Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Our first competitive experience - Medio Fondo ride report
Last weekend we completed our first ever competitive ride - the Gatineau Medio Fondo. We own our Co-motion tandem for the third year, riding it 60-70 miles per week on average + commuting on half bikes throughout the season (April-October). Although we have sometimes ridden in groups/pacelines, we do not have any racing experience. We selected the shorter one 51km-lap ride - to be sure that we can maintain the pace and finish the race. The lap had some 908m of vertical climbing and went through the Gatineau National Park with great landscape and roads. We were the only tandem among some 100 participants at the startline. Although we were in the starting area quite early, we agreed not push to secure a position in the front or the middle of the pack in the mass start. After all, the goal was mainly to observe and learn while assuring that we both feel comfortable and don't worry about the tight space in the starting area. However, after the start we were able to work through the field and secure a place in the first group of some 30 faster riders that started to detach from the rest. Then came the climb and the group stretched. Taking the advantage of each and every flat section in the few rolls, we were more or less able to maintain our position throughout the climbing portion and keep riding with the same guys. Then came the descent, which helped us a bit and we finished 21 out of the 104 with the time of 1:38:14, with my wife being first among women. Overall, we had a blast and agreed to seek other similar events throughout the rest of the season. We are both happy that we successfully broke the ice and dispersed our initial worries about riding in the (small, local, amateur) competitions. The flawless organization and overall de-contracted ambiance also helped. We can only recommend the Fondo events as a great place for people with no formal racing experience to start. Although not good-quality, I attach a photo of us near the end of the race.