Thursday, November 27, 2008

Update. 15 hours till move time. Everything is all on track with the lawyers, real estate agents and the money man. I asked nicely but they won't give me my extra money in a black suitcase filled with non sequential $5 and $10 bills. Maybe I should have asked for a big jar of toonies instead.

I swear I feel the same way as I do when I'm lining up for a race. My stomach has been going completely nuts all day and feel like I want to gag up a lung. Those who have had that bad timing of lining up beside me at the start line know the more I gag the better I do. Today I hit the podium.

One other major thing happened in the last few days. Rick, Richard, GOLONGHARDMAN(not with my sister),a name I can't type on here finally asked my sweet innocent little sister to marry him. In her weakened moment she said yes. It's about dam time.



Congratulations you two.
The count down is on. Less than 24 hours from now I'm getting my ass evicted from my current residence. Dead beat!!! It looks like my first ever apartment in here, even sleeping on the floor.

The dog and cat are thinking I'm smoking crack and have pawned off all their toys and beds. It will all be done in 24 hours. I would rather be dealing with 24 hours on the bike than the next 24 hours of this.

So the real story now. I bought a 1930's home about 15 minutes from my current house.


I've been in this place for 10 years and just don't feel like being a landlord anymore, plus I wanted a bigger place. I've been in this town for most of my life and really liked it here but a huge waterfront development was the final straw that prompted me to move. Sold my place to another investor.

I've done minimal activities the last few days unless packing is considered basic endurance. Heather has adjusted my training accordingly but has warned me that after Sunday;s power test that here nice sweet side of her will disappear and the whip comes out.

This will be my first year training with power and by warnings of Andrew it's going to hurt but the end results are huge. Hmmm I'm a little scared. I'll be using a Tacx Flow trainer for my abuse. A power tap hub may come in the future.

Internet use will be limited over the next week until Roger's shows up. I may start to get the shakes without it. Will update when I can.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A day of play

I know I've been bad at posting the last little bit but all I have been doing is packing. Well finally I'm done. The house is pretty much packed up. I'm not sleeping on the floor yet but that's where the tv is, everything else is in cardboard. I did get out for a little seat time on Saturday though. The conditions were right for a road ride. Unfortunately some of my cold weather gear is packed away, more specifically my winter booties.



I managed to get 2 hours in before the numbness turned to a little bit of pain. Did you know that you can get an ice cream headache while riding a bike. I've never ridden my brakes so much. Anything over 40km/h and I swear my brain was starting to freeze.

Today was a reward day for all the grunt work of the week. Since central Ontario is pretty much covered in white stuff the only place to ride some singletrack was Toronto. Yep, the mountain bike capital of the world. This was a day of play.

I picked up Jacob McClelland just outside of Barrie and headed south with my a couple single speeds on the roof. Lots of people were checking out his pimped out CCM. Every time I see that carbon crank on it I just laugh. The first stop of the day was the Don Valley Trails. It's been a few years since I've been down there but I remembered lots of off camber stuff. What I forgot about was the clay.

They have really developed the trail since the last time I was there with lots of stunts, bridges and log rides. It's not very long, I think it took about 45 minutes to go from one end to the other but in the core of the city it's pretty cool. The trail was in really good shape on the way out but got slick as the temperature rose. There were a few sections that got a little sketchy.

Destination two brought us on the other side of the Don Valley to Riverdale Park for the Provinial Cyclocross Championships. We got down early enough to stand in a 30 minute line up for bbq sausages. Recovery food? Did I mention that the Beer tent was right next to the bbq. Both happened to be placed right beside the only barriers on the course. Oh and the barriers were a little higher than average with a tough right hand turn going into them. Yep, drunk people with street meat cheering on riders, especially the ones that didn't make it. Mike and Andrew didn't have any problems.
video
Andrew and Mike road away from everyone putting at least a 2 minute gap on third. Andrew stayed about 10 seconds behind Mike for most of the race but a crash opened up the gap.
video

In the end Mike Garrigan took the win and Andrew second. Not sure If Andrew has put up a report yet but it would be worth checking out. Look to your right for a link to his site.

Well that's about it for now. Time to relax and watch the boxes. 4 days till move day.

Later

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is my world for the next week.



As much as I would have liked to keep a little functionality to my house it's pretty much gone to "do I really need it right now, nope, pack it" Of course some things were packed before the snow came. Yep, xc ski gear is somewhere at the bottom of the pile. I've already broken into one packed box so I was able to play outside.

Sunday was spent NOT RACING and after much public ridicule from Peter I thought I would show you what I did instead. Look back to that first picture. The afternoon was considerable more enjoyable.

Sue got me out of my house for a romp in the snow at McCrae Lake.


It would have been a perfect day for a winter paddle.

The top of the Crow's Nest.


Monday was a little more enjoyable. The Monday Night Ride Crew were pretty much forced to hang up the bikes. Down come the snowshoes or in my case start digging through boxes to find them.



Andrew brought Starbuck who kept the Molly Monster distracted.



Photo credit is to Lee. I would have stole the video to post here if I was able to. Just under two hours of "Hey I think the trail is over this way" and "Where the hell are we?" before we made our way back to the cars. Amongst our noise were loud cracks as trees and branches snapped with the snow load. I think we spent more time climbing on fallen trees than on solid ground.

As for tonight's thrills. Please refer to the first picture. Who's stupid idea was it to move anyways.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Since there really is not a hell of a lot happening on the race side of things I thought this would be the perfect time to thank everyone who helped me during the 2008 race season.

Who to start with. Sponsors works. Thanks to Blue Competition Cycles. I really loved my XC Carbon. Light, great handling etc. Blue has now come out with a full suspension, check it out!! Unfortunately there is no Canadian distributor anymore but I can see that changing in the near future.

Areus, great composite stuff I should have pimped out more of bikes with it.

Akona, The soft goods of choice, I've had many people try and steal my packs. Thanks guys.

Georgian Cycle, Can never say thank you enough to Dave. Best wrench around, you have continued to take care of me with all bike related problems. Georgian Cycle will continue to keep the wheels turning for me in 2009.

Total Body Injury Clinic. Dr. Bill and M.J. I would look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame if it wasn't for your help. This is the healthiest I've ever been for a race season and things continue to improve. They are also 2009 sponsors. Dr. Bill and I will be racing the Epic spring 8 hour next year tag team. Dr. Bill is planning for his first 8 hour solo sometime next year so this is a great step for him.

On the personal side. A huge thank you to my family. Mom for putting up with all my crap during the season. Also the most bestest support crew you can ask for. Also my Aunt Ruth for your help at the Solstice 24 hour. Thank you so much. My sister Jenn for your help and support at the same race. Brent for the bike repairs during the 24 hour, kept my wheels turning.

To Heather for all your advice and help without getting paid to do it. It got me far, now that I'm paying for your coaching skills the competition better watch out. For what I don't know but they had better just watch out.

So why do I say the race season is over. Because I'm bailing on the W.O.W. race in Mansfield this weekend. There are so many factors in this decision. First off. I have less than 2 weeks to have my house packed. How much stuff can one man have?? I'm finding out more than I thought.

The 2nd is the weather is going to be absolute crap. Plus 3 and pouring rain really does not appeal to me in November. I know pretty weak excuse, I even think so. I love the crappiest conditions for races. Short races at least, but I have no craving to spend just over 2 hours wet and cold. I have yet have yet to figure out how to mount an umbrella on my bike.

The third is that I have my first power test coming up in a couple weeks and I want to be healthy and as strong as possible for it. I know that I would not be able to make myself back down at the race. Plans were to do it on a single speed which means more work.

Last but not least, the single speed is dirty. I think this is the best excuse and I'm sticking to it as my main reason why I've called it quits for the year.

Well back to packing. ARGGG I think I would have more fun riding but at least I can have a beer while doing this.

Later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

keeps going and going

I felt like the energizer bunny this last few days. Then some reality kicked in late last night.

We had a few amazing days of weather and of course I took advantage of it with a few extra long rides on top of my regularly scheduled training. Well I felt the results last night of the additional miles. I have a good excuses for why i rode a little longer each day and they are good ones.

i probably needed the rides because it's distracting me from the stress of the house. Run around crazy for a couple days then wait. Then do it all over again. Arg.

Monday may be football night for some but not all. The smart ones are meeting up for the coolest night ride in Ontario. This was the second week at the 7th line. Criterium for this ride. If you have a singlespeed you must ride it and no matter what the conditions the ride is on. Oh ya ride starts at 8pm so bring your lights.

This week brought out 7 plus the Molly Monster. There is a new challenge amongst us, to bring the most retro, scariest or most pimped out single speed we can build. Right now the top two are Jacob with a pimped out CCM rigid. Yes I said CCM with a steel rigid front fork. How the pimp part comes to the carbon crank and shimano xtr wheels he has on it.

