Monday, April 02, 2007

Populaire Review

The Populaire was definitely interesting, all in all a good day. Everyone showed up, from the Dads with their kids riding the trailer bike to the die hard roadies and uber competitive triathletes and everyone in between.

The start was nerve wracking - many hundred cyclists crowded together with very little room to manuever. I'm not used to riding in packs with more than 10 people so this freaked me out and I immediately lost the rest of of the "Red Wall" LETC crowd as they took off while I hung back nervously. Alan said later that when he drove past the ride on his way to paddle he saw me and I was not looking happy to be in the group. It turned out that Heather was having worse issues than I was so I eventually caught up with her and we rode together for about 30km. When the cyclists thinned out she took off at her comfortable pace and I couldn't keep up until she hit a traffic light or another big group. Eventually I lost her all together.

At the 50km checkpoint I was super excited to find that they had food. That poundcake was the best thing I've ever eaten!

Having lost everyone in my group I decided I was a triathlete and I'd be hardcore and ride on my own. Then I remembered I have no sense of direction, poor memory and an inability to read maps so I quickly latched onto a pair of guys, likely in their sixties, who looked like they knew what they were doing. This turned out to be a great idea as for the next hour or so we rode into wicked headwinds and I got to draft 2/3 of the time. Leif and Dave were obviously very experienced cyclists and I had no qualms having them on my back wheel. Along the windiest part we passed a guy who was seriously struggling and got to tag along on our back wheel. Turns out he wasn't part of the ride but he knew what he was doing and having him there menat we only had to pull into the wind 1/4 of the time, not 1/3.

Once we got back to UBC we hit the nice wide patch of pavement that starts at Camosen and SW Marine, it's a great place to get into your tribars and just go. I hadn't been in my tribars the whole time I was in the pace line and was itching to do so, so I said goodbye to the guys and took off. It felt great. I was on my own for about 20 min but just when the road narrowed at King Ed & Dunbar I suddenly had 15 riders show up out of the blue and had to spend the end of the ride jostling a bit. Luckily they all took a wrong turn near the end and I had the last 8 blocks to myself!

My time was 4 hours. Not stunning but it wasn't a race and the next longest ride I've done this year is 75km so I'm happy with it. The only big thing I'm not happy with from the race is that I obviously didn't eat enough while riding. I finished the ride and barely said hi to the LETC'ers who were waiting for everyone to finish, I believe my response to the "Congrats!" and "Nice work!" was "Where's the food?" It took a banana, a Cliff Bar, a fruit and a water bottle of gatorade to take the edge off my hunger. Then I had lunch!


Amy said...

I screwed up my nutrition too. Side effects of which included a melt down at km 95. Messy.

Amy said...

Oops... sent too early... meant to end with a hearty congrats!

Alison said...

Thanks Amy.

I don't know how I avoided a meltdown - I think the poundcake with lemon icing at the checkpoint saved me. For my races this year I'll have to see about either taking it on the bike with me or having some waiting for me in transition!