Follow the gravelly road: Fondon’t report part II

30 08 2016

For three years, the FR Fuggitivi has pulled the curtain down on its summer riding season with a climactic, epic ride. We call it the Fondon’t.

It has all the perks of a Fondo – camaraderie, timed intervals, snacks, beer, big mileage – but none of the expense.

The first Fondon’t was the Tour de Huit Ponts.

Last year we climbed Mt. Baker, the biggest rideable mountain in the Pacific Northwest.

This year our ride patron, and club president, @FlyingOakes, took us on some familiar roads but with fresh and fun new twists, not the least of which was a gravel climb that forced more than a few riders to unclip and portage the loose stones and rocks.

Since last year’s smokey ride up Baker, the Fuggitivi has evolved into a proper, official group. We’re registered, we have directors, sponsors and pro kit. We have numbers; 17 riders took the start although one quickly abandoned because of a recurred leg injury.

The Fuggitivi gather for their annual Fondon't, an epic group ride that heralds the beginning of the end of the summer cycling season.

The Fuggitivi gather for their annual Fondon’t, an epic group ride that heralds the beginning of the end of the summer cycling season.

Of course, big numbers bring bigger aspirations; we can no longer just slap the Fondon’t label on a long year-end ride and call it an epic day. Sunday, @FlyingOakes raised the epic bar to a new level.

The day started with a national anthem singer and only got better. (Until it got worse).

The Fondon't has all the trappings of a Fondo, including an anthem singer, but none of the expense.

The Fondon’t has all the trappings of a Fondo, including an anthem singer, but none of the expense.

The 140 km route traversed seven gravel sectors, including the 800 metre 11 per cent gravel climb.

It included three fast and flowing descents, one of which had never been ridden by most of the FRF, two sprint and four tough King of the Mountain competitions marked by signs, a lunch stop with reservations, a close encounter with a family of deer and even a champagne surprise.

It also included one total tire blowout, a couple of flats, and a shower of rain.

Most cyclists know what to expect on a long ride. It’s the unexpected that can turn a familiar route into an epic day out.

Grey skies above, grey gravel below. Sunday's route traversed seven gravel sectors.

Grey skies above, grey gravel below. Sunday’s route traversed seven gravel sectors.

 

This isn't the south of France. It's Pitt Meadows.

This isn’t the south of France. It’s Pitt Meadows.

 

One of the factors that helps create an epic ride is the mechanical challenges along the way.

One of the factors that helps create an epic ride is the mechanical challenges along the way.

 

Fuelling up for the second half of Sunday's Fondon't.

Fuelling up for the second half of Sunday’s Fondon’t.

 

For some, the final gravel sector, an 800 metre climb at 11 per cent, was a hill too far, and too loose.

For some, the final gravel sector, an 800 metre climb at 11 per cent, was a hill too far, and too loose.

 

Summiting was rewarded with points for King (or Queen) of the Mountain.

Summiting was rewarded with points for King (or Queen) of the Mountain.

 

The peloton speeds toward a tunnel of trees.

The peloton speeds toward a tunnel of trees.

 

A champagne reward awaited at the summit of the day's last climb.

A champagne reward awaited at the summit of the day’s last climb.

 

Even for the rider who had to walk the last 50 metres.

Even for the rider who had to walk the last 50 metres.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: