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A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Bowen Island Cycling Trip – July 21, 2012

I gotta say – I am seriously loving these weekend cycling day trips we have going on this summer. There is nothing better to get you through the week than having a cycling trip to a new destination to look forward to!!

Our latest trip included two new cyclists who are Kathy’s friends – Sharon and Ian. We decided to go to Bowen Island, which is a quaint little island just off the coast of Horseshoe Bay.

Ian, Sharon, Kathy, Oliver and I on the ferry heading to Bowen Island.

It is close enough for people to live there and commute to Vancouver for work – although I would never do this!! Ferry only takes 20 mins to from one port to another… if you can call them ports. Can you call Horseshoe Bay and Snug Cove ports?? Not sure. Ferry terminals is more precise! ūüôā

The morning was incredibly cloudy but to be honest we weren’t expecting bad weather. We thought it might rain a little in the morning… nothing too major… and clear up really fast. If anything I was kind of glad it wasn’t going to a boiling hot day. It’s tough cycling is super hot weather.

Unleashing my inner Jane Fonda ūüôā

I brought along a backpack so that I would have my shoe covers at the ready should I need them… and boy did I ever!! We hadn’t even cycled 1/2 way into the island before the torrential rain forced us to head back. You have to watch my video in case you think we totally wimped out… it really was pouring out there!!

We share a love for 80s music so we did a signature “Walk like an Egyptian” pose.

It had been 4 years since I’d visited Bowen Island!

I hadn’t played with one of these in years!

When we headed back to the ferry terminal area to find some shelter in a cafe or restaurant our resolve to get back on our bikes faded as the minutes ticked by. We made the best of it though! We found a nice spot to grab a bite to eat and I bought some toys from a nearby store – a pink bubble-making lightsaber and a cute deck of cards.

Beer & Card Games – best thing to do when cycling trip gets delayed or cancelled.

I could spend hours playing cards if given the chance! When I was playing on Saturday I had a vision of myself as an old lady organizing card games in some tropical retirement residence where I’d by then be living. haha And yes it would somewhere sunny and gorgeous. Probably on a small island too!

At Doc Morgan’s Pub

Doc Morgan’s is the cutest place with a nice big deck and view… can’t say the service was all that great. I was too relaxed to care though!

Back on the ferry, heading home.

The weather was so gorgeous in the afternoon! I’d love to visit Bowen Island for a cycling (or otherwise) day trip and possibly even overnighter. It’s so refreshing to get out of the city and explore the beautiful neighbouring islands & smaller towns in the vicinity during the weekend.

So here’s my video with more images ūüôā Check it out!

Great deal from Different Bikes: 50% off Bike Tubes on Tuesdays

A great deal from Different Bikes  Рbuy tubes on Tuesday and get 50% off.

Burnaby Velodrome Club: Open House Aug 12 2012

The Burnaby Velodrome Club¬†is offering three¬†FREE coached sessions on Sunday August 12th during their second annual Summer Open House¬†Event ….. so naturally as soon as I heard about this thanks to @cdncyclist¬†I registered for a session!!

The offer is available for those who have never ridden the track before, and the sessions include 90 minutes of track time, rental track bike and certified coaching.

Interestingly the Burnaby Velodrome is one of only four indoor velodromes in North America. You would think there would be more than that!!

Twitter: @BVCTrack

Looks like so much fun!! I am beyond excited!

Fingers crossed it’ll go something like the MEC Learn to Ride #1 session in the video above¬†…. not too crazy fast paced and NO ACCIDENTS! I can’t afford to get hurt a couple of days before my Asia trip!!

Giro di Burnaby: July 12 2012

The Giro di Burnaby¬†will be held on Thursday July 12th. I LOVE the fact that they call it a “Giro” since¬†it appears¬†that most of the Italian-Canadians¬†live in¬†the East Van/ Burnaby area… or at least that is what Wiki says.

Twitter: @GirodiBurnaby

Facebook: Giro di Burnaby

Location: The Giro di Burnaby  route is located in the historic (Italian-Canadian) area of Hastings Street known as Burnaby Heights.

