MEC London Century Ride
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Start Date/Time October 1, 2017 @ 9:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
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I rode the 100km route and while we had great riding conditions and a fantastic route as per usual (and volunteers to boot!), i was very disappointed with the level of preparation in regards to rest stops and the snacks provided. Last year the pit stops had a wider variety of options (bananas, nuun tablets, cliff bars, granola bars, water). This year we were lucky to still have granola bars left over when reaching a stop, but lots of uncut bagels. Feeling this way during the 100km ride i can't imagine how this impacted the riders doing the 165km journey.
Secondly the snacks that were available were not even prepared! Riders had to cut their own bagels and spread their own peanut butter/jam. This sounds lazy but I mean c'mon! Some of us are out there trying to complete the ride as fast as we can and we have paid you, the event organizers to provide a service. I am extremely disappointed with the level of preparation taken this year in regards to snack/water preparation. MEC needs to address this issue for future events. Next year I may not participate due to these issues alone.
Finally, i believe last year there was a breakfast station set-up a well at Toboggan, which was absent this year? Perhaps i just couldn't see one. Thumbs down for this as well.
Great event - well organized and laid out. Very good route and support stations at the right intervals
This was my first MEC ride. The 60 km ride was well marked so there was no need for a gps. Sate route, great scenery, very friendly and supportive volunteers. I will definitely ride again next year.
Did the 160 km route, stayed with the front group for most of the ride.. Overall, it was a good day. The route was good (except for a couple of gravel sections) and well marked. It would have been nice to know which colour was for which route but we figured out that we were the pink route after the first time the route diverged.. Perhaps it was mentioned somewhere but no one in my peloton that I asked actually knew the colour scheme. The early rest stations were reasonably well-stocked but the later ones were not. Definitely need more supplies for future events. I didn't get any gels or Nuun tabs, good thing I brought my own. I did appreciate the bananas. The rest station staff were very nice and helpful. May I suggest a salty snack, like potato chips, at the later rest stops? At that point, we need some extra salt and the high glycemic index potato chips would help to forestall the depletion of our glycogen stores. As for the post-ride event, I can't comment as I didn't stick around. I don't consume alcohol after an event like this because it just further dehydrates you. I'm also not keen on the choice of start/finish venue because of its downtown location. My concerns are with parking, traffic, safety, etc. I'm an experienced rider and have no issues with riding in traffic but not everyone has that level of comfort. Overall, though, an enjoyable day and my thanks to the event organizers.
We have always enjoyed the ride in the past, however, this year was a bit of a disappointment. We brought 2 additional riders with us this time telling them there was all kinds of bagels and bananas at the start of the race, that they could change inside the Toboggan Brewery washrooms, that there would be lots of stops along the way with plenty of food and drink. What happened? No food at the beginning of the race? having to change in a Portajohn? Having only 2 portajohns for a couple hundred people? And limited food along the way? I would gladly pay more for the ride to have what you used to provide. I’m sorry to say if next year doesn’t provide more, this could be a hard sell to riders in years to come.
I was very impressed with how well organized your event was, and I will definitely attend other MEC cycling events in the future. The race was very well-marked (I think it was literally impossible to get lost, unless one would do so on purpose), there were plenty of food at the rest stations, and a lot of staff and volunteers throughout the event to answer any question we might have. Keep up the good work!
The route and support were good. I would have liked a more attractive start/finish area. The post-ride food options could have been better.
I wish there were bananas and coffee at the start.
Excellent work!! loved everything. Very well orginized
Great job organizing the event. everyone was friendly and helpful and the volunteers/staff at the refreshment points were awesome Enjoyed it very much. Thanks to everyone who helped to organize it.
one thing that was missing is ice for water/electrolytes.
I love MEC rides and the London Century was no exception.
They are well organized events run by caring, enthusiastic people.
My daughter and I did the 100km. I got carried away chasing a group in the first 25km and struggled over the last 50km.
Mostly flat but the little hills made me feel my age.
Looking forward to the next one.
