I could NOT have asked for a better weekend! Completely exhausted but I had such an awesome time. After spending the day at Niagara Falls yesterday, I woke up brutally early this AM for the 2011 Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart. It was such a treat to bike on the traffic-free Don Valley Pkwy & Gardiner Express. I signed up for the 75km route. Fueling on less than 4 hrs of sleep, I completed the longest ride I’ve ever accomplished so far! This being my roadie Garneau’s 1st tour made today extra special. 😀
Let’s unwind a bit. This event already started for me when I received my Rider ID Sticker in the mail and my t-shirt at the pre-event check-in centre on Friday after work.
I initially planned to bike from my house to the starting line (~28km). Thankfully, my dad volunteered to drive me to Humber Bay Park East. I only had to bike ~5.7 km to the starting line at Exhibition Place near the Queen Elizabeth Building (perfect warm-up!).
I woke up at 3:45AM this morning, put my gears on, had breakfast, & was out the door by 4:30AM.
I arrived at the starting chute at 5:30AM. I was the 1st one there since the ride starts at 6AM!!!
I didn’t want to be first in line (I’ll let the pros take the lead! :)). I waited for some people to arrive before lining up.
I was shivering as I waited for the start; I just wanted the ride to begin. Finally at 6AM, the sergeant counted us down 3-2-1-GO……..and that was it. No bell ringing, no cheers, no whoopees…..everyone was just quiet. It was so anti-climatic that I nearly laughed out loud. 😆
I was in awe the second I biked up the ramp & onto the highway. All lanes were open, no cars…….just you, your bike, & the sunrise. Nothing else mattered. I was so taken aback by the magnificent sight. The rest stops were quite decent; they were reasonably spread out throughout the route. Each had free bike services from Skiis and Bikes & numerous refreshments: bananas, apple, orange slices, Taste of Nature Granola bar, water. Thank goodness for the food – my metabolism was insanely high today!!
This rest station was at the 25km mark. Yikes, there’s still triple the distance left! I was taking more rest than needed. I didn’t want to push myself too hard with my Achilles injury still sticking around.
The 75km route involved doing a particular loop twice. At the rest station during the turnaround on my 2nd loop, I found my brother!!!! He introduced me to his bike group.
Unfortunately, I only kept up with them for a couple of km before we separated. The last 10km was THE worst!! I had the endurance & my legs were not fatigue. The problem was my sitz bone & surrounding tissues. They were numb & bruised even with the padding on my knicker. OUCH! 😯
I was so thrilled to see the finish line! 😀 WHOOHOO! I did it!
The first thing I did was EAT!!! I was so hungry that I totally forgot to take a photo until my bagel was almost gone! I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with PB, banana with PB, & water.
We walked around some booths – there was even a yoga area.
My brother & I didn’t stay for the closing ceremony. We biked to Union Station to take the GO Bus home, but had to wait 1 hr for the next bus. This ended up working perfectly since we were first in line to take-up the bike racks! The other passengers had to store their bikes in the luggage compartment under the bus.
From biking to the starting line, doing the 75km route, biking to the GO station, & finally biking back home, I biked over 85km today!! That’s definitely a record for me!
- Total Biking Time: 4hrs
- Total Distance: 87.31km (distance should be greater – I forgot to turn computer on several times)
- Avg Speed: 21.7km/hr (skewed since it includes bike dismounts & slowing down in high bike traffic areas)
- Max Speed: 52.9km (LOVE downhills!) 😀
I literally did this distance “cold turkey”. I couldn’t gradually build up my endurance for the last 2 months due to my injury. In fact, I only started riding my bike last Monday for Bike to Work Day & this is only my 3rd time using my road bike (all within 15km trips). For these reasons, I am very proud of myself. I still need lots of training for my MS Bike Tour in August (2 days at 100km/day! eek!). I’m definitely signing up for next week’s Cambridge Tour de Grand tonight!! Should I do the 72km?? 😀 Stay tuned!