Training for the Granfondo

Now that I am more comfortable with the clipless pedals, I have been out riding the R3 around UBC and over to the Northshore. I was quite impressed that I was able to maintain 15km/h going up the hill of NW Marine Drive from Spanish Banks to UBC. I hadn’t ridden uphill that fast before. I rode to out of the lookout and then did a U turn and reversed my steps for a full 30km ride at an average speed of 22km/hr. Still a bit slow, but better than what I had done in the past.

Sunday I decided to tackle the Northshore. I hadn’t ridden over the Lions Gate Bridge before. Weird thing was I kept thinking that the most dangerous part of the ride would be the Stanley Park Causeway (sidewalk riding). I hadn’t heard the news, but a woman had been killed Saturday riding the causeway sidewalk into Vancouver, clipped a pedestrian  and then fell onto the roadway into the path of an oncoming bus.

As I viewed this a dangerous stretch, I decided to head out at 6:15am under a cloudy morning sky, with a slight threat of rain in the air. Taking advantage of the lack of traffic, I headed down the Hornby separated bike lane, which was a controversial decision when it was implemented. For training it is not that great as there are a lot of traffic lights. Once on West Georgia I headed for the Causeway and the sidewalk. I was alone on the sidewalk, until this guy on a regular bike, no helmet, came at me in the wrong direction. I stuck to the right hand side, closer ot the trees, and figured if we were going to get in an accident, I would go into the bushes, and him into the traffic. Luckily nothing happened, and I carried on towards the bridge.

I hadn’t realized that there was a fair climb from the entrance of the causeway to the bridge, and was surprised to see my GPS register at least a 2% grade if not more in certain sections. Once on the bridge, I was on the separated sidewalk, and not as concerned about traffic. There was no one on the bridge at 6:40am. I decided that I was going to tackle Capilano Drive to the entrance to Grouse Mountain. I was making good progress up the road, but was surprised by the number of cars that kept driving by. I know the Grouse Grind had opened, but this seemed like a lot of traffic for 7am on a Saturday morning. By the time I got to the Clevelnad Dam, I saw cones on the road, and a sign saying a race was in progress. I decided to turn around, a bit disappointed that I didn’t go all the way, but figured this was a good next step up from the UBC hill. The GPS indicated that I had climbed 175m to the dam.

On the way back, I got off the Stanley Park Causeway just after the bridge, and entered the park. This was a great ride, on a two lane one way road with no traffic. I was able to get up to 35km/hr on some of the downhill sections, and make it back home in a decent time for breakfast!

Overall the climbing ability of the myself on the R3 was quite something. I was able to climb up an 11% grade sitting down using the largest gear on the rear cog. The definite limitation on this bike is myself, but hopefully over time this will become less of a problem.

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About petergsimmons

Global citizenship is conferred on those who have lived in a variety of countries, and who don’t identify with any one culture. I am such a person. Having lived in Jamaica, Canada and Japan, I have been exposed to First World/Third World, East and West, North and South. This has lead to a rich living experience, open-mindedness and curiosity about the world around me. This variety of living conditions in human landscapes is coupled with equally diverse travels in natural landscapes from the jungles of South East Asia and South America to the Arctic tundra; tropical beaches to the Himalayas, resulting in an incredible journey through life itself.
This entry was posted in 2013 Whistler Granfondo Training, Bicycles, British Columbia, Canada and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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