Category Archives: Cycling (Road)

Why I Race: Health Hope Happiness

By Cory Boddy:

There are a lot of reasons to race, whatever your discipline. Over the years I’ve focused on mountain biking, then switched to running, then mixed it up with duathlon, and now I’m pretty into road cycling and cyclocross. The disciplines have changed, but my reasons for racing haven’t. I like the challenge, I like to see improvement, it keeps my head clear and my heart healthy, and I like social aspect of cycling. There is something else though; a bonus, an added motivation that comes from being part of Fiera Race Club.

Whatever race I compete in, my race entry fees are matched with an equal charitable donation from our sponsor, Fiera Biological Consulting, to the club-supported charity of my choice. My choice is always Camp He Ho Ha.

Camp He Ho Ha or more proper: Health, Hope, and Happiness is a local camp near Edmonton, for people with special needs. Every summer over 800 campers attend, some as young as 7 and others as old as 90.


One of the best summers of my life was spent at Camp He Ho Ha. I was a Camp Counselor and for four months 800 campers with disabilities brightened every moment. I’ll never forget that summer and I try to use that experience to steer the decisions I make some 20 years later. That’s why I continue to support Camp He Ho Ha and why I’m thrilled to be part of a race club that allows me to give even more.

We are truly fortunate to be able to race, train, and ride with a club that makes this possible.

Since joining Fiera Race Team, I have participated in enough races to see Fiera Biological donate  $1,800 to Camp He Ho Ha! These are donations that are direly needed, and appreciated, and all I had to do was something that I already enjoyed, and fill out a simple online form after each race. That’s it. I didn’t have to win, or do well… or even finish, come to think of it. I just had to do what I’m already passionate about doing … get outdoors and challenge myself.

So as the race season sets upon us, I hope the rest of my Fiera Race Club teammates will challenge themselves to race and remember to report their race achievements to secure a donation to Camp He Ho Ha or any of the other worthy charities we have chosen to support. There are plenty of reasons to get out there and race. This just happens to be one of the better ones.


Since the club began, the racing adventrures of our membership have generated nearly $10,000! Below is a list of the awesome charities supported by Fiera Race Team as a result of our racing efforts. To report your results, just look to left side-margin of this homepage where it says Recent Results, then click “tell us about it!

Right to Play

Doctors Without Boarders

Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Canadian Red Cross

Food Banks Canada

Camp He-Ho-Ha

Stollery Children’s Hospital

Environmental Law Centre






Race Report: Canada Day Criterium (Crazieness Canadensis)

Canada Day has come and gone, and along with it the Canada Day Criterium in which Fiera Race Team’s Cory “Sugar” Boddy was contesting the Category Five (Cat 5) criterium race. I should say here that Cory is not new to racing and he is fast.  He would probably fit well into Cat 4 or 3, but to get out of Cat 5, you have to earn your way out by placing well in races.  In road cycling, it is not often the fastest rider that wins, but often the rider that has the best team, or choses the right time to attack, or the right time to rest, or just happens to get right behind the right rider.  Further, a lot can go wrong in a race, and there are only so many races in a season, and only so many weekends available for racing, so sometimes moving up a category is a monuments task.

Cory Body, poster child for the 2011 Xterra Duathlon takes the time for some fan photos, to sign some autographs, and a shot interview with the Fiera Report.

Cory Body, poster child for the 2011 Xterra Duathlon takes the time for some fan photos, to sign some autographs, and a short interview with the Fiera Report.

For those that are not familiar, I will provide a brief explanation of what exactly a Cat 5 criterium is:
Imagine if you will, a 1 to 1.5 km long obstacle course in the form of a circuit, and comprised of narrow streets, and sharp corners. Obstacles include manhole covers, storm grates, curb bump-outs, potholes, stray dogs, and poorly attended children. Now imagine 25 or so nervous, adrenaline-hopped, and fairly frightened, aspiring athletes with experience ranging from zero to almost none, hurling themselves around this circuit as fast as they possibly can, riding in a tight group such that their wind resistance is not that of 25 nervous individuals, but rather that of a single frightened beast.  As they lean into the corners, their naked, freshly shaved legs come within a few short inches of the road surface which is essentially a concrete belt-sander revving at speeds well into the 50 kph range, poised to shred skin, spandex, and carbon fibre at any opportunity. Elbows touch, wheels bump, adrenaline swirls in their wake, and inevitably, the belt sander reaches up to take a few of them. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply that these races are dangerous, as there are ample safety measures taken. Almost all riders, for instance, wear fingerless gloves which of course protect each racer from suffering the discomfort of being fully gloved. Further, many racers wisely wear sunscreen, thus preventing the affliction of a nasty sunburn while they lay at the curbside beside their broken bicycle waiting for a first aider or maybe an ambulance while the race continues on without them.  Further yet, it is mandatory for the sake of both safety and fashion that each racer have perched upon their head and securely fastened under the chin by a ribbon, a bit of styrofoam to protect the road surface should their heads collide forcefully with it. Finally, each bicycle is equipped with two safety levers on the handlebars, one on the right, and one on the left. The right lever serves to warn riders behind not to follow too close.  A rider feeling crowded from behind simply squeezes the right lever forcefully causing his bicycle to slow suddenly, only for a moment.  The rider behind, in the interest of safety, applies his right lever more forcefully causing his bicycle to slow more suddenly for a longer period of time, and so on, causing a happy rippling shudder of safety and well-being to pass through the group, from front to back, growing exponentially more pronounced as it goes. At the back of the group, a blissfully unaware racer with his eyes rolled to the back of their sockets, and wondering “why, why, why did I do this to myself?” and “why, why, why did I pay money to do this to myself?” will become aware of the approacing shutter of safe cyclists too late, and he will be forced to apply the left lever (also called the front brake).  The left lever engages an emergency rider ejection system ingeniously powered by the perfect ratio of panic and inertia. The endangered racer is promptly ejected out of danger, hurtled up and over the handlebars to the awaiting safety of the belt sander I mentioned previously. He will slide along the belt sander for half a city block, while his $5000 bicycle cartwheels along beside him, the happy spectacle of which will likely entice others to engage the panic and inertia ejection systems on their own $5000 bicycles. The sound of bodies colliding with curbs, and carbon fibre skidding unabated along residential asphalt will ring like music in the ears of those whom continue racing, giving pleasurable goosebumps and causing them to look back over their shoulders at the scene, while spectators look away, covering the eyes of their children.   The ejected riders will eventially come to rest, and those that are conscious will worry for their bicycles, and those that are able, and who’s bicycles are able, will probably get back on their bikes and rejoin the race, ignoring the gaping rips in their spandex, their buttock visible to all who dare look, oozing red, pink and clear fluids in quiet mourning for the skin left smeared on the pavement.

Cory Sugar Boddy and others keeping the rubber side down in typical criterium fashion.

Cory Sugar Boddy and others keeping the rubber side down in typical criterium fashion, Canada Day, 2014.

So now that you know what a criterium is all about, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Cory survived the Canada Day Criterium in Cat 5, with bike, spandex, and buttock fully intact. In fact, he finished in a very respectable 7th place, earning him some valuable upgrade points that could help him move up into Category 4, where the pace is faster, the bikes are more expensive, and hopefully fear and panic and inexperience play slightly less of a role.  You can see all the results of the Canada Day races here.

Kindness matters!

As I hope you all remember, when Fiera Race Club members race, donations are generated for a select group of charities (for more information see our About Us page). We have chosen these charities carefully, weighing a few key criteria:

1) we want to support some local charities – charities that are making a difference close to home for most of our members.

2) we want to support charities that make a large, lasting, and tangible difference.

3) we want to support charities for which there is a personal connection for our members

4) and finally we want to support charities that reflect the values of a recreational, athletically motivated sports club, such that we are.

Additionally we want our modest donations to have as big an impact as possible, and at the same time we want to spread our impact around as widely as possible.

Taking all these things in to account, I think we have come up with a most deserving list of eight recipients.  They are as follows:

Right to Play

Doctors without Borders

Food Banks Canada

Canadian Red Cross

Stollery Children’s Hospital

Camp He Ho Ha

Nature Conservancy Canada

Environmental Law Centre

We don’t always receive thanks for our donations, nor do we expect to.  I hope that the knowledge that we are fortunate enough to feed our passion to train and race all while generating funds that ultimately help to make to world a better place is more than thanks enough.

