Monday, April 30, 2007

back at it

Ok recovery week is over, back to work. Mondays are a rest day for me but my rest days mean I'm not on the bike. Usually its upper body workout and yoga. Tonight I wanted to get the legs warmed up before yoga so went for a quick 2.5 km run. Brought my training partner tonight who I'm sorry to say is a bit out of shape since skiing has ended.

Molly gets out for lots of hikes but today she was pulling up the rear. Considering that I havent run since the winter was shocked that I ran the 2.5k in 12 minutes. Got back and did my normal weight routine and 40 minutes of yoga. Another good day.

So week one of the Midland Tri Club Time Trials starts tommorow night. Because my new TT bike isnt here yet I said I would do timing for the first week. Unfortunatly the weather is supposed to be crap. The only day of rain so maybe I had some alternative thoughts by timing instead of riding. Molly likes it because she gets to see everyone from the club.

I havce to congratulate everyone at the Huronia Half Marathon. Great job everyone, the Tri Club brought home many of the top spots and a whole lot of meat. One of the sponsers donates chicken and burgers for the winners. I guess they figure they need to put on a few pounds.

On a cool note, the outdoor theatre is ready to go and I will be testing it out this weekend. The projector arrives on Thursday. Still trying to figure out what the first movie should be. Any suggestions

At the Half

So Sunday was a pretty cool day. It was the last day of my recovery week but still got some mileage in. Yesterday was the Huronia Half Marathon and 10 k race. No I didn't run it. I haven't run in a couple months now. I did help out by being on the course with my bike. It was actually good training cruising to the back of teh pack then sprinting to the front for differnet check points.

Alex won the event with an amazing time of 1:18. As your aware this is a hilly area and this race is no different. There are 3 major climbs of well over a km each. The Tri club did really well taking a good precentage of the top spots.

My body is feeling better this morning. Sunday morning my back was just screaming. After the ride saturday I started working on the backyard theatre and being hunched over for a couple hours took its toll and I had to take an advil that morning. After the race I was back in the yard again. Have the whole system up and running now and I should be watching movies outside this weekend. Thats good that I will have something mellow to do because I'm ramping up my distance again. Should be at around 6 hours for staurday and hopefully 3-4 hours mountain biking sunday.

So the numbers for the ride. 25 km distance at 1 hour 13 minutes. So yes it sounds slow but as I said earlier it was all out sprints or almost a dead stop. The final 14km were basiclly a time trial with my heartrate at 184 for just under 20 minutes. ITs back at it this week. Still keeping my fingers crossed for my bike this week.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

you are what you eat

Ain't that the truth. Todays ride felt like crap. Couldn't keep the heartrate down at all. Now there were a few times that the group brought the pace way up but still overall everything felt like crap. I'm not trying to make excuses for the ride at all. It was pretty good by the numbers 80 km 29km/h average. now that bad part average heartrate was 165 and I spent almost 50 % of that ride at over 170. Now its a great place for my training but it wasnt fun.

Tim being the carrot with the food jersey

My legs felt really heavy and dead today. Now I did have a massage yesterday and had both i.t. bands worked which could definatly be a factor. The next was the meal before the ride. Not my normal preride meal. I was lay and went out for breakfast for a change and the grease got to me. The 3rd factor, beer. Yes my favorite beverage was my worst enemy today. I think I didnt take the word recovery in recovery week serious enough. There were a few highlights to the ride like the 18 percent climbs coming out of the beach. Even being off I still could climb really well. I also did a break away from the group out on cedar point road. That was fun. Averaged 48 km/h for 10 minutes and the group couldnt catch me.

Need to do a bit of a clean up on the bike though with a bit of rain coming down. A few squeaks to take care of.

The final climb of the day.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What are we thinking

Why do we do this to ourselves. Sometimes I really wonder. Why do I ride for 24 hours straight. Why do we spend huge money on equipment that just gets trashed and we spend even more to fix it. HMMM There is some glory in endurance racing but its not hyped up the same as short course racing like Ontario Cup and Canada Cup.
The life of an endurance cyclist is tough. The hours we spend on the bike is down right crazy. Training for a 2-3 hour race is easy. You pretty much max out your time on the bike at 4 hours straight. For a solo racers thats just getting warmed up. I'm only early in the season traing and already riding 5 plus hours and will be ramping up to over 7 by mid May.
So what are the payoffs. All the hours spent training and the lack of a social life at times becuase your to tired to do much more than lift a fork to refuel for another ride. Now one thing that is always cool is when you pass team racers after 20 hours and they just go wow. It does give you that little boost that all the training really makes a difference.
We don't do this type of racing for glory, OK wait ya we still like some glory. This is a test for oursleves both physically and mentally. I've already gone over the things that happen in a 24 hour soloist mind earlier. Other reasons we do this, hell its just cool. The one thing I like among soloist is how we treat each other.
its not like a short race where its literlly full contact racing. With us its more or a ride and chat with the person your going to pass for a few minutes. Not the MOVE or LET ME BY A$$H@LE!!!! I think that most endurance racers went to this level becuase they got bored doing the shorter stuff. I'll admit that driving 3 hours to an event for a 2 hour race then driving home is a pretty exhausting day.

Now some big things with endurance racing verus short course racing. Well the first thing is gear. Right off the bat you basiclly need 2 of everything. MINIMUM. Bikes: 2 Helmets: 2 Clothing: as much as you can afford!!! I will admit that I go a bit overkill on things for gear list BUT with this I eliminate 98% of controlled things to go wrong. I run 2 identical bikes. My race rig is perfect BUT it has
failed during a race. I do recomend full suspension, I know a few racers that do 8 hours on hardtails and I've done one myself that way. It's hard onthe body, a 24 hour, you might never stand up staight again. * hours are pretty easy. your race gear kit along with some cool weather stuff. 24 hour bring everything on your shelf for clothing. At a tag team 24 hour race I went through 9 pairs of short and 10 jerseys because it was so cold and wet that
my support crew could'nt dry anything. Solo is a bit easier but bring it all becuase you never know. Many a racers have been caught wearing 2 pairs of shorts after 20 hours of riding.

Ok enough with gear for the moment. The most important thing for any endurance racer is YOUR SUPPORT CREW. First off thank them every time. With out them you wont have bottles ready, food prepared, lights charged, or gear ready. They are giving up time of their life to help you suffer. They also have to deal with your pissy attitude and help motivate you to get back on the bike. If you thought that you will always be in a good mood during the race
dream on!!! In a 24 hour race you will come in so tired that you dont even want to look at your bike, they will be the ones to push you back out. They make sure you are eating and drinking enough, That your change of clothes are out, watch your pace etc. Pick your support crew wisely. You want someone that will not take anything you say personally during the race. You will swear at them etc. If you have the right person, they will swear back at you!!!!
For most of my races my Mom has been the lead for support crew at them. A line that she has learned is GET THE FLICK BACK ON THE BIKE!!! now other things that your support watchs is YOU. I had one race that I could keep anything down and lost over 10 pounds in wieght in 7 hours. I was recovering from a virus and was borderline to race. At that point that let me stop for health reasons. This is a big thing to talk about to. you will feel like shit
during the race. The biggest thing is learning what to push through and when not to. Because we can't ride for 24 hours during training we really don't know what it will feel like. Every race you learn from. Certain pains will go away other intesify. Remember that your not getting paid to do this, Your real world life does come first. If something feels bad ask someone who isnt exhausted to look at it. Trust their decision.
A friend of mine who has been on the podium many times in endurance races besiclly said that all the rider should be thinking about is riding, all other decisions are left up to your support crew. So treat them nice!!!!

Back to gear. I will say that it again that I go overkill. If I need 8 hours of night burn time I bring 12 hours plus a charging kit. Prepare for the worst. If you dont have it with you that will be the thing that breaks. As you get more experiened in the events you will fine tune your list. This is the same thing with food. You never know what you will have a craving for and food is food when racing.
Now one thing I will say. Learn to eat things that you can throw up easily. As gross as it sounds it will happen. Experiment as much as you can with your foods during training. I don't eat much junk food but I do have potato chips and coke in my race food list. Gels, drink powders, etc make sure you bring more than enough. Also you will still want real food. You can only put so many chemical carbs in your body.
At one race I had another rider commment that all he could smell was apple cinimmon, For the previous 3 laps all I had been eating was apple cinimmon gels. They work BUT they can cause some uncomfort. I've found that Chunky Chicken Tortallini soup, potato patties, and mini raviolli is great in my stomach. Hi sodium, carbs etc and easy to digest. This is a very individual thing though so still experiment.
As for fluids, stright water is just asking to bonk. Sport drink is the only option. drink what you like just make sure you drink alot.

So back to gear. On the course its all very personal on what you wear and carry. I used to do the camel back and all the tools. Now I've gone to a single bottle, a few allen keys, and a c02 pump. I've witched to tubless tires and stan's no tube sealant. This stuff is awesome. I havent had a flat since I started using it. Before every race I send both bikes in for a complete once over. DOenst matter if they have been
ridden or not. Back to the eliminating all possible problems. Another big one is checking your lights. you cant ride if you cant see. I start running my systems a couple weeks before an event with full charges and timing each batteries burn time. The last thing you want to have happen is losing your lights half way through a lap.

So back to the originally question, why do we do this to ourselves. Because not everyone can. This is something that not everyone is capable of. This puts you in to a bit of an elite class. Some get it some don't. We are spending lots of time and money to inflict a lot of pain to ourselves. ISN"T IT GREAT!!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

just a mellow day

I kinda took the night off from training. I was able to get home a bit early so made a run to a friends lumber mill. I've got a few things happening in the backyard this spring including an outdoor movie theatre and hot tub and needed the rough sawed pine for the facing. This is the reason I took it easy tonight. After first loading then unloading to the backyard eighty two 12 foot 1x6 I figured I didnt need to spend to much time with the weights.

Spent around 30 minutes on the rollers at a base pace level. Didnt even bother with the monitor since this was more to soften things up to stretch. Not much else has changed. Dave has been talking to Giant to find out whats happening with my Trinty Time Trial Bike. Its sounding like I should see it come in sometime next week. On a good note Dave has the new fixed wheel under construction for my track bike. I broke the other wheel last fall (dont ask) and it will be something fun to play with. I dont use it to much because of its limitations and the fact that its so hilly around here. But hey can't have enough toys.

Well I figured I would put up some stats of where I'm at so fat this spring

Age: 33 for all of 1 more week
Height 5'11
Weight Off 170
Body fat % I'm in my 30's I dont care
Resting Heartrate 49bpm
Max Heartrate 211bpm
TT Heartrate 187
Happy place Heartrate: 165 to 175 Can ride in this zone forever
Favorite event: Love any 8 hour solos Can hammer the whole thing
Best results 3rd 24hr Tag Team Largest event in north america
4th 12hr solo London
6th 8hr solo Albion Hills
Usually in the top 10 in every race entered
Reason I ride: Because I can

I don't feel bad about not getting outside today. The reason, its freezing. That and its started raining just before I got home. Need to have an extra rest day from time to time. Speaking of rest. NIGHT!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Like night and day

Talk about a tempature change!!! After a beautiful weekend we are back to April weather. The wind was pretty relentless tonight but I've stopped hating wind. I just think of it as resistance training. Picked up Brent for the ride tonight. He was far from 100% after his ride with the group last night so he spent most of the time in my draft when we were on the flats. I didnt mind.

It was a pretty mellow ride even considering the route. Up the Gervais road to Vasey line then returning along hwy 12. Its a great little climbing route with flats on the way back even though it was into the wind for the return 20km. Heartrate was down to 146 average. Average speed was 29km but had the bonus of the one decent maxing out at 76 km/h. What goes up gets to have more fun coming down!!!! I love speed!!!!!!!

It was a cool ride but the legs felt good and having this recovery week hopefully will pay off over the course of the race season. Its supposed to turn crappy tommorow and I may get stuck on the rollers. Well means more time stretching and weights. Till the next day

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hardest ride this spring!!!

Yep thats how it felt. Do you know how hard it is to ride slow!!!!! As part of my training I have a regenration week. Easy term. Rest week. This is basiclly trimmed back mileage or excersion. Well today was recovery ride and it was hard. Average heartrate of 110 for 50 minutes at an average speed of 24.5 km an hour. . Not used to riding that slow. Heartrate would have been lower if I didnt have those hills to climb to get anywhere I will say that when I got in and did my stretching, it felt great. Recovery is so important.

Not much else on the agenda for the evening. Work is nuts, like usual. I'm looking forward to a bit more agressive ride tommorow.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Monday and Friday are my rest days even though I don't fully rest. Did 45 minutes of stretching and a short upper body workout. I'm into a recovery week this and of course the boys post an awesome training ride for tommorow. A few of the guys are going on a flat 35-40km/h average hammer tommorow. I'm supposed to do a recovery ride arrrrgggg. The post even warned that if you cant keep pace they will drop you and not look back. I so want to go but I'm sticking to my training plan. Then extra time off the bike will be spent on the yoga mat and upper body workouts.

I may ride out to where they are doing this just to see the boys go. Most are getting ready for Time Trials starting next Tuesday. Well time to do more recovery, the couch is calling!!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The company you keep

You are only as fast as the company you keep. As bad as that sounds its very true. As an individual rider you can do lots of workouts on your own but it is very difficult to push yourself over the hump to the next level. Having the right people to ride with can make a huge difference. If you want to be fast, ride with the faster riders.

When I was teaching alpine skiing i would find that in prime times for leasons where all I seem to do was lower end skiers my own skills deteriated. This is the same with cycling, if you ride with slower riders you will get slower. This is where I'm lucky. This is a short list of some of the people I train with and names that will always brought up.

Tim B. Ironman tri guy and local TT fast guy. Just a power house all around rider.

Brien R The strongest rider in the area. overall O cup mt bike winner, solo racer and just a monster for power. You want to hurt try and attack him on a hill.

Kevin M The guys legs are as big as my waist and knows how to use them. Doesnt race for certain reasons but would probably be in the top placing if he did.

Alex K Another awesome tri guy. Wins or places on the podium in just about every tri he enters. Skinny bugger climbs like he was on the flats.

Brent K The little brother who continues to get stronger as he gets older. Has been training with me lately and is learning to suffer well. He will be a monster in a few years.

Phil E Another Ironman and top finisher in most tris he enters, Also a physio guy so great guy to pick the brain of.

Aaron C Not much to say about this guy but Freak of Nature. He has been on the podium in every event he enters, doesnt matter the sport. We all think he has 3 lungs. Was offer pro status and a job as an adventure racer.

Brandon P Another younger powerhouse. Fast TT rider. He still does some rookie mistakes like drinking way to much the night before a big ride. We all did it.

This is just a short list of some of the main riders I get to play with.
As for my ride today. It was great. 2.5 hours 77km at 30.4 km/h average. A little flatter route today but if you have ever been to the area of Georgian Bay nothing is really flat. Hell I have a 17% climb in the first km just to get out of the town. Heartrate was kept down at base pace with a 153 and only hit 183 on one of the climbs. Unfortunatly it was a solo ride today with some at the Paris Ancaster race and others doing the last prep for the half marathon next weekend.

Its a recovery week for me next week, Not sure what I will do with all the extra time. I've heard rumors that my Giant Trinity is now in Canada. Keeping my fingers crossed. Well now time to play out in the sun. Oh wait I already did!!!!

What a day

What an amazing day Saturday. It was perfect for riding. Actually it was perfect for everything. Well it was the next ramp up day of training. 5 hours on the road bike. It was really good.

I left at 9 to get a couple hour in myself before meeting up with the group. Kept my pace pretty mellow at around 28km/h average with a nice steady head wind. Had some new pedals and cleats to deal with and Had to stop once to get the cleats repositioned. I love them now though.

Hooked up with the group at 11. They had a great climbing route planned for the first hour and a half. With a loop out to Moonstone I knew there was some work ahead. I was amazed how well the legs felt considering I already had 2 hour in. Kevin, one of the strongest sprinters decided to hammer near the end of the climb. I'd just finished my pull and had rolled to the back of the pack. I could see him sneaking aroudn a couple guys and then stand. Lothar saw him also and was already swinging to the outside of the pack. Well I can't let two people go with out a fight. It was great. Went by Lothar like he was standing still then pulled up beside Kevin and teased him by starting a conversation as we sprinted. All he was doing was breathing. My legs still had more. The winter training has be a real benefit.

We regrouped continued on to Moonstone. There are some sweet long climbs out this way. I checked my gps after the ride and we climbed steady for almost 20km with only one real decent in that. We got out into the flats of Elmvale for the return back to town. Out on baseline Tim broke his chain. The guy has so much power Its amazing it doesnt happen more often. The final climb of the ride was on Marshall road. This last section of road has something that appears to be pavement. I think dirty has less rolling resistance. Aaron and Brent decide to take each other on. The yelling from the pack was hillarious. Aaron can pretty much blow everyone away at any given time. Either way Brent went and did awesome. Its a 14% grade and 2 km long. I was happy that even with over 4 hours of riding I was 3rd to the top. From there everyone split off home.

At the end of the day it was 130km at just over 4.7 hours. I'm not to concerned with average speeds when I'm in the group because of the slow pacing so we can regroup after climbs. Its nice having the group to ride with, makes those long rides easier. With that nice sun out though already have the funny tanlines starting. Could be worse, could be raining.

I was really happy how I felt after it all. A bit sore but overall not to tired. I was still moving around afterward. Today is a shorter ride. Roughly 2.5 to 3 hours and I'm planning on getting out early so I can enjoy as much of the day today.

Spring is s finally here!!!! Hopefully it stays

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I love mother nature

So after all my recent commments about her I apologise. She is making up for a crappy start to April with an amazing finish. It was a easy ride today on a pretty much flat course. I had the chance to add a new route to my list of fun rides. Ridge road and Lakeshore along Lake Simcoe are fantasitic. Its not a long run and only took me an hour to do 33km without a major push in heartrate.

I definatly want to incorporte this run into a loop from Midland to Barrie to Orillia back home. Should be around 150-160km with out alot of major climbing. Great base route. I should be up at that distance in a couple weeks where I'm maintaining a 30plus km/h average.

So I broke a cleat on my shoe last week and talk about a pain. I run Look road pedals and I think thats the only reason I can still use them. Dave has 2 new sets of pedals along with cleats coming in for me hopefully tommorow. The crack in the clip does limit me on sprints and really powering up hills but could be worse, Atleast I'm not switching around shoes and pedals so I can train.

Well its an early morning for me tommorow. I have a massage WOOOHOOO. Someone grabbing my bum, as inticing as that sounds it actually hurts like hell. Well atleast the short term. Its a rest day for me tommorow also. Right now I'm at 7 hours of riding this week and 180 km. Saturday should be around 110-130 km roughly 4-4.5 hours. Sunday will be a 2-3 hour ride possibly on the mt bike.

keep the rubber side down

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another day of play

Well I walked in the door from work, let me rephrase that. I flew into the house to start getting ready to ride. The sun came out, almost had forgotten what it looked like. Gave a quick call to Brent to see if he wanted to ride and was more than willing. Five minutes later I was basiclly rolling.

It was a great ride. The wind was strong but with the sun, WHO CARES!!! Did one of my favorite routes for climbing. Starts out with a 30km run that is pretty flat and great to get teh legs warmed up. It was a bit slower tonight because of the headwind but still a nice run. Then comes teh fun. Coming out of Coldwater on to Vasy line is basiclly 4 km climb at a average of 10 percent grade. To top it off, the pavement sucks, feels like glue and lots of cracks to wreck momentum. Now thats not the only climb After a cool decent hitting just shy of 75 km/h its back to climbing with long rolling hills. Then there is the return down the oldfort road. Awesome pavement and steep hills.

So it was 30 k of floats 30 k of climbing. Brent did really well. He is still young so lots of time for him to get stronger. I know a couple of the big hills really knocked the crap out of him but he recovered quick. For me it was a nice ride I kept the heart rate out zone 5 but still was smoking up the hills. Thats a very good thing. So in all it was 70 km for my at 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Tommorow I have the opportunity to ride down near Barrie on ridge road. I have a manufacture product update tommorow near Orrila so I've go teh road bike in the work truck. It will be a short hard ride. Its completely flat so I will mix in a short time trial along with some tempo ride. I so want my TT bike!!!! Come on Giant, screw team T-Mobile and give me mine first!!!!! I know I'm impatient but everyone is asking about its. Gotta love first year production sometimes.

Sun is shinning get out and RIDE!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I think the snow is gone for good

Well it was just another day when it came to training. I kept it light tonight with only an hour of road and some weights. Even at a light pace pulled a 29 km/h average with everything in the zone 3 area. This was evcen with climbing. Overall I'm really happy where my riding is at considering how early it is in the season.

So a few things have occured to me. Power bars suck!!!! I swear it takes more energy to eat the dam thing than what gets tranfered to the legs. Aww well since I can't eat pasta while riding I'll have to suffer with them along with my gels. Another big one. The icebreaker is such a distructive race to equipment. I got the race bike back from Dave on the weekend. He nagged me again about how hard it is on things. He basiclly stripped the bike right down to clean everything. I knew it need it though. I'll hopefully get out on the trails in the next week or two to test things out. As for the icebreaker next year it will definatly be on a cross bike if its the same conditons as this year. There should have been seperate catagories for cycocross bikes and mountain bikes. Awww lets deal with that next year.

Josh helped me out with a couple more websites for my Garmin 305. Ok I love this thing even more. The fact that I can download maps with topo to show climbs along with real world mapping. I'm also using a program that can document wear and tear on the bikes along with other equipment. For anyone with the Garmin you need to go to

Spent nearly 2 hours stretching yesterday. Everything felt better this morning so I need to stay on top of things. I have a massage on Friday but we are limited on time to fix everything at once. We will probably work on the glute med and hamstrings. Both IT bands are acting up but the si nerve is the priority. For anyone one racking up big miles. Recovery is so important. Active recovery is evcen better. Easy rides at sub zone 1, yoga, stretching etc will make you a faster rider. I've seen way to many riders overtrain, hell I've done it myself. Off course its easy to say, sometimes you need to learn the hard way with injury. I'f I really wanted to heal I would need to take a full year off from all activites. UMMMM , not an option. The way I'm training things are progressively getting better and it will probably take another year or 2.

Keep you fingers crossed for the sun.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

so it happened

Ok so I've been waiting for this. Its not like I wasnt expecting it to happen. I got asked to do Trans Rockies. So for those that dont know. This is the ultimate for endurance mountain bikers. Its a 6 day 600km race from one side of the rockies to the other. Its also a world ranking. Ya i know, holly shit. I will say that I have been trraining for this and knew it would happen.

the guy that saked me is a well establiched adventure racer with an awesome list of finishes. He also has bailed on alot of races. Trans Rockies is a tough race and you need a teammate who can ride at the same pace. with this race you must hit every checkpoint with your partner. I've mentioned the race to Rick My 24 hour tag team partner but we kinda agree that it wouldnt work. I'm alot fast in a single day race so it would be hard on both of us. There are a couple people that I can see a potential to do this with. One of those is someone i think will be one of my biggest competition.

The big thing with Trans Rockies is the costs. The event itself is easy, the fact that its a hayday for advertising sponsers dig in. This is where the teammate come in. I'm pretty set where I am for sponser with a few new potentials coming in. Working on that full sponser with Giant as we speak.

So what to do. Well I figure I havce a ong season ahead and I will see where things go. I havce set some pretty high standards for this year. Tag I want on the podium again for sure and I would like a podium finish in an 8 hour solo. With those I think i can setup even more sponsers. I'm not thinkning to far ahead but I will see after the first 8 hour goes on my setup fo the following year.

Oh by the way. Had a great 2 hour ride today. Base pace with lots of climbing. I was very happy with it. Tommorow is a rest day which means yoga and weights for upper body.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

And the air is just right for ....... riding

It was finally a nice day and I took advantage of it. Spent 3 and a half hours on the road bike today. Had the bonus of doing an hour of that with the Tri club. They had a shorter ride planned. The sun was out and it was only a couple degrees above freezing and windy but hey it wasnt snowing.

I rode the first hour alone before the club met up and kept things in the low zone 4 high zone 3. Wanted a good warm up and this still kept my at a 28 average. We had a great turn out for the first ride with 15 people. The bonus was a few of the strongest riders locally were there. Gave me a chance to see where I was based off the others. I still think it will be Brien and I battling it out for top place again this year. Climbing will be the tough one since we both have different styles and accelerations. On the route today we had a few 15-18 percent grades so we say who had their climbing legs and whos been drinking beer and eating mcdonalds.

After an hour with the club they split off to head back. They only had a 55 km ride and I wanted more. Well I got it and continued on to Coldwater. There are a few awesome climbs on the way. From there i started back home with some reroutes to add some extra k's. In the end I finished up at 96k's and held a 28.6 average. Not bad considering the wind and all the climbing.

In the end say some great numbers with my Garmin. I've raised my max HR again this year and now sit at 211. Starting to scare myself. I thought things are supposed to slow down as you got older. The legs felt great but I did have a bit of numbness in my left foot. I know that I have slacked a bit on the stretching department in the last couple weeks. I'll definatly be watching it and being more proactive. I have a massage on Friday and will have Cindy fix me up. Well weather permitting (no snowstorm) I will get out for a 2 hour ride tommorow morning. For now its a mellow night on the couch.

Ready to play

Well its saturday morning and with a relaxing Friday night I'm anxious to get out and ride today. Guess what, that mean lady of all last week is treating us to some sun. Its still a little shilly but I like riding in the cold. The legs feel pretty good this morning but will do a short yoga season a couple hours before I ride.

Its just after 7 am and I'm on a second cup of coffee. 10 years ago the house would have to be on fire for me to be up at this time. Summer comes I'm up when the sun is up. I love being on the bike at 6 am when others are still sleeping. Its like they made the roads just for me.

The club is set to meet for 11am and have a 50km loop planned. I'm adding an hour before and atleast an hour after their loop so should I should finish up around 110-130km for the day. Brent is planning on doing the 2nd half of my ride with me. He is pretty motivated and I think deep down he wants to beat his older brothers this year. I can see it happening. There are no stinky helmet awards for this ride. Dam!!!! Well I can see us adding a sprint of 2 in just for fun. See where everyone is at. HEHEHEE I've doing some sprint training.

Well time to start moving, sun is shining.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th HMMMMM

Well it was an off day from training. GOOD!!!! I had a crazy day at work and by the time I walked in the door all i wanted to do is sit down and relax. Guess what, thats what i did but topped it off with a beer. Am I superstitious? Not really, I usually take fridays off from training regardless. Saturday is my big ride and I have 4 hours planned. Hopefully my favorite woman agrees with me and smiles some sun my way. Rest is so important. On that note. I'm going to rest.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The story of the tri club and Matt

Ok so I know its strange that I'm a member of our local Tri club and yet I have no motivation to do a triathlon. Well there are lots of reasons for this. The first is they are a great group of people to train with. One bonus is the number of Ironmans in the club. Its great becuase locally these are the only people used to putting in huge distance training rides. Makes it a bit less lonely for me with company. The next addition to this was the fact that I started running last fall.

One of the members joked that they would start a tri event for me. It would be the bike, bike then bike event. Hey I'm game. I was only into the bike at that time. Well at the end of the season I wanted that break from the bike so normally its prep for x-c skiing. Ya well the evil #(%*@ mother nature had her own ideas this year. Sorry I actually like mother nature and its our generations enviromental impact that has turned her into the evil b(t$h. Well when November came and went with next to nothing for snow and started into december I figured why not start running. Now one of my favorite sayings before this was "there is no coasting in running thats why I bike" doenst come out of my mouth anymore. I have to admit that I do enjoy it. Plus there are some great perks to it for cardio training. Its very easy to stay within a a couple beats for zone training.

Now the running was just a secondary thing. I've been riding with most of the club members for a couple years. We have a small community of multisport athletes. When I say this I dont mean tris, its that people play more than hockey and baseball. It seems to be the same core people that run, ski, bike etc so I figured why not join the club. Some of the extra with it are the social events. Hey gotta have a recovery day and if it includes beer well count me in. We have had wine tasting evening already which runs as a close second.

Well tonight was another bonus with the club. We learned about some of the mechanics of the body. We had some demos involving power training etc, There were a few things i will bring to my training but it was great to hear different inputs. We have a deep diverstiy of coaches and years of experience including an age group world champion which is amazing considering how small our commnity is. Its also made some of those early season roller season much more enjoyable with some group spins. Now the bonus is some pretty cool looking jerseys and like we all know you can never have enough clothing. I'm kicking myself for now ordering more.

So as you can see being a club member has some great rewards. The moral of the story, join up, have fun and meet more crazy people with the same interets.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I dont hate the weather as much

Well I managed to sneak my ride in bafore the storm hit. That wind was mean but just means resistance training. I was happy with my ride and the pace I mantained. I use this same route as a body check. its a great route of 25km with 4 awesome climbs, one is at at 18 percent and a couple at just over 10 percent.

The first MCC and Tri club group ride is saturday. It will be nice doing some pack riding again. It really helped my training and my motivation for those long training days. I'm going to stick with the came plan as last year since it worked awesome. Ride for an hour or so before the club meets up and ride at least an hour after. As the group increases there distances so do I. This week should end up around 4 hours. Its great also mixing it up with the town line sprints and hill top sprints. Its great, we keep score and its amazing what types of stratgies start happening amongst ourselves. Certain people low on the points wont get chased down where others even stand up everyone is on edge ready to go. Last year I finished 2nd, this year were looking at mixing it up and keeping seprate points for climbs and sprints. This could be interesting.

I'm a little disappointed though. Got that call i didnt want to hear. There is another day with my TT bike. Time Trials start start teh first week of May and right Giant is pushing close to that for delivery. I'd like to have about a week to spend with setup also. There will be alot of playing around. Awww need to stop thinking about its pretty carbon frame!!!

Come on warm weather and sun. Gotta work on those jersey tan lines!!!!!!!!

Mother nature is an evil @#$&^

I can't belive this. They have called for another storm for this afternoon. Up to 10cm of snow. This is not fun. I've heard from my sister and my friends out east in the Ottawa area teasing me with clear roads. Well what can you do but deal with it. As long as its not to crazy when I get home tonight I will still ride. I'll still do the planned route. Its only a 45 minute all out effort so weather its cold and rainy doesnt make a difference. It hurts regardless.

Well the Tri club team uniforms are in. Should be a sweet addition to to my gear. I know that one of this times they crew will get me in a pool. I make look at doing a duathalon near teh end of the season or possibly a team tri with me on the bike. Thats still months away.

This weather is really not helping the trails. I would like to get some off road training in the near future. Well maybe another week. Tonight I may have to put some skis on the road bike.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Well after almost 2 weeks of crap weather and snow I finally got a outdoor ride It felt great. Just under 2 hours and kept the pace down. Average heartrate was 150 and only touched the top zone 4 a couple times. It ws pretty good oveall. I rode with a yonger guy from the Tri club. He will be a fast rider in the future.

So a quick product review. Everyone needs one of these things. I purchased a Garmin 305 gps. This thing is awesome. At close to $400 it isnt the cheapest thing but if you start to think of 3-4 wireless bike computers and a heartrate monitor the price doesnt sound to bad. I've yet to use all of the features but just even the basic stuff is awesome. heartrate, gps map, speed, elevation and grade to just mention a few. Its also great to be able to track what your body was doing according to the grade etc. You can also program trainig courses and the unit will tell you where to turn and at what pace etc. Definatly look into on.

Well if the weather agrees I'll do my TT route tommorow. Time to relax

can I

Well the potential is there to ger out and ride today. I've only got an hour ride planned regardless but looks like I can do that on asphalt for a change. Spent 2 hours on the rollers yesterday. I think the tour videos are the only thing that can get me to stay on the bike that long. Didnt do much after the spin but veg on the couch.

Now that the easter weekend is over its back into focused training. Sleeping has been a bit of an issue the last few nights. Up later than normal and mixing those evenings with some alcohol hasnt helped. I did get a fair bike of riding in considering the weather. Roughly 9 hours on the bike along with weights and yoga.

Well keep the fingers crossed that the sun stay out today.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The mind of an endurance rider

Hmmmm Do we actually have a mind? Sometimes I wonder. Endurace racing is as much mental as it is physical. Its also about luck. We will get to that after. The biggest thing with endurance racing is outlook on it. These races are more about what you can put your body through than racing against others. Its more important to beatyour own expectations than beating a competitor. The later comes in time.

Training is like anything else the core to it all. You can't expect to finish an 8 hour race if your longest ride up to the race was an hour. Same with a 24 hour race. You will never know how your body will respond to that type of torture until the race. Unfortunatly most of us have real world jobs which does seem to limit the maximum time per day allowed to train. I've also learned the hard way about overtraining. My lower back and foot numbing problems were caused by to much training not enough recovery. When you train, train hard BUT make sure you have atleast one day for recovery. I found that taking monday and friday off helped me both mentally and physically. The weekend is your time to get those big rides in. By taking friday off your legs also get a day of rest before those 5-7 hour rides. Yes if you want to do 24 hour races ya gotta do it. You are ramping up to that time but when its time to do that distance you have to do it. Sundays are usually a shorter ride of 2-4 hours at around the same intensity.

I know that mountain bikers love trails. Hey, so do I but if you want to get the miles in you definatly need a road bike. Especially for you 5,-7 hour rides. 5 hours on the road is like 8 hours plus on the mountain bike. Its much easier to get into tempo on the road bike. Mix up your sunday rides with one week road one week mountian. In peak times these are also not the times to take on major projects around the house. Hold off on the house additions till after the race.

With some of the basics on training this is where the hard part comes in. The mind is evil sometimes. Your mind will start to persuade you to quit at a race when your sore and tired. You have to learn to push through. You need to teach yourself to suffer an LOVE IT. Some tips for it. Ride when the weather is crappy. If its blowing and cold instead of thinking how shitty it is outside, think of it as a better resistance ride. Hell its almost like doing hill repeats without the hills. When its raining same thing. Ride. Do you think Lance Armstrong only road when it was perfect outside. The other big thing to remember. You never know what the weather will be on race day. Its not always 70 degrees and sunny with light winds. Wouldnt that be nice. If you dont learn how to deal with being cold in training it will make the race harder and your chances of dropping out increase. Something that Armstrong said in one of his books that has stuck with me. Are you riding or are you hiding. Something that I say to myself when I look at a rainy day, you may not be out riding but I bet your competition is.

