Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sketchy bikes and riders

The infamous Monday Night Something has come again. The weather was right on the edge of agreeable. One of the challenges is coming out with the coolest singlespeed you can. With have the crew working at bike shops some of the bikes showing up are pretty interesting to say the least. Tristan stepped things up this week.


Yes that is a carbon spinergy front wheel and that is a retro carbon front suspension fork. Apparently it rides really well.

That's mounted to a Giant XTC. Could that be a 2010 prototype?? I hope not. Check out the wheelbase on it.



A few slide outs and the Molly Monster set up Jacob for a crash. Not sure what he said to her but she forced him over the bars. I wonder if he called her fat?? She is sensitive. A great ride and it was used as prep work for the 24 hour Hot August Nights team. This meant the apres beer. Yes we plan on having a few of these on that particular weekend.

I did manage to get a spy photo of the bike in question that got Andrew in trouble with the WWSSWC. Go here to learn more.

It's back to serious riding again. Still have the rest of this week with no real training schedule but I'll start adding in more miles. It's only halfway through the season, lots of racing left. More coffee, then off to work.

Later

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Double Double

Not the coffee but that was the ride agenda for yesterday. First up was a few hours around the big chute with Watson. We set out a little later than than I though since Andrew showed up a little later than thought, he used some head wind line as the reason.

The ride up to the chute was pretty uneventful. Steady pace in the low 30's not to much traffic which meant side by side riding. When we came into the chute we saw a fleet of amphibian-cars. We just missed them coming out of the water. It's pretty cool seeing these things.

There were 7-8 of them. No more than a minute later there were a at least 20 old British sports cars coming into the chute. It was one of those perfect days that everyone was out touring.

Just as we came into Severn Falls the next pack of old cars came by. Unfortunately I was a little to slow with the camera. Back out into the flats I got a little taste of the wind, still not that bad.

The one thing about the Big Chute loop is the variety that is packed in such a short distance. In the 68 km loop there are fast rolling roads, short punch climbs, long open flats etc etc. Same with scenery between cottage areas on small lakes to farm fields. I never get bored of this ride.

The next pack of people touring happen to be triathletes. I apologize now for those I'm about to offend. Why are you even bothering riding together??? They don't pack ride. It was funny seeing them spread out to stay out of each other's draft while being in the areo bars. To far apart to hold a conversation, to close together that people know its a group. We were tempted to spin around catch the pack and start up a conversation while sitting up straight. I train alone a lot but when I'm in a group ride I want to actually be in the group ride.

Finsihed with the climb up Vasey line before turning north towards home, Andrew still had about 1.5 hours left to get back to Barrie. It was a great ride. I finished up with 2.5 hours and 80 km. My day was just getting started. Quick clean up and it was off to the lumber yard, again. I've cleaned one of the local build center's out of mini ties and I'm attempting my second. A couple hours spent on the frame work. The dump trucks of fill come this week. Getting closer. I was under the gun to get things done because of the text from my coach.

I don't get to see her to often since her move to Milton but she was heading north to teach a skills camp on Sunday so the chance to go for a ride is something I can't turn down. The plan, get the Molly Monster out for a good run, see how the shoulder feels on the mountain bike and just have fun.

We met up at the 8th line grid where Molly started to get wired as soon as she saw Heather's car. Of course the surprise when a little Australian Sheppard bounced out of the back seat. Heather and Jason's new child. Maggie did great on the ride. She still has to learn a little trail etiquette, like not coming to a dead stop n the middle of the pack just because.

The pace was pretty low key keeping it in low zone 2.

Of course what is a good day of riding without a meal that you don't have to cook. A trip to Kelsy's patio where the beer was cold and the waitress was great getting the dogs water and a big plate of vegetables. Maggie was spoiled and got the chicken fingers off the kids meal.

Today is going to be low key, a little more work on the yard but the rain is going to set in so I'm thinking a comfy afternoon on my ass watching a couple movies in the sunroom. I haven't done that in a while.

I'm pretty happy with where my legs are at. Considering I'm supposed to be toasted from last weeks 24 hour, ok 12 hours of mountain biking, ok 12 hours of pushing my bike. My legs are feeling really strong. Could there be an event added in the next couple weeks. Maybe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Saturday morning, it's 5:30 what the hell am I doing up???? This is my first real weekend off from training, racing, schedules etc etc etc in 2 months. Hell this is the biggest break from training I've had since the winter. I guess I want to make the most of it. I have a road ride planned for late this morning with Watson. I'll be fighting to hold a wheel.

So what have I been doing besides not really riding a bike. Well the damage control has been taken care of. That meaning both Anthem's are pretty much back to normal. My brake lever's are finally returning to their normal positions. I was still finding dirt in strange locations.

Next up is trying to get an excessive amount of landscaping done in a minimal amount of time. Since I hate cutting grass I'm working on getting rid of it in the back yard with new gardens and a patio. Of course doing the grunt frame work has taken longer than I thought and I don't even want to start to add up how much has been spent on lumber at this point. Anyone want to come and help move some big dirt piles???? I have beer.

