Tomorrow is my first cycling race. Ever. In elementary, middle and high school I competed in a number of team and individual sports – but that was many moons ago. The adrenaline rushing through my system is making me a bit twitchy. In a good way. I’m really excited about this new challenge.
From the official site:
If the idea of bicycle road racing on narrow, winding roads in uncertain weather and historic settings makes you think of Europe, think again and get ready for the Tour of Bronte in Oakville.
Taking place in Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville, Ontario, the race circuit is a mix of smooth and not so smooth paved and unpaved winding, narrow roads. It evokes the feel of the historic classic races in northern Europe and modern ProTour retro classics like the Monte Paschi Eroica in Tuscany.
What makes it unique? only 20 minutes from downtown Toronto â€¢ closed road circuit (no yellow line rule, ever) â€¢ half of the course is unpaved â€¢ $5000+ prize list â€¢ events for the bike racing neophyte all the way up to and including elite amateur and professional riders â€¢ a ton of family friendly activities to complete the day â€¢ childrenâ€™s farm, playbarn, century farms and walking trails add to the family friendly atmosphere
On April 10, come ride, or watch, what is sure to be one of the most interesting races in Canada in 2011.
I’ve been chatting with some other riders on our team (any UCI/OCa folks who read this should note that we are not an official team for this race as the team has not yet been registered) about what bike to ride, and what wheels/tires. It sounds like many riders in this event ride their road bikes – much like they do in the famed Paris-Roubaix Hell Of The North race that is taking place on the same day in France. I’m not sure that I want to take my carbon fibre dream machine on these unpaved and gravel roads – especially as there is a chance of thundershowers! Unlike the pro teams I don’t have a sponsor ready to give me a new bike for every race! I’m going to ride my Litespeed CX with Continental 28mm Gatorskin tires on Zipp 404SE wheels. I just got 3T Ergonova bars (400mm) and a 3T stem installed so I’m ready to rock. This is the same setup I’ll ride next week for Paris To Ancaster, except I’ll swap the Gatorskins for 34mm Specialized Captain CX tires. (I’m documenting my plan here so I can make notes on how the gear performed, and determine any changes for future events.)
As for race strategy – ride faster than the other riders! This is my first race and I have no idea where my skill and fitness is compared to other riders. I’ve only been on the road twice with other riders this season – and although I was far and away the fastest in those groups, the other riders were out for their first rides of the season, with minimal off-season training…
Wish me luck – or better yet, come out and support cycling in Ontario!