I have pre-registered for the 2013 100km Pacific Populaire. This is a local, annual ride that starts and finishes a few minutes ride from the house. I have wanted to complete this ride for 25 years. You could say it is on my bucket list.
I have done the ride. Just not all at once. The UBC loop is a popular route for riders with a long(ish) climb and a wide cycle lane along SW Marine Drive. And, I often ride out to Stevenson and back along No. 5 Road. But I have not completed both routes in one ride.
Why now? There are several reasons –
- It is close, very close, to home. No travel is involved.
- It is inexpensive – $18 – unlike the Gran Fondos and fundraising events.
- It is a relaxed, non-competitive event. Populaires are not a race. Riders of all skill levels and experience take part.
- It will motivate me to continue training and increase the mileage for the next 2 months.
- And, it will be one thing I can strike off my bucket list.
The Pacific Populaire is organized by the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club. This is how they describe a populaire:
“Populaires” are short, unofficial randonneur events with some of the flavour of official “brevets” or randonnees” (200 km+). These fun rides had been used
elsewhere to introduce people to randonneur cycling. Sometimes populaires are also thought of stepping-stones to 200 km brevets.”
Short? That’s right. Randonneur events start at 200 km and progress to 300 km, 400 km, 600 km, 1,000 km and even 1,200 km. This is continuous riding not multi-day events. Ultra-marathon riding. This is certainly not my goal but I respect those that are able.
My goal is to complete the ride. I don’t care how long it may take. I simply want to maintain a steady pace, enjoy the scenery and fellow riders.