Sun's up, coffee is hot, dog is still sleeping, the town is quiet. 5:30 in the morning is not all that bad.

Later

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keep on rolling

I opted to skip the Unofficial underground single speed world championships tonight. My shoulders and upper back are still bothering me so spending time on the mountain bike is not a great thing. That and the fact that it's 90 degrees outside and I have not done much intensity at that temperature so I really don't think that this was the right time to start.

Instead I went for a nice zone 1-2 road ride. Legs opened up nicely and I felt pretty strong even on the hills. I'm still planning on taking things easy over the next two weeks and get some much need yard work done. Until my shoulders get all the knots worked out of them I think it's mainly road riding for me over the next couple weeks.

Not much else happening in my twisted little cycling world.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

one more day of thoughton the 24-12 hours

Of course you have 20-20 in hindsight. I goofed. When info started coming in about the race we should have sent someone down to the timing tent and found out the right info not 2nd and 3rd hand. Everything we heard was always different from the next round of info. So in the end shit happens, it's just a race. It was fun, kinda.

Went out of the Monday Night crew for an easy ride. It did stay easy which was good. Some talks about the race came up along with talks of Andrew's Canada Cup. Good times followed by a beer.

The quote of the ride was from Andrew. Almost everyone was following the rules and on single speeds, I was sorta give a pass and was on my Anthem and Mr Watson was on his EXC. Yes it had gears. A short steep sandy climb and Tammy is battling on her single speed and calls out "I can't make it" Andrew says "did I just hear the word can't on a climb???" as he clicks a couple gears easier and spins an easy gear past her. Sorry buddy but it had to be told.

On my training front, talked with Heather for an hour yesterday about the race, the plans for the rest of the season etc etc. I have a no training regiment for the next two weeks. That doesn't mean sitting on my ass eating potato chips and bon bons. Surprisingly my legs feel pretty good during the ride but my shoulders are pretty trashed and need some time. It's going to be a mix of fun trail rides and some touring road rides. Of course this is after tomorrow nights unofficial race.

The underground single speed world championships are tomorrow night at Hardwood Ski and Bike. No spandex,wear a t-shirt and baggy's. All are welcome. If you are close enough get up there for the 7 pm start.

Monday, June 22, 2009

con't

Random thoughts

Cross bike would have been sweet. A lot easier to shoulder.

Running the Infinti was perfect. the only problem was the lap times were longer so getting the calories in was a bit harder. I couldn't even imagine trying to eat gels or real food out on the course.

Shutting the course down was the right call, the trail was beaten up.

I was totally unprepared for a shorter race. No tent, sleeping bag, etc. There was no need for it at a 24 hour so why bring it. Unfortunately that meant sleeping in the car which caused more aches than the race.

I had know idea an XTR derailleur was so expensive.

I should have brought more beer. One beer for the morning after was not enough when you start the night before.

The weatherman are no match to Mother Nature. Their poor excuse of voodoo predictions should always be ignored.

My pre race lap times on the original course were 51 minutes.

This race reminded me of the 60km race from a few years back in Collingwood. The drag a bike through 3 stage.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 24 hour of Summer Sol(id Mud)stice

Where to start??? Not staying on site on the Friday night was a great idea. Had a pretty good sleep but was woken up to pouring rain. Trust me when I say I tried to pull the covers over my head far enough not to hear it. I pretty much had the car ready to roll the night before,put the bikes on the roof and waited for my Mom and Aunt Ruth to show up.

The weather did start to improve on our way to Albion and by the time we got there it was almost nice. Got things setup and did a once over with everything that was going to happen during the race etc. Then pretty much got into my head. I'd already heard the the course had been altered once because of the rain over the night.

An hour before the race I was dressed and rolled out for an easy warm up, as much as I had a long time to race I still needed that little bit of spinning. I knew the start was going to be cruel. There is roughly 2400 racers total and in the start coral roughly 400-450. Yep that's a lot and I want to be near the front of all that craziness. Mom was in the start area by 11:30 with one of the bikes. 2nd row. Perfect.

Of course this is just about the time that the rain started up again. Spotted Erick from Solidworks. He was able to roll up beside me. He was my big competition even though he was now bumped to the over 40 crowd. He was 2nd at both the Ontario 24 hours last year. My game plan. Stick with him. He also pointed out Francis from Team Kinetic my big threat in the division.

The count down and we were off. The start loop was pretty slick and the first climb that is used to break people up turned into the first run of the day. This payed off and split up the pack a bit. Got back on track and continued to pull riders in including Erick and Francis. First lap we came through together. The guys got a bit of a gap on me when I couldn't get my chip back in my shorts. Don't ask. I carry my chip in my front right short.

It' wasn't a huge gap but enough that they were out of sight, no worries. The rain didn't stop The course was still pretty much ridable the second lap but the bike was already looking like hell. The plan to rotate bikes every 3-4 laps changed very quickly. Rolled into my transition tent, swapped bikes and was off. Saw Jacob on the way to the timing tent and let him know what was happening with the bike already. Back brakes were already gone after two laps.

Coming into the 3rd lap the rain still kept hammering down. The first 3 km section of trail started to become unridable. Once I hit the road section I was able to clear the bike enough for it to roll. Awww yes this is how the race started. The mud was beginning to build and this was that wonderful mud that cakes perfect in between forks and wheels. Kept pushing but the lap times slowed a little with the hike a bike section. Bike rotations happened every lap now. My wonderful sub 24 lbs Anthem X1's were now somewhere around 45-50 lbs.

4th lap was pretty much the same. Brendan went smoking by me not realizing it was me. Race kit was pretty much solid black with caked mud. The 5th lap actually got faster, the rain had stopped and sections started to become ridable again. This was a good thing because my shoulders were taking a bit of a beating from all the hike a bike. I did one climb cyclcross style. Unfortunately a full suspension does not shoulder very well. Coming into the timing tent I was a little bewildered. Everyone was stopped.

The boys at Chico were forced to change the course and were holding people till 6pm. You had the option to attempt the 3 km section or wait it out. This was my first chance to talk with Francis. He was in 1st but waited it out. Of course I was concerned on my lead over 3rd. I was up about 30 minutes at that point in the race. When they let us get back on course I did want most would do. I waited and gave Francis a good lead before I jumped in the pack. This was probably the most enjoyable lap even though we still had to run the first section of trail. Things were good, hmmm that's not right.

Yep it started to rain again. For this lap I had Mom meet me mid way for a second feed, with the longer lap times my nutrition intake was less than it should have been. Had to play catch up but in very controlled rate. I let her know when I picked up the bottle that I was going to switch clothes, bikes and get my lights on at the end of this lap. Lights needed to be on by 7:15. I took about 10 minutes to scrap off the mud, change kits etc. I opted for a rain coat since it had become a pretty steady drizzle at this point. I wanted to stay dry for at least a half lap.

This was where the fun began. The course became pretty much drag a bike. The skill learned was how to clean out the mud quickly After the first section I headed into the first road section. I start to pedal and nothing is happening. Look down. What the hell. Shit. Snapped my derailleur. So a couple good things of this. I broke it right at the best possible place on the course. I was only about a 10 minute push/walk back to my transition tent. Next up was I was fighting overheating, that rain coat idea was not good and trapped to much heat in. I was sweating pretty good underneath. My support crew motored quickly to get the lights on the other bike which they barely had time to get the mud off of as I changed jersey's for the 3rd time. Went back to the marshal station I came off at and continued losing roughly 35 minutes from the time I pulled off to getting back on.

The course did become almost unrideable again. The sections that had held up till now were skating rinks. I switched the bike into the granny and left it there. I wasn't risking blowing another derailleur. I just kept my head down and eyes looking at 10 feet ahead. The weather is going to clear, I will get to ride my bike. I kept pushing/walking/coasting and the odd time pedalling.

When I came into my transition tent I asked a couple marshal's on what was happening with the course and race. It was still a steady rain, the section of the course that was normally a great sponge was now beyond it's absorption rate. They said that there were talks about shutting things down but they were not sure of much at that point. I quickly changed my bikes. I had to get to the timing tent to find out what's happening. Talked to Matt of Chico and he said at that point they were going to keep things going. The weather is supposed to clear.

Ok, I needed to get things sorted out, I knew I lost some time with the bike failure, I also knew I needed to get some nutrition back in my system. I made the decision to go back to my tent and get warm, eat, get refocused and setup for the long night ahead. By the time I got back it was about 9:45. Got things setup with my support crew. The plan was now changed that I was going to chill for at least a half an hour, let my legs get some recovery. We wanted to wait for the rain to stop. My strenght is riding the bike not pushing it. What I was hoping is that with the little break any time I lost doing this would be made up by having some fresher legs than the couple guys ahead of me. I could ride a little harder and pull them in.

Unfortunately this plan went to the shits. The boys were shutting down the race for midnight. I didn't get this info until it was to late. I was far from ready to jump back on the bike. AKA no clothing, was wrapped in a huge blanket getting my core back up to temperature. Also trying to get food in. We had no idea on the time splits to everyone. We also didn't have full information on what time they were stopping things, what time riders could still go out at etc. Our site was a little distance from the timing tent. Well I went from 2nd overall to 3rd to 4th in about 2 hours of confusion.

Am I pissed, a little, disappointed for sure. I've worked hard for this race, I was battling for the lead and had a couple wrenches tossed into the spokes. The weather, straight out this was the hardest race I have ever done. This was not a mountain bike race but more a pushfest. A couple upsides of things. My knees, well lets just say I did a race that worked every possible weakness that my body has, knees etc. They were awesome. What would it have been like if I was actually able to ride more??? End result was 4th division 5th overall.

The damage, one Shimano XTR carbon rear derailleur, multi pule disc brake pads. My back is a little trashed but overall I'm feeling really good. I will be meeting up with the boys for tomorrow's single speed ride. I need to hear Andrew's stories about his weekend. Congratulations Mr. Watson.

