Sunday, May 31, 2009

Update coming, may be delayed for at least a day. Sorry, lots of video taken though.

Race hurt, but that was to be expected.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Making stuff up

That's about all I can do right now. Not much happening, still mourning the death of the legendary NRS.

Made my way to Hardwood Ski And Bike first thing this morning before the swarms showed. Put 2.5 laps in of the Canada Cup course. Why only 2.5 laps you may ask? Because I crashed on my second time down boneshaker. Not a hard crash more of a the bike stopped and I didn't while in slow motion. Of course it didn't go unnoticed. The cheerleaders with the pom poms, Watson and Stu Alp made sure I knew they say me bail.

The bike did take a little damage from it though and popped two spokes out. Got love Mavic SLR's for quick repairs. Quick stop in the service and I was back out for another tour around. This one was clean. My legs also started to feel good on the last lap. I'm becoming like a diesel in the winter. I'm a pain in the ass to get started, move a little sluggish for the first bit but once I get up to speed I can maintain. That's exactly what I want for the 24 hour.

Wheel to true, grass to cut, car to clean, dog to walk then it's couch to sit. Pictures, video, and a bunch of words tomorrow. I hope.

Later

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taken out to pasture

What a great week to be on recovery. The weather has been crap. Rain, cold, blah blah blah. Forced to the rollers last night, it was a good movie at least. Tonight was a little bit better. Managed to spend some time outside on the Anthem to make sure everything is perfect with the new cable setup. Of course it started to rain half way through the ride. Not hard but enough to get both me and the bike dirty.


So what do I do with all this time on my hands. I wreak havoc in my basement, first was a better layout of the work area. This lead to a test. I've started to run out of space lately and this was something that would give me more room. I had to do it. It was time.



I'm not sure what would have been more humane, stripping the shit out of it or talking it out to the back field and shooting it while turned the other way. This was the bike that really got me started in the endurance racing. It's seen beyond it's fair share of abuse and just kept going. I did my first 8 hour on this bike, my first 24 hour, my first podium finish, my first win. tear

My thoughts on selling it kinda went to the way side. I'm a little sentimental about it so I thing the frame may find a permanent spot on the wall.
I think I heard it whimper when I pulled the cables off.

Gotta run and clean up the blood on the floor.

Later

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Days of rest? Are you sure??

I'm in a recovery week but I swear it almost feels like a train block. Last nights single speed ride was pretty sane. Luckily, my legs felt pretty trashed so any intensity would have had me curled over at the side of the trail whining. With Canada Cup at Hardwood this weekend there are lots of crazy fast guys in the area. One just happens to be staying at Jeremy's. Check out Setfan's site.

Unfortunately we finished up before we needed lights, not that I'm complaining on how light it is at 9 pm but I would love to get a little bit more time playing in the dark before Solstice. I just really want to play with my lights.

Tonight was spent cleaning up the disaster's of the weekend. Both Anthem's looked like hell. I have realized that there is different dirty and the clean dramatically different. Mansfield dirt, which was about 5.5 hours deep was everywhere. Hard to clean, lots of scrubbing. Now, Hardwood ski and bike if fine pine tree dirty that just a light sprinkle of water rinsed away like it never was there.

The Mansfield dirty lead to a strip down of the shifting, new cables, housing etc. Running Jagwire Ripcord enclosed setup up now. One bike is done, tuned, cleaned and ready to roll for tomorrow's ride. I'll finish up the second Anthem tomorrow. This was a delayed thing that should have been done well before the first race.

Crash and burn time, tomorrow a little pedal time.

Later

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Sunday Morning After

After shovelling an excessive amount of food into my mouth Saturday night I figured I can kill a couple things at once. One those to huge grease covered pizza slices that I picked up in New Lowell on my way home Saturday after the race. I'm lactose intolerant but I was hungry enough that I would chance it that their cheese was not real cheese. MMMMM it was good.

The second was to head to Hardwood and get a few laps in on the Canada Cup course that's happening next weekend. Plan was to meet up with Jeremy Simmons of the Trek Store Race team and find those perfect lines. I was late, I have no good excuse, he gave me a dirty look. Actually I stopped in to check out the inter club road race that was just down the road. Dr. Bill was playing in that and I found out after that he finished in the top 12. Not bad at all.

So the course. All I can say is sweet. It's a mountain biker course. Roadies may want to stay home. Lots of technical stuff with a couple split lines. One has this huge boulder that you can smoke over or you take the safe slow line. The infamous boneshaker is in again for us. It's actually getting easier. I think over the years of people crashing on it has worn down some of the mean rocks that used to bring you do a stop way to quickly. The climbing side of the course is more sustained but nothing really that long.

We ran a couple 31 minutes laps with no major exertion. Aww did I mention that coffee run is in also. Great fast lines, this is a course that if you can stay off your brakes as you enter the singletrack you can really hold a high speed and put some distance on a rider who has even the remote bit of hesitation. I'll be out again at least once this week to get a few more laps in.

Heading out to play with the boys on our single speed ride. Hopefully this stays mellow. Hopefully. Gotta run.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mansfield Spring 8 Hour

It was a good day and a long day. Since my coach is keeping me on a short string no solo for me, she wants me in a good place for Solstice. So Dr. Bill and I played in the tag team. The plan was for me to ride somewhere between 4.5 to 5 hours then he would finish up. This was the hardest day for me to want to get off my bike.

Got to Mansfeild and setup shop beside my coach. Heather and Jason were both playing with the solo field. A few hellos etc at the registration building including some smack talk with Peter. Time to get in to the zone, alright not really. My warm up with kinda crap as I was more concerned at being near the front for the start. I managed the front line which in some cases is great in others times very destroying. In today's case it was the later.