Race¬†Times:¬†¬†Women‚Äôs race 6:00pm and the Men’s Race¬†7:15pm.

They are organising a Watch & Win competition where you can write a short essay and/or send 2 photos from the event to win a beautiful Baume & Mercier watch from Palladio Jewellers.¬†I am so entering this contest! ūüôā ¬†

A video from last year’s event:

Ryan Hesjedal withdraws from Tour de France

Yesterday I attended the Saturday Tour de Delta ¬†Criteria held in Ladner (took some great pix – can’t wait to share them!).

There were two nasty crashes but luckily no one was seriously hurt. When the announcer was speaking about the crashes and who was taken out, he also mentioned that Canadian cycling whiz Ryan Hesjedal was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France earlier that day after suffering from injuries in a massive Tour de France cyclist pile up.

Awful news for Ryan & his team – and all his fans of course!

Copyright: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It turns out he¬†he badly hurt his right hip and leg and the doctors determined that his injury would get worse if he continued to cycle the next day.¬†So he’s flying home to refocus on the upcoming Olympics – which are fast approaching. Here’s wishing him (and all the other injured cyclists) a speedy recovery!!

Gastown Grand Prix: July 11 2012

A day after the UBC Grand Prix…. is¬†the legendary Gastown Grand Prix. This¬†GP went on a 3-year hiatus due to lack of sponsorship funding ….¬†¬†Global Relay, a Gastown-based technology firm has saved the day however and have brought this super prestigeous event to life again. Way to go Global Relay… and all the other sponsors who helped make this happen!

Twitter: @gastowngp

Facebook: Gastown Grand Prix

Many famous cyclists have raced in this important event over the decades, making the Gastown Grand Prix (GP) one of the most popular one-day bike races in North America.

Gastown Grand Prix 2006 Copyright: Greg Descantes

The Instigator:

Back in 1973, Dr. Roger Sumner, a Vancouver native and bike racer, organized a race with a primary goal of showing the public how spectacular top level bike racing in Canada COULD be.

He wanted to create a quality race that would be highly accessible to the public. Gastown, Vancouver’s popular historic district, has streets lined with cafes and restaurants and is in a central downtown location…. so it fit the bill. Sumner himself competed in the Gastown Grand Prix until 1978. He was later inducted into the BC Hall of Fame for his 30 years of service to the sport in the roles of racer, coach, manager and racing organizer. Tragically, he died in 2000 after being hit by a car while riding his bike!!

The Route:

Start & Finish line:  Intersection of Cambie and Water streets, site of Gastown world famous steam clock. Riders will travel west on Cambie into the hairpin turn at Water and Cordova. From there they’ll ride east on Cordova past The Cambie and past Army and Navy before turning left onto Carrall Street and left again around the Gassy Jack statue and back onto Water street towards the steam clock.

This isn’t a super long route…. judging by this event’s¬†popularity & central location and some of the images I’ve seen … the streets will be hopping with spectators!

Women’s Race: Start Time: 6:15pm (30 laps – 36 km)

Men’s Race: Start Time: 7:30pm (50 laps – 60km)

Awards: Start Time: 9:15pm

A vintage clip of when Lance Armstrong won this race back in 1991 (Soooo vintage – the graphics, the fashion, the hairstyles!):

UBC Grand Prix: July 10 2012

Following the Tour de Delta¬†is the UBC Grand Prix. ¬†For those reading this who live outside of Vancouver – UBC stands for University of British Columbia, which is a beautiful place to go cycling… and is also a fantastic university.¬†¬†Had I been raised in this city I would have wanted to pursue my Undergrad at UBC for sure! It’s¬†located on this beautiful peninsula with large old-growth trees, beaches, spectacular mountain & sea views, etc.

Facebook: UBC Grand Prix

Twitter: @ubcgrandprix

Copyright: Stefan Lozinsky

I stand to be corrected but I believe this is the 2nd edition – so it’s a fairly new event. The cyclists¬†will race a 1.5km circuit and navigate around the course for 40-65 laps.

