Saturday, February 28, 2009

MMM sweet coffee

Been up way to early for a weekend morning so it meant time for a coffee induced haze. My original plan for training has been altered a little. Andrew isn't coming up to play with me. I'm a little disappointed, it's been months since we have trained together.

It's not that I really need anyone to ride with but not seeing someone else suffer through intervals is always. So I'm going to take advantage of the young and naive. Brent is coming over. It's a short workout but the intesity is high. Should be fun.

Need more coffee.


Updated 5 hours later.

Got on trainer, warmed up on trainer, did first interval on trainer, blew up on first interval on trainer, got off trainer and went outside for some base miles.

My legs were not in a happy state today so I pulled the plug, got changed, sent Brent home for a different bike and headed out on the road for a few hours. Well not really the road but more outside. I had a chance to put some miles on one of the Anthem X's which was great. It handles awesome on snowmobile single track and Georgian Bay ice.

Managed to squeeze 2.5 hours in before my feet started to lose feeling and called it quits. Though it was a nice sun out there the temperature never got above minus 14 which turns into one hell of a cruel wind chill while in motion. The fear of descending??? Ice cream headache for the lactose intolerant??

Pretty sure Heather has me heading into a recovery week next week. The way the legs feel I think it's that time. 4 hours planned for tomorrow. Not sure which bike yet and where I'll go. I'll be armed with a camera though. I need food.

Later

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's coming, It's coming!!!!!!

Spring that is. Maybe I'm just a little anxious and jumping the gun but it did feel like it today. Was able to get home early enough from my grown up time to take advantage of the above freezing temperatures. My trainer is fun and all and the rollers add some extra thrills to long long indoor workouts but nothing beats the road.

My legs are feeling just a little tired after the last few days of intervals so I was happy that it was just endurance miles scheduled today. I'm still sticking to my cross bike for a while since our township loves using sand. So much that you would swear some of the roads could pass as sand dunes. I have no interest in trying to slide into a snowbank just for the thrill of it while on slicks.

Headed out on Hwy 12 and finally made it to the Old Fort Road. Want to fix the economy? Put people to work fixing the roads. Some pretty sketchy shoulders in places that will only get worst as the ground thaws.



Just getting off the trainer was enjoyable.

The Old Fort is a great road for rolling hills. Of course on thing that you cannot get the body used to no matter how many miles you put in on the trainer is the air blowing into your eyes.

This was my first ride with the new glasses. I love them. No fogging and kept the lenses tinted just right. Of course with all those vents my eyes were not used to that 60 km/hr breeze. I can't wait to use them in some single track, yes snow you can melt now!



It was on to Vasey line with more rolling hills. I did my very bestest to keep my heart rate in zones 2 and 3. Unfortunately a couple hills did get the better of me. Hills, they don't get any easier you just go up them faster.

Rolled back to the house just under two hours and 55km. The nice thing was that it was almost 6pm and there was still daylight. It's coming, it's coming.

Weekend is coming and there will will be a session on the hamster wheel from hell. I'll have some company again. What is with my competition all coming over to ride with me??? Are they keeping tabs on me??? I should check and see if my phone lines are tapped.

Gotta relax, massage in the morning. Nothing more to say.

Later

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Random thoughts while staring at a box

When you are only have a tv to stare into as you try to turn your legs the mind has a tendency to wander. Well tonight I was thinking about wattage and power to weight ratio's. Of course I was staring at the Tacx's screen as it blinked ??? watts. Of course I won't tell you.

Well once I was down on the hamster wheel from hell, I did a little computer searching. Looky what I found. A big list. Of course once I found the list I went this site.

Of course the answers were pretty much what I expected. I won't be going to the Olympics anytime soon. Awww no big deal. I was a little impressed with myself with where I am rated at currently and training is just going to keep intensifying.

Later

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mixed Excitment.

It was far from a lazy Sunday, well it finished up that way. Dragging but a little in the morning but after a few phone calls the grand plan was coming together. The weather was not exactly agreeable for a long outdoor ride. Hamster wheel time. The nice thing was I wouldn't be alone.


Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Well Lee is both. Friends. same team, same club, same race division.



All the excitement of an long trainer session must have leaked out because Brandon showed up less than an hour later. Movie on, legs a turning.

Now the girls all had an even better plan than us. They were off for a couple hours snowshoe with the dogs. Do you know how hard it is to keep 3 strung out dogs under control. Now add in the mix that they all know what the snowshoes look like and build up even more excitement. Now try putting them on leashes.

Watching the girls getting dragged down the driveway did give us a little bit of entertainment. Another thing of topic was Brandon's bike. I was just riding along and it just broke. Honest.


Actually that is what happened. A crack at the carbon headtube is not a good thing but his other bike is in pieces and he is currently waiting for the warranty frame to come in. Of course Lee and I were both hoping to see the frame snap while he was on the trainer. The things we do to amuse ourselves.

3.5 hours later and 2 movies the legs were pretty trashed. Used the Infinit 5 hour mix and didn't need any extra food. It was nice having the company. We are hoping the weather is a bit more agreeable for next weekends session. Outdoors is the plan at this point.

Well it's back to the real world. Later

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nothing, I got nothing.

It was a boring day. That's it. My legs hurt from the intervals, yes they were indoors. Yes I did wear my glasses until I realized that I looked like an idiot. I was in my sun room and it was sunny, kinda. Does that make it better.

My coach did start prepping me for 24 hour racing by keeping me up way past my bedtime last night. Happy Birthday Heather!!!! I'm feeling a little draggy today because of it but it was worth it.

Oh my excitement for the day. I got to abuse another cyclist. Strapped him into the hamster wheel from hell and made him pedal till he blew up. Aww the fun of the power test. Rob pulled off some big numbers. Very understandable since he is becoming a well known time trialist.

That was the thrills of my life today, I'll try to do a little better tomorrow. It's big mileage day and I'm trying to get some company for it. Pictures? Videos? Finger painting? Well maybe a little more visual tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vison is over rated!!! Maybe not

Ride blind, have fun?? Makes hills interesting at least. So, I've looked at them online way to many times. I've been to stores looking for them to try with no luck. I've asked everyone about them but no one has them, aww but they want them.

Well I caved and got them. I'm anally protective of my eyes. Ask my eye doctor, no Glaucoma test for this guy. The thought of putting a contact lens in my eye gives me nightmares. Nothing goes near them except my eye lids. That means I need protection. Since Trojan has yet to make a pair of glasses I went to the next best company.

Yes they are ugly, function over form??? In this case Oakley has.


I've been an Oakley addict since way back to the Razor Blades, they looked great with a mullet!! Hey it was the late 80's. So addicted that my cat is named Oakley. I really hope that the glasses don't shed like she does.

The Racing Jackets are pure function. More vents than lens. I've had way to many times where I'm having to slid my glasses to the end of my nose to try and defog them. Well that won't be a problem with these. No more trying to figure out lens tints either. Their setup with the Transition lens. This means no more trying to see in either extreme light or shady singletrack. The lens changes tint.

I've used them already. I even put them to the test of a situation that the engineers at Oakley never thought of. Guess what. No fogging, no loss of vision in anyway as I pushed the snowblower down the driveway.

They are calling for some sun/cloud mix this weekend so hopefully I will get to try them out in different elements. Or worst case I will look hot wearing them while on the trainer. Ok, maybe the glasses will look hot.

That's it for now. Hanging out with my coach tomorrow, see what happens there.

Later

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun in the sun part two

A shortened version of yesterday's ride. Different bike same place. Was out for just under 2 hours on the singlespeed. Had some company this time with Brent and the Molly Monster. The vitamin D has really helped get my energy level back up. I'd also say that jumping off ice breaks along the shoreline helped also. It was an act like a kid on Family Day.

It's back to the trainer for a couple days, blah.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Roads? We don't need no stinkin roads!!!!

A few have asked what I'm using for my wattage workout. This is the machine that leaves me gasping for air and fighting on keeping my meals down. Today though I listened to Doc Brown.

It was a scheduled 3.5 hour ride and the last thing I wanted to do was stare at the tv on the trainer today. The sun was out and sitting at Minus 7. Two pairs of booties, my new super gloves, an extra base layer and I was off on the cross bike.

Last weeks thaw and excess of rain followed by 4 days of minus 10-15 at night has left Georgian Bay perfect for riding on . I race off road right??? Might as well ride off road when I can.

When I say perfect conditions, I wasn't exaggerating.

