Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It must be our Indian summer. The last couple days have been amazing. I was able to get out and play for an hour yesterday in the trails. With all the leaves down now a night ride is a little bit to sketchy so I'm limited on how late I can go. All in all it was great just riding. I picked up the pace and did a bit more climbing on the hardtail. I really do like the way the bike feels. It climbs amazing and its very quick handling in the tight switchbacks.

Someone left a comment saying Carbon Sucks and don't fall. You know what. I used to say the same thing. You know what, I've changed my mind. Look at how many carbon mountain bikes are out there now. No I'm not going to take this bike free riding on crazy stuff. That's not what its designed for. But for a 24 hour or 8 hour race course or most Ocup races for that matter this bike is more than capable. Yes there is always that fear that everyone brings up that carbon snaps. Ya well for one I'm not 220 pounds and 2nd that's what warranty is for. I was basically told that if I break this frame they will give me another with no problem.

Now if you go launching off a 5 foot drop off with this bike sure its probably going to break. It all comes down to riding the bike in its designed category. Would you take a standard road bike to a cyclocross race? It might get through the event but it would defiantly not be a great thing for the bike. So has my attitude on carbon changed. Most defiantly. I would have gotten a carbon hardtail for next year no matter what company I was riding for. As for the falling on big rocks. UMMM best answer. DON"T FALL!!!!!!

Alright, enough venting. Tonight was an hour of Rodney Yee's Yoga for Athletes. For those that have not tried yoga yet. What are you waiting for. The list of benefits is so long that I could only start it. More flexibility, better balance, better focus, better breathing. This is the video I use. For cyclist this is great because its alot of lower body poses which we need.

Or for those local people you could check out Dharma Yoga Wellness Centre.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I have a 2007 XC Carbon to use for the next week to get used to the bike and figure out bike lay out. First thing about this bike. It looks hot. I'll get to how it rides shortly but the finish is awesome. Blue has a mix of subtle graphics and sections of visible carbon fibre. The bike looks fast sitting still.

This bike came setup with Shimano xt components and a RockShox Sid. Areus carbon bar and Easton stem and bar. For this week I've put on my Mavic CrossMax XL's. I love these wheels. With this setup the bike is just over 20 lbs.

The frame build is clean with carbon tubes and aluminum lugs. The bottom bracket is over sized to eliminate any flex. So how does it ride? The first thing I noticed was its acceleration. Every ounce of power I put down to the pedals went to the wheels. I haven't ridden single track since the crash last month so my trail feel was a bit off and with the rain and snow the leaves and trail were slick. The bike felt very smooth. I've been on a full suspension for a couple years and was concerned that the hardtail would be a bit squirrly and the back end would be kicked all over the place. Not the case. I felt very comfortable on this bike.

The carbon frame sucked up the small vibrations and made for a smooth ride. Climbing was amazing. It cut up single track with easy and went down the steeps with no fear at all. The only thing that I will need to adjust to will be over large bumps or things I hop over. There is no longer that little cushion of a rear suspension. Over all opinion of the bike. Its amazing. I can't wait to get both of mine. There will be a few changes from this bike to mine. Mine will be Sram components. I also did miss my bar setup with the bar tape wrapped grips and bar ends. My hands got a little sore but that was because the bar height was a little low and the stem had been cut to low for me to adjust it. Easy fix.

As for the numbers. The BLUE XC CARBON frame weights in at 1330 grams and costs $1000. Now to compare this Giant's Carbon hardtail costs $1500 and weights 1290 grams. For those racing at the W.O.W. race at Mansfield I should have atleast one of these bikes there for anyone wanting to take a close up look at it.

Will I be able to do a 24 hour race on this bike. I think that the carbon takes out just enough vibration to easy the back and the benefits in climbing will help the legs. Awww and a light bike will make those times I may have to get off and walk alot easier. Its going to be a fun season next year.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another busy weekend. Spent Saturday morning bottling wine. MMMMMM MMMM good. Need something to warm the inners after x-c skiing and out door winter rides. Did a 40 minute ride to do some setup on the hardtail. More on that in a bit. Of course it was still pouring rain. Went and say Into The Wild last night. Great movie, I've read the book and I think I'll read it again now that I have some visual effects to it.

Today was supposed to be a sunny day. Ya right. We did see the sun a couple times. Heather and I went to Tom's Forest for a couple hours of play time. This is my first time back on the mountain bike and in real single track since the crash. Things felt great. Now here is where the fun started. SNOW!!!!!!

This started about 15 minutes into our ride and stayed pretty steady for at least half an hour. I guess it is expected for this time of year. Tom's was in great shape and there have been alot of riders in there to set the trails. Even with all the leaves it was really easy to stay on the trail. Things were a bit slick but it was just great to be on the bike riping through the trees.

Molly and Dharma had a great time and got the exercise that they needed.

My legs felt pretty good considering the lack of training. We spent 1.5 hours out there and I had an average heart rate of 150bpm. My back didn't bother me at all. Even with bumps and twists which was my biggest concern. What does this mean? Means I will start training again in the next couple weeks. Still taking it easy but I'm just happy to be able to mountain bike again. I'm thinking that a couple night rides may be on the list. For now its time to relax and warm up. If you hadn't guessed with seeing snow it was chilly out, 4 degrees.

Rode the XC Carbon full review tomorrow.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Free To Good Home!!!!

Well not ready. Bye bye NRS. Hello XC Carbon. This poor guy is off to a new home tomorrow. This frame has been ridden more by everyone else but me. Rick has used it at the 24 hour races and I've loaned it out to a couple friends. I would be surprised if it has more than 500km on it. I'm still keeping my NRS 1 since Blue's full suspension is still in the final stages of development. Plus I just can't come to selling it. Its such a sweet looking bike that looks fast just hanging on the wall.

My CX6.5 cross bike is being built as we speak and just getting the final sizing done for the XC Carbon. I will have one for the next week to play with and I'll get a few pics up along with first opinions of the bike.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Snap, crackle pop is what my body is doing right now. I'm starting to get some flexibility back and with that comes alot of realignment of bones. Its nice being able to twist again with out cringing and I'm able to sleep on my side again which will be help my rest. No riding till the weekend.

Now all you endurance racers this will catch your attention. If you are looking for a coach that can help you reach your potential you need to continue reading. Heather is not one of those coaches that sits on the sidelines. She has been there including winning a 24 Hour of Adrenaline solo race. She has also coached a racer go to the 24 Hour World Solo Championships this past summer. She knows what it takes to compete in endurance mountain bike races and can design a program that will work with your lifestyle. If you are looking at pushing your riding to the next level get in touch with her at the link below.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another mellow evening. Spent an hour stretching. My right knee has been bothering me the last few days. I have a massage this Friday and I'll defiantly have it looked at along with loosening up the back. The rest of the parts for the cross bike should be here Friday and the XC Carbon frame for the first mountain bike build is on order and should arrive in the next couple weeks.

Its coming into that time of year that I find it really hard to motivate myself. Its been a long summer with riding etc and now that its dark early its hard to want to do much more than sit on the couch. I'll have to start doing a couple night rides soon because I'm just not ready to spend time on the rollers or trainer yet. Well the couch is calling and I'm feeling way to weak to argue with it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The only thing that let you know it was a fall day were the amazing colours of the leaves. Sunday was amazing weather. Not your typical cool fall day. It hit 24 degrees Celsius. Some new temperature records set in the area and I was out playing in it.

Started out with an easy ride with Molly. She needed a good run so grabbed my backup mountain bike. My race NRS has been in the shop until today with no time line for repairs. Yesterday ride was the closest thing to trail riding that I've done since the crash on September 29th.

Molly st 23 km/h. A little to much energy?

At the mid way point. 10km later we were back home with her being much calmer. Total of just under 20km. I will be able to do some real trail riding soon. The back was not to bad, only a few bumps bothered it. Crazy rocky technical stuff is defiantly waiting till next year.

Got changed and loaded the car up with the road bike to meet up with Heather for a few hours on the road. Her town, her route.

Heading north towards the Trent Severn waterway and Lock 42. What a nice route. Some good rolling hills and some great scenery. The bigger bonus was the complete lack of traffic on this route.

The views were awesome

Finished up with a this cool section of bike path.

The total for the day was 3.5 hours of riding with low heart rate average. 117 with the dog and 126 with Heather. My knees were a bit achy but I know that was a combination of the yard work the day before and still not being able to sleep in a good restful position for them. Soon!!! Now I will say that I am feeling a bit weak on the mountain bike. I don't feel like I have alot of power and even the technical feel was down with the minor bit of single track. I guess 3.5 weeks of doing next to nothing will do that to you.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun and just enjoying life. We are having another warm day today and I'm on the back deck typing this wearing shorts and a t-shirt. They are calling for frost this week so might as well enjoy it while I can.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One of those days that needed to be done. The weather was kinda crappy yesterday and I'm still not back to any type of training so it was time to do all those things I've neglected all summer. Spent the day doing yard work and cleaning both vehicles. I have a low maintenance yard but that does mean maintenance. Things look alot better out there now. I also got the gear room layed out a bit better. With some new toys on the way I'm running out of room. Does anyone really need 7 bikes? UMMMMMMM YEP!!!!

