I successfully completed the Becel Ride for Heart this morning, although there was never any doubt in my mind that I would be able to do so. The 30km/h wind coming from the north-west made the 25km climb up the Don Valley Parkway to York Mills a little more challenging than I was expecting, but it also made for a rapid descent back down to Exhibition Place. To get an idea of how much the wind affected the ride, consider that it took me roughly an hour and a half to travel to York Mills, but just over a half an hour to return to Exhibition Place. Despite the wind, my time satisfied my goal of completing the ride in less than two and a half hours. Next year, I think I will try the 75km ride.
If you ever decide to attempt a charity ride like the Becel Ride for Heart, here are a few tips:
- Arrive early so you won’t be stuck behind the slowpokes at the start.
- If travelling with a large group, split the group into three subgroups according to skill level: those who will easily complete the ride, those who will complete the ride with some difficulty, and those who may not complete the ride at all. That way, you are not constantly waiting for everyone to arrive at a checkpoint before continuing. If you’re like me, however, you might not feel the need to wait.
- Follow the rules of the road, which will probably involve slower riders keeping to the right with the left side of the road for faster riders and for passing. (Gee, just like with cars. How novel!) I can’t tell you how many times I was stuck behind a group of people riding abreast in the middle of the road, had to weave around riders because they were in my way, or narrowly missed someone wobbling back and forth because they were travelling too slowly.
- Arrange a location to meet once everyone has completed the ride.
- Do not be afraid to yell at the idiots.
Thanks to those who sponsored my ride. Together we raised roughly $330 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Thanks also go out to Vic who signed me up for the ride.
Update: Others who were part of our group have written of their experiences. They are:
- Victor Ng: Ride for Heart 2003.
- Frank Yang:
My thighs are just killing me, and my ass feels like I just finished a five-year sentance [sic] at Oz.
- Colin Wong:
… kinda embarassing when the trailing police cruiser pulls up beside you and asks if you know that you’re officially the last person to finish the Becel Ride for Heart.