10 09 2010

I’m not much of a joiner.

I prefer to avoid crowds, or large gatherings of anything more than, say, a half dozen.

When I ride, I usually ride alone. I decide where to go, where I’ll stop, the pace.

So what the hell am I doing joining 4,000 other cyclists pedaling to Whistler on Saturday???????

Today was package pick-up day. And my first taste of the herd so many cyclists will comprise, especially early in the ride before the pace, and climbs have strung everyone out.

Katie took the day off, so she could do her long 29 km Sunday run today, then take the weekend off. Our plan was to head into the city together, where she would do a 29 kilometer route I designed for her during which I could meet her three times to resupply her with water and a smile. Then I would walk to the convention centre to pick up my Fondo package.

I spent Fondo Eve working as Katie's pit crew on her 29 km run

Right from the get-go, the itinerary was almost derailed. Literally. A problem on the SkyTrain meant it took us more than an hour to make the trip downtown; usually it takes about 25 minutes.

Katie set off on her run, starting on the Seawall around Stanley Park. I headed into the city, dropped into a few shops, then worked my way to our first meeting point.

She was burning up her run, feeling great.

I then jumped onto a water taxi to cross False Creek to Granville Island for lunch, and our second rendezvous.

The third pitstop was back across the Burrard Bridge. With just three kilometers left in her run she was still smiling and looking fresh; you go babes!

We parted:  her to finish her run then head home; me to walk back across the city to the convention centre.

When I got there, the lineup snaked practically out the front door. Everyone seemed to know someone else in the line. People chatted excitedly with each other about the upcoming ride, their training, their aches. I just stood ever-glummer, feeling more and more like a cow being corralled towards the slaughter house.

My spirits perked up a bit when I recognized Vancouver Canucks’ icon, and avid cyclist, Trevor Linden strut through the doors and breeze past the lines; no slumming it with the herd for him!

In total, the wait was about 40 minutes. I spent most of it wondering if I’d ever seen any of these people on the road. The volunteers were plentiful, friendly and helpful. The time passed quickly.

The check-in was efficient and quick. The goody bag was underwhelming, the trade show even more so.

I’ve got my tag (#1150) and my timing chip is registered. There’s no turning back. Hopefully the Fondo won’t turn me into ground hamburger.



2 responses

10 09 2010

You are going to be so amazing, I know it! And I can’t wait to be a part of your pit crew tomorrow to enthusiastically hand you water – and I will be enthusiastic, even more so than I will be for Trevor Linden … okay maybe not more, but the same 😉

10 09 2010

Mario enjoy your ride tomorrow, we are all very proud of you!!!

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