Now with all of this to you don't want to make riding become a job. Thats worst than overtraining when mentally your not into it. You still want to have that craving and excitment everytime you see the bike. With that if you feel like crap on a training day, don't ride. Take a recovery day or go for that easy spin with your better half etc or better yet sit back and relax. One extra day off from training is not going to make a huge difference in your end results. As long as you dont make a habit of it. I've had days where it was crazy nuts at work and came in tired. Instead of a hard 2 hour ride i just cruised on one of the mountain bikes along the bike path for an hour. I felt amazing the next day both mentally and physically. Now try not to let this happen on your weekend rides. Those are your most important 2 rides.

Other big things to remeber for the mental part of the race. RIDE YOUR OWN RACE. you've trained and you knonw what pace to go at. Your body feels great and you want to go, it will be your mind that will keep things in check. I've seen to many racers lose it way to early because they lost their focus and paced off someone else. I've done it myself and the result hurts, alot. As the race progresses you will need things to keep your mind working. Another problem is you will go in to cruise control. You have ridden the course a dozen times already and your mind tells you how fast to take a corner. Well you body is tired and can't take the corner that fast or doesnt respond as fast. Guess what, you just crashed. Cruise control is bad and it happens to everyone. Ride every lap as a new lap. Especially the single track and downhill sections. These can change every lap.

Now I know some race orgianizer dont like it but when you get into the night laps when there are less racers on the course an mp3 player s your best friend. I've tried every style music to race with and have found something of a medium pace and songs you know the words to. Why do you need to know the words. So you can sing along!!! It keeps you awake. After 12-15 hours of racing who cares if you sing like crap. Your still riding. The night laps are great to because you will see faster riders coming behind you with their lights. Dont have it cranked but as I said singing is great. I've made many a racers start laughing when they hear me coming.

Thats it for now. Easter Dinner time. Everyone have a great one. Carb loading.

Friday, April 6, 2007

As my life as a cyclist evolved

So now that the foundation is set on where I came from now I can go on the fun stuff. So the first bike that got me hooked. A Rocky Mountain Hammer hardtail. It was steel but strong and light. It took me through 2 season. That first rough year but then I realized about proper training. I got hooked up with Georgian Cycle and Dave set me up with my first road bike. A Giant OCR2 which I still ride to this day. That year with the road bike saw huge jumps in my riding ability. I went from being at the middle of the pack at the weekly mountain bike series to busting into the top 10 by the end of the season. This is where my really addicton began.

September 2003 I signed up for the Chico Racing Fall 8 Hour as a solo. Id been watching some of my friends move up to the solo class and decided to try it. It was an experince. I did everything wrong from the food to proper hydration to even being on the wrong bike. Scary thing. I loved it. I finished in the top 25 out of 50 riders but it was tough. Thats when I figured it was time to get serious. I'd been drooling over the Giant NRS for sometime and noticed that most solo guys were on full suspensions inicluding the Giant. That spring the ground work was set and Dave set me up on an elctirc blue Giant NRS 1. Now i know it should be functon over form but I still think that a fast looking bike is very intimidating.

The first solo race came in May at Mansfield and I did pretty good. I took it easy and paced myself not know what to expect. I finished again in the middle of the pack but without any major issues. That year I raced on a 5 man team for Summer Solstice. I was getting better at dealing with being tired and still riding fast.

Well then came the next step. A small event in London at Boler mountain. It was a 12 hour event but great prep for the 24 hour coming up. I was doing really well and at one point was in 2nd place in the solo division. This is where the mental part of riding is hard. I hadnt learned about full commitment to an event. With less than 2 hours left in the race I took a few falls. It scared me. I was still getting used to riding really tired. I finished that lap and with just over an hour called it a day. I still managed to hold onto 4th place. I was a bit disappointed and more so now. Live and learn.

Then came my first 24 hour solo race. Hot August Nights. Well they lied to us. It was far from hot!!! It was cold right from the start . In the low teens at the beginnning of the race things were pretty good. Then as the sun went down so did I. At around the 10 hour mark of racing I was cold and tired and fell multiple times in a short grindy section. I came in that lap and bailed to my tent. With temps hovering just about the freezing mark I wasnt going back out for a while. The morning came around and I got back on at 8 and finished out the race. It was a learning experience.

I finished the season with the fall 8 hour. Wanting some revenge I went hard right from the start. Everything was perfect and finished 6th overall in the solo catagory. It was a great feeling. Good way to finsh the year.

2005 started off pretty good. I had trained all winter, invested in another Giant NRS for a back up bike. I've been lucky and have the best support crew out there. Mom. She enjoys this almost as much as I do. The only downfall, she isnt a bike mechanic. The 2nd bike was a necesity. After the first 8 hour race I was glad I had it. This was the worst start ever. In the first 5 laps I had 4 mechanicals. The seat post on my race bike kept coming loose. After the 3rd time I tore the post out of the other bike and conitnued on. Well then the chain started jumping. With this I slammed my knee into the bars a couple times. These were hard to deal with but finally sorted out. I gave up worrying about a top 10 finish but more in training. This is when things went really bad. My left foot began going extremely numb. It got so bad that I couldnt even walk on it. Well that was it race over for me at the 5 hour race. The next morning the pain was almost gone. The following day it was like nothing ever happened. It was strange.

The plan that year was to Summer Solstice solo but when the event sold out Rick, my sisters boyfriend and I decided to tag team it. There was lots of problems but in the end we road well together and ended up taking 3rd in the largest 24 hour race in north america. That podium was great to be on.

The following months 8 hour continued with some bad luck. The foot issue came back. This time at around the 4 hour mark or riding. At the same time my lower back continued to get tighter and even road riding was getting hard. I knew that my race season was over early.

I spent the rest of the summer seeing physio and massage therapist. No one seemed to come up with an answer to the problem. My sister loaned me a yoga dvd that fall and I was finding my overall body getting better. I had never been able to touch my toes before. Things got better and before you know it it was spring of 2006. My body was feeling great overall with no lower back problems.

That spring I decided to focus on the road bike and skip the first 8 hour. Things were going great and I was strong. The plan was to hammer the Summer Solstice race. I felt perfect the weeks before the race. I was consistently in the top 5 at the weekly series and putting some hurt in the boys on road rides. Then it hit. I got a cold a week before the race. Not just the sniffles but a sinus cold. 3 days before the race Jenn got me on Cold FX. Man that stuff works. I finally felt better the day before the race. Of course things dont go fully away that quickly. At the 7 hour mark I had to drop out. I was so depleted that I was getting dizzy spells on the course. This was one of those evil uncontrolable things that you never wish happen. The only bonus thing of it all was my foot flared up and my sister, who is a R.M.T. was able to track down the source. Stupid butt muscle. It was kinda funny though. People walking by and here is this woman jamming her elbow into a guys butt as he screams in pain. Jenn would just say "its ok he's my brother" as I fought to breath.

