Monday, November 30, 2009

Not enough coffee

That must have been the reason for it. Completely disregard yesterday's post. I must have still had that haze over my head when I was thinking that. I had the best road ride yesterday in amazing conditions. The sun was out, the temperature was just right, the climbing was fun and my legs were feeling amazing.

Headed out early, ok well Sunday morning early which means before all the church people head out which meant Hwy 12 was dead. The new pavement and huge shoulder with the rumble strip makes this a road worth riding now. I swear for a major road its probably safer than a back concession now because of that rumble strip. Mix that in with 3 really good climbs, one that is about 10 minutes of steady pitch and you have a great route south.

Made my way through Orillia to catch the tail end of the Snow Flake running series. Huge turnout for the first event. The nice weather may have been a factor, need something to make someone want to run. There is no coasting in running. Blah!!!

Started into the return trip by way of back concessions making my way towards Coldwater. The best way to finish up the ride was to head up Vasey line. I love that climb, it hurts good. After another fast decent spun out the legs on the rail trail. As I came into town I had the quick reminder that my little town of 700 puts on a Santa Claus parade. I was going to have the time to get cleaned up and still make it up to watch. Lets just say that I was very impressed on the show they put on. Great turn out and the kids all seemed to love it.

So my thoughts on want snow, screw it !!!!!! Come on global warming and green Christmas. I'll hint to Jenn and Rick to bring their bikes instead of their skis. I want to ride on clear roads all winter, not waste time snow blowing and shovelling, not have to clean off the car and truck everytime I want to go someplace. After a ride like yesterday where I was smiling the whole time it's pretty hard to get the craving for the white stuff. I didn't even want to waste that little bit of sun by playing in the trails where the trees could eclipse it.

Back to the real world today, lots to do in a very short time. More tomorrow.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still Waiting,

I'm starting to get a little impatient. At first I thought Mother Nature was just being nice to me. No rain on the mid week evening rides, still above freezing, still no snow. The later is the problem. I kinda want snow at this point. I look at my skis everytime I head into the basement to grab a bike. I know I shouldn't be complaining. I'm currently watching sun go up which means the temperature is going up. Hmmm no skate skiing again today. Dam, guess I will have to ride a bike.

Maybe it's the need to have something to write about. Snow, skiing, etc will be good, crashes to talk about in the first couple weeks. Right now things are pretty mellow, base miles, zero intensity unless the hill forces the heart rate up because of the the lack of a gear or of the fitness. Even the training time is still mellow. I need snow!! Christmas is coming, we need snow. Need to do the family tradition of skiing or snowshoeing on Christmas day. Remember what happened last year? I'm still trying to forget. With out snow that means boredom.

I know I'll be bitching about to much snow once it happens and how I hate snow blowing my huge driveway twice a day. How I would much rather be cutting the grass instead of shovelling all that white stuff. How I would much rather be playing on single track instead of track set but for right now I want snow!!! Oh and it has to be sunny all the time and only snowing at night. To much to ask??

Speaking of snow and skiing, Check this out. Jordan is one of our Mountainview Cycling Club members who has made it to the big time on snow and is now racing for the National team. It's funny but back in my downhill ski racing days, we had a saying ski Mountainview ski the world. Jordan is proving it to us.

Alright I better get off my ass and go ride a bike. I have yet to find the right glide wax for grass.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The thrills of riding at night

I have so many hours banked up in night riding but there are times that I still get a little freaked. Last nights road ride mother nature again was in a good mood and stopped the rain just a little before I headed out. The route was one of those lets see where this gravel road leads to. I've seen it on the map. Interesting enough I think maps lie sometimes.

What I thought would have been a loop turned into a half out and back then a redirect onto another concession. So all the normal things about night ride, can't see how high or long the hill is, can't really gauge how long you go straight before turning and you can't always tell the difference between a dog and a wolf from a distance.

This random road was on had very very little civilisation and of course when I see this 4 legged pointy ear close to the same size and stature of a wolf the mind thought it was a wolf. A wolf that should be more scared than me and should run away but didn't type wolf. A wolf that kept staring at me as hard as I was at him type wolf. A wolf that may be starving and think that even my skinny body would make one hell of a pre winter meal type wolf.

Of course I'm the cyclist with the over active mind who is not wearing his prescription glasses, is on a bike with cross tires and fenders and a small gear ratio available that gives me the ability to barely out sprint grandma's electric scooter. Put those things together and a big white husky type breed dog becomes a wolf. Of course it wasn't, but it could be a really bored dog as I went past him staring intently at me. This is where not knowing where I was going completely led me to a dead end road. HMMMM I turned around and headed back to the wolf/dog's area to now see him on the other side of the road waiting patiently, staring!!!

