Race report from one of our youngest members, John Stuart, who pulled a great team effort with fellow member, Fynn Schooley. Good work boys! Making us proud.

calabogie2

***Credit to Cara Kropp for the picture

As I waited on the line, I sized up the competition. I learned from the Machine from Lachine, not to judge someone based on their looks. I didn’t think anyone would be very competitive, but I proved to be wrong. Right off the line, Fynn and I gunned it 300%. We tore the field apart, with nobody in our dust. We continued hammering for 4km, and we told each other when to go harder and if anyone was chasing. I looked back after a long straightaway, and all was clear. Then, right before Fynn pulled off, I looked back again around the corner and we had a pursuer! I kept a strong pace over and back down the hill, keeping our distance at about 10 seconds. I torched it up the next hill, in hope to discourage our pursuer, and opened the gap significantly.We kept it strong for couple minutes, then we saw him closing in. He made contact with us, and we all slowed down and kept an endurance pace. I pulled off the front and went in behind the OBC rider. His calves were huge, and I wasn’t sure whether his skin could keep them contained, then suddenly when Fynn pulled off the front, he made an attack. He accelerated quickly and didn’t stop, but he didn’t get far. He returned and stayed on the front at an endurance pace. Seconds later, he pulled off and slowed down, then I was at the front and kicked. He had to stand up to get on the back. About 20 seconds later, when I pulled off, he made a space between Fynn, who was now in front, and himself. I filled the space, but slowed my pedalling. I made a gap between fynn and I, and soon it was several bike lengths. The OBC rider behind me realized that Fynn had a gap, and he had to fill it. Fynn sped up, and it made it even harder for the guy to get onto his wheel. I sat in his draft as he brought me back up to Fynn. After Fynn, then the OBC guy pulled off the front, I attacked, and kept it for about 300m. We slowed down, and played cat and mouse for the last lap. Whenever the OBC rider seemed suspicious of an attack, I sneekily pulled him over to the side of the road and blocked him from going. I did this countless times, and I succeeded. I didn’t want him to attack, because if was able to catch Fynn and I earlier in the race, then maybe he could pull a flyer. We came to the last 600m, and there was a rise, a curve in the road, then 300m straight to the finish. He was at the front, then attacked the hardest of all, up the hill, towards the finish. Fynn covered his wheel, and I took Fynn’s. He lead us out to the 200m mark, then Fynn sprinted around him, and I just followed Fynn’s wheel. We celebrated 20km before the line, but we knew we were safe, because he was a ways back. The whole race, we did little things to beat him down, and although he could accelerate like the cars that ride on the track, by the end, his legs were too bogged down to compete. It was a brilliant team effort.

Posted in WQW | Leave a comment

From horseback riding to bike racing. Fellow Wheeler, Catherine Bouchard, recounts her first racing experience at Calabogie.

20140413_8172On Sunday April 13th, 2014, I entered the Calabogie Road Classic in the Women’s Master A division, and here’s my race report.

But before I begin, I want to thank my fellow Wheelers for their support, and in particular Rico, who has generously given of his time and knowledge in order to help me become a racer. Hopefully I haven’t given him too much grey hair in the process. Big thank you  everyone!

Back to Calabogie. I must have been slow to get organized that morning because I was just starting to warm up when staging began. It worked out well since that didn’t leave me enough time to worry. I lined up at the start line with about 30 girls, none of which I knew so I won’t be dropping many names today. As we waited for the countdown, I was shivering like mad and wishing for the speech to end already so I could get warm. Did I mention it was ass-freezing cold? Ok, I think I’ve made that point!

We’re off. I’m positioned toward the front of the peloton and my goal is to stay there, nothing fancy. The first few laps are uneventful and I manage to stay in a sweet spot without too much work. Life is good. Almost too good, in fact, and I wonder how much longer this will last.

The pack seems to be moving backward when we hit a hill. I have some good momentum but not so much patience, so I jump to the front instead of slowing down. However, I soon realise that I’m not strong enough to pull for very long without risking blowing up early in the race. I tuck in behind a wheel with newfound admiration for the girls in the front. They are some tough women!

After lap 3 or 4 I start to loose count. Apparently there was a lap counter, but of course I didn’t find that out until after the race.  I decide to focus on one lap at a time, and manage to stay within the front third of the pack despite the pace picking up a bit. Someone has gotten away fairly early on, but nobody is interested in chasing her so I almost forget about the breakaway until the next gap update. A quick scan of the peloton reveals that some of the girls are missing. Meanwhile, I’m floating around the pack and things are running pretty smoothly.

We’re nearing the end of lap 10 and I’m getting tired. On the hill, the girls take off like they mean it this time, but I have nothing left in the tank. The head wind hits me as soon as I lose my wheel and there is no hope of making up the gap now. There is a full lap left to go, and it’s going to be a long one…

As I glance over my shoulder, there is no one in sight and I begin to wonder whether I’m not dead last somehow. I eventually spot a solo rider in the distance and try as hard as I can to catch up to her. She crosses the finish line just before I can catch her, but I’m grateful she was there because she kept me going when I felt mentally an physically worn out in the final km’s.

I was glad to have stayed with the faster girls for 10 out of 11 laps, but it almost seemed irrelevant as I rolled across the finish line to the sound of criquets. I didn’t know yet that there were still about a dozen riders behind me, much less that I had made the podium!

As I think about my race, it strikes me how lucky I am to be part of the Wheelers community as I experience these things for the first time. There is still a lot for me to learn, but the whole day was a blast and I can’t wait to do it again!

Catherine Bouchard

Posted in WQW | 1 Comment

Mufferaw Joe 2014

What better way to celebrate spring than to ride the Mufferaw Joe with friends and enjoy a hot meal with a few cold ones at Gavin’s Pub in Quyon?  Maps will be supplied, as usual.  Bring 30$, a smile and a bike.   Here are the details:

  • What: 130 km sportif ride and a 80 km relaxo ride.  Maps for each ride are here:  http://www.wqwheelers.com/rides/mufferaw-joe/
  • When: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 10 AM.
  • Where: Start at Gavin’s Pub in Quyon, Quebec
  • Why: Fun and laughs.

We hope to see you all there.

Mufferaw Joe 2014

Posted in WQW | Leave a comment

WQW at the Trips for Kids Ottawa’s Second Annual Bike Build.

A report from one of our members, Deb Hine, from last weekend’s events:

“Congratulations must go out to our very own President, Brent Atkins, for taking the win at Trips for Kids Ottawa’s Second Annual Bike Build.

Brent made it through the heats, won his semi final, and won the final to claim the title as the fastest bike builder. It was a very close finish in the final. Brent also posted the fastest time throughout the afternoon. Brent

In addition, he was up on stage competing in the Blindfolded Tire Change, and came in second.  This event was highly entertaining to watch! blindfolded

The event is held to raise funds for Trips for Kids Ottawa.  If you haven’t heard of this organization, here’s their mission statement:

“Trips For Kids Ottawa (TFKO) is a non-profit organization that provides mountain bike outings and environmental education for kids who would not otherwise be exposed to such activities. At our outings, we teach lessons in personal responsibility, achievement and environmental awareness through the simple act of having fun.

TFKO provides opportunities for children and teens to experience adventure through mountain biking and other outdoor activities. We believe every child deserves the opportunity to explore the great outdoors so we provide the equipment.”

Often this group is looking for help in tuning up bikes (you don’t have to be as fast as Brent), and is a great local group where you could donate previously loved mountain bikes, bike clothes, whatever.

Anyhow, I was really impressed with the afternoon. It was well organized, I saw lots of familiar faces, and we all made new friends, too. It was at the Legion (beer…), the prizes were aweseome (including beer…), kids were involved, the dinner was home made. All good!

Think about coming out next year.

 I’ve attached a picture of Brent in action, and collecting his nice trophy, and also a picture of the 4 blind tire change competitors.

And here is the link to TFKO

http://www.tripsforkidsottawa.ca/

Thanks for sharing Deb.  

Posted in WQW | Leave a comment

The 2014 Eastern Canadian Roller Race Championships will be held this Saturday, March 1st at 7 PM in Ottawa. The location of the event is Eurosport at 250 City Center #124. There will be bikes, there will be beer and there will be fun. 20$ at the door.  Hope to see you there.Roller Races 2014

Posted in WQW | 1 Comment