Tuesday 18 August 2015

Ottawa Gran Fondo 2015 Part Three: Epilogue

(Continued from Part Two)

Sweaty, exhausted, sun-burnt, victorious.  Those are the words that remind me of what crossing the finish line was.  My exhilaration for the finish line was matched by my anticipation for food and a cold beer!  After eating nothing but gels, fruit bars, bagels and the occasional banana, I was looking forward to something real, tasty and not on the upper ranges of the glycemic index!!

That being said, I was really happy I stuck to the nutritional plan that was outlined for me.  Sticking to only high glycemic products (gels, sports drinks on me; bagels, bananas and Fruit2 bars at aid stations) really helped with my digestion and helped keep my energy up.  Sticking to sports drinks instead of water ensured I had enough electrolytes; though in the future I might get some electrolyte tablets for water when I need a "Gator-break" (break from Gatorade).

After ten minutes of digging through the car I found my meal ticket and headed back to the canteen area.  After stocking up a big meal, a few soft drinks, a water and a cold brew from Clocktower Pub, I met up with my small group.  Everyone chatted in french.  I struggled to keep up but I felt like I had to try; after all, everyone spoke in english to me for the last several hours.  I think I would have had an easier time but I was just so beat.  But it was good to just sit and enjoy some time with people who shared the struggle and came through it with me.  I was really thankful to have found some great people to survive the ride with.

I'd also like to mention how thankful I am to have found a local cycling club who was so supportive of my endeavor.  I got great tips advice on how to ride in both every-day riding and the Gran Fondo itself.  Two riders in particular come to mind (TB & GB) for always having me along in rides and always pushing and testing my limits.  I feel like such a strong rider now as a result and don't think I could have managed the Gran Fondo without their help!

Most of all I'm thankful for my wife's support.  She believed in me so strongly and let me know every day.  She never complained about me training incessantly even though I slacked in my chores a bit (sometimes quite a bit).  This of course in addition to her being both hot and awesome.  I love her very much & I am a very lucky man!

It's not all cheers and good news though.  I am really disappointed with Wahoo Fitness.  In addition to the speed/cadence sensor dying, it also lost all data from my ride.  The app crashed when I was trying to save after the ride.

When I contacted Wahoo Fitness afterwards, I was told sorry but you lost your data!  I'm not sure if "sorry" as in "sorry for your lost data" or "sorry you're bugging me."  I honestly felt like I got the brush off from their support.  I was told my situation was unique and they had no data for me.  When I mentioned I had sent in lots of crash dumps, they said they would forward my message to the developers.  When I asked for possible causes (so I could avoid crashes in the future) I was basically told there was no problem.  When I tried to push further and offered my free time to help them diagnose the problem, they just closed the ticket.  For a company that prides themselves on fitness data they certainly take a flippant attitude for it.  Can't say I'm impressed with their product!  If you are shopping for a bike computer and you're serious about fitness data, save yourself some anguish and just get a Garmin!

All in all, I'm really glad I signed up for the Gran Fondo.  I'm also really glad I took it seriously and trained up for the distance!  I'm already on the lookout for more Gran Fondos and long rides.  In addition to joining long club rides, I'd like to try out this year's Thousand Islands Gran Fondo.  Next year in addition to the Ottawa Gran Fondo, I was looking at trying out the Tremblant Gran Fondo and the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.


  1. Glad your Grand Fondo experience was positive, training for something like this is out of my scope of achievements. All the power to you! :)

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