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!

THE RIDE (93km) – ROUTE MAP

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!

93km

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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7 thoughts on “2012 Ride for Heart Part 2: The Ride

  1. Pingback: RFH Part 1: Forming the Team « Cherry Lo

  2. Pingback: 2012 Season Closing « Cherry Lo

  3. Pingback: Ride for Heart 2013 | Cherry Lo

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