Wednesday, September 30, 2009

looking to the future

2009 race season is barely over, actually it's not but on chalkboard it says it's finished, I'm already starting to think about what I want to do for 2010. Do I focus on the short races or the longer. Do I travel more? or less?

One of my first plans for 2010 is a race versus travel time ratio. If it takes me longer to drive there then it will to do the race itself, it won't be on the 2010 schedule. Now of course I do drive very fast and I ride sometimes slow so this is something that needs to be google mapped, recalculated on map my ride, then drawn out with crayons on a cardboard box all the while I have the calculator going so fast that it always has an e at the end of the numbers.

For Ontario Cup I'm going to race with who I should be, unfortunate timing of bad weather, bad legs or not actually going to the race did not give me enough points to move to Elite at the end of the season I think I missed it by 5 or 6 points. Mountainview was supposed to be the place to do it but I blew up so hard I melted my helmet. I'm a hair disappointed but the end goal for me moving up was to make it even harder for Andrew to lap me.

So I'll be racing with the Master Experts for 2010, these guys are crazy fast still but I may even see a few top 10's finishes playing here. There will be no more comments of senior citizen in senior expert. It was a little strange that I was the only one in that division with grey hair.

Now the cool thing with moving to the ME division. Less traffic, a lot less traffic. This year we left the start corel dead last since senior expert is the black sheep of the Ontario Cup. The half step between Junior Elite and Senior Elite. Which means leave last and battle past every division to get open trail, Ok I didn't battle but grunted my way along but there was always traffic.

Master Expert leaves just a few steps behind Elite. Everyone at the front is fast, this could be fun. Of course I will not be focusing on Ontario Cup races again this year. It will still be a training ride with a bunch of friends. There will be races I do and races I skip depending on what is in the cards for that month. This also means that I get to have fun battling it out with my buddy Jeremy. This season we ran pretty close finishing times. Looks like it could be a fun season with just that alone.

So what will be my main focus for 2010. I have a few ideas right now, I've had two sponsors suggest things, friends suggest things, Mom suggest things, even my bikes hint on a few things. I'll tell you tomorrow, not that it's a big surprise but I've run out of time and almost out of coffee.

Time for work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where do we go from here??

Yep at the end of the scheduled race season. What do I do, where do I go??? No training, free time. I'm going crazy already with to many spare minutes in my life.

My thoughts are cross are just that, thoughts about them. You may see me at a race but until this cold has gone completely and then at least one week after that you will not see a cross bike between my legs and a number on my shoulder. Intensity is not in the cards for a couple weeks.

This month is a complete free for all, got a great letter from Heather yesterday that she sends all her athletes at this time about taking time off and this even includes not riding. Gasp!!! but she is right. Getting off the bike, letting the body 100 percent recover is so important both mentally and physically. Of course that is easier said in done. A bad habit is hard to break. Of course the weather is cooperating for this, rain, rain rain, wind, rain, cold and more rain. I'm motivated to go out there, are you???

It's funny that I would think that not training would give me all this free time but October is already filling up. Thanksgiving will be a fun trail ride with the Mountainview Cycling Club. This is a ride a little regroup, chat, laugh, try that again followed by a beer or two in the parking lot type ride. Remember those??? The Monday Night Something crew has the first annual not on a Monday night camping tripped planned for the end of October. One member who will remain nameless has a fear of camping and is bailing on it. He even says his dog is afraid of nature.

I'll finally get to do the many projects around the house that I have been looking at. Lots of interior painting, fall clean up, and very shortly firewood to move. The last one is not something I'm looking forward to.

My body itself feels amazing again. A trip to Dr. Bill's yesterday has me standing up straight and not in fear of stairs. Time to start back into the yoga again. Mother Nature can't stop me from doing that.

Work time, busy day folowed by checking out a house with Mom. This could take up my off season also.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More 8 hour stuff

I'm milking the race for things to write. Why? Because I'm still tired!!! After spending the day hobbling around in fear of stairs I was still trying to think of something creative. I ended up drinking beer!!! So I've just got more little highlights of the race to put up.

Peter spent time before and after the race telling me all about his adventures in the states and the great places he was riding and racing. You bastard!!! Now I want to go. I also gave him the full run down on Michigan.

Mark Summers still impresses me every time I see him on a bike. He was hobbling when he finished but he was still smiling and happy. I think the Summers family is the happiest family in Ontario cycling.

The weather, mother nature was awesome!!!! Rainbows and butterflies with trails made of chocolate!!!

Speaking of trails, I have a new dislike for hay. I know they needed to use it on the long downhill to keep things from eroding but I was forced to stop and pull it out of my derailleur multiple times in fear of jamming.

I used every gear on my bike during that race and I needed every single one. Yes I love shifting, I'm good at it, I do it lots. That wonderful click sounds so nice when I see a single speeder grunting it up a climb. I only asked one single speeder if he wanted to buy a derailleur during the race. Come on Jason, you know you want one!!!

The morning of the race I weighed 155.5 lbs after the race I was 157.8lbs. What??? Can you say my hydration and nutrition was perfect. Pretty much have it dialed in now, Infinit is the only way to go. Now the next morning after many, many trips to the washroom during the night I was down to 151.3 lbs. I'm back to 155lbs this morning. Yes I weigh my self more than a 15 year old girl that reads Cosmo.

I'm still sick but I think I pedalled the worst of the cold out of me.

After being anal and staring at the results and lap times, I'm really happy at the pace and consistency of the lap times.

When I lapped Peter I think he even wanted me to beat Steve for the overall. Now if Steve happened to be riding a Misfit instead of a Specialized that was converted to a single speed I think I may have caught a branch in the front wheel when I went passed him. Maybe, maybe not.

I really want the orange jersey that the overall winners of the three 8 hour races got. Orange is the new yellow???

I'm still sore and achy this morning and I'm bailing on the Monday night ride. Normally we would have perfect conditions for it. Rain, thunderstorms, wind and cold but right now I'm really not to interested in playing in that so I'm opting for one more day of rest before I start riding again.

Time to go do the day job. Promise to come up with something more interesting tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hardwood Fall 8 Hour

I'll be honest, I really didn't know what was going to happen yesterday. If this was a day of registration type race I probably woundn't have gone. Woke up still hacking and having a hard time breathing. But because I'm such a cheap ass I was not giving up $85!!!!

Did the last of the car packing as my failed attempt of steel cut oats cooked, pre race food tip from Watson. I was rushing as I measured out the mix and the steel looked a little more like, I don't know. I ate them anyways.

Rain was in the forecast, it was cold, toque cold. Hey I'm sick already so why should I worry. Heather (the greatest coach), her boyfriend Jason and I were all going to use the same transition pit so a little maneuvering of cars and gear and we were all set up to go. I was always looking around to see who was here. Did a half assed warm up, rode up the start hill. The legs felt questionable. I had two thoughts on how to race today. Leave smart and a little slower than normal and be consistent or go full out and hope I hold on. Like I have any self control.

