Cycling is Made Of Events | Steaming Nostril & Paris to Ancaster 2019
In November of 2018, my wife ran her first half marathon in Toronto. It was an amazing accomplishment given that she’d never completed something like that before and really hadn’t trained with structure or consistency prior. Her schedule the last year wouldn’t have allowed it. She worked full-time and was enrolled in grad school full time. I’d also like to add she was doing both with incredible success. No easy feat.
This inspired me because I thought my own busyness wouldn’t allow me to do a bike race. My wife proved to me that even without the proper preparation, competing and completing an event is an awesome experience. After her half marathon, we talked about it for weeks. Every time we reflected, it was an incredibly positive memory. The folklore of the race itself and her sense of accomplishment was really something special and that positivity was infectious. It was all a ton of fun!
This convinced me to try and prepare for two gravel races in Ontario in April 2019; The Steaming Nostril & Paris to Ancaster. I tried to train and had a good block of training from Christmas onwards; 5-7hrs a week using a combination of Zwift racing and interval training. To cap it off, at the end of March, I was fortunate to have a four-day cycling trip to San Francisco with some friends. It wasn’t a “training camp” but we rode a lot. My point is, I gained some fitness, despite the busyness of a new job and life. It took some effort, but not as much as I originally thought it would. The last item is, I didn’t allow myself take it that seriously. There were no diet changes to super healthy food only, I never stepped on scale to weigh myself and if I missed a day of training, or simply couldn’t do intervals, it didn’t matter in my mind. I committed to the races in April regardless of my fitness.
Looking back, April 2019, in the context of cycling, was fantastic. The weather was honestly terrible and yet both Steaming Nostril and Paris to Ancaster were incredibly fun experiences. I rode all out, mixed it up in some break-aways and when it was all over, sharing that experience with like-minded people was something that was irreplaceable. I highly recommend specifically both of these events and of course signing up for events in general, regardless of fitness or preparation.
I come from a background competing with ambition and aspirations to race at a high level. I never made it to the professional ranks and during my racing career, perhaps there was a little too much self-induced intensity. Now, as a career person with a job, it's safe to say that, "competition is good for the soul." It’s a nice escape from the pressures of the day-to-day.
Finally, as we started saying this year, “cycling is made of events.” They really do add to your overall cycling experience. Get out there, sign up, compete, ride and enjoy cycling events! Thanks for reading.