Vancouver is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Canada, and with plans for more bike lanes to be added to the Downtown core, it’s going to stay that way. Though many cyclists join together in the push for pedal power, what is about to happen on July 10th has nothing to do with camaraderie on wheels. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a cutthroat, high-paced, thrilling ride on the streets of Vancouver.
The cobblestone streets that line trendy shops, busy pubs, and a notable restaurant scene will become a course for competition at the Gastown Grand Prix, resurrected by Global Relay last year. This free event means that spectators can watch in awe as riders reach speeds of up to 50km an hour.
So what exactly does it take to compete in a 60-kilometer race on one of the most challenging cycle routes in North America?
Plenty. The amount of dedication from cyclists is rarely considered by cheering fans. And believe us, it’s not ‘just like riding a bike’.
Pro cyclists train an average of 2-6 hours per day. This also includes strength training in the gym at least a couple of days a week. Whether it’s pouring rain or sweltering heat, they’re pounding the pavement with each pedal.
Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. When you’re burning up to 5,000 calories a day, pasta, rice, and potatoes become essential to your diet. However, before you think they’re the luckiest people on earth, keep in mind that bikers must follow a very disciplined diet filled with fruits, veggies, energy bars and gels, and protein. No refined sugar, junk food, fried food, processed food or beer from the Blarney Stone.
Traveling across the globe and riding your bike for a living may seem like a dream life, but time zones and long flights can equate to exhaustion when it comes to race day. This is also coupled by the fact that many are flying to a new race every week, leaving little time to recover.
Injuries and Accidents
With such intense training and competition schedules, cyclists experience many injuries due to overuse. Cyclists are also susceptible to crashes with fellow bikers as they pack together during sharp corners. Once one goes down, it can be like a domino effect, causing injuries like broken bones and fractures.
On July 10th, show your support and attend this free event, it will be guaranteed to be a fun evening out!