I was second row with about 35 rows behind me. If I blow early I'll get trampled. So I pretty much went full out off the line, like usual. When I pre rode the course last weekend I thought the first 6-7 minutes of the course were boring, not today, it was perfect amount of climbing and a couple technical lines of single track to break up the pack. I was right on Paul Loughran's wheel. He was the biggest threat out there taking 2nd at the other two epic 8's A couple of team riders got into our mix.

The big highlight of this lap for me was riding with Don Gain from the Barrie Cycling Club. We started racing at Hardwood about the same time 8 years ago and we used to battle it out all the time on the same trails we were riding on today. I'd said that to him, Do you remember how simple it was for us a few years back, that was followed by Wait this is still a lot of fun, it just takes longer.

Back to the task at hand, I noticed that Paul climbs much more aggressive than I do and would pull away on the climbs by a few seconds but I would get right back up on his wheel in the technical section and in a few places pass him and put a few seconds on him. I started making my game plan. We came through 1-2 on the first lap. The next lap he pulled away up the climbs putting about 15 seconds in to me. No panic, it's still early. As I thought might happen I caught up to him in the technical and we came through the lap together again.

3rd lap was about the same until the technical. I pushed it a hair and put some good gaps into him. by the time the lap was done I was up 30 seconds. I've always known that I'm not the greatest climber but more that I don't attack hills. That's why I'm a mediocre Ontario Cup racer. Technical is my strength, one thing with an 8 hour is how much the course will change over the length of the race. Technical is very important.

At this point my legs started to hurt, I started to tell myself go until you can't turn the cranks, last race of the year. Seemed to help, ok not really they still hurt but I was not getting of the bike except for the timing tent area. Oh and my wonderful attempt at pulling my timing chip out, dropping my timing chip, try and stop with out getting run over to get my timing chip, run back and grab the timing chip and finish the lap. All this happened as Glen was commentating over the P.A. " Matt, what the hell are you doing!!!" Of course I made a scene and was running with my arms flailing in the air. I was having fun!!!

At the end of the 5th I was leading all the solo's but I kept getting a glimpse of a solo plate, it wasn't Paul. Heading out on the 6th he caught me. Steve Chapman is an Elite Ontario cup racer and I had heard something about him before the race. Mainly that he's fast. What took the stress down, single speed under his feet. Ok keep your pace. We rode together that lap chatting. Maybe talking to much because coming down a fast single track section in a line of riders I didn't respond quick enough as Steve hopped over a stick that had rolled into the trail on a 45 degree angle. Yep, I nailed it and had the front wheel come out. Took a few seconds to get going again. Nothing broken, nothing permanent. It took me a good part of the next lap to regain my focus. I have a huge bruise on my inner thigh.

The next few laps I just rode my pace, I was feeling really good. The rain held off, I was climbing strong and steady. Going down hill fast again. I kept asking Mom how big a lead I had on 2nd. She would never tell me. Probably so I didn't go into cruise control but she started to ask me when I was going to catch the single speeder!!!! Yep she knows how to motivate me. Shut up and pedal, ok those are my words. A little shot of coke (pop) and I was off.

A lap or two later and I caught Steve. We both had huge leads over 2nd so we rode a good chunk of our lap together. Nice guy, going to be a doctor, hopefully he stays in Canada. The next lap I had rode away from him only to have him come back and pass me. A little battle had begun. Coming into lap 13 we were close but he told me he was shutting down quickly. I said I would stay until he popped or slowed down to much. One of the last climbs we split. I have never ever been so happy to have a granny gear!!!

Started lap 14 and I debated, do I hammer or cruise it. Screw it, last race of the scheduled season lets see what's left in the legs. I pushed the climbs as hard as i could, I told myself to push what I wouldn't normally and recover on the single track. I shocked myself . I was also smiling and giggling a little with the results of the day. I had fun and had a great race.

Crossed the line 1st in the under 40 and 1st solo overall. Found out after only 6 teams did more laps than I did. I was never concerned about my fitness level, I know it was there but the cold was in the back of my mind the whole time. My body is paying for it this morning. I'm expecting to get a relapse but I really don't' care if I do. It's officially the end of the mountain bike race season.

Some highlights to me at this race.

It didn't rain!!!! The stump that I nailed 2 years ago and broke ribs at this same race is still there, I stared at it with a lot of focus every single lap.

Heard Watson yelling at me for something when I went through the timing tent, a few hours later it was Jacob and Liz. Still don't know what anyone said but will find out.

I watched Glen make a racer do 10 push up for not dismounting before the line at the transition tent. I came close once in the remount area and actually jumped back off my bike ran 3 more feet then got on. I didn't want to take a chance.

I got to race the way I need to, being able to talk with people. I'm not the most social person unless I'm on my bike. I had a great time.

Thank you MOM, AGAIN!!! for everything.

A little props need to be put out. Anyone looking for a coach. Heather is the woman to talk to if you want to do endurance racing. Under 40 winner, me, over 40 winner Mike Mazza are coached by her, oh and she happened to destroy in the women's division. Congratulations Heather. Jason will go after the single speed for next year once his girlfriend starts to whip him into shape.

Congratulations to Paul, I was looking over my shoulder for you the whole race, you made me keep the pace up. Steve for a great battle, made things interesting and fun. Mike Mazza, buddy awesome result today. Everyone over 40 better watch out for this guy. Everyone else I talked to out on the course including a few doing their first solo. Great job.

Ok, I really need to eat again!!! Infinit is the best race fuel on earth but right now I want something solid. I only used Infinit for the whole race plus 3 drinks of pop and had zero energy loss!! I could have kept going with no energy problems

Full race results are here. Click the results link at the top. More tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Almost happy

I finally rode yesterday. 3 days off the bike, 4 days sick, still some strong traces of the cold meant I rode like, ummm , like shit. Took the Molly Monster with me to Copeland forest to try and get every part of mountain biking working en a very short time. The lungs and legs on the hills, Things did start to feel better except for the flem being hacked up and the fact my chest is really sore from all the coughing and sneezing.

Now the technical side of things, Yep I rubbed a ton of trees, rode off the trails and pretty much got bounced around for almost an hour. Copeland is much more technical than anything at Hardwood but I still felt like a complete rookie. At least there was no one around to watch and laugh. Molly even dive bombed me a couple times when she was sick of the stop and go. I did ripe the berms though, I rode up them first. Coasting is much more fun.

Speaking of mountain biking and more the race season. Lots of people have started writing their year in review as they are done. Here are a couple AWI VV As for me in 48 hours my officially scheduled mountain bike race season for 2009 will be closed. Holly Crap that was fast!!!! There are a few random events that I may or may not do but they will probably be on the single speed. I do have a 29er that I should play with.

Of course there is cross season which I will be deciding the morning off depending on what time I get up, what the weather looks like, how much alcohol I consumed the night before, how much coffee I've consumed that morning etc on which ones I race. The CX6.5 is all ready to rip of course the pilot may not be.

The count down has begun, 24 hours from this point I'll be heading to Hardwood Ski and Bike for the last hurray of the season. It's going to hurt, they always do. The beer always tastes better.

Time for work!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the come back

Cold is finally going away, going to get out for an easy ride tonight. Finally, 3 days off the bike seems like an eternity, not sure if it will be dirt, pavement, or gravel roads at this point.

That's it, that's all. Time for work

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reality check

She is going through with it. The talk is now action. I think it will take a little while to really sink in. Mom is going to move. The family home is officially on the market

I totally understand why but of course it doesn't make it any easier. Originally, the plan set in place by my sister and I many years ago was to keep this house in the family forever. This seemed even more important afterer my father passed away. We can both afford to do it,the only factor that would change our thoughts would be if Mom wanted to sell. Well that's what's happening.
This house is very much part of our family and we have all put shed some blood doing renovations, gardening etc. The pictures do not do the justice to the wood scroll work my Father made in the gables, to the custom pine floors he made with his hands to the hours/years of work Mom put into the gardens which are still talked about after the house was put on the garden tour a few years back.

It's going to be weird having someone coming in and looking around. I really hope who ever does buy it does take pride in ownership and will keep things up kept. I have a hard time going past my old house now, I've seen the garden's go to shit, the outside start to collect garbage etc.
I wish selling the house would be closer to the way it was when I sold my Dad's Gold Wing a few years back. It wasn't selling, it was interviewing the next person for the job. Trust me when I say I had a few fail the interview and were nicely escorted away from the motorcycle. Can I do this with the people they may live in my Dad and Mom's house??? You must keep the gardens weed free and the trim painted etc etc. Unfortunately not.
I know this is not a bike related topic but it is involving my life. It does involve my number supporter, Mom and her choices in life. It's going to be a little weird doing family dinner's in a different family home.
Gotta run and try and out bid the first person who tries to buy it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's a river in my nose

The steps of a cold according to me. Yep, I'm still sick but I'm at the next stage. How much snot can one person produce??? Not enjoyable and good sleep is constantly interrupted by the gagging effect. The rare times I do get sick it's a 4 day process. Day one, sort of sore throat and a little achy, day two really sore throat hard to swallow etc. Day three (today) so much snot that I need to cut down a tree and make my own Kleenex, Day four almost healthy. This will be the longest 24 hours.

At least the weather is playing to me being sick, it's pouring rain and they are calling for a couple more days of it. Race day is looking like a mix of rain also, whatever. The course did need it. Looking at the numbers for this weekend along with who is on the list and who is not. 500 plus total right now, Paul will be there so I will have my work cut out for me. Logan who has won the first two 8 hours is not on the list but either am I. There are always a few that are there with no forewarning. It's going to be a fun day regardless. No single speed for me.

A few interesting things to read, Chris Eatough is retiring. The man is done after this year.

The Liberty bikes Squeezer is now Ontario Cycling Assassination sanctioned which means this well paying out race that draws over a 1000 racers will be even crazier this year. $1000 first place creates a lot of attention. I'd love to go but my legs will be trashed.

Of course there will be lots of crazies at this the day before. Had the 8 hour been a different day the single speed cross nationals would be the place to be. Looks like Ontario is the hot spot for racing this weekend. Choice your poison wisely. I need the 8 hour. It's like a bad drug.

Gotta go blow my nose and not ride a bike.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mother Nature's abusive cousin

That's right folks, I got a cold!!! I never ever get sick. UNLESS, I self inflict myself with to much exertion and not enough rest. Well the rest thing caught up with me and my body got made. This wasn't even bike related exertion but the rest of the world stuff.

A few days off the bike, lots of fluids (non alcoholic), sleep, and healthy foods and I'll be back at it. Oh and Cold FX, some say it's a hoax, some don't but I've been using for a couple years and not planning on changing my routine anytime soon. This is the first time sick this year so what do you think?

So now that I am in an unscheduled rest week which is actually not a bad thing with the 8 hour coming up I'll have time to play in the basement with those wheels, clean bikes etc etc. I did get out and ride the course yesterday. Lets just say that I almost got concerned because I registered for the race before I rode it.

It's the standard start up the wood chips, yeah for wood chips, then turns right to continue the climb. Nothing to exciting, lots of double track. Actually the first 8-9 minutes is double track with a few chunks of single track mixed in. Just enough to possibly cause a bottle neck on the first lap. Just means I need to be at the front, of course that is my weakness hammering hard in the first km. So riding this wonderfully boring double track I was actually ready to say screw it and not race. I know that every organizer has been building rain ready courses because of the crap year but this was overkill I thought.

Then the single track began, along with the technical stuff. Yes, it started to become fun, ok I'm still in. I think they used up most of the double track in the first 10 minutes because we pretty much are single track for the rest of the lap except the downhill into the timing area. There are just enough passing areas that traffic shouldn't be to bad.

There are a few sections that brought back memories of a couple years ago. Yep the cold and this one section all go hand in hand. Fall 8 hour a few years back, had a cold the week of the race, said screw it and hammered anyways, crashed hard broke 2 ribs, kept going and moved back up to 3rd and was gaining fast on 2nd. It was a fun day!! Can I repeat it? minus the broken ribs. Possibly a win?? Going to try.

I have been flipping a coin on whether to race on a geared bike (Anthem's) which I've registered in or switch and go single speed catagory just for shit's and giggles. I've got the Blue pretty pimped right now and I'd also bring out the 29er for fun. I'll decide that later in the week.

Right now, coffee and water and work.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The year of the wheel

I know 2 days with no post. It's a coin toss, was there nothing to write or was I to busy to write? Your decision, I know what I think the answer would be. Anyways.

This season has been an interesting year when it comes to the wheels I own. The carnage is adding up. I'll back it up just a hair. Headed out on the road bike to put some miles in my legs. I changed the wheels on the road bike to remedy a problem I found on my main wheels. Ride was going great, headed up the Big Chute Loop but the fun way. Yep get the long boring flats out of the way early and get the tempo rollers in on the second half of the ride.

Even the boring flats are not boring, great weather, no traffic, sun is shinning. I was smiling from ear to ear just being out there. There was going to be no rain on my parade today! Or so I thought. About an hour into the ride I heard a few strange noises out of the rear wheel when I shifted into some of the smallest cogs. I stopped once to make sure the cassette hadn't come loose, nope all good. When I made the 3rd rail road crossing at Severn Bridge is when I knew I could been in a bit of trouble.

You have all heard that saying, I felt like I had no chain on the pedalling was so easy. Well how about no freehub?? 53/11 never felt so easy. Of course I stopped, not much of a choice. Spinning the crank I could here some not so good things going on. No these wheels are not neglected, actually they are less than a year old and maybe have 500km on them. I gave the wheel a little tap on the ground. Yes a tap not a knock out of true whack that I wanted to do, and the hub engaged. There was going to be no hammering hills or coasting. I wanted endurance pace I was going to get it.

Came through the Big Chute over the marine railway which was soaked. I'm coasting over this. It's slippery when it's dry with lots of body wrecking metal, the off season is coming and badly damaged is not the way I want to spend it. Of course you know what happened on the other side of the tracks. Did the same thing again and got the hub to engage again. I did the little rear wheel hop while in motion and I was off again.

Finished up my ride another hour later, 70ish km with a broken freehub, funny thing, I was still smiling the whole time. It was to nice out to not be. I've yet to take the wheel apart to see what's up with it.

So the year of damage to my wheels. Well there was my Crossmax SLR's that now is front wheel less.

