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.
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?