Thursday, April 30, 2009

She finally won

Came home from one of those days at work that I just was not in the mood to go outside and suffer. Mother Nature finally won. I caved and road indoors today.

It was cold and raining a little to hard for me to deal with mentally so I instead stayed warm and dry and watched a movie for just under 2 hours.

Watching my neighbours laundry blow around helped remove all thoughts of a last minute decision to play outside. This was probably a good thing though.

Had to be the same arm that i landed on at Mansfield when I crashed. I'm feeling a little twisted up right now between the shoulder and my new exterior vein. All is good though, I'm in to see one of my favorite abusers to more. Cindy is a great massage therapist and she will get my shoulder feeling better in no time. The legs are feeling really good again.

The weekend is shaping up weather wise. Maybe now that Mother Nature has a point in her pocket she will lighten up and start bring in some warmth for more than a day. Doubt it.



Rubbing is racing.

Back on the bike and headed to one of my favorite local trails. Of course the Molly Monster was with me. I was not really sure what shape the trails would be in since there were some major logging going on in the area.
What do you think?

Spent the first hour doing Heather's plans for me. My legs felt really good today after a full rest day. The second hour was spent trying to be efficient. The big thing I noticed last weekend was my heart rate spiking while in singletrack. This was while coasting. Excitement the cause?

I've been in the trails only 5 times this year, far from enough for me to have that smooth bike feel back again. I forced myself to stay seated through everything. Things just started to click. Of course I had a big smile on my face as I railed turns.

How can you not smile while riding through trails like this.

Rolled back to the car with the Molly Monster in chase. According to someone Molly looks fat.

May I remind this person that we had to help a certain dog who will remain nameless cough cough Starbuck, over low fallen logs and branches during a snowshoe adventure a few months back.

Finished up with a quick dip to cool down.

As for the rubbing is racing comment. About 30 minutes into my ride going through a section that was logged I had a branch from a fallen tree rub my right arm the wrong way. A nice 8 inch slice up my bicep is the newest tattoo.

Back at it tonight.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Exposed Exposure Light Review

No I am not going to run around naked. Unlike Craig and his teammates I don't need to show a little skin to get goodies. Who remembers this. You need to watch the videos ARRGGG. Ok now that I really can't see straight anymore it's finally time to sit down and show off the new lighting systems.

My wonderful, loving, abusive coach gave me a recovery week. Woo Hoo. Alright back to it.

Welcome to the world of Exposure Lights. I'll be straight forward, there things are amazing. First up is the package. I love the fact that they come in their own cases with foam to protect them. No more tool boxes filled with lights where the lenses could be scratched. Clean and organized.

I have modified mine a little to create a place for the piggyback battery.

First up, the Joystick. Get that thought out of your mind. I got to spend some time with it last night, again keep clean thoughts, no naked gear reviews here and this is a AA rated site.

The biggest thing with this is that it's not big at all.

The helmet mount is simple. Two piece squeeze together, one from inside your helmet and and the other from the top. A friction bin keeps them together.

The light itself pops in very easily and is held by friction. No it does not come out easily. BUT if you were to clip something with your head it will, this is a good thing, less chance of breaking the helmet mount in a crash. The mount and light are very easily adjust for light direction.

I rode last night with just the Joystick. It works awesome. No hot spots, didn't even realize I had it on my head. Because the ride was short I ran it off it's internal battery. That's 3 hours on full!!!! Exactly!! The biggest thing about this light I like is the weight or lack there of. Because of having it on for 8-10 hours the less weight the better. My next has felt like crap after some events. I was also able to center it on my helmet which will make an additional difference. As for brightness. It's rated at 240 lumens, It's brighter than my LED from last year and that was rated on par with a 20 watt bulb. This system is bright. I could race with this and be content. Awww but why.

Introducing the helmet mounted sun. The Maxx D is the flagship light this year. It is a bar mount system only. It's not that it couldn't become a helmet light though. The weight is with in reason to be strapped up above. Ideas??