Here is a little idea of what the mud was like. This was my race kit for the first 6 hours of the race. Mom washed this in the lake once to get the worst of the mud off


After 2x through the washer.


The thank you's. First off Mom, Aunt Ruth and my sister for supporting both myself and Jenn's fiance. Rick did great. With out the 3 of them obviously the race would be done almost as fast as it started.

Jacob and Shane. Part of the Monday night something. Thank you so uch for keeping my bikes rolling.


Jacob spent pretty much the whole race at my site and would barely get a bike cleaned and rideable before I came in to trash it again. Like clock work when Jacob went on his lap Shane took over. Guys I owe you huge.

So some random thoughts, because my body is not as trashed as planned is not changing to much for the race schedule. I am thinking about doing the Hardwood summer 8 hour now. I'll keep things a little low key for the next couple weeks and just ride for a little bit of fun before picking it up for August and September.

There is more but Ill add that tomorrow, For now rest.

later

Friday, June 19, 2009

The day before tomorrow

It's 7:30 am. Old habits are hard to break. Sleeping past 6 is almost impossible. I'm as ready as I can be for tomorrow. Weather is looking like a mixed bag. Rain to start the race then clearing. By Sunday the sun will be out and the heat is going to show up. Should make things interesting.

I've pretty much got my strategy down. Pedal and don't stop till noon Sunday. Ok it's a little more in depth than that but I'm not telling. It is a little unusual not knowing most of the riders. It will make things a little harder for my support crew to track not knowing who the usual threats are.

Since I don't have anything else to write about how about listing things that I have done different coming into this race than I did last year.

First off, I dropped weight. A lot of weight. I'm down 15 pounds from last season at this time. I'm currently at 154 which is up about 2 pounds this week. I'm eating lots. The big thing for me was a diet change. Lots of healthy food, less eating out, less beer, I know that is just a bad idea but it's helped. Overall I'm in a much better place in both weight and stomach.

Awww number two, my wonderful stomach. Obviously finding out I'm lactose intolerant was a huge part of things. This caused so many issues it wasn't even funny. Even a little bit of milk or cream in a coffee would kill me in a hour or so. This also helped with the weight loss.

This links to my gag reflex. I carry my stress in my stomach for some reason but this whole season I have been so calm at races it's strange. Maybe one little hack but that's it. I used to sound like I just finished going on a bender and someone offered me a chunk of liver that was rolled in a dirty ashtray. Nice visual that a picture isn't even needed.

I've raced more and ridden less. Sorta like that. I've integrated more short races in this year but I've also had a coach that kept me on a short leash. I've still put in the long miles but in a different way and it's showed the benefits. In the short races I know my top end is not there like the guys I'm racing but in the long distance my legs have been amazing. Lots of power and I have yet to push to the limits. That's this weekend.

I've learned a lot about my body this season also and thanks to Dr. Bill my knees haves never been better. Last years race showed me what needs to be done to keep them moving.

Of course Dave of Georgian Cycle and Giant bikes have helped out so much with two amazing bikes. No bike issues like last year.

One big thing that has changed is my focus. I'm not concerned with what happens for the rest of the season. Last year I kept thinking about the next race. This year this is the race, everything else is just a training day.

I have to thank everyone that has helped me to this point. Couldn't do this with out you. With all this said, time to get off my ass and get a few things done. Race report update sometime Monday.

Of course you can follow me on Twitter if you are really bored.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Piles

My world right now feels like that. The basement is just organized piles every where I look.

I look at what I'm packing and once in the bin it's pretty minimal

Even tent crap is less than normal.

Why might you ask. Normally I stay down Friday night and camp, this year with the house only an hour away I've opted to sleep in my own bed and be woken up by birds at 5am instead of the notorius train at 4 am. Even with ear plugs I can't sleep through it. I'm also going to get a good breakfast cooked at home.

I'm sharing a site with my brother in law again this year which means split duties on site equipment. Of course we will do our little round of smack talk before the race.

Both Anthem's are ready to roll. I'm pretty much ready to pack everything up. Just waiting on the new race kits' which are supposed to be ready tomorrow. Fingers are crossed.

My other pile seems to be sleep. I've had two hour naps every afternoon this week. I'm going to have a hard time going back to work if this trend continues. It's all good since it's hard for me to shut off that internal alarm clock that goes off at 6am. Oh did I mention the birds. Yes those 5 am birds. What time do they start drinking coffee to be that wound up at that time???

I've stopped looking at the weather since both sites seem to conflict each other. I think it's going to be one of those look outside Saturday morning to know what the weather is doing.

Nap time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I wanna be a downhiller when I grow up

Just another fun night with the Monday Night Something crew. Perfect conditions brought out everyone out of the woodwork. Most of our Hot August Nights team was there. I was given the get out singlespeed free pass for this week I brought out one of the Anthem's. Partly to save my legs but more I want to get any shifting quirks taken care of and get the final suspension setup figured out. I'll be running the suspension a little softer this weekend. Pretty self explanatory.

