2012 Ride for Heart Part 2: The Ride

Ride for Heart was a blast.  Everything worked out well – the weather, the route, the food, the Team (See PART 1 about forming my Corporate Team).  I ended up cycling 128km today – a new daily record!

PRE-RIDE (31 km)

3am wake-up call.  Unlike last year, I had to cycle 31 km from home to the start line.  As Team Captain, I wanted to arrive at Better Living Centre (Corporate Team area) by 6am.  The rain poured heavily as I ate a quick breakfast.  When I headed out at 4:15am, it was only sprinkling & stopped a couple minutes later.  Rain or not, I’m prepared with my booties!! 😀  The lack of traffic before 5am & the downhill route threw me off.  I ended up arriving at 5:30am.  Could’ve slept longer?

Being early ended up working well.  Ample time for the long line-up to drop off pledges (donations to Heart & Stroke Foundation), breakfast (my 2nd breakfast!!), & welcoming my teammates as they arrived.

Better Living Centre – Rider check-in, breakfast, lunch
Inside Better Living Centre – Tables for Corporate Teams
Team Enwave – Tables 115-116

Our team was scheduled for 6:35am Team Photo.  Perhaps I should’ve calmed down a bit.  I rushed everyone to the photo booth as if my life depended on it – even those who were eating.  Whoops. 😳

Each rider receives a team pic. This reminds me of elementary class photo! Haha

My job as a Captain is officially done.  Phew!!  It’s ride time!


So thankful for the miraculous weather.  The forecasted rain held off the entire ride.  The sun even peeked out of the heavy clouds a couple times.  Ride for Heart offered 25km, 50km, & 75km routes.  I signed up for 75km which includes doing a loop twice.  I ignored the rules & did that loop 3 times!!  It’s a once a year opportunity to ride on a highway!  I wanted it to last as long as possible.

1st loop. My redemption for my poor results in Gran Fondo.  I pushed myself to see what I’m capable of – maintaining at average 25km/hr pace.  The uphill to York Mills was flatter than I remembered from last year.  They call that a hill??  Hands positioned on the drops half the time, which was something new to me.  It really helped fight the head wind!!

Turnaround point/Rest Stop at York Mills
All the rest stops offered Clif bars, Clif Builder, bananas, apples, oranges, water
Rest stops also provided mechanical services

2nd loop.  I wanted to cycle with some friends & somehow found them.  I was too focused on pace during the 1st loop, ending up being mostly on my own.  Under reduced pace, I took this “less-aggressive” riding opportunity to practice 1-hand riding.  I may have finally managed to drink without stopping & take pictures on-the-go.  Near the end, I hurried into the 3rd loop before the road was gated off (cutoff time).  No one wanted to come with me, so I was cycling solo yet again.

Found some friends/teammates at a rest stop! A bit of sun too.
Cycling with some friends
Drafting rocks – esp behind a fellow teammate! Go Team Enwave!

3rd loop. Made it!!  A lot less riders than the first 2 times.  Wind was picking up.  I started to feel tired & the usual “uncontrollable” hunger.  My pace slowed.  NOW I felt that uphill to York Mills!!!

Last 10km.  My quads were done.  A lot of “shut up legs” were needed to continue at adequate pace.  The only disappointment in this ride occurred when the 5km “false finish” loop for 75km-ers was closed by the time I reached it.  Lost 5km. 😦

Finish line – my yellow jersey coincidentally matched the background colour pretty well!

POST-RIDE (4.4km)

Just like after any ride, I gravitated towards FOOD.  So hungry!  As a Corporate Team, I have access to hot catered buffet lunch.  The line-up was extremely long!!  Luckily, I found 2 fellow teammates already close to the buffet.  I pretended I was standing with them all along.  Wow, best post-ride lunch ever!  Salmon, beef, chicken, assorted salad, fruits, cookies, coffee, & even couscous!!

Most of my teammates already left by the time I sat down for lunch.  There were only 8 of us left!

With legs all burned out & body ready to slip into a coma from slack of sleep, the original plan to cycle home (another 31km) was scrapped.  Train/bus to the rescue – leaving only a 4km ride home from the bus station.

Final Reflection (TOTAL 128km)

I’m thrilled about cycling 128km today.  I hope to do a century (160km) ride next year!!

This year’s Ride for Heart has been a 6-month journey without any regrets.  A special thanks to all my riders for their participation & all those who generously donated to the Team.  Ride for Heart is 1 of my favourite organized cycling event.  I wish the highways were closed for cycling every day!!

Will I do this again next year?  The ride – YES!!  Forming a Team – Haven’t decided.  It really depends on whether my coworkers can take another year of my “hassling'”!!  They probably need at least a few months to recover from all this cycling business!

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