Saturday, 12 July 2014

ATB/Highwood Fondo

Early morning rise for carpool out with Bunnin to the ATB/Highwood Gran Fondo. Both of us are a bit sick from BC Bike Race. Ashley told me I didn't look good, I don't fault the honesty. Did a 7am conference call en route to the event, faff'd around in parking lot until just in time to go.

Riding was beautiful. Peloton was so enjoyable. First 30k or so people rode totally normal, chit chatted, caught up with each other, etc. Nice morning temperature. I had jersey and no arm warmers or gloves, and it was pleasantly cool. 

Pace picked up at the KOM sign which was 17km from the summit. Each roller fractured more of the group, and I realized coffee had combated my initial feeling of the day enough to hold in. I was with lead group to the bottom of last climb with about a dozen people. So you could tell who had engines, then that last couple k's of steeper bit was going to sort out who's power to weight ratio was superior. We went around the corner in one's, two's. I climbed with Hooper; Jared and Jay were ahead and climbing awesome, Bunnin and one other led.  Gary Chambers was just oozing out the Watts today and made the lead group. Awesome riding Gary!

We quickly coalesced into a group of 5 - Jay, Jared, Chris, myself and one guy from Canmore. Happy spot. Net downhill to finish, all in top 10, and save for Devin who wasn't here and Shawn who was up ahead, that's our Friday afternoon bike talk as drink coffee group. Awesome. 

We reeled in Trevor Gunderson who was solo in no mans land since we had the 5 group going. At times we could see the lead group, but we didn't close. Trevor eventually cramped and imploded instantly leaving it to our 5. I was needing plain water at one point and begged some from Chris. Turns out it was a FirstRowdy water bottle so he agreed to share ; )

We rolled in together - Jay started the lead out train being the smallest guy and assumed he'd be dropped. I didn't think that'd be sporting or that this was so cut throat so I pushed him when he faded instead of going by, so Jay got the legs good and fried with the run into finish. He was worried he'd suffer in the net down last half being of "climber build" but showed he's an all rounder. Canmore guy was on a different program of achievement expectation and sprinted us (he was only one in 40+ so it was irrelevant IMHO) but Jared followed the jump and shut him down. We were all within the second anyway. 

Beauty day, all smiles at the finish. Couldn't ask for a better event and better way to ride with buddies. Shawn then proceeded to lock his keys in the car. Oops. 

We bbq'd at chez Bunnin as I'm out of the house for a bunch of girls doing a bachelorette party. 

Ok guys, for this photo I want beards in the left. Jay, where's your helmet? Erik, Jared, TDF build Hooper, Jay, Bunnin.  The downtown Friday afternoon coffee "team" had a very consistent showing!

Deadgoats partially incognito. Shawn, the powerhouse Gary, and me. 
Summit turnaround.
Half bearded chase group. 
Jay's hill attack near the end.

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