Actually it's ride able but the twist in the rim does have a nice feel to it at high speeds. I had a nice little crash with it last year and point a small dent in the rim which started the retirement of the front wheel. Of course the famous Hardwood Canada Cup stall during a preride basically put the nail in the coffin. Ya that was not my most graceful moment and I'm supposedly a strong technical rider. I do make most of my mistakes while riding slow. Momentum will get you through, I obviously didn't have any!!! Have you ever priced out a rim for a SLR, ya exactly.

So now it's the Aksium's that blew the free hub. These are my spare wheels for the cross bike. Normally bomb proof, but this was a big bomb in the hub.

Now the thing that pissed me off a little was this. Yes, that is a crack in the rim. I was just riding along when!!! I touched my rear brake and heard a weird rhythmical thump. Didn't see anything with a quick once over but once home I saw the nice crack. I'm checking into warranty on this one. I love these wheels.

So this temporarily leaves me with no road ready wheels. I can't even miss match sets. My cross bike is ready for what else, cross. I do have my trainer only rear wheel which is a tank, I swear it weighs as much as one of my bikes. Now the only good thing is that the season is coming to an end. It could mean a set of slicks and an Anthem on the road till I get everything everything sorted out. Or I may just have to get next year's pretty new road bike a little earlier than planned.

Doesn't matter, heading to Hardwood Ski and Bike to put a couple laps in on next weekend's 8 hour course. I'm excited to race again in Ontario against lots of friends. I basically figure the end reason I came home early from the 24 hour race. There was no competition which meant I had no reason to push myself or to push through a little pain. Pretty weak reason but my competitive side needs a motivation. I don't like racing when it's a guaranteed win, it's not racing then right? A win doesn't mean much if you didn't have to work your ass of to get it. Next weekend I will have to work my ass off if Iwant to win, perfect!!!! Of course so will everyone else and that means that nothing is for certain, the way I like it.

Gotta roll.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Signs

Ok not really a sign but I got nothing creative to say today. Wait, most days are not that creative. Took a rest day after physio. More to get some things caught up after the weekend. I'm pretty much home now for any races left for the season. Yep, the race season is coming to an end.

Speaking of racing, it's a busy weekend. Crank the Shield is going and it's looking like everyone is going to have great weather. I'm going to try and make my way up one day to cheer people on. I've heard that the Chico Boys have been looking like a chain gang making sure every trail is perfect.

Paul's Dirty Enduro is on also. I have still had in the back of my mind to just do this. After the marathon race there I really got hooked on the trails. Last minute decisions do happen in my world. 100km's of single track. Try and make an attempt to take down the King. I know one other racer who would like to dethrone Benno in his backyard. It'll be a tough thing to do. Ben's riding fast.

Of course over sea's, ;Sunday will have me sitting in front of the computer watching cheering on Andrew, Derek, Peter, Emily and the rest of the Ontario crew killing it on the World Cup. I wonder if the need arm bands and knee bands over there or are they using arm and knee warmers???

It's chilly out this morning, hmmmm more coffee gotta run!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The first signs

It was back at it today, both work and play. Work well work is work. I was dragging my ass a little in the morning. Waking up to an alarm for the first time in over a week. Ya it has a new dent on it.

I also got back out on the bike, same thing first time since getting home from the race. My legs were feeling good, which they should be! It was also the first time this month that I realized that yes it is September which equals fall coming. Cold crisp wind even when that sun felt so nice. Meant the first time I headed out with the arm bands and knee bands in the back of the jersey just in case.

Headed out on the rail trail towards the 6th line. Wanted to not over work things but needed to see where things like my knee and shoulder are at. The knee is pretty good, a little bit of pain when I stood up and stomped on the pedals on one of the climbs but in a couple days things will be good to go for the 8 hour.

The shoulder, well that will be a different story. Things are still very tight but I have a visit with Dr. Bill today and see my massage therapist Friday. If everything goes well it will get me through the race with no drugs needed. It's only 8 hours.

Alright back to the fun part of life. Kept the ride short, about an hour and a half. Coming back down the 5th line I jumped back on to the rail trail to give the legs a long cool down. Coming through Victoria Harbour I spotted what looked like a really big dog on the trail. Hey I'm in town what else would it be?? Didn't really even think about slowing down but did have my hands near the brakes. Getting closer, wow that's a really really big dog and it's fat!!! Wait, that's no dog, that's a Black Bear. BRAKES!!!!!!

I was coming at him at maybe 30km/h, he/she was staring at me a little confused and I was still thinking, look at the cute puppy! To the right of us was a big fence which meant no escape in that direction. Once I realized what I was coming at very quickly I started to think it's fall, this bear is going to hibernate soon, he wants to get fat, he is looking for food, he is wandering around a rail trail, oh shit I'm going to be bear food. I guess the confusing look on the bears face was not all that confusing, probably more a, HMMM skinny cyclist, not a lot of fat, a lot of effort with not much reward. He opted to go back in the bush and wait for someone a little more plump.

It's always the way that the best pictures I could get always happen when I don't have my camera. Finished up my ride with no other incidents. I'm pretty much sticking to the road until the race to give my shoulder as much time to recover as I can. Now that I don't need to be in the trails to see nature it should make for some interesting rides over the next two weeks.

Gotta run, work is calling and I'm actually listening.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some more and some less of Michigan

Heading to the states. It's interesting that it took away longer to get into the states than back into Canada. The amount of traffic difference was huge. HMMM wonder why.

Where we were supposed to hang out for many many more hours than we did. My bikes were just gleaming thanks to Jacob.

The start, yep that's all of us. There was no need to stage a bike at this race like I'm used to. No panic on getting a good start and being near the front of the first climb. Just layed back.

Coming into the pits for a bottle change. I think this was the end of the 3rd lap, already had a huge lead. Of course 4 laps later I ended up on my back and another lap after that lead to the picture bellow.

Going over a 4 mile long bridge. It's almost a little freaky. Unfortunately no place to stop and look around.

The bridge.

Holiday's are over officially,well once I get off my ass this morning and head to the office. I like structure, I need structure. Training will resume today also. Didn't do much yesterday but debug the bikes and put everything in the laundry hamper.

One thing I noticed at the race were the amount of singlespeeds. Mainly 29er's and a lot of Gary Fishers. Talked to a couple riders and asked them if they had ever checked out Misfit's. Some had heard of them, that's it. Peter, time to raid the neighbours.

My shoulder is still feeling weird and I have a twist in the upper body. My knee is feeling better and most of the swelling has gone down. It's going to be lots of stretching to deal with the shoulder. Well it's not all that bad. The season is coming to an end in two weeks minus the random cross races and fun events. Back to do lots of yoga and not in the same position on the bikes for hours on end.

Of course this all comes in the right time. Last night it was dark at 7:30 with the clouds rolling in. I guess I'll get some time in with the lights over the next couple weeks.

Time to go, I can't fire myself for being late.


Monday, September 14, 2009

24 hour of Hansen Hills part 1

1ST rule in endurance racing, don’t fall!!! Well I broke rule number 1 at the 6 hour mark We will back things up a bit. Rolled into to Hanson Hills about 8:30 to do the last setup. It was chilly but the sun was out. Looks like a nice day.

Looking around Jacob and I made a few comments on the lack of vehicles in the parking lot. I guess we are spoiled for how large the Ontario events have become. This was going to be a real grass roots race. As the count down to start time approached I got changed and headed over to the timing tent. Ran into Tim Finkel and we chatted up things of races past. He may make a return to one of our races next year. Because of the conversation I almost missed the start and got stuck a little farther back than I planned..

Go, all the solo’s left a minute behind the teams. There were more solo’s between the 12 and the 24 hour than team riders I swear. I’m not to sure of the numbers, I didn’t stick around to long of the line to count. By the end of the only double track section of the course I was leading and not looking back. I did glance back to see one rider sticking with me. I attacked the course for the first half before settling into my pace for the rest of the race.

It was a strange novelty of being able to listen to music while racing. It was a nice change especially with the lack of people on the course. Of course this meant anyone riding with me would have to suffer with my bad singing. I feel bad for the guy keeping pace. He didn’t say much. By the time we hit the timing tent we had passed all the teams except one.

Quick bottle hand off of a bottle from Jacob and I was off. I figure I better find out what distance the guy was racing, 12 hour. Ok I’ll ride nice. I still kept the pace high the next lap and we had another ride start getting close. First lap was 47 minutes second was 48.

Starting the 3rd the 12hour guy disappeared but I picked up another rider trying to keep pace. At about the 2/3 mark I picked it up a little bit and never saw him again. Things were feeling good. Coming into the 4th lap I was starting to lap riders already, interesting. Finished up that lap feeling good riding clean lines on the course, did a quick bike swap and I was off.

It’s interesting how too identical bikes with the shock air pressure can feel so different. The bike I was on started to kick me around a little. It felt more like how I set up things for a xc race instead of a cushy endurance suspension pressure. Came through that lap and mentioned it to Jacob and that I’ll switch bikes again after the next lap for him to check it out. Another bottle and I’m off. I tried to keep my time off the bike to a minimal at that point. Even with out a lot of competition I wanted to be at my normal race intensity even if I was riding the course really sane.

At this point of the race I still was on the lead lap, I had almost lapped every rider on the course at least once. I passed a couple that were racing on a tandem for the 3rd time. It was a weird seeing them on the course. I never did get to see how they were getting through some of the sections , I think it would have been a little comical. We did say hi every time I saw them. I wonder if you can tell if someone is slacking off on one of those things.

Finished lap 6 swapped bikes and was off again. Legs were feeling great, I started to attack the single track a little more, I was at that point in the race when I always do something stupid. Try to find the faster line blah blah blah. Surprisingly I was keeping that part under control but just started to ride faster. Coming into the only downhill of the course. Yes, I’m serious, maybe compared to what I’m used to riding here in my backyard it was the only downhill things went bad.

It was a double track section that narrowed into single track at the mid way point. I tapped my brakes a few times like usual but pretty much let the bike do it’s thing. One of my strengths in cycling has always been my technical riding and ability to go fast. Downhill so looking at this little hill I’m like whatever. Of course that’s a bad thing. So there was this little jump which was a highlight of the course. Ya I like to hit jumps, cleared through it then went over this little roller bump that had this small pothole on the back side of it. Well for some reason this time through my upper body got moved a little forward. My front wheel caught the pothole. Not enough to stop me dead but enough to completely kick me forward. Yep over the bars I went at full speed. Let’s just say I was very happy that there were no logs, rocks, trees, gorillas, lions and tigers and bears on the trail.

I hit hard coming down on my left shoulder then to the hip and the knee with my bike coming with me for almost the whole thing. Popped myself up and did my typical responses to a crash, yes it was good there were no kids around even though most have heard those words before. Checked a few things, nothing broken, ok, got back on the bike and finished then lap. It was about 3 minutes to the timing tent. So there is good and bad to a small event. Bad side, not a lot of people so if I was hurt I could be sitting for a few alone, good side, not a lot of people on the course meant nobody saw my crash and my shitty bike handling skills at that particular time.

Hit the pit and told Jacob what happened, grabbed to advil and went out for another lap. Had to see where things were at. I also needed to stay out of my head about the crash. This lap was interesting, I kept the same pace and the legs and knees felt fine. The interesting thing was where my left hand started to be. It was dangling over the grips. I was starting to find it uncomfortable to hold onto the grip and when I did my neck and shoulder started to get sharp pains. I did keep saying the drugs will numb this to bearable, hey I’ve raced with 3 broken ribs and got through, this is minor.

About mid way through the lap I had the first of a couple scares, because of the new position that my and hand had taken up I was having a hard time holding on in the bumps. Yep, had the left grip pulled out of the hand in a chatter section, I love riding single track with one hand. I never went down but came close a few times. Came into the pits with my shoulder and back aching. Got off the bike and thought out things.

I guess in the end I was more concerned about my safety, there were no check points on the course, no officials, no first aid and not a lot of riders. I did talk to the timing people about the thought of changing to the 12 hour and they had no problem with it once I explained what happened. I was tempted to get back on the bike but then it was like whatever. Looked at Jacob and he said exactly what I was thinking. Pulled the plug, it was funny, I wasn’t mad, frustrated, pissed off or anything.

Jacob passed me a beer and I just sat and chilled for a bit. The event organizer came over to find out what’s happening. We had a great chat on the different events in Michigan and what we have back here in Ontario. He was pretty shocked when Jacob and I gave him the run down on our races and how many people there are at each one including weekly race series. Maybe this explains why we had 8 Ontario people at the world Cup in Switzerland this weekend.

I was in a pretty good state of mind considering what was happening. A great line that my coach uses came in to my mind. It is what it is. That’s about it, it’s just a bike race. We loaded up the car and made the plan. Let’s head to Sault Ste. Marie and figure things out from there. Kinda wanted to be back in Canada plus if we go that way we could go over a 4 mile long bridge etc. A little more scenic than taking the interstate back to Sarnia.

I’ll put all the photos up tomorrow. Highlights, stats etc of the race. The loop was 11 miles or roughly 18.5 km’s for us metric people. I averaged 51 minute laps, does that give you an idea of how fast the course was. We normally average about 14-15 km/h in an 8 hour not over 20. I burned up 4660 calories in the 7 hours and my average heart rate was only 151. That is low for me normally I’m around the 165 mark. Yep I could have ridden even faster had I needed to. My legs felt awesome, my nutrition was perfect. Used my 24 hour mix from INFINIT and had zero energy loss. Of course the beer did taste great but not a great race fuel. Totalled 88 miles or 140 km’s. Still shocked on how fast things were.

Little things after the race that confirmed that my decision was the right one. My left knee was pretty swollen on Sunday morning. I had some good sharp pains happening. On the drive home in the morning I reached both arms forward to stretch and my left arm was about an inch further ahead of my right and I could feel that my left side was not touching the seat like the right side. Yep I’m pretty twisted up. I guess crashing at 40 km’h will do that to you. I see Dr. Bill this week so We have some work to do.

I have to give a huge thank you to James from IBEX for a little extra help for this race. These guys have been amazing all year. I never did get to fire up my lights but I know I would have been running the best system for this course. Jacob ,buddy, thanks for keeping the bikes running amazing and keeping the bottles coming at me. This is the second time he has kept my bikes perfect at a 24 hour,

It was a great adventure playing in a new venue It did reminded me on how good I do have it at home though. So that is where the next part of my season kicks in. As long as my knee and shoulder settle down. The mystery event is no longer going to be a mystery. I’ll be at the Hardwood Fall 8 hour. My original plan was to possibly ride it single speed and have some fun not really caring. Now I’ll be riding with a mission on the Anthem’s heading for a podium finish.

More tomorrow time to try and make me not as crooked. Later.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

more shortly

I broke the first rule of endurance racing. What is the first rule? Don't crash. Ya 6 hours in. more shortly Race schedule update at the same time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pre ride of the 24 hour of Hansen Hills

I know late post, not my 6 am crap like usual. Jacob and I did our preride today. Of course this was after my 700 plus calorie breakfast. I swear I was ready to pop a button on my jeans when I was done.

This is my bike for next season. Giant has stepped it up beyond Trek's 69er

The weather has been amazing, rolled out around 10ish. The venue is all of 15 minutes from the hotel which meant the perfect warm up. Got in and talked to a couple of the organizers to get the course. We had actually ended up riding almost half of it with out knowing. Everyone is pretty cool with a laid back attitude. I'm really excited on the homegrown feel of the event

Headed out on the start and this is one of the first things that you get to see.

The course is this, fast flowing single track. There is zero double track. There is not much climbing compared to what I'm used to but this is a course that will take its toll because of that. The second lap I was trying to make myself find recovery coasting areas. There are not many. It's a place I could stay on the gas the whole time of course that would be a bad thing later on.

Nothing to technical, lots of random beach sand sections. There are a few spots on the course that I know I'll have to pay attention or I'll start hitting random trees. The downhill into transition is cool with a fast line from the top of the ski hill, yep there is a jump in this.

At the top of one of the higher points of the course. Roughly about 700 feet of climbing a lap. 11 miles which is about 17 kms, We ran laps in the high 40's low 50's at below race pace. Should be a epic day tomorrow.

The race starts at 10 am which is a nice change from the normal noon start, means easier eating prep. I need to start riding to burn off the extra calories I've been shoving down my throat the last few days. Almost feel bloated but in a good way.

I'll try to get a short post up Sunday night from the hotel. We are going to head to the Sault for a different way back. Plus it's close and one of the Monday Night something guys is at school there. Not going on a bender Scott!!!

Time for another meal and then to bed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick update

Long drive, made it across the boarder almost free and clear. Jacob looked a little shade and they thought he was attempting to stay int eh states after the race. In most cases I don't think he would except for the fact that the weather is awesome. It's 8pm and it's 75 degrees out. Yes I've been in the states all of 6 hours and I'm already ditching the metric system

Jacob and I made our way over to Hansen Hills to spin the legs out. 6.5 hours in the car does a number on them. We found after that we rode about half the course. It's fast and flowy stay off the brakes type course. There is lots of sand but it's not to bad.

Plan is a couple laps of the course tomorrow then eat, clean bikes and relax. I'll have a new post with pictures etc up tomorrow. For now it's relax time.

No roll up the rim for me

The car is packed, it's 6:30 am, I'm awake way to early like usual. But I give you something to do for a few minutes right?? We will be heading out in just over an hour. Jacob and I already made a decision that we will NOT be doing this all the way to Michigan. Sorry, but I think it tastes like crap and you can't drink it black.

Instead the trip will be filled with old comedy routines. It's amazing how old Eddie Murphy and George Carlin help kill 700 kms of 400/ 401/I75 type highways. The cruise control will be used today.

On a side note. The weather is now listed at perfect. 23 degrees by day with sun both days and down to 8 at night but clear. NO RAIN!!!! I do have a set of mud tires on wheels coming with me just in case. With the way this season has been I would be a complete lunatic to not pack them.

I'll spill the beans on the real reason I'm going to the states. I need to recruit more people to help me beat this guy in a contest. What contest? Peter's contest. Dicky won the first round, I think he cheated. Click this button once, or twice. Click often, it's fun for kids, more fun than a broken slinky. More educational than your grandmother teaching sex education.

At least I beat the security guard. His intimidation tactics with a tazer didn't work. I used to have a sticker on the back of one of my cars in my immature street racing days. It said BAD COP NO DONUT. Craig you will be a good cop, go get a baker's dozen then go for a ride.

More tonight or for sure in the morning. As long as we get across the boarder. I wonder if screaming he is a crack dealer and has a bomb when we are just about to cross would be a good idea??? It would be ammusing for sure.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

closer and feeling good.

It's 7 am, I have coffee, I'm on holidays WTF!!! Old habits are hard to break. I can't sleep in if I tried.

Got out on the road bike yesterday. I had a smile from ear to ear. I kept the pace down to low zone 2 but the body felt good. No back issues, legs were a little tight but started to open up. I'll push things a little bit today. My stress level about this weekend and my body have pretty much disappeared.

It's amazing how being forced off the bike versus taking a few days off changes the mind. This little set back is proving to be even more of a benefit than just the now physical improvement. I'm getting a little anxious to get there and pre ride the course. Today to help add to the fire I'm heading out on my favorite road loop.

Bikes are pretty much ready, gear is ready to be packed in the bin, car is ready to be loaded. Planning on leaving by 8 tomorrow morning just trailing the morning rush hour traffic. Hopefully there will be no boarder crossing issues. Jacob had some problems last year but he is that shady look type.

Hoping that there could be a wifi signal at the venue. Watson will be racing in Europe hopefully riding past Max and Shamus and letting the old boys know they sent the wrong racers to worlds. We'll be trying to watch it on freecaster.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

looking ahead

I know I shouldn't be doing it but I couldn't help myself. I was checking the weather for this weekend. I know it's useless and what ever they have posted at this point will probably not happen. I will say though at this point things are looking not half bad. Mid 20's and cloudy. I can handle that. Hell, that's pretty much the best conditions for 2009.

On the body front, feel good this morning. I'm 100 percent a go now for Michigan. Heading to Dr. Bill's very shortly for a tune up, more yoga mid day and a possible endurance road ride this evening. Lot's of packing to do, one bike to get ready, food to eat. I'm getting a little excited now. Relieved for sure.

Had a great night with the Monday Night Something crew. This was a bike free evening with very little exertion. I came home a few pounds heavier from the food. Thanks Tammy, Liz and Jer. Lots of stories told, lies expanded and people blamed. Ok only one was blamed (inside story) A few off season plans were brought up also. Could see the canoe getting a little use come October and the passport filled with a new stamp come mid winter. Both will probably do a little damage to my liver.

First day of holidays, coffee is tasting great like usual, what do I do with myself??? Nothing because I can. Gotta run, ok maybe I don't

Monday, September 7, 2009

Are you feeling it??? I'm only partially

Woke up it a much better mood this morning. Biggest reason is I was able to move. Ok I was still in bed and not load barring but I was much happier. Enjoyed the fact it was a long weekend and stayed in bed a little longer. Ok way longer than normal, drank my pot of coffee in bed while watching the World Cup XC championships.

After a hot shower did exactly what I had planned. A full hour of yoga, I was hearing lots of popping which was a good thing as things went back in line. I felt even better after. Grabbed the single speed to coast along the rail trail. Not really riding and it's much easier than walking. Things felt good. My stress level is lowering. It's so low that I'm starting to pack for Michigan. The Molly Monster got a great run and played in the bay for a while. It felt like summer.

Yep that OCD side starts kicking in. I like being packed a week ahead and race 3 days earlier than everyone is if I could. Right now I am 90% certain I will be going. I'm at a 60/40 split on what race I will be doing with the larger number still for the 24 hour. I don't want to drive longer than I actually race. I think that may become the 2010 race season plan. The race MUST be longer than it takes to get there. That may kill a couple o-cups off but it's a great guide line.

It's a beautiful day and I've been hiding in the basement trying not to think about the Monday Night crew out riding in Copeland. I'd be out there if I could be so instead of suffering on the thoughts of not being able to ride I did a little rearranging in the basement. Making more room in case I get a new toy or two for next season and don't kill off one or two of the existing ones.

I'm just finishing up crap and about to go battle with south bound traffic coming home from their cottages to meet up with the MNS crew for a BBq, beer and Boccie. Great way to spend the evening.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

good, bad and the ugly

Well it turned into an interesting weekend and it’s only Sunday night of a long weekend. Some good and some bad and one major concern.

I’ll start with the good stuff. The Friday night bachelor party was fun, I will not expand on anything that happened. Those rules must be obeyed. Saturday’s wedding was fantastic. Congratulations again Al and Marinka. May your future together be wonderful. Great ceremony geld out at our friend Mike’s place.

The Ark is an awesome place for both the formal and the informal (I’m usually there for more of this side). It’s been a couple years since I’ve been out but lets just say that this place is awesome. It’s run completely off grid and self contained.

Of course the apr├Ęs wedding is always entertaining with the Ottawa crowd. A mix of mountain bikers, adventure races and runners. All endurance junkies and this includes the party side, or so I thought. We are all showing our age and I swear most of us consumed more coffee than wine and beer.

An interesting note of the night., when it came time for the groom to shoot the garter and the bride to toss the bouquet things went almost terribly wrong. That or very set up. First up comes to the garter. Of course I have my head down doing the “you can’t see me if I can’t see you” thought when they called all the single guys up. I dragged myself into the pack. Now the interesting thing was seeing my future brother-in-law Rick standing beside me. I was kinda confused. Of course I made a comment to him but I guess that unless the ring is on it’s a free for all, this will lead to another part of it.

Back to the garter, I didn’t escape and I swear Al set it up and put a bullseye on me. Apparently according to fate, which as most know I do sorta believe in but am starting to think I should change my mind on it, I’m the next in line. Well whoever the poor woman is, I apologize now for your misfortune!!. Most of my friends are thinking, SUCKER!!!

As for the women's side of this cruel tradition, I saw my sister up in the pack. Hey, all’s fair in love and war right?? Then I hear Rick scream “get those flowers honey!!” Apparently I’m the competitive one in the family!! Well I swear Jenn had the same bullseye on her that I did but she managed to throw a 7 year old in front of her to block the blow. Nice!!!Great evening in the greatest of events for two of my friends.

So onto the mix of good and bad. Met up with my sister on Friday to get some Myo facial treatment done. When ever I’m able to I get treatment from my sister since she is always on the leading front with her training. I good tune up before the 24 hour is always a bonus. She had noticed a few major issues with my body. I pretty much am a pretzel with a bomb inside it. She addressed a couple things and the treatment was great. Got home feeling good and started to get ready for an easy road ride. I never ever have issues with riding after a treatment, just keep things in check and do endurance/recovery pace. No worries I thought.

Headed out feeling really good. The first bit of the road I was on was pretty rough but nothing I’m not used to. About an hour into the ride I started on my return. Things felt a little weird in my back. Then it got worse, and worse. Not just ache but sharp pain. I stopped and when I put my foot down things went bad. I was on the ground in major pain. A phone call later my sister had a cab en route to get me. Spent the rest of the evening low key, even at the bachelor party. The pain had settled before I went out otherwise I would have been comfy on the couch. No go carting for me and I was mellow for the rest of the night. The next morning I woke up and I could barely stand up. Spent a good hour with heat on my back then another hour stretching. Things became bearable.luckily because of the wedding. I stayed seated as much as possible.

So that leads up to this morning. Woke up and things were better but still sore. Still very tight in lower back. What ever released has strained a lot of my lower back muscles. Time bomb went off. Of course having a 5 hour drive home isn’t going to help but the sooner I got home the better. Stretching and I was off. Lets just say that I’m very happy I have heated seats and power adjustable lumbar in the car.

Got home feeling not to bad so I did what I knew needed to be done and went for a very easy ride on the rail trail with the Anthem. Was back in less than an hour then did more stretching. Currently my back is very mad at me. It will be Advil very shortly,

So that is the bad part of things. The results were going to happen at anytime unfortunately they happened now. Two weeks from know I wouldn't care. It’s been a long abusive season and the body knows it.

So here is the concern. I’m less than a week out from the 24 hour in Michigan. Am I racing, am I not. I’ve been weighing options constantly and this is where I’m at.

At this time I’m still planning on going. It’s a week, very little riding, lots of yoga and stretching. Ice and heat etc. I have physio with Dr. Bill on Tuesday morning. I don’t need to make a decision until Thursday morning. If things keep getting better daily I’m not worried, drugs will help.

I’m still planning for the 24 hour BUT I do have an option. There is a 12 hour division. I can push through pain for 12 hours and this means getting to consume more beer than I would if I do option A. I still want to not think about option B but if I’m in Michigan and there is a hesitation I will opt for the 12 hour.

Third option will not actually be an option. If my back says no then I will be staying in Ontario, trying to recover, get shit figured out and then do either Paul’s Dirty Enduro or the Fall 8 hour or possibly both.

So the one outlook I have on this is being forced to rest will also have me going into this weekend more rested than I’ve ever been for a 24 hour race. You don’t lose your endurance levels as quickly as you do your intensity so I’m not to concerned. I’m more focused on getting the body in check. I’ll be updating daily on what and where I’m at.

I'm in bit of a frustrated position right now. Hansen Hills isn't exactly in my backyard so making the decision is going to be tough, really don't want to drive 9 hours, do a lap and have to quit because my back goes. I also really want to go, new venue, new racers, etc etc. The good perk right now is I'm on holiday's so I can completely relax. Hopefully things come together.

More tomorrow.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Have to vent a little

I'm currently sitting on my sister's couch drinking coffee. The trip out to Ottawa was, lets just say interesting. I saw stupid reminders how little people think about consequence in results to their actions. More so this generation of James Dean, want to be a rebel got my bike licence yesterday so I'm going to get a big ass noisy bike and terrorize the roads group.

For those I'm about to offend, sorry but you need to hear this. I am the first to admit that I am mature enough to know that I am not mature enough to own a motorcycle. I grew up around them, my Dad always had them including crouch rockets and Gold Wings. When I did ride I was reminded by him that on a bike, like a bicycle, that you will never win in a battle against a car and that you need to be defensive. Well maybe this rebel generation might want to remember that.

First up I do have to make a point about the noise. Sorry guys but going through town 2 gears lower than you need to be reving the shit out of the engine does not make you a bad ass. Inside info from a customer who just happens to be on the board of a large motorcycle association (HD) told me that there will be no sound limits coming soon. Fantastic!!!

Ok so onto the drive. Coming into Bancroft I followed a guy on a Cruiser who was going up in down with the speed limit, reving the bike constantly for know reason. Then I noticed the highlight to this. Where the hell is his helmet??? Awww tipped back off his head kinda like the cowgirl hat hanging by a string around his neck. HMMMM really friggen bright. The funny thing is this was the smarter of the two bikes. I haven't even started into the idiot behind me.

So there are lots of rules about riding bikes that the old boys all know and all respect, Dad constantly reminded me of these when we would be out on a ride. Dad rode for 40 years. Most of those rules are just straight out common sense.

On to the clown behind me. My video camera was beside me, I should have taped it. You would have been shocked at the lack of brain cells this guy had. I'm into Bancroft. 50Km/h zone. 6-7 cars in front along with the wanna be biker guy who has now put his helmet back on. The guy behind me feels that he deserves to be in front of me and squeezes between me and oncoming traffic. His mirror,my mirror inches. I saw him coming up and my window was down so off course I called out "what the fuck are you thinking!!!!"

This is the interesting thing. He pulls in front of me, then starts looking back at me and swerving all over the lane and slowing down. Of course I start to slow down trying to figure out what this moron is trying to prove or do. I'm also watching him wander close to the yellow line with big ass trucks coming in the other direction. I'm on the fine line of either coming to a complete stop, getting out of the car and confronting this guy or getting away from him as fast as possibly.

So first off there is no way in hell this guy was a gang banger, the town I grew up in we had lots so I kinda know what I'm looking for. I had some shady friends growing up. Anyways I chose for the later of the options, hopped the curb and pinned it. Audi versus Harley, sorry boy you don't have the go to keep up. I am still shaking my head at this guy, no thoughts on any of his surroundings or what could would should have happened. How did he know that I wasn't packin my 9, or that I wasn't some crazy and turn my car at him giving him a nudge. Car versus bike, you know the end result.

This is all the same with cyclists versus cars, gotta thing cause versus effect. Maybe I shouldn't go full out against motorcyclists but more a general statement. Cause equals effect, I've seen more red light runners than ever, more car wandering in a lane than ever, more stupid driving things that could cause something major ever. Maybe we need to think about what we are doing more than ever!!!

Ok, I see a bunch of people about to knock me off the soap box and pummel me. I'll be out on the road bike later this afternoon, I think I'll be looking for some empty roads.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Not sure how many updates I'll get in this weekend. I also expect everyone to be out and about. It's looking like it's going to be amazing weather and I'm going to have a very busy weekend.

I'm officially on holiday's after my last service call of the day, from there it's jumping in the car heading east to Ottawa. A wedding on a long weekend always sucks but at least the group I'll be with a wedding is little different. A bunch of cyclists and adventure racers. Yep, the special type.

Friday night consist of go karting and drinking!!! Yep two things I'm kinda good at. Last time we did this I got flagged more than once. Remember that rubbin is racing thought, I guess they have never seen Days of Thunder. Let's see if I can put my brother in law in to the wall.

I will be armed with a road bike and plan on getting a couple easy rides in before heading back Sunday afternoon. Gotta be back because The Monday Night Something crew is doing the Monday all afternoon thing of some riding and some eating. No lights, just fun. There could even be some beer mixed into this. Wow it's going to be a weekend of hydration and carb loading. The ultimate pre 24 hour weekend.

Things seem to be coming together smoothly for the 24 hour. Even the weather at this point is looking like rainbows and butterflies with trails made of chocolate. No rivers since it's looking like there will be no rain at this point.

Check in on Andrew and Jacob's blogs today. Last night's final race for the season at Hardwood was supposed to be interesting. I did hear some siren's and saw the air ambulance heading that direction. Hoping there are pictures or video of this.

They were NOT heading out on the double track.

Gotta go, sooner I'm done, the sooner I'm done

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

no title, can't think of one

Thinking,, thinking. Nothing exciting on the bike front. Hotel is booked can't believe the price difference between here and the states. Starting to look at maps figuring out which way to go, where police hiding places may be, is there a faster way to cross the boarder.

Starting to lay out gear. My OCD side wants to start packing the car now. I'm staring at the weather network daily. Could, would, would we finally have rainbow and butterflies for a 24 hour race this season? Don't we deserve just one??

Riding wise things are starting to trim back. Well all the extra time could be going into a different effort. Mom has started to consider moving. This thought is a little hard on both my sister and I. It's the house that we grew up in, the house my Dad and Mom built to be the family home. Of course it's not our decision. Big family meeting of the three of us in Ottawa this weekend.

Of course the one thing I have not reminded Mom about her thoughts of the move. Don't you remember the hell I went through last year!!!!!!

Another ride tonight, not sure where yet, may take pictures, may draw pictures, may just say I did and ask you to imagine.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

interesting comparision

Last night's single speed ride was fun, like usual. There were a few interesting things that happened along with some conversations brought up that had me thinking. The Monday Night Something single speed ride versus Nascar. That's right folks, non shifting cycling at night takes on redneck racing.

Like Nascar this ride is pretty much follow the leader around the trail. Everyone rides close and when there is a double track section there is always a pack two or three wide. As we head into the single track someone always slingshots around to take the lead.

Last night's ride there was more tire rubbing than ever. At one point I swear there were at least 3 bikes in contact. We all remember those famous words from Days of Thunder the greatest car movie of all time (not really) He didn't bump you, hit you, or crashed into you. He rubbed you and rubbin is racin!!!!

When ever there is a mechanical on the trail like Nascar the yellow flag goes up and everyone goes into caution and rides really slow so till everyone regroups. Yep, one particular rider kept dropping her chain, maybe the fact that her hubby runs a bike shop explains things.

The fastest riders/drivers usually crash the most. Yep, it happened more than once last night. One crash happened while the pack wasn't even moving.

As for crashing which means turning in most cases. Nascar drivers really suck if they are forced to do more than turn left. Well Tristan proved that last night. Actually it was both going left and right and over rocks and things. Next year all trails will be paved and 20 feet wide.

There are thousands of drunk fans in the stands at Nascar races. In our case we had one drunk fan in a wheelchair touring around the parking lot. We have to work on our cheering section.

There is always tree huggers protesting Nascar races and how environmentally damaging they are. well had a tree mover/hugger/planter on our ride last night.

Nascar drivers are paid vast sums of money to drive in circles. Us, ya sure it would be nice.

I guess Nascar still takes it from a fan and spectator sport, I still don't get it. I get dizzy watching them go round and round for hours. I think if more people found out about our ride we could fill the stands. Ok so there are no stands in Midhurst but if you build it they will come. Or at least it would give the free riders something new to jump off.

Work time, play time tonight.