Gran Fondo training – who’s idea was this anyway?

Overlooking Skaha Lake.  105km



The past 10 days in Penticton was designed to give us some opportunity to train on the Gran Fondo terrain about 1 month before the big day. So, we have tackled the 160km course in pieces…..started with the big climb up Vancouver hill to Naramata and back – a viscious little climb (very steep)! Then, the Summerland loop that involves a huge climb up Peach Orchard Road from the lake to the highway. This is not for the faint of heart. Then we did the Fairview-White Lake climb from Oliver and looped back down to Oliver via OK Falls on a day that went down in history as having record-breaking headwinds. A climb that required us to walk part of it – long, and steep, and a crappy road surface. Yesterday, we tackled the bulk of the route in one go, from Penticton down to Oliver (a big climb at McLean Creek road, and on the Black Sage Road), then the dreaded Fairview-White Lake climb again, except this time, we carried on the actual course that would take us back to Penticton. Contrary to the claim that once you reach White Lake / Observatory that it’s downhill back to Penticton, there was actually lots of climbing left before descending. An absolutely stunning route for scenery, but this ride is clearly no small undertaking. It will be a full day event, with the saving grace of having lunch at Le Vieux Pin winery. Now, we’re just hoping that the day won’t be too hot…..or too windy…..or?

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