Its going to be a beautiful day today and I'm going to get a few kilometers in.
Time to play

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Its the weekend, its raining. Typical. So latest updates. Trinity A1 is not for sale anymore. I like it to much to get rid of it. I picked up my newest toy yesterday. This is the Blue CX6.5 cross bike.

Its still in the build stage as I type this but should be on in it in a couple days. Aluminum frame, carbon fork, full 105 components, easton wheels. My shifters won't be in till Wednesday. Its going to make winter training fun. I will have a full review of the bike once I get some miles on it. Yes I'm riding.

The rib is fine but the tendons on the left side of my back are taking their sweet ass time healing. I still cannot get up without rolling to my side. I haven't had a good crash in a couple years so I guess it was due. With the inactivity I'm amazed that I'm not fat. I have put on a couple pounds but not showing any rolls that shouldn't be there. November 1st is that start date to get back into the grove again.

There is a fun race in Mansfield on November 24th. This will be the first check on how things are healing. Its 40km and I will defiantly be only riding it not pushing for the front. I'm saying this now but things could change in a month. This is a cool event that could runs no matter what the weather conditions are. In November it could be anything including riding in 2 feet of snow. Hey why the hell not!!!!!! I could have one of my XC Carbons for this race which would be a bonus.

Time to roll

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Had a bit of a life reality check today. One of my customers son is fighting the evil. Cancer. He is six. It really puts things in perspective. I know how we dealt with things when my father and grandmother died of it. There was alot of straight out knowledge and they were aware of the end result. This six year old was so happy and seemed to not have a care in the world. He is losing the battle but doesn't seem to worry. His energy towards life was amazing. Why is life so unfair?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Awww the thrill of riding and kinda sorta training. Went for a 1.5 hour ride yesterday and it was awesome!!! Still not really ready to jump back on the mountain bike. I kept the ride at a sane pace just bellow 30km/h average and heart rate average of 140. It just felt great.

Now I did bring on some pain and went to Heathers Yoga class. This was a great test to see where m back and rib are at. The rib doesn't hurt at all but some of the roll down moves were almost impossible. Its still going to be a few more weeks before the tendons are recovered. At least I'm not afraid to sneeze anymore. It was also a good test to see where the rest of my body was in recovery. The knees didn't feel to bad but I could see the weakness in the stabilizers. Let me rephrase that. I could feel it. I thought I had good balance but Heather sent me through a couple poses that opened up the imbalances. This will be the focus come November. Will be doing my favorite thing. Weights!!! Boring but necessary.

Overall I'm just happy to be doing some sort of activity again. I was a bit sore his morning but I'm still having issues with sleeping positions. A buddy of mine has been doing a competition on bruises the last couple days. Check out Big Ring's site. Honestly I think I would rather have some of those bruises because you can at least see some damage.

I pick up the Blue CX6.5 on Friday. It will need to be built but I'm getting a little excited. I'll take some pics of the buildup. The thoughts of doing a cross this season have been on my mind but I keep smacking them out of it. Would be stupid.

SO there is a small buildup of excitement of a possible multi day stage race to be held here in Ontario next year. There is a bit of info floating that it Chico Racing will run it and it would make sense for them to not have it conflict with
either of the 24 hour races. I haven't put my race schedule completely etched in stone yet but this is the type of race that I would love to do. The longer the better. Lets see what the boys from Chico Racing come up with. I'll have my 2008 race schedule layed out soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I might be able to ride tonight. woohooo Its not raining this morning and almost looks like the sun may come out. Well 9 hours from now that could change.

Monday, October 15, 2007

One great long weekend. Toronto Fall Bike show was ok. Just one giant store. I really don't need any more gear and with all the bike changes happening over the next few months I'm pretty content on toys.

Speaking of bikes. I have a 2007 Giant Trinty A1 Tri/TT frame and fork for sale. It has less then 500km on it and looks cleaner than the day it came out of the box. I waxed it. Its a medium frame and will come with the carbon seatpost and headset. Brand new the frame is $1700. Asking $1350.

I spent Sunday out playing. Went for a 4 hour road ride with Heather and it was so amazing to be out on the bike again. Of course I had the best company. It was the first time all week that it hasn't poured rain so we took advantage of it. Of course its back to rain this week.

My legs felt pretty good and the knees are feeling awesome with no pain. Still clicking a bit. I know this rest has be great for them. The rib is healing and I can even get the heartrate up with next to no pain. Still won't be doing any cross races this fall though. I think that would be a little to aggressive even a month from now.

Tonight I'm going to do my 1 hour yoga routine to loosen things up. With the rest comes tightness. Will have some more updates on all the Blue Bikes later.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Will the rain ever stop? Its be one full week since I've been on the bike. This is the longest I've been on the bike. Kinda nice. Well not really. I'm off to the Toronto Fall Bike Show. Its more just a big year end sale for all the dealers.

So here are a few pics of a couple of my new rides for 2008. I have a Blue CX6.5 being built next week to my specs. This is an aluminum Cyclocross bike and my new winter and early season wheels. The Icebreaker and Paris-Ancaster are going to be awesome with this bike underneath me.

The tcx was cancelled and I will have a couple Giant frames for sale including the Trinty A1 TT. More on that later.

This is basically what my 2008 race bikes are going to look at. This is the XC CARBON. This is the buildup for InterBike. Mine will be a little different. I'll be running Mavic and Sram for sure. When the build up is done it should be around the 20 pound mark.

I'll get some more info up on all the bikes in the next couple days. Off to play.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What will Matt be playing on in 2008?

More later including some new pics of the new rides!!! Is it race season yet?

The body is slowly recovering, less popping and cracking everyday.
Rib doesn't hurt but the tendons still are not to impressed with what I want them to do. The rest of the body just feels like I had a tough season. AWWW the beer tastes good right now!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not much happening right now for training. Let me rephrase that there is NO training right now. I'm yelling at myself to relax. Its hard but necessary. I'm taking the rest of October off from any type of form or scheduled training. The rib is healing and the tendons and muscles in the back are coming along a bit slower. I get a reminder from time to time that its barely been a week. About the only good thing is the weather has been crap so it does trim down the incentive to ride.

I am getting this craving to try a cyclocross race though and since there are a few in November, one being in Barrie, who knows. I'm hoping the TCX will be in soon. AWWW get those thoughts of racing out of my head.

Relax, Rest, Sit, Feet up,Lazy, Mellow, Nothing. I need to keep putting these thoughts in my head. Why is it so hard to do nothing?

Monday, October 8, 2007

On the road again, I can't wait to be on the road again!!!! Wait I am. Well kinda sorta. I got out for an hour and a half road ride with Brent yesterday. Kept the pace sane, low heart rate. It was great just being on the bike. Of course I kept having to say to Brent slow down. Its hard to keep a low pace on the road bike. Things felt pretty good but hills will still hurt for a bit with the full body needed. Still no mountain bike for a while though.

Lots happening lately to keep me distracted. 2008 should have me riding on a couple new bikes. Awww even a different manufacture. Nothing is set in stone yet but I'm looking forward to dealing with this company. More to come on that once its official. Also another amazing distraction has appeared since the race. This one will help keep me motivated. More on this one another time also.

Today was just 30 minutes on the rollers. Starting to work on the muscle imbalance issue with some one legged spinning. Still low heart rate. I would have been outside again but those overpaid liars made another mistake. No I'm not talking about politician. I'm talking about the weather man. It was supposed to be sunny all weekend. Uh ok is this before or after the crazy rain and thunderstorms. Well its midday so its time to get the Molly Monster out for some exercise.

Gotta run, ok sorry walk!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday night was pretty cool and it was hard for me to sit on the sidelines. The first Mountainview Race the Night was held. The name says it all. Racing at night. Just the concept was cool, except for 24 hour races when do you get to run your lights in a race.

Looking forward to it for next year, great way to end a race season. My fun was switching light systems around between riders as they finished. Had all my NiteHawk systems there and on loan. These are great systems and everyone who had a chance loved the led system. HID is great but cannot compare to the burn time and weight of the led. Gotta love 6 hour burn time out of a deck of card size battery while still pushing 30 watts. Awww and the cost is half of an HID.

So where is the body at? Rib is healing. I'm off the bad painkillers but still taking some advil. Back to work on Tuesday but will be taking things easy. I'm still very aware of it but its almost at that normal training type pain now. Upper body workouts will still be close to a month from now BUT the road bike is calling me for a recovery ride on the bike path. No hills, low heartrate. I think the idea of pimping out the OCR this year will now be a pay off. All that carbon will make things smooooth. I know I should be resting but this type of ride is not for the body but more for the mind.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Trimming back the drugs. The muscle spasms are less and less. I hate the fact that I need to take them. Hell I don't even like taking Advil unless I have to. I will not taking it during training. If it hurts during training means rest. Racing well that's another story.