Race Schedule:

Corporate Team Challenge Race Start time: 3:15pm

Women’s pro race Start time: 5:15pm

Men’s pro race Start time: 6:30pm

I think the Corporate Team Challenge is a great idea. There will have about 20 teams participating (Telus, Sugoi, KPMG, etc), and the idea is for the team members to experience what it feels like to be a pro rider!

Copyright: Stefan Lozinsky

Aren’t the photos by Stefan Lozinsky so beautiful? I aspire to take similar photos of some of these (and future) events!

A video from last year’s event:

And here’s a video of Race Director Mark Ersting speaking about this year’s event:

Be the BEST you can be! Always!

So I was speaking with someone recently and the topic of cycling came up…¬†specifically how I¬†¬†look for weekly¬†group rides to¬†¬†improve my technique, become a stronger & faster cyclist and meet fellow cyclists (of all levels)…. but that it is so challenging as¬†I am a novice cyclist. I¬†find it hard to keep up – so truth be told I need to psyche myself up in order to attend group rides with better riders. ¬†

I was a little disappointed with this person’s¬†opinion¬†that I will never be as strong and fast¬†as the guys (and girls!!) who lead these rides because I’ve started too late in life & I just don’t have the time necessary to dedicate myself to honing this skill.

Please bear in mind that I am in my late 20s!!

What kind of a reaction (be it verbal or non-verbal) would you walk away with after a comment like that? Anger? Defeat? Relief? Embarrassment? Of course, the person didn’t really mean this in a nasty way, it was just a (careless) comment, but still….

I don’t do well with being told that I cannot achieve something/ do something/ be something! Every time it happens, my instant reaction (in my head) is always – JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE!!

If you look around – there are COUNTLESS examples of people who have achieved the impossible, at any age.

One of my favourite all time athletes is the South African sprinter, Oscar Pistorius.

Oscar Pistorius will become the FIRST¬†amputee sprinter to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics after being selected for South Africa. The double amputee,¬†nicknames ‘Blade Runner’ due to¬†his prosthetic carbon fibre limbs will compete in both 400m and the 4x400m relay.

Who knows how many times he heard people telling him he’s never be able to run competitively… and later that he’d never in a million years qualify for the Olympics (rather than just the¬†Paralympics).
But look at him now!
Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Miles Hilton-Barber when he gave a speech at a seminar I was attending.

Despite being blind for over 25 years, Miles lives passionately and goes after his dreams. He encourages¬†attendees listening to his presentation that¬†“the only limits in our lives are those we accept ourselves”. So powerful.

He’s truly led a¬†remarkable life full of adventures. He’s¬†even¬†set numerous world records in the process. Some of his achievements include:

  • First blind person to do the solo kamikaze skeleton run down the 5G¬†Olympic bob-sleigh track in Lillehammer, Norway.
  • Completing “The Toughest Foot-race on Earth” – 150 miles across the Sahara Desert.
  • Setting the Malaysian Grand Prix lap record for a blind driver in a 230kph Lotus.

The worst thing you can do in life is to give up on yourself, not believe in your capabilities, fail to take care of your mind, body and soul and lead a life full of regrets.  

So perhaps I will never compete in the Tour the France, or even win a bike race locally…. it won’t stop me from trying to keep up with those fast cyclists, or from¬†tackling the craziest of inclines, or from signing up for BIGGER & BOLDER physical challenges than I have even done before.

If you’re reading this and aiming to accomplish the impossible – please share. ūüôā I’d love to hear about your goals, how you’re working on achieving them,and why you signed up for your latest adventure in the first place! ¬†

Road Cyclist Meme

Remember the job-themed memes that were all the rage a couple of months ago?? I recall seeing some pretty funny ones… nothing that was close to what I do now (although¬†I did see a Public Relations one …. my former career).