The actual ride route (160 kms) was well-planned and marked. No issues whatsoever with the route. The volunteers at the rest stations were great. Check-in was painless and quick with friendly and helpful staff (two thumbs ups). The reasons I gave the ride three bananas was for several reasons. At the start of the event, the food station was near the starting line thereby restricting access to fill bottles, grab bars, etc., because everyone was lining up to ride. My suggestion would be to move it opposite the registration area for easier access. Also, the supply of food at the last two stations was being rationed as those doing the 60 kms, and 100 kms had taken most of the gels, bars, water, etc. when they went through. My group of riders were some of the first riders through to the last two feed stations from the 160 kms group so I can only imagine how low the supplies were when the riders behind us eventually got to the food stations (i.e. little to no food or water - two thumbs down). Careful and experienced cycling event planners show a duty of care to prevent supply shortages by ensuring the final feed station(s) have sufficient supplies for riders doing longer routes. Also, the water (what was left) was warm (two thumbs down). My suggestion is to have more gels, bars, water, and electrolyte solution at the final stations, and preferably stored in igloo coolers. Also, the food selection at the finish (Toboggan Brewery) was limited, and the portions were small (two thumbs down). Also, some of the MEC staff on hand at the finish were more interested in socializing with one another than directing riders to the bike storage area and food area. MEC, an organization I greatly respect, sponsored this event so, yes, I expected more.
Thanks. It was a great ride (160 km) good, safe route with plenty of rest stops. A bit under supplied but the volunteers were all very helpful and they managed to make a little go a long way. Little food at the end but it was good. Can't wait to sign up next year. Love this ride.
My second year doing the MEC century ride, 100km. It was a fantastic day and the volunteers were great. Thank you again.
This was my first large, organized ride and I really enjoyed it! I've never been to a MEC event prior to this so I don't have much basis for comparison.
SIGNS: I found the signage quite clear. There were times I would wonder where the next sign was, but when you actually needed them, they were always visible. For first timers, it would have been good to point out that the arrows painted on the road were in fact for the race with distances sprayed on where appropriate. I assumed these were for us, but it was never stated at the start or on any of the registration info to my knowledge so it wasn't until part way through were I saw one arrow and a "60" pointing one way and another arrow and "100" pointing another that I was sure these sprays were for our event and not old markers.
I did hear of one group getting turned around on the 100km with us, but I don't know the details of how, and another who got turned around on the 60km but I believe one of the signs was flipped for that case so make sure the signs are secured at the corners I guess.
SNACKS: Between the bagels, bananas, coffee, energy bars, Nuun juice, water and Jube-jube candy, there was plenty of selection. The pit stops were well stocked. I had never tried the clif energy goo before or the Nuun juice so it was nice to try new products which didn't suite my taste but I appreciate them being there for the people who use it and to save myself buying them in the future. (Clif bars are still good !)
LUNCH: Lunch was about what I expected based on the registration info. It definitely wasn't spectacular, but it was okay. Between that and a couple beers it served to quench my hunger. Knowing there would be a big group all finishing at different times (so assume food warmers), it's hard to expect anything sensational.
STAFF: The staff were wonderful! Very friendly, helpful, positive and supportive. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!
MISC: The biking parking was very appreciated. Even though I brought a lock and stored it in my friend's car, if everyone had to find alternative parking it would have been a nightmare, which I suppose is why the bike parking was provided. These considerations to make the day run smooth are what really add up to a great experience. The one thing I personally messed up was not bringing sunscreen with me on the ride. I had packed it, but forgot to apply it and left the backpack it was stored in safely in my friend's car (I biked to the event and had meant to take out the sunscreen and leave the backpack and bike lock for after the ride). Having sunscreen at some of the pit stops would have been amazing (sorry if it was and I missed it).
My first time doing this event, all the volunteers were great,,signs along the way except i would have like the announcer to tell us the first stop was hidden,we missed it,, and a kind rider shared some of his water and bar with me as i would not have had enough to drink to get me to the second stop, and like others before me ,, the finish was a bit disappointing,, nobody to cheer us in,, and the food could have been better for all the riding we did, i thought it was burgers on the bbq.. oh well and you know how thirsty you are after a long ride, some fruit at the finish would have been great to quench that..
It was a beautiful day for the ride, and I preferred this year's 100km route (2016) to last year's - nice mix of straight, scenic, well-paved roads and rolling hills. Signage was great - and we loved having the map to follow on our phone. Thanks very much to the volunteers and staff who came out to help make our day that much more enjoyable (and I was happy to see one more pit stop than advertised along the ride!).
A few recommendations:
- more/better snack options at pit stops, please. Plenty of water is great - but I missed the Cliff bars from last year - they provide a great boost of energy. One of the stops offered only water . Last year there were snacks available at the starting line - I almost skipped breakfast, assuming those would be there again - I'm glad I didn't! I did appreciate the power gels - but they were only available at 2 of the stops (and we were consistently about mid-range in the 100k). Lots of bananas, though - thanks!