The snow was only about a 1/4 inch think at the most which gave amazing traction. Of course there were a few clear ice sections but there was no need for studded tires. I say that because I don't have any and probably will never spend the money on them. I really had no plan on where I was going, I just pedalled and followed the snowmobile tracks.



video

A quick stop. Not a cloud in the sky, and miles and miles of perfect ice. No hills out here.


Ever wonder what happens to your Christmas tree, they become trail markers. Also warning markers, If the tree falls through the ice it's not safe.

How would they know???? And yes they were when the wind picked up.

I stayed on the ice to the far side of Midland then took the back way into Penetang to my favorite place. Of course some of you might think I should have checked in for spending so much time out on the ice.

They said I wasn't crazy enough. Hmmm maybe they should get to know me before passing judgement. Anyways, got back on the ice and cruised down Penetang Bay getting some strange looks from people on the docks. I had no choice at this point but to spend some time on the mainland because my fluids were running low.

Hardest thing about winter riding is making yourself drink. You don't feel thirsty but you need to force it down your throat. The second is that if you don't constantly move your bottle it will start to freeze up. That's worst.

Refueled and headed back to Midland where I was back on the bay again. I was having a riot out there. I even got to work on a little technical skills by bunny hopping pressure cracks. Just to not seem like the only lunatic around there were lots of people out walking, ice fishing huts everywhere and even a xc skier. I don't even know how many snowmobiles I saw.

All said in done I finished up with 3:50 with nearly 50 km of riding on the ice. Total mileage was just under 80km. No where near what I would have done on the road only but I had a hell of a lot more fun and saw things I normally wouldn't. My legs were pretty much trashed by the time on got to the house. I think it will be an easy ride on the SS tomorrow with the dog out on the ice. I'm hooked.

On a second note. Congrats to my sister for finishing her first ever xc ski race yesterday. She finished middle of the pack in less than ideal conditions. As much as the ice I was riding on was fun anything like that on track set is not fun. Rick got her prepped with a great waxing job and she made it less time than she estimated. Great job Jenn.

Mellow movie night with some of the crew from the MCC, hopefully I can stay awake. Better, it's at my house.

Later




Friday, February 13, 2009

shocked but not surprised

I'm usually really good about staying on track with this blog. I'm a cyclist/racer and it's all about the bike but I can't hold this one in. I need to rant about this so please bare with me. Hell this might even be happening in your area and your on the same side as I am.

I grew up in this nice small town called Port McNicoll. It has history. It was a port for the grain ships of the Great Lakes. It's how the town came to be. Over the years as technology changed and the rail line and grain boats were phased out the huge grain elevators sat empty. So did the waterfront.


As you know I moved to a new house a couple months back... One reason was I love this house, the second was that the sleepy town of Port McNicoll is a changing. Like the Gold Rush the search for undeveloped waterfront has people buying up anything that looks wet. That is what is happening in Port McNicoll. A large development company called Skyline bought up the land and has some major plans for it. First Phase are homes, second phase brings in a marina and conference center, third phase is???

Now I can understand expansion but I have a problem with the way things went about. First, the plans were sold to the town's people showing a nice park at the end of what used to be a pier and lots of green space. Of course that didn't take long to before it was altered to the current plan which has the lead developer's house sitting on top of that park..

Ok, yes I know people are greed in the corporate world. They were promoting this development world wide and it didn't take long for the first phase to sell out. I looked, maybe if I sold all my asserts, my company, my dog and sold my soul to George Bush would I have enough money to live in a few of these places. There won't be to many locals in a new home at this end of town.

Just after that the signs on the main street went up promoting the heritage of the town and the area. Hell, even on their website promotes this and talks about the grain elevators. Click HERE This is about the time I moved out of town. . SO why else am I bitching. Because of this article.

Wow. So lets all move to a quiet old heritage town where the history is deep, oh wait why was this town even started? HMMM don't know because they wrecked it. They are taking down the reason the town even exists. Why?? Well you know why. It's interesting because I think the town crest has the grain elevator on it. I cannot believe there was not more protest to this. The interesting thing was there were talks of what could be done with the elevators. Collingwood managed to keep theirs because during the redevelopment of the town because they realized that it was the backbone of their existence. They have a restaurant on top of it I believe.

It's not that I'm against development but I don't like seeing a small town walked all over by the ultra rich and I feel that this is exactly what is happening here What are the town people going to do. Get out the pitchforks??? . They have yet to put them up and they say they wont' but I would put money on it that there will be gates at the entrance in the very near future.

I know money drives the economy but at what price? History smashed to ashes, Marshes back filled, Trees taken down. but I can dock my yacht with no problems.

I have vented enough plus I'm hungry so I'm going to grab some comfort food and wonder what historic site is on the agenda next.

Should be back on topic tomorrow

Winter has returned and I'm going flip a finger at it. Unfortunately the finger I want to show will be covered up on the new gloves I picked up yesterday. I have a long ride on Sunday and I am hoping that it won't be on the trainer. That was the reason for these new bad boys.



Regular gloves just don't work when temperatures are below freezing and speeds are over 10km/h an hour and mitts, well lets see you shift gears with a bag over your hand.

It's famuly day long weekend and I'm hoping to get lots of family time in on my bike. More later.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happier thoughts

My questions about where my legs are really at were answered last night. I feel relieved. No, not another power test but my fun power workout. Of course I won't share my numbers with you. What fun would that be. My heart rate returned to normal also with fast drops in between reps. I guess stress and fatigue affect me more than I thought they would.

I was stuck on the vomit comet because the roads were looking more like rivers yesterday. We have two days in a row of rain and plus 10 temperatures. I'm not complaining even though this will trash the ski trails a bit. I have a few long rides coming up and I would love to do them outside on the road bike.

Speaking of the near future. The Mountainview Cycling Club general meeting is on February 26 at the chalet. For anyone local wanting to join the future world dominating team and for anyone out of country who just wants to say they're cool. Team kits can be ordered at this time.

Other updates, looks like my final decision on lights will be the Light & Motion Seca Ultra. Thanks for the suggestions from everyone. It has a nasty price but is twice as bright as all the other systems. The fact that the Bestest Bike Shop in Ontario is a dealer had a little bit of an influence on my decision. I'll be selling off a few light sets, as much as I'm a gear slut it will be time to purge.

Craig brought up a point about testing. Yes to often is bad, my last test was 6 weeks ago. I'm not always bright but I'm not stupid.

Well it's grown up time. Work work work.

later

Monday, February 9, 2009

they never learn

So obviously not everyone from the MCC heard about the last snowshoe death march. That or they heard an altered story because we had a great turn out on Sunday. 18 people, 4 dogs and little bit of sun. Of course the ones that were on the last adventure were a little happier when the destination this time was Copeland Forest.


This is one of the best places to ride in central Ontario, one because it's free. Free is good, two the climbing is tough but the pay off on awesome downhill single track makes it all worth it. Well it will be a few more months before we see the dirt so it was a one foot in front of the other day instead.


Now since there was no lake for me to lead them across we still needed a few challenges. In this case narrow snow covered bridges. There were a few.



We only lost one. Honest.


Lee and Dr. Bill enjoying the flats. The fun began just after this. We had a mild day Saturday which really softened thing up then a cold night of minus 10 gave that perfect layer of crust on top of 2 feet of wet heavy powder. Yep hard slugging if you were breaking trail.

Between the trees is the Chain Gang grunting it up the ravine.

Because of the conditions people began to fatigue a bit earlier and with the long steady climbing we ended up turning back towards the cars at the hour twenty mark. Still 45 minutes away. I've yet to download my gps to see how much climbing we did but I know it added up quickly. I just have to look at the energy of the Molly Monster today. She has none.

They are calling for weather in the pluses for the next couple days and there may be a chance of some good outdoor rides. Today was a cruel day at work as I looked at perfect clear roads, no wind, lots of sun and plus 1. Mother nature can be a real tease.

Back at it tomorrow

Later

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weaker before stronger

Schools in??? Naw but it was test day. Lets say that I was a little disappointed but I was also expecting the results I got. Wattage is up but not as much as I expected. I was down 10-15 watts lower than expected but the test showed the results of a hellish week at work. Heart rate did not want to drop in the recovery time. I'm going to do another test in 2 weeks, hopefully things in the day to day will settle down a little.

I'm one of the rare people who is actually expanding his business in this recession. I've never seen things this nuts at work since well, the last recession. If they can't afford to buy new they have to fix what they got. If they do buy new we have that covered also by being the lead warranty company for just about every major appliance manufacturer. Yep the Maytag Man is NOT lonely.