I hate long uphill starts and my body does not go from zero to full out really well. It showed today as I got swarmed by the half way mark of the first climb putting me back around 40th out of the 200 plus riders starting for their teams. Hmmmm this isn't good but I know where my strenghts are and really no my weaknesses.

Started grabbing wheels and working my way back towards the front of the pack working my strength of recovering in the singletrack. The first lap in an 8 hour whether you are solo or not is just like an O-Cup. Battle for a good position so that the next couple hours are nice and smooth with an open race track. Well until you start lapping riders.

My game plan was to either hook on to Andrew or Tristan Smit's wheel and pace with them since these are two of the top endurance racers in Ontario. Well what do you know I hooked up with both of them on the second lap. The pace stayed pretty sane this lap as everyone chatted. They thought they were running 1-2 in solo. Someone that none of us know had slipped ahead right off the start. I think it would have been a little quicker had anyone of us had known.



Coming through the fourth lap we still kept things controlled but there were more silent times as Andrew and Tristan tried to push one another a little. I just stayed on a wheel feeling happy. Coming into the feed Tristan had to make a quick stop. I just rode along and then noticed that Andrew wasn't with there either. Ok guess I'm on my own. I finished up the lap at the same pace to see if they would catch up. Didn't happen.



This is when I decided to start testing my legs. I was feeling a little feisty so I picked it up a notch. My plan was to gauge myself amongst the solo's and ride at the pace I would for the full 8 hours. I was feeling really good and really strong today.



Coming up to 3 hours I still felt awesome. I started lapping a lot of other riders including my coach and let her know how things were. She was riding awesome and in third. 4 hour mark and I was smiling the whole time. I was having so much fun on this course. The first couple laps things were really soft but by now the corners started to berm up. The climbs felt small and easy, especially after last weekends race. I was still cranking sections out in the big ring. Oh did I mention that you needed to be a little remotely skilled to ride the singletrack. Lots of roots and tight switch backs. I am so happy to be on a full suspension again this year. I had a reminder why on my last lap.



Started into what I knew would be my last lap I had been playing with my rear lockout a little. The course was very dry and my bike was a nice shade of brown. Coming up a double track climb I switched the suspension back on. Ok more I thought I did. The lever goes this way for on right?? or is it this way??? I started to bounce on my seat to check and see if it was active. Nope. Ok, well it will climb fast then. Dirt someone effected the lockout switch and it wouldn't unlock, after I rinsed the bike off at the end of my lap it worked fine again. This did remind me on how much that suspension was working today, man was that course ever bumpy. I did have my second bike in the feed zone and would have switched had I still been able to ride longer.



Yes I did want to keep going but when I caught up with Heather on this lap she nicely said in a deep booming voice "you are done after this lap, RIGHT?" I thought about using the "ya but" "or can I please" lines but instead I put my head down as I went past her "Yes Heather" At this point had I a solo I was in second place overall. Finished my lap with a huge smile on my face and swapped out with Dr. Bill. He had just under 3 hours of riding to do. A little social time at the timing area then it was clean up, refuel and relax as the feeder for a few friends and Dr. Bill.



So nutrition for the day, because of the shorter laps,30-35 minutes and the dry course I went to bottle rotation every lap with a half mix of my 24 hour formula of INIFINT. No energy loss at all, zero cramping and for me the most important thing, no stomach issues. This is the best stuff out there.



Hanging out in the tent was great though as I teased many with that beer in my hand. Dr. Bill kept some great consistent laps and was loving the course. Considering the way that we did the ride times we finished 8th of the 47 teams in our division on the same lap as all but 2 of the teams.



The other's




Tanya won the solo women's division followed by Angela Webster

With my amazing coach Heather taking 3rd. Molly giving her some podium love.

Craig you sexy bitch, took 4th in the single speed solo.

Peter sporting racing stripes. I need to remind him that like those street racing kids that those stickers will not give your car an extra 50 horsepower. They did get him up to 3rd place today. Jamie Davies won followed my the monster Mark Summers. The single speed category is pretty crazy now.

Tristan sporting the unibrow finished 4th in the under 40 solo. I 'm working him to see if he will race at Solstice. Need someone fast for me to chase.

Andrew was riding well and is ramping for his next adventure in the U.S. 100 miler.

Need to give a big thanks to Dr. Bill for letting me intergrate my training into this race. I think we would have been battling for a podium if we rode it like everyone else.

I'm heading down to Hardwood this morning to put a few laps in on the Canada Cup course this morning. This is my last hard day before a recovery week. A few intervals, I hope then it's rest time. WOOO HOOO. I'll do a little spiel about it tomorrow. Right now, more coffee!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

thoughts

Course map is up for the 8 hour. Looks like a very fast course with only a couple climbs including the front hill. Not to concerned about pre priding but Andrew is out there this afternoon and will hopefully give me an update. Figuring around 30 minute laps.

Good ride last night. Legs felt good. While my favorite taunter is working on his strategy to disrupt my focus I thought it was a little more important to actually ride my bike than sit and ponder ideas. Sounds like he will have his empire chasing me down.



Work time,

Race report next post???

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Even warmer

Mother Nature is bi polar. How can it go from barely above the freezing mark to 80 degrees in 2 days. Hey I'm not complaining, it's nice not having to wear my knee warmers every ride. I still wear a toque after rides, ya I know, I'm weird.

Speaking of riding, headed out with no real thought on where I wanted to go. I did have a destination though, my weekly tuneup had been bumped to Wednesday because of the long weekend so instead of wasting valuable warmth, daylight etc I rode in.


We have an amazing rail trail that runs from almost the end of my front yard, about 150 feet, to the edge of Midland. No highway traffic, equals a much safer, calmer ride. It's only about 25 km from my place to Total Body.

