VanFondo 2012 & Iona Beach (Richmond) – 90km Training Ride
On Saturday, May 12th, 2012 Comor held the 1st Annual VanFondo. The leisure-style bike ride was a HUGE success with over 1200 cyclists participating in support of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The registration fee of $10 went towards this charity (2 thumbs up!)….. so that’s a donation of $12,000 towards Canuck Place!
According to this Georgia Straight article “It may have been the largest gathering of cyclists in Vancouver history”. The fact that the weather was just OUTSTANDING surely helped too! 🙂
When I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 – my first ever bike ride for charity – I knew I would be training a lot, but I didn’t anticipate that I’d get to experience another, smaller charity bike ride to serve as a teaser! 🙂
It was a great way to get a feel for what riding in a large group is like. I was so nervous as I was leaving the house – it was my first-ever “on the road” clipless cycling experience. So naturally, I crashed on my left side literally 5 secs after leaving my house. Terrible chain scratches along my ride leg… but I was kinda glad I didn’t wipe out during the actual ride before oncoming traffic!
My guard was definitely up to ensure I rode safely and unclipped well before the red lights!
The route was fantastic and there were a lot of volunteers (and policemen on motorcycles) to ensure we had safe passage through the many intersections.
Some of those hills in Kits really killed me though!
Comor, a well-known Winter Sports store based in Kits, recently ventured into the cycling/ bikes business (it seems to be booming in Vancouver) and they launched this new event to raise awareness among the cycling community, rather than spend money on advertising, sales promotions etc. Pretty smart!
When I stepped into the store on the Friday before the event to pick up my event registration pack and I was taken aback by how different the store looked without the racks and racks of ski gear!
The VanFondo 2012 route was circa 45km long – Since Kath and I factored in the extra cycling we did in Vancouver to go to the venue and to go to Kath’s house afterwards before we continued to Richmond – and had a 50km distance stamp on our monitors.
Riding out to Iona beach was lovely – it’s totally level so you can really pick up some speed, and by the time you reach the beach it is just so peaceful and relaxing. For those who don’t know – the long jetty that extends into the water is actually a sewage pipeline… so I’m guessing no one actually swims there, because that thought is kind of gross.
I ended up getting a major sunburn that day – mostly because I was having so much fun and with the breeze whipping on my exposed skin I didn’t realize I was burning up!
The 2013 VanFondo will be held on Saturday, May 11th, 2013. Unless I am out of town – I will definitely be signing up again for this event!!
So here’s my video of the day (check it out for more photos!):
And here are some more vids – by other people….
An AWESOME video with cool info-graphics (I have to find out how to make those!!):
A time lapse video of the VanFondo 2012 Route:
An interview with Comor’s Paul Player: