In 2018; Carolyn, Clarissa, Janet, and I decided to give the Valley Fondo a try. Having done many other Fondos, I more or less knew what to expect but for Clarissa and Janet, this would be their first event.
We signed up for the “Smart Fondo” aka the 88km Medio Fondo, because who wants to spend 5+hrs on the bike if you don’t have to???
Janet decided that she would approach the ride as “just a ride with my girls”, which is exactly what it was.
The day started with us arriving a bit later than I would have liked. But we still got to the start line and found a spot with the 4hr Medio group.
Before the start, we had set some rules or goals which were:
1. It would be a no-drop ride which means that we would ride at the pace of the slowest rider.
2. Whenever possible we would try to ride in a paceline to save on energy.
3. On the hills, it was every Dog for themselves but we would regroup the group at the top.
4. Our main goal was to have fun but also finish before the 160km GranFondo riders came in.
During the ride, we stayed as a group doing our pace lines. Kristina would have been proud. We each did our fair share of pulling and relaxing on the back.
We checked in with each other often to make sure that everyone was eating and drinking. We stopped at rest stops to get some real food and go to the bathroom. And of course, we chatted because what is a ride with the girls if there is no chatting?
We finished the ride at 3:51:20, all crossing the finish line together with big smiles. The GranFondo finishers came in at 4:03:38. Goal completed!
The Valley Fondo is a great event. The course is lovely and we just seemed to float along. At the finish, we all commented how much fun it was and that we would most definitely do it again.