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Today was the Tour de Victoria. It is hard to believe that it is over already.
Getting up this morning was pretty surreal. The big day. I ate breakfast, and got my things together. I discovered that I forgot to charge my cell last night and the battery was completely dead. Crap! I would have like the stats and the map from the actual ride.
Sue and I finished getting ready and then we rode down to her office to meet a friend. When we made our way over to the start chute, I was amazed at the number of people. So cool! We chose a location in the 3.5-4.5 range category. I was hoping to get the ride done in the 3.5 hour range.
All too soon we were off. Rolling with a large group of people. For the first 10 km we were paced by a car, which was fine by me. I stuck with Sue and A for this section. Out by the hospital, when the pace car pulled off, I said goodbye to Sue and started off on my own. This was mostly fine, but I found there were a lot of people who would ride as far left as possible. Weird since when you are passing you are supposed to pass on the left. This meant a lot of passing in the oncoming lane.
Prospect lake road was nice. The hills stretched people out a bit, and the scenery was nice. At the end we hit out first gravel section. I liked the gravel, but there were many that seemed scared of it. I motored here and passed a few people.
On the next paved section, Wallace Dr, I held a good 30 KM/H pace while one guy hung on my wheel the entire way. I didn't mind that much, but then he pulled up beside me, thanked me for setting a good pace, then dropped back behind me again! I dropped him on the next long hill.
We then hit West Saanich. Somewhere along there the rain hit. Yuck. It was wet out. Thankfully I still have my fenders on which helped keep me a little dry. A couple riders here caught my wheel and hung on for a bit. Again, not a big deal. Then one of them pulled in front to take a turn. Unfortunately he had no fenders, which meant the spray was just soaking me! Ah well.
It surprised me when all of a sudden we were on an overpass to the Pat Bay Highway. We were on our way back to town already. The ride was flying by so quickly. It rained all the way to Sidney when it finally stopped.
On the Lochside trail I got boxed in by a group of 3 others who were doing a decent pace, but I would have liked it to be another 1 or 2 KM/H faster. The only way I could have gotten around them was to drop back, then pull around. I waited for a good time to do that.
The hill on Martindale road was a killer. At the top I was grimacing and started to feel hungry. Uh oh, that wasn't good. I pulled out a gel and washed it down with water, and some poweraid.
Cordova Bay road was fine, but when I hit the Mt Doug Parkway I took the time to eat some more. We then took Ash to Grandview and Ferndale.
As I was climbing a hill I saw a decked out Tour de Victoria Subaru pass me. I knew it wasn't the Lantern Rouge, but I was a little confused. Then a motorcycle with a photographer on it passed me. Again I though it was weird. Then it dawned on me. The leaders from the 140KM ride! I looked left in time to see a huge peleton of riders pass me. I think I saw Ryder Hesjedal in the mix, and I'm pretty sure I saw Trevor Linden in there too. Very cool. I tried to hang with them for a few seconds, but they were gone in a matter of minutes.
We then got on Beach Drive to Crescent Rd, then took that all the way to Beacon Hill park. King George Terrace was nastier than ever. I passed someone on it too. I think he was a sponsored rider
We did a few dipsy-doodle turns through Beacon Hill park which kicked us out on Southgate St. I knew we were close to the finish line, so I started picking up the pace. Southgate turned into Superior. By now I was trucking. We had a hard turn onto Menzies and I started sprinting. The guy in front of me kept looking back and I kept closing in on him. The final turn was onto Belleville, then a short dash to the finish line. My legs were screaming, but I kept going. After crossing the line I stopped and instantly had tunnel vision, my legs were wobbly, and I felt pretty ill. Riding slowly helped clear that.
The ride was great. The organization was outstanding. The volunteers were everywhere and did a great job. Most importantly, there were a tone of spectators all along the course cheering, waving, ringing cowbells. Even in the rain.
The food at the finish line was excellent too. Fruit, water, energy bars, fresh BBQd salmon burgers, Galloping Goose sausage, chocolate milk. Yum.
I can't wait for next year! I'l be signing up for the 140 KM event too.
My stats for the ride?
Average Speed: 28.3 KM/H
Max Speed: 60 KM/H