May 19 Weekend Ride Update

Long Weekend Riding

It’s looking like a warm and sunny long weekend ahead. So if you can tear yourself away from the spring yard work, come join your club for some solid endurance riding. Slather on the sunscreen, and fill those water bottles …

Ardrossan VSR Road RideOur Saturday ride will be the same as last week’s plan. Leaving the Ardrossan Rec Centre at 10am for a 60km loop through our latest (and older) Stage Race stomping grounds:


Sunday’s plan is west of Edmonton, leaving from the Spruce Grove Tri-Leisure Centre at 10am. This is a challenging hilly 60km circuit into the Glory Hills acreage area north of Highway 16. Honestly, I think this is the only riding area in the Edmonton region where the hills truly go up before they go down. Not a river valley to been found in sight! Strava link right here:

Monday is riders-option for now. We can discuss during this weekend’s rides where (and who) might be interested in a little extra riding volume on holiday Monday.

For members looking to really amp-up the volume this weekend, I encourage you to ride out to our remote starting locations. You can easily turn a 2hr ride into a 4+hr BIG RIDE that way.

Anybody Racing This Weekend?

The race calendar has two crits on offer in Calgary. And of course there is the perennial Bikes On Broadway Stage Race in Saskatoon. I’m not attending these events myself this year. But please do send me an email if you’ve made plans: . I really enjoy keeping up with the racing ambitions of our club members.

Our June 1-3 Climbing Camp is ON HOLD for now…

Jasper is basically sold out for accommodations. We’re looking at other options, like the Kananaskis area, including the Highwood Pass. A further modification would be re-scheduling this as a September journey, putting all of your hard-earned seasonal fitness to a final test of climbing in the Alberta Rocky Mountains.

Please watch for updates within the next week.

What About RMCC’s Road Festival on June 9-10??

This year Canmore hosts the Provincial Road Championships for all ability categories (Cats 5 through 1/2) as part of RMCC’s weekend Road Festival: a crit, hill climb and then the Provincial Road Championships.

Are you targeting a title in your Category? If so, with enough interested riders, we can make some coordinated travel arrangements with some car pooling and sharing of accommodations. Send me an email so I can gather your names into a separate email list. Please decide sooner than later!

Next Week’s Riding Schedule

Tuesday we head out from Hawrelak Park at 6:30pm again for our City Hill Circuit. 4x Zoo Hill, 4x Emily Murphy and up to 4x Fortway Road. Squeeze out the watts and heart beats as you jam wheel-to-wheel with your club mates.

If you haven’t heard yet, the club is hosting an ABA ITT using Sunnyside Road south of Bon Accord. So let’s get a headstart on the competition, and use this road for some Threshold/ITT-pace intervals.

This Thursday we’ll start at 6:30pm from the Edmonton Garrison, parking at either the Tim Hortons or Guthrie School, across the street. We loop basically north, warming up on less-traveled roads, to reach Sunnyside Road from its south end. Then it’ll be 4x 6min, paced at your 40km ITT effort. We’ll re-trace our circuit back to the Garrison.

Here’s the basic route: We’ll do our intervals back-and-forth on the south end of Sunnyside Road.

And there’s also the Thursday MTB ride leaving from Giant Edmonton at 6:30pm. Remember, even if it’s not raining, the trails need some time to dry before they’re ready to ride.

May 12 Weekend Ride Update

Race Season Begins!

This weekend could have been the annual Velocity Stage Race (VSR). But due to some unforeseen circumstances, we handed the reins over to Juventus to kick off the official 2018 Road Racing season with their Stieda Classic Stage Race. If all goes to plan, our VSR will return in 2019 in approximately this same calendar slot.

I’d appreciate knowing who from our club is racing this weekend. Please send me a short email with your race plans (which stages you plan to race), including the category you’ll be racing. I’d like to create a specific racers’ group email list to keep everyone on the same “Team” page this weekend, and going forward throughout the road racing season.

So racers, please email me, Coach Kevin, at:

Registrations closes Thursday, May 10, at 23:59!! Here:

Riders Keep On Riding!

Though I’m not going to be leading club rides this weekend, I still encourage  rider members to self-organize for a Saturday ride with a 10am departure.

Ardrossan VSR Road RideIn honour of our Velocity Stage Race tradition, I’ve mapped out an Ardrossan ride circuit. It should be better than last week’s from Colchester School, because it’s got no level highway crossing to contend with. Check out the Strava course link here: (We will try sticking with this route for the rest of May.)

Leaving from the Ardrossan Rec Centre, this route traces the VSR road circuit near Josephburg, and then loops back down to the old-tyme ITT course from VSR-years-gone by (which is now a tough Strava hill climb segment).

Riders’ choice on Sunday. But maybe you’d like to ride on over to the Stieda Crit course and cheer on your clubmates? Map and schedule details are here:

Planning Ahead Next Week

The Muttart area is heavily impacted by LRT construction. So our Tuesday Hill Circuit will depart 6:30pm from the parking lot inside Hawrelak Park. Plan on about 2hrs of hill repeats.

I’m planning longer (like, 5min) threshold intervals for Thursday evening’s ride. Watch for final location plans to be posted next week. Expect a 6:30pm departure.

May 5 Weekend Ride Update

Weekend rides times will move to 10am and stay fixed there for the summer. If you’re riding to our start locations, this should give you plenty of time without having to leave super-early.

Saturday May 5 Ride

Colchester East LoopSaturday we’ll go with a loop east of town, starting at Colchester School, similar to what was planned on the Sunday ride last weekend. Here’s the modified route to avoid the rough pavement on TWP 522:

Sunday – ERTC ITT or Self-Organized Group Ride

ERTC ITT CourseI encourage you to try the “Spring Series Individual Time Trial” organized by ERTC. Keeping true to the Spring Series spirit, it’s about bragging rights only. No real prizes or points are on offer.

You will not need a Time Trial (TT) bike. Simply use your road bike and hold an aero position with elbows bent, hands in the drops. It worked fine for Eddy Merckx before the invention of all the crazy aero TT bikes. But of course if you’ve got a TT bike, let ‘er rip!

This event is an ideal Functional Threshold Power (or Heart Rate) test for you. Learn what sustainable Power or Heart Rate you can manage over a 30km distance. Can you really pace yourself well?

Again, a TT bike is not needed to learn how to self-pace yourself for this type of race effort. Remember the 3 golden rules of racing time trials: 1) Don’t start too hard ; 2) DON’T start too hard; 3) DON’T START TOO HARD!! Send me your race data file and I can give you some insights about how well your pacing worked out, and advice for the future.

Here’s the link to ERTC’s Tech Guide. Online registration ends at 21:00 May 5. But they will be accepting race day registrations on a cash-only basis.

If you don’t race the ITT, enjoy the weekend weather on Sunday. Gather a few riding mates from Saturday’s ride and set off on your own this Sunday.

Learn to Ride Track Sessions Start Monday May 7

The 4 week co-ed Learn to Ride Track program begins Monday at 6pm. This program gets you ready to take on the more organized workouts at the velodrome. And besides that, it’ll also build your group riding skills to confidently apply to your road riding too. I strongly encourage all new club members to sign up for this series. Even if you don’t continue with track, you’ll be a much safer rider all-round in the end.

Send an email to organizer Stefan Ritter ( letting him know you’ll be there this Monday!

Weekday Riding Starts Tuesday May 8

The exact routes will be evolving, but I’d like to get things started on Tuesday May 8. I’ll be coming off a big week of riding in Penticton, so I won’t be looking for hard efforts myself. Let’s meet in the Muttart Conservatory parking lot, and explore which hills are ride-able and can fit into an evening hill circuit. Start time 6:30pm.

