Ride Synopsis - La Bicicletta GranFondo



I decided to participate in this year's La Bicicletta GranFondo Ride.  I have never done one of these rides before so I wasn't sure what to expect other than they said: "Fully Supported".  I'm in!  Thinking I was going to take a break from the organizing and marshaling that I normally try to do on BCC Rides.  There were a lot of people I knew riding, including Gord B and his wife, Andre, Leigh, Dave A, Lou M, Peter Oyler and a Watts Up Group of about 10+ and a bunch of industry people I knew.  Lou, Andre and I chose the 115km Route and the rest did the 80km route.

Now about the ride:

First and foremost, I would like to say that  I have much respect for Heath and LaBicicletta, and all the work they did to make this what it was.  It was well put together, good food, sponsors were very supportive and donated many prizes.  So what I am going to report on is my perspective of the ride experience from my point of view.  It does not reflect the overall feel of the ride as a whole. 

The wind today was very strong.  We all rode as w group for the first 40kms, and then we came upon some hills.  The pace stayed at over 35kph over the rollers and it managed to break a peleton of over 100 riders into 2-3 larger groups(Micheal Barry/Jet Fuel Team) and many small splinter groups.  At the end of the day, a great route, nice to see many faces I haven't seen in a long time, but I missed BCC!  Both Andre and I spoke after the ride and we came to the same conclusion.  We missed the comradeship that the BCC has lead us to know.  Multiple times I tried to group people in smaller groups, but everyone seemed to want to do their own thing.  So all in all, what I learned is that unless the BCC get a large enough group going to these things, the ride experience will be none like our club rides.  I'm looking forward to the Centurion, cause we have a large contingent going and I know that we'll enjoy the ride/route as a whole(Club).

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Dan.

Views: 456

Comment by Leigh Berndsen on August 28, 2011 at 8:14pm

Yes, the wind was brutal, but a really fun day!  Dave and I rode the 80k (actually 85k) and had a similar experience to Dan's.  Rode together as a group for the first half and then the group split once we hit the rollers.  My highlight, other than winning a pair of Oakley's, was riding with Dede Barry, Michael's wife and former professional cyclist, for a good 10k or so.  Very nice woman and we had a great chat - until the hills made it impossible for me to talk any longer!  She actually gave me a push - twice! 

To reiterate Dan's comment, missed the BCC group! 

Leigh

Comment by qb on August 28, 2011 at 9:58pm

It sounds like we don't know what we have till its gone. Thanks for the commentary on the ride, it sounds like an epic ride Andre, certainly the winds make 1.2k of climbing a real challenge, thank goodness you didnt have a disc on the back.

qb

Comment by Dave Adams on August 29, 2011 at 7:35am

Perhaps to echo the comments of the others, to me the Gran Fondo had very good intentions that sometimes failed in the execution.   Overall I enjoyed it, but the 80km group started out almost too slow and, as Leigh noted, then broke up into a bunch of smaller groups on the rollers.   Nice route though made challenging by the winds but when most don't have a clue about how to cooperate to make the ride a little easier it was frustrating at times but overall I am glad I did the ride.   The food (and wine and beer) at the end was welcomed and top notch.  Leigh - enjoyed riding with you and thanks for patching me up

Comment by Steve Wolowich on August 29, 2011 at 10:36am

I was unable to ride Sunday. Was thinking about how tuff the riding must be watching the wind through my window. You really appreciate a good group working together when the wind starts to blow. And you really miss the BCC when you find yourself in a bad group. At one point on the T4Ks Kerri and I opted to ride alone for awhile. It was more enjoyable riding alone vs. in a bad group. We worked much harder I guess but it was better than sitting in with a bad group. Think we are spoiled to be honest. Its not the norm the way we at BCC ride and work together. Spoiled. I like being spoiled.  

Comment by DY on August 29, 2011 at 1:33pm

Hey Alex, Took this from the RBC GranFondo website:

 

Gran Fondo's are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are beginning to gain momentum in North America. The 2010 RBC GranFondo Whistler was the first world-class Gran Fondo in Canada.

Loosely translated from Italian, Gran Fondo means "big ride". Rides are often 100 km or more for a large number of cyclists at a variety of skill levels - everyone from the competitive cyclist tothe amateur wanting to challenge themselves over distance and time enjoy these events. The rides are judged by the challenges they offer: steep climbs, long distances and a combination of the two. While these are not races, top finishers are often recognized.

 

They changed the ride length due to reasons unknown. It was supposed to be 130kms.  When I spoke with Heath, he mentioned that the average wouldn't be a sustained average.... My max speed on that ride was almost 80kph.  The route was pretty awesome, for all the climbing, we definitely were rewarded by some really gradual but FAST decents!

 

D.

Comment by Kerri on August 29, 2011 at 3:58pm
I have to echo what has been said here - until you participate in an event with non-BCC riders, you have no idea just how lucky we are to have eachother to ride with.  Noticed the same feel on the Hairshirt and at times during the T4K...having others to ride with who are conscientious, steady and predictable is something that we take for granted, but when you are surrounded by the opposite you realize how lucky we are.  Thanks to Dan and all BCCers for making the club what it is - truly a pleasure to ride with!
Comment by DY on August 29, 2011 at 5:21pm
Yep, from when his dad owned Bicycle Specialties, I think....

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