Sunday, September 28, 2008


I guess my initial idea of not racing on Saturday would have been the right one. Hardwood 8 hour is the last big endurance race in Ontario and usually a fun way to finish out the season. This year I just was blah. I'd been planning around this race but after the excitement of the Dirty Enduro my body had been feeling a little off. Had I not already spent the money I would have been on the sidelines right from the start.

I decided to ride the full and just cruise the race. Ya me cruise, hmmm, you know I'm not into it when. I got to the race later than planned. My mind right now is on the new house not the bike. I manged to get to the line with 5 minutes before start time. No warm up, barely got all my bottles ready etc. 3,2,1 go. I normally sit in the lead pack, today I backed down on the start and cruised.

Things felt pretty good, I liked the course and the conditions. Finished the first lap and had to stop for a minute. I never carry a seat bag on my bike but because I didn't have a support person in the pits this time I wanted to get my tools etc out of my jersey to make room for a second bottle etc. Ya well now I know why I don't carry the seat bag. It came loose and was rattling. It was secure but I knew that it would annoy the crap out of me hearing it rattle for 8 hours. Tools end up up in the jersey.

Next lap the bike starts clunking in the drive train under load. Frozen link. A couple more minutes lost. If I was in full race mood I would have began riding mad at this point. For me that's actually a good motivator. Today I was like ok, whatever. Finally had a few laps with no stops. That's when the rain came, so did the traffic.

Had it continued to pour I think I would have been more inclined to keep going. This course was very rideable in the rain. Well at least I thought so. Continued to grunt along but continued to slow. Coming into my 6th lap I just didn't feel like being out there. My quads were tired already and climbing hurt like I was on the 8 th hour not the 3rd. I'm done. I quit in 5th place. Had I known I may have pushed for a bit longer. Probably not. Lee quit a lap later with alot of the same complaints that I had. He gave up 3rd. The beer was great.

I knew I was pushing it a bit at even attempting to ride the 8 hour let alone race it. It's been a long season, my legs are tired. Time for a break.

There was a couple things at this race that didn't help my mind. I think this was the most congested race I have ever done. There were not alot of places to pass and there were way to many people on the course for it's lay out. They really should have capped the numbers. I was not the only one that noticed this.

One other thing that was interesting. On my third or fourth lap I came through transition, tapped my chip and started to jog towards the Solo lane. Like I always do I called out heads up solo coming through. A good warning for people that could be crossing in front. Makes sense right. I had a race organizer physically stop me and say wait as he let team racers cross in front of me to put their bikes on the rack. Excuse me???? Then was told that I need to slow down. Am I not in a race???

Same thing again, I was not the only one that this happened too. The point of having a solo lane is so they can get back on their bikes quickly, Right?? There are not that many of us coming through and it take 3 second for us to pass this section where people cross over. Now why have a solo lane in the first place if you are going to stop us and make us wait. The top guys all run through transition because 10 seconds a lap lost by walking it over 15 laps equals 2.5 minutes. Wow could that be the difference of 1st and 2nd place. Almost!!! Maybe something for them to think about, move the solo lane away from the traffic, makes sense right? there was lots of room on the other side of the racks for us to go to and it wouldn't have interfered with anyone.

Alright I'm done my complaining. As for riding for me, I will do Race the Night next weekend. I'll be using the singlespeed and having fun playing. I'll also be at some cross races. I think I'm at the point now that anything over an hour now is to long. At least for the next little while. It's time for playing.

More later, right now it's house dreaming.

Friday, September 26, 2008

moving in all directions

The last couple days have been a bit of a whirlwind. My body is feeling better. I rode a couple times this week including a trail ride on the NRS. It's been a while since I was on it but it's like that comfy old slippery that just feels right when you put it on. The Blue XC Carbon is now a single speed. It has yet to be tested. That could be tomorrow.

I am going to do the Hardwood 8 hour. I was registered and payed for it, why the hell not. Amongst all the problems at the Dirty Enduro I still have to remember that it was supposed to be a training race. Now I have yet to decide at what intensity I will ride tomorrow. Also what bike. I'm bringing both the full and the SS. A few of the guys have all ready been taunting me to do it on the SS. Maybe. I'll decide in the morning when I go to put the race plate on.

Now going in the other direction. I think I will be moving. Not that far but moving no doubt. Walked into a home on Wednesday and fell in love. The last two days have been crazy. Needless to say there will be a for sale sign in my front yard sometime next week and an offer put in within the next 24 hours. The timing for all of this is perfect with racing coming to an end for 2008. This has been on my mind for a little while now and everything just seem to fall into place.

I'll have a race report up probably on Sunday and I will have some updates on new sponsors for 2009. Things are coming together, lets just see if I can pedal my ass around a race course tomorrow at the front of the pack.

Need to finish packing, pictures and updates soon enough!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I want to say thanks to everyone for the concerned emails. I am fine, well as fine as I was before last Saturday. I'm taking another day or so off the bike before I decide on this weekend.

Now what is the revenge part. Well since my hardtail basically raped me, could have bought me diner and a few drinks first! I thought I would take advantage of it myself. By stripping it!! Not completely. I'm one part short at this time but the Blue is now a singlespeed. Dave was out of stock on tensioners. I am pretty excited to play on it once finished. What better way than to stomp the crap out of pedals. pun intended.

I'll do any final races on my NRS. I figure I better let my lower end have a bit of enjoyment after last weekends abuse. Oh and save it for cross.

It's sponsorship time also. Things have be coming in already. Total Body is back again taking care of all my body aches and pains. Dave and Georgian Cycle is taking care of me also and has already helped with the next sponsor. Got a great phone call yesterday. Of course that was followed with a couple papers to sign. So what am I going to be riding?

This times 2

It's funny that I'm back to where I started a couple years ago. Dave put me on a couple NRS's a couple years back and I still have one because I love the bike so much. Well now it's the next step, Anthem X1, 4 inch travel, after last weekends abuse I almost want to race xc on a downhill bike.

I have another new sponsor for 2009 that I will introduce in the next couple weeks. This is something that I'm very excited about and hopefully will make a huge improvement for me.

Still undecided about the 8 hour this weekend. Will spin out the legs tomorrow and Thursday and decide then.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Paul's Dirty Enduro.

Paul's Dirty Enduro report. Let's just say things did not go as planned. I'm currently sitting in the waiting room of Petebrough General Hospital. Will get to the conclusion soon enough.

The road trip down was nice. Crashed at Ben Dawson's Mom's on Friday night which meant about a 45 minute drive to the event in the morning. Perfect.

Heather had limited me to the 60 km loop since this was supposed to be a ramp for the 8 hour next weekend. This meant I didn't start till 11am. The 100km racers were off at 8am. Ben has won this 3 years in a row and was pretty pumped to do it again. Ran into a few other buddy's also. Craig from Big Ring Racing was going to be playing on his single speed. So was my buddy Matt Wynen. Matt and I have battled it out many a times at some 8 hour races.

Craig at his best!!!

Ben lead the 100 km from start to finish. Followed by Zac Wheeler on a single speed about 20 minutes behind at the end of the day.

I stated typing this about 5 pm just for time frames. Now lets start with my fun. Had a good warm up, legs felt pretty good. Staged up at the front. A good group in the 60km field. Probably 60-70, hard to tell. After attendance was taken, made me feel like I was in school again, they did a very quick count down. Go. I went pretty hard off the start. I always like being in the front 4-5 for the half k or so before settling in. That is exactly where I was. Tim Carlton caught me pretty quick like I expected him to. I didn't expect to keep up with him for the first 2 hours but hopefully start pulling people back in in the last 20 km.

I really need to do this race again in the future. Talk about singletrack. Oh have I mentioned the climbing? of course what goes up gets to come down. Now as much as the singletrack was fun, things were extremely bumpy. Ganaraska forest is is obviously a man made forest with lots of replanting. Ya you know row planting bumps that are just of rhythm of a 26 inch frame build so lots of chatter to the body. This is where my problems began.

Hit the first feed zone feeling pretty good. I had two bottles so my plan was to top up at the last feed area. At this point I was running in the top 5 of my division and probably 8th overall. This was about an hour in. I'd pulled in 2 riders just after this point for the overall position. Still in my rhythm.

The next hour things were still going good. Sorta. I could feel a bit of tightness beginning to develop below my stomach. Well I timed it right and dropped a chain. Pee break. Sorry I know over share but it does become important. The pain went away for the moment. The next 20 minutes things started to change. I kinda knew this feeling and it's not a good feeling. Kept in my rhythm but I found the the chatter bumps were starting to hurt more and more. Not just bumpy course sore but someone stabbing me in the gut type pain. My abs became tighter and tighter and I was starting to have a hard time climbing. I'm not talking about sore legs pushing a hard gear up a climb problem, this became to the point that I was in my granny
I was fighting to keep my heart rate down. It was peaking on the easiest things. Then came the technical singletrack and stuff that I would normally be smoking through and I was stopping to take some strain off. This is also where the mind starting thinking alot. Oh did I mention that people started going by my like I wasn't even moving. That was because I wasn't. I was back in 20 plus
by this time and i kept feeling worst.

This is the same problem I had at the 9 hour. I couldn't drink or eat and I was hunched over. Flash back to the 2 litres of fluids i brought up after the race. The stuff my body was not absorbing. My thoughts today, make yourself puke. Tried for a few minutes with no success. Get on the bike and pedal. Things kept getting worst. I was praying for the last feed zone. Surprisingly I was still sorta happy. Hit the feed and asked the fastest way out. I'm done. About 3km down a fire road and I was back in the chalet area. I was still gurgling alot but had some gas come out in different directions, another over share.

Of course I still have the thought that the 8 hour is next weekend. Smart, stop riding recovery and play hard next weekend. All those thoughts changed about an hour after I was thinking this. Hanging with a few of the boys that had just come in I started to feel crappy again. I also had an urge. I won't share this to much but lets just say that there was blood with something that there shouldn't be with.

Came out of the porta pottie of death, got dizzy, laid down, first person I saw told them to get me first aid. Next thing I know I'm on a gurney being rolled towards the St' Johns Ambulance. Some test later and they are organizing Ben's brother-in-law to drive me to where I sit now. I've been here for 2 hours, had some blood taken. I'm really glad I had my laptop in the car. I would have probably gone crazy. No updates yet. I'm starving and thirsty. I haven't eaten since 10am. I'm still having some cramping, not like earlier but enough that I'm even concerned.

So here is where I'm at. My season is done, at least for the moment. The 8 hour is out, the Enduro championships are probably out also. Race the night? Not sure yet.

What do I think has caused this? I really think it might be caused by the bike. The hardtail is sorta forgiving in most conditions. Carbon is sweet BUT! I have been thinking about the courses and where the problems were at and how long it took to happen. Mansfield was tough but all the bumpy stuff was pretty much stood on. Both 24 hours were pretty smooth, the ocups to short to hurt anything but lungs and legs. Mountainview. Bumpy and physical, this race was extremely bumpy. What does this mean I should have pulled out the full suspension.

I've made a few phone calls and sit patiently, watching Off Road to Athens. unfortunately no wireless. More updates later.

blood work done. sitting and waiting. kinda sorta patiently. Lets just say that I have watched Off Road to Athens once, all the extras and ready to start it again.

10 pm
Just came from cat scan. I didn't even know I had a cat in me to scan.

10:45 pm
All results are back, I'm free to go. Basically it was what I thought. My bike abused me. Had a good doctor that was in to cycling and explained a few things to me. Very relieved, where can I get some food? He gave me the ok to continue racing. No permanent damage.

11 pm
heading home, I need to sleep in my own bed. I still need food. Ok this is the only thing open at the time and probably not the best thing to eat but I'm starving. McDonald's drive thru. BLAH!!! 12 hours without food and close to the same amount of time without fluids I don't care what it is I'm eating.

1 pm

Sunday Morning
Eating and drinking is the agenda for the day. I'm taking it easy today, not sure about the 8 hour yet. I'm going to get the full suspension ready. It's been a while since I've been on the NRS. My time commitments for Blue are done. I'm not making any decisions about the rest of the season for a couple days. Lot's of play time left.

A huge thank you to the Dawson family for getting me over to the hospital and checking in on me. Same to the St. John's Ambulance guys.

Time to eat again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

season slowing? Nope

Holidays equals rest? Nope, only more facial hair. A romp in Copeland forest today had me working the legs. I'm not sure who worked harder, me or the Molly Monster. I know that she hates hill repeats.