He held his ground and I pedalled away a little faster with nothing in chase. On the cross bike I'm not wearing my helmet light just the bar light so of course looking back to see if anything is in chase is pretty much useless when you are on a dark road that has absolutely no lights. Unless it's closes enough, like at my ankles, I wouldn't' see shit coming. Of course the one ear phone in with the ipod cranked does wonders at killing of the ability to hear much.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful as I made my way into Coldwater by way of back roads. I did the half coin toss with out the coin and lost so I made my way up the great climb of Vasey Line. Now that great gear ratios that won't help me go super fast balanced its self with the climb. At the top made my way down the 8th towards home. More gravel roads but I knew what and where I might something unusual. Nothing.

The sky had cleared, the stars had come out and the temperature had started to drop. All in great timing as I spun my way home. My feet were just started to get cold enough where they were getting mad at me but the job was done, 2 hours. Some good climbs, lots of steady pace and a couple new roads that I now know where they go. HMMMM where should I ride this weekend? Time to look at the map, I wonder where this goes???

Right now it's off to work.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2010 tenative

Uxbridge Ice breaker 50 km
Paris to Ancaster 60km
April 25 - Ontario Cup #1, Mansfield
May 9 - Ontario Cup #2, Albion Hills
May 15 - Spring Epic 8 Hour, Mansfield solo
June 6 - Ontario Cup #4, Mountainview
June 26-27 - 24 Hours of Summer Solstice solo
July 11 - Ontario Cup #5, Buckwallow tenative
Summer 8 hour solo
August 8 - Ontario Cup #6, Kelso Conservation Area
Mountainview 9 hour solo
August 22 - Ontario Cup Champs, TBA
August 28–29 - 24 Hours at Albion, Hot August Nights 10 man team
Fall 8 hour solo
24 hour U.S. Nationals in West Virgina Solo

That's where things are at at this point. Another crazy year Obviously some races will be in the odd one may not happen.

Wow, time to start getting busy!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It doesn't seem right sometimes.

Well I rubbed the curve with the weather tonight and was able to get a solid 2 hours in outside. It was a great ride even though it was pitch black when I left. Ok, well maybe not fully black, I had my way lite by Christmas lights. Yep Christmas lights on in November!!! Maybe I'm a scrooge, wait ya I am but I thought that the turning the lights had some sort of rule of Not Before December!!!!

Of course there was more than just one house lite up brighter than a Vegas. I actually enjoyed the silence and concessions where the homes were following the rules. Now the part of the ride I really did enjoy, the smell of burning wood. Lots of us up this way heat with wood, it's not that we don't have a choice but the smell is just so nice.

Kept the ride to low rolling hills, the legs were feeling a little tired still from the weekend and I was also not feeling brave to throw myself down a long steep hill at where I would be riding way ahead of my lights. I know I have the option of using my brakes, actually that's not an option but a last resort.

Still did what needed to be done with some time after to start the monster garage project of installing fenders on to a cross bike that was really not designed to have fenders put on it. Let's just say I was very very impressed with what I was capable of doing with a couple screws, some zip ties, and a hack saw can do. It was more getting the clearance for the cross tires. They are a little more aggressive than needed which means they are perfect for snow, ice and slush. Unless I'm skiing the plan for this winter is all endurance hours will be done outside on the bike. I'm going to stick to that plan!!! Ok, I will try to.

Cat up date, I think Bobke is on EPO and Speed. I'm still waiting for the UCI to stop in for a urine test. There is a sample currently in the kitty litter ready to for them that a very well paid off stray homeless cat offered up. Can't have Bobke getting a two year ban. It would ruin the fun of watching him drift corners and launch through things at full speed that the normal car would walk through.

Time to break an appliance, later

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'd rather sleep

Not me but the dog. Headed out to the normal place at the normal time for the normal thing to do on Monday nights. Molly in her normal spot in the backseat of the car but when we got there things were not normal.

As we got ready to go Molly jumped back into the tail gate with one of those looks, you know the "I don't wanna!!!'" look. And she didn't, I think this was the first Monday night something that she has skipped in a year. Of course she normally doesn't get a hard run the day before.

It was another good ride, I bounced around a little more than normal. I was having a problem seeing the trail, no bar lamp tonight and no prescription glasses. Oh and the course was not taped!!! This of course has me wanting my new head lamp now. It's just a little bit brighter than. Check out the review. Still ended up with a fun ride. As the winter gets closer our numbers seem to increase.

Check out my coach's boyfriend's site Jason Even though he rides for the Empire it should still write something good when he is not drinking the Kool-Aid. Another day, another ride planned. Hoping it's not another trainer session.

Gotta roll

Monday, November 23, 2009

The dog days of fall

That was the thought of everyone this weekend. Could this be the last ride before snow? It's coming so we may as well make it a good one. Saturday had everyone show up at my place for a rip around the Big Chute. Lot's of chatter on the ride about the season past and to come.

