With the weather turning slightly warmer it was time to dust off the bike and hit the pavement. Even though I ride my commuter bike to work, I have not been on my road bike since November. Last year I decided to do the Whistler Gran Fondo because I thought it would be interesting to ride my bike up to Whistler and take in all the scenery that usually whips by when you are in a car.
I didn’t have a training plan, as I did not want to be confined to a strict regiment. I did build up to longer and longer rides. First a 50k in the spring, then a 70k ride at the beginning of summer. To celebrate Canada Day a 149k ride. I also joined a weekday ride group and usually rode on my own at least one other time on the weekday, then a long ride on the weekend. Each ride was a milestone as I had never gone that far on my road bike before. It was pretty cool, and I was pleased with my continued progress.
Then I decided to change my shoes and pedal set-up. I also went for a walk that was much to far for flip flops, and on another occasion carried too heavy of a load down to the beach. Suffering from one sprained ankle, and a debilitating tightness in my mid back, I proceeded to strain my other ankle while riding too steep of a grade and pulling up far too much.
With only 4 weeks before the Fondo, I did the best I could to manage the aches, pain, and swelling. It probably wasn’t the best decision to go for a 2 day 80k back to back ride on the Island, but I felt better riding that sitting around resting. I did try to rest as much as I could 3 weeks prior to the start date.
Armed with my Aleve and blind ambition I started the Fondo. The first half was going pretty well, until I started the gradual climb up to the mid way check point. I was not feeling good, so I hit the bathroom, grabbed some fuel and electrolytes.
Just as I was making my way back to my bike, the sag wagon showed up. And it felt like a million people rushing by me with their bikes to put them in the trailer and get a ride to the finish. It would have been easy to put my bike on the back of that trailer. The hardest section of the ride was in front of me. So I lived in the possibility of this being effortless and started the climb. I stopped a lot but stayed ahead of the sweeper & finished.
I guess it was good to push my limited, even though it took me 3 months to completely recover. I highly recommend not simultaneously spraining both of your ankles. My motto prior to this was “live to ride another day”and that’s what I will be back to doing this year. I would much rather ride my bike or ski, or snowboard as frequently as I desire over pushing my limits. Yes, live to ride another day because that is what makes me happy. What makes you happy? Do you do it daily?