Still, it is awfully nice when we do recieve a note or letter such as I recently recieved on Fiera Race Club’s behalf, from the Executive Director of Camp He Ho Ha.

“This act of kindness is written on the hearts of so many who benefit from your generosity”

Here is the letter in full.  I hope it motivates us all to keep training, racing, and giving.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.27.34 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.28.09 AM

2015 Group Rides

Group rides officially begin next week (week of April 27). Check out what we have planned so far.  If you have the time, the skills, or the will to help with group rides, please let us know.  See you there.

2014 Edmonton Spring Series Road Racing

On behalf of the organizer, check out the information below. If you have time to volunteer, contact me at doggoneriding [at] gmail [dot] com.





 May 3

 May 4 

May 11

REGISTRATION:  Race Day Registration, all riders must be members of a club for insurance


TIME OF RACES: 1:00pm – five minutes between groups.


  • Group A – 6 laps (76.8 kms)
  • Group B – 5 laps (64 kms)
  • Group C – 4 laps (51.2 kms)

START/FINISH: East of the intersection TWP 223 AND RR 512


We are encouraging everyone to ride to the course, remember we are training.  If you must drive please park your vehicle in one of three locations:

1. Colchester School (west end township road 520, near Anthony Henday, 20 kms)

2. Olympiette Center (in cul-de-sac of RR 224 and TWP 520, 10 kms)

3. Cooking Lake School (in Cooking Lake, 4 kms)

You can use the County of Strathcona map or a service like to find the parking locations and a route to ride to the course.

COURSE MAP: Please note the course has moved east one Range Road.


Dear Edmonton City Councillor: An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Diotte,

Thank you for taking the time to consider this correspondence. I am writing to let you know that as a car-owner, a constituent of Ward 11, and an active voter in municipal elections, I am fully in support of the 2013 plans for bicycle routes and lanes in the City of Edmonton.

I am saddened by the tone of the rhetoric against the bike lanes in the media to-date, and am certain that it is primarily rooted in an inappropriate culture of entitlement nurtured in many car owners. I say inappropriate for a number of reasons:

1) The primary argument seems to be that the rights of a majority for parking outweighs the rights of the minority to safety. As you know, cyclists face disproportionate risk when they are in conflict with cars, and bike lanes and designated routes go a long way to buffering cyclists from hazards and reminding drivers that they share the road with people more vulnerable than themselves. I think vulnerable is a key word here Mr. Diotte, and I hope you will show some leadership on this issue and help support the efforts to provide bicycle lanes and routes to keep Edmonton’s vulnerable commuters, more safe.

2) The people who are anti-bikelane seem to think that because cyclists have a choice not to cycle, that they are entirely responsible for what happens to them on their commute, and accordingly, they incorrectly believe that it’s not up to the City to provide infrastructure to make commuting by bicycle more safe. Nor do they believe that car owners/drivers should have sacrifices imposed on them to make streets safer for cyclists.  If we apply this logic without bias, the tables are easily turned; car owners have made the choice to own and drive cars,and most have the option not to; therefore, why is it the responsibility of the city to ensure they have street-front to park on? Further, what car owners sacrifice for the imposition of a bicycle lane amounts to, in most cases, an inconvenience, while what cyclists sacrifice when bike lanes are given over to car parking is in the most literal way, their safety, and all too often, their lives.

3) There seems to be an opinion that cyclists, and bike-lanes, and the supporters of bike-lanes are somehow radical. This is far from the truth.  The majority of great cities in the world accommodate bicycles and recognize the services that they provide, namely pollution-free transportation that requires minimal space and minimal infrastructure to support. This is not radical, it is common sense and it is time that Edmonton joined the enlightened by recognizing the value that bicycles provide as a mode of transportation that goes beyond recreation.

Given all of this Mr. Diotte, it seems to me that you and the rest of the Edmonton City Councillors are on the verge of something important, something defining.  Do you give in to the masses of the vocal self interested, or lead the City of Edmonton down a more accommodating, safer, and modern road to a better society?

Truly, Mr. Diotte, with some leadership, some white paint, and some no-parking signs, the City of Edmonton can protect the vulnerable, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce CO2 emissions, set an example for other municipalities, and join the other great enlightened cities of the world. Or, you can take the easy route by giving in to those willing to risk the lives of others so that they can “park out front”; meanwhile, Edmonton’s cyclists will continue to risk life and limb.

