I had nearly drained one of my water bottles already, so I knew I would be stopping at an aid station at least once.
I was climbing one hill, doing quite well. A lady who looked like a sponsored rider was on my left and passing me. After she had passed me, we both passed a rider stopped on the side of the road. For some reason the lady that passed me suddenly turned right in front of me and hit the brakes. I think she was trying to stop and talk to the other person we had just passed. Unfortunately for me my hands were not in a position to hit the brakes. I yelled something right before we collided. I nearly tackled her, and our bikes went down in a bit of a heap. Thankfully this an uphill collision so it was slow speed. I was more worried about my bike than me. Her pedal was between a couple spokes and that could have spelled doom. As it was there was no harm done. I swapped my nearly empty bottle for a fresh one and got going again.
A short distance up ahead I saw Sue's vest. I caught up to her, and had planned to climb with her for a bit, but then I saw the timing strip. I wanted to see how I could fair on the Munns Rd climb, so I said goodbye and headed off. I was held up in a few places as there were a lot of people and many didn't seem to grasp the concept about staying right except to pass. On the final grunt up Munns I got shut out by a couple people and had to slow down. Still, I placed 323 out of 1163 riders on the Munns Rd climb. I'm rather happy with that.
The hill down the other side was super fast, and super fun. Ross Durance Lake Rd was next, then onto Willis Point Rd. As we got onto Wallace Drive I started to feel my legs weren't right. The beginning signs of bonking were starting to set in. I had been hydrating well, and taking my nutrition when I was supposed to. I imagine that I was just pushing myself harder than normal. I had to alter my plan a little. At the end of Wallace was an aid station. I pulled in there, filled up my water bottles, then grabbed some food. I had wanted to do the entire ride without additional support, but if I hadn't eaten I wouldn't have made it. I grabbed a couple Honey Stinger waffles (then vanilla one was amazing), some orange, stretched a little, then took off again.
I had to get more nutrition into me without exerting myself too much. I spun along West Saanich for quite a while and took it easy. I really wanted to finish and didn't want to blow up. The section along West Saanich Rd is really a blur. I don't remember it, and much like last year I was suddenly on the highway overpass and staring the return trip. What a feeling.
In Sidney I stopped at the aid station again. As I was grabbing another waffle one of the people there told me that the 50KM ride was starting in 5 minutes. I gulped back the food jumped on my bike and took off. I didn't want to fight another crowd.
Along the way here I latched on to a group of three other guys. I took a turn pulling, the someone took over for me. Not knowing the proper etiquette, I ended up in second position, which meant I ended up pulling again. I figured out what to do and dropped back to the end of a now six person group. What an easy time at the back getting pulled along. We got onto the gravel section, then I became acutely aware of my bladder. I made a pitstop at Mitchel Farms which meant I lost my train.
I passed the final aid station without stopping, though I had intended to stop and get some liquid nutrition (ie not food). I ate one of my gels, drank more water and kept spinning along. As I was approaching Mt Doug Parkway my stomach started to tighten into a knot. At this point I started to calculate if I could finish the ride without taking in any more calories.
When I saw the 30KM to go sign I knew I was going to make it. For the Ash Rd climb I put my head down and grinded as hard as I could. No problem. I knew some friends were either going to be watching there or King George Terrace. Since I didn't see them there, I knew where they would be.
Quickly I found myself in front of Willows Beach. I vaguely remember going by the golf course. Then I started the last descent before King George Terrace. I geared down for the first and made it up fine. I could see my friends at the top, so I actually geared up, stood on the pedals and powered up the hill. At the top I was feeling exhilarated. I had done all the nasty hills, and I only had a few kilometres before the finish. I spun past Ross Bay, and at one point there was a family of four out on their front lawn cheering loudly, jumping up and down, and making lots of noise. I have to admit that I got pretty emotional there. It was at that point that I knew I was going to make it, and I felt very proud of myself.
Once I got to James Bay the adrenaline really started to kick in and I started picking up my pace. All along the water front I kept going faster and faster. Gearing up, pushing harder. I made the final turn onto Bellville. I could hear the music, and then I could see the finish line. I pretty much sprinted my way across the line.
After I was done I felt very proud of myself. Getting off my bike, my legs felt a little wobbly, but otherwise alright. I retrieved my bag, got a banana, drank some water and checked out the vendors. I had wanted to see Sue cross the line, and as I was making my way to a vantage point, I thought I heard her name being called. I went to investigate, and moments later my cell rang. As I was about to answer I saw Sue with her phone to her ear. We had both done it! I went over and gave her a big hug.
A short while later we went and got some food and found B in the line too. We ate lunch with him, then grabbed a beer from the beer tent. Beer has never tasted sooo good. I only had one since I still had to ride home.
In all it was a fantastic day. I was very happy with my ride time, though I know there is room for improvement on how I felt, and my nutrition. I'm not entirely sure where I went off the rails, but at least I recognized something was going wrong and was able to correct it before it was too late. My official time was 5:08 (359th of 736 riders), and considering the fastest 140KM rider was 3:51, I have every reason to be proud of what I did. Still, next year I want to improve on that and try for sub 5 hours.
It's always good to have a goal. And there are always other events. I hear the one in Penticton is really good too.