It was pretty tame ride with lots of stopping and screwing around. Of course this meant watching a bunch of XC racers attempt to be freeriders.


video

Mr. Watson redeemed himself on the second attempt and showed why he is the National XC points leader. Could he go after the Red Bull Rampage title after National XC Championships??



video

I doubt it!!!! Hucking a double??? Nope. I think Norco will keep him away from the 9 inch travel bikes for a while. He is getting the lingo though.


video

Of course what's a ride with out hitting jumps. You'll see the Molly Monster, she missed the line unfortunately. I think she didn't want to show us up by doing a barrel roll superman seat grab. If you look closely you'll see Jacob attempt to unclip and one footer it. Ya, I agree.

Fun night, rolled back in just before lights were needed. Like last week only a couple actually brought them. I opted to leave mine in the car. After last weeks bail I figured I didn't want to jinx things and try that ride by feel theory tonight . No crashes this week.

Legs are feeling good. Had a great tune up from Dr. Bill earlier in the day. Not much riding to do this week but I am out today for a couple hours. Have yet to decide where and when but the weather is looking perfect for something on dirt. May as well enjoy the sun when I can, it's looking questionable for this weekend. Mother Nature hates me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

24 hour of Summer Solstice preride

Woke up dragging my but this morning. Back was not happy, legs were tight, throat felt a little scratchy. The landscaping project that I started a couple weeks back went full force yesterday afternoon. I had this in the plans of holidays. Dam real world stuff that needs to be done sometimes.



Took a little longer than planned to head to Albion. Was up early enough to say bye to Tanya and Craig who used my place as a hotel. They were on route for round two of the Ontario Marathon series.



Finally got moving and started my trip south about 9:30. It was already to warm for me to bring the Molly Monster. She was not impressed when I said no. When I say warm, after this spring I swear anything double digits almost feels hot.



Rolled into Albion about 10:30. It was very busy, everyone had the same idea of getting a few laps in. My back was feeling a bit better at this point and I headed out for lap one. Took things pretty mellow to get the legs feeling happy. It wasn't very long before I hit the first singletrack section. Nothing new, I was watching my watch a lot to gauge times. The first 15 minutes has a lot of singletrack. Not many places to drink. HMMM.



Went past the lake and up the start of the Ontario Cup but half way up the hill it's back in the trails. Lots of fast sections and still nothing that I have yet to see. There is a good chunk of the O-Cup course in this time. With the chance of rain this will be good because this was the section that was awesome, not the mud fest grab a bike section.

Crossed the out and back bridge to a great section of singletrack. The notorious beach sand climb leading into it has been changed. It's now a switchback beach sand climb. Actually it's not much of a climb anymore. This whole time I had a smile on my face.

Now after checking out the course map on Chico's website they had something called the Mario Andretti doubletrack. So the first thing that comes to mind for me is my big ring. Ya well I swear the two hardest corners are in this section. One is a slightly rooty turn to the right that will most defiently take a couple riders out. The other is a hard right turn with a slight up hill. The first time through I'm pushing some big gears when I'm forced to slam on my brakes before hugging a cedar. Of course then I can't get moving sitting in a 44-15. Second lap I nailed the line. If it's wet there will be people going down on this also.

The course was very very dry, all excepted where the mud bog crossing for the final hour is located. The bypass is unridable. I'm sure Adam and Sean will think of something.

The second lap I picked up the pace to just below what I will be riding at next weekend. Lets just say that this course is very very fast. I can see who ever wins pushing for 24 laps with out a problem. It's a great course, fast and fun, Enough technical to make you actually need to be able to ride a bike. Climbing isn't killer or it didn't feel that way, Lots of punchy climbs and false flats. The things I like.

Finished up and headed home, a little time with the foam roller and the stick and my back and legs are feeling great. I see Dr. Bill tomorrow and he will pop anything else out of whack back to where it supposed to be.

Alright, I have a dog that is ready to eat the house if I don't get her out for a walk, then it's clean the bikes. Heading out to the pub with the crew tonight to celebrate Jacob's birthday. Sunday night pub night, awww how I love holidays.

Later

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rest and relaxation??? Going to try


That's it I quit, for a week at least. A week away from the daily grind. A week of trying not to take on a major yard project. A week of not looking at my bikes saying to me lets go for a really really long ride. A week of saving my legs for next weekend.

Holidays mean I can stay up a little later, sleep in a little longer. No alarm clocks etc. I fell asleep at 9pm last night and woke up at 5am. I suck at following the holiday rules. The extra cup of coffee works though.

Random thought time.

Could Mother Nature finally be in a good mood??? This weeks weather looks perfect, sun mid 20's. The weather for the 24 hour is looking good so far also. Could the planets be coming into alignment?