I skipped the summer 8 hour to focus on healling. Rick and I decided to go Tag Team again for Hot August Nights. We had an awesome race and the level of competition was high. The eventual winners are semi pro. We finished 6th and I'm really happy with that.

The fall 8 hour came and I decided to see how all the therapy had done. I took it easy with only one thing on my mind. Finish the full 8 hours. A friend from the Midland Tri club also competed and we rode for a couple laps together. He slowly fell behind. I felt really good at this event but just kept focusing on finishing. I the end I finished 9th. I had a minor wheel problem which cost me one position but at the end of the event I was happy. The foot issue was gone.

Now comes the 2007 season. With the first fun race down lets hope that things are back to normal and I can get some great results again. The first big race is the Mansfield 8 hour. I have almost 2 months to be ready for it. I will be!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My life change

This is more of an intro of Who I am and what got me into livig heatlhy This will also hopefully motivate people and show them that there is good in everyting that happens in life!
I know I change topcs a little but I think you can understand why it happens.

In some cases I'm still fairly new to cycling. I have been into it seriously since 2003 but there has been alot of history to it. As a kid I loved my bike. Hell at 16 instead of a car my parents set me up waith a competition ready freestyle bmx. As the years went by Mom kept me into it with a mountain bike. So this is the late 80's early 90's. It was a full rigide Genesis with full Shimano Lx component. It was a pretty cool bike. In time I did some mods to it like Scott AT4 bar and a disc wheel cover from a tri bike. Stop Laughing. At that tme John Tomac was racing with a fiberglass rear disc wheel. This was my toy when I was 18. Now to clear a few thing up. I was a SMOKER!!!

Thats right since I was 13 I smoked. Hey it was cool, or so I thought. As I got into my late teens and early 20's the world of 4 wheels kicked in. For the next 8 years my world revolved around horsepower and music. I was an import street racer with a nice collection of speeding tickets and fines for illegal things done to my cars. At the same time I still smoked and didnt have much interest in cycling.

Late 2002 is when things changed for me. My sister and I were far from close but had learned to put up with one another. She invited me down to Hardwood Hills to hang out with her friends that were competing in the 24 hour of Adrenaline. Of course I had to check it out. After watching the 5 man team do their thing through out the night I started getting hooked. I helped a few of them with minor bike repairs and it reminded me a bit of my past as a kid. Now the hard part of this was I still smoked. I actually felt embarrased about it and was going into the porta potties to smoke. Something about having 4000 cyclist around to 1 smoker, I felt out of place. At the end of the weekend I said thanks to everyone for letting me hang out and told them that next year I would be racing.

The first thing on the agenda was smoking. The race was at the end of August and I knew that if I wanted to ride I would have to quit. First week of August I basicilly said "thats it, I quit" over 15 years of my life at close to a pack a day. I'm not going to say that it was easy but its not as hard as everyone thinks. Over ths course of the winter i talked to my sister boyfriend at the time about trying to by his bike. He was replacign it and I hoped I could get it at a good price. It didnt help that I was broke since I was starting at teh bottom learning my fathers business. Well the rbonus for me came. My sister bought me her boyfriends bike for my birthday. I was wired. This is where the fun begins.

So the first summer was intereting. Of course I was cocky and thought I was fast. Ya well I had some good reality trips kick in. Afte teh first summer of riding and not really knowing what I was doing but thought I did came the 24 hour of adrenaline race. Jenn set me up to race with her team and of course I thought I was king crap. Then soe reality kicked in, well more a week after the race. At the race Jenn and I almost had it out and I know now that it was my fault. That was the end of the bike season. Then came the toughest year of my life.

That fall things started changing in the company. Dad was having problems but off course nobody noticed because it was gradual. Christmas came and passed and on the first few days back to work Dad wasnt feeling to hot. Mom and I continued to run the company whe we finally said to Dad you need to go to the hospital. After some disagrements he finally agreed and tried to move. This is when the first part of a long year started. He couldnt get upstairs. We called and ambulance and mom and I followed in the car. We were only at the hospital 20 minutes before they admitted him into ICU. Niether one of us knew what to do.

The next morning we continued with work. At the end of the day we went up to the hospital but yet still no results. The following days were very very difficult with what progressed and I still have a hard tiem thinking about it. I've found that I'm strong with my emotions but with what happened over these days I cryed many times. My sister was finally told what was happening and I;m still sorry that we hadnt told her sooner. That weekend she made the first of many trips from Ottawa to home to spend time with Dad.

At the same time that all this was going on my grandmother, Dad's mom , was in the final stages of her life. we basiclly floated from one hospital to the other. Mom became the bouncer. With all that was going on some of the additional things that put more strain on things included me not having a drivers licence. If you get a speeding ticket PAY IT. A $40 ticket cost me the ability to drive for 6 months. We found out who are true family friends were though. Some of Mom's friend used their holidays and days off to drive our work truck so that I could attempt to keep the busniess going. I still owe them so much. This gave Mom time to spend with both Dad and Grandma.

Grandma died January 21st and I'm glad taht we were able to spend her last hours with us there. It was tough and I still miss her to this day. Things slowly got better with Dad and he was finally able to come home. There is alot more to the 2 months of hell but I've revised it to keep it easy to read and easier for me to tell. With all of what happened over the last 2 months some great things did happen. I changed and my sister, Jenn and I started to get along. It was great to just hang out with her. I was also back driving which took some strain off of the busniess.

As the spring changed into to summer she introduced me to her friends in Ottawa. Dad was home from the hospital and of course we have a bit more hope. Jenn found herself a new boyfriend. This big scary looking guy who eventually became my tag team partner for 24 hour races. Rick was a big, strong shaved head guy with a very intense personality. Of course we clashed at first. Rick is a guy that I have alot of respect for but in the begining, man were we opposites. Jenn and Rick seemed to be a great couple though. They still are to this day. The summer progressed I kept riding. At this point I bought a road bike. With everything happening in my life the road bike became my escape. Some people mediitate, some do drugs, some run to find that mental state of focus. For me it was the road bike. Dad was still sick but continued to push along. My father was a very powerful man. More so mentally. Less than a grade 9 education he was in a highly skilled man with anything that caught his interest. From woodworking to computers to electronics to the appliance world where everyone asked for his advice. I'm still behind in what he knew on the appliance side but I hope to be better than he was. I think that the teacher always wants the student to do better. Even more so when its the father teaching the son.

Of course through all this I still had a craving to smoke from time to time. This got easier as time passed. The fall came around and the cycling season slowed down. I had the opportunity to ride for a couple teams. More so as a floater at a race but had a great tiem and learned to shut up and listen to what ever advise I could. That fall things slowly changed and as things got closer to christmas was say the decline in Dad's health. The days of Christmas were very difficult that year. We new that things were closing fast and Jenn had made some arrangements to come back a couple days after christmas. She never got the chance to leave. Boxing day evening still sticks in my mind. Everyone that was inportant to dad was upstairs that evening and mom was beside him the whole time. The family played cards and joked around but I think we all knew deep down.