I'll be heading down to Paul's Dirty Enduro with Mr. Dawson. I'll get to play cheerleader for a couple hours since I'm only playing on the 60km course this weekend. We don't start until 11 while the 100km riders start at 8am. Ben has won this race the last few years and plans on continuing to do so this year. I really would have loved to race the full course. 100km, one lap all singletrack. Ya that's the words I used also. The 60 km is sounding just as fun. Last years winner was just over 3 hours. Hmmm, I'll be riding hard, my evil coach has me scheduled for a beat the crap out of myself ride which basically means free for all.

This event is also a charity event which of course always brings a little extra to it. Here is the link for the full run down on what started it it.

Tomorrow is a preride of the Hardwood Fall 8 Hour course. Ben is coming out for the loop. I love the course they have laid out, it's a great section across the road that is only used for this and the Canada Cup. Lots of technical climbs, roots, and fast descents. I'll have the camera out and post a few pics tomorrow night.

Need food.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Terry Fox Run

Like every year this is a really important day to me. Terry Fox has a spot in every one's heart that has ever been affected by cancer. Today's event showed the results of all the donations and time people have put in research.

Colby Matthews is a member of the Mountainview Cycling Club. He is one of the youngest members but at age 2 almost didn't get the opportunity to even live. Colby had leukemia.

This year Colby was asked to lead the parade. Even with an strained knee from last weeks Ontario Cup Colby was up for the job. If you have the drive to live 10km is a cake walk.

Pedalling one leg for the whole loop.

The rain held off but I don't think that it discouraged many to not come out. All ages were there, running, walking and riding.

Even a couple clowns on unicycles

Losing my Dad to cancer a few years ago was a very very tough time in my life and changed me as a person. It was amazing seeing a success story with Colby. It reminds you that every little bit can help.

Miss you Dad

Saturday, September 13, 2008

going up and down

Took advantage of the infamous Saturday morning group ride. I'll be honest and say that I do not like dragging my butt over to the school for 8 am. 1 the fact of driving in is just stupid. It's a 25 minute ride away but this also means leaving the house by no later than 7:30. Now leaving at 7:30 means eating breakfast no later than 7 am. That leads to being out of bed by no later that 6:30. I love the mornings and I'm up at that time Monday to Friday. I leave for work at those times and have no problem with it. When the weekend comes around I want to drink a pot of coffee and not look at the clock in panic. So what did that mean for me this morning. No coffee!!!! I also slept in. Hey I'm on holidays and the use of an alarm clock during this time should never be mentioned.

Ok I'm done my complaining, for the moment. I did drive in, I know, I know. I had some running around to do after the ride, that's my excuse. Small group today but still strong riders. The plan was to head out to the final interclub road race course which is on tomorrow. Of course the finals always needs to be the most painful, abusive, tortures, cruel course. Ya it needed all of those words to
describe it. The course is based around Mount St. Louis Ski resort. Ya around the rest so does that give you an idea of the climbing?

We rolled out of the school parking lot and looked at the nasty clouds hovering. I think I rode with my fingers crossed for the first 20 minutes. My abusive coach gave me a couple options for my ride plan for the day. Of course all them hurt. The guys I was riding with were going to make sure of it. I didn't help with instigating things when ever it was my turn at the front. with a gentle touch of the ride hand on the shifter I would ramp the pace up. Hey, it may be a group ride but my coach told me it's all about me when it comes to training. If you have a problem with that you can go argue with her!! Of course this was not a good thing for the boys that are racing tomorrow.

Rolled through some nice new pavement in Orr Lake, crossed the highway and had the real pain begin. The section of moonstone and Mount St. Louis you are either going up or down, minimal flat sections, Oh and being around a ski resort means it's steep. Ski hill steep. One of the guys cut out early to save his legs for tomorrow. Smart call. The climb into Moonstone split us up a couple times. Now
the payoff, what goes up gets to come back down. I have now been on the road bike much in the last couple months. More I have not been on it at these speeds. I love speed, coasting is my favorite thing.

I had to speed check the brakes a couple times on the decent. It's crazy steep and has a couple small bumps. Ok really it's not that bad but even with the brake touches I hit just over 85Km/h and that was not even in my normal tuck position. The boys do this 3 times tomorrow, woo hoo. Now of course we had to get back to the top again. More climbing. Nice. One thing I do love about the road bike. It's power transfer, When I stand there is no tires slippage. Everything goes to forward momentum. Ya I attacked the hills, felt great.

Now one thing that always happens in these group rides. Near the end of the ride someone always tries to blow up the group. Today that was going to be me. Coming on to the 5 th line I took the lead, picked up the pace and didn't look back. Unfortunately I ran out of road before I did any major damage but speeds averaged a hair under 43 km/h for about 20 minutes. Dam stop signs. I felt great putting out that effort.

It's a recovery day tomorrow and I'll be spinning out the legs at a very important event. The Terry Fox Run. The MCC guys will be there. Lots of pictures to be taken. Hope everyone can make it out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

important events

The holiday is over. Heather was nice enough to give me a couple easy training days after Provincials.

I am on holidays for the next two weeks. Well needed. There is no holiday from training. The last 8 hour ( )is 3 weeks away. I'm also heading down to Paul's Dirty Enduro ( ) and using the 60km as a warm up. I've heard that it's a great loop. Can't wait.

In other news, two important things are happening. Lance is making a come back and the Terry Fox Run is a couple days away.

For those that know me know I've had Cancer hit twice in my family. It's a cruel disease. Take some time this weekend and get involved. Terry Fox is a hero to everyone.

As for Lance, his comeback is on the same path that Terry Fox went on. To raise awareness of cancer. Oh and kick a little ass on the bike at the same time.

Should make the tour a little more interesting in 2009.

Time to stop drinking coffee and get my butt moving. I love holidays!!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Ontario Cup Provincial Championships

Ya summer is coming to a close. This brought everyone north to my backyard. Mountainview Ski Hill hosts the world!!!! Ok, maybe not the world but a really big province? Either way it was great to see Mountainview turned into the hot spot for the weekend.

So how was the weekend for me? Well I kinda pushed the limits a bit on Saturday. My 2.5 hour ride turned into about 4.5 hours. Every time I was ready to cruise home I meet up with the next round of friends and did a lap with them. Of course there was lots of standing around time.

I also managed to get all the crashes out of me on Saturday along with all the flats that I could possibly have. Better than on race day. It was very interesting hearing every ones comments on the course. Especially the ones made before they road it and then after the fact. There were a few people whining. The best description I could come up with Kelso with the technical of Buckwallow. In other words the strongest all around rider was going to win.

I was actually feeling pretty good. This was still a training ride for me but of course you want to ride well in your hometown. So did every other Mountainview Cycling Club member. First the provincials then the world (brah hahahha in the best Dr. Evil voice) Ok a little over the top.

It's amazing how 24 hours later the course can change. Saturday the course was as slippery as grease with the dry trail. I was opting to run a mud tire on the front. Sunday morning came around and so did the rain! HMMMM could be interesting.

Was up to the venue early to do feed zone for Dr. Bill and cheer on everyone racing early. The rain continued intermittently but the course just sucked it up.

By the time the 9:30 riders were getting ready to roll it was raining steady. Lee showed up with his kick ass single speed. These are the coolest wheels.

I think he should have road this bike for his race. Would have made it fair for everyone else. More on that later.

The start of our course was just down right cruel. Right up the the ski hill. Dr. Bill and Mark Matthews heading up.

For the singlespeeders, ummm pain? Thomas Wood and Davis Ross represented Mountainview and tore up the course. The club was well represented in the 9:30 start with John Webb taking the win in the Master 45-49, Dr. Bill taking 3rd in the 40-44, Mark Matthews finished close in 5th. Thomas and Davis finished 4th and 5th less than 10 seconds apart. Dale Wood finished 4th in the 50-59 and Erin Wood kicked ass in the Women's 20-29 sport finishing 4th also. Great result in her first year racing.