It also has an internal battery and will scorch the trail for 3 hours at 960 lumens. How bright is that? Well lets just say that someone happen to have a LnM system last night which is 700 lumens. I turned this thing on and you knew it was on.

The bar mount system is great, it has a quick release pin. It reminds me of a ski binding. This means very secure but very easy to mount or remove the light. Exposure includes adapters for most bar diameters. No wrapping tape around your bars with this setup.

Now comes the add on's 24 hour racing usually means 8-11 hours of burn time needed. Well how do you do that with internal batteries. That's where the piggyback comes in. you have an option of 1 or 3 cell batteries.

I went to the 3 cells for each light more for my support crew. Simple easy. This now puts the burn time of the joystick at 12 hours on full and the Maxx D at 5.5 hours at full. One very nice thing is the cost of the batteries. Compared to most they are about a third of the cost. To have a few extra batteries in your kit now doesn't kill last months mortgage payment.

Things about the system from a 24 hour guy. First off I like simple and effective. A big thing in the races that I have done was having to shut your lights down when you went through the timing tent. I got to the point that I used to drag my bike while covering my helmet mount with my hand. Then spend the next minute or so trying to get the systems turned back on as I pedalled out. Exposure is so simple. The on/off button is center back of the light.

Turning it on is as simple as a double click. It automatically goes to high. From there you can touch the same button to go either to medium or low. very simple. As for shutting things down. Press/hold for about 2 seconds. Done. This is probably the easiest system I've seen for firing up and shutting down. The last thing you want to be doing at 3am is trying to get your light to turn on.

Another thing that the boys have thought about. The on/off switch turns into the power gauge. As the battery wears the light changes colour. Nice. No going, I think I have an hour of burn time left, then have a black out. Ya come on, use the force ride by feel, hit a tree. I do that enough during the day time thank you very much.

The build quality of the lights are amazing. No plastic housing, it's aluminum. The lights are amazingly bright with no hot spots in the beam pattern. The pattern is wide unlike most LED's This has all the benefits of what HID brought but with none of the downfalls. Why would you want to ride with anything else?

Alright the flaws. Well not much really. A helmet mount option for the Maxx D would be nice. Charge time is long but I prep my systems before hand and have plenty of extra burn time to that isn't really a problem. My biggest complaint was in the cases, I had to modify one of the cutouts to put the piggyback battery in. Not that it was a problem but a removable cutout would have been nice. Overall I can't really find many faults in their systems.

I have to say a big thank you again to James at IBEX. For those in North America interested in the best LED systems give James a call. My comment's on vision is over rated. You only say that when your lights suck!!!

More fun things tomorrow. I'll be on a bike


The Monday Night Something

I'm doing the light review on a separate post so be patient please.

The rules. The ride or whatever goes rain or shine or snow etc. If it's a bike ride it's trail. Preferably a night thing so bring lights. Awww, the big rule, no gears. You need to be on a single speed but if you really need to use gears cross bikes are allowed.

Well 2 of the 5 of us broke rules last night. Brandon at least had a good excuse and doesn't own either but Jacob. I don't know, we all were looking for the CCM with the carbon crank.

Weather was awesome, almost hot. Of course that will be short lived. Everyone was feeling it a little from the day before. It was ride a little, stop a few minutes ride a little pace. It was my first chance to really try out the 29er singlespeed, well farther than around the house a few times. It's a beast, it's big and long and you need to approach a corner a little different. It's kinda like driving an 18 wheeler fast and aggressive after spending many years driving a Porsche. Only rubbed one tree the wrong way. It is a lot of fun though.

We kept it pretty mellow on time and finished up just over an hour. Of course that was where the bestest recovery drink ever came out. This is part of the reason no light review, my camera skills were crap last night. Things I thought I took a picture of I didn't and other strange things showed up. It wasn't the beer that caused this.

As for lights I did use my headlamp only, more because I didn't tighten the bar light clamp up enough and the taper of the rise bar on the KHS caused the bracket to come loose. Not a problem of design but a user problem. I left it a little lose to try playing with alignment. As for the helmet light. It worked awesome. I'll get full break down of both systems up this week along with lots of pictures. I like pictures, means less typing.

Coffee is ready.


I had a chance to use my headlamp

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I love my couch O-Cup #1

It's the most comfy warm place in the world right now. Oh and the the beer that is sitting on the table beside it makes me happy also.

Alright to the grunt of things. It was O Cup number one and according to Chico Racing we were going to have the best weather conditions ever. Ya I ran into Sean Ruppel around 10am and was pretty impressed that he could talk without his teeth chattering. Sean is that sexy voice guy that cheers on the riders as they come through the timing tent.

I have to start about 12 hours early to show how the morning went. I went to bed early, of course Oakley my favorite (only) cat wanted to surprise me and bring me a present. She was so excited for me racing in the morning that she searched out the biggest fatest mouse she could find outside and proceeded to bring it in the bedroom. Yep up 3 levels and squawking the whole time. Of course it wasn't dead so the squawks were followed by mouse screams. At 1 in the morning those were screams. No sleeping through that so spent the next 10 minutes cornering and trapping the little bugger. No I didn't kill him, catch and release for my cat to catch and try to kill another day.

Fast forward 7 hours and I was driving towards Mansfield. Coffee and water, hell I should have just had a Tim Hortons. Why was I there so early. Well the club had a huge amount of racers playing at the 9:30 start so feeders were needed. I do have to give congrats to Meg and Courtney for taking 2nd and 3rd in their division at the 8:30 start. Great job.

The MCC had some great results all day. So onto my fun. So here is a very interesting thing. For everyone who has every raced with or against me, you have all heard me race day sounding like I'm going to puke up a lung, or at least what is in my stomach. Today, Nothing. Why? Because I had pretty laid back expectations, top 15 would make me happy.

Headed out for my warm up and timing worked out that Andrew and I warmed up together. It was a pretty cool because I picked at his brain a bit involving a plan for today. Thanks again Andrew. A couple other things were resolved also before the race. Mainly smack talkers. One has stepped up. Shane is another punk that races for Norco. Of course the other smack talkers are pretty much guaranteed to be member of the Monday Night Something Crew.

It was time to roll up to the line. Wow we are at the back, way back. Senior Expert leaves last. Why??? Of course the trash talk starts there and continues all the way to the roll up. The count down starts, go. Now here is the screwed thing, I took the lead right off the start. About half way up the climb I was standing and hammering. Then my brain said "what the hell are you doing" and I sat my ass down. Of course I got gobbled up and at the top of the climb I was maybe 20th.

The first lap was pretty uneventful. The start was climb, descend, climb descend, climb/run descend. Then came the fun part. The rain had let up and Mansfield has amazing drainage. The course started to get really grippy. Ripped through the feed zone, sorta feeling not to bad.

Lap 2 I started to feel better, this was when we started to pull riders in from other divisions. Traffic is great for recovery, unfortunately everyone moved over way to quickly so no recovery. I started to feel pretty good and pulled in Chris for the TREK store, then saw Scott from the same team. The 3 of us went through the feed with me leading. Of course the climb out of there kicked the crap out of me. It's not steep but its at the right pitch that screws with my legs. I've pretty much always hated that climb, even in 8 hour solo's. Scott pulled away but Chris was back. The next 15 minutes or so I could see him but couldn't do anything about it.

About half way through this lap is where I had a real perspective of riding levels. 4 riders including Andrew came past me. I just put my head down and tried to stay with them as long as I could. That wasn't to long. Now on the other side of things, I past a bunch of guys in the division I should be in,30-39. They left 4 minutes ahead of us.

Coming through to the 4th lap my legs were starting to get a little mad at me. The course was actually getting slow. Things were drying and becoming very grippy. To the point that sections that I had to touch my brakes I was now pedaling. Of course the last lap meant putting it all out there. The last couple climbs I was standing pushing a big gear and thinking. I swear each leg weighs 50 pounds right now. The lactic buildup was growing. Well I'm almost done, as the mantra on the back of my plate says "Don't think, just pedal"

Now the problem with that was coming into the last downhill. Devil's Drop (Mother Nature's half inbreed brother. I got way to aggressive and tried to rail the last left hand berm way way to high and way way to fast. I was good going in but I ran out of dirt and was up so high in the pines I could have been called a lumberjack. The leaves were still slippery, the bike went sideways, for a second then it went vertical. I went down hard. Well wet ground is soft at least. I don;t even think I stopped sliding and I was back on the bike heading into the finish.

Results are not up yet but apparently I got what I wanted and squeezed in the top 15. It hurt, it was fun. That was the longest I've been at high intensity this year. Congrats to Brendan 2nd, Lee 5th Scott 10-11th? Chris???

There won't be a post tomorrow but I'll be doing a full run down on the Exposure Lights on Tuesday. The Monday Night Something is out for a play ride tomorrow night. I'll get a chance to play with the 29er also. Right now, I have a pack of Saltine crackers and a beer. Screw healthy


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Head west. That is where the action is. So I did. Headed over to Mansfield to get a few laps in. Of course mother nature and I had a small talk before hand. First was the power outage while making breakfast. Ya, not impressed, then came the thunder and lightning. Oh did I mention the rain??? She hates me. The weather did clear pretty quick and the sun was out by the time I reached Mansfield.

My plans to be riding by a certain time pretty much went out the window. I swear I spent the first hour catching up with everyone. It's been a long winter and it was great to hear what everyone has been doing.

Finally got moving. I love the first climb at Mansfield. I've seen it many times. Straight up the front hill. Good way to warm up slowly I must say. The coarse is great though . All the climbing is in the first half and I think the two main climbs will be forced run ups from the second lap on. After the split climb the fast single track kicks in. Great flow. Some rain tonight will help a few corners. Not the most technical course to date but it's more of a balls out who will stay off their brakes the most type of loop.

It took me till the third lap for my body to start feeling good. Legs felt heavy from Thursdays hammer ride. Just means a longer warm up tomorrow. It always takes me an hour plus to start feeling good. Now I did feel something very strange during the ride, it's something that shocked me. I actually wasn't sure if I was hallucinating or not. It first started with a droplet hitting my lens. A little dumb founded. Is that sweat? Did my body really remember how to do it right??

It was dam near a heat wave today with temperatures hovering around 27-28 degrees. That's close to 85 for my readers down south. Of course this is short lived. We have a new rule in Ontario Cup that no one is allowed to have water splashed on them during a race at any time unless the Commissioner pre approves it. HMMM what if I splash water on myself? I think INFINIT may be a little sticky though. Well there will be no worries of an approval needed. Temperatures are supposed to drop and it's supposed to rain all day. I wonder who the commissioner is? Could it be Mother Nature? She really does hate me. No more sweating for you skinny boy.

As for a few comments from one reader. I'm having my midlife crisis and racing with the so called kids as you call it is a lot cheaper than buying a Porsche. On and interesting note, I'm not having my crazy nervous stomach going right now, maybe it's because I have no expectations for tomorrow.

I'll be down early running feed for some team mates, should be a long fun day. Time for a nice healthy dinner, no beer, no wine, argggg. Race report hopefully tomorrow night.


Friday, April 24, 2009

ummmm????? this and that??????????

Down day, easy ride. That was about it. Took the main Anthem X1 for one last ride Have a strange noise coming out of the drive train. Of course this bike has spent more time collecting dust than dirt.It has 3 short rides on it, it will be fine!!! It did feel fine pedaling so I'm not to concerned. Just have to send it to Dave at Georgian Cycle on Monday.

Preride tomorrow morning, I'll try to have something exciting happen and even take pictures of it. The Molly Monster will not be impressed about having to stay home this weekend.

On the trail riding front, drove past Copeland Forest on my way home today. Someone has been out there raking. For those that don't know, Copeland is linked to Horseshoe Valley and that's the venue of the first Marathon race. Lots of climbing that day.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last minute decesions hurt

Got home today, turned on the computer and looked at my training requirements for the day. Ok simple, now go get on the bike. Well I got distracted and started checking emails and a few friends blogs. I stopped here. After reading the last line of Andrew's post I looked at the clock. HMMM, I think I can make it in time.

