Last Sunday September 7 was a perfect early sunny fall day for the Halton Epic Tour.

BCC was well represented by Bob Knight, Chris Andrews, Neil Bacon, Jim Vandekas,  Joseph, Wayne, Dave Adams and me. (I may have missed one or two others.) We all did the Gran Fondo route of 140 km.  There are other distances available from 50 km to the 170 km Ultra Fondo.

Great event and well-organized, with police managing traffic on every busy corner. Well-stocked rest stops, clear directions and volunteers at every corner.

The route is stunning, going through beautiful wooden areas, farm land all on rolling terrain and hardly any cars. The roads are in great conditions, mostly super smooth.

There is a section of maybe 10 km on an unpaved hard-packed gravel road, and we had to be careful to stay in the tire tracks because the middle of the lane tends to gather loose gravel.

Chris and I rode mostly with Bob Knight's friends all wearing matching kits of their group called the "cicli buffoni" (cycling buffoons).  These buffoons love a quick pace!

We formed a pack of maybe 20 riders and worked together, and stopped only once to replenish and stock up on gels and cliff bars. We also picked up Jim along the way.

Our group splintered toward the end. Despite eating a phenomenal number of cliff bars and gels, I was a bit cooked in the last 10-20 km, until an angel zipped comfortably by us on an old steel bike with mountain bike shoes. As I was pulling at the time, I seized this opportunity to glue myself to her wheel and get a free ride at a higher pace until we got to a big downhill where with hit speeds of over 75 km.

This long descent meant more climbing was in store for the last few kilometers, including a "coup de grâce" at the very end where a giant inflated gorilla met us at the foot of a monster hill appropriately callled "Gorilla Hill". They even had volunteers there to say "Welcome to Gorilla Hill"!  The grade is probably 15%-20% and many riders just threw the towel and walked up.

The post-ride lunch was catered by Hero Burger and there were lots of exhibitors.

Bottom line: a ton of fun and great hammerfest with something for everyone.

Views: 365

Comment by Joseph on September 9, 2014 at 3:21pm

Congratulations to all BCC crew participated on this epic event.  As Marc had mentioned that the event is well organized, signs are well placed, including "intersection ahead" prior to all intersections,and volunteer marshalls directing traffic on major intersections, support vehicles from Gears, well stocked rest stop. Wayne, Dave (Adams) and myself ride together and taking turns, thanks to Dave and Wayne for those pulls on headwind. We pick up riders along the ride and get dropped after a few K's hitching a ride with us. The route, what can I say, it's great rolling terrain, switchbacks,  gravel roads. So it has all the elements. The so called "Gorilla Hill" (Appleby Line) is a treat. The bottom of the hill, cheering volunteers, signs " #shut up legs, Gorilla Hill!!".  So till next year and hopefully more BCC would participate.

On a side note, Im proud to represent BCC, got a comment towards the end of the ride by a few riders, they noticed that the trio of us call out hazards, cars up/back/stopping -slowing and how we ride efficiently as a group.

Comment by chris andrews on September 9, 2014 at 8:19pm

Marc did most of the hammerfesting - I just tried to hang on. But, it's a great ride so next year plan on coming out and joining the fun. If you can't do gorilla hill at the end, it's a pretty walk and you won't be alone.

Comment by DY on September 10, 2014 at 3:17pm

Any Pics guys?

Comment by Bob Knight on September 11, 2014 at 1:06pm

That was one of the best rides of the year!  

On their Facebook page they're reporting 3,371 riders, which is more than Gran Fondo Whistler. And in it's second year, the largest such event in Canada.

You could tell the numbers were good.  The start corral was crowded and there were lots of riders along the route.  As Marc reported in his post, I was there with seven other friends.  We rode with Marc, Chris and Neal most of the ride.

On a gloriously sunny day, we were in a group of about 20 until the first rest stop.  The pace was so fast, I found it hard to grab a bite. Luckily the rest stop was well stocked and the volunteers were cheerful.

After the rest stop, we were with a smaller group until a train delayed us.  A large group reformed and we were off again.

We kept the pace high until the big descent. Then the tough climb up Gorilla Hill (love that name). Sprinted to the finish!

I think Centurion could learn from Epic Ride Halton. I think the main lesson is like real estate ... location, location, location!  I've done Centurion Blue Mountain and Centurion Horseshoe a few times and I think the numbers are down.

I think the proximity to Toronto is the main reason.  To do Blue Mountain, we stayed overnight at a hotel. To do Horse Shoe we were on the road at an ungodly hour.

I'm giving Epic kudos for a putting on a good event!

Comment by Bob Knight on September 11, 2014 at 2:33pm

PS - my friends were impressed by Marc. "He did his share of the pulling".

I can add it was great fun being out there with Marc, Chris and Neil. On a hard ride, you can draw some inspiration from a familiar face or jersey!

Comment by chris andrews on September 12, 2014 at 1:37pm


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BCC Rides

Cycling in the summer can be about casual riding, sprinting, spinning, big-ring hammerfests or what ever your chosen type of riding is. The BCC was founded for the sole purpose to network cyclists. It has grown into a successful club which accommodates Riders at almost all skill/fitness levels. Everyone should be able to participate and have fun at their respective levels.


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Start time is 8:00am early season, 7:00am as days get longer. Route distances vary from 55-120km and several pace groups are available. Saturday morning rides focus on a social vibe.


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