Meet our Ride Leaders! These friendly faces will help you out whether it's your first ride with the club or your 100th!
Do you race? Yes, road — Cat 3, looking to get into Cat 2 this season, and I do cyclocross for fun.
When did you join ERTC? 2009
What’s your proudest cycling achievement? Winning the Canada Day sprint challenge in 2014. There are a lot of things I'm pretty happy about though.
What got you into riding bicycles? I started riding because buses were really annoying and slow, and I needed a way to reliably commute.
What advantages does riding with a club offer? Accountability for sure. Safety and meeting a group of people as well, but the biggest thing was being able to be accountable to people other than myself in pursuit of my cycling goals.
Favourite cycling event of the year? It’s a toss-up between the stage race in Golden B.C. and the Canada Day criterium here in Edmonton. Golden is a very-well organized race in a great location; the Canada Day crit is 40 minutes of hard racing and 4 hours of watching bike races while drinking way too much. The MS Bike Tour is good too—you get to meet a lot of people in a non-race environment.
Goals for the upcoming Season? To get points in the next category up (3).
What was your biggest rookie mistake? Not eating enough. It’s a mistake I still make sometimes.
Any advice for new riders? Just ride more. Don't worry about getting new bikes, new parts or a training plan. Just ride more.
What got you into riding bicycles? Mountain bikes. My brother became quite a good mountain bike rider and got me into that. Then I watched the Tour de France and boom! Here I am.
Do you race? I used to do a lot of road racing (my memoir will be entitled “I was a Cat 5 Nobody”). I now do some cyclocross and mountain bike racing.
When did you join ERTC? A long time ago. Like 2002.
What advantages does riding with a club offer? Well, imagine you go skating at the community rink and some of the Oilers show up and it turns out that they’re really nice and they work really hard to help you improve. This happened when I joined ERTC. In cycling, you end up riding with experienced athletes (sometimes world class) and they share their experience and tips and make you a stronger and safer rider.
What’s your proudest cycling achievement? Wow—getting on the podium with an ERTC team two years in a row at the Kettle Cross endurance race. I sure couldn’t have gotten to a top spot riding without a team! Others are riding the Big Nasty in Moab, and doing really well at Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge GranFondo in Santa Rosa. Those were fun, huge events.
Favourite cycling event of the year? The night time cyclocross race at Lion’s Park in Devon is the most fun you can have on two wheels. Flaming barriers! Ramps! Pumpkin pie! What’s next—a tiger pit?!
Goals for the upcoming Season? To really help newcomers to the sport learn to work together safely and efficiently—so that I can draft off them for long, long stretches. To ride a few more fondos and to improve my mountain bike game, which is pretty bad right now.
What was your biggest rookie mistake? Thinking I was fast. OMG what a huge mistake that was!
Any advice for new riders? Listen. Listen. Listen. No matter how fit you are, it takes YEARS to become a solid team rider. This is tricky, risky stuff. Listen to and help others, and good things will happen.
What got you into riding bicycles? I can't remember a time in my life when I was not cycling.
Do you race? Cat.3 road, on the years that I actually get a licence.
When did you join ERTC? August 2003
What advantages does riding with a club offer? Organized, well attended rides.
What’s your proudest cycling achievement? Competing in the Masters World Championships.
Favourite cycling event of the year? Bowness criterium in Calgary.
Goals for the upcoming Season? I’d like to reach 6,000 km, 900 VAM on Salmo Pass climb, and to do all the Edmonton cyclocross races.
What was your biggest rookie mistake? As a rookie I made all the mistakes.
Any advice for new riders? Learn the skills of safe group riding, ride as much as possible, dress for the weather, know how to fix a flat, try a race.
Rider Type and Category: I started as a 100-per-cent recreational cyclist but I try to be competitive in grand fondos and non-Alberta Bicycle Association rides and races. There are a number of events throughout the year where I like to see how I stack up against others. Then, this year, I started racing cyclocross and soon fell in love with that, upgrading from Novice to Sport over 3 races.
How did you get into cycling? We got into cycling to take part in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day charity ride south of Calgary (approximately 230 km total). My wife and are going on 5 years of taking part in that event and we have raised well over $35,000 between us. We took part in this ride, with some moderate training, and saw ourselves get more fit, and all the while doing something we could enjoy together.
What do you get from riding with ERTC? We get a commitment from ourselves and other club members—there’s a time and place to show up. There are people to ask where you were last week, etc... And we get to ride together, but also with people more fit than we are. This allows us to test our abilities and improve. There are people of all levels and abilities to support us, and for us to support.
What are your favourite ERTC club rides? I enjoy Thursday night hills, and doing the Tuesday intervals—for the fitness. Rides on Saturdays and Sundays are all about the camaraderie.
What are your goals for the coming season? I’m undecided. I want to hit 7,000 km, do a 225-km ride and "be competitive" in some larger events (whatever that means). For cyclocross, I want to be in the mix at all the races.
Do you have any advice for new riders? Just do it! My wife and I rode intermittently and unstructured on our own for 5 years before we decided to join a club. Our hesitancy to join a club was intimidation and fear of the unknown: were we fit enough? Would we be welcome? All those kinds of worries. Just pull the band aid off and join! The club experience is what you make of it. You can immerse yourself and come to every ride and race, or just do the Sunday casual rides. It’s up to you—and there are great people on all the rides. The most surprising thing for me was just how quick my fitness took off. I started the season sucking wind and ended it feeling quite strong. Riding alone can be boring and tedious. Riding in a group is fun, social and rewarding; as they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
Do you race? Although I don’t race in the traditional sense, I do certainly race against my own expectations. My foray into cycling didn’t start with a desire to race, and I haven’t particularly grown one in the few years that I’ve been with ERTC; but I have tried a few entry-level races (grand fondos, spring series, Wednesday night cross, and Corporate Challenge mtb race) which I intend to continue. My activity within the club proves the club’s ability to cater to various levels of cyclists – I’m able to enjoy a lot of time with the club on rides without having to race.
