On May 19th I am doing the SPARTAN race near Montreal, Quebec. A day before, I’ve got scheduled a long bike ride which I planned to do in Mont Tremblant. Why there? This is where one of the most popular IRONMAN races take place in June. I am not doing that particular race, but since I’m in Quebec, it’s a great opportunity to ride along the bike course.
Mont Tremblant bike course (100 km).
Arrived to the Mont Tremblant at 8 am. Had no specific agenda for the ride. The only plan I had is that the ride had to be no longer than 3.5 hours. Studied the map, packed the pockets with protein bars and headed out on the course by myself.
Leaving the parking lot I noticed two guys with fancy TREK bikes, getting ready to head out. I started the conversation by asking if they’re going to ride to IRONMAN course and what should I be aware of, going into such a long ride.
I learned that they came to Mont Tremblant for a training camp. And they, along with the group of other athletes are going to ride the full course. They also said that the group will be heading out in an hour and invited me to join them for the ride. I was hesitant to agree for two reasons:
- I haven’t payed for the training camp;
- One hour wait seemed like forever.
However since I haven’t done the course before and wasn’t familiar with it I decided it will be a good idea to follow the group so I don’t get lost and it’s always more fun to ride together. I agreed to wait and I am glad I did.
One hour later I met the rest of the team on the main square. There were about 20-30 athletes all excited and ready to roll. Everyone seemed to be talking French – the foreign language to me. I introduced myself to the coaches and asked for permission to join on which I got a positive response. Great!
Athletes were really nice and welcomed me into the group. I met a lot of cool guys and made new connections. Thank you for being so nice and accepting a random guy off the street to your group.
At the beginning I got assigned to the slower group, however after the first 10 km I was suggested that I go ahead with 3 other faster riders. Christopher and me went ahead and were cycling side by side for the most of the time. Two other guys couldn’t keep up so we just dropped them. Sorry folks =)
At the beginning I was worried it will take me much longer than 3:15 hr, but now I am really surprised to see how perfectly the time aligned.
How me being here at that exact time, that exact parking lot allowed me to meet all this people and cycle with the group for free. WOW!
It took me 3hr 16 minutes to do the full IRONMAN course. Have no idea of how good or bad, slow or fast this is. Moreover I don’t give a crap.
The question that matter is: Did you ENJOY THE RIDE? Yes I did!
Could I’ve done it faster? You bet I could, but this was not the day and time to give my all. Hawaii 70.3 will give me the chance to push the pedal to the metal.
We had a support vehicle and a mid way fueling station with bananas, oranges, Gatorade and this “Fruit” bar:
They are 25g pure sugar in a form of jelly worth of 100 calories. I loved it. And what a boost I felt after just taking one. Felt the warmth in my stomach and the power in my already pretty fatigued legs. Rocket Fuel! Unbelievable!
Note: Don’t be afraid of sugar while racing or training.
145g Carbs 30g Protein 21g Fat
Total: 822 Calories
I don’t think I am consuming enough calories.
The nature at Mont Tremblant is so beautiful! Woods, lakes, mountains… Being an outdoorsy guy, I can’t stop enjoying the scenery along the course.
There are IRONMAN signs along the course, which makes it easy to follow and not get lost. They look like this:
It was a great ride! A challenging one.
Training 95% solo I made a new discovery and learned the lesson: it’s much safer and enjoyable to ride in a group of like-minded people.