Sunday, December 14, 2008

The to-come

Here in Ottawa winter is in full swing. A great season of cycling was capped with the last 'cross race of the OBC's series on the last Sunday of November. The snow was rather sloggy, but Rodd and I put in our best rides of the series anyhow. 

Next season we'll be back at it, with a few more converts in tow I suspect. However, we plan to fit the 2009 Hardfolk Classic in a little earlier in the fall in hopes of luring more riders with better weather. The ride will likely fall the Sunday after the first Almonte race. We are considering organizing a group ride to Almonte for that race, followed by a loop on the Roubaix route and return trip home. This will constitute a full day, perhaps even an epic day, consisting of about 190k of road riding plus the cross race. Jamie and I did the Roubaix route after the first race there this fall and it was incredible. The colours were truly fantastic; I couldn't help but comment on this repeatedly as we travelled the route. Rolling to town and back is doable. This would be excellent preparation for the Hardfolk, which will take a much more challenging course than this year's, as we will not have to deal with such severe temps.

A calendar of events for '09 is on the burner. So far, the season is looking very promising, with new events to tackle, and old ones to revisit. New events include the Tour of Battenkill in April, and the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee/D2R2 in August. The former is a Spring Classic style event that will hopefully not conflict with the Almonte Paris Roubaix. We hope to do both. Battenkill ought to be the tougher of the two, and would be fantastic preparation for the Roubaix. Rodd and I hope to stay with the leaders until the end this time around, and we hope others from the team and crew will be there with us.

The D2R2 is a legendary ride that we can't miss. Sure, it conflicts with the Albion Hills 24hr race (which we managed to win this year), but this is an incredible ride. Check it out here and here.

Among events we've done are the OBC's Paris Roubaix, Rideau Lakes Tour and Grand Prix, Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred, and Albion Hills 24hr mtb race. We'll see whether some other mtb enduro races can be fit in: Crank the Shield, Paul's Dirty Enduro and Lost in the Rocks and Trees. These events tend to conflict with the really cool road events in the late summer.

As I've mentioned before, we will organize a series of Spring Classic Gentlemen's Rides in the spring in and around the Roubaix and the Battenkill. In there somewhere, or perhaps a little later once we are into the summer, we'll see about putting together a Gentleman's(/persons's) Race, following the format described here. The Rapha group rode a team GR in '08, and it sounds like it was a blast. We'll see what we can do. Perhaps we can lure them up here.... Without a doubt, we will organize a truly epic ride up Wakefield way in the dead of summer, and it will be one to remember. The scheming is ongoing. 

A calendar of events will be launched shortly. Please check in. I hope the dates will help motivate those with aspirations to take on new challenges to put in some time on the trainer, skis, or whatever, so that the fitness stays enough to get rolling quickly in the spring. April comes fast, and some strength in the legs will come in pretty handy in the spring classics. From there, the epic rides cometh.