After a quick tune up, the cracks and pops my body puts out sometimes scare me. The fact that my neck makes those noises without the thought of some crazy commando going nuts and snapping necks of some innocent victim. Rambo?? Be nice.

Got back on the bike and headed west towards Balm Beach. I wanted to get some time on some long flats to do some tempo riding. I also figured out my route. My legs were still a little heavy so the long flats were great to help flush them out.

Stayed at this for about 40 minutes including the turn left on to county road 27. This is where I wanted to do the best part of this ride.

I started to head for the hills, which included Vasey Line. These are long steady grinds, for Ontario standards at least. The first is about just under a kilometer at 6 percent.

Followed by another.

And another, and another etc etc etc. Great long grinds keeping the pace aerobic. I have to admit that I really do like climbing. Not that it's my favourite thing though, it's that what goes up gets to go down. A friend made a comment to me a few years back, I think it was the first year I started to ride. "Coasting is his favorite part of cycling" In most cases I really do agree. I love coasting at 80 plus km/h. I love long single track descents like what we had last weekend. I love that reward for all the hours we spend battling uphill's both ways into the wind. It's so simple, what goes up gets to come down.

Ended up just under 3 hours tonight, Legs are feeling pretty good right now, I can still feel a little bit of drag in them from last weekend. I'll back things down a hair tomorrow and taking Friday off the bike. Even though the 8 hour is only a training ride I still want to motor. Apparently I will have a small cult following me.

Results are now up from last weekends race. A couple errors which I was already informed on. I am 5th, a rider who got lost in the over 40 division managed to sneak past all of us, it's being changed as I type this. It was a long course, to only have one go astray is pretty good.

substance project.com








Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting warmed up

It's only a couple days out till the Mansfield Spring 8 hour. This year I'll be approaching the race a little different thanks to Heather keeping a short leash on me. I'm riding it Tag Team, What??? This is the first time in 4 years that I' not riding solo. This year I will be riding with Dr. Bill. I' sticking to the training plan.

I'm also riding this a little different. Instead of alternating every lap I'll be riding roughly 5 hours then Dr. Bill will finish up the remaining time. Should be fun. I don't expect us to keep pace with the top teams, not with this race strategy. This is a building ride for both of us.

My plan will probably involve hooking up with Andrew and pacing with him. I know he will be looking for the win in solo. We also ride at a very similar pace.

Switching pace now, my favorite taunter has started the smack talk already. Well at least he did remember by how much I beat him by last year. I know he tried his bestest this past weekend, awww. I debated at kicking at him while he was down. HMMM, I'm still pondering that thought since I'm really not that type of person. Ya, I think I'll be nice, I think he has enough to deal with as it seems that his empire is crumbling around him

Rest day today, long ride tomorrow. Pictures? Maybe.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Monday Mid Afternoon Something



Well the long weekend weather turned out better than what they predicted. Sweet. Dragged my butt out of bed way to early. Why is it that when you can sleep in you can't and when you have to get up you could sleep for days?


Headed south to meet up with Jeremy and his wife for a good greasy spoon breakfast. It's been a while since I've done that. I have kinda been on a health food kick and for some reason bacon, ham, sausage etc have really not been on the list. After yesterday's race I think I deserved a little crap food in my life. Headed home to relax for a bit before the Monday Night Something which was mildly modified to mid afternoon ride.


This is normally a singlespeed night ride that last about an hour or so. Because of the time change, I think it's more our daylight savings time it was ok'd for gears tonight. No complaints from me. My legs felt pretty good but I also knew who was riding.


The Molly Monster was very happy to be invited to today's play time. As soon as I said the word she was in the car, laid down and slept almost the whole way to the 7/8th line trails. HMMM was she predicting something?


The crew tonight was a little smaller than normal as Andrew was away in Quebec at the Canada Cup. Congrats on 2nd place! Lee was also recovering from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous 24 hour race where their 5 person team took the win again this year. Brendan used some excuse of school to pull the no show.


An interesting thought, Shane basically bounced out of the car when he showed up and never really stopped. My thoughts of a sane ride were slowly fading. The rest of the MNS crew showed up and we headed out into the main grid. It didn't take long till Shane started to attack and pass. WTF???


On one section of the trail I was right on Shane's wheel then I swear I completely left the ground. Once on dirt contact I clued it that I nailed a stump so hard with my right pedal that it lifted me a few inches and unclipped my foot. What the hell?? Still stunned from that I rode right into a tree forcing everyone else have to slam on their brakes before smashing into me. I'm still trying to figure out what happened a few hours later. HMM so much for my technical skills.


SO what happens when you get a bunch of racers together when they have no training regiment for the ride. They hit jumps and make funny noises.




video


I don't think anyone in the freeride world has to worry to much about any of us cutting into their spotlight anytime soon.



Prejump

We made our way over to the 7th line grid for another fun loop. Fun as in climbing. As much as my legs felt good I could feel all the climbing in them. Awww the granny gear. I wasn't the only one. Jacob was recovering from a hard ride earlier in the day and was pretty jealous of my 22t. My thoughts of a 2x9 come and go, more go though.



Rolled back to the cars around the 2 hour mark. Part of the MNS has beer involved. Beer helps kill all pain. It was a great ride tonight with Jer, Scott, Ben, Jacob and Shane. A rest day is on the agenda now.


Count down till the Mansfield 8 hour. More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Substance Project Marathon Race #1



Where to start, where to finish. Alarm went off, I didn't want to get out of bed. I could feel how cold it was outside with out even checking. Maybe it was the wind that told me it was going to be a chilly ride. It was bright though, the original forecast calling for everything but a tornado had changed.

Big breakfast, loaded the car up and headed out with Tanya and Craig following behind. A quick stop, just long enough for Craig to violate a moose.

