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Vancouver’s Spring Classic and Holding on to the Alphas
Pacific Popualire, March 29, 2015

by Jaime Guzman

In my opinion The Pacific Populaire is the indisputable Vancouver Spring Classic. A democratic accessible ride for everybody, now in its 30th edition, where you find out how good your winter training really was and sometimes get soaked and dirty like in the European Spring Classics.

I have ridden the Populaire five times, I think, and every time it felt different. In fair weather it is a big family affair with hundreds of people of all abilities riding all sorts of wheeled human-powered vehicles (that is the only entry requirement). With the nasty weather forecast the crowds were thin this year, as only the really committed riders with a hint of masochism showed up.

This year I decided to run a little experiment just for fun, to see how long I could hold on to the Alphas’ wheel (the Alphas, those at the front of the ride). As it turns out, I can hang on to the Alphas for a long time, as long as I don’t take any turns at the front of the pack. Of course that wouldn’t go well if it becomes a habit.

The 100 Km riders started first and fast as usual and I tried to stick with Tony and Roel, two very consistent cyclists from my old club. The group was fast, but actually very polite and collaborative, working together to make a good time and have a good time.

The bike lane in New Westminster highway was full of mud and water and reminded me of my childhood, when we would jump on the puddles just for fun. I got a hint of why some riders enjoy playing in the mud in cyclocross.

What was the result of the experiment? Actually, I managed to hold on for 90 Km but the little climb up 16th Ave from South West Marine didn’t feel little anymore. I left a gap open and that’s all she wrote!

At the end of the ride I wanted to wait to see all my friends come in, but I started to shiver and decided riding was the only way to keep warm.

Congratulations to all who completed the ride! That was quite an accomplishment!

Enjoy the Ride. Never Quit.

Go to: Pacific Populaire home

March 30, 2015