And remember Jason’s MTB ride from the Giant Edmonton Store on Thursday at 6:30pm.

Watch for Twitter updates if the weather messes with our plans and we need to make cancellations.


Velodrome Programming — At Your Service

Historical Velodrome PosterThe Argyll Velodrome Association (AVA) has released their new-look 2018 programming for all you track riders, including those willing to take an open-minded approach and at least give it a try.

In my opinion, with our city being one of the very few cities in all of North America with a local velodrome, every Edmonton cyclist should take advantage of this huge training resource at their fingertips.

And for those that missed my announcement at last month’s club meeting … our indoor velodrome is soon on its way to full capital financing!! Word from AVA is to expect a capital financing plan to be worked out between the city and AVA. Look for an announcement by the end of June.

So now is the time to get ahead of the curve (HaHa, pun intended!). Build your track-riding skills and experience. When the indoor velodrome swings its doors open, you’ll be ready to ride … or race on opening day!

First Up – Programming for May

This first month, AVA has released a trial training and racing schedule. Programming for June through August will be based on the success of May’s program.

Here are the highlights:

  • All sessions are “Open”  to all members of affiliated cycling clubs provided they have the proper prerequisites. These prerequisites include previous training and/or racing experience at our velodrome, or completion of May’s series of New Rider sessions.
  • The term “ New Riders” refers to a rider that has no previous track cycling experience.
  • All sessions with the exception of  “Open Training” are considered “Structured Sessions.”  A coach will lead all Structured Sessions to keep everyone focused and riding safely.
  • Learn to Ride:  This is a mandatory 4 session introductory program for the New Rider, allowing riders with little or no track riding experience to learn to ride the velodrome, safely and with confidence. This is a competencies based program which will provide fundamental skills for any further advancement. This Monday Evening class is a requirement for enrollment into any other structured training sessions.
  • Learn to Ride  “Women Only”: Local women’s road and track cycling legend Gail Wozny will lead you through your 4 session introductory programming on Friday evenings. Get your weekend started with this unique girls-night-out experience!!
  • Structured Training:  This coached program is the successor to the programming of our club’s own track coach legend, Randy Murchison. It’s designed to give the rider the opportunity to advance their skills and confidence on the velodrome through guided practice. It will be running on Sunday afternoons coached by Edmonton’s 1980s Olympic and Commonwealth Games track cycling alumnus, Alex Ongaro.
  • Elite Training: The next gear up from Structured Training. For those track riders ready to move beyond the Train to Train stage, and get Ready to Race. Jeff Bakal will lead 2 sessions each week, on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings.
  • Learn to Race:  This is a mandatory step for riders wishing to race in Track League. This is a competencies based program which will provide fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to become “Race Ready.” Track League itself is actually a low-pressure fun night of racing. Once you’re certified as Race Ready by Alex Ongaro, you’ll be set to try …
  • Thursday Night Track League!! It’s back on. None of us take this competition too seriously. You don’t even realize you’re interval training. A great way to hone not only your track racing skills, but build your abilities to win any race. That’s a skill to unleash in your road events on the weekends too! And with Track League set on Thursdays, you’ll be fully recovered to road race on weekends.

So what are you waiting for??

You don’t have a track bike you say? No problem! Remember, our club has a full stable of track bikes for the exclusive use of our club members. With a variety of sizes, you’ll find one ready to be set-up just for you. All you need to bring are your pedals.

I have more details for each of the sessions listed above, including contact details for each of the session coaches. I’ve also got a detailed, hour-by-hour weekly schedule I can share with you.

Please reach out to me, Coach Kevin, at Ask me any questions you might have. I’ll coordinate to meet you at the velodrome and get you all set to participate.

Jump on it soon! Click it up a gear in 2018. And get indoor-velodrome-ready before everyone else!

April 28 Weekend Ride Update

Let’s finish the month of April with another couple of solid endurance rides. Saturday’s weather looks warm. Sunday may be a bit cooler.

