gearing down after the gran fondo whistler

granfondo - whistler - bike race

They say things don’t always translate well into English and in our opinion ‘Gran Fondo’ is one of those things. The Italian phrase loosely translates to “big race” but we can’t help but think that “big” doesn’t quite do the enormity of the challenge any justice.

gearing down after the gran fondo whistler

This past weekend marked the 2nd annual RBC GranFondo Whistler Race. Cyclists took to their bikes and rode from downtown Vancouver to Whistler Village. We caught up with three lululemon employees to see what they had to say about the 120km uphill ride.

cycling - gran fondo - whistler

jaci – director of people resources

how would you rate yourself – training wheels or tour de france?
Queen of the mountains! I love to bike and have been cycling for eight years.

what other activity best complimented your training?
I run a few times a week, teach two spin classes a week and practice yoga one or two times per week.  Between all that, I love to get up the Grouse Grind or do some laps in the pool when I can.

what was your ultimate goal?
I wanted to beat all of the lululemon ‘dudes’ that were also riding – goal achieved!

what’s your go to fuel for long distance?
During the Fondo I had a protein/energy bar, a pack of organic sport chews, and ate half of a banana.

120km of you, your bike and the road - what were you thinking?
It’s funny, a lot of people asked how I enjoyed the scenery on the Sea to Sky highway. To be honest, all I saw during my four hour race were bums and pavement!  I was mostly thinking about how many more kilometers were left to ride and how many more hills I had to climb.

we have to ask, what do you do when you have to, you know, go?
In a race, I just hold it! But there are usually stations along the way to do your business.


granfondo whistler - biking - bike race

shirley- ecommerce project specialist

how would you rate yourself - training wheels or tour de france?
I’m a first time rider. I bought my road bike just over 6 weeks ago.

how did you train for the gran fondo?
Every Thursday, my training group did a ride that was about 55km with small hills along the way for practice. I also used spin and yoga to cross-train and found that rather helpful. The longest ride I did pre-race was 70km.

what was your ultimate goal?
To survive my first Gran Fondo and enjoy the scenic ride to that finish line in Whistler.

120km of you, your bike and the road. what were you thinking?
Did I wear enough sunscreen to avoid a wicked bike kit tan line?

when the going gets tough…
Take a deep breath, keep your pedals moving and tell yourself out loud “YES YOU CAN!” I must’ve said it 20 times.

hindsight is a beautiful thing. any words of wisdom for future riders?
I’m in good shape so I was able to complete the race but I’d recommend starting training earlier than I did. Also, buy all your supplies (tubes, gels, energy snacks, etc.) days before the event or your favourite retailer may be sold out.


biking - granfondo - whistler

ben - community groove trainer

how would you rate yourself - training wheels or tour de france?
Coworkers have been teasing me about my shaved legs and spandex for awhile now. I ride as much as possible and this was my second time doing the Gran Fondo.

What was your ultimate goal?
I wanted to ride faster than last year and to have a blast in the process.

What other activities complimented your training?
Yoga – I aimed to get in one power class per week.   For your training to take effect, you need to focus on rest / recovery.  Yoga helped by providing “active recovery” and alleviated the tightness in my legs and back.

when the going gets tough…
Remember you’re not alone.  I ended up riding in a group of 12 random strangers who quickly bonded together. The collectiveness got me through the tough parts of the ride.

is it necessary to drop a lot of dough on a good bike?
If you’re a poser, then yes.  Otherwise, no. You can get a great bike either new or used (check out Craigslist) and not pay too much for it. If you’re buying your first bike, fit is super important so it’s wise to actually buy one from a store.  They’ll also be able to talk you through other needs you’ll have like shoes, gloves etc.

chamois – oui ou non?
Is this a trick question?  Chamois is essential.  The extra layer of padding is going to help prevent a ton of discomfort.

While Gran Fondos are traditionally popular in Europe, lately we’ve seen them popping up in North America too. Any cool races coming up this fall that we should know about?

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Congratulations to all the lululemon riders in the event. It is a pleasure to have your support of our volunteer program and to enjoy the passion of your team throughout the GranFondo Canada events.
Kevin Thomson
President and Co-Founder
GranFondo Canada

Comment by Kevin Thomson — September 16, 2011 @ 10:43 am

Yeah Team Lululemon! I’d love to see more lulu gear aimed towards cycling and tris **hint hint** ;)

Comment by Devon — September 17, 2011 @ 8:28 am

Where can I buy the cycling shorts you had on display in whistler? I think they are great, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere…..any suggestions? I saw a few riders wearing them! Thanks!

Comment by Leanne — September 18, 2011 @ 6:03 am

Totally agree with Devon & Leanne. The Lululemon cycling outfit worn by Team Lululemon look awesome. Look at this picture : Perhaps they will be on sale for 2012 ?

Comment by Chris — September 20, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

Agree with Chris, they look great on men too. Look at this photo:

Comment by Joe — September 26, 2011 @ 10:11 am

I saw the Lululemon cycling kits at the GranFondo start and they looked pretty good to me! If they were only available for men in black…

Comment by Ken — September 30, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

Loved the Lulu tops that girls bought at the Gran Fondo Friday expo “how we roll”… can we still buy them somewhere?

Comment by Jackie — September 8, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

Hi Jackie,
If you are referring to the Specialized gear our ladies were rocking then unfortunately no, they are not available. However I will pass along you’d love some rad gear for cycling and just keep your eyes peeled or sign up for product notification emails on our website. That way you’ll be the first to know when the pieces you love land online!

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 9, 2013 @ 8:52 am

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