I got the call at 5 am the next morning. Fran, a tenant knocked on the door and told me mom was on teh phone and that my dad had passed away. I was up at the house as soon as I could. I still to this day think that Dad knew how hard a year it had been on the family and after having the whole family there the night before decided not to push things along any longer. As much as its hard to say I think that things couldn't have been any better for the end. His family there in the house that he created.. Christmas is still hard even 3 years later.

With all of this that happend to me. It reminds me that life is short. I lost 2 family members to lung cancer. Its not an easy thing to deal with. I've also learned that you need to live your life. Enjoy everything you can. Work is great but its not who you are its what you do. I watched a man who had it all not get the opportuity to enjoy it!! For those of you that are reading this and still smoke. Quit, its all in your mind. Think of someone close to you, Do you want to make them go through what I did?

2007 uxbridge icebraker race report

So the 2007 cycling season has started. On April 1st the anual Uxbridge Icebreaker was held. Well first off, there wasnt much in the line of ice. Mud, well thats another story. This is my 3rd time competing in this race. I find its a great test to see where the legs are at after a long winter. This year was crazy though. After watching the weather reports for the week I had a feeling it was going to be more of a mental race than physical. Well I was half right. They had predicted up to plus 14 for race day, that would have been nice.

My teammate/sisters boyfriend Rick and a buddy Craig came down from Ottawa for this race. It was a cool saturday evening with a great pre race dinner and a couple beers. Craig was playing good and stayed away from the pints. I was in bed pretty early and already had my gear packed and ready for morning. Like usual I was up at 6ish but let the boys sleep till almost 7. I will admit that I am very much a planner and like to be at races early so I can take my time getting ready and warm up properly. I was hoping to be on the road by 7:30 but it was closer to 8 by the time we headed out. One of my training partners from the tri club also was racing. Brandon came down with me. Things were motoring along pretty good even though i did get a bit impatient on the drive down and pushed to pass a few cars. With all of this just north of Blackwater we passed a cop. It was the tail end of a 50 zone and I saw i was doing just under 100k so when i saw the cop hit his breaks and the lights came on I pulled over assuming that it was me he caught. Unfortunatly for Rick he started accelerating to soon and was behind me and the cop nailed him. With this it put us behind schedule. We hit the race parking lot just before 10.

With a quick run to registration Brandon and I raced to get ready for a 10:30 start. Of course perfect timing, it starts to rain. Brandon and I had already started commenting on the wind and the tempeture. It was only a couple degrees above freezing and a very strong steady wind. The first issue of the day was what to wear. Wear to much and you overheat, start sweating equals cold. Wear to little and you freeze your ass off before you even get started. I've done alot of training in the crappiest conditions lately and I was hoping it would help me mentally.

We hit the start line with 5 minutes to spare. No warm up except the ride from the car. Rick and Craig are both there. I've got alot of respect for the guys that I went to the race with. Rick and I have a great race history with some fantasitc finishes in Tag team 24 hour races. Now that he is on some new gear I an see us on the podium again. Craig is defiantly a threat but also great competion. He decided to ride his single speed. In any other year that i've ridden the course I would have only seen Craig at the start of the race. Tis year I think he had a bike of choice. Brandon is a strong young rider. As he get older he will definatly be a threat. He is a powerhouse rider that has just started realizing that you cant muscle a gear for longer than an hour. With knowledge comes more power.

The countdown began with some good lucks etc. So to describe the first 30 minutes of the race for me. I was stupid. I went hard to early. If I had been able to warm up properly it woldnt have been a problem. I was in my zone 5 for almost 50% of the first 30 minutes. That basiclly means that I was pushing on the max side in the high 180 low 190s. Craig passed me on the first big climb and that was all I would see of him till we hit the road. In the last couple years I've become a strong road rider so I planned on being calm in the first few mud sectons and hammer the road. Well what are the chances that they grated the road just before the race. This basiclly meant grinding. I did ride by alot of people but because of the push at the begining I was fighting to maintain pace. Craig passed my again and I wouldnt see him till just before the finish line. After the next mud section I was having those inner demons popping up. I wasnt cold but the bike was not sound to great and the legs were mad at me. I really did think about calling it quits when i was on the first lap. As I hit the single track I was still flipping a coin but as I went into the finish area and had that option I just kept riding. Thats when things startng getting better.

At the end of the first lap I figured I was somewhere in the middle of the field and the were a couple riders in sight. I basiclly said to myself you're out here might as well have fun!!!. My heartrate and legs seem to ge in may favorite zone and I gave up mashing in the mud and just spun what I could or walk/ran through it. My nice pretty 24 pound Giant Nrs 1 was about 10 pounds heavier with the mud. I hit the first road section and got into my rythem. The wind was strong and I had manged to gain on people in the first few km. Thats when the smile started coming out. Every volenteer out there started to smile when they say me coming. I'd hit hit each check point yelling Things like "I love the taste of mud, or best race yet" This is where the mental came in. I started feeling awesome and I continued to pick up the pace. In the final single track section I passed even more riders. I just started feeling stronger as the race went on.

I crossed the finish line smiling and I really did debate about going for another lap. I figured it wasnt the wisest thing to do so after a photo taken by another racer headed out to find the boys. After a minute of looking I hear someone calling my name. It was Craig. I actually wasnt sure at first because all I saw was a muddy face under a huge blanket. He was surrounded by ski patrol and he said he was freezing. Totally understandable. He askekd me to take his bike and gear because they were taking him over to a building to warm up. Said no worries and I would get him some warm clothes once Rick came in. This was a very tough race to dress for and unfortunatly for Craig he was underdressed. After being stopped for 10 minutes while talking to Craig and then the ride back to the car I noticed the cold. As much as I care about the enviroment I ran the car the whole time I was getting changed. It was nice to wear some warm dry clothes. I got things loaded up and drove over to the finish line hoping to get there before Brandon came in. The timing was great and he got a nice warm car to change in . He did great even though he said he was fighting off bonking. Rick came in a short time later and filled him into the details with Craig. 10 minutes later we were up at the building with some warm clothes. Craig's body temp had dropped alot and was lucky they didnt send him to the hospital. This is one of those events that you learn what your bod can take and how much abuse you are willing to push through. Rick ended up taking the clysdale award. Craig finshed 9th and I followed 10th in our age group with a top 25 overall placing.

I was happy with the race overall and am looking forward to a great race season. I've already looked into a cyclocross bike and plan on doing this event on one for next year. The combination of a lighter bike and better setup would have moved me up on the standings. I have to thank Dave, the owner of Georgian Cycle and my main sponser for an amazing tune up on the race wheels. There was nobody that could keep up with me on the decents. I've yet to check the bike for any damage but it will be ready for the next event.