I’m going to be away riding with the Penticton group these next 2 weekends, but Paul Ermantrout and Colleen Malcom have volunteered to be “Ride Wranglers” this weekend. Just look for them to muster around and shout the words, “Let’s ride!”

Saturday April 28 – Endurance Ride

Woodbend Spring RideWe’ll try  Woodbend again, with fingers crossed that the excellent warm forecast for Saturday holds.

And in keeping with the great weather, let’s move the start time up to 11:00am.

Here’s your link to the route on Strava: Woodbend Community Hall Spring Ride

Sunday April 29 – Endurance Ride

No more Spring Series/Inter-Club Rides this year.

Colchester School LoopBut let’s make a loop in the same area on Sunday, just east of Edmonton. Here’s the Strava link: NOT the Spring Series Course.

This course is again about 60km and rolls a little more than the Saturday circuit. It doesn’t have bail-out options. So you’ll need to commit. It’s a counter-clockwise loop.

The circuit begins at the Colchester School (NOT the Hall, but the school that’s directly west of the Hall on TWP 520). Parking will be in the cul-de-sac just in front of the school. Meet again at 11am.

MTB Thursday Rides Begin Next Week!

MTB ride leader Jason Redfern feels the river valley will be ready to ride by next Thursday.

The beauty of the valley is you are never more than a few minutes away from civilization! It’s always a good idea to bring a credit card or some cash for the unexpected. Remember, you’ll need to be have enough food, your flat repair kit, a bell (it’s the law in Edmonton!) and a helmet.

So if the weather holds, his group will be leaving from the Giant Edmonton store at 6:30pm on Thursday, May  3, and head to the trails.

As always, look to Twitter for any late-breaking updates due to weather or other snafus.

Life is short. Enjoy your ride!

April 21 Weekend Ride Update

As the riding season evolves our ride start times will anchor. This weekend we still start at 12:30pm. But eventually, we’ll get weekend rides starting at 10am, and weekday rides starting at 6:30pm (note: weekday rides will begin in May). Always check the website for new information.

All late-breaking ride updates will be posted to our Twitter account@VelocityBikeAB, with re-posts to Facebook. You should also note, our website contains a feed of Twitter updates. So even if you’re not a Twitter user, you’ll still easily see our latest Twitter ride updates on the website.

I use the Weather Network app to monitor weather conditions. So if you want to follow the forecast details I’m looking at, please use the same app. If I see a 60% or greater chance of precipitation during the scheduled start time of a regular club ride, I’ll post a Twitter notice to cancel the ride at least 12 hours in advance. I’ll re-check the forecast in the few hours before ride-time, and post any further updates to Twitter.

Realistically, if it’s pouring rain when you’re headed out for a club ride, don’t expect anyone else to show!

Remember: YOU MUST HAVE YOUR 2018 CLUB MEMBERSHIP IN PLACE TO RIDE! No membership, and you negate the insurance for all of us on the ride. Go here to register if you haven’t done so yet:

Saturday April 21 – Endurance Ride

Woodbend Spring RideWe’ll continue with the same details as last week. In fact, this will be the regular Saturday ride until at least the end of April.

Here’s your link to the route on Strava: Woodbend Community Hall Spring Ride

The ride starts at 12:30pm, and will be about 2hrs long. The current forecast shows some chance of rain in the morning, and then a higher chance towards the end of this ride. Fenders and some rain gear may be necessary. Again, watch Twitter for late-breaking updates if the forecast changes to 60% rain around the 12:30pm start time.

Sunday Inter-Club Ride from Olympiette Centre

The Spring Race Series has failed to secure permits from the county. So we’ll again ride with our friends (or make new friends!) in Edmonton’s other cycling clubs. This will be the last Inter-Club Ride this spring.

The start will be 1pm Sunday from the Strathcona Olympiette Center (RR 224 and TWP 520). The ride will be 2 to 3 hours long and have long, medium and short distance riding groups.

