Tour de Grand 2013

This year’s Cambridge Tour de Grand was blessed with warm weather.  Not too hot and hardly any wind, just perfect.  I had an amazing time and hit a PB.

While waiting for the ride to start, it was a nice surprise to see Dean from GranFondo Canada promoting the upcoming GranFondo Niagara Falls.

At last, we were let out on the road and I felt strong and full of energy.  I was riding with riders all around me but somehow ended up pretty much on my own for about 10km with only a couple of riders minding their own business.  I pulled my weight until finally tagging a group at 30km all the way to the 1st rest stop.  What a difference that was, almost a recovery period.

Nothing eventful happened until the 2nd rest stop which was a relaxing location by a pond.

After the 2nd rest stop, we got into single file on a busier street.  I followed a guy until he slowed down almost to a stop and told me to “Go ahead, I can’t keep this up”.  I ended up pulling a couple riders until we reached downtown Cambridge.  At one intersection without any signage, there was a bike on the lawn and an old man in spandex standing in the middle of the road directing us to turn right.  With heavy hesitation, we turned hoping it wasn’t a prank.  It wasn’t; nonetheless, a strange setup from the usual OPP.  Shortly later, Garry coaxed me in using the smallest cog which I seldom use for whatever reason.  Good practice to up the pace.  Then a train of riders came from behind and we latched on.  Although I was pushing at my max to hang on, it was yet at a manageable effort at such pace, mostly over 30kph.  My left piriformis started tightening up a short distance before the 3rd rest stop.  It was an aching time until we arrived.

IMG-20130609-01069

3rd Stop at 78.5km

The pain was definitely there as I walked around.  I ignored it and luckily, it subsided when I got back on the bike.  The last 10km+ was a rush with Garry pulling me and a couple stranglers all the way to the finish, another 30kph+ effort.

2 takeaways from this ride that are on my priority improvement list.  They are known strategies but ones that I must concentrate on in upcoming races:
1) Crank it at a high gear whenever possible
2) Really need to tail a group …. seriously

A sincere appreciation to all the organizers, volunteers, OPP’s, and the weather gods for holding such a successful event year after year.  It was a blast.

What do you prefer: Tours or Races?

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8 thoughts on “Tour de Grand 2013

  1. Always suck wheel! : ) Seriously. Here’s a tip for the TdW next week… start right at the front. Hang on as long as you can… you’ll probably get dropped but there’ll be riders behind you that you can jump on to. If you still can’t hang on, more help will be on it’s way. If you start too far back, you have fewer resources and could end up on your own. Stay in a big group and you might not even have to pedal much : )
    Have a good ride next Sunday!

  2. I’m trying to figure out how I keep missing your posts when you post them??? The settings show that I should – doesn’t seem like I miss any other posts of the blogs I follow. Crazy

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