Okay so maybe the climb was not Avoriaz but it was tough enough. I have mentioned that there is a new bike race this year the Whistler Gran Fondo.
This is a 120km bike ride from Vancouver to Whistler Ski resort along the Sea – to- Sky highway. We have put in a women’s team and a few of us decided to ride the Squamish to Whistler portion this past Saturday. The plan was to meet in Squamish – the halfway point of the race – ride the last 60km to Whistler, coffee and then ride back to the cars in Squamish.
This would give us a bird’s eye view of the last 60km of the race where most of the climbing will be.
Saturday was a hot one and of course it gets hotter the higher and more inland you go. I realized as soon as we started riding that I forgot to put on Sunscreen. – Ah what are you going to do?
The first bit was not bad and being a climber I was like this is not too bad. Overall the ride up was not bad there was a lot of wind so it helped to keep us cool. It was mixed emotions whenever we got a downhill because it meant that we were going to have to climb it on the way home.
Mentally I had prepared myself for 60km of up the reward being 60km of down. So downhill’s on the way up meant uphill’s on the way down. Honestly while were riding up it did not seem too bad – it was hard but not unbearable – it actually seemed that the climbs were mild and then there was flat and then a mild climb. I was hot and tired when we got to Whistler but was happy we were there and could have a break. When we stopped for coffee I clipped out and went to put weight on my Right foot and shooting pain through my ankle – crap it was locked. It took a bit to get it to unlock, thankfully it did otherwise the ride home would have been brutal not to mention the 29km run I had planned for the next day.
Now I need to go see physio – I have been ignoring it for too long. A few weeks ago at the Mt Seymour Trail race I tweaked my right ankle – it was mild but ever since then it has been locking up and my right hip and hamstring are not too pleased with me so now time to deal with it.
The ride down was awesome and that is when you realize that crap it is pretty much ALL uphill to Whistler and that the "flats" were just smaller hills because now with the exception of 2 climbs it was ALL downhill and the views were stunning. Time up 2.hrs 30 min with a couple of little stops to regroup. Time down 1 hr 45min with a stop to regroup. It was an eye opener but at least now we know what we are up against. We know we can do it and we have decided as a team to enjoy the day. Team plan is 5 - 6 hours - completely reasonable and totally doable.
The only thing that freaks me out a bit is the other 3982 riders out there – hopefully everyone rides smart and plays nice. Either way I think it is going to be a great day and am more excited than ever. Only 26 more sleeps!
Peace out Shaun.