My friend Paul from Bikes for All posted this meme on¬†Facebook¬†yesterday that cracked me up… but as someone mentioned within the comments, the last box really should feature a bunch of cyclists at a cafe!

Tour de Delta: July 6 – 8 2012

The Tour de Delta will open up this year’s¬† BC Superweek¬†and is¬†the 12th edition of this annual race.¬†¬†

Twitter: @tourdedelta

Facebook: Tour de Delta

Friday July 6: Women & Men’s Criterium

This Criterium features an exciting 1.2 kilometer crit loop around the Social Heart area of North Delta where riders will do anywhere between 40 to 50 laps and will reach breakneck speeds(70km/hr plus).

The course has a fast downhill section going into an open left hand turn and the finish of the race will also be exciting to watch as the athletes will only have less than 100m out of the final corner of the race to sprint to the line.

Friday Criterium and Community Family Festival details here!

Start time: 6:30pm (Women’s Pro 1/2/3), 7:30pm (Men’s Pro 1/2), followed by 8:45pm Awards Presentation

Start line: 84 Ave. & 114 St. in North Delta.

Best Viewing: Start/Finish area on 84 Avenue west of 114 Street or the corner of 84 Avenue & 112 Street.

View the  Crit Route Map here or view the Full Area Map and Road Closures Here.

Saturday¬†July 7: Women & Men’s Criterium

Saturday’s¬†Criterium takes place in the historic fishing village of Ladner. This Crit will excite all who attend as cyclists manipulate the tight corners of the downtown core. Watch the competitors complete lap after lap at breakneck speeds while they race for cash prizes and valuable series points.

Start Line: Delta St & Bridge St in Ladner Village for all races.

Start Time: Men’s Cat 3/4 Race: 5:15 pm (25 min. + 5 laps). Ends approx 6 pm.
Women‚Äôs Pro, Cat¬†1/2/3 Race: 6:15 pm –¬†36km (40 laps x 0.9 km). Ends approx 7:10 pm.
Men‚Äôs Pro, Cat¬†1/2 Race: 7:25 pm –¬†54km (60 laps x 0.9 km). Ends approx 8:30 pm followed by awards for all races.

Criterium route map

Sunday July 8: Road Race

The Road Race is part of the 2012 BC Cup racing series,  and incorporates strength, precision & endurance. Both men`s and women`s races end with a frantic sprint finish at Winskill Park, but the routes are slightly different.

Start and finish line: 9th St and 56th Ave in front of Winskill Park, Tsawwassen.

Women’s route map РStart and finish (both at Winskill)

Men (Pro, 1 & 2): 9 am¬†–¬†140km (4.5 laps North Delta ‚Äď 10 laps of Tsawwassen).

Start line: Sungod Recreation Centre at 7815 112th Ave in North Delta. Finish line: Winskill Park.

Men‚Äôs route maps ‚Äď Start | Mid-route | Finish¬†(Winskill)

I’ve cycled past these areas when I headed down to Point Roberts, WA back in May (video still to come! ooopps!!) but I’d really like to bring my nice DSLR for these race to snap some photos of the cyclists so public transit is my only option this time around…. I need to get my BC Driver’s license so bad haha!!

And for those who are cycling newbies like myself…. What is a criterium anyway???¬†

(Thank you Wiki!!!) It’s a bike race¬†held on a short course (usually less than 1km), often run on closed-off city center streets. Events often have prizes (called primes, pronounced “preems”, and are usually cash). A bell is usually rung to announce to the riders that whoever wins the next lap, wins the prime. Success in road criteriums requires a mix of good technical skills ‚ÄĒ in particular, the ability to corner smoothly while “holding your line” on the road, as well as rapidly and sharply ‚ÄĒ and riding safely with a large group on a short circuit and exceptional “sprint” ability to attack other riders and repeatedly accelerate hard from corners. Criteriums are relatively easy to organize, do not require a large amount of space, and are good for live spectators as they allow them to see the riders pass by many times. They are the most common type of bicycle racing in the continental United States.

Copyright: Greg Descantes

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