Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Healing Cycle GranFondo

I'm back. I have been away from the blog over the past two months because of business trips looking at new bicycle products from Cannondale, Giant and Trek. As well a back injury removed me from racing for the rest of this season. I am on the road to recovery, exercising to become a stronger rider. I want to enjoy hours in the saddle and my riding season is not over.
The Healing Cycle, a charity ride that was born in our bicycle store has embraced a new concept and I am encouraging you and your friends to join me on a journey that will challenge your endurance.

What is a GranFondo?

Take a scenic, hilly course and add several thousand cyclists ranging from pros to eighty-year-old cycle tourists. Mix in roving and fixed mechanical and medical support, feed zones manned by cheerful volunteers serving up sandwiches, fruit, and drinks, and traffic halted at intersections to let you pass. Garnish with enthusiastic and supportive spectators lining the course. Top it off with coverage by news and other media. Energy, excitement, atmosphere!-- this is gran fondo, a phenomenon that has taken Italy by storm. Gran fondo means long distance or great endurance. Some cyclists ride for the satisfaction and pride of just making it to the finish line. Others want to improve upon their previous times, and to challenge themselves, their friends, their teammates. And some ride to win!

Gran fondo races are usually 160-225 km long. The majority offer an additional fondo course (120-160 km) and sometimes even a medio fondo course (under 120 km) for those not willing or able to ride the longer distance(s). These shorter courses are just abbreviated versions of the longer ones, utilizing most of the same roads, but taking shortcuts to avoid some of the climbs. There are also events which are fondo or medio fondo only (see below). (NOTE: there are no universal regulations specifying distances, so there are so-called gran fondos that are less than 160 km, and the terms medio fondo and fondo are sometimes reversed, with the medio being the longer course. It's a matter of interpretation.)

The idea is to share our passion on a ride that will challenge our bodies as well fundraise for The Healing Cycle's objective of raising 1 million dollars for the new palliative care department at Credit Valley Hospital.

The course has been set. If your interested check out for the course details. If you have any questions please post your comments and let's make this a great and fun ride on September 13.

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