Chief organizer Lance Adamson will have post-ride Coke and cookies for all who ride! When you see him on Sunday, please be sure to extend a warm Thank-You to Lance for his efforts organizing the Spring Series this year.

Castrol Race Series

If you missed the announcement at our latest club meeting, inter-club racing is coming together at Castrol Raceway near Leduc.

Remember the olden days of Tuesday night criteriums? Well, something similar is shaping up on closed race circuits at Castrol Raceway. If you’re keen to learn some road racing skills (or test those you already have!) in a closed-road environment, then stay tuned as this event evolves. It looks like the first event could take place Tuesday June 26.

Spring Penticton Riding Camp Next Two Weekends

I’ll be away the next 2 weekends at our annual Spring Riding Camp in Penticton (see details here). I’ll still be maintaining the club’s local weekend ride schedule, but of course won’t be here to lead anything. Please take some initiative, get out, get riding, and lead your clubmates along! Send me an email if you’re willing to take charge in my place.

For those of you that are heading to Penticton, please also send me an email so we can stay coordinated with individual arrival dates and to just make sure I know all who are coming. Paul told us of a fantastic ride just across the border in the US – so make sure you bring your passport along to get back and forth across the border.

Life is short. Enjoy your ride!

Get Ready to Ride!!

Ok, let’s get this road season started, for Saturday we ride!

It’s disappointing that we don’t have true spring weather yet. But good is good enough for us Canadian “Hard Persons” … a more inclusive reference to “Belgian Hard Men.” Think sloppy spring weather in Belgium, with temperatures hovering just above zero. Riders wearing regular shorts, but legs slathered in “Belgian Knee Warmers”, i.e., embrocation!

I don’t recommend Belgian Knee Warmers this weekend. Keep those legs covered in leg warmers or full-on tights. And even as spring does arrive, keep your knees covered until at least 15°C.

Woodbend Spring RideAs mentioned at our club meeting this week, I’ve got a riding loop mapped in the southwest quadrant of the city. Here’s the link on Strava: Woodbend Community Hall Spring Ride (you’ll need a Strava account to download at this link … but hey, you only need their free account to do it).

I highly recommend you download a route copy to your own GPS device. The circuit runs clockwise from the Woodbend Community Hall. It’s about 60km if you ride the full route. However, it pinches back on itself in a few places, giving you some bail-out options if your spring fitness just isn’t there yet. The circuit is relatively flat, and avoids the drop in and out of the river valley near Devon.

Our plan is to meet at the Woodbend Community Hall at 12:30pm on Saturday, giving the day a bit of time to warm up. Throw a thermos of something hot in your vehicle for after the ride. You may need it to warm you up during your drive back home.

YOU MUST HAVE YOUR 2018 CLUB MEMBERSHIP IN PLACE TO RIDE! No membership, and you negate the insurance for all of us on the ride. Go here to register if you haven’t done so yet:

Follow our Twitter account @VelocityBikeAB for any last minute changes. The account feed is also posted on our website (look to the right if you’re reading this on the website), if you’re not a Twitter user. But I highly recommend you become one, just because it’s a fast, efficient way for me to keep our club updated with brief news announcements and ride plan updates.

Sunday’s  Ride

Unfortunately, organizers for Sunday’s Spring Race Series have hit a permitting roadblock. So the race is cancelled this week. BUT, they’ve decided to host an inter-club ride instead for all ABA affiliated clubs — like ours!

The ride will be 1 to 3 hours long and have A, B and C groups (depending on the number of participants) with volunteers leading each group.

The start will be 1pm Sunday from the Strathcona Olympiette Center (RR 224 and TWP 520), which has plenty of parking.

So let’s ride this weekend! Re-connect with your clubmates, after such a looong winter. If you haven’t met me yet, please introduce yourself during any of our rides. I’d love to get to know you better and hear what your plans are for the season!

Life is short. Enjoy your ride!