Fondo Clinics presented by Decathlon

Proven programs to get you Fondo fit!

Physical or virtual training programs to match your goals, presented by Decathlon

Whether you’re looking to get into cycling, refine your power output or simply get fitter, we’ve got a 12 week riding program to help you reach your goal.

We’re also partnered with SportMedBC, creators of the hugely successful InTraining program, who will be providing specialist cycling knowledge and supporting our friendly expert coaches.

Simply choose your skill level from the options below and opt-in to whether you want free weekly newsletter support including coaching tips, explainers and more.

We also offer women’s only clinics!
Those signing up for a women’s clinic now have greater peace of mind with the option of bringing a friend with you for free in week 1.

Dates: Clinics run week of June 10th 2024 – Aug 26th
(with a Vancouver kickoff party also included the week before starting)

 

Fondo Clinic cyclists

What’s included?

Decathlon are excited to support your clinic journey. Here’s some of the new perks they’re bringing to the table:

  • Digital Copy of SportMedBC detailed training sessions and practice exercises.
  • 12 weekly – 90 min guided training sessions (In-Person Clinic)
  • 12 weekly virtual coach explainer and Q&A sessions
  • Small groups, up to 15 riders. 
  • Obtain weekly training webinars, coaching advice, nutrition tips, and additional training resources by sport medicine professionals.
  • Receive promotional and discount codes & products from SportMedBC’s Sponsors, Partners, and Events.
  • Exclusive perks from RBC GranFondo Whistler sponsors.

Decathlon Perks

  • New clinic location at Decathlon’s flagship store in Metrotown Burnaby.
  • Decathlon product demos and cycling insights from their friendly and knowledge staff
  • Exclusive discounts on Decathlon’s wide selection of high quality, affordable cycling gear
  • Open-to-all Clinics kickoff party hosted at Decathlon’s flagship store

Special surprises

It all begins with a kickoff party!

Clinic participants, friends and those who are curious about the program are invited to an informal kickoff party the week before riding begins

Enjoy the bar, a selection of appies and a welcome from our program leaders and coaches. You’ll get to meet fellow clinic participants as well as be able to ask any and all questions you may have.

When: June 5th, 7:00 – 9:00pm.
Where:  Decathlon’s flagship store in Metrotown Burnaby.
4800 Kingsway, unit 288.
Burnaby, BC V5H 4P1.
Cost: Free! Enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks.

 

“The clinics are great to help you learn skills and build confidence”

The skill options

Intro to Road Cycling

Are you new to road cycling but ready for a pedal-powered adventure? Join our Intro to Road Cycling Clinic, where we’ll turn you from a two-wheeled rookie into a confident road cyclist.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what drop bars are, or if you are scared to try clipping into pedals, we will get you rolling quickly and safely. Get ready to embrace the wind in your hair, the hum of rubber on asphalt, and the joy of mastering the art of the road; the 12 week program will teach you the basics from changing tubes to changing gears, how to communicate when on the road, and what equipment you need to be safe. By the end, you’ll be ready to triumph in your first Gran Fondo.

Skills:

  • Bike Familiarity: Identifying and understanding the various parts of a road bike. Learning how to perform basic bike maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and oiling the chain.
  • Bike Fit: Properly adjusting the bike saddle height and handlebar position for comfort and efficiency.
  • Safety Gear: Understanding the importance of wearing appropriate kit and safety gear, including helmets, gloves, and reflective clothing.
  • Mounting and Dismounting: Practicing getting on and off the bike safely, especially in various situations like traffic stops. Learning to use clipless pedals.
  • Balancing and Steering: Developping basic balance skills and practice steering the bike confidently.
  • Shifting Gears: Learning how and when to shift gears for different terrains and riding conditions.
  • Braking Techniques: Mastering proper braking techniques, including using both front and rear brakes.
  • Riding Posture: Understanding and maintaining a comfortable and efficient riding posture to reduce fatigue and enhance control.
  • Basic Riding Skills: Practice riding in a straight line, turning smoothly, and maneuvering around obstacles.
  • Group Riding Etiquette: Understanding the basics of riding in a group, including communication, signaling, and maintaining a safe distance.
  • Emergency Repairs: Know how to handle common on-the-road bike issues, such as fixing a flat tire or a dropped chain.
  • And more…”
Refining Skills and Endurance

Saddle up! Our Refining Skills and Endurance clinic is here to take your pedal prowess to the next level. If you’ve already caught the cycling bug, have participated in a few GranFondos, and want to elevate your velo game, this clinic is your express ticket to doing just that.

We’ll be diving into nutrition tips, mastering the art of efficient gear shifts, and conquering climbs like champions. Get ready for a wheely good time, where camaraderie meets cadence and every turn is a twist of excitement. Join us as we spin, sprint, and soar into some more challenging rides and group settings!

Skills:

  • Intermediate Bike Handling: Refining bike handling skills through more challenging drills, such as cornering at higher speeds and handling tight turns.
  • Efficient Shifting: Fine-tuning gear shifting techniques for smoother transitions and improved efficiency.
  • Climbing Techniques: Learning advanced climbing techniques, including pacing, standing climbs, and gear selection for varying gradients.
  • Descending Skills: Master techniques for descending safely and confidently, including body positioning and braking on descents.
  • Drafting in a Group: Practicing drafting techniques to maximize energy efficiency when riding in a group.
  • Paceline Riding: Develop skills for riding in a paceline, including rotating through the line and maintaining a consistent speed.
  • Interval Training: Introducing and practicing interval training techniques to improve speed and endurance.
  • Nutrition and Hydration for Endurance: Dive deeper into nutrition and hydration strategies for longer and more challenging rides.

Recovery Techniques: Exploring effective recovery strategies to optimize performance and prevent overtraining.”

Improving Your Race Time

Lycra lovers, weight-weenies, and adrenaline junkies, unite! If you’ve already conquered miles with a grin and crave the rush of pushing your limits, the Improving your Race Time clinic is your VIP pass to cycling excellence.

From precision cornering to mastering the art of the pacelines, we’re here to fine-tune your finesse and help you crush those times. You’ll be in the front corral of all events, and considering joining your local race team in no time.

Skills:

  • Advanced Group Riding Etiquette: Understanding and practice more advanced group riding techniques, such as echelons and double pacelines.
  • Cornering at Speed: Focusing on advanced cornering skills, including leaning into turns and maintaining control at higher speeds.
  • Sprinting Techniques: Learning and practicing sprinting techniques for both individual and group situations.
  • Understanding and Using Power Meters: Familiarizing participants with the use of power meters for training and performance analysis.
  • Crosswinds Riding: Develop skills for riding in crosswinds, including maintaining stability and adjusting body position.
  • Advanced Bike Maintenance: Learn more advanced bike maintenance skills, such as adjusting derailleurs, truing wheels, and tuning brakes.
  • Mental Strategies for Endurance Riding: Exploring mental techniques to improve focus, concentration, and resilience during long rides.
Beyond the Clinics - starting to race?

Thinking of getting a race license, joining a team, signing up for sanctioned races – unfortunately this program is not for you. Here are some resources however that you might be able to use:

Need help picking the right clinic?

“These clinics were the best investment I have made in my 3-years of cycling so far”

Clinic locations

Clinics run week of June 10th 2024 – Aug 26th (with a Vancouver kickoff party also included the week before starting).

Level Area Location Day Time
Intro to Road Cycling Richmond Olympic Oval MONDAY 6:00 PM
Intro to Road Cycling Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park WEDNESDAY 6:00 PM
Intro to Road Cycling West Vancouver Park Royal THURSDAY 6:00 PM
Intro to Road Cycling Burnaby Metrotown SATURDAY 10:00 AM
Refining Skills and Endurance Vancouver Riverview Park MONDAY  6:00 PM
Refining Skills and Endurance Vancouver UBC Thunderbird Stadium MONDAY 6:00 PM
Refining Skills and Endurance Richmond South Arm Community Centre WEDNESDAY 6:00 PM
Refining Skills and Endurance Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park THURSDAY 6:30 PM
Improving Your Race Time Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park TUESDAY 6:00 PM
Improving Your Race Time Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park SUNDAY 8:00 AM
Women’s Clinic Intro to Road Cycling Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park MONDAY 6:00 PM
Women’s Clinic Intro to Road Cycling Vancouver Stanley Park TUESDAY 6:00 PM
Women’s Clinic Intro to Road Cycling Richmond Hugh Boyd Community Park TUESDAY 6:30 PM
Women’s Clinic Refining Skills and Endurance Vancouver Kitsilano Vanier Park MONDAY 6:00 PM

+ More to be added soon!

Locations map

Get to know some of the Fondo Clinic coaches

Richard Littlemore

How did you get into cycling?

I swapped my car for a bike almost 20 years ago, to lower the stress and the carbon footprint of my daily commute. Soon after, I started riding Fondos as a challenge and an adventure. And I discovered the most wonderful community – cyclists are self-selecting for great people.

What are you excited about for your clinic this year?

I’m excited for another successful year of helping a group of dedicated riders achieve their Fondo goals, especially by building the competence and confidence that ensures everybody gets to Whistler safely and right on time.

What coaching style can people expect from you? 

Supportive, informative, and uncompromising on safety. I hope everyone feels welcome to bring their ‘wild and crazy,’ and then to overlay the skills and discipline that will make every other cyclist comfortable to ride beside you – or behind you – all the way to Whistler.

 

Clinic Location: Vancouver – Riverview Park.
Mondays, 6 PM. 

Natalie Marshall

How did you get into cycling?

I grew up on the North Shore and have always enjoyed neighborhood and trail rides with my friends and family, but I’d say my start with true road cycling began about two years ago in Physio school. Only a few months into the very intense physiotherapy program, my friend and classmate Jasmine convinced me to borrow my moms old road bike (spoiler its my bike now), and do a Stanley Park loop with her. After that, I was hooked. Not only was cycling an incredible mental health break from school, but it was a way to hang out with friends while getting exercise. Since then, Jasmine and I have gotten other friends into cycling and have cycled around Vancouver, Kelowna, Bowen island and more. Fast forward to today, we are leading the Womens Fondo Clinic together and are excited to conquer the Sea to Sky in September!
What are you excited about for your clinic this year?
I am really excited to introduce people to the amazing sport of cycling. Just like it has been for me, I want it to be a weekly escape for people where they can feel comfortable moving their body, seeing the beauty of Vancouver, all while meeting other like-minded people. I am especially excited to lead the clinic out of the Kitsilano location as this is right in my backyard and home to some of my favourite cycling routes.
What coaching style can people expect from you?
It is really important to me that my clinic is fun, challenging and safe. While I want people to always feel comfortable and safe on their bike, I also want them to be pushed and challenged so that they can improve and reach their cycling goals, no matter how big or small those goals are. These rides won’t be a walk in the park, but they will certainly be fun!
Clinic location: Kitsilano – Vanier Park.
Mondays, 6 PM. 
Martin Hauck
How did you get into cycling?

I am a life long cyclist. My passion for cycling as an adult is informed by the freedom I experienced as a kid. I loved exploring different parts of my neighborhood with the neighborhood kids and relished the independence cycling brought me. I have commuted by bike since college, toured and bike packed all over the province, travelled the world playing bike polo, and been road/gravel/group riding for years. Every time I am in the saddle I am brought back to the adventures I had as a kid. Not specific ones per se – but the feeling. I’m chasing it!
What are you excited about for your clinic this year?
I’m really excited to work with cyclists who have set the bar high for themselves and are pushing the boundaries of their perceived capabilities. As a high school teacher by day, I spend a lot of time getting youth to throw down personal challenges and commit to seeing them through. I’m excited to see people achieve their goals through discipline and challenge. Motivation comes and goes but everyone who signs up for the clinic has expressed a willingness to prove their discipline. I’m truly excited to meet you all!

What coaching style can people expect from you?

Attendees should expect transparency, openness, individualization, and most of all…fun (even if it’s that “type two” fun that is hard whilst doing it but rewarding when done). I also prioritize rider safety at every turn. As a ride leader for a local cycling club I am certified to ensure that our rides and all riders are aware of expectations. Also, I am your biggest supporter and you will definitely hear that from me. I am passionate about cycling and teaching and I firmly believe that all goal setting and learning is relational. We are in this together.

 

Clinic Location: Richmond – Olympic Oval.
Mondays, 6 PM. 

Bryan Causton
How did you get into cycling?
I’ve been cycling everywhere my entire life; from neighborhood rips to racing crits I’d rather cycle than walk.
What are you excited about for your clinic this year?
I’m excited to share my great love for and knowledge of cycling with those who are eager to learn.
What coaching style can people expect from you?

My coaching style is supportive, learner focused & interactive.

Clinic location: Kitsilano – Vanier Park.
Sundays, 8 AM. 

Kelian Armstrong

How did you get into cycling?
I’ve always been on a bike, but didn’t really get interested in group road riding till my 50’s.  I decided to train for the RBC GranFondo Whistler, bought myself a road bike and joined a SportsMed clinic.  The coach and group was fantastic, I did the race and made new friends that I still ride with today, years later.  I’m currently a member of Steveston Velo Club and participate in many cycling events.