The Mayor has described this bike lane initiative as a nightmare, an unfortunate choice of words to say the least.  To you, the Mayor, and the rest of the Edmonton City Councillors, I suggest that far better example of a nightmare is getting the news that a loved one was needlessly crushed beneath the wheels of a cement truck while commuting to school in a city far behind the times when it comes to promoting and facilitating safe urban bicycle traffic.

Joseph Likte

Race Report: Devon Grand Prix – Lesley makes her road race debut!

By Lesley Baldwin

After a taste of road racing during the Spring Series, I was keen to try out the real deal, and on Sunday June 24th I rode in my first ABA sanctioned road race. Actually, it felt like less of a race and more of a nice hard ride on a beautiful morning with some kindred-spirited cyclists, but that’s okay.  There were 7 women on the cat 3-4-5 start list when I signed up, but when I arrived at the line, there were only 5, including myself.  Within minutes of our very casual roll out, we were down to 4.  We had a nice 2-by-2 ride with some introductions and friendly chit- chat.  Around the 15k mark, my bladder was ready to burst (bad timing with the pre-race coffee) and I proposed a pee break.  Although I’d *heard* this wasn’t uncommon in large pelotons during lengthy races, no one else had ever heard of such a thing and some where a bit skeptical…”is this a trick?” Trina asked.  Finally, everyone was on board and we waved the commissaires past.  So much better!  And what a civilized way to ride a “race”!

Once we started up again, we continued on our fairly leisurely pace – to be fair, I sat in second wheel the whole time and it was fairly windy so perhaps it was not so leisurely for the girls at the front!  Once we turned onto Hwy 770 things picked up a little and the group reorganized (not that there are many ways to organize a group of 4, but whatever…).  We got to the hill and all stayed together on the down hill.  Trina led the uphill and I just tried to keep pace; when I looked back, I realized we’d gapped the other two.  Hooray!  I was glad it happened without really having to launch any kind of attack because it felt like too friendly a group for that!  Once we realized we had a good lead, Trina and I decided to work together to try and double the gap on the second uphill after the turn around.  It worked.  Again, she set the pace on the uphill and I followed suit.  This time it was considerably harder and if I’d been in the lead, I’d definitely have let up a bit, but I wasn’t going to let her gap me too!

At the top of the hill we started alternately pulling and taking turns breaking the pretty serious wind we were riding into.  The effort was considerably harder on the way home, but we were going much more slowly!  We kept checking to see if the other girls were on our heals, but all we could see was the commissaires car.  We hated to have them catch us after the big gap we’d made so we decided to ride a little harder.  When I thought we had about 8km left, I started to hammer it a little knowing I’d have a better chance at a long hard finish than at a short super-hard finish.  Then I had second thoughts and backed off….  Lame, I know, but after her performance on the hill, I was pretty sure she was quite a bit stronger than me.  Plus, we were just having a nice Sunday ride, right?  Just after that, we saw the “1000m” sign, but weren’t sure we’d read it right.  “Was that 10000m or 1000m?”  Neither of us knew!  I think she spotted the finish tent first and she started to turn things on.  I responded but couldn’t go as hard.  She flew over the finish line a few seconds before and we made a 1-2 finish.  Fun, but hardly as exciting as a cyclocross race.  Hopefully there will be more ladies and more action in the next race!

Lesley takes second in her debut road race. Next time, with a little killer instinct, we’ll see her on the top step!

News: Vos takes stage 1 of Giro Donne

While the worlds best men on bikes get set to contest the Tour de France, the world’s best female cyclists are already a stage ahead in their ultimate grand tour, the ten stage Giro Donne. While I am certain to be guilty of focussing much of my attention on the prospects of Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal in the TDF, lets not forget the lone Canadian woman contesting her own Giro.  Like Ryder, Clara Hughes knows what it’s like to cary the “weight of a nation” on race day.  And also like Ryder, she may be under estimated in her climbing ability, while she is feared by all on a time trial bike.  It would be pretty cool to have a Canadian win both Giros this year. Sure, it’s a long shot.  Marianne Vos is by far the favourite (currently in pink after stage 1), and Hughes has teamates better suited for the GC, but still, lets not forget to pay this race some attention.  Get the latest results here, and for  in depth perspective, here.