It was a wonderful change of only a 15 minute drive to the race. Rolled into the parking lot to see people more anxious than myself to ride. It was the first race for Substance Project.

Got registered and maybe my way back to the car to start getting ready. Holly crap it's cold and that wind is ripping through me. What to wear? arm band, thick socks, knee bands, full fingers gloves, an under synthetic shirt and then my race kit. hmmm I'll be fine with this. Headed out for my warm up, holy crap it's cold. Made my way back for the racer meeting.

This is when I got to scope out who was there, I didn't recognize that many but the few I did meant it was going to be a tough day. First up was Andrew, he races senior x also. Next up was Tim. Yep it's going to be a tough day. To top things off Cory Hancock from 3ROX racing and Matt Douglas from Chico Racing rolled over to the line. Yep this is going to hurt.

After a what seemed to take for ever race meeting, this means I was shivering an excessive amount, we were told that the start would be delayed about 25 minutes. The swarm of people headed to the chalet faster than they would be for the race. This also gave me a chance to rethink my clothing options. Vest, oh ya, warmer fleecy gloves over my race gloves. Even better.
Race plan for me was pretty simple, run two bottles, minimal time in feed zones, ride at a 24 hour intensity. Well intentions are always good. It was finally go time, it didn't take long for a pack to form, Andrew, Tim, a rider from Northern Cycle, Mike Davidson and a Newmarket Eagles guy. So much for going out sane. Tucked in the train, it was a nice little double track section to put a bit of space between everyone. Then we hit the first single track section. Sweet. we kept the pace fairly high with everyone taking a bit of work at the front. After about 15 minutes of trails we were back on the double track. This was where I did my one rookie mistake of the race.
Because it was so cold just standing in the start area I zipped my jersey all the way up. Well it wanted to stay their. I came out of the trail in front and I warmed up fast, so fast that I wanted to let a little air in. I road at least 500 feet no hands trying to get my zipper down. of course the boys went around me and drove the pace up again. Screw it, deal with it. Grabbed a wheel.

It was all of plus 5-6, cold windy etc. Hey look at the big river, oh wait that's a puddle on the double track. Nice. It's amazing how wet feet will cool you down. This is also when I started to watch my pace, I was right at the edge of where I wanted to play at. Right about that Tim, who was leading, started to look back. Every minute he would glance back and then lift the pace. After the 3 or 4th time I knew what I needed to do. Back off, ride you race. There is a lot of climbing. Oh and Tim will probably make one or two of them pop. This was at about 25 minutes in. Get back to pacing.

The course profile basically said most of the climbing would be between the 1st and the 3rd feed zone. Well the climb going into the 1st feed zone was pretty much a good indication to what we were in for. It was double track but it took us all the way to the west side of the top of the ski hill. Let the fun begin. This is when most of the singletrack started.

The trails were marked amazing, Lots of arrows almost impossible to get turned around. Of course not really sure on where I was in distance, left my gps at home, I just kept pedalling. I ride this area all the time but I was on trails that I don't think I even knew existed. Long sections of singletrack, this isn't to bad. Then came the first turn to the right. Going up!!!

I had kinda joked to myself about not using my granny gear today. By the end of the race I almost wish I had a great granny gear. We would barely get to the top and Dan would give us a little pay back with a fast single track downhill. This was a mountain biker's course. I lost count on how many logs and rocks I had to bunny hop. Technical stuff in a race?? Sweet. Now what I did start counting was how many times we went up. I think I would have needed to take off my socks because I ran out of digits with my hands.

The climbing and the pace did do what I expected, I caught and passed the Newmarket Eagles rider. He was looking a little trashed. I've seen the pace Tim can set. As for me this is when my legs started to feel alive. The one thing with all the singletrack, climbing and descending. No time to drink. I started to watch that with a little concern. I came into the 2nd feed zone and I had only gone through one bottle and part of the other. I made myself stop at one point at the top of a climb for about 15 seconds and yelled at myself to drink.

I did feel my energy drop just a hair before that point but managed to re energize quickly. Today I used my 24 hour mix from INFINIT. Can't tell you what my wonder mix is but lets just say that it worked amazing!!!

I knew I was getting closer to the last of the climbing, why? Because I saw the gravel road of the 5th line which means Dan ran out of ups, of course this section is an amazing downhill. One thing that I found I was doing way to much of was looking over my shoulder. Because of the wind there were constant creaks and pops. I had no idea how big a gap I had on 6th, I had spotted 4th a couple times but it's hard to gauge distances. We took a long ravine section that I know well and did the return on the other side. I knew I had at least 5 minutes on 6th. That still didn't stop me from looking back.

the course started to make it's way back to parts of the beginning loop. I'll admit that there were more than a few times in this section that I wondered if I made a wrong turn. It was the guy in the yellow jacket that helped keep me relieved, he looked honest, he won't send me the wrong way. Got back out on a long double track section. Hey I know this, hey look at the river. My socks and feet had just started to get warm when I went splashing through. Normally I will make a WEEEEEE sound as I do this. This time I was cursing Dan's name a little.

Still kept looking back, nobody. I road the 90 percent of the course alone. Coming into the final singletrack sections before the finish line we were treated to a fast run through the pine trees, I was smiling, I like pine trees. When I saw golf carts I knew I was at the finish. Rolled into the line smiling. 5th overall, 3rd in the under 40 division. That was sweet. The next thing that made me happy was that I still had lots of legs left. I know I said that I would have loved an easier gear. Honestly I was happy with everything I had. My Anthem was awesome.

Finally, this race really boosted my confidence on where my fitness for the 24 hour. Average heartrate was 164. My max was 183 and I know that was right near the beginning of the race. As for a comparison. 180 is my average for an Ontario Cup. I road a very controlled pace, I guess being by myself the whole time was the perfect solo training. I didn't fall prey to someones attacks and my weakness of a competitive attitude to chase them down., I road my race.

On a side note involving the Anthem. 4 inch travel up front, 4 inch travel in the rear. There were many times today that I was happy to have every inch of it. Oh and on a few downhill sections I used every inch. Including the huge drop off I took. It was last second, ok honestly I glanced away for half second and it was on me and there was no time to change my mind.

I have to give huge props to Dan, you did an amazing job with your course. This was what mountain biking should be. I'm really hoping Heather gives me the ok for the Mansfield Marathon. If it's even close to what you had today it will be amazing. If you missed the first one, you better be at the next, you don't know what you are missing.

A few pictures

Craig won the singlespeed division. Just even being brave enough to ride a singlespeed out there today was worth a prize, I liked my gears. All 27 of them.

Tanya won the Women's division. This was a course for her. Yes there were other's in both Craig and Tanya's division.

1st Tim Carlton
2nd Andrew Maemura
3rd ME!!
That was the scariest podium any of us have ever been on. Tim was a little hesitant climbing to the top shelf. He actually had fear in his eyes. I think being third was a good thing, not as far to fall. I think Dan is working on the solution for the next race.

Craig's snot filled nose. Had to put it up, don't ever give a video camera to Craig. At least there was nothing x rated on it when he gave it back.

Next up for me, a fun ride with the boys tomorrow. The Monday night something is a mid afternoon fun thing instead and this includes gears. I like gears.
Just hit a wall, race report etc tomorrow morning. Overall it was down right amazing. Major confidence booster on where my endurance fitness is at. Right now, my couch and a nap are on the top of my list.

What did you expect, round 2

I'm up early, quick post. It's sunny, windy and only plus 4 at my place this morning. I'm about a 15 minute drive to the race venue. Gotta love racing in your backyard.

There was no snow this morning to have me wake up swearing, I'll have a race report up tonight. Maybe even some pictures.

Hmmm should I race with a scarf???

Friday, May 15, 2009

What did you expect? Really???

It May, it's the first official long weekend of summer, it's the 2-4, Aww lows of plus 2 and possibly snow for race day Sunday. What did you think we would get? Sun??

Off the bike day for this guy as I prepare my mini castle for a few weekend guest. The invasion begins tomorrow as Big Ringer's make their way to the west for Sunday's event. Craig and Tanya are coming down for the weekend activities.

Side note, I delayed putting this up a few days ago. I was offered a free solo spot at this weekend's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous 24 hour event. Do you know how tempting that was. I've always wanted to do this race. Fast course, not a lot of riders, great event. Why did I pass? My 5 foot 4 ball of fury that would kill me for wrecking everything I'm building for. I'll be honest that Solstice is all I give a shit about this season, everything else is just there.

Oh ya the weather sucks every May long weekend, that also helped me decide. Time for a little yard work before the rain starts. More blah, blah, blahs tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

clear your mind and the bike will follow

The last couple days have been a little bit draining for me. Not physically but mentally. Most know I run a small service company. The recession is not affecting us in any way. Actually we are to busy and that is part of the problem. Anyways, I basically cracked and needed a mental health day away from everything.

So what do you do to get away from everything? Well I grabbed the road bike, 3 water bottles, ipod, extra INFINIT powder and headed. UMMM where am I heading, I don't really care. Adventure time.

Headed south down Upper Big Chute road, came to the fork in the road and went left. I've never been to the left. It was great turning left because the wind was crazy, more on that in about two hours of riding, just wait. I kinda had an idea of which way I was going but I just kept going straight till I was forced to turn to stay on pavement. This put me on some great long side roads with no traffic. No turns equals no thinking.

Miles of nothing. Well except for wind. Where the hell did this wind come from? I just kept spinning away, clearing my mind, laughing my ass off to the late great George Carlin comedy special.

This was my kinda sorta final destination. What it is. It's a lake, that's about all I cared. I was close to Washago. This was about the 2 hour mark by the time I passed the lake, went over the bridge, made a short loop trying to figure out where I could go from there. I ended up riding about a km section of a highway I should not have been on scaring the shit out of myself. I was glad I had the wind to my back. All this to find another over pass to get back on the right side of the highway.


Started into the return trip having this wonderful wind to my back. Yes, now the wind story. On the way out I was stuck in my 39 and running mid to lower cassette gears just dealing with things. The return trip saw me playing in my big ring. AND THEN SOME. Do you know how much fun it is running 53-14 and 52-12 for an hour. Yes, it was almost an hour. Awww olympic tailwind.

I was smiling, who wouldn't be at 50km/h while still in low zone 2. Long straight rolling hills are amazing. The route I took was amazing, little traffic, good pavement, I think a grand total of 8 turns and 4 stop signs in 3 hours.

Tonight I heading over to Mountainview for the weekly race series. I kept to my training plan and raced a shorter loop keeping in tempo pace the whole time. First lap I just road, second lap was working on staying seated the whole time. Trying to be as efficient as possible. Oh, did I mention that it was fun!! I like fun.

As for my brain and stress level. It's amazing how the bike just eliminates the day to day thoughts. Why do I ride a bike? It helps me get through the rest of my life.

guessing????

Not that I believe anything that the voodoo, cure everything with snake oil predictors called weatherman say but this is what they are thinking for Sunday at this point.

This is with a high of 7 and windy.

Slept in, no time, long post on my interesting day/ride from Wednesday once I'm home from the rat race. Right now it's watching the thunderstorm while drinking coffee.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Riding mad

Had one of those days at work where I was just about ready to snap. So best way to deal with that. Get rid of that anger. Focus and go play in the hills. It's amazing that by the 5th set I pretty much had all the fight out of me.

A few of the guys posted on the number plate idea. I do the same as them, I never where a solo tag but some do and it does make it easy to spot them. (part of the reason) This was just a thought. I'm apparently a big enough target for some that I don't need to advertise to others.

Got an email from Big Ring who is possibly ,could be, maybe, hopefully coming down this weekend to ride the 1st marathon race. Tanya is coming. He asked how much climbing and what the trails are like. When they marked down 7500 feet of climbing in 55 km, they are not exaggerating. This is also not doubletrack climbing. There are some but this is not going to be a race for a roadie. Of course what goes up gets to go down.

On a side not, the Ontario Cup Downhill is basically at the same venue this weekend also. Yes I said downhill, does that give you a slight idea of how much climbing there will be. Unfortunately for some they won't be putting the chairlifts on for us.

Spent last night going over the Anthem, still not sure how that mud got where it did. It's pretty much ready to roll. So will I tonight, long road ride.

For now, coffee and work.

Hills don't get any easier, you just get up them faster!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Little this, little that

I was a little disappointed to see that I was only 13th. It's really hard to tell who you are passing and who is in what division sometimes. Dale, a friend/employee and also a veteran racers brought up a good thought. Why don't we have plates on the back of our bikes. This way we would know who to chase down or how we setup to pass someone. To dive bomb passed someone that is not in your division and risk a crash is tough but yet spotting that carrot in the distance may push you just a little harder.

In solo events we all have our numbers on the back of the bike. One for team racers to cut us a little slack later in the race but also so you know who your gunning for. Just some random ideas and thoughts.

Next up for me is the marathon series. Looks like everything is a go. I'm looking forward to this event, should be something different. Hopefully it runs smoothly.

Rest day, not sure about the singlespeed ride for the night. Intensity picks up this week. Might be nice to let the legs feel good for a day.

Gotta run

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ontario Cup #2 Abion Hillls

The morning started out pretty much like normal. Up early, good breakfast, probably way to much coffee. I was still feeling a little crappy. Why my body cracked yesterday I'm not sure, it's been along time since I felt that cold.

Loaded up the car and I was off. Speaking of cold, car was reading a temperature of plus 4 and had a little snowflake beside that number. Not impressed. With all the rain there were constant updates on course conditions and changes and thoughts on tires. The course change had me wondering, as for tires. Albion dries fast screw it stick to the Michelin XCR dry tire that was already on the wheels.

Finally got the final update on what the course would be. HMMM guess I will just wing it, no preride. Of course seeing seeing racers coming through during the 9:30 race had me wondering. How much mud could there really be?? They took out the worst of the sections right??

Headed out for a long warm up. My legs were still feeling crappy. I was pretty sure that anything that wasn't downhill or close to it was going to hurt a lot. Met up with a few of the boys. We puttered and this put us all at the back of the pack for the start. The field looked bigger than normal. Yep it's going to hurt.

Got of to a bit of a crappy start as i bumped into Lee when the rider in front of me stalled up when he couldn't clip in. Stood up and went to the the outside edge of the track on Lee's wheel as we worked are way past half the pack. The first double track section looked more like a road race, groups formed. Hit the first singletrack and it was just one long train. The pace slowed a hair. Hmmm this trail was nice. Coming out of the second section of singletrack things began to spread out a bit. Still feeling good, sorta. I see Chris and push to get on his wheel. Couple big double track sections then we cross the road. holly shit what is that. 6 inch ruts and mud everywhere. This was just a hint of what was to come.

We hit the climb that replaced the Green Monster. Now I think I would have preferred to go up the monster. I got about a 2/3 of the way up before my tires had no traction left. I hate running and my knees hate it more so it was a fast paced non run. Nice fast downhill followed by a hard turn to the right. All that I could think was momentum will get you through. It did but this bog of mud took many a victims.

This whole section of the course is so ingrained in my head from 24 hour races but I didn't recognize it at all. It was also the first time I was not able to ride it. Ever! The first run up was pretty crappy but had room. The next one at the sugar shack was not as bad but unrideable. Through the line, lap one done.

The huge puddle right before the timing tent was a blessing as it kinda cleaned the drivetrain before heading back to the singletrack. My legs hurt but I was able to keep pushing and pick up a few more places. I kept reading my my little motivation on the back of my plate. The flow of the trail was great but then it was back across the road. What was questionable the lap before was worst this lap. I got into a walk five steps, run 5 steps. My knees felt good. Surprisingly I passed a few riders on these climbs. Lap 2 down, 2 to go.

I had Scott Irwin and Scott Luscombe in my far range sight at the beginning of this lap. I was with in 10 seconds of SI before the road crossing, we passed Scott L just after the road crossing and did everything I could to make sure it stuck. Scott I put a little gap on me at this point. This was also when Derek Zandstra came smoking by us.

Coming up one of the climbs I attempted to do a half assed cross remount. Now before Watson starts spreading rumours, I'll tell what really happened. My feeble cross skills are a little rusty and my shorts got hung up on my seat. My shorts went into a few interesting places and I had to start yanking on them. This was right about the same time Andrew caught me. I think he wasn't pushing hard enough because he was able to make some smart ass comment. Anyways, with my shorts not giving me some sort of wedgie I got back on track.

My legs were starting to feel the effects of the mud. Coming into lap 4 the climb through the feed zone felt extremely steep and my drivetrain sounded like it would snap at any point. I was very tempted to squirt some INFINIT on it but I'm not sure what type of lube it would be equal to. Last lap, put it all out.

I pulled in a few more riders, with all the mud, telling who is in what division was a little difficult. Not sure if my vision was blurred or it was the mud covering them. I did pull Scott I back in just after the road. Just as I passed him I heard a major grunt of pain as his leg seized up on him. A quick, are you ok and an answer of a grunt and I had my head down and legs turning. Almost done.

The run up climbs seemed to be farther and farther off the trails. I swear one more lap and we would have been going through the bush. The last decent followed by the doubletrack into the finish line hurt but it was a great site. Crossed the line, I'm done. I had nothing left in the tank.

I was really happy with how I rode today, lots of big ring time. My knees are feeling really good even with the amount of grunting in the mud. I didn't get my results but I think I may be in the top ten. It felt like an extremely long race at that intensity. Once I get final results I'll post them. Considering how I felt going into the race I'm pretty content with where my fitness is. Only about 7 weeks left till Solstice and I feel I am on track.

Thanks to Erin for feeding me today. Tomorrow rest day!!!!

To my best sponsor



Happy Mother's Day.

No post yesterday, felt trashed. Spent a few hours riding in the rain and my body shut down. I didn't fully plan on riding in the rain it just turned out that way. Headed into the Saturday morning group ride with the sun shinning. I knew the forecast but took a chance anyways. Got to Midland and the rain began, not to hard just enough to let you know it was raining. No worries.

There was a group wanting to go out. That enthusiasm disappeared very quickly. The mix of rider level meant a slower pace. This meant lower heart rate, this lead to Matt getting cold very quickly. I'm heading back guys. All it took was one to say it. Kevin grabbed my wheel as we turned left. The 4 other's made their turns for home also. Took an hour to get back to the house. HMMMM sometimes living away from the hub of everything is a bit of a downfall.

I spent the rest of the day feeling like crap. Well this meant the couch and the computer. Lots of updates on the course changes. I think we are racing around the parking lot since that seems to be all that is left of it. No Green Monster and a few singletrack sections were taken out. I'll be heading down soon. Race report hopefully tonight.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rest is good

No ride, no blog, no nothing. Long ride tomorrow race Sunday. Screw it I need a day off. More tomorrow. Maybe even some pictures, means I have to type less.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ontario Cup #2 preride

It's that time again. The way my schedule is, tonight was my only chance to ride the course for the second Ontario Cup race of the season, well except race day. The Molly Monster new exactly what was happening and conserved her energy and slept the whole way to Albion. I think I need to teach her to drive.

I was surprised not to see more cars in the parking lot, I think the next few days will be crazy down there. Not much has changed in the start. Short steep climb right out of the gate.

The start is going to be very important, we head right into a long double track section.

Most of the single track is typical Albion Hills and what is used in the 24 hour races held here. Fast flowing trails, lots of pine trees, lots of roots. Still very fast.

Took it fairly easy the first lap and saw a moment of weakness out of Molly.

I think there was something in this water because she picked up the pace right after wards.

This does not give a real idea of this hill. The infamous Green Monster. Traction today was pretty good, they are calling for rain on Sunday. Traction could be an issue here. Thoughts of a change of tire are sorta hanging out there.

I think this is probably going to be one of two climbs that will be the sketchiest. The whole coarse was in really good shape with the bit of rain we had. This section was really muddy, if it rains it will be fun.

Someone is prepping for that neutral tech support. Wheel and cassette all ready to go. This was about 200 feet after a small log drop. Someone is thinking.

There is a few new trail cuts integrated in this year. They are very fast but the setup for them is very important. They are rough enough that you can't pedal that much in them so if you loss momentum at the beginning of it picking up speed is a little bit difficult.

The Monster and I picked up the pace a little for the second lap. This is a really fast coarse. Lots of big double track sections. There is just enough technical parts to slow up the roadies. The new sections are basically, who has the nerves to stay off the brakes the most. I kept it aerobic for the lap, coasting the downhills so Molly could keep up and rolled around in roughly 33 minutes. Molly of coarse short tracked it when ever she could. They would have to run a lot more tape to keep her on track.

She still had energy for a swim though.

Tire thoughts right now are still leaning toward my dry tires.

If you want to check out the full lap, Neil has posted one at RaceDayRush.com Check it out

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To the beach

The day went smooth and I was able to sneak out of work a bit early. Sent out a quick text. Road Ride???? Response, Yep. I normally don't drive anywhere to go for a road ride, kinda defeats the purpose but I had the potential of running out of daylight if I road over.

Not much in the line of excitement on the ride over. My legs were a little sore from yesterday's little bought with an 10% hill. I think we went 20 rounds.

Made our way over to Wasaga Beach. This place will become a complete zoo in two weeks with the first long weekend of the summer.

Today it was only filled with old people driving Cadillac's and Buick's. No gangsta rap playing but I think I did here one car cranking a little bit of Barry Manalow. They flashed a few gang signs as they rolled past.

Since Lee and I ride together fairly often I thought I would start something for a friend.

Like Jerome the travelling Gnome who is tracked world wide, I thought that I would add the Madone Gnome travel report to any ride I happen to spot him. Those Madone Gnomes are a fast bunch sporting carbon fibre.

So this week he travelled roughly 90 km.

We did make a quick stop for a little refueling. mmmmm Cookie

MMMMM coffee, sorta coffee.

We did need this because a few black clouds started to appear as we left the beach. pace picked up and we went from the side by side chatting to controlled pulls keeping us in the mid 30's

I felt a few drops early at this pace then realized that it wasn't rain and that it was actually sweat. I'm in decision on sweating already. Took a sweat drop in the eye. I had forgotten how much that hurt. HMMM sweating and riding in warm weather or not sweating in cool weather and having to stop every hour to go to the washroom. Tough decision.


We got back just under 3 hours and missed the rain. No complaints here. Great tempo ride. Tomorrow, I'm heading down to ride the 2nd Ontario Cup course at Albion Hills. I've seen the map, looks fun. Pictures etc tomorrow, now couch.

Later

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a change

Had a great ride last night with the boys. Of course I took a bunch of cheap shots about being old. Ya well boys you will all catch up one day.