It wasn't a totally relaxing ride though, following Tristan is always a little nerving. There were a few random 4 foot drifts that would catch the pack off guard. The guy is fast as long as there are no lefts and rights.

We made a quick tourist stop at the Chute its self

Brendan was staring in aww. Of what you may ask?

Could it be Jacob's sweet new TCR? Nope!!!!!!!!! It's a nice bike and I'm a weee bit jealous since I won't have one till spring. No need on getting it and just staring at it hanging on the rack. The old Giant will do trainer duty this winter.
He was staring at this sign.

There are so many good uses for this.

As we rolled into Port Severn we came to the one car wide bridge. The road narrows but that didn't stop some inbreed Fred in his pickup from trying to pass us in an area there was no room to pass. I was very polite and did not use any 4 letter words, he did back down and let us lead. It's not that he was going far, stopped at the store 20 feet past the bridge. He was having a nic fit.

Just after this there was an unplanned pit stop that left 3 of us a little behind. The only words I remember is Jacob saying that he is pushing over 500 watts. Now instead of us getting a pace line going to catch up we opted for the Nascar 3 across approach. Ya lets just say that after that little intensity we spun back to my place pretty slowly. Forgot what lactic acid felt like.

Pizza, homemade cookies(not made by me) a beer or two and a retro movie finished out the night. Round two the next day with the meet up at Copeland. 5 plus the Molly Monster headed out for a tour of the woods. The trails were in great shape, all the trails including the so called damaged section from the Marathon race 5 months earlier. Lots of stories were told about that and these trails.

We hit the new berm downhills a couple times. Yes, there are new ones. Pretty sure we ran into the guys the built it. I think they could tell by our smiles and the fact that we went back a few times that they made a great trail. Now one of the new sections had this huge as jump, actually there were a few sections that you could catch some good air. Most of us opted to not huck the double.

One thing to be said, Copeland is a mean place to ride a single speed. Watson, Jamie Mathison and myself were riding gearless. Let's just say that there was a little score card on who got off the bike first on a couple of the climbs. I think it was a draw in the end. Brendan and Rob of course did not say a word about a climb as they shifted to an easier gear.

Rolled back to the cars 2.5 hours after starting. The Molly Monster was tired which was going to make the rest of my afternoon mellow. I felt my legs a couple hours later as I attempted the stairs. Yep, love the stairs some days. Another great weekend of riding. Back to the grown up world.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Staring Blankly!!!

Saturday morning, clouds are clearing, coffee tastes great, brain is not working to well yet. Had a great idea for a blah, blah, blah to put up here but when it came to putting my fingers to the keyboard my mind went numb. The Big Chute loop is the plan for the day, I won't be spinning alone for a change.

UMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm. Yep no thoughts, I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tie goes to the runner

Well after one very long week the poll came to a close. The battle was a tough one and to my surprise it was a tie. Bobke and Watson tied at 34 votes each blowing away all the other names but at least 20 votes. So what does this mean??? Well it means that I in the end have the responsibility to name my cat.

Wasn't that the point of the poll, to leave it to you? I'm the one that has to feed him, clean up his kitty litter, clean up his hell on wheels mess all I wanted was the lack of responsibility on one thing and it failed. The dam democratic society did it again. Well the one thing that was good with the tied vote was it didn't force me into a coalition attempt to get the results I was hoping for.

So what is it going to be? A cat named after a good friend or a cat named after a very loud American? Well I think it's going to be the Tour Day France this time. Bobke wins!! Bob was not available for an interview and photos. He was to busy seeing how fast he can go around the house and hitting all three levels leaving a path of destruction along the way.

I found it very amusing the comments both on here, on random forums and of course talking with friends that read the blog. Hey should we try and rename the dog next???

Training front, Mother Nature was mad at me so I rode for two hours and I moved about 1 inch , hmmm I've had races that felt like that. Weekend is ramping up for a good one with a couple good rides planned, looks pretty dry at this point.

More excitement tomorrow

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey it's a race, maybe not

Yep there is a race this weekend. I won't be there though. The Wizard of Wheels Winter W.O.W. is a great event. I've done it in the past but I'm skipping t this year. I need a weekend around the house to get the last of pre snow things done. You know things like making sure the snowblower is working, move more firewood, get the rest of the storm windows on, that kinda stuff.

It sounds like it will be perfect weather for it. Better than last years epic event of pushing the bikes through the snow. This year looks like just above the freezing mark at start which means fast single track. Yes I still debate but no I will not lose the debate to peer pressure. A couple group road rides are planned at this time to keep me to my plan. It sounds like the single speed division has someone showing up very highly motivated to destroy the Empire.