Lee is running a close 2nd with a Trek 4500. Ya, I know a Trek. No big deal. It's all about the wheels. This is a picture from a few months ago. Same wheels. I want to see them Chromed, or better yet with spinners attached!!


Mr Watson came out also. Luckily for all of us he had legs of rubber after an incredible weekend of cyclocross. Finishing as the top Canadian on day 2 of the UCI weekend in Toronto left him a little tired. Check out his blog to the right.

We had a dusting of snow during the day making everything just a little bit brighter. The trails were perfect. My legs on the other hand were not. A couple of the climbs kicked my ass and I found myself pushing the bike alot faster up the hill than if I'd been riding. It was expected though.

Back to the best SS award, I'm on the hunt for a Venture to build. For those non Canadian readers, Venture was sold at Zellers, the Walmart of the north.

Later

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The perfect day part 2

This week has been just one of those perfect ones. Home a little early. My legs were feeling a little trashed after yesterdays ride and workout so I thought it would be a perfect time to take out the retro rocket.

I've been back and forth on what I was going to do with my Gardin. I bought the frame off my sister a couple years ago when I got her setup on a new Giant road frame. At one point it was planned to be a fixed gear. It was half way complete but collected more dust hanging than miles.

The finished product.

This is basically my crap weather bike. It's a 1994 custom built Gardin. Jenn is just over 6 foot and didn't fit on to many standard frames. It's setup up as a 1x9 or 1x10 depending on wheels. How do I do that with no major tuning. Sram x-9 rear derailleur and a friction shifter. No shifting problems with that combo. Right now I have a set of Mavic Aksiums on it with a beater set of Soras ready for the salty rainy rides.

On it's inaugural ride I was really impressed on the way it handled and felt. Steel is still very smooth. It was another amazing day for weather. No long sleeves, no knee bands, no touque. Hell I love Novemeber!!!!

The only thing I don't like is that it gets dark way to early.


But tonight had an amazing sunset. Unfortunately I didn't have my good camera.


But I did find the Bat Boat. I think Robin was driving and was drunk.


And this is my favorite picture for today. It's official. House is sold, looks like I'll be moving by the end of the month. Not to far from where I am now. More on that later.

Time for a celebration beer.

Later

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are the planets in line? Is the moon eclipsing Uranus's'? Did the Americans finally vote right. I think so. The end result, 20 degrees and sun in November. I'll take it.

Home early enough to do a sun filled 3 hour road ride. I took the long long way to the gym. Headed out to Awenda park and around the point. This is still one of the nicest loops in our area. No traffic, good pavement and the views of Georgian Bay.

The Shoe tree sprint line
video

That's it

Sunday, November 2, 2008

video
Mike Garrigan of JetPower ripping it up the run up.


video

Andrew Watson of Norco Evolution battling it out in the first lap. 2 of the fastest cross racers and Canada.

More below.
Dear Mother Nature,

Please continue being kind.

Your favorite cyclist
Matt

The last few days have been amazing. Spent Saturday playing in the trails with Lee, Andrew and Rob. The 8th line was perfect for a 3 hour tour. Lee and I got into a "what ever you can do I can do better" game with logs and obstacles. I think the logs won in the end.

Cyclocross was originally on my agenda for the fall. Yep, thought it would be a great way to finish up the season. Then I raced one and went into early retirement. I did have fun at my one and only race of the season but it was a pretty easy decision. My knees are feeling really good right now and my coach kinda frowned at me with my thoughts of cross. What is the best way to control me. Take away my bike. I've loaned out my cross bike for the season.

Today was the Barrie Cycling Club cross race being held at Hardwood Hills. A perfect day to be a spectator. I did ride this morning. Did you know that the roads are empty at 8am on a Sunday morning. I got to Hardwood just in time to see the 11:30 race. I also got to see my bike in action. I've said it before, Brett Matthews is a kid to watch over the next couple years. I figured someone fast should be riding my bike.
videoYes those squeals are coming from bikes brakes. Nice tuning I must say.

Brett battled it out with team mate Steve Noble in the final stages of the race finishing 5th.

The 1pm race brought out the big boys in Ontario. It was awesome watching Andrew Watson and Mike Garrigan destroy the course. Mike road up hill that 99 percent of the riders had to dismount and run. He led from start to finish in Elite. Andrew finished 3rd. The pace they set was scary as they lapped some of the Master 1 racers.

My computer is being a little stubborn right now and won't let me upload another video. That or it's the fact it's Sunday night and I just want to relax.

More later