Just got an email from Chico Racing. They have made a major change for this year's Spring 8 hour. There will be two separate courses, one for solo, one for all the team racers. I'm not sure what and how this will go over. Of course it's already being talked about on MTBR. My thoughts?? There are a good and bad to this. Having an open track of just solo's would be a nice change. Less passing, more control of pace. But having riders to pass helps keep the pace up. Every rider is a target because you don't know what division they are racing in. Of coarse the support from other riders won't be there at the same level. We will have to see how it goes.

For me, it will have absolutely no effect on my race since I'll be riding tag team with Dr. Bill this year. Well sorta tag, I'm riding the first 4-4.5 hours then Bill will finish up. Should be fun.

Albion Hills O Cup is coming up fast. Hell all the races are coming up fast. No breaks from now till Solstice. Back at it tonight.

Later

Monday, May 4, 2009

Better with age???? Just not sure

I sometimes really wonder as I hear cracks and moan as I got out of bed today. It's my birthday and I just rolled the rip age of 36. I am positive that I am not aging like a fine wine.

Tastes better, worth more, blah, blah, blah.

I think I'm more like a fine bread.

Yep, get crusty first then start turning moldy and have this really weird smell. What is that smell? Can I blame it on the dog??

Well I will be doing what I really want to be doing on my birthday and that is riding my bike. Mother Nature has brought some sun, I guess she even has to be nice to me today. I'll be meeting up with the boys for the weekly singlespeed night ride.

Off to work

Later

Sunday, May 3, 2009

dirt and pavement round 2

Started out the morning sucking back vasts amounts of coffee and trying to organize the day. First on the list was the Mountainview Cycling Club trail maintenance day. The weekly series starts this Thursday so there was a push to get all the trails ready to rip.




just walking the single track reminded how much climbing there is in such a small area. A few of the guys had already put in some major hours cutting up fallen trees. It was a hard winter on the trails. Come on up for the weekly series since this is the only time that none club members are allowed to ride at Mountainview. Unfortunately the MAN (insurance company) has the club putting up signs for this year. Only club members allowed now, of course club membership is cheap, I think it's $30. Join us, you know you want to, just do it, cave, show a moment of weakness!!!


Once I pushed my slow healing right shoulder to it's limit with the rake it was back home to spend some time on the road bike. Headed out to the Big Chute but in the reverse direction today. This way puts lots of short steep climbs in the first half of the ride.


I sometimes get people asking me why I live where I live. Because of this.

People come to my area for the escape from the city, they drive 2 plus hours to get here, this was an hour from my house by bike.


Train delay. Didn't feel like doing the Stand By Me train dodge. Had two chances. I think he would have swerved had we played chicken.


The whole ride was feeling amazing until the got out to the farm field sections of Upper Big Chute road. Talk about a relentless wind. The chain left the big ring pretty quickly. Made my way into Coldwater and enjoyed to break from the wind with a quick stop at the bridge. This says it all.


One of those small reminders of what can be accomplished by mind, spirit and body. It also reminds me that a 24 hour race is pretty much a walk in the park compared to what people like Rick Hansen and Terry Fox did. Just arms or just one legs. Makes you think doesn't it.

Anyways, rolled back home feeling good, having a smile on my face. It was funny that this song actually came on my Ipod just after I saw that sign.

More tomorrow

Later

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Old Friends

It was one of those days that makes you think. Nothing to unusual to start the day. Up early, way to early for some on a Saturday. Half a pot of coffee. Ummmm coffee, yes please. Took care of the coaches business. She had me abuse myself for about an hour. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Did my loop of Vasey line and moonstone road. You know the one with the 18 percent climb halfway through among all the other wonderful hills. Was happy that I took 3 minutes off with a lower average heartrate. It must have been the coffee. It wasn't even 454 this morning.

A line I like that a friend uses all the time. Eat,sleep, ride repeat. Well take away the sleep and that was my plan. quick meal and I had the wagon loaded with the Anthem for a dirt adventure. This is also where the old friend part starts in. Yes Molly was with me and no she is not that old, only fat according to some. An old friend and I were getting out for a trail ride for the first time in a long time. He had a new bike to play with and was just wired to play with it.

Marlon and I started riding about the same time. We also used to race against one another in high school on the alpine ski teams of different school followed by varsity volleyball. We met up with some of his team mates for the 24 hour summer solstice. These guys are out to have fun, it was great just cruising at their pace. Kinda reminded you on how much fun we should be having. Jumping off logs, ride a little stop a little type ride.

Finished up a couple hours with them. My legs felt great at the end. The Molly Monster also has regained her base. I think she will be looking at a new person to taught this Monday's night ride. Mr Watson watch out, I think she holds a grudge.

So back to the story, one thing that changed with Marlon and I. I continued to push forward with the biking thing, he kept it fun and went a different way. He's pushed his musical talents. CLICK HERE!!!! I ride a bike a little better than I can play a musical instrument, not much just a bit, so my choice was right.

The next old friend came in the afternoon. Went over to Pinnacle Graphix. This is owned by a guy I used to hang out with in my party/ smoking/ excessive drinking years called my mid 20's Actually let me rephrase that. That was all of my 20's. Well Rufus was like me and cleaned up his act to live the healthy life also. He has been doing the design and graphics for my banner and car. They came out awesome. My work trucks go in next weekend to be revinyled. Once done I'll get a few pictures up of the work.

Of course the whole time I'm there we are talking old stories. Then he reminded me how old I'm getting. Does anyone remember the band White Snake??? The song Here I go Again. Well apparently it just turned 25 years old. Are you shitting me? Of course the years of that song are some of those years we all would like to forget. Blow dryers anyone???

That's it for memory lane, I'm apparently old so I'm going to blame it on being senile. More riding to do tomorrow.

Later