The Canal Classic Bike Ride

by Joanne on July 5, 2010

Last week, I received a notice about a Sunday morning bike ride called the Canal Classic,  a pre-race ride for all cycling racers.  I posted a message to the MVBC group asking if “C” riders could do the ride.  The response was impressive.  Most everyone said “You should do the ride. There are a few challenging hills, but it’s a great ride and CHUCK is buying all the ladies ice cream”.  Sounded good to me, the ice cream that is.

Here is the link on mapmyride.  Don’t under estimate a 6% incline. HOLY MOLY those hills are endless.  Before I get started on scaring the mustard out of any local cyclist hot dog, the ride is beautiful.  It takes you through the country with flowing water, endless fields, you even see an Emu farm heading out.

We get to the ride in Little falls and meet up with a group of very experienced riders.


Charlie aka Chuck introduces himself and tells us it is a challenging ride and if you have to quit, not a problem. QUIT?! What??!!! We aren’t quitters!  You know, sometimes Joanne speaks WAY too soon for her own good! 

We set out with a couple who were told to get us started.  The gal wanted to see the directions Charlie gave us then proceeded to take them from me. I said we didn’t know the way and would probably ride slower and need those directions. “Oh no (she assured me), I’ve only done 300 miles this year, we’ll stay together”.  Long story short, that was the last we saw of her. 

We headed out, up a hill. It was hard.  We knew we were in trouble but  “We aren’t quitters”, right? 

The hills didn’t stop.  We thought after the 3rd one that was the “hill of terror” everyone was talking about but apparently this “Bartle or Barlow or whatever hill” goes on for 4 [expletive]miles! 

Charlie looped around (after passing us) and rode with us the rest of the ride. Ted and I had to walk 2 times voluntarily (couldn’t make the hill), the third time, Ted’s chain came off and we couldn’t start up again on the incline.


See that incline?  I’m in front of Ted looking down.


The photo above, I’m looking at the assent ahead.  Too much!  Charlie kept reassuring us there was just one more “popper” (popper means hill apparently).  That one more popper turned into popper after popper – the fireworks started very early!

We completed the scenic, challenging ride in 2 hours and 35 minutes at an average pace of just under 12 mph over a distance of 30+ miles.  PHEW!  The experienced riders and racers do the course in 1:45 (older riders) and 1:25 (younger riders). 


After thoughts….NEVER EVER DO THAT RIDE AGAIN- well, at least not for another 4 years.  Charlie says once you’ve done the Canal Classic, you own it.  I said “We’re selling it!”.    This is an email from Charlie received last night…

J&T’,  nice job. You certainly are not quitters. More like C on the way to AB.
You do it you own it. Now you can play with it. You worked too hard to sell it
J. Thanks for the fun. See ya on the road. CTB

We have to say to Charlie – you’re the best for hanging with us. What a super guy. 

And to anyone locally looking for a good workout bike ride, go to the link on mapmyride, take a partner (a must!) and go for it. 

Afternoon pool fun on the FOURTH!

It was fun and refreshing times after the ride at our friends house. They had an afternoon pool party and it was perfect.  Look at GiGi ridin’ the waves!



What a day. We were pretty beat but stayed up to listen to fireworks.  We couldn’t see any from our house because the trees were too tall.  Listening with our feet up was fine for us.

Now for my passion….running

It was a gorgeous morning which motivated my long run.  Shane was with me around the Switchbacks, through the golf course, up to the eagle for 9.3 miles. Shane just ran the Boilermaker 15K!!! 

Our time was slow because we had to stop for water.  At the fountain in VV, I gave Shane a water bath to cool him off plus 3 more baggies of water. After dropping him off at home (he didn’t like that and wanted to come with me for more), I went for 3 more miles to look for Ted on the bike. Never found Ted but did 12.5 miles total for today. Good easy run at an average 10.1 pace which included stopping for the fountain bath.

Any time I run I wear my Injinji’s because I cannot tolerate blisters.  These are perfect and for anyone running in hot weather for any distance – a must!


I will be wearing them next weekend for sure in the Boilermaker.  Speaking of which, this will be the first year I run this local race and to my sheer horror, look what I see…


That simply means that no matter my seeding, I’m not getting off to a fast start.  Still, it should be heaps of fun and I intend to stay and celebrate at the HUGE after party for sure. 

I have a terrific pancake recipe for you but that will have to wait until later. Make sure to check back tonight for “pancake fun”. 

What did you do to celebrate the Fourth of July?  Make sure to tell me all about the delicious food you made and ate. Love FOOD!


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    • At 2010.07.05 14:10, Bela said:

      You did it ride….that’s great… the “hill of terror” title…..LOL Also congrats on a great run and I see you enjoyed a great 4th of July at the pool….no better way to enjoy a holdiay!

      • At 2010.07.05 19:46, Joanne said:

        Thanks Bela.

        • At 2010.07.05 17:32, kalli@fitandfortysomething said:

          what a fabulous ride! good for you and Ted. those hills looked super hard for sure…….soon you will have to compete in a duathlon girl-all the running and biking you do 🙂

          • At 2010.07.05 19:46, Joanne said:

            Duathlon? …you’re scaring me.

            • At 2010.07.05 18:00, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

              Way to go on the ride! Once you do a hill – you do own it!

              And holy crow – 12K racers?!?! That is going to be a massive race.

              • At 2010.07.05 19:47, Joanne said:

                Those hills won’t be owned. They are down right hard. 🙁

                • At 2010.07.06 07:57, Cookie said:

                  Congrats to finishing the Classis training ride! I’ve lived in LF for years and have ridden the course route many times. It is nothing less than a challenge. I remember the first time I attempted it. Up out of the city, up the hill, then another, then another,then another, turn a corner then another that went on until there was nothng but sky above you. But once I finished, I spat at the hills and said “Take That Hills- You go nothing on me!” That was until I found other routes in LF and the Valley that continue to kick my butt something fierce. Don’t abandon the course just yet. It will take you and make you that much stronger. thanks for your blog.

                  • At 2010.07.06 08:33, Joanne said:

                    I’m not sure the word “challenge” does this ride justice. It’s more than a challenge (if possible!). You are so right about “…up out of the city, the hill, then another…. ENDLESS! We actually thought after the third hill, the route would ease up a bit. No Way! It was amazing. But what a sense of accomplishment after you do it 🙂

                    • At 2010.07.09 16:36, kilax said:

                      Wow. Those hills look brutal! Yuck!

                      • At 2010.09.05 06:28, Daniel said:

                        I did a similar trip on bike last year. It was not like the canal classic bike ride, but it was amazing. At some point I had to quit. It was kind of frustrating and embarrassing.

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