The next challenge?

17 09 2010

The Fondo is over, now what?

I’ve been on a bit of a high all week as I reflect on that great riding day, my accomplishment, my ability to, you know, not die. But when the organizers posted the registration for next year’s Fondo exclusively for almuni of this year’s inaugural event, I balked.

Still feelin' a bit of a buzz from the Fondo.

Not at the Fondo itself, or the daunting prospect of again ascending some of those interminable climbs between Squamish and Whistler. But for $225 + taxes + fees, that brings the total to $270; add on a night’s hotel room in Whistler and meals, and that’s a pretty pricey “been there, done that.”

I can appreciate the cost to the organizers of traffic control alone, plus insurance, publicity, renting the hall for registration, etc, but at some point a great participatory event becomes an exclusive domain only for those who can afford it. I can imagine the 30 per cent boost for next year’s Fondo will also impact those organizations, like Team Diabetes, that used the event as a fundraiser, covering the registration fees of participants if they reached a certain threshold of donations.

That being said, I loved training for the Fondo, having a goal towards all my kilomters on the bike were leading me. I loved having a purpose to my summer pedaling, and the sleek physique I achieved because of it.

Now I know why Katie is so motivated by marathon.

So, perhaps another challenge? Like, perhaps Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge Gran Fondo in California? Or the Colnago Gran Fondo? Or how about really hanging it out there at the Grandfondo Italia, in Carpi, Italy? I mean, go big or go home…

I made a reluctant return to the bike on Thursday, not because my legs weren’t willing; but just as I was about to head out to meet my buddy Dan for a trail ride at UBC, it started raining.

The rain starts spattering the windshield even before I leave for our ride.

I would have been perfectly happy to bail, but he shamed me into carrying on. By the time we hit the dirt in full darkness, it was pouring.

The rain turns serious.

So we ended up truncating the ride a bit, offsetting the shorter distance with the steep 20 per cent climb up Trimble. Proud to say, I barely broke a sweat.