Marianne Vos, last year’s winner, and in pink after stage 1

Race Report: Devon Grand Prix of Cycling – according to Duncan

It was a rough weekend for me, but a great weekend for the team! Both days had great weather, Saturday was hot and sunny, while Sunday was sunny but cool and windy. Keegan won the bronze cupcake in the crit on Saturday. He was a monster! In the top 5 for just about every lap that I could see. Picked up a point on the first intermediate sprint, was just out of the points on the second, and was second overall on the last lap, pulling a controlled powerslide on the last corner to avoid crashing with the two guys in front of him who went down hard. It was an impressive performance. Jan was there taking pictures and getting psyched for Summerside, so you should get some pics from him. No lie, Keegan actually got a bronze cupcake. It looked delicious. I think a bronze cupcake is my goal for next year.

Keegan Machine Brooks

Podium, Oh Yeah!

Bronze Cupcake!

I on the other hand did not have such an impressive day. After the first lap with the pace car, I felt like I was in great position in the pack, fairly near the front. Kept with it for about 3/4 of the next lap and some guys made a move just before the last corner. I stood up on the cranks to go and felt my right pedal collapse under me. I slowed up immediately and figuratively limped into the start area. From the looks of it, my pedal had somehow loosened itself to the point where only half of the threads were still in the cranks, and when I put significant pressure on it, the threads sheared. I couldn’t even loosen it with my hand so I knew I was out. Really bummed out about it, especially so early in the race. I was itching to still be involved.

Jan says the fact that Keegan finished a race without a mechanical means that he has transferred his bad luck. Unfortunately, my bike was close to his for a good portion of the day and Jan thinks my bike now has Keegan’s bad luck. Great.

So off I went home to see if I could fix the bike for the road race on Sunday. On hindsight I should have stopped to watch the bike biathlon. It sounds like Lesley is a sharpshooter!

I used some WD40 to and a wrench to loosen the pedal, but the threads were shot. I couldn’t get the pedal threads started at all. I ended up taking an old pedal and removing the axle. I ground off the part that you would normally tighten against the crank so that it was narrower than the threads. Then I was able to insert it from the back of the crank and tighten it right through the wrecked threads from the other side. Luckily it worked, it seemed to clean out the wonky threads and I was able to insert the pedal back in. I used a bit of plumbing tape this time to make sure it wouldn’t come loose again.

I was really hoping for better things in the road race on Sunday. Again, bad day for me, but a good day for the team! Lesley pulled out a second place in the woman’s category. (see pic).  I didn’t see much of Stefan, the only time I saw him, he was leading the charge in the cat 1/2 group when I was on my way back.

I really don’t know what happened in the road race, but the end result was me getting dropped very early and (not) enjoying and very lengthy, lonely ride complete with headwind. I got dropped so early that I was out of the race before I had even gone to bed the night before.

Ah, It all happened so fast…. I was mid pack for the first couple of km, then the group hit the first corner and everybody took off. I pulled back to the peloton and was probably one of the last 4 or 5 riders. We hit another corner and again, everybody took off. I think I hesitated a bit, and before I knew it, I found myself back from the group. I knew if I fell off, I would never get back on again so I pushed as hard as I could and it seemed like I was 10 feet behind the last wheel forever. I wasn’t getting any further away, but I wasn’t getting any closer either. All the while I knew I couldn’t sustain the pace I was at and I just blew up. Looking back at my stats, I actually hit 197 on the HRM, so at least I can tell myself I tried, I just didn’t have it that day. I was very frustrated and disappointed. We weren’t even 10 km into the race and I was already done. Especially after my early exit from the race the day before. I thought about just heading back actually. But it was a nice day for a ride so off I went on my own, sadly watching the peloton get further and further away. It was pretty uneventful for the rest of the way. I really didn’t see anyone until close to the turnaround when I saw the guys heading back. Keegan was awesome enough to shout some encouragement. It looked like the main group blew up pretty good on the big hill just before the turnaround.