- after last year's bbq, as most reviews here have stated, the single, white-bread sandwich _or_ small quinoa salad was a big disappointment after a significant ride and a $50 fee. It was tasty enough - just not substantial enough, nor what was advertised.
- thanks for having the secure bike parking at the end
- I know you can't necessarily have people waiting and cheering for every single person that passes the finish line, but it did feel a little anticlimactic to wait through multiple stoplights, turn the corner on Richmond and ride through an arch without anyone around. Last year we came in at the back of the pack, but really appreciated the cheering section when we arrived back at the starting line.
I elected to do the full century (160km) route.
The ride, over all, was grand. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather.
Everyone was helpful and friendly at the start/finish and at the numerous
rest stops along the route.
That said, there are a few things that could be improved upon.
1. If you have to change the route at the last minute, PLEASE SEND OUT AN EMAIL
telling us so. Had I known , I would have downloaded the updated gps file with the correct route.
Yes, there were ample road markings and, yes, there was a revised cue sheet. But did you notice...just about
everyone on the 160km ride has gps unit. You did us all a great disservice.
2. I managed to stay in the front quarter of the pack of the 160 km riders for the entire ride and note the last three
rest stops were running out of electrolytes. Really?? I felt for the slower riders behind me who would have no electrolytes.
3. Yes, I know bananas are traditional, but ONLY bananas? Maybe add another fruit...like oranges...please.
4.Which brings us to the inaptly named BBQ. Exactly what was barbecued, the meager chicken salad sandwich on white(?!?) bread or the small quinoa salad? Pretty meager offering, too. What was the point? Were we to order food from the brewery? I tried. It was much easier to get drinks from the wait staff than it was to order a meal. Seriously, provide more substantial food options.
Great well-marked route. I felt it was expensive for no t-shirt and very little food. The ending "BBQ" was very disappointing with only a tiny salad for vegetarians.
Had a great ride (100km). The volunteers were very friendly and helpful. However you needed better signage at the first rest stop perhaps a MEC flag at the road there was only one arrow pointing left and the place looked deserted (perhaps you hadn't finished setting up when we rode by also had the same issue with the Burlington MEC century ride this year). Your second and third rest stations were much more visible. My second complaint is actually the one that I care about more. After a 100km ride a small white bread sandwich OR a tiny salad is hardly lunch it's closer to what you snack on while making lunch. Even a sandwich AND the salad would have been much better. That being said overall it was a good experience. Met some new cyclists, saw some beautiful new countryside and spent a few hours in the sun on my bike. Hopefully I'll make it out again next year. As for now only a couple days left until Toronto MEC holds their century for some more fun on a bike.
Great route. Better start than last year! (bike path was an issue last year).
Rest stops seemed a bit under-supplied.
Enjoyed the enthusiastic support people.
It was a good ride with many good smooth roads. We only stopped at one of the reststops for the 100km ride, and they had sport drink and bars which was good but I only needed sport drink. It was nice having roads to ride when heading out from Tobaggan instead of the bike paths they used the year before. The only thing that was confusing is the food at the end of the ride as I was told we had barbecue sausage instead of sandwiches.
Good start/finish which provided food,drink and parking. The volunteers were helpful and friendly. Rest stops were well stocked with refreshments and gels.
I would like to see start times of 8:00 , 8:15 , 8:30 . Enjoyed the 100 km. route and will return next year.
Good job MEC
The route was well marked, and the volunteers were all great. Also very disappointed with the post-bike food. It was advertised as a BBQ, but having to choose btwn a salad and a sandwich on white bread, was not sufficient especially finishing around lunch time.
It was my first 100km ride with MEC, so I did not have too many expectations other than what was noted in the organizers email.
I liked the start and the finish at the Toboggan brewery, nice location and also enjoyed the crowd of fellow bikers. Route choice was great most of the time. However, the last 5-7 kilometers were on the busy streets with lots of traffic and sometimes with no bike lanes. That stretch made me uncomfortable.
Huge thanks to the volunteers on the pit stops! I have not noticed a 18K pit stop. If it wasn't on the route, maybe the signage should have been more clear. 33K pit stop did not have any bars/gels and they were out of electrolytes and did not have a washroom. Other 2 pit stops were great with plenty of snacks and water/electrolytes.
The food after the ride was a huge disappointment. The MEC email said it is going to be a BBQ.. not sure how some grain salad/grilled cheese sandwich fit into that description. It is not what you would want to eat after an exhausting 100km ride! I was expecting at least a burger or a hot dog.