My favorite taunter had some thoughts about this weekends visit from Big Ring and the Vegan Vagabound. Peter found out about the visit and got dressed up in his bestest hoping to receive an invite.
After 3 days of staring at his inbox waiting he gave up and started the retaliation. His attempt to bring up the past and bring me down with old memories of last season won't work. I used up all my excuses last year so I have no options left except to just keep pedalling, passed you.

It must be lonely being a dictator of a self proclaimed empire. I think this says it all.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo9Zgfndtak

I'm off to Mountainview Ski and Bike shortly to help run a skills camp for the cycling club this morning. Yes, I do have skills, not sure if they are related to a bike. I do make good coffee though. Speaking of coffee, time for more.

Later

Thursday, June 11, 2009

coming together

Alright, I'll admit it. I'm getting a little bit excited. Solstice is only a little more than a week away. Things are coming together, bikes are running awesome, body is feeling better everyday, knees feel good. It's strange though that I'm calmer than I ever been before a race. This whole season I have been pretty low key going into every event, why?? Don't know.

My 24 hour care package from INFINIT came in yesterday. It's filled with liquid power.

Not liquid courage.



I'm pretty happy with the fuel mix I've designed, I've had good results with it on long rides and races. I can't believe how simple it is when it comes to fueling for the race, no major shopping spree buying things that I think I might want to eat. It's done in the bottle.

I'm still on the bike but intensity is down, time is down, etc etc. Made my way over to my old town by way of rail trail yesterday. Not exactly single track but better than riding the road the whole time.

The road bike will be on vacation till after Solstice. Now on my return back home I spotted something. I wasn't sure at first.



Peter???


I know his focus will be on trying to bring down the Big Ring this weekend at the Mansfield Marathon but as of Monday. He even cancelled his dance, I'm hoping he saves some legs for next weekend.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finally agreed

I think the weather could finally be on the up and up. From now on it should be rainbows and butterflies during races. Why??? Because we finally got the right weather for the Monday night ride. It poured rain the whole ride. Perfect.

This whole spring every Monday the weather has been amazing and every race has been cold or wet. Well Sunday was right and Monday was perfect. Small group this week with it being only Andrew, Jacob, Jeremy and myself. Oh and of course the Molly Monster. One of the guys used some B.S. excuse that he had to clean his bike. What do you think the rain would do?

There were no intense passes, no short tracking the course for position (Molly excluded). Now just as we were getting ready to start at 8 I looked at the boys, are you not bringing lights??? No No No it stays bright way past. Alright, I'm bringing mine. Jeremy also felt the same. It's about 8:45, we are in the hardwood sections, it's very dark. Double click, hey look at that, I can see again. Kinda glad I brought my light.

Now the bone head thing, I'm able to see Andrew and Jacob are pretty much riding by using the force. Sorry my jedi skills are a little out of whack to night so vision is needed. Coming around a corner, next thing I know I'm looking like a 3rd rate baseball player trying to slide into second. Ok so I'm the only one that could see and I'm the one that smokes at stump. I'm using the excuse that it was hidden under leaves. If you saw the trail I think you would give me a little break and agree. The over growth since the last ride at the 7th/8th line was huge.

Of course my euro gloves and arm bands (white) had great pin striping now. Ride finished up the right way, beer and stories from former events. I did get to run the lights a bit, the count down has begun for Solstice.

Time to do the day job.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ontario Cup # 4 Boler Mountain London

Just get in the car and keep driving. Do you know how hard that is for someone like me??? I'm a busy body. Plus as much as the seats in the wagon are amazing I still get bouncy and shifty after a few hours. Besides that the trip to London was uneventful.

Got to Boler Mountin (Boler Bump) just after three on Saturday. Someone stuck a ski hill right in the middle of London. Did a very very easy pre ride of the course. I swear it is the exact same course from the Battery Burner 12 hour I did 4 years ago. It's not like there are many other trails that can be added though. Nothing much in the technical side. Lots of short punchy climbs, a couple false flats and lots of rutted up double track sections on the top. Oh and beach sand, lots of beach sand, no water though.

Did the treat for me hotel room, I actually called when I got reservations to make sure they didn't mind a bike going in the room. Good dinner and did what I normally do on a Saturday night. Fall asleep on the couch at 8 while watching a movie, wake up 2 hours later in a mild haze then go to bed.

The morning of started out way out of whack. First up, crap coffee. Well it was hot at least. Now the one good thing and the first thing I did when I woke up was look outside. Ummm is that water on the road or is it just early still. Nope no rain. Predictions of heavy rain and a chance of thundershower for the day. Great. The rain held off, the sun came out.

So the next crap thing was a really poor excuse for a breakfast. Complete gap out on bringing a cooler filled with my good breakfast stuff. Thought 2 was to find a good breakfast place for pancakes or something. Nope, who would have thought nothing would be open just after 8 on a Sunday. The next thing that I now regret was not stopping at Starbucks. I saw it, I smelt it, I looked at the no stopping signs. It's not like I'm one to never ever possibly, maybe, wouldn't think twice about it break a driving law. For some strange reason I had a conscious at 8am.