Training wise, it was back at it last night with a mix of weights, lets go up and down stairs with and then do more weird body moves with foreign objects in your hands followed by push up and chin ups. I'm a cyclists, do I really need an upper body?? The nice side was the 40 minute warm up outside on the cross bike and the cool down of some yoga. Start and finish are always fun the middle part always hurts. Hey that's just like racing!!

I'm currently sitting on the couch pouring vasts amounts of coffee down my throat looking out the window. I'm staring at water drops on the window and a cloud filled sky. Well maybe in 9 hours from now it will clear up for my 2 hour ride, that or it's another night of the drive-in bike theatre.

Fingers crossed

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My favorite thing in the world

I didn't want to do it, I cringed when I even thought about doing it, I looked at the thermometer and the quickly dropping sun and was thinking you don't have much choice, you have to do it. But what if, oh, it's all in the laundry. You're going to have to do it. Shit.

Yep rode the trainer for the first time this fall. One of those crazy work days led to a later start and some of my cold weather clothing was smelling a little unfavourable in the laundry hamper. This being dark at 5 pm sucks. It didn't help that I was a little mentally drained from work so the thought of 2 hours in the cold and dark alone really didn't entice me.

Set up the vomit making machine and put in my favorite motivational cycling movie. No not Ike learns to ride a bike. 24solo seems to work well, I swear I've watched that movie 100 times and it's pretty much white noise for my eyes and ears now but it's something that will keep me distracted from tearing out my eyes while looking like a drunk gerbil on an exercise wheel. At least it was just endurance tonight. I'm not making the same mistake twice though, or at least trying not to and until the snow comes I will always have clothing ready and lights charged.

The amount of work hours during the day should be based on the amount of sunlight available. Screw daylight savings, We currently get 15 plus hours of sun in peak summer and work 8 hours roughly. Well what if there is a percentage scale according to the sun. With only 9 hours sun maybe the work day should only be about 5 hours. Just an off the top of my head number but some engineers could come up with a good curve. Good idea?? Why should all the daylight be given to the boss, wait I am the boss. Shit, I'm screwed either way.

Gotta work,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Awesome enough for 2 days

That's right folks, the Antirace was just so epic it deserves a second day of conversation. Mainly it's to the fact that it resulted in me having a two day hangover. Not just a simple oh I'm feeling a little off but more of a I want to run into a brick wall to end the pain type day. The easy pace of the MNS ride last night did clear things up finally.

So a few other interesting highlights. First up is Team Speed. Let's just say that I don't think they drank anything on that ride that had less than 5% alcohol in it.
Very impressed with their hydration methods, may consider switching to that for the next Ontario Cup. Also seeing Ben wear glow in the dark coverall and a old downhill ski helmet on what seemed to be the hottest day of the summer was very interesting.

Next up was the random tree sacrifice. Unfortunately I was the one not hugging them but murdering them for a change A few places during the ride there were random stops along the trail and everyone would grab on to a tree. Nothing new from any ride, well the first attempt for me to do this saw me take out a 6inch thick tree. It somehow seemed to miss everyone in the trail with 500 turns.

An hour later saw me take out another tree, this time with my chain stay as I hopped the back wheel around a corner. Mother Nature I'm sorry, I planted two trees in my yard and bought a bunch of Al Gore's carbon credits.

I don't want to say that this ride was all about drinking, riding and killing trees. There were a few real grown up conversations happening from time to time. One was based on the transition from West Nile, to Sars to H1N1 as the next world killer, Then everyone had a shot.

I did misplace my car for about 15 minutes in the underground parking lot. Don't ask.

It was cool seeing a few old friends like Craig, Mark and Tanya who made the trip from Ottawa. I nice talked Craig hoping that the next time I rip through Ottawa to visit my sister it may possibly get me out of a speeding ticket. Doubt it, will probably have my tires shot out. Tanya had the good night of crashing at my place on Friday night and like usual adopted my animals for the whole time she was here.

Speaking of animals, or more the cat. SO Watson is winning at this point. Out with Andrew for coffee yesterday and asked him how he felt about it. Yep, he is the same as me, a little creeped but I promised the world that I would let the masses vote on this. What I do have the ability to do is create short forms of any name. So!! if Watson wins be prepared to call the cat Wats or Watts or Watson. It's not cheating, I'm just following the OLG's rules.

Sun is out again today, of course it won't be when I get home so I'm expecting another dark road ride, I'm still holding off the trainer.

Gotta roll

Monday, November 16, 2009


Unlike Vegas what happens in Collingwood gets told to the world. Typical Saturday morning of a pot of coffee and a little to much excitement. Pawned the Monster off on Mom and headed west to Collingwood. On the drive over I'm watching the sky clear and the temperature rise. It's going to be a perfect day. Who's soul did Peter sell??? How many virgins did he sacrifice?

