The Individual Time Trial is an annual event that we do every year. We have one early in the season and one towards the end. It gives you, and us, a baseline to see how fast you can be over 10 km.
One of the lessons that we've learned over the years with Spoke n'Hot is that there are quite a few of you who are faster than you think you are. The Individual Time Trial is the perfect opportunity to find out just what you are capable of.
We line everybody up, and set you off on a measured 10 km course. All you have to do is ride as hard as you can for the distance. There are no winners or losers, it's just a reference for you.
So the plan for tomorrow is pretty simple, we'll ride out to Pinkie road and go up it about 3 km. Then we'll all turn around, line up and ride! Last year we had 87 riders come out for the Time Trial, that's a huge number and something we are very proud of. We'll meet at 6 pm at the Harbour Landing parking lot by Party City. Riding by 6:30.
I'm reposting this from last week as it seems pointless to do it all over. The weather looks great tomorrow so I'm looking forward to seeing you all.
We all learn when we push ourselves so, please, plan on coming out. You might be surprised at just what you can do!!
Theresa and Erin are going to Ironman again this year. On July 24 they will slip into the water at Whistler, swim 3.8 km, bike 180 km then run a full marathon of 42 km. They've both been before and know what needs to be done when it comes to their training. So this weekend was not so unusual but I thought I'd whine about it anyway!
See, the problem is that misery loves company and there was little chance that I would be sat at home on Saturday while the ladies were out battling the killer headwinds, SSE 42 km/h gusting 4000 or something?, not and stay married anyway..
So on Saturday, Erin and Scott went down to Bengough to ride the Big Muddy while Theresa and I went to Southey. The wind was quite ferocious and really made us work, but it was sunny and not too hot so we made the best of it. 4 1/2 hrs, 115km later we were done. I was too busy holding on to the handlebars to take any pictures.
Go home, have a snooze, think about relaxing...my butt is killing me.
Until Theresa says, " Hey, Erin and I want to go to Ft QuAppelle tomorrow to run the Lions 1/2 marathon then go for a ride after. Will you drive us ?"
Of course I will... Because I live with an Ironman.
I didn't follow them on the course, because I had a few things to do in town, get a coffee and have a nap maybe? And frankly, I've already got a million pictures of Theresa running!
A burger and real coke after the race set them both up for the ride.
We rode along the east? side of Echo, completely brand new pavement and a joy to ride. At about 20 km we ran into Donna and Kevin, so we had to stop and visit. Then it was back to Ft QuAppelle following these two incredible athletes.
We stopped off at the gas station to get Cheezies for Theresa, a slurpee for Erin and an ice cream for me, Then home...
Where we had about 15 mins before my daughters, husbands and Grandkids, Theresa's mom, her sister and husband all came over for supper.
Monday will be an easier day for the ladies. They're "just"swimming.
Actually, it was Doug Cripps, one of our Spokesmen. Doug is injured at the moment but he still had one good arm so he volunteered to take some photos for me.
It was a beautiful day for a race although a little windy. I would come to hate the wind later.
The Ladies race was 60 km. A field of 10 riders set off from the base to the Highway and into Moose Jaw. The wind was a big factor in the race, but they all worked together until late in the race.
By riding together and sharing the load they were able to maintain a decent speed yet not exhaust themselves. One rider would take the lead for a while then drop to the back to rest. Tactics come into play here with the Spoke riders working to help each other.
Adele Grundahl, our Saturday morning Ride Leader was able to hold off Micaiah Besler from Saskatoon for the win.
After the ride we slipped back into Moose Jaw for gelato and lattes. After all, we deserved it!
Y'know how you get that cough when you've gone really, really hard, and someone tells you a joke and you start laughing, then you start coughing, and then your eyes start watering???
Well, that was the story today for three Spokesmen and five Spoke n'Hot riders. We all took part in the Moose Jaw Pavers annual race.
It started at Buffalo Pound with a 4 km Time Trial from the campgrounds up the hill to the park entrance. Conditions were pretty good, weather was great ( a bit cool but not uncomfortable) and the wind was negligible. On a 4 km race there is no science or planning, you just go out as hard as you can and try to hold on!
Theresa, Adele, Bianca, Janice and Nicole all tore up the track on the way to the top. Cam, Bruce and me were flying the Spokesmen colors. It's a great way to get the blood pumping at 9 in the morning!
We then went in to Moose Jaw for coffee, then lunch. Setting ourselves up for the criterium at 15 Wing Moose Jaw at 2pm.
" A criterium, or crit, is a bike race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap or circuit ranging from about 1 km to 2 km."
The crit at 15 Wing is on the runway which makes it incredibly safe. although a little windy.
The ladies rode incredibly well, with Nicole just getting pipped at the post for the win. But a great time was had by all.
Sunday will be the road race, I'll try to post some pictures but it might be a challenge as I'm also racing!
Normally I'd be posting something about a Group ride on Saturday morning. The weather looks pretty good after the last few days, although the various comments I heard were on the lines of " we needed the moisture".
This weekend is a little different as a few of the Spoke n'Hot riders are going to Moose Jaw to take part in the first bike race of the season. Accompanied by some of our Spokesmen, we will be taking part in three different events spread out over the weekend;
At 0800 on Sat morning we have a 4 km TT at Buffalo pound.
Basically it's a hill climb Time Trial.
At 2 pm we have the Criterium race at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
This is a fun totally safe race. You set off with everyone else and ride a looped course on the airstrip. It gets to be a game of tactics and holding on to a good draft. The course last year had a couple of chicanes so you get to practice your cornering skills, think of the Three Flags Kart course in Lumsden, similar to that but more open with less corners.
On Sunday at 1200 is the Road race.
The road race is 57 km, 2.5 laps running from the airbase to Moose Jaw and back. A nice course with a couple of challenging climbs. Team tactics will be a factor in our success here, the idea is to help each other and have one of our riders get first place, maybe second and third as well? :)
The race itself is a simple Group ride, conserving your strength and wearing out the other riders, setting up one of our riders for the win.
Points are awarded for each event you take part in, and your placing, so competing in all three is ideal but not mandatory. The woman with the most points wins, simple.
It should be a fun event and one that I hope will attract more of our riders in the future. I'll try to take some pictures and will let you know how we did.
Well it's not looking too promising for our ride tomorrow evening. I'll be keeping a close eye on it and will update you throughout the day.
My policy is fairly simple. Lightning is an automatic cancellation. Anything over 70 or 80% chance of rain is a cancellation.
The reason is because we are out on the bald prairie with no possibility of shelter apart from the one bridge over Hwy 1.
We also ride in the evening, cloud cover means it can get dark earlier than expected.
Final reason is that a fun learning experience can get miserable fast if you're wet and cold.
I will post updates via Facebook and your email with a final Go/No Go at 5pm, earlier if it's obvious.
Having said all that. If weather permits, we will meet at the parking lot outside Party City in Harbour Landing. It's just south of the Co-op Gas station there. Please do me a favor and spread the cars out a bit, use the Lowes parking lot, even spread out towards Cabelas. I don't want the local merchants to feel that we are completely taking all the spaces in front of the stores.
So, we'll meet at 6 pm, have a quick safety briefing and then have you on your way promptly at 6:30. Group Two will be heading out to the south service road to practice some more basic road skills. The rest of us will be heading out on Hwy 1 to Pinkie rd and up to the Global Transportation Hub.
For some of you, riding on the Highway will be a new experience. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of options here in Regina. Any kind of road riding will involve the highways, it's a fact of life.
The good news is that we are only on Hwy 1 for about 4 km's. The shoulder is wide and was repaved last year.
Our Safety vehicle is at the back of the Groups and let's all the traffic know about you. Because it's two lane we find that the majority of drivers move over to the outside lane and give us lots of room. Hwy 1 is actually one of our safer options, really.
Once we get on to Pinkie rd, we again have a wide, newly paved shoulder. Pinkie is used by the Semi trucks going up to the Global Transportation Hub, the GTH. At the time of day we ride, there is not a huge amount of traffic so it's pretty quiet. One thing I will say though is that I feel safer passed by a truck driven by a professional than any amount of small cars driven by distracted texting drivers. Seriously, I'll trust a trick driver over a car driver any day.
We structure the rides based on time, with the objective being to have you back to the parking lot by 8pm. Some of the senior Groups will go further because they are faster, junior Groups may not go as far because they are still learning, stopping for a break, safety or technique discussion, whatever. Our goal is to have you finish the ride in better condition than when you started, you may be a little faster, a little smarter, a little more comfortable riding in a Group. The distance you travel is irrelevant, the experience is everything.
As this will be our first formal Group ride I will ask all of you to be extra attentive to each other, maybe ride a little looser Groups, get back in to the groove and ride safe.
See you tomorrow, hopefully.
Last Saturday was the first of our morning Long Steady Distance rides. Five of us went out.
Led by the always smiling, positive Adele "what headwind?" Grundahl we rode out from the Turvey Centre at 0800 and headed towards Southey. We kept to a fairly constant 25 km/h which seemed pretty easy? After a while I realized that we had a tailwind! Uh Oh....the return ride is going to suck.
It took about two hours to get to Southey, 50 km from the Turvey Centre. It seemed to go by quickly as we chatted back and forth, the pace was relaxed, scenery was pretty, weather perfect.We stopped at the Co-Op to top up our bottles, bathroom break and refreshments. By the way, it's a very nice store there, the staff are always super friendly and the washrooms are clean!.
So...the ride back. Up to now my longest ride this year had been about 75 km so my legs were not looking forward to the return trip. But the wind shifted!! It ended up being a bit of a crosswind. :)
The Southey hill climb is always a bunch of fun but all you do is gear down, relax and just get it done. As Adele explained "It's all downhill from the Tower back to Regina!" Not sure that she wasn't bending the truth just a little bit but it was a fun ride nonetheless.
It took us about 2:20 to return so the wind was not a major factor after all.My legs were tired, bum a little sore, and legs slightly tanned. 100km on the computer.
Long Steady Distance is the key to successful riding. You keep your heart rate low and just get the miles in. Good company is the key and that's what we had last Saturday. So we'll do it again tomorrow and every weekend.
Meet at the Turvey Centre, 0800 Sat May 7.
Choice of distance, 50 km or 100 km Long Steady Distance, 25 km/h average.
Theresa and I will both be going and we hope to see you out there.
Well it's finally here and we certainly have a great weather forecast. Tomorrow at 6pm we will all meet at the Conexus Arts Centre for our first Skills and Drills night. We'll be handing out the jerseys, organizing the Groups and seeing just how good a rider each of you are!
I've asked the Ride Leaders to spend some time going over the various guidelines we follow to ensure a safe, fun ride. These include hand signals, passing a rider safely, what to do if you have a flat tire and a host of other little things. Once they are happy that you understand then they will move on to some simple bike handling drills.
It's important that we do Skills and Drills night this to refresh our memory after the winter and to help our new riders understand exactly what "Rider Up!" means...
Speaking of new riders...
42% of the riders that you will meet on Monday are new to Spoke n'Hot and part of our success is the warm welcome that we give to them. I've said this before, I know, but you're going to be friends anyway so you may as well say Hi now!
Don't forget to pump up your tires, shine your helmet and put your best jersey on, because it all starts tomorrow!
I tend to be the noisy one, Theresa and the Ride Leaders are the real story.