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Incorporating the Community Into Your Training
By:  Lindsay Los   (2007/08/27)

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On Sunday August 19th, Pemberton hosted its third annual Slow Food Cycle Sunday, a community event organized to create awareness of and promote locally grown produce. The event involves a majority of the local farmers and family's who put their best on display offering visitors tasty samples of anything from organically-grown-home-cooked beef burgers to scrumptious ice cream sandwiches made with homemade ice cream and amazing chocolate chip cookies. I'm sure by now, this has you drooling in your seat wondering what the catch is and how this could possibly relate to training, after all, there must be something to burst this beautiful bubble I've just created. Well, if you consider cycling your bike down the rustic winding Pemberton Meadows road on a beautiful sunny day a bubble-burster, then I guess you can stop right here, but for everyone else who's now hooked � this was how I spent my Sunday.

Of course my day wasn't spent quite so leisurely. Being a local and the daughter of one of the producers (my parents specialize in honey, organic vegetables and hand knitted alpaca products) I had been recruited to help out as a local guide. The only requirement of this job was that I cycle up and down the valley answering questions all day and as the valley is 26 km long, I felt entitled to a few stops along the way to sample some of the delectible offerings. So not only was I able to incorporate a long slow endurance workout into some volunteer work, but I was also able to stay properly energized and hydrated by the best local and organic produce in the area!

This is just one example of the many community events that I have been able to participate in and validly (guilt-free) count toward my training hours. Another great community event that I have been doing this summer is a weekly mountain bike clinic hosted by a local bike shop. These Monday night sessions provide guided instructional rides throughout the many trails in and around Whistler. I found these nights are a great way to improve my skill level as well as meet new friends and riding partners. As well, they are a great lead up to the weekly mountain bike race locally known as the Loonie Race. This is a fun (competitive by choice) race ranging in length from 30 minutes by the best riders, to 1hour and 15 min by the more social riders. The best part however, is that these weekly races and clinics don't stop with the summer weather, but continue on into the winter when everyone trades in their short padded spandex for their full length tapered spandex , pull on their toques and hit the cross country ski trails for the same weekly clinics and races!

So whenever you feel bored of running or lonely on your rollerskis, take a break and participate in a community organized event, just be sure it's one that keeps your heart rate up!

 
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