Andy McKay

Aug 11, 2023

My Sixth and Seventh Whistler Gran Fondo

I’ve done the Whislter Gran Fondo a few times (first, second, third, fourth and fifth). This week I completed my seventh Whistler Gran Fondo and realised I didn’t write about last years. So here goes.

Sixth Gran Fondo (2022)

I didn’t train enough, I was in bad shape. There was a headwind, just a horrible headwind the whole way. That’s all I can remember. I couldn’t get many drafts, you had to pedal going downhill otherwise you couldn’t get any speed.

Within the first hour, I knew I had no chance of beating my times, so I tried to relax. Mostly I just got stressed and tired.

At the end of the ride I said that’s it, I didn’t enjoy it I won’t do it again. Then my daughter signed up to do it next year. I signed up to support her.

Seventh Gran Fondo (2023)

Coming into this ride I’d probably done less cycling than ever.

2017 (up to Fondo) 2018 (up to Fondo) 2019 (up to Fondo) 2023 (up to Fondo)
Time 243h 232h 16m 165h 51m 55h 48m
Distance 5,050km 5,279km 3,889km 1,221km
Rides 198 136 75 40

It’s quite remarkable how little cycling I’ve done compared to previous years. I’ve been focusing on hiking, backpacking and bit of running throughout the summer. A prolonged period of illness (6+ weeks) at the beginning of the season and not participating in Steed ride club has had a big effect.

I’d already approached this Fondo as I ride I would take slow and easy, enjoying the ride and supporting my daughter. Then my daughter decided not to ride.

So I chilled and enjoyed the ride. Unlike last year, going into it with that mentality from the start, I actually did find the ride enjoyable. Fantastic views, great people.

Not too fussed about the time and didn’t sign up for next year. Not sure if I’ll ride it again.

I also needed to try and keep my body intact because next week I’ve got this race and I’m excited and nervous about this, the way I used to be about the Whistler Fondo.