Spent some time stretching in the hot tub and I'm no longer stuck on the couch. FINALLY!!!!! Tomorrow night I will be at the Mountainview Race the Night. Should be a cool event. No I'm not racing. Just cheering and taking pictures and helping some friends out with lights. Will have lots of photos from the event. The weather is supposed to be perfect for a fall night race. It really doesn't feel like fall though. This is what is making it hard not being able to ride. 30 degrees and sun this weekend.

More tomorrow night

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rest Rest Rest equals Bored Bored Bored!!!!! So in between muscle spasm I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I'm on some good drugs that do keep the pain within a tolerable level but not capable of doing much more than play on the computer and watch movies. So with this injury I've had a change to look back at this season. I won't be on the bike for a bit so I guess you could say it is the end of the riding season for me.

I'm already starting to look at the 2008 season. It will be another busy year. with up to four 24hour solo races, 3-4 eight hour events and a couple 50 kms. There is some new things brewing for sponsorships for next year. More to come on that. Georgian Cycle is again my number one sponsor. Dave has been great to me again this year.

This year I got a chance to meet some more great riders and ride some awesome courses. The biggest surprise for me was the Mountainview course. Thomas Wood has done a great job there and I will defiantly be keeping this race on my schedule for next season. I also teamed up with 2 great racers a different events. Rick Clancy put it all out an Summer Solstice and Hot August Nights. Went home with some hardware and beer. Brent Keen, who I've been coaching tortured me on the 10km run section of the Wye Adventure Race. Another 1st place finish.

The good, bad and ugly of the season. The good: sciatic nerve is under control, huge leaps in my fitness this season, stomach problems have been resolved. The bad: the knees got bad but found the root cause. The season is over early for me. The Ugly: The season ending broken rib.

Totals for the year: 5000km of mountain biking and road rides this year.
95000 meters of climbing.
180000 calories burned during training
150 bpm average for the whole season
207 max heartrate
1 mechanical failure during a race all season and that was
crossing the finish line on the last lap at Hot August Nights
1 broken rib

Well time for a nap.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I guess I can't complain on the time it happened but man does it hurt. Just spent 5 hours up in emergency. End result. One broken rib. When I crashed I did more damage than I thought.

Today at work I was putting my tool bag back in the truck and twisted a little. All you heard was POP!!!! Then came the pain. Not little pain, I'm talking bring tears to the eyes pain. Made my way to a drug store and they recommended this muscle relaxant. Didn't even make a dent n the pain. Of course I have a bit of that cold still so sneezing and coughing was causing me to swear and curl into a ball. That was it off to the Hospital.

X-rays etc. So no bike at all and no work for the next few days. Got lots of pain killers. I guess this is one way to get me off the bike to recover!!! More later. 5.5hours at the hospital just drained me.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Back from Dr. Bill. Nothing to major to panic about but bruised is an understatement. Left side of chest is pushed out because of the bruising around the back. Bill beat me up pretty good but got a few things back in line. Lots of laser time over the next 2 weeks. I think this laser will become a permanent fixture in my house. I'll try for a light recovery ride on the bike path again tomorrow. 1-1.5 hour max.

So the next edition is on order. I've said my race season is over and its all fun but I may look into a cross race or 2 depending on when the bike gets in. 2008 Giant TCX0. They have predicted the warmest winter on record for this year so there could be lots of outdoor riding instead of skiing happening this year. We didn't have snow till almost the end of January last year and this is the snow belt region.

Its a pretty looking winter beater bike. I just couldn't bring myself to taking the OCR outside in the salt after all the upgrades and the Trinity will only see the trainer this winter. It will also make it possible to stick in the lead group at the Uxbridge Icebreaker. These are all my reasons and answer. I just wanted another bike!!!!
Its two days after now and my back is killing me. My knees are feeling trashed also. Did an hour and a half on the road bike yesterday. Ok let me rephrase that. I did 50 minutes on the bike path then met up with Mom on the path and coasted beside her walking. I guess you could call that riding.

I've decided not to do the Race the Night event. I'll be there cheering. I'm having a hard time taking deep breaths right now and twisting and turning is just not even a question. The race season is officially over. No planned events. This also means ZERO training for a few weeks. If I want to ride it will be for fun now, no purpose.

Found out why the bike felt loose after the crash. The wheel bearing started to lock up. I think this was related back to the mud race more than the crash but I knew it wasn't in my mind. Tonight I will find out what I did to my back. I know that the pain isn't in my mind either.