VCC Update - May 9, 2020

a message from the United Nations

Outdoor Riding … Finally

Let’s be grateful our sport can easily be enjoyed solo!

So many other sports need even one other player to practice.

And if you want to compete? There’s always the hands of a stopwatch to battle! Search for Strava segments in the areas you like to ride. Then target your own Personal Best. Hey, if you grab the QOM/KOM, that’s a bonus!

There’s nothing wrong with racing against yourself though. Put a post-ride beer or wine on-the-line. It’s not great recovery to reward yourself every ride with an “adult” beverage. But if you’ve just hit a PB today? Indulge yourself!

Fight Fatigue While Riding

Don’t underestimate your fuel and hydration while riding. If a ride feels harder than it should, you’ve messed up one or both of these nutritional foundations.

My rule-of-thumb for rides under 2 hours: taking water is fine. Drink a mouthful about every 10 minutes. Look at your elapsed ride time, and take a swig at every 10 minute roll-over. It’s that easy.

For rides lasting 2 hours or longer, you need carbohydrates too. They can be in your water bottles as sports drink. And they can be in your pockets as real foods (my favourite) or gel packs. The longer and more intense your ride, the more you need to nibble.

If worried about your weight, you don’t have to. There’s no way you can eat as many calories during your ride as you burn while riding. OK,  maybe if you packed a hamburger into your pocket then you could. But that’s not likely! If you finish the ride without feeling famished, it can actually help your weight management goals. You’ll be less likely to over-eat post ride.

Musings About the Giro di YEG

Why the moniker “Giro?”

Italy was the first country outside of China that made the rest of the world sit up and take notice of the realities about the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy sadly showed us what we were truly facing. If we didn’t get ahead of the curve here, we’d be overwhelmed too. Calling this series of riding challenges a “Giro” is my way of honouring all of those lives disrupted and lost in Italy.

Also, the Giro d’Italia was the first grand tour to be postponed. Happily, the UCI has put it tentatively back on the calendar from October 3-25. It’s in the middle of an shortened fall schedule of WorldTour bike racing. And the Spring Classics have now become Fall Classics.

The Giro has always had a spirit expressing Cycling’s emotional heart. To me, there’s something more mechanical and technical about the Tour de France. I still love Le Tour. But the Giro has an emotional appeal not always seen in other bike races.

Of all the grand tours, I think the Giro embraces a climbing tradition. It has arguably been known for some crazy climbs – not as long as the other grand tours, but certainly sharp and relentless.

We’ve got nothing like these climbs in the Edmonton area, but we can be aspirational. Let’s use our imaginations. The Giro di YEG embraces climbing. The climbing challenges are mainly a way to limit rider speed and therefore liabilities. Each of the challenge segments will have some net climbing elevations. Let’s take on some climbing in our otherwise flat prairie land!

And then there’s Italy’s fabulous food and delicious wine. Let’s discover some of each throughout the Epic Season Giro di YEG!

One idea I have is to celebrate the Italian culinary culture. I plan to make at least some (maybe all?) the draw prize packages themed Italian food and beverages.

And finally, don’t forget about the Giro’s Canadian connection … It’s the only grand tour won by a Canadian – Ryder Hesjedal in 2012!

Hopefully I’ll get all the technical details sorted out by the middle of May. The first challenges will be a return to the terrain of the old Ardrossan Stage Race that Velocity hosted in the early 2000s. Stay tuned! And feel free to send me your climbing challenges to include in future stages this season.

Celebrate Your Small Wins

While on a ride this week, pause and put your foot down.  Take a picture of the road, the roadside, your bike or the landscape around you. Make it a selfie … or not. Post it to your social media account – whatever one you like using. Write a little something about how you’re grateful to be a part of this beautiful ride we call Cycling!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started – Mark Twain