What are you excited about for your clinic this year?
I would like help people who may be entertaining the idea of a big cycling event like the RBC GranFondo Whistler, to develop the confidence and strength to complete their goal.

What coaching style can people expect from you?
I’ll have a game plan of training for each session, but I like to listen to what people are trying to accomplish for the day.  I want to be able to help people develop skills and confidence so they can accomplish just as much outside the clinic as when they are with our group.  I’ll push you, if that’s what you want that day, but self -awareness and the ability to motivate yourself are tools I hope to instill in my participants.

Clinic Location: Hugh Boyd Community Park.
Mondays, 6:30 PM. 

Frequently asked questions

Who are the clinics for?

Great question. In short – anyone looking to get into or get more out of cycling.

If you’ve never ridden a Gran Fondo before – the Beginner clinics / program is designed to get you ready and fit enough to take on bigger rides.

If you’ve ridden one or more Gran Fondos before, we offer Intermediate or Advanced clinics / programs that will boost your technique and help improve your  time.

What fitness level do I need?

Intro to road cycling: all levels welcome with no experience necessary. The beginner clinics are also designed to boost your confidence riding a bike.

Refining skills and endurance: We recommend that you can comfortably ride a bike for 60km already.

Improving your race time: You should have done a few Gran Fondos already, can ride 100km, and are looking to improve your performance at RBC GranFondo Whistler.

 

Do I need to own a bike?

Yes, we don’t provide you with a bike.

If you’re looking to buy, we provide a list of bike store recommendations on our bike services page.

How long is the program and each session?

It’s a 12 week program.

SportMedBC are offering a free weekly support newsletter that will guide you through the program.

Sessions will last for approx 90 minutes each week.

Clinics run week of June 10th 2024 – Aug 26th (with a Vancouver kickoff party also included the week before starting).

How many people will be in a clinic?

The maximum size for a physical clinic will not exceed 20.

 

What kit should I wear?

Not sure what you should be wearing when training or riding the Gran Fondo? No problem.

We recommend heading to your nearest local bike shop to ask for their advice for shorts, shoes, jackets etc. You’ll also get the chance to meet your clinic leader and get their recommendations at the kick-off night social in downtown Vancouver.

How do I register for the program?
See the programs in detail

SportMedBC have prepared an info sheet for you that shows what to expect from the clinics in detail.

Got a question you don't see the answer to?

Nice, we love questions!

Please send all your clinic related questions to [email protected], and SportMedBC will do their best to put you in the know!

Pricing

Option Virtual Physical
Intro to road cycling $120 $340 (12 sessions @ $28.30 each)
Refining skills and endurance $120 $340 (12 sessions @ $28.30 each)
Improving your race time $120 $340 (12 sessions @ $28.30 each)

Bundle and save 10%!

Combine your clinic registration with RBC GranFondo Whistler entry and save 10%.

 

Introducing Decathlon

With more than 100,000 teammates and 1,700 stores worldwide, Decathlon and its teams have been working ever since 1976 to fulfill an ongoing ambition : Move people through the wonders of sport, to help them be healthier and happier in a sustainable future. In British Columbia, Decathlon is dedicated to serving the province through its flagship store that will launch in April 2024 at the Metropolis at Metrotown.

Reason for sponsoring the clinics

Sponsoring the RBC GranFondo clinics allows Decathlon to cheer on the participants and aspiring racers from the front row. Decathlon’s flagship store—complete with a cycling showroom that houses top-of-the-line road racing bikes, technical gear, accessories, and a biking workshop—promises to create a welcoming atmosphere for participants on their inspiring journeys. Decathlon is rooting for you—from Sea to Sky!

About Van Rysel

Van Rysel is Decathlon’s elite road cycling brand. Designed and developed in Lille, France, Van Rysel partners with qualified engineers and athletes to produce bikes and equipment that achieve top-of-the-line performance. The bikes are tested in real-road conditions to achieve optimal aerodynamics and stiffness. In Decathlon’s flagship store at the Metropolis at Metrotown, riders may especially be tempted to test out Van Rysel’s carbon-framed Road Bike, NCR CF Tiagra Blue.

“The Fondo Clinics were a game-changer for feeling prepared and my performance. I’m so glad I signed up”

Fondo Clinics

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