Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Friday, 16 February 2018

Sorry....But I am Back...for Freedom

So, yeah, my blog posts have been on a bit of a hiatus (not the hernia). Just took a bit of a break...I haven't competed in any events to report on.  Been spending the winter just enjoying riding, and trying to get in as much base training as possible.

So I expected that when I got back to paying attention to this blog thing, I would extol on how much I was enjoying winter riding (I am not a fan of 'riding' a trainer indoors), how much I love my fatbike, or what I was doing regarding winter training.  Or maybe, I would discuss some of the races coming up in 2018 that I was contemplating, or....any number of things.  

But then this happened...

The 5th annual Tilsonburn.

If you are not familiar, the Tilsonburn ,only 4 years old, has become an icon in Ontario's cycling world.  Held in the spring (every Good Friday) out of Tilsonburg, Ontario; 160 kms (there are 50 km, and 100 km options as well) of predominantly gravel and a few kms of super-fun, tough singletrack.

Self supported, well semi-supported...there is a firepit stop with bananas and electrolytes (donated by a local grocer) a few kms from the finish...just close enough to make you wonder if you should stop.  Oh...and it's not a race. got's not a's a ride...just a ride.  Well, we all give it our all....vying for 'bragging' rights (apparently those are important things...aren't they??)...but there are no recognitions of finish medals or trophies.  Just a get, beverages, and stories.  The awesome food available at the start/finish at the Indigo Lounge.  (Even for those of us who don't eat meat products!)

Cool video link of the even here.

But even better....there is no entry fee! entry fee...just sign up and go!!  Really....NO FEE...all run by volunteers.

All of this lead by one WardyM.Petunia (his nickname is JeffW...)...and of course a few very dedicated helpers.  Wardy started this event 5 years ago...out of a love of the sport, and the desire to share gravel/trail available in his community....and the opportunity to give back.

The giving back...the best part.  All participants are given the opportunity to contribute to FreedomBike.  (No, contribution is not a condition of racing...there is a discreet contribution box that is available to drop in a contribution post-ride).  FreedomBike provides a bicycle to a deserving young person associated with BigBrothers/BigSisters.

At first Wardy hoped that a couple of hundred dollars might be contributed...and that he could top up the fund to provide a bike for a young person who might appreciate a bike they might not have the opportunity to have.  Well Wardy might have underestimated the generosity of his friends and fellow cyclists.  FreedomBike has been able to provide bikes for more than one deserving young person...I think that last year three very appreciative teens received bikes!!

Anyways...I was greatly looking forward to participating again in 2018...March 30th.  I mean...who can turn down 160 kms of gravel??  A couple thousand metres of climbing??  Challenging single track thrown in just for fun??  Nice and early in the season...a test of how winter training has been going...(it's usually rather humbling...).

But...alas...not to be.  Very sadly, a family illness has forced Wardy to cancel the event for 2018.  We all wish the best to Wardy, and his family.  And while a serious family illness takes precedence (should go without saying...) over the event and makes it insignificant that we miss out on a fun time, but perhaps there is something that we can do to help Wardy maintain the FreedomBike legacy and contribute to another young person (or two, or three???) to experience the joy of our sport??

Here is what I propose...

If you pay any attention to the RiotOnRacing Facebook page, or my Strava, (OK, I stick to the belief that there are at least a couple of you out there...), then you may be aware that through the winter Lois and I have hosted a 'Riot' ride every Sunday.  It has usually been a fatbike ride, but there have been a couple of days where skinnier tires worked...and even one road-ish ride!!  They are all on our local trails (except for the road one)...there are so many trail options in our area.  And they are all endurance type rides...some might even say epic;  3-5 hours...500 - 1000 metres of climbing...sometimes flowy trails...some times steep punchy climbs...some roots, some rocks.  As I say, we have so many options, locally.  Small side note:  To date there has yet to be a 'Riot' ride where there has not been someone requesting that we be done before the ride is over.). 

And they all finish with Lois serving some type of warm, filling, delicious nutrition and beverages (cuz rehydration is important...).  Some may argue that this social bit is the best part of the ride. proposal.  This year...on Good Friday, to celebrate the Tilsonburn, we will hold a 'Riot' ride...160-200 kms (we will also have a shorter option or options), of as much gravel, rail trail, and some trail, as we can piece together with sections of road.  There may even be a stop or two for buttertarts...

Likely will be an 8am start...but details will follow...

But, the best part...the Freedom bit.  Let's do our part to help a young person earn a bike, to experience the joy of the sport.  Anyone participating will have the opportunity to contribute to FreedomBike with a bank e-transfer to    (Make the security question: What is the cause?  And the answer: FreedomBike2018 )  

The amount of the contribution is up to you (and will only be known by you and Wardy)...any and all contributions will be very specially appreciated.  In fact, you don't even have to participate to contribute...if you think about riding in this 'Riot' ride, if you do your own ride..or not, if you have seen a bike, if you have ever seen the word 'riot' can still contribute.  Let's see what we can do to support Wardy's efforts and provide a bike for another young person who might not otherwise have the chance to enjoy the sport we love.

And then....let's ride...

Stay posted...

Let's Do It!!!

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