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Monday, August 25, 2008

Preview: Ride for Karen (Cycling - Century Ride)

The Ride for Karen is a 100 mile (160K) bike ride through beautiful Ontario countryside to raise money for kids with cancer.

I did this ride last year, and it was fantastic. Very well organized, great support on the route, lots to eat and drink, perfect!

They break up the start into groups, based on your target average speed. Last year, there was a 35km/h group, a 30km/h group, and a 25km/h. You're free to go faster or slower as you please, but if you want the full benefit of a giant peloton, it's best to stick with the group!

Despite starting in the rain, I was able to stick with the 30km/h group until a little over 100K... until pfffffft! Flat tire. The good people from the Trek Store were there in a jiffy with a new tube, saving me the trouble, but despite my buddy waiting for me we just couldn't get back to the group. The last 60K were a little rough, but in the end our average was around 28km/h. Felt great to finish that first century ride!

The goal this year: stay with the 30km/h pack, but more importantly learn a thing or two. Anything this long (over 5 hours of riding) is more than just a cool achievement, it's a learning experience - hydration, food, pacing and energy management, etc.

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