Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Staple Ride Route in Vancouver - The UBC Loop

Hey, so one thing that I think about so I do not have to think about it is where can I get out and ride without needing to do that much planning. Living in Vancouver there are quite a few routes to ride but many have there drawbacks in certain regards in terms of traffic, weather etc.

On thing I find very valuable is having a couple routes for when I have a ride on the schedule (especially mid week) that I can just get out the door and head to without any planning. I also have an idea of what pace it takes me at different effort levels so get some instant feedback on how I am riding from that perspective.

The other thing is during the week when I have already worked or need to go to work it removes an potential excuse to miss a session of where do I go ride? As if I ever have to think this I already have an answer.

One of these which is my favorite for this purpose is the UBC loop.

It fulfills my criteria in the following regards;
  • Close to Home - I am on the "loop" after 5 minutes of riding which also means in the unlikely event of a mechanical I can not repair home very quickly.
  • Very minimal lights/stop lights
  • Bike friendly in terms of traffic and shoulder
  • Some exposure to wind
  • Has good sections for interval work
  • Mix of terrain (A couple climbs, good road surface, crappy road surface etc)
Essentially a loop is 32km which makes it good for me to do rides that are based around hour increments (i.e 2 loops = 2 hour ride)

0 - 3km - There are taps here and in the summer concessions are open if you need to refill bottles or buy Gatorade, coke etc.
3km Mark - Spanish Banks Hill - A 1.5km 5% gradient hill. Also a good place for hill repeats
7km Mark - This 4km stretch of road down Marine Drive has a wide shoulder and is an excellent place for interval work. One direction is slightly downhill and one slightly up
12km Mark - Camuson Hill - This is 1km climb that is most probably between 5-6%. The main value it has though is the road surface is horrible so mixes it up especially if you might face this type of surface on race day. For those preparing for Ironman Canada i find it very similar to parts of the climb up Maclean Creek Road
22km Mark - This part of chancellor is a good spot for short reps (1-2 min) of interval work.

Will try and post some of the other routes I use over the coming weeks.

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