Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Epic Riding on the North Shore

After going out to drinks to celebrate the the Canadianization of one of my Aussie friends Kate and getting strange looks for drinking water and ordering two meals at Morrisey on Granville (This really confused the waitress with the statement - Are you still hungry?) I woke up on Saturday with a beautiful day of riding ahead of me.

Group rides are fun but sometimes I like to get out solo and just do my thing. No MP3 or anything and go ride. The purpose of this ride was the following;
  • Spend way more time in the saddle than I would in Ironman
  • Ride further than the 180km of Ironman
  • Climb more than the IMC course (6719 Feet)
So off I went departing kits and heading to Vancouver's north shore. Having read Meyrick Jones Blog the day before I was in search of a 8-9% road with plenty of switchbacks as part of my ride. Having no idea where this road was my plan was to ride north whenever it looked steep. First I rode to deep cove and did a couple little sojourns, one to the marina and one up another side street. Both were short sharp climbs but stopped after a few minutes.

So it was onto Seymour and the 7% average grade that it provides. My aim for climbing was to just stay in HR zones and not try anything special, from a climbing pace it is definitely less than my race pace but focus was making sure I conserved energy for the day ahead. I averaged about 12.5km/h up seymour which is pretty slow however coming down was a lot more fun and having refilled my bottle cranked out a good decent at an average speed of around 58km/h. I definitely didn't "give" the decent and spent the time on my cow horns over aerobars for a bit more stability as this is training and not racing and spending the afternoon in a ditch for no good reason did not appeal :)

From Seymour I headed up Lillileot rode in search of some more grades. In the found I found the Seymour Valley Trailway and dropped the pace a little a cruised through the forest. After a 5 minute"nap" in the sun I headed back out form the end of the paced section, refilled my bottle and headed back to the No.1. I then went up Mountain highway, followed the"bike" route and did a nice 10% grade to rejoin the highway.

After riding up the highway I could see the road straight ahead go straight up so I rode past the Lynn Valley Day festival and mashed up the hill. I think I was in 30 to 50 cadence for sections and although I do not know gradient this would definitely be double figures. When the pavement ran out I descended grabbed a subway and a coke and made my way to Marine and Capilano Road.

Next up was grouse and felt pretty good on the steep section top the car park. After finishing the second half of my lunch I grabbed a couple powerades and descended down and hit the traffic section of West Van. after this stop start I rode out to horseshoe bay, this ride felt easy compared to early season and at the round about past the golf course I headed back along Highway 1 to Cypress.

So at the 100 mile mark I hit cypress. From where I started timing (the 3km mark because I rode past the 2km mark) I averaged about 12.8 km/h for the 8km at 6.6% gradient. This included a slight acceleration when I saw a bear on the side of the road around the 6km mark.

After a water fountain shower at the lodge and refilled bottle I made the decent down making sure to stay towards the middle of the road through the "bear" section. Averaged about 48km/h for the ride back to the highway which includes a flat section. Once again didn't "attack " the decent and had to slow for some road work on the way down.

Riding back down highway one hit a rock pretty hard and coming down Taylor way could start to feel my front tire losing air. Pulled of just near park royal and made the tube change which I think was caused by a pinch flat. Despite trying to re seat the tire for about 4 minutes took 9 and a half minutes from stopping to remounting the bike so as long as I get the remount thing down think I can get a flat change in about 5 minutes which is nice to know come race season.

Cruised back to kits from here and reloaded on fluids and ate well for dinner before crashing nice and early in the evening. So the stats for the ride were as follows

Ride Distance - Approx 202km
Elevation Gain - 11391 Feet
Ride Time - Approx 8h 20min
Average Speed - 24.2 km/h
Average HR - 137 (67% of Max)
Max HR - 171 (84% of Max)
Energy Consumption - 5872 kcal

Food/Drink Eaten During Ride - 6 GU's, 1 Chicken Breast Footlong Subway, 1 600ml Coke, 1 "rich" bottle accelerade, 3.5 bottles of water, 2 bottles of powerade.

Weight lost on ride - Approx 4 pounds.

GMAP of Ride -

Postscript; Finally found the spell check functionality in blogger :). This should make the blog a lot easier to read however I sense my grammar will still suck.


  1. Outstanding ride Jeremy. That is one crazy day of climbing

  2. I'll have to try Lilliloet. Was it any good?

    intense day