Hammer ride eh?? Well my heartrate was spiking already and that was just me racing around the house trying to change, pack a bag and bike up in record time. HMMM looked at the clock again, hmmm it's going to be close. That's as far as I will go with that.

I have never been on a Barrie Cycling Club group ride let alone a hammer ride but knowing most of the members I had a wild idea of what I was getting myself into. It's going to hurt. We started with five, of course it was fours very strong riders. Unfortunately we lost Dave in the first kilometre to a mechanical. Well at least the bike looks pretty. Heading out Ridge Road the pace was pretty sane, that didn't last very long though. As we turned left up the third line the wind picked up and so did the intensity. I saw some numbers that I haven't seen in a little while.

The way this ride worked was we hammer it until someone popped then regrouped, recovered and do it again. Of course Andrew and I timed a nice long section of the 7th line for one pull. Mid 40's with the wind to our backs. I felt very Olympic at that point.

Of coarse good things come to an end and the return trip down Ridge Road towards Barrie meant the final hammer and sprint. It's funny how long a section of road is when you are on a bike in the 40's versus in a car driving at 60 km/h. I broke away thinking I can hold this pace. It's not that far I drive this road all the time. I looked back a few times and put a big gap on the guys. Unfortunately the distance to go was way to far for me to hold that pace. I'd actually hoped someone would have came with me. I backed down and got pulled in and when everyone went I had nothing left.

Rolled into town and finished things up with a coffee. Awww sweet coffee. I'll be definitely be doing this ride again. Great group, hard pace, still fun. Of course the anal planner that I am this won't be a last minute thing next time.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What to do, what to do??

I have to really think about how important the next 4 Ontario Cup are to me. I'm racing, no thinking there. I talked to Heather and she has given me the options that I expected.

Here we go, Saturday I take it easy and preride the course a few times and go into Sunday feeling good and try to finish in the top 10. HMMM Sounds good doesn't it. OR option B. Keep training for the endurance side of things (24hr) and do a 4.5 hour endurance ride on Saturday and hope for the best on Sunday. Any thoughts??

Here is an interesting thought to factor in. Last year I finished top 5 every O-cup. All but one I went into well rested. Albion Hills I did a 6 hour road ride the day before and finished 2nd over 2 minutes ahead of 3rd. Hmmm, I am racing in a tougher division this season so I'm not expected as much.

I've been sorta planning now for the second option. If I get down to Mansfield early, like still hearing the birds chirping early on Saturday I can put a couple hours in out on the road then ride the course a couple times to know where the right spot to vomit is. That gives me a pretty good amount of recovery time. 24 hours is all needed right??

Back to my coffee.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sucker for punishment

Mother nature and I have a love/hate relationship. She hates me and I love to use colourful four letter words when I talk about her behind her back. All day today the rain just lightly came and went, barely enough to even make the roads look wet. What happened when I got home from work and planned out my route? It pours of course.

Since I refuse to go back on the trainer, ok if there was a tornado coming I will, changed routes and bikes. Took the cross bike out to the crappiest gravel roads that were uphill into the wind. Wow, does that not sound like the line that our parents used to us. I figured if I was going to suffer through my intervals I might as really make it hurt. Partly for me mentally, partly to prove to mother nature that she can't stop me from being out there.

Touring home on the rail trail after the work was done what typically happens, sun comes out. Oh but not on me, it continued to rain on me but the clouds cleared out on Georgian Bay. Perfect.

It's looking like my favourite woman is planning on some great weather for this weekend. Should make the first Ontario Cup fun.

Couch time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

She's watching me

I couldn't resist, did the pack the car thing again this Sunday and headed south.

Clear highways are great.

Fueled by coffee

My training partner

The destination.

I really wanted to spend some time on fast flowing trails with the race next weekend and Albion is one of my favorite places to ride. I kinda thought it would be important to get one more ride on the main Anthem.

A few member of MCC were down for training. I road with them for an hour before they went off to hammer out their lungs, Lee and I turned to the left with the Molly Monster leading the way.

I was feeling my legs on the climbs but overall I felt really good. Of course I was watching how hard I was going. Albion was in great shape. Some new trails have been cut. I can't wait till Solstice. I use this as my excuse that I was scoping out the course.

Getting the lactic out of her body.

We headed over to the start loop of the 24 hour course when I thought, lets do last years 24 hour loop. It won't take long. The biggest reason I have a coach this year is to keep me under control. Tell me when to shut things down, when to go hard etc. I was having way to much fun in the trails. I swear Heather pulled out her Matt on a bike voodoo doll at the hour forty five mark and shut me down. Now here is the interesting thing. She loves me so much that instead of stopping me she did the better thing and gave Lee a flat tire.

That ended our ride pretty quick because who would actually carry a spare tube or a pump? Why would you need one? It never happens. Coasted back to the car, shot the shit with the crew and then headed home to give the bikes a good scrub and tune.

This is what will be sitting in my pits for the 24 hours this year. I love my Anthems. This is the best climbing bike I've ridden, the suspension smooths things out like a freshly paved road. Oh did I mention that they just look fast sitting still.

For those that went to Paris to Ancaster, check out Andrew's report on it.

Work day,


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The not so lonely miles

I know it is officially spring when the email's come out for the official Saturday morning group rides start. I think they need to change the calender to our schedule. Anyways, this year there was a major push for changes. No hammerfest.

The last couple years the group numbers have dropped rapidly because the pace would be driven up to absolutely crazy speed that most were not capable of maintaining. I am just as guilty as a couple of the other freaks. Those thoughts of, "I'm feeling really good today, let make them pay" and start running in the upper 40's into the head wind till everyone pooped. That changed for this year. Perfect.

I had a long base ride planned for yesterday and it would be nice for it to be more then me and my ipod for a change. I like people, sometimes. I headed out an hour early, I needed some miles alone to focus. I rolled into the LBS to see huge numbers. Nice. Tim went over some of the new rules for the group ride and kinda nicely hinted that the fast guys are going to be the responsible ones controlling the pace. HMMMM does he remember who he was talking to???

The route was out through Awenda Park, nice. it was a great pace and I spent the whole time at the front. This was the first time I really got to see where were my legs were at compared to others. I'm happy. It was nice having a big social ride. Of course there always has to be one point of uncontrollable immaturity. That would be the shoe tree that is no longer a shoe tree. Someone took them all off and wrecked a 20 year tradition.

Anyways, my weakness came over me. I was way at the back of the pack when I saw Rob Nishman start to accelerate and then the blue Mountainview jersey follow. Heather please don't read the next few lines. I caved and said I gotta go. Clicked a few gears and hammered up to Lee's wheel. I did leave my planned zone 2 for the ride. Rob is everyone's favorite lead out man. He drove the pace up in to the high 40's low 50's. I was out of gears put it that way. Heart rate dropped and settled as he sped us towards the shoe tree. It was still a couple km's away. So why did I go?? Because Lee and I are friends and team mates, oh wait he is my enemy in Ontario Cup and the enemy deserves no mercy.

SO what happened, we broke around Rob, both standing and trying to keep the power down on the wet roads, neither one of us could power ahead of each other. Lee had a lead going into the sprint being second wheel and kept a wheel length on me as we crossed the line. Neither stronger or weaker, it's going to be a tough season.

Regrouped just long enough for most of the crew to turn to the left and head back home. 4 of us headed straight out towards Thunder Beach. Things settled down for the rest of the ride. A quick stop at a friends to top up bottles and it was down to Lee and I for some extra distance.

Riding his pretty new Trek. Nice ride even if it's a Trek.

Any road that doesn't have traffic is a great road.

Coming back into town Lee ramped it up, I just grabbed a wheel and tried to keep my heart rate down. Easier said than done. Another refill at Lee's and I headed out for the last hour towards home. 6 hours total, lots of laughs, one blip of competitive weakness and some happy legs.

Heading south today to get some trail riding in. If you are still drinking coffee check out my buddy Ben's site. He has caved and started a blog.


Friday, April 17, 2009

poke poke poke

I was trying to think of something to babble about when it came to mind. Let's poke at my favorite taunter and his team.

This started last weekend while riding with my coach. Aww to be on the trails. Well her boyfriend happened to be riding a 29er singlespeed and I had been mentioning about wanting to try one.

See my elbow??

So the conversation went a little like this.

Me: I really want to try a 29er, something to play with
Jason:They are a lot of fun, ride different blah blah blah
Me: I was thinking of emailing Peter to bring one for me to try at the 8 hour
Jason: I'm going to be racing the 8 hour's solo on singlespeed this year
Me: Cool, abusive on the body?
Jason: Sorta, I have a Rocky Mountain on it's way, much smoother than this bike
Me: You can never have to many bikes
Jason :Actually I'm going to sell this one
Me: How much??
Jason :$000(can't tell you but it was really cheap)
Me : Sold!!!

Do you think I'm ready to be a script writer in Hollywood? Even for a B movie? Ya I know stick to fixing things and riding bikes. Anyways, met up with Heather last night to exchange a bike for a bunch of rocks, cookies and single socks. I'll get the bike set up this weekend at some point and go for a tour. It's a base to build on or at least something to swap components over to another manufactures frame in the future.

I'm not interested in racing a 29er or a singlespeed, well for now at least. Mr Stowe has laid out the offer for a 24 hour next fall in the singlespeed division. Possible? Let's deal with this year first. I've heard the Misfit guys play dirty when they see a different singlespeed company on the trail. Guess I better pick up the pace when I'm on the KHS.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delayed for good reason

It's not that my ride was delayed at all yesterday. Did the Big Chute Loop with some very long intervals. I guess with the O-Cup coming up quick Heather wants to make sure I can keep my lunch down while going full out. My legs are feeling it today.

So why was there a delay. Because I needed it to be dark for me to play. This is the official unofficial Exposure Lights Review. It's not the official one since I want to get out on the trails with them. After what I have seen I could have a few sleepless nights and draggy days.

My new toys showed up early enough that during my ride I tried really hard to get a 2.5 hour ride in less time. For some reason I'm still unable to ride at the speed of light. Awww Lights. See how I worked that.

I love the fact that all systems come in a very safe packaging. For me the obsessive compulsive type on keeping my stuff organized this works great for me.

I pulled out my lights from the last two years to use as a comparison. Grams, Lumens etc, I'm a former street racer and the words, "what'll it do" is the important part.

I've used LED fora few years, I love the fact that it I crash I have a very slim chance of blowing the bulb and burn times have been huge in comparison to anything else. My old system is on the left. Size wise the MAXX D is small. Especially when you consider that it has an integrated battery with 3 hours of burn time.

Now stick the Joystick beside the Maxx D. Wow. The Joystick is so light that I didn't even realize I was holding it. One complaint I have had with any system I have used in a 24 our race was that after a while my neck would get sore from the weight of the light. This came into the mounting positions of most systems to spots on the helmet. Not with this system. I was able to position the mount in the top center of my helmet and with the weight of the light so minimal this problem is resolved.

As for the mounting of the Maxx D. It's so slick. No cheap plastic tabs, it's a slick aluminum mount with a locking pin. Sorry no photos as it was late when I started this. Will get in depth on the weekend.

The outside test. Last years bar lamp. Old and grey

This years bar lamp, The new hotness No hot spots, wide beam, it's amazing.

The singletrack of my driveway was great but I really want to get out and ride with them. Let's just say that I have seen lots of different systems and these are at the top of the list for technology, burn time, ergonomics and just plane awesome.

It's very simple to turn on and off, a complaint of the older units that have been fixed. Switching between brightness is easily done. An important thing for me is that as soon as you turn it on it starts on high. I've seen a lot of systems that you have to ramp up and that is a pain to do when you are tired.

Ok so I have to have one complaint, there always has to be one. The funny thing is it's not even a complaint. The case that the lights are stored in. It would be nice if the foam cutouts had an optional place to mount the piggy back batteries. There is a mesh section that holds some of the straps etc. My remedy is to remove the charger, place it in the tool box and put the 3 cell piggyback battery in it;s place. It works well.