Met up with Andrew first who was more impatient than I was. We ended up not being the first ones there at least. The numbers just kept growing and growing as it got closer to noon, then rolled past noon. It's not a race and that was reinforced when Peter said time for your warm up. Out came a bottle and a stack of Dixie cups. I think this should be the way ever race should start. Finally rolled out and the talk of which way to get up to 3 stage. I'm used to parking my car up there or riding my road bike up grey 19. Well we took what ended up being the very hard way.

This was the hill that never seemed to end and every time it added to itself in got steeper. I had some ok momentum at the bottom but as I got to the mid way point I started to curse a bit for changing the 19t to a 16t after being bugged about it on the Monday night ride earlier in the week. Yes, it's been changed back. One problem I had to deal with was chain tension. I neglected to take out a link or two when I went to the smalled cog so when I really put torque into the pedals the tension was just slack enough to have some chain slip. Ya, this was going to make things interesting for the day.

There was lots of criss crossing and eventually walking. Most blamed it on the fresh grading of the road. I'm good with that answer, after a recover drink we were off again. That was the last of the gravel roads for a while.

The navigation to the top of 3 stage was interesting. Where the trail really should have been did not fully agree with the direction that we were heading. It was a site to see, we did finally get to the top.

The fun began, the single track was in fantastic shape. A week of dry conditions helped since 3 stage is mainly clay based and becomes a slip and slide when it becomes a little damp. This was a ride of go till a trail split, stop, regroup and go again. Of course one of the trails we took people that were 5 minutes ahead were with in arms reach to the back of the pack. I forgot how technical it is here. There were more than a few random crashes but nothing of spectacular ohh and awws.

I was having to much fun that I neglected to pull out my camera anytime we were in single track.

This was at about the 3.5 hour mark, we started to make our way back towards the top of the mountain. All that descending in the trails were now about to take it's toll on us heading back up. It was twisty and turny which killed every urge to whine. Even tired everyone was having fun.

Back at the top of the parking area everyone got prepped for the very very fast decent down Grey 19. This was the first time all day that arm warmer(see Watson) and vests came out. This was also when all the comments came out about the blood I was showing on my left leg. There is a bolt on the bottom of my left brake that took a chunk out of my knee cap. Didn't notice when it happened but the trail of blood did look very spectacular.

After the high speed noisy decent, knobby tires are far from quite at 70km/h the pack regrouped in the parking lot to get prepped for the evening festivities which included awards.

Peter came out with the best prizes of the 2009 season. The overall winner of the race which apparently he made every attempt to fix. Peter was determined to get me to attack during the ride, well I'll blame the chain slipping on that more than weak legs. So because of me messing up his plans he had to vote for the true nonwinner of the day which turned into Ryan.

Team speed took the overall award.

I ended up taking the modified award of best crash which was switched to the most blood drawn. From there things went down hill. The switch to the next establishment lead to vasts amounts of alcohol consumed. Eventually as all the snobby locals came in we were all asked to leave nicely. They swarmed Del, I guess he was the shadiest looking one amongst us. There were more things happening but those should stay in Collingwood.

In the end, it was an amazing day and evening. So amazing that I spent yesterday on the couch trying to recover from all the excitement. For those that missed Delstalk/Antirace. Shame on you.

Time for work. Don't forget to vote!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Look Right

Yep, the poll is up. Another name added to the list. Bobski or Bob for short. Why? It's every cyclists favorite American commentator's nickname. Bob Roll keeps me laughing during the tour. I'm now leaning that way a little.

You can vote as much as you would like. It's kinda like a federal election where someone always hijacks it. Vote daily, hourly, secondly. Vote often, aww hell just vote. At least with my election I won't raise taxes.

Bike is ready for today's fun. Hopefully the legs keep up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Better than the trainer

Headed out at 4:30 last night with the sun still sorta in the sky. Those evening rides seem to start at 4 pm now. Headed out the long way to Moonstone which meant some big farm field sections before getting into the hills. It wasn't that I wanted a long warm up, ok, ya my legs were feeling like bricks. I also wanted to enjoy the sun for as long as I could and farm fields equals no trees which meant more sun. Simple logic.

Going once.

It took a good 40 minutes for the legs to start feeling the happy place. Lots of grunt work around the house and work the last few days has played a part in this. Hit the start of the climbs along Anderson Line and took the right onto Stage Coach road. I've yet to find the stage coach but I did see a barn. The hills looked like they were on fire, my video camera doesn't do justice.

Going Twice.

The climb up Moonstone road doesn't seem as long when you can't really see where the top is. Ya wait that's a lie, it still is long. Some rights and lefts back toward Vasey line. An interesting thing was not going up but going down at 60-70 km/h with very little vision. My hands were a little closer to the brake levers than normal especially after having both a cat and a fox (not in chase) cut across the road in front of me. My lights are getting a great workout.


