Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bike Windsor Essex - Creating a Bike-Friendly City

We recently had the opportunity to connect with Oliver and the team from Bike Windsor Essex; a non-profit organization in Windsor, ON that is focused on getting more people out cycling. They are advocates for safer cycling infrastructure, and public and government acceptance and support for cycling as a legitimate means of transportation.

"We believe cycling is an important aspect of forward thinking regions. We believe that supporting cycling can improve the health, economy, and environment of our local community."

Through a number of yearly initiatives, Bike Windsor Essex is focused on creating a safer city for cyclists, and encouraging the general public to get out and ride by offering bike clinics, cycling-based events, a bike-repair shop, and more.

Bike Windsor Essex hub in downtown Windsor. Photo courtesy of Jenn Escott. 
Bike Windsor Essex is located in downtown Windsor, ON, on the corner of University Ave and Pelissier St. Their HQ is home to their Bike Kitchen, as well as their Wrench Up program and cycling courses. The Bike Kitchen provides a unique opportunity for avid and amateur cyclists alike to learn to maintain, repair and build their own bicycles. The staff accept donated bikes in any shape, refurbish them, provide use of tools and work stations to the public, provide cycle safety and bike repair education to schools and cyclists, and more.

Through their refurbishment program, Bike Windsor Essex has created the Earn-A-Bike program, which allows low-income youth and New Canadians the opportunity to refurbish a donated bike, which then becomes their own once it is in safe, working condition.

The non-profit also offers the Wrench-Up program, which offers maintenance and repair classes for beginners and experienced cyclists. These are monthly classes that allow students to learn how to maintain your bike yourself, or brush up on your repair skills. The course content will cover the basics of your bicycle, how to recognize if it's not working properly, fixing flat tires, roadside repair, an intro to bicycle adjustments, and basic fitting. 

Bike Windsor Essex Bike Kitchen. Photo Cred: Jenn Escott
Additional programs offered at Bike Windsor Essex include educational seminars, which are ideal for schools, cycling classes including an introduction to cycling, and CAN-BIKE Certifications, as well as community rides and bike rentals

So how can you get involved? Bike Windsor-Essex offers a series of membership opportunities that give you exclusive access to their bike kitchen, Wrench Up program, and discounts at local Windsor hot spots. You can also join in on their initiatives and become a volunteer, or donate old bikes to their refurbishing program. The Board meets the first Tuesday of every month, and the community is encouraged to talk about current campaigns, road challenges, and upcoming cycling events. 

Bike Windsor Essex also offers a series of events throughout the year, with their keynote event being Bike to Work Day on May 28/2018. Bike to Work Day exists to encourage people to leave their cars behind and get out and ride to work, bringing the community together to educate on the benefits of cycling. All of us at Infinit are participating, and we would love to have you join us! Stay tuned for a follow up blog post on Bike to Work Day, but in the meantime, register to participate in this years ride here

For more information on the Bike Windsor Essex initiatives, or to get involved, visit their website at bikewindsoressex.com.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Paris To Ancaster - What a Blast!!!

From the Paris To Ancaster site here is a description of the race: For over a century the roads of northern Europe have been home to the toughest bicycle races in the world. The most famous of these, Paris to Roubaix, takes place each spring over brutal cobblestone roads that have been preserved in their historic condition for over 100 years. Inspired by this classic race, the Paris to Ancaster has taken place for the past twenty four years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads we can find. Combined with unpredictable spring weather and the largest field of riders assembled in Canada, it has become a classic race experience for everyone from average riders to Canadian Olympians.


After hearing how great this race was and seeing a roll call from Geno (East Side Riders Cycling Club) just after New Year's I thought, I have to do this.  With no arm twisting at all, Steve Tymczak was in.  I had a strong training base going into the ride ~4000 km, but how do you prepare for this race?  Think you just get to the line, then grin and bear it. 

Dinner with some of the Windsor-Essex Gang - 30 more behind!
Geno had made everything super easy for the newbies - we dropped the car off at the Ancaster arena, picked up our race plates and then we had a bus back to the hotel.  Most of the Windsor Essex crew were all staying at Arlington, then dinner at Stillwaters - great group, few beers and some good stories from past races.  Weather for the race was looking quite favourable from previous years - was going to be dry from the skies, cool at the start, and of course there would be muddy sloppy sections, just because that's the nature of the beast at P2A.


Race morning we had a short 3 km spin to the start - one of the best, most chill starts I have ever been involved with.  Steve and I were in wave 3 which started at 10:20 am.  There was a good energy at the start - not a nervous energy that you sometimes get in larger races.  Steve Fleck as always, making things interesting with race announcing (@stevefleck ) all through the day; counts us down to the guns firing.  Quick climb up the road, sharp right and a nice steep climb to get things going, then soon after it was a 6 km rail trail to space things out.  

Every surface you can imagine we seemed to ride on, including the thickest, stickiest mud I have ever encountered.  The last "mud shoot" was crazy long and deep.  I started in wave 3 - so by the time I made it there - I was surrounded by wave 1 and 2 folks - quite busy, so trudging through on foot was the my best option.  The mud was so thick, I feared I was going to lose my shoes and by the end I honestly thought my bike was being held down by something, something other than gravity and the extra 20 pounds of mud!  After the final mud shoot it was a few trails and then the famed climb, after 70+ km of up and down, windy sections and sloppy terrain it was a challenge, I did manage to pedal all the way up.  I was really proud to finish 387th overall, with field of 1452 completing the 70km race.


How did I fuel?  Out of convenience when riding my mountain bike I use a camelbak - I find that I am able to drink more and I have grown accustomed to having the pack on my back. I like the convenience for tools and to stuff any layers that I take off during the race.  My main custom blend right now is: Darcy's Road Blend - 290 cals, 4 g protein, 68 carbs and 379 mg of sodium.  I am a fairly heavy sweater - I took in 3.5 servings (2100 ml 3.5 servings) during the 2:57 race.  Took on some Repair as soon as I could - I was feeling pretty good today!

Talked to so many riders this weekend, most have completed this race year over year, and now I understand why.  Great to have an early season race to train for.  I am certain I will be back for my 2nd next year.  For now I need to rest up, this Saturday - I am riding a 375 km (24 hr) Fleche Randonneur ride.

Happy Riding!


- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada