2019 Gran Fondo Badlands

Today was the first of the two gran fondo rides I have registered for this year. This was the third time I have entered the Gran Fondo Badlands, the previous times were last year and the year before. It’s a great ride: completely different from the sorts of rides I do normally and also very different from the Tour de Victoria, which we will be doing as a family again this year in August.

The weather this week has been ranging from miserable to horrible, so it was a stroke of luck that the weather cleared up this morning. The day was dry, with a mix of cloudy and sunny periods. I drove with Adam to Drumheller, and he, Hannah, Wing and I were a team for the day.

Me, Adam, Wing and Hannah

Keith made it out from Vancouver again this year. He started a little behind us and we didn’t see him until the finish. He was there with his friend Chris and they did the 140km distance.

Keith, looking for nutrition in his sunglasses

There were a large number of riders. There were 86 doing the 160km distance. The results are posted already. I did pretty well: 43rd out of 86 overall, but 20th up the first KOM climb and 19th up the second KOM.

My view of the starting line

There were the usual events: the three very intense climbs and the corresponding three nail-biting descents; the bacon sandwich aid station and the Bleriot ferry over the Red  Deer river.

On the ferry. Cindy and Paul in the foreground.

Our group worked well as a team and kept it fun. I felt really strong today and still had plenty in the tank when I crossed the finish line. Part of me wishes that the family could take part in this fondo like they do in Victoria, but even the shortest distance (50 km) has two killer hills on it. Tammy would probably have to walk up the second one and where’s the fun in that?

Gran Fondo Badlands elevation profiles

Bow Cyclists streaking through the Hoo Doos


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