Road Riding for the Kids…

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Howdy gang. Just thought I should dash off another quick blog post to fill you in on a fun charity ride that Jody and I took part in over the weekend, the CN Cycle for CHEO. Of course, I have previously written a quick little piece about it, but now the day has come and gone, and all that’s left are some sore butts and legs 🙂 All in all, the day was a great success, both physically, and mentally. You see, in an economic downturn, it’s often charities that are hurt most, so I’ve made it a point to try and be charitable with my good fortune this year, be it in making donations myself, taking part in events or both. After all, I figure there’s nowhere worth investing my money in at the moment anyway, why not give more to charity and get a tax receipt at the same time, right? Anyway, I’ll try to keep the post on the short side, but as always, I’ve got a few little bonuses for you as well, including a map I did of the ride, along with a folder of pictures I took along the route. Once you’ve had a look, click on back here and read the rest of our tale.

Once again, I’ve gotta give full credit to Jody for suggesting we do this ride. As I’ve previously mentioned, she is also the instigator of our signing up for the Rideau Lakes cycle tour, which will be 177km each way on a weekend, for a grand total of 354km in 2 days! Not a small feat, and one which will require some discipline and training. When Jody found out about this, it seemed like it would make a nice training ride, and would allow us the chance to ride for a reason as well. I was skeptical initially, and wasn’t sure I’d take part. You see, I’m a bit of a training snob, and like to put in extra tough saddle time on the weekends, and thought I might be mountain biking instead. However, I eventually came around and agreed to ride, deciding to do a solo ride the day before in the Parc.

After agreeing to do the ride, it was on to fundraising. I got a pretty slow start, and wasn’t all that motivated to bug people, but eventually, I started upping my goal until I set a goal of $500. Normally, my yearly fundraising efforts are focused on the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center Foundation, as part of Quest for a Cure, but since I wasn’t doing that race this year, I decided I’d make this ride my charitable event. As it turns out, that may not be my only event though! Stay tuned for a possible ‘major’ announcement later this week on this website about another initiative I may be taking on. Still awaiting confirmation on it though.

I digress. Back to the CHEO ride. I mainly went after co-workers, and they were pretty charitable, enabling me to come really close to my goal. I put out some feelers on twitter (and facebook by incident), but didn’t push too hard. Registration day came, and I was a mere $20 away from my goal. I’d already made a donation, but decided I wanted to hit that magical $500. After all, they had advertised some sort of bonus for the ‘500 Club’, and I wanted in. When all the numbers were totaled, I think Jody and I combined raised about $811. Not too shabby for a little effort. My reward? A pretty nice spring jacket, black with a tasteful CN Cycle for CHEO 500 Club embroidered logo. Stick around me, and you may just see it.

So, how about the ride itself you ask? Well, the weather was pretty good for a day of riding. There was a bit of winds to contend with, but nothing too insane. Temperatures looked like they’d be around 10-15 degrees, but with the breezes, that felt a couple degrees cooler. I opted for tights, and was glad I did so. Jody ended up wearing a fleece for most of the ride, but I think she was also pretty happy with the conditions. Although we hadn’t talked to anyone else who was doing it, I still ended up running into a few different people riding from my circle of AR friends. Even though there were a lot of riders, we actually ended up riding at about the same pace as these people, so we’d see them at the rest stops, and ended up riding the last 20+km with my friend Mary-Anne and her guy Phil. It was pretty enjoyable and helped the time speed by.

I’ve gotta say, I was really impressed with Jody too. I’ve said it to her before, but I’ll say it again. She’s a strong biker. There was one nice long hill at one point, and she powered right up it, staying in the saddle. And still plenty of energy and good humour to talk on the way. Nice job Jody. We’re a lot more comfortable with the upcoming long tour now. I also had the opportunity to remember what touring is all about, and the joys that come with it. Lately I’ve been so focused on ‘training’ that I forgot how much fun it can be to just cruise along with friends chatting while you ride 🙂 Over the course of the 70km, we only stopped twice. Once at the 25k mark, then again at the 45k mark (same rest stop). Most people stopped at the turnaround, but it was really busy, and didn’t make much sense, since we’d just stopped 10km before it. I didn’t put Jody at all to keep going, she was just as keen to turn and keep biking. Awesome!

Of anyone I saw, I’d have to say that I had the only stupid accident that I saw anywhere along the route. On the aforementioned hill, I’d dropped to a harder gear and pumped up the hill in order to make a quick little video of Jody climbing. So, I pulled off the shoulder and took my video. When I went to take off after her again, I’d forgotten what gear I was in, and completely fell over into the gravel! I was using my new shoes that were really stiff in the clips, so I was unable to unclip in time, so the bike was attached to my foot, and I was writhing around in gravel for a good 10 seconds trying to unclip. I felt like a total n00b 🙂 Luckily I gave another guy a good chuckle, and he assured me he felt my pain, as he’d done the same thing earlier in the year. Oh well, wouldn’t be a good ActiveSteve story without a little humility, right?

We got back to the finish in one piece, and wandered around the finish area. Although we had started at 8:30 in the morning, there had been a number of other events in the time since we’d left, so there were all sorts of booths and tents at the finish to entertain families and such. Not a whole lot to interest us, but there was a cool demo by a stunt biking team (took a couple quick videos of them), and a Tommy and Lefebvre tent, where I got to drool over the latest incarnation of the Specialized Epic. That’s my mountain bike, the one I’ll be riding in the BC Bike race. However, the newest model is a thing of beauty (and price too, tipping the scales at $5,300+tax!!!!!). Were I to win a lottery, I’d definitely buy one, but in the meantime I’ll have to settle for just dreaming of it.

After our wandering, we decided to call it a day and head home. Unfortunately, Jody had some work to tend to, and me, well, I had my sights set on a longish run in the sun. After all, I’m still toying with the idea of trying to secure a spot in Boston for 2010, which would mean running a 3:10 marathon. More on that for another post though. I managed to squeeze in a 17+k run, and felt pretty good. All in all, a great day, a great weekend, and a great way to re-center myself for another long work week. I swear, if I didn’t have all these hobbies to keep me busy, I’d go mental! That’s long enough for now methinks, got a few other tricks up my sleeve that I want to work on, so I’ll bid you all adieu for now. Remember, stay tuned for a possible announcement later this week….

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