I had a reminder why I don't eat fast food, Tim Hortons coffee, Sorry for those that I am about to offend. It's CRAP and the sandwiches are not much better. Great pre race meal. I wasn't sure if I would regret my decision for this meal choice or not later in the day.

Ok onto the race. I had a great warm up. About 10 times longer than last weeks. Perfect. First thing I noticed though. It's warm out. Really warm out. It's almost hot. No knee bands, no under shirt, no arm bands. I feel light?? Maybe not.

Rolled into the start coral, Did the long wait etc etc. Go time. I had a pretty good start, I think I was in the top 10 after the first few climbs. I kept thinking be restraint. I wasn't feeling 100 percent for energy. I held on for a while then dropped a few places. Nothing out of the norm for me. Most of the first lap was spent just keeping position. Came though the feed feeling not to bad. Did a 24 minute lap.

Lap 2 turned to the shit's for me. I found myself finding it hard to get that deep down to the bottom of the lungs breath in. I noticed it a bit on my warm up, I'll be mentioning it to Heather. I also felt the heat hit me a bit. It hit me hard by the half way mark I felt my body yell at me. I slammed on the brakes a little. My legs felt fine but the rest of me just felt off. I could taste the beer I had on Friday night. We won't go there. I'm not sure if it was the heat and humidity, it's not like we have had much or the late night a couple days back. the questinoable breakfast or another factor. Either way it didn'nt feel right riding at the limit.

I came very close to packing it in for the day. Then the brain just screamed training ride!!!, 24 hour pace!! Don't think just pedal. And that is what I did. Hit the Double track on the top and started to recover. I dropped my intensity about 5 percent and instantly felt better. Lap 2 was at the top end of 26 minutes. Lap three and four 26:15

The next two laps I started to work my strengths and control my weakness and ride what I have been getting my body ready for. My last two laps were identical, my body and legs felt amazing, I could have stayed at that pace forever, ok maybe for 24 hours. I came through the feed zone on my last lap which was about 3 minutes from the finish standing in the big ring with lots of leg left in me.

Finished 12th today. There was a small pack 15 seconds ahead of me. This is the first time in an Ocup that I wish I had another lap. I found my happy pace which is about 10 percent bellow my top end. Perfect. One more time around and I may have pulled another rider or two back in.

After the post race stuff a few of the crew headed out for some dinner. A few beers drank, stories told, food ate. Congratulations to Andrew, 2nd today in Elite. Not bad considering the drag that that shady looking moustache is creating. Shane pulled top 20 in Elite, Lee was 5th in our division but was far from a happy guy.

I feel bad for the poor waitress, some of the conversations that she kept showing up and hearing must have scared her away from ever wanting to ride a bike. I think the one of Brandon still in his bikes shorts 6 hours after he finished racing was the worst. We have double dogged dared him to keep them on until tomorrow nights ride. I'm glad I'm faster than him because there is no way I want to follow.

Thoughts right now on the Marathon race for next weekend, the full marathon is out. No questions about it. It was out a couple weeks ago. Right now the thought is on the half or maybe spending the time down at Albion riding the 24 hour course a couple times. To early to think, ok wait its to late to think.

Time to crash and burn,

Later

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Helping out a competitor

Miles are trimming back, legs are feeling not to bad. After a little disappointment in the performance at Canada Cup I had a nice reminder of what I'm training for and where the engine lies. Ran the Big Chute loop nearly 10 minutes faster than my last time around. Diesel Power.

I'm almost stunned on how quick the race season has gone by. Heading to London this weekend. It's been years since I've been there. Last time was for the Battery Burner 12 hour. It was one of my first long races. I think I finished 5th. I'm looking forward to the mini vacation. Ok a couple days away from the house.

Tonight was a mixed ride. Headed out on some nice rollers.




Finally stripped off the arm and knee warmers.

It is June, it's supposed to be warm. Good ride.

My favorite taunter posted a comment on my last post.


Peter Keiller said...
Matt.
Your mom called.
She wants to be my support crew.

Peter, I did talk to Mom. She is the best support crew around. She is so organized, setting up lap times, bike swaps, light burn times, food intake etc. She also know how to motivate a rider "get the F#

She said she would come over and help you. The first thing that she thought that would really help you and your team but more so every other rider racing would be to put this sign in front of the MISFIT tent. This will just forewarn everyone that someone could possibly,maybe come out that tent at anytime and you may be forced to brake.



The next comment came in just afterwards

Anonymous said...
Statistically speaking (Solstice 08) wouldn't you be more likely to blow up?


Pretty sure this is one of Peter's team member's. First thing, STOP LIVING IN THE PAST!!! If you continue on this path of only looking backwards you will eventually be found in Tim Horton's on a Friday night sitting in your chair 150lbs over weight drinking bad coffee shoving a maple dip in your mouth saying "do you remember back in 2008 this happened."

Enough of this, time to get the Anthem ready for this weekend.

