While most retirees head south to warmer climates, ex-WorldTour pro and general cookie enthusiast Phil Gaimon has headed the other direction. The former Cannondale-Drapac rider has brought his Best/Worst Retirement Ever web series north to Vancouver.
Armed with his climbing-specific 12-lb. Cannondale, Gaimon tackled Vancouver’s Triple Crown ride on Wednesday. The popular local challenge hits the city’s three major climbs – Cypress, Grouse and Seymour – as it traverses from West Vancouver to Deep Cove.
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If you thought you were fast and live on the West Coast, Gaimon’s ride will be a quick reality check – or benchmark to chase for the more “glass-half-full” types. Only the climbs have been recorded on Strava, but presumably Gaimon rode between the three peaks. You can check out his rides, each titled “Sore-ey Not Sore-ry Vancouver” Parts 1-3 in a light jab at Canadian apologetic politeness, on the social platform: Cypress, Grouse, Seymour. Two are currently flagged and not appearing on leaderboards.
Gaimon’s ride prompted a wave of Strava-related emails within the local riding community. Not everyone was overjoyed with the retiree’s visit to Vancouver. Some local riders took to social media to defend their turf. Craig Richie posted to Instagram saying he thought Gaimon’s “Strava KOM conquest was targeting questionable riders, not beating up on full-time office workers who ride bikes for fun.” Most took their dethroning in stride, though, happily handing off their crowns to the visiting ex-pro.
That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, right?
Gaimon appeared to enjoy his time in Vancouver, despite thrashing himself up the entire Triple Crown ride in one go. The ex-pro met up with local riders at Musette Caffe on Thursday for a more social ride through Stanley Park, and stopped at several of the city’s better bakeries. According to his social feeds, the forthcoming episode sounds like it’ll fall under the Best Retirement Ever side of the series.
Since retiring, Gaimon has split his time between his Retirement web series, handing out cookies at races, and goading Fabian Cancellara on Twitter. Gaimon dispatched with many of the “dirty” Strava segments near his home in earlier episodes. This summer he finally sorted out his beef with Spartacus by going head to head with the Swiss cycling legend on the road. More recently Gaimon seems to have mellowed the mood – but not the pace – of his web series. Episodes in Yosemite and, soon, Vancouver, are more about visiting and showcasing new riding destinations than just crushing KOMs.