Back to the bike. My legs actually felt great all the way through the test and I know there is a lot more power there than what showed up today. After my ride last Sunday where I was feeling very Olympic I know what the numbers should have read. Of course my heart was thinking something else. I know these test are really only for me anyways and they don't mean anything. It all matters when you roll up to the start line.

So I'm done venting about how wimpy my body was today. The numbers were still up and that is all that matters. Heather has the info and will let me know if there are going to be any changes to my schedule. Of course she will also be the amazing coach that she is and get me where I'm supposed to be for Summer Solstice.

Anyways, relax time, a new adventure tomorrow. Snowshoes, MCC, Dogs, Hills and NO LAKE.

Later

Friday, February 6, 2009

research

After my last 24 hour race it was an easy decision. Time for some new lights. Racing on a 4 person team meant riding full out. I was able to out ride my lights. So I've been doing lots of research. Do I get a new headlamp or new bar lights. Decisions, decisions.

I would like to keep my systems compatible, Don't want the support crew fumbling with 5 different style batteries and chargers. I'm also not in the mind set to build my own lights. I've seen a few creations and they are pretty cool but not for me.

Well the first debate, LED versus HID. I've been an LED user for years. Biggest reason was huge burn times and abuse level. Ya I crash from time to time. Of course when I started to use LED they were still no where near as bright as HID. Things have changed this year.

I'm pretty sure I'm just going to replace my headlamp for the moment. The options. Click the pictures for info on each.

This is my first choice. % hour burn time, 700 lumen, LED. I had a chance to see this light last year and it really caught my attention.

Of course there has to be a light from NiteRider. Super bright, good burn time etc.

Andrew wants me to check out this system and has offered to let me try it.


Of course there is this beast. Ben uses a modified version of this. 1850 lumen's. Yep it would be like riding with the sun strapped to your handlebars.

Ah decisions decisions. Well the decision right now it to head of to work.

Later

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winter Releif

Wouldn't it be great to get away from the snow even if just for a week. Unfortunately I can't do this but anyone who has some vacation time should check this out. My buddy Ben books a huge house in South Carolina every spring. This year it's for two months and he rents out bedrooms by the week. You can't stay in a tent on the side of the road this cheap.



Click here for Info HERE!!!!!!


I'll continue to dig away at the snow and keep looking for that bastard groundhog. I'm going to feed him to my cat!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

go with the flow

It turned into a great weekend for training. Yesterday was spent out with my sister on the skate skis. It's been a few weeks since I was last out. Unfortunately the weather moved in in the early afternoon and b the time we got to Mountainview what was perfect grooming disappeared under a couple inches of fresh snow.

It was also a chance to get twiddle-dee and twiddle dumb out for a good run. You can attach which ever name you would like to either of the dogs. Riley is a little bit special when it comes to skiing, snowshoeing biking, running. Ok wait just about anything involving moving forward. Molly has learned to either lead or follow, Riley on the other hand wants to be leaning on you. This of course makes skate skiing a little hard. Yes he was whacked once or twice by a ski or pole.


video
My little sister burning up the snow. She is doing really well since this is only her 4th time out on skate skis.

Onto today's fun. Coach had me doing a 3.5 hour session with hill simulation. Even last night I was trying to figure out what movies I was going to watch while doing this. Well mother nature decided to be nice. Plus 1 and sun. Ya like I'm going to ride my trainer when I can go ride real hills.





Headed out into the snow abyss of central Ontario. The mid point destination? My old winter stomping ground, Mount St Louis/ Moonstone. Where else are there good hills than around a ski resort. Of course I did get a few weird looks as I stopped in to refill bottles before I started my return loop.



My weapon of choice was a pretty easy one. Pulled out my retired race bike of a few years back, giant NRS1. I have never been able to sell this bike after doing way to many races on it now I'm beating it up as my winter bike.


The legs were feeling amazing and what Heather has me doing this winter is really working well. I could see it on the climbs and the pace I was riding at on the flats. I'll see the real numbers on Saturday but I can see things being up.



This is how I was feeling while out today. I think it should have said sno-king though with the way I felt going up a few of the climbs. I didn't get mileage and I neglected to charge my gps. I rolled in exactly at the 3.5 hour mark. Of course coming back into town was probably the hardest part of the whole ride. The intersections were crazy soft now from the sun and salt and almost lost in making a way to fast left turn.

Starting into a recovery week this week which is well needed. The legs are feeling it. Time for a little couch time, Superbowl? probably not.

Later