Back in the (blog) saddle

31 12 2014

The Big Ring is back!

It’s been a while, I know. But sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. Or maybe it’s laziness.

So that brings up the age-old philosophical question; if you haven’t blogged about a ride, did the ride really happen?

The  2014 riding season started strong, flagged a bit in early spring before building momentum through the summer to the climactic FRF Tour de Huit Ponts, our unofficial fondo in August that traversed eight major bridges in the Lower Mainland and clocked 146.25 kms.

The fall was challenging. The weather sucked and Princess of Pavement’s transition to becoming a full-time student made it tough to fit in rides. And frankly, with all the general busyness, it was tough to get motivated.

The end result, though, wasn’t that bad.

A 56 km ride on Sunday, likely the last of the year, boosted my mileage total to 3,759.9 kms. That’s the lowest since 2010, but only 76 kms shy of last year’s riding.

The 2014 cycling year comes to a close.

The 2014 cycling year comes to a close.

There were plenty of highlights to the season.

The FRF Sunday morning riding group really took root. While it’s nowhere near the size of other groups we often encounter on the road, some of our rides had as many as 11 cyclists and consistently numbered more than half a dozen.

We explored numerous new routes, ventured onto unchartered roads, tackled fresh climbs and made fast friends. One of our own even got elected to city council. Which means we should all be excused from any future parking tickets 😉

And we finally achieved our mythical Tour de Huits Ponts guerilla fondo.

141231huitponts

We conceived the circumnavigation of the Lower Mainland last year. It would cross the Fraser River four times, the Burrard Inlet twice as well as two other bodies of water on its way through 10 communities. But the timing and training didn’t work out.

So at our pre-season AGM and planning session in February, we declared the Huit Ponts to be our primary goal for the season; all rides would be constructed as preparation for the climactic route. We just needed the weather to corporate.

It's a full crew, and a perfect day, as FRF prepares to roll out of the Tour de Huit Ponts in late August.

It’s a full crew, and a perfect day, as FRF prepares to roll out of the Tour de Huit Ponts in late August.

It did, and the ride was a success. A full-on fondo complete with snacks, pre-planned rest stops at various cafés and a post-ride BBQ. But without the $300 entry fee.

Counting the bridges on the Tour de Huit Ponts.

Counting the bridges on the Tour de Huit Ponts.

Already we’ve batted around ideas for next season’s epic ride. Something with a lot of climbing…

And this time it won’t stay a mystery until the end of the year.

 

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