June 11, 2019

Canadian cycling legend brings bike and nutrition expertise to first-ever Chancellor's Ride

Kelly Anne Erdman teams up with Deborah Yedlin in support of student excellence on Sept. 8
Chancellor Deborah Yedlin kicks off spring training for the first-ever Chancellor's Ride on Sept. 8.

Chancellor Deborah Yedlin kicks off spring training for the first-ever Chancellor's Ride on Sept. 8.

Lauren Phillips, University Relations

Fresh out of high school, Kelly Anne Erdman signed up for her first bike race. She had no idea that it would lead to an eight-year cycling career with Team Canada, a spot at the 1992 Olympics, and induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Though the UCalgary alumna and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Kinesiology has retired from her competitive cycling career, she stays closely connected to the athletic community as a registered dietitian based at the University of Calgary’s Sport Medicine Centre and as performance dietitian for the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary where she consults with five Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Through cycling, Erdman has travelled to numerous faraway destinations, including Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, and on Sept. 8, it’s bringing her back to where it all started — Calgary.

Hosted by Chancellor Deborah Yedlin, the first-ever Chancellor’s Ride welcomes cyclists of all abilities to take part in a fully supported road ride, which includes a rider’s kit, snacks, aid stations, mechanical support from Bow Cycle, and lunch.

Registered riders can choose from three distances — 40 kms, 80 kms or 113 kms — all starting and finishing at the Wild Wild West Event Centre near Calaway Park. Funds raised from the multi-distance cycling event are in support of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High and will be directed to the Chancellor’s Scholarship Fund which provides four-year full-ride scholarships to extraordinary undergraduate students.

“Athletics have played a major role in my life since elementary school — it was a place to think, deal with stress, disconnect and do something for myself. The Chancellor’s Ride is an exciting opportunity that brings together my passion for cycling and my commitment to education with the goal of providing an accessible, fun new way for the university to engage with our community,” says Yedlin.

Kelly Anne Erdman.

Kelly Anne Erdman.

Canadian Sport Institute

“The money we raise will help support Chancellor’s Scholars, students drawn from the best and brightest across the country. This initiative is really about building connections to our community while collectively advancing excellence in scholarship and research at the undergraduate level.”

As an added bonus, riders will have access to nutrition advice and rider tips from Erdman as well as training ride opportunities hosted by Erdman and esteemed UCalgary Triathlon Club coach Mark Hlady beginning in June.

“Nutrition for endurance can be complicated,” says Erdman. “It’s important to train the body to learn which foods work best for you, how often you should be eating, and what the composition should be in terms of fuelling and electrolytes. I’ll also be educating on how to support hydration, including how to calculate sweat rates, facilitate training recovery and various other topics to provide the riders with confidence to know what their body needs before, during and after their ride.”

For Erdman, bike fit is as important as nutrition. “Cyclists can ride for hours on end if you have a good endurance base, so bike fit is critical to avoid injuries to the lower back, pelvis and neck,” she explains.

“We often see cyclists either ride with their saddle too low so they aren’t getting maximal power, or with their saddle too high where there’s too much reach. In an optimal bike position, your upper body barely moves and the power purely comes from your lower torso.”

In preparation for Sept. 8, the Chancellor’s Ride has partnered with Bow Cycle to help riders customize the optimal position on their bike for maximum comfort and efficiency, ensuring riders feel in control at high speeds and can minimize risk of injury.

To register for the Chancellor’s Ride on Sept. 8, or for more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit the Chancellor’s Ride website