What’s your proudest cycling achievement? My proudest achievement is the amount of climbs I conquered in the 2015 cycling season. I’m not a climber (I’m almost always the last club member up any hill on our hill rides – no exaggeration) but in 2015 I summited the Highwood Pass (double summit), Edith Cavel, Marmott, Whistler’s Tram-Way, Pyramid, Maligne Lake Road, Miette, Norquay (twice), Sunshine, Kicking Horse, Dorothy Climb (Drumheller), and a few other un-named climbs. I wasn’t fast, but I was determined – just keep pedalling, pedalling, pedalling and you’ll eventually reach the top! Ok, sometimes a gentle push (literally) doesn’t hurt either!
What got you into riding bicycles? In all honesty, a few years ago there was this boy that I was newly smitten with and I realized that in order to spend as much time with him as I wanted to, I was going to have to start riding a bike. I went from almost dying after my first 30-km city ride and being terrified of my first Wednesday night easy club ride, to leading those same social rides and starting a women’s specific group within the club a few years later (and leading a 100-km ride to boot!). Somewhere along the way I went from describing myself as the ‘girlfriend tag-along’ to describing myself as a cyclist and wanting to encourage others as I had been encouraged along the way. What I thought was an activity to impress a boy, has actually developed into a love for the sport.
What advantages does riding with a club offer? Without riding with the club I wouldn’t be the cyclist that I am today. Sure I could have gained the fitness on my own (seeing as I don’t have race-level fitness), but I wouldn’t have the handling skills, drafting technique (I’m the world’s biggest wheel-suck – that skill has saved me on many occasions), confidence on busy roads, or general knowledge about the sport without riding with other more seasoned members. Riding with the club takes you from simply riding a bike to being a legitimate cyclist. The benefits are endless, especially with a club as diverse as ours. You can find benefits no matter what level of cyclist you are.
Favourite cycling event of the year? My favourite event was the first Double X Women’s 100-km ride that I organized in July 2015. I organized it on a whim, hoping that maybe a few of the regular club women would join me for a more relaxed 100km, and I was so excited to have 14 women come out to the ride – more than 60 per cent non-club members! It was the success of this ride that prompted me to create the Women of ERTC group. Watching 14 women who haven’t ridden together for the most part, all chatting away riding 2 up, was the highlight of the year for me. A close second was our women’s ride through Elk Island at the end of the season. I’m looking forward to more events like this in 2016.
Goals for the upcoming Season? Personally I’d like to see myself rack up more km’s than last year. Maybe a bit less climbing but more km’s. Leading the Women’s group I have a goal to encourage as many women as possible to enjoy more time on their bikes. I want to help other women get past the intimidation of riding with a club and grow the women’s cycling movement in Edmonton
What was your biggest rookie mistake? Thinking that drafting doesn’t make as big of a difference as it does. In the beginning I didn’t feel the draft, everything was hard and it was tough to notice the reprieve when I tucked in behind someone (I likely wasn’t getting near close enough to their wheel to feel much benefit either). The more time I spend on the bike, the more I realized that drafting was going to be my best strategy. From there on in I learned to wheel-suck – best technique I’ve learned to date!
Any advice for new riders? Find someone that you aspire to ride like and learn as much as you can from them. That could be a higher-level racer, a strong and steady rider, or maybe a female cyclist with some good experience. Cycling is so much more than just learning to suffer. Of course there is always an element of suffering, but there is so much more to cycling that you can learn from other cyclists. That’s how we all learned and we are happy to pass along those learnings. And for new female riders who are intimidated by club rides – if I can do it, you absolutely can too!! We have rides that will help you build your confidence, so give it a try – you’ll likely surprise yourself. I know I sure did!
Rider Type and Category
Cat 4 road, Expert Cyclocross. But lately, gravel cycling is my favourite.
How did you get into cycling? I was convinced to do an Ironman, so I bought a bike. It's now my favourite sport!
What do you get from riding with ERTC?
A great bunch of people who all support and challenge each other.
Favourite ERTC club rides? Thursday hill night!!
Any advice for new riders? Don't be a hero, follow wheels until you are strong enough to take a pull.
How did you get into cycling?
Ran out of money racing motorcycles, switch to plan B, racing bikes, quickly realized that plan B should have been plan A all along
What do you get from riding with ERTC?
Lets face it, pounding out big kms by your lonesome gets old, fast. ERTC rides blend a perfect mixture of serious training, with some good, clean, fun. The club is made up of great, talented people that love life.
What are your favourite ERTC club rides?
Hills night is great, as it really tends to bring everyone together during the rests between each hill. My personal favourites though are the impromptu long rides, or the fondos that many club members tend to join, together. Riding with the club is great but when we all get out amongst other teams, it starts to feel like family to me.
What are your goals for the coming season?
Just the standard racer wish list of, higher ftp power, better sprinting endurance, maybe a win, and an upgrade to cat2? Yeah, that sounds good.
Do you have any advice for new riders?
Races are not won with speed. You don't need speed or to be in better form than your opponents, you just need to cross the line infront of them.