Coming back, I came across another Cat 5 rider, about 25 km from the finish. As I approached him I had visions of me trying to pass him and him latching on to my wheel resulting in a cat and mouse game of chase all the way to the finish line where we would have a sprint for last place glory in front of hundreds of cheering fans. But as I went by, I could tell he was as po’d about being at the back more than I was and he was in no mood for fun and games. So off I went by myself into the loneliness and crossed the finish line by myself and there were no fans, cheering, booing or otherwise. In fact, I think the finish line monitors had gone for coffee. I stopped to wave at the camera and held up my race number and UCI licence just to make sure they saw that I finished and so they wouldn’t have to send a search party out looking for me.

I keep replaying the day and wondering what I could have done differently. One, um, train harder this winter? Two, from a strategy perspective, probably a good lesson to try and keep in the middle or front of the pack to provide some buffer. After the first corner I worked really hard to get back on the next wheel and pulled a bunch of people along with me. If I had let up a bit and let a couple go by, I might have had a bit of break to recover. But as it stood, by the time I had to chase after the second corner I was already in need of some recovery and couldn’t sustain it.

Was very disappointed with road race as well, and the weekend in general. Those are the breaks I guess! Learn and move on. Still nice to be on a bike in the sun with some good people. All in fun.

Race Report: Devon Grand Prix of Cycling – according to Stefan

This weekend the City of Devon was again host of a fantastic bicycle spectacle, the Devon Grand Prix of Cycling 2012. I participated on Saturday in the United Cycle Downtown Criterium Provincials and on Sunday the Juventus Genessee Hills Road Race. It was my first Criterium in Category 2 and I was pretty nervous since these crits are a sink or swim. You’ve got to be 100% committed if you want to finish with the main pack and you have to stay always alert as crashes happen often due to the speed and the exhaustion of the riders. In our category we had to cover 40 laps of approximately 900 metres. And man, this race was fast! We averaged 45 km/h and I had an average heart rate of 163 and a maximum heart rate of 185! I cannot remember when I had 185 bpm on a bike! It was crazy! Also from a power perspective this race was quite interesting. I spent 48 % in “active recovery” (24:06 min), i.e. from 0-195 watts due to coasting, and 23 % in the neuromascular zone (11:15 min), i.e. from 534-MAX. The remaining 29 % were evenly distributed over the remaining zones in between these two extremes. Here is a nice visualization of the work done:

The winner of the race Dan Wood (ERTC), actually crashed and had some intense road rash on his right thigh and shoulder. After he crashed (~6 laps to go), he managed to get back and win the race! This was pretty impressive!

The next morning at 9 am we started for our 127 km ride and the weather was quite windy but beautiful. At about 10 km into the race there was an attack, initiated by Josh I believe, and a few other riders and me followed. This was when I felt that my legs were still torched up from the crit the night before. We eventually got caught and I was afraid I won’t play a big role today since my legs felt pretty empty. After about 10 more kilometres, Josh launched another attack while we were having cross-winds. The attack was perfectly set and again, a few other riders and me were back in the break. We really were working very hard together for the first kilometres and then managed to find a rhythm that worked for everyone in the break. It was great riding with these guys and we were increasing our lead. At some point we also collected a Velocity guy, who took off sometime after our first attack and stayed away till then. He managed to hang on when we were passing him and also started working with us. At the turnaround we could see our gap and it was quite impressive! Our group got motivated right away and sped up again. With about 30 km to go, quite a few hard attacks were launched just for 100 metres or so to shake off people. And guess what, Dan Wood, the guy who left quite some skin on Athabasca Ave in Devon was attacking and eventually made it first into the finish! What a performance! When he was off the front, more short attacks were launched and we kept on losing people until it was only Josh, me and Brian from Velocity. At that point my tank was pretty empty and I switched into damage control mode. During the last 2 km we were going quite slow since no one wanted to start sprinting too early. I took a look behind me and could see the pack was getting closer. This time though, they wouldn’t get us. In the end Brian had the best legs of the three of us, and Josh and I tied for 3rd place (on the results), although he actually won (see picture below).

In case you are interested here is another picture below of how different a criterium looks like when compared to a road race:

 In conclusion an amazing weekend of road racing!!



P.S. Thanks to Sanja for feeding me, and to Corey from ERTC for giving Sanja a ride to the feed zones and back since the feed zone were 35 km away from the start!