Cambridge Tour de Grand 2012

A hot sizzling time at the 15th Annual Cambridge Tour de Grand!  Unlike last year, it was BLAZING hot with temperatures feeling like the mid-30s.  But I can take the heat!!  I tackled the 100km route an 8:30am start time at Duncan McIntosh Arena.

At the start
At the start – Staff warning us to get properly hydrated and fueled up

What an amazing turnout!!  They had to let 100 riders out at a time.  I was lucky enough to drag my coworker Nick to the ride.  His 1st tour ever & he’s doing a metric century!!! 🙂

Immediately following a right turn out of the Arena , we hit a hill.  The route is definitely showing its true colours at the get-go.  But I love it.  Lots of rolling hills but always enough recovery time in between rollers.  The scenery was gorgeous – mostly country roads with minimal traffic.

32 km. 1st rest stop.  I’ve already devoured 4 bottles of water.  Temperature was skyrocketing.

1st rest stop. Lots of bananas & cookies!!

I kept riding past a funky-looking bike.  It sort of looked like a recumbent but with a windshield?!  Don’t let that fool you – this guy was moving!!  I couldn’t believe his pace!

Weird bike!

I felt a definite improvement from last year with all the hill training.  There wasn’t much huffing & puffing going uphill.   I kept dropping people which was quite motivating.

55km.  The route took us back to the Arena with a mini rest stop exclusively for 100km & 160km riders.

70km.  I started losing steam – the usual hunger.  Knowing a rest stop was fast approaching in 5km, I powered through thinking about bananas.

72km.  A loud BANG – either someone got shot or got a flat.  Thankfully, it was the latter!!

75km.  Final rest stop & a much needed one.  2 energy bars, a banana, & a few oranges slices later, I was still hungry.  A wonderful surprise to finally meet my Facebook friend, Dan, in person (we go way back in Tour de Norfolk last year).  Great meeting you!!! 😀  We managed to cycle together for a couple of km’s before getting separated.

Final rest stop

85km. No one was in front of me.  I was pulling myself through a bit of headwind.  This stretch of route was boring as ever.  It was a dull commercial road with no trees in sight.  Uninspired, I pedaled on counting down the distance.

92km.  While waiting at a red light, a cyclist beside me randomly yelled “I’m tired & hot” & the guy beside him was leaking sweat everywhere.  Yep, general consensus there.  Almost done yet?

100km.  I felt a bit sunburned & was glad the ride was over.  I stole a volunteer’s chair, planted myself under a tree, & waited for Dan & Nick to show up.  Some cheering wouldn’t hurt!!!!  I still can’t believe he made it through the ride.  Way to go!! 😀

At the finish. Go Nick Go!!

I was afraid he was going to kill me for making him do this.  Nope, he was in good spirits – amazed & inspired by how far we can push our bodies to their limits!!

Time for lunch.  When you’re hungry, the simplest lunch just hits the spot.

This tour was amazingly organized.  The signage was clear – I never once thought I was lost.  The random spectators along the route cheering you on was a nice surprise.  I also enjoyed cycling with groups of cyclists for most of the route – a sign of a huge turnout!!!  A big thank you to all the paramedics/police for standing under the sun all day directing traffic & making sure everyone was safe.  And of course, all the volunteers for devoting endless hours to set up the ride.

Exactly 100km!

11 thoughts on “Cambridge Tour de Grand 2012

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  1. This is so amazing! I can’t wait to join you both! Tuesday is my big day and after that I plan on hitting the road! Will you both be up for some rides this summer with me?

    1. I’m trying to persuade Nick for another metric century at Tour de Norfolk come July. You should come too!! Don’t worry, it’s a really flat route. Flat as flapjacks. 🙂

  2. Great blogger you are Cherry, journalism talent you have to! Yes wonderful surprise meeting you in person also! You were great company and very nice to chat with. My only regret was I didnt have myself in decent enough shape to keep up with you! I will have to get off my lazy butt more and work on that for next time! Take care…keep in touch! Dan

    1. haha thanks Dan. You did a great job yourself. C’mon now, you finished another bike tour just the day before!! If I see you at Norfolk on Saturday, THEN it’ll be more fair to compare!! 😀

  3. Lol, thanks Cherry. I drove 40mins yesterday to a town called Arkona, parked the pickup and rode my bike around that area. Lots of big hills there, better then flat Sarnia in which to get in hill climbing shape for Norfolk!

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