2 hours not on the trainer keeps me happy. A great warm up for this weekends adventure. Will be heading over for the high noon start where I'm going to do everything I can to beat Watson. If your first your last!!!! The long ride will work great to burn off the calories that I'll be consuming after the ride. Hydration is very important!!!!

On the cat name front. Here is the list so far.


Misfit, Someone is drinking way to much of Peter's spiked Kool-Aid. Watch out for the roofies!



Crank ( since that is the one you liked the most)


Watson (because someone else has a Watson fetish besides just me)


I'll leave it open till the end of the day then I'll have the pole up over the weekend.

Work before play

Thursday, November 12, 2009

All in a name

With the long shadows of the fall and the even longer amount of time spent indoors I decided to take a visit to the local OSPCA. Of course you know what that means. I needed some additional entertainment so I brought home this little monster.
I've yet to figure out a name for him. He came with Barney but I'm just not sure. I've thought Bonk because he likes to headbutt things and it's a cycling thing also. Still not sure so here is where I will leave it up to you. Through me some ideas, I will then put up a poll and the winning name will become permanent.
He is strung out, like any kitten. Very vocal, like most kittens and his owner. Him and Molly are getting along, of course the Molly Monster voiced her concerns about someone else taking some of the attention away from her.
Work then ride

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I was finding it interesting how quickly the body can adjust to temperature changes. Not just slow ramp ups but major changes. Last night while riding in the cold and dark, that's what most of my riding will be for the next month if I want to avoid the trainer, I thought wow I'm really warm. Almost to warm. Now it was just above the freezing mark during my ride and I was more than comfortable for the 1.5 hours.

Now I think back to a couple weeks ago for that night cross race at Hardwood where at one point I could barely feel my fingers and that was only a 30 minute race. I was wearing about the same amount of clothing and I was actually working harder at a slower speed being on dirt and grass while riding at intensity. Normally much easier to stay warm. So what changed? Nothing except for the fact that it has been cold for the last few days in the evenings and I've been out in it.

On the reverse side of the thermostat I look at how hard I blew up at Mountainview Ontario Cup race when the heat went through the roof in the course of the day, I popped hard, less than a week later in the same conditions I rode to the win at the 9 hour feeling amazing. A couple days in the heat and the body adjusted. Many years ago in my former ski instructor days I remember being out in minus 30 and being fine all day by mid season but yet those first few days of the season it was almost impossible to keep the fingers and toes warm.

So obviously my body adjusts well to the changes but I wonder about other people. You know the ones that say" I hate the winter" or the ones with "the heat kills me" Is it that they don't try to adjust or is it that there body can't adjust as well? I guess this is part of the reason that I ride in shit conditions instead of opting to the trainer. I got a message from a friend involving having a hard time making himself go out in the rain and cold. Mentally he just didn't want to be out in it. Yep, it sucks being out there but it's still better than the trainer. The other thing is you may have to race in unfavourable conditions. This season has been completely crap for cold, rainy, conditions or extreme heat. I don't think there were to many races that weather was what it "Should be!"

So what is more important, training the body to be strong and in peak or training the mind to be ready to deal with the worst conditions? In most cases it's harder to do a controlled workout while being out in the most unfavourable conditions but yet the mind is getting ready to be completely miserable but yet on the trainer with wattage or heart rate you cant be very precise with intervals and be as strong as possible. It's a hard debate because both are at the top of the scale of importance.

What am I going to do? For this winter season my plan is to do as much of my endurance rides outside as possible and all my high end intervals on the puke machine. I think this will give me the biggest benefit. Ok now the truth, I want to do everything I can do avoid 3 and 4 hour rides on the trainer, it's boring even with movies etc. I also want to take advantage of the wattage trainer and push my legs as hard as I can. 3-5 minute intervals are bang on consistent when i set a wattage on that stupid machine where out on the road there are slight ups and downs on the road that will give my legs a break during those longer intervals.

I'm hoping that we don't have a repeat of the 2009 weather next season but at least I will be as prepared as I can be going into it. It would be nice to not spend longer cleaning the bike than it does to do the race that makes the mess (o-cups) and hopefully the endurance season brings only rainbows and butterflies with trails made of chocolate.

Time to work.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Got nothing, rode my bike in the dark, booked my pass out place for Saturday, ride my bike again tonight in the dark. That's it.

Try to be creative tomorrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The great white north

Great weekend away from the regular grind around the house. Lots of mellow time and it was fun spotting snow patches on the drive up. The weather Saturday was not as nice as it was farther south but I still did the last unofficial ride on the Anthem. One is clean and put away the other was due for some abuse.

Not really knowing what the roads/trails would be like up there it was a safe choice. Once I saw all the bright orange jackets wandering around the bush armed with high powered bb guns I was pretty certain I'd be sticking to trails that resembled roads. I had a little concern that they would not be able to tell the difference between a deer and a skinny guy on an orange bike.

The main roads into and around the cottage are gravel but lots of rollers and turns to keep things interesting. The rare times I did come across another person out there I did get some weird looks. I was starting to guess that cycling is not very popular up this way, then I came across this.

Yes that is a cyclist on that picture. Continued on my planned out loop out to the 518. Let's just say that I'm already planning a trip up here to ride this road on my road bike. Great views, some good climbs and very little traffic.

The sun broke a few times and stopped for a moment to enjoy.

The closest I did get to some trail riding was this.

Of course I made every hunter jealous as i ran into Bambi out there. Kinda startled me as I heard the trees snap when the deer took off in the opposite direction. Spun my legs out after 2 hours and headed back to my hang out for the weekend.

The view was amazing but the lake was a little to chilly to do much more than look at.

Sunday was spent waterfall/rapids searching on the way home. This is where I scoped out the 518 as a ride. What an amazing road. If we keep getting a break in the weather I may attempt to get a good long ride up there before the snow comes.

Tonight, the MNS will be back at it. An interesting thing is the weather is very much a flashback to the winter of last year. First Monday it was crazy warm, like its supposed to be today, the next Monday there was a dusting of snow but still rideable. The following Monday, snowstorm. Not sure if I want a repeat of that or not at this point.

Back to the real world of work this morning.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The friends you keep

Last night was the first of many cold weather Thursday movie night. It may change days but the idea is the same. Had a few of the Monday Night something crew up to the house which of course some say is in the middle of no where. Just because it's not surrounded by 20,000 other houses doesn't mean it's isolated. We have running water and hydro.

What was interesting is where the mini tour of the house finished and what seemed to be the highlight of the house. My place is pretty cool being a 1930's home, lots of character. So after the normal living area stuff we end up in the basement. Nope, no axes came up and the basement is not creepy. Where do we end up sitting and staring?? At the first project I took on when I moved in last year.

With some friend's it's the sun room that they like, with others it's the fireplace and living room area, but with my cycling friend's it's the bath tub in the basement that had them all staring in awe. With winter coming and and the crap that is on the roads the thought of a salt covered dirty bike and the chore of cleaning it never amused me much. Come in and trying to warm up and you have to head right back outside with buckets of water. Awww the enjoyment of standing out in the sub freezing temperature splashing water on the bike and yourself hoping to get the worst of the grit and salt off. At my old place I resorted to this once or twice. Let's just say that it would not go over to well with most. Some wives, girlfriends, etc would not be to impressed about seeing a bike in the main bathroom.

My suggestion, lose the laundry tub, who uses it??? With the snow coming anytime and those long miles put on slat covered roads means lots of cleaning afterwards. I much prefer to do this in the warmth of the basement while having a beer. I think Jeremy may get lucky since his wife seemed to be drooling over the bike wash tub than he was.

So maybe after showing off my bathtub I can now understand why they have this really pretty washers and dryers. I can now see a few friends standing in the laundry room around a washer going ohh and awww just like we were staring around a dirty bath tub with bike cleaning stuff around it. I guess it's the friends you keep on what you like.

I'll be using the tub for sure when I get back on Sunday. Heading to the great white northish to the lady friend's cottage for a little canoeing, hiking, resting and yes riding. The NRS-1speed will be beaten on this weekend. Hopefully some ;good pictures and a story to tell on Monday. No I will not be racing on Sunday but if timing is right I will be there to cheer on the last race.

The sun is out, need to stare in awe!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not ready to cave yet

Held off the sick twisted control of Mother Nature and got out for an hour and a half ride last night. I am not ready to ride the trainer yet, I'm going to push that off for as long as possible. That means rain, snow, sleet, hail blah blah blah. It's always better being outside than looking like a caged rodent stuck on a hamster wheel as the world goes by around him.

It was just a mix of paved rail trail and side roads. With it dark so early my amount of trust in peoples driving abilities is a lot lower than during the day. The bike is lite up pretty good but drivers have a hard enough time spotting cyclists during the day. Looking at things with a half glass full attitude, the fact it's dark at just after 5 will give me lots of time with my lights. All practise for this. It's time for Summer Solstice registration already. I will say that riding on the road at night is no where near as fun as in the trails.

It's interesting that my start up for training is only 2 days off from registration date. Yep I'll be back with another kick at the can in the solo division. I'm hoping that the Ruppel's have hooked up with the mob and have plans of kidnapping David Suzuki. They could hold him ransom for some perfect weather conditions for 2010 race season.

I'm hoping so because I'm currently doing the major tear down of both Giant Anthem's for the winter storage cleaning. I'm still finding dirt from the mud fest of Summer Solstice. Unless some miracle bike offer comes along I'll be riding the same bikes for this season. More because I really do love the Anthem's and the 2010 does not have any changes that would make it worth doing the update and I don't need the carbon as much as it would be nice.