The food situation made me and my wife really upset, to the point that we just gave out our coupons and left.
Really well organized event. The route was very clearly signed and the support along the way was great. Thanks to all the volunteers and organizers.
Excellent ride- just getting back into road riding and this was perfect for me. Good roads, nicely spaced stops, well-organized.
Thanks MEC....more please!!
I was disappointed this year after my experience last year. The Volunteers were great, the roads were great. But the rest station was lacking, only granola bars, bananas and water. And there was no second rest station on the 60km route. The food was really lacking at the end of the route as well. Choice between chicken salad sandwich or a salad of some sort, and with the price increase it was definitely disappointing. I did ride with a great group of people though helped me cut my time from last year down by an hour.
Great ride, really enjoyed the 100km route. It was a good mix of hills, rolls and flats. A special thanks to all the volunteers. Hope to be out again next year!
Well organized, plenty of rest stops spaced nicely. Great job.
Very enjoyable ride, the route was well sign posted. Maybe next year I will manage the 100km route. Only issue I had was pulling in to the first rest area in Delaware I didn't enjoy riding on the gravel surface. Can't comment on the food as I didn't stay.
This was my first MEC race/tour and overall it was a good experience. The 60k route was good, few cars/trucks irritating. We missed the first refresh stop, did not see it as was off the road and on the other side of the road for the riders. The second stop was great with very cheery, helpful volunteers. I was very disappointed in the "BBQ" after the ride. Sandwiches on white bread??? The salad was good but small.
I was a first time participant-The route itself was good-I enjoyed it very much.Snacks provided were fine.I have done many of these rides in the area.The entry fee of $50.00 is more than almost all the rides I have done.Very disappointed to get a sandwich on white bread at the end of the ride. Many rides I have done provide a nice tee shirt and a lunch-sandwich,fruit,and vegetables for half the entry fee.hope you made a significant donation to charity with our entry fees.
Not quite as good as last year. Needed more electrolytes. Great course beautiful day
The event was well organized (100km-June 10, 2016) however could have used some more assistance at the stops from bike mechanics that did not offer any assistance after standing and watching us trying to fix a bike tire and seat.
It would be much "worthwhile" signing up for a ride if there was actually some more choice of food (ie. BBQ or 2 items to eat) and more to drink than just water. NOT worth the cost as compared to going for a ride on our own. Good choice of routes.
Great event. Loved the start & end at the Toboggan. The only feedback I might suggest is to stick with offering just the 100k for the longer distance (like last year) so there are more people out on the route to ride with.
Great ride. It was my first MEC ride and enjoyed it greatly. Staff and volunteers were all excellent. Hope to attend it again next year.
First time participating - great event. Well organized; excellent route directional signage. First rest stop in Delaware was a bit too soon - could have been easier to access (Komoka?). Great volunteers and distance between rest stops was good. Thanks again and look forward to maybe more throughout the year!! Love the fact it started ON TIME!
Nice route - nice roads - great volunteers - rest stops were well-spaced and well-stocked - start/finish was a good location.
I would echo the comments regarding the bike path - it was a little tight for that many cyclists, even if it was early morning. And a choice of a couple of things (dogs/burgers?) at the finish would be good.
Looking forward to the next one!
Favourite parts 1. The Delaware speedway laps. 2. Loved the downtown start/finish even with the challenges to get in and out of the city (slow path & trains) 3. Toboggan Brewery had great food and staff for the après ride. 4. MEC ride support had plenty of aid stations with food/water/electrolytes along the whole route.
wife and I did the 60 km it was fun got to see a few roads i never biked on. Did not like location of first pit stop to far away from road. Staff and volunteers five out of five for sure. hyde park road was too busy to go up. the second pit stop was great getting my bike held wow, nice treats at the end was great and i never give 4 our of five
Awesome event! Thanks to all the MEC staff for this well supported ride. Look forward to next year!!
It was a great event, the route had a good mix of elevation, and it was clearly marked.
Riding on Hyde Park was a bit too busy, would have like to have seen us take Wonderland instead.
Staff were fantastic and encouraging.
Fantastic event, had a great time, the weather couldn't have been more perfect! Also, want to thanks to the friendly MEC staff at the rest stations.
If I had one concern though, it was the stretch on Hyde Park Rd. which was too busy with fast moving vehicles, that mixed with the extra bike traffic made it a bit sketchy in my opinion. At one point, a couple of us were passed by a fast moving milk transport truck at a less than comfortable distance. Otherwise, it was a great route.
