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GranFondo rides again

Online registration closed, but riders can still register in person



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Chew has also worked on his fitness more, getting his weight down while building strength and technique. He raced the 140km Tour of Victoria this year, and has a number of training runs over 100km. He also kayaks every morning, which he says has improved his fitness and upper body strength, something he has to rely on more than other riders to stay balanced and power the pedals.

He's also relying on some technology to help him along, a shaped gear that racers use to even out their stroke.

"I talked to a few guys about it, and while it kind of makes things better for two-legged guys, for a one-legged guy it's really nice — it's easier to get over the top and it really smoothes out the stroke so that when I'm climbing I can go into a higher gear and be really smooth. I think that's going to be a big advantage over the whole course."

While a bad bone bruise on his pelvis where his right femur used to be kept him off his bike for a few weeks this summer, Chew said he's recovered from that injury. He's ready to race.

As the head coach for the B.C. Para-Alpine Ski Team, Chew said it's important to get out and set an example for other people with disabilities and the athletes he works with.

"I think it works out (road racing) because I'm setting an example for fitness, and an example of what a person with a disability can do — that's more or less why I'm doing it, too, to show what a person with a disability is capable of. That's my task in life, and this is my venue to be able to showcase it."

Hundreds of riders from Sea to Sky take part every year, but at least one team will be missing from the event this year. Team Fun Hogg, which won the mixed team category last year, opted to miss the race so members could take part in the Four Kings mountain bike race, also taking place this weekend.

Instead, the team went to the Prospera Valley GranFondo in July, where they won the mixed category. They rode as a team the whole way, with team members Sylvie Allen and Marla Zucht placing first and second in the women's field.

The top Sea to Sky rider in 2011 was Whistler's Ben Chaddock, who races professionally for Team Exergy and placed eighth in 3:23:47. Pemberton's Josh Hall finished 15th overall in 3:23:48. The fastest local female was Squamish's Brandi Heisterman in 3:52.51.