More coffee needed, stuck in a training seminar today. Boring, hmmm maybe I should be drinking decaf so I can drift off.

This just came across the screen of my computer. You may want to sit down before reading, You may want to take some sort of medication and possibly look at the pictures from a distance to easy the burn that it will leave in the your brain. Looks like Peter has become the paparazzi. Clicky here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Then and now

With all this extra time in the morning, still waking up at my normal time which just happens to be an hour earlier than what time it really is I've spent more time on my computer than normal. I started to look at what happened at this time last year. What set this off? Well I saw snow for the first time this year yesterday. Snow is better than rain right???

So what all happened. I sold my house, bought a new house, rode my bike in warm sunny weather and went to the Barrie Cyclocross race. Well this year what am I doing at this time of year? I'm not selling my house, I'm working on my house, I'm riding my bike in cold wet crappy conditions and I'm going to try and make it to this year cross race. It's being held at Hardwood Ski and Bike again this season. No I will not be racing, the lady friend and I are off to the cottage but hoping to be back before the last race.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The perfect night

Well conditions wise it was for my first night back with the Monday night crew. So what are the perfect conditions, cold, rainy, dark, with slippery trails. A few people bailed/forgot/sick so the numbers were down. Mr. Watson and Tristan were the only others to line up with the Molly Monster and myself.

They have, semi slicks, mud tires, dry tires, studded winter tires. Why has a company come up with a tire for fall to deal with leaves. You know that every gear weenie would want a set. You could even have a wet and dry version. Last night there were a few times I would have liked them. Pretty much every time we were going up. The comment of the night "you just have to put the clutch in a little on the slippery climbs" My current response, "I don't have a clutch, I need all the power i have." Just under an hour of excitement, with the small numbers and the perfect conditions there was not much in the line of socializing after. A little to chilly for the normal apres beer.

This is the first step of getting me back in the grove for training. Reminding me how much fun it is to ride in the trails, roads, outside etc. With winter coming I'm going constantly think about these rides during those crappy hours that I'll be spending on the trainer. My road bike and the vomit machine are now setup and ready to roll in the sun room. The surround system is ready to be turned up to the max. My collection of movies has grown all summer. If I can get a few more trail rides in before Mother Nature turns nasty I'll be happy. Everything I need to make life indoor training easier.

The trainer is the toughest place to be, I'm not sure what is worst, intervals or those 3 plus hour endurance times. For now, I'm not going to think about it and get as many outdoor rides in as I can. Of course this will be after more coffee.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting back on the horse

That's right, time to ride the bike, start training, start planning, wait back to basics start having fun!!! I was happy to turn the cranks 4 hours this weekend and even Mother Nature seemed to cut me a break so I would enjoy it more.

Saturday had me heading out in a crazy wind storm but at least it was dry. Looked at what to ride and debated but with this coming up I thought I had better test the NRS-1speed and make sure I'm not going to break something 5 minutes into the ride. Kept things pretty mellow with a mix of atv and snowmobile trails along with some gravel roads.

It took a few minutes for my legs to start moving again but started to feel good in no time. Even mixed the Vasey line hill where I got to see my heart rate rise a lot higher than anything I've done in the last 2 weeks. I forgot how well the old Giant climbs. A little rip around power line trails and I was heading for home. Big smile on my face. That's all it takes.

Sunday's plan, trails. With snow in the very near future the first thing that goes are the trail rides. Loaded up my still dirty Anthem, I did take the race plate of it, put the dog in the car and headed to Copeland forest. The sun was out and that's all it takes to get people outside. I could see from a distance that the parking lot was packed. Lots of horseback riders and then as I pulled in I spotted my buddy Rob's van. He's still here, no headphones and ipod today!!

A few minutes of conversation and I ask are you ready?, We have to wait for Bill. Awesome!! i haven't ridden with Dr. Bill in a while, it's going to turn into a great day. I know Copeland well but Rob could tell you where each rock, root and stick is in that place. Great tour guide and it meant I just had to pedal not pay attention to where I am going. Their ride plan was basically the same as mine. No lonely ride for me!!

The trails were in great shape, everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the no rain day. Hit a few of the big climbs along with some great single track descents to make the ride a challenge. Again i saw the heart rate creeping up high but it felt good. An hour into the ride like usual my body started to feel really good. Yep, even with rest my body is a slow starter.

Hit the top of the ridge, with all the leaves down the view was amazing. You never realize how high you are in the valley except for this time of the year. Would explain why there are a couple ski resorts on the other side.

Two happy riders

One happy tired dog. The focus in her eyes!!!

Finished up at the 2 hour mark with a now dirtier bike than I started with. One more project to deal with when I get home from work tonight. I will be under time restraint because it is the return of, well for me at least, Monday Night Something ride. Rain, shine, snow, sleet etc. Should be a fun night with stories to be told.