It is his son Hunter's face that will get him to push through to the end when his body wants to give up, Ed Archibald says.
The local developer, Squamish Downtown Business Association president and one-time council candidate is taking on the 122-kilometre RBC GranFondo Whistler on Sept. 7.
The cycling race snakes from Vancouver, past Squamish, to Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway.
Though he has completed running half-marathons and two mini-Fondos, this is Archibald's first GranFondo Whistler.
"Five or six years ago, I was in an interview for a job with a company in the city and they were asking me for a goal I wanted to set. I knew that the owner of the company was heavy into cycling so... I said, 'I am going to do the GranFondo.' I worked there for two and a half years and they bugged me. I am friends with some of them still, and they still bug me."
Last spring, Archibald invested in a road bike and was hoping to do the Gran Fondo Whistler in 2018, but the wildfire smoke made training too challenging.
This year though, he is going for it.
He started training hard about six weeks ago.
"There are some days when it is in the city and it is more flat and then there are other days I will ride up here to Paradise Valley and the Squamish Valley. And then there are days when all I do is up and down Cypress," he said of his training, which also includes time at the gym.
The race-day route is very hilly, Archibald acknowledged.
"When you are driving, you don't think there is a hill in Stanley Park. When you are riding your bike, there's a massive hill in Stanley Park," he said with a laugh.
Archibald is a busy guy. As the owner of Accorde Properties Corporation, which is developing Vantage on Second Avenue, a schedule filled with other community volunteer work and a young son, he said he can find time to train by making his health a priority.
"Taking on a challenging event, whether it be a Fondo, a marathon or a half, it takes you making the time," he said. "And that is one of the things with having my own company. I can say… ‘I am not available for meetings, I am going for a ride."
Archibald has lived in Squamish for more than three years and knows that the Gran Fondo is not particularly popular with some in Squamish because of the traffic disruptions it causes.
"I think that at the end of the day, the impact of not being able to cross [the highway] for a short period of time is really not that big of a deal," he said.
Some have blamed the race for the struggles of the Brackendale Fall Fair, which is usually held the same day as the Fondo and was cancelled last year, but Archibald said that can't be blamed totally on the bike race.
"I think that it does create some issues with being able to get over the highway, but I think there has got to be a way when you look at the half-marathons and the triathlons — all the big sporting events — there's always ways to work with the organizers to make sure traffic can flow," he said.
His biggest concern about race day is those many hills on the course.
Thinking of his son Hunter, who is turning four years old in August, is what will get him through the last 50 kms or so, he said, even though his body will likely be screaming to stop.
"If it kills me, I am going to finish this, because he is going to be waiting at the finish line," he said.
The RBC GranFondo Whistler takes to the Sea to Sky highway Sept. 7.
For more information on the race, go here.