My only other complaint is that I wish it happened more than once a year!
Great ride with lots of stops and well marked. The bike path was a little sketchy at times but I just treated it like a neutral zone for a warm up.
Great ride well organized. I will join the ride again next year.
The 100km route was very well marked and I was very grateful to have several support stations. There were a couple of bumpy roads here and there but it was pretty good overall. For the BBQ I would have liked some options other than a sausage though.
You are to be congratulated for all your work in providing a great event. Thanks to all the volunteers and MEC staff who gave up their time to support the riders.
Excellent ride, lots of fun. Great staff and volunteers!
It has been an eventful year on a bike for me several spills that have lead to health issues, and this ride was one that that at 60km was more than double my personal best. The excitement at the start was great, the roads were great for Southern Ontario, and the other riders were friendly and encouraging. Thanks Jay for talking me into it.
This was a well organized ride, encompassing a very nice route. The signage was excellent- did not have to consult a map at all. The rest stops were spaced nicely, and we're well stocked and well staffed with plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. The lap of Delaware Motor Speedway certainly was unique.
I really enjoyed the start/finish at Toboggan. My only negative comment - perhaps more food at the finish point. As we got back at lunch time I guess I was expecting a bit more than a single sausage (or salad). I don't think we would mind spending a few more bucks for a bit more food (although I suppose we could have ordered from a menu, but none was offered).
Great event and we'll organized! I will definitely ride this again.
Very well organized event. The route was well marked and the rest stops were well placed.
No complaints -- except the circuit around the Delaware track was not really needed, and the gravel entry/exit not needed at all. Well spaced and well stocked rest stops with very enthusiastic and friendly volunteers. And it is not really a race -- a better designation would be a 'tour'.
Would like to see finish line somewhere without trafic to be able to sprint.
I think it was the best marked ride I've ever been on! Keep up the good work.
Now about Cliff bars... some of us really don't like them.
Great ride! Course was great, volunteers were awesome, the finish at the Brewery was awesome! My girlfriend did this with me and it was her first 100 km ride and she loved it! We'll be back next year for sure!
well organized, well run, good route and the lap of delaware was a nice touch
Great ride, the only thing I would change was a bit of the signage, make it a bit more obvious.
Great ride! We had lots of fun. Looking forward to next years ride.
Well done to the MEC crew for putting together a great route and support. I'm looking forward to next year with more riders.
Many Thanks to all at MEC. for a great ride . Beautiful route , As a couple of older riders , the wind and hills on the return half of the 100 k almost did us in ,but would do it again in a heartbeat .
Can't wait til next year!!! Awesome well marked route! Fabulous volunteers! Loved the bbq and the brewery was a great finish!
Need cool jersey for next year !!!
Great ride, good route, enthusiastic support!
A big "Thank you" and "great job" to all of the MEC staff involved in this event. The support, route, and overall atmosphere was impressive for a first year ride and better than some $60+ rides I've attended in the past.
I look forward to next year's event!
Great day, great organization, great host! Really enjoyed the 100km route. Please have this again next year. Maybe by then I'll be able to ride up Pleasant Valley Hill instead of walking!!
I'll be back! I'm not liking the 40 plus ....................
A guy on a bike
Good event - nice route - good distances between stops.
Only improvement would be a smoother route out of St. Thomas - the roads were a little rough.
The only comment/complaint I would make is that there was not enough food (no sausage or regular hamburgers) for those who completed the 100km event.
A fun ride, except for the headwind on the back half
Super well-organized, so much fun, great people from MEC, the "Brewery" - bought some to bring home!!! The course was scenic, the volunteer medics were such great sports! Came to St. Thomas with eight people from the Sarnia/Lambton area and would definitely come again!!!! Nice BBQ too!
Good ride, wished more riders were there. Pleasant hill would like to ride in other direction as is more challenging.
A good event that we would consider riding in again next year
Awesome, LOVED IT! Please do it again next year!
great job-good course, well marked and the 100 was challenging
really fun fall ride lots of great people and great volunteers. course was scenic and had some great climbs.
Great times. Enjoyed it very much. Thanks to everyone who helped to organize and run the event.
Great event! Route was good for the most part - just one or 2 very bumpy roads. Only disappointment - thought the 100k start was 9am, 60k start was 9:30 (I believe this was advertised) We decided that we would unload and get ready after the 100k riders left. Unfortunately - EVERYONE left and it was only our little group starting out on our own. Missed the "event start excitement".