I am Dylan Gleeson, a Sugoi Brand Champion from North Vancouver, BC and am excited to host this blog where I will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 22nd! This ride is an incredible opportunity to support the Canadian Mental Health Association, focused on strengthening and supporting the mental health of those affected and their families and friends. Sugoi, the official apparel sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide, and I are excited to be part of this in a small way and look forward to helping you reach your goals!

I absolutely LOVE riding my bike. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to cycling at a very young age.  As a boy I had a BMX bike and thought it was the greatest thing ever! In my teens I took up Downhill Mountain biking and a little over three years ago, at age 26, I purchased my first road bike when my wife and I signed up for a sprint distance Triathlon clinic.

Up until that point I thought of road cyclists, or “roadies”, as being quite odd. They prance around in spandex, shave their legs and have a strange infatuation with independent coffee shops. I’ll shamelessly say I am now guilty of all of these too; but at the time, given my mountain bike background, I didn’t understand how riding on the road could be all that interesting.

This all changed in a matter of seconds when I stepped foot on a road bike for the first time. I knew instantly that this was going to be a lot of fun.  For those of you about to step in for the first time, you are in for a treat too!

Though my first experience on a road bike was brilliant, my wife wasn’t so lucky.  She was very excited to get aboard her new steed, all set up with clip-less pedals. Shortly after getting onto her bike and trying to pedal, I heard a loud yelp… she didn’t realize you’re better off getting the bike moving forward before you start to clip both shoes into your pedals. That is unless you have experience riding a unicycle in the circus!

My goal with this blog is to help you avoid these common mistakes.

Over the last 3 years I have accomplished so much on my bike that I never once thought possible. I have won my age group in multiple Ironman distance triathlon races, covered once unthinkable distances and shared so many incredible experiences with friends I have met along the way.

I ride my bike for a lot of reasons, but most of all because I am simply a happier person when I do it.  Riding my bike on a regular basis gives me more energy, and it helps me keep a positive mindset.  It always surprises me how much exercising can positively impact your mood and mental health. I’ve also become a more confident person.

This confidence came through training for my rides one step at a time. First, I started with a 10km ride, and then I rode a little further the next time until I was strong enough to sign up for my first Ironman race. This confidence I gained isn’t only relevant to my athletic endeavors, it has carried over into other areas of my life such as school, work and social situations. I believe cycling has made me a better all-around person and my everyday life is more fulfilling now because of it.

I encourage you to take this leap and sign up for this year’s Ride Don’t Hide. It’s a great stepping stone for those who have never participated in group rides or fundraisers before. Over the next 8 weeks I will try to help you in your training by sharing stories and posting useful tips.  Hope to see some of you out on the roads soon.  Happy training!

Dylan Gleeson is a Sugoi Brand Champion from North Vancouver, BC. He is excited to host the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog, where he will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 22nd! Sugoi is the official apparel sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide.