SRCC Big Gravel Ride 2020!

COVID-19 Version

This Club Event was originally planned for Sunday June 7th, 2020. But… well, you know.

Obviously we will not be riding this together as a club or in groups, but whenever you like, just go ride the route on your own or with those in your bubble. It’s a real treat of a route and we think you’re going to love it.

We had such a great event last year on a 70 km route that was almost entirely inside Guelph, we thought we would try one that was almost entirely outside of Guelph. And like last year, we guarantee there will be sections that are unknown territory for you.

About the route: It’s 75.8 km long – 63% of it is unpaved (47.8 km). In the middle there is one very long, continuous 27.5 km gravel section – bolt on your gravel aero bars! The start and finish currently are at the Boathouse (yes, you can SD an ice cream there). The official club event was planned to have been ‘from and to’ Fixed Gear Brewing. As of the time of this posting you can’t SD a beer at FGB, but they are doing take-away! Please support our sponsors…responsibly.

Several club members have ridden this already and small tweaks have been made. A few veteran P2A types have weighed in and given their seal of approval. The route is really good!

Get out and ride this when you can. Take snacks as there is nothing en route. A rest stop was planned at County of Wellington Forest Tract Benham at kilometer 31.9 in the small parking lot, but now you’re on your own.

“Get on your bikes and ride!” – Freddie Mercury

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Big Gravel Ride Report

The first annual SRCC Big Gravel Ride multi surface bicycle event took place this past Sunday July 7th under near perfect conditions. The humidity broke the evening before for a cool start at Fixed Gear Brewing at 9:00 AM for the ‘Leisurely’ group (C ride) led by veteran club member Meg Thorburn. With her were 5 other keen souls ready to tackle the 70 km course that basically never left Guelph city limits for all but 6 kms.

At 9:30 AM the ‘Moderate’ group (B ride) headed out with 17 riders breaking into two groups led by Lorenz Calcagno and SRCC VP Rich Lyle.

And at 9:45 AM The Prez, James Fedosov, led out another 12 riders on the ‘Fast’ group (A ride).

Shortly after entering the ‘Highway’ trail at Guelph Lake Andrew Krucker of the ‘Fast’ ride was derailed when a forest gremlin wrapped his rear derailleur in his wheel. Fortunately for him, pro mechanic Mike Dennis was on his ride and in ten minutes Mike converted the multi gear bike to a single speed to allow Andrew to ride out of the trails, short cut the route and meet everyone at the rest stop later on. Although ride-able, the gearing was not conducive for keeping up with Chancie Knights (like any of us ever could?) or Wilfred Ferwerda on their single speed bikes. There is something to be said for keeping your important parts up and out of the way and not dangling vulnerably near the ground or close to moving objects. Just nutty.

Speaking of Wilfred Ferwerda, a bizarre recessed curb beside War Memorial Hall at the U of G caused him to take a tumble at the same moment that it pinch flatted Daryl LeBlanc. I am sure this is not part of the School of Landscape Architecture preferred method of transitioning ground cover to pavement. Shaken, but not stirred, Wilfred was certified fit to ride by methods seen on TV and he went off to watch the women’s Dutch Soccer team lose to the Americans, also as seen on TV.

Precisely at that moment, the ‘Fast’ ride had their heads down and cadence up as they shuttled across Johnston Green in pursuit of the ‘Moderate’ ride to hand off a rider who was struggling to hang on to their speed average. However, the combination of those factors didn’t allow them to break focus and notice as they passed the ‘Moderate’ group just meters away as Daryl LeBlanc repaired his flat in the shade of trees. The irony is not lost that all of this literally took place on the grounds of higher learning.

Meanwhile, over on the ‘Leisurely’, ride Vince Mayne was convinced to lower his tire pressure to sub road racing values which made for a more pleasant ride and was far less slippery in the mud and rock. And, with less then 10 kilometers to go, club veteran Anne Nederend flatted on her trusty 26’er mountain bike. So trusty had it been, that she didn’t have a spare tube handy for the repair. The passing ride leader, Lorenz Calcagno, from the ‘Moderate’ group issued advice from his off-road motorcycle racing days, “…just stick a 700 in it, a larger tube always works in a smaller tire!”. So they did, and it did.

A few riders had to cut out early as family and other duties called – 70 km on multi surface is a longer ride than expected. Fortunately for them, being almost always in the city, the ride home was never long.

A couple of astonishing feats need mentioning: Both Will Teron and Daryl LeBlanc completed the, at times, slippery and rocky course on road bikes, on road tires! Kids, don’t try this at home, these are trained madmen! If only we awarded trophies.

Thanks to Kirsty at Fixed Gear Brewing for coming in at 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning to open up the brewery for the club (who do we talk to, to expand your business license to allow for coffee service?).

A super ‘thank you’ to the rest stop volunteers: Kevin Bodbyl (sidelined from riding with injury), Brian Hoey (local handsome and competent nursing student), Madeleine Krucker and Natalie Tiberghien who were strong-armed into service by club member Andrew Krucker – we appreciate that. You all made our ride that much more pleasant. Thanks so much!