View Tour de Victoria in a larger map
View Tour de Victoria in a larger map
Total distance: 144.85 km (90.0 mi)
Total time: 5:18:45
Moving time: 5:05:37
Average speed: 27.27 km/h (16.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 28.44 km/h (17.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 74.98 km/h (46.6 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.20 min/km (3.5 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.11 min/km (3.4 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.80 min/km (1.3 min/mi)
Max elevation: 264 m (865 ft)
Min elevation: -33 m (-107 ft)
Elevation gain: 2039 m (6689 ft)
Max grade: 40 %
Min grade: -29 %
Saturday was my last training ride before the event. I had wanted to keep it short, just to keep my legs loose, but a buddy wanted to go for about 100KM as a test to see if he would join the Tour de Victoria. He ended up having to bail on the ride, but I still went along the same route.
What a ride it was too. Slight misty rain falling in a couple places, but otherwise perfect conditions. No rain, not too warm, no wind. My route followed the TdV route for a long way, and I have to admit I felt great. The big hills didn't feel so bad anymore, and the flats I was flying along. In total I did a little over 110KM solo, and my average speed was slightly higher than normal too.
By the end of my ride I was feeling awesome. I didn't feel drained at the end either, which was good. I can say with some certainty now that I feel ready for the big day.
View Tour de Victoria June 16, 2012 in a larger map
View Tour de Victoria June 16, 2012 in a larger map
Total distance: 112.97 km (70.2 mi)
Total time: 4:13:22
Moving time: 4:09:46
Average speed: 26.75 km/h (16.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 27.14 km/h (16.9 mi/h)
Max speed: 71.16 km/h (44.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.24 min/km (3.6 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.21 min/km (3.6 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.84 min/km (1.4 min/mi)
Max elevation: 237 m (778 ft)
Min elevation: -26 m (-85 ft)
Elevation gain: 2748 m (9014 ft)
Max grade: 101 %
Min grade: -44 %
Today was a good day for commuting. Not too windy, sort of sunny, warm. The only thing I could have used more of was time. I would have loved to have ridden for another hour or more. Alas, I had dinner to get home to, and my route home took a lot less time than I thought it would.
My ride to work was straight there, with no detours. Right out the Goose to Wale Rd, then over to work. Coming home I thought I would do Munns Rd backward from the way I normally do it. The climb to the highest point was pretty hard, and I ended up taking a quick breather at one point. I should have kept pushing, but I wimped out. I didn't exactly have a good nutrition day at work, and I was huffing pretty hard coming up the hill.
The descent was a lot of fun though. Wow. Makes the hard work worth it for sure.
At one point I was approaching a guy who was standing beside a truck. At first I thought he was breaking into it, then I realized he was watching something. When I looked over to the other side of the road, there was a turkey vulture standing there watching me zip by. Boy, those are big birds!
After Munns I got onto the Goose and zipped home at a pretty good clip.
View Commuting June 13, 2012 in a larger map
Commute to work:
Total distance: 13.20 km (8.2 mi)
Total time: 38:12
Moving time: 33:17
Average speed: 20.73 km/h (12.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 23.80 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 51.79 km/h (32.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.89 min/km (4.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.52 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.16 min/km (1.9 min/mi)
Max elevation: 83 m (272 ft)
Min elevation: -8 m (-26 ft)
Elevation gain: 206 m (677 ft)
Max grade: 13 %
Min grade: -14 %
Recorded: 13/06/2012 8:07 AM
Commute home from work:
Total distance: 32.70 km (20.3 mi)
Total time: 1:23:41
Moving time: 1:16:01
Average speed: 23.44 km/h (14.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.81 km/h (16.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 55.39 km/h (34.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.56 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.32 min/km (3.7 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.08 min/km (1.7 min/mi)
Max elevation: 253 m (829 ft)
Min elevation: -17 m (-56 ft)
Elevation gain: 724 m (2375 ft)
Max grade: 46 %
Min grade: -34 %
Today's ride was all kinds of awesome. The weather was pretty warm, but not sunny, and there was no wind. I think I ate well before my ride, and drank enough water to hydrate well.
For the ride itself I followed the Tour de Victoria course starting from pretty close to the start, out to Metchosin, back over to Munn's, then out the peninsula. I turned onto Mount Newton Cross Rd, then made my way over to the other side for the return trip. I did all this solo too.
I paid attention to my nutrition while riding, and was careful with that. I also paid attention to how my legs were feeling, and back off part way through the ride to try and save something for the end. The other thing I did was try to drink more water. This resulted in me having to stop for a pee break, which is a rare occurrence for me.
I think it paid off though. My goal was 4.5 hours, and I was out there for 5 hours and ten minutes in total. I rode a distance of 125 km, and took in around 1000 calories.
Wow, that felt good to get that distance in. I am now confident that I can do 140km on ride day (which is 2 weeks away). During the ride there will be times I can draft off others to rest and recoup. I have ridden all sections of the course now, and there aren't any surprises hill-wise for me. I was pretty tired at the end of the ride, but not sore, not cramping, and still walking
The only surprises I had were a scrawny fawn that almost bolted in front of me (if it had I would have collided with it), and a dog in the bed of a truck that barked rather loudly when it was right beside my head.
View Tour de Victoria June 10, 2012 in a larger map
View Tour de Victoria June 10, 2012 in a larger map
Total distance: 125.56 km (78.0 mi)
Total time: 5:10:47
Moving time: 5:00:31
Average speed: 24.24 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.07 km/h (15.6 mi/h)
Max speed: 82.42 km/h (51.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.48 min/km (4.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.39 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.73 min/km (1.2 min/mi)
Max elevation: 376 m (1233 ft)
Min elevation: -24 m (-79 ft)
Elevation gain: 3250 m (10664 ft)
Max grade: 118 %
Min grade: -64 %