I will hopefully get out on the trails this weekend and take lots of detail pictures. Until then


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Eyes!!!!

Put those things away before some one goes blind

I was making an albino look tanned but the temperatures are rising that I was able to flash my pasty white legs around the country side.

Great base ride with some long rolling hills mixed in there thanks to Vasey line. Hooked up on the bike path near the end of the ride to cool down.

I'M BLIND!!!! It' wasn't from a reflection of my legs though. I love my Racing Jackets. I have had zero complaints about anything on them except for now. The vents are awesome and I have had no fogging issues, even walking into the house from outside in the winter.

They work awesome. Those vents are also great at letting a little black bug through it and into my eye. I watched it happen. It hurt. I didn't hit anything when it happened but forwarning for anyone looking at them. watch for bugs.

Lights are delayed, customs.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday con't

Photos from Sunday.

Notice no Molly, she is already off like a rocket.

Alright Miss Heather I will ride slow. Promise!!!

Look at my kick ass scooter push.

One of the few river crossings. No riding this one but there was one huge puddle that put my feet under the water.

My feet are cold. I don't want to stop though. Dirt is fun.

Ride Life, it's simple.

Thanks to Kevin for the pictures. This guy totally shocked me on his bike handling skill. I thought we would be waiting for him the whole ride when I met him in the parking lot. This guy has mad bike skills, can ride fast and pulled the longest wheelie in a trail I have ever seen.

More tomorrow, lights are coming.

play time

I love dirt. It’s been such a long winter and between the trainer, and riding roads I really needed to get back to what I train and race. Oh and with the first race only 2 weeks away I think it would be important to know how to turn again. Big wide roads versus tight singletrack. Big difference.

It was also important that I get a few miles in on my main bike. It’s sat and collected dust since the day I got it. The other Anthem is wearing some slicks right now.

Loaded up the car, got the lunatic under control. The Molly Monster knew exactly what was happening and proceeded to spin in circles for the ten minutes it took to load up. This was a staged picture. I spent half the time telling Molly to lay down. 2 hours of that gets a bit annoying.

Where was I going, well since most of central Ontario trail systems are still under snow or was to soft to ride I had to go south. Hilton Falls is a place I have never ever been but luckily my coach is living that way now. A couple emails back in forth and we made time and date plans. This also worked out since it was a recovery ride day for me so Heather would definitely keep me under control. I have a tendency to get a little to wound up when I start having fun and lose my focus. Kinda like the dog.

Dressed up and ready to rip. Hilton Falls is pretty flat but lots of rocks. It reminded me of Kanata Lakes in Ottawa. I stuck myself in the middle of the pack which for the first half hour was perfect. I felt really rusty and was being bounced all over the place. Got stalled up on rocks, couldn't’t pick a line if my life depended on it. Holly shit, I suck.

Then things started to kick in. My eyes remembered what they were supposed to do. The road is so easy, turn your feet and stare blankly forward until you see a red sign. Not in the trails. My balance started to return and I remembered that for and aft thing over obstacles. Hey this is fun.

I love my bike. The Anthem handles awesome. It handles smooth and predictable. I started to find the balance point and started bunny hopping logs. Yep like a kid, this is also when I started to lead the group just so I could stay off my brakes. I still stayed in my zones Heather!!!

The Molly Monster seemed to get back in track also. I wasn’t sure how much her couch potato winter lifestyle would affect he. Not much.. We toured around for 2 hours, it was just what I needed. The trails were in really good shape down there and we came across lots of other riders. I will say that it was nice riding and not being haunted by the wind.

I ended up with one tired dog.

One dirty bike

And one happy me. Sorry my smile was unavailable at print time.

Followed up the ride with a trip over to the pub. Awww bad food day mixed in with a great recovery drink of a beer. MMMM sweet beer. What a great way to spend a Sunday. Thanks again to Heather and Jay for being my tour guide. I’m technically as ready as I can be for Mansfield. Rest day today, may get out for a paddle this afternoon.