Nearly one quarter of the club participated. Riders of varying speeds and abilities got to meet and mingle and share food and drink on a beautiful day. Every rider polled said there were multiple sections of the route they had never ridden before or hadn’t even known about.

The jury has tallied the votes and responses… the event was a success. Quoting one of SRCC’s major sponsor’s Mark Chappel, “…this might have been the best ride I have ever been on.” And all within minutes of home.

A super duper thank you to our course designers, Taylor Moran from SRB, Heather Lylyk, Meg Thorburn and Lorenz Calcagno. And to our pre riders and Ride Leaders James Fedosov, Meg Thorburn, Rich Lyle and Lorenz Calcagno. And to Gord Drewitt, Lorenz Calcagno and Meg Thorburn who went out and cut brush and grass on the Monday of the long weekend to make sure the ride was as pleasant and as successful as it could be. 0

A special thank you to the coyotes of Preservation Park for keeping the snowflakes out of our way in there. Long may they reign.

There was some loose talk about changing the name for next year’s event to be more descriptive of the type of ride. ‘The Dirty Tour of Guelph’ was suggested, but after some research, it was found that that tour already exists. It however doesn’t include bicycles, but does include some club members!

Another special thanks to Fixed Gear Brewing for being our newest sponsor, for providing a perfect start and end point for our first Annual Big Gravel Ride and handing out free beer at the end of the ride (I believe we have stumbled upon an important discovery…). Cheers!

See you next time!

Rusty Knutts (pronounced: kahnoots)

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Volunteers Wanted!

Can’t ride the Big Gravel Ride this Sunday July 7th for one reason or another but really want to be involved or just want to give back to the club?

No problem!

Come on out and volunteer for the riders at the rest station for one and a half hours. You’ll have a good time doing it and the weather is promising to be ideal!

Contact Meg at meg@speedrivercyclingclub.org and let her know you’re interested in helping out!

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P2A Race Report – 2019

The 26th annual Paris to Ancaster Multi Surface Bicycle race looked as if it were to, yet again, run under grey and miserable skies. But as a very last minute entry, sunshine made a rare appearance. And Sol was not the only unusual entrant. This year’s race attracted some 30 professional racers. To put things in perspective, the 2018 top position was won at an average speed of 32.5 kph and this year was won at 34.9 kph – the game has changed!

Testing themselves against the pros and a field of 1,560 competitors were 17 Speed River Cycling Club members. Taking the top SRCC spot in 30th position overall (5th in the ‘day job’ class) was El Presidente, James Fedosov with a remarkable speed average of 32.7 kph (his 31.7 kph average earned him 16th in 2018). 2nd SRCC (& PCC) finisher in the 87th spot overall was Alex ‘Flave O’flave’ Lefebvre! Rounding out the SRCC podium was long time board member and P2A veteran, Mike Dennis who took the 122nd spot overall and 39th in the largest class of the event Male 40–49. Fourth SRCC member was Robert McLay (you are signing up again this year, right… Rob?). Followed by a valiant effort of weaving through heavy traffic starting way back in Wave 4, was Phil Harvey in the 5th SRCC spot. And Jim Brogden took 67th out of 355 in the 2nd largest class of the race, Male 50–59 (this is not your father’s Autumnal years!) Next fastest SRCC finisher (and first year with the club) with a monumental effort and a first place win in the Female Single speed class was Chancie Knights. She was also 25th female overall against a fully geared field of 131. Well done Chancie! Admirable finishes respectively continued with Andrew Krucker, Michael Muffels (on a SS – also first year with SRCC – welcome!), Rich Lyle, Mike Marcolongo, Wilfred & Ron Ferwerda (continuing their single speed sibling rivalry) and Lindsay Robinson (47th Female overall!) completing an excellent showing of our fine fellow SRCC members in the 7o km race. And extra special acknowledgements are in order for the father and son teams of Andrew and Noah Wayne and Gord and Sheldon Drewitt who rode the 46 km course. Well done all! Be certain to congratulate these fine club members when next you see them. Kudos all ’round, may the sun shine upon you for many more.

Full 70 km Results here and Full 46 km results here

Rusty Knutts (pronounced: kahnoots)

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SRCC Social at the Wooly Thursday April 25th 8:30PM Rain or Shine!

The First Thursday Social of the Season!

For those new to the club, this is a regularly occurring event on the last Thursday of every month of riding season. Come on out and meet your fellow club members. Discuss important issues of the day: cadence, ‘D-i’ shifting, carbon fiber  <fill in the blank>  and beer really is a recovery drink, isn’t it? We can only guarantee that the food and drink will be good! The Woolwich Arms is an SRCC sponsor and if we have enough members they often provide us with team nacho platters. Originally intended to be a ‘ride to’ gathering after the Thursday ride, many now opt for a quick rinse and a change of clothes before heading over. So don’t be shy if you didn’t ride, who’ll know? You’re unidentifiable without your helmet, glasses & bike anyway! In warmer months with later sunsets and longer rides, it’s not uncommon that some show up directly from the ride in their sweaty kit. Our sincerest apologies to the other patrons! Come for the camaraderie, stay for dinner and a pint! Extra club points to anyone  who shows up in an SRCC cap or vest! Hope to see you there!

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