I'll get to my race shortly. the 1:30 start had some of the best racers in the country lined up. Andrew Watson tore up the course and moved from 6th to 3rd in the 2nd last lap. Brett Matthews finished 2nd behind national champion Mitch Bailey. Unfortunately Brett got hung up in lapped traffic on the first lap and Mitch was able to put a huge gap on him that he was unable to take back. There were not that many places to pass on this course. Ed Hunt made a return appearance to the cycling scene. A 24 hour Hall of Famer, The first ever solo rider decide to check his legs after not racing for 10 years. He is a former world cup rider. The Mountainview club is pretty deep in talent.

Speaking of. Lee Symmes decided to move up to Expert for the finals instead of waiting till next year. He said that he didn't want the pressure of trying to win. He figured that he would finish mid pack. He destroyed the pack. He won the Expert 20-29 by almost 3 minutes riding his 5 inch travel trail bike. You should see him go on his hardtail. Congrats Lee, I think they will be pushing you up to Elite by mid season 2009.

So my race. I felt good, great warm up. hit the line about 3 minutes before the start. Staged myself at the front. Because of the lack of passing and the steepness of the start I wanted to leave at the front. Of course it was still drizzling so the top of the hill was getting pretty slick. Hammered out of the gate and stayed in the top 6-7 at the top of the hill. Had to run the last 20 feet when I got stalled up. Still where I wanted to be. Dave Enns was right in front of me and Terry Dean was in sight. Teammate Jeff Buchan was gone. I expected him to win today. He did. Through the first downhill section I was trying not to slam into the back of the riders. They were on their brakes, alot. Perks of knowing the course. Next climb picked off 2 more riders and sat in 5th with Dave in front of me. My plan was to pace with him this lap, take it a bit saner on the 2nd lap then pour it on on the last one.

Through the first lap I sat with him as we swapped back in fourth with the lead. Of course lapped traffic became a real problem early. Less than 10 minutes into the lap we were catching slower riders from the other 2 starts. Of course this slowed us up alot.

Came through the timing tent feeling good and hit the feed zone. had a few feet on Dave but he is a strong climber and got in front of me by the time we hit the top of the ski hill. No worries, I wanted to conserve the legs for the last lap. Keep him in sight is all I wanted to do. I knew I would put time into him on the downhills. On this course if you knew it you could gain huge time in the technical sections.

Starting the 3rd lap I was feeling good. Hammer down. This was a much faster lap and I had some open track. I really started pushing in the singletrack and started to pull him in. Dave also crashed. Of course this shook him up and I was able to work him. I started to strategies what to do. I think I should have just pedalled. I led going into the last off camber section but we got stalled up behind some other division riders.

Ok, it's going to be a sprint to the line. I went and Dave was on my wheel. I had the right line and swung wide holding my speed. I didn't get the jump I needed and the two riders in front of me cut over and I was forced to soft pedal or hit them. Dave had the same option. He took the later, I took the first option. He snuck his wheel in front of me at the line as he hit the rider in front of him. I finished 5th. I'm content with my result. Great battle with Dave. Terry finished 2nd.

It was great playing in the O-cup this year. Next season I'll be in the division I wanted to start in. Stronger riders, longer race. Better for what I do. Of course the boys I played with this season will all be up there too which means round 2.

I still have one more solo with the Hardwood 8 hour in a couple weeks. Should be fun. Gotta roll, recovery ride and physio. I'm a little sore today.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

That was fun!!!

Full race report tomorrow. Happy with results. The club kicked ass overall. Need to eat, drink and be merry!!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Coming to an end

It's hard to believe that it's September and that the race season is coming to an end. Tonight was the final night of the Mountainview weekly race season. We had a few more visitors tonight with people coming up to ride the Provincial course.

I wasn't able to play, Heather had other plans for me. It was great hearing some feed back about the course from the new riders. Thomas designed a great course and everyone was finding it tough.

After a little socializing it was time to put on a couple pounds. Brien took on the grill tonight

Followed by cake. Hey everyone loves cake. Even me!!!!

It's been great watching some of the newer riders get stronger and it's always great having some inter club rivalries. Another great season has come to an end.

Speaking of coming to an end. It's sponsorship time!!! Pick Me, Pick Me!!! I will be on new bikes next year, what I'm unsure of. I like Blue's bikes but with no full suspension in the near future my back can't take the abuse of another season on hardtails. Of course I think that it will become a very nice single speed.

Need rest, next stop, provincials. Lets see how many Mountainview riders can get on the podium.