Later





Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Better late than never

My Canada Cup legs are starting to finally show up. Ya took them long enough. Had a great ride with the boys on the Monday Night Something. The weather completely disagreed and became nice. Part of the deal with this ride is that it goes rain or shine or snow or tornado etc. Well it was raining when I left the house and it was cold. By the time I hit the parking lot it was down right nice out.

Last night was an endurance ride with a mix of long rollers on Vasey line and long flats on the return loop. Made my way towards the local Tuesday night TT. I missed the starts but road the course and did the wave to everyone out there.

Time is flying, Summer Solstice is almost here. One thing that set me off on how close things really are. Heather has words like MAX included in all the hard workouts. I'm not arguing, just riding. Every long race my legs have felt great. I just hope the legs don't decide to be stubborn and show up late otherwise I may start the 24 hour a day early. Yep they are a diesels but that is a good thing.

Competitor news. Still don't know many of the racers this year. Lots of wild cards. Erik will be watched closely. As for Peter and Tom. After seeing them on Sunday I'm pretty sure that Peter is trying to kill Tom. If he blows him up early enough in the race he'll have someone to take down all the tents before he is done.

More coffee, work, ride, sleep, repeat

Monday, June 1, 2009

videos from CC

If you look close you can see snowflakes the odd time.

video

Pro Men Start. Notice that only Derek is able to fit beside Andrew's elbow's Excuse me, Pardon me.

video

The crazy start of the Junior Men. Twice as fast out of the gate. These kids have something to prove. Or they are just crazy.

video

Pro Women, of course Emily Batty is at the front. Not sure what happen to the two that went down but there was a lot of tire rubbing in all the starts.

A couple links to bone shaker. I'm in two of them. Fast and smooth on race day, to bad going up didn't feel like that.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shapelike/3583379727/in/set-72157618988644085/

You can hear Shane being a smart ass squawking out something about a old age home. You will get old too someday.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shapelike/3584153018/in/set-72157618988644085/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shapelike/3583356227/in/set-72157618988644085/

Canada Cup #3 Hardwood Ski and Bike

It's cold, it's winter jacket cold. The drive to Hardwood is only about 20 minutes away and after the second time I saw the temperature drop in the car thermometer I shut it off. What's that saying, ignorance is bliss.

Did the team duties doing feed for the first race. I tried my best to convince the UCI official to let us move the feed zone into the sun. I think a couple more minutes and he would have caved.

Hung out for start ot of the pro race. Mr Watson led out the pack. They went out very sane, ok sane compared to the juniors who went next. These guys went out at a crazy pace. Mitch Bailey dominated the field again today. Time to get warm.

It was very difficult getting out of the warm car. I had ever layer of clothing on including a toque under my helmet. This being skinnier thing has really killed my cold weather tolerance. Had a poor excuse of a warm up. My legs felt flat and very heavy. I didn't like the way I was starting but to late now.

Made a last minute decision to switch out my front wheel, my SLR has a little bit of a tweak in it from Saturday's bail on boneshaker. Rolled to the line right at the back of the pack. Woohoo, great starting place.

The count down, why is that last 15 seconds seem to take forever. Like usual, anything with a long hill start kills me. I can't go full out like that, diesel powered. By 3/4 of the first climb I'm pretty much at the back of our pack. Probably 30th or farther back.

There was a bit of a stall up at the first single track but everyone made it through clean. This is where I started to go to work. Coming out of every piece of single track I was recovered and I would pass at least one or two riders before the next section. Started to make my way up to around 20th. Came into Bone shaker and took the exact same line I bailed on. Clean, I just went at it a lot faster. I think I passed someone in there. It's a blur right now. Road the rest of the lap clean but continued to get stalled in the single track. I burned a matches way to early when I started to run around riders who were stuck in a corner.

First lap felt not to bad but as I came through the feed I could feel the sluggish legs starting to kick in. Just put your head down and pedal. I road this lap clean and pulled in a couple more riders. I had very little attack the hills left in my legs. It was a very deceiving course a lot more climbing than what you would think.

Coming into the third lap I started to do damage control on the climbs. My strength is definitely the technical side. I still managed to keep pulling in riders though. At this point though I didn't know if they were in my division or from the group that left ahead. Coming into the last lap, what is typical for me. My legs started to feel better. Sorta.

I think my last lap felt the best, climbing still hurt, my climbing legs were still in bed where it was warm and comfy but the ones I had seemed to be a bit better. I kept riding my strength's being efficient and taking the fastest lines with the least amount of braking. This race really showed me where my strong points of riding are and where my weaknesses are. Climbing long steady grinds on double track, not me, tight punchy switch back climbs, me.

Crossed the line in 15th, ok result but was hoping for better. With the way my legs felt I should be happy but I mark it down as a training ride. Congratulations to my team mate Lee, he destroyed everyone today by almost 2 minutes. Thomas did awesome also finishing 7th and this was on a rigid single speed. I wanted to battle it out with him today but it wasn't happening.

Well the apres BBQ at Tammy and Jeremy's was worth it. MMMM FOOD.

Gotta run, it's 8-5er time.

Video's etc soon, no time to upload this morning.