Home > bicycling, Epic Ride > Fit Month–Gran Fondo Ottawa 2012 and new low weight!

Fit Month–Gran Fondo Ottawa 2012 and new low weight!

This event more or less concluded my Fit Month. A crazy month that included 3 triathlons, 2 competitive time trials and this a whopper of a ride at 177 kms!

Man, I have come a long way from March 2010. I was 212 pounds and struggled to get out the door it seems! Those first few days I was proud to do a 30 minute walk or a bit of biking. Now I’m dong well in Tris and competitive in biking events!!!

At the end of Fit Month this is what the scale said!


Now, 187 is still heavy, but down a ton down from 212 and it bodes well for the future. A lot more muscel than fat as well! And my fitness level is certainly where I want it to be and I can now continue to push things!

The Gran Fondo definitely helped things along.

Despite my seeming focus on Triathlons really biking is where my heart is. I know I am good at it and I wanted to really push myself at a distance that is closer to a stage of the Tour de France or a good road race. At 172.5 KMs the Gran Fondo was right up my alley. This was the first year of the Gran Fondo Ottawa and while it was mostly a very good event. But there were parts that were ugly, parts that were bad and parts that were great!

The Ugly

What can I say about the registration. Brutal!! The Gran Fondo is RIGHT next to my office so I decided to head down early and get my registration done. Having been at a lot of large events the registration is mostly an automatic process and was thinking, 10 minutes tops. Oh no no no. It took me 1.5 hours and that was fast compared to other folks. There really was only one person to take the lines and she had to do an online lookup to get your number. It only took 2-3 minutes but when you had 1500 people to process, well it was ugly.

Twitter wasn’t kind….


Still, at least this wasn’t the morning of the event, that would have been a cluster f*$k of epic proportions!

The Bad

The little town of Lanark is picturesque and has nice old buildings, a river and nice inhabitants. But it was also the spot where the marshaling had to be dead on!!  The Super Fondo route and the Gran Fondo route split here so folks needed to be directed exactly where they needed to be. There are four roads leading out of Lanark which are roughly North, East, West and South. We entered the town from the South.

Coming out of the feed station a group of us was direction to the northern road.

The Super Fondo route headed West and the Gran Fondo route headed east. And many of us headed North. That’s right, in the only direction that HAD nothing to do with this event!

After about 5 kms it was clear we were off the route. Folks turned around, went west, went further north. I stopped with a group that was at least trying to figure out where to go according to the route maps.

It didn’t help that cell service was at best a single bar. We were LOST!

In the end our group decided to head east on the next road. It was a good decision as within about another 10 km we hit the route again. In the end added about 5km to the overall route.

Here are some of meanderings as we tried to find the right route


The Good

This says it all!


Didn’t know what to expect on the ride itself. It was a glorious and hot morning so that is always a bit worrying but the atmosphere was calm but excited as we headed towards the start gate.


The process of getting the timing chips ended up being quite a bit faster so had a bit of time to get ready. At exactly (and I mean exactly!!) 8am we were off!

I told myself..I need to pace myself here at the beginning but I was soon in a fast group and it was RACE ON! You just couldn’t help yourself. I did the first 100k at over 35 kph!! Now I understand a bit more how the peleton in pro racing can keep it. It was mostly effortless and was in many ways like being being a mack truck. Here is 15kms in the pack that would have qualified as my fastest 15k in a time trial.


The 100k mark there was a slight hill and I lost touch. I was never in the group again. But still I was able to keep a decent pace and stopped a total of three times at the great feed stations to keep my strength up. In the end even with stops did it in under 6 hours and I was hoping that maybe I would be able to keep it under 7. WOW!

The end was a little anti-climatic you simply rolled over a line and there was a tub of drinks. You had to remove your chip and there really wasn’t anything to tell you that you just did an epic ride. A touch disappointing but my legs told the tale!!  Not 100% sure I will do this again next year but I think so!!

You can get more details here http://connect.garmin.com/activity/201639954

Categories: bicycling, Epic Ride
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