Thursday, July 30, 2009
I had a bit of a guideline to stick to tonight. I did my very very very bestest to stick to it. Lots of really fast people here along with the usual interclub challenges. I kept things in check the first lap. No killing it but hard enough to get what I was supposed to be doing. I didn't want to be at race pace the whole time which of course with the climbing here is very hard not to.
I ended up riding with Dr. Bill and Mark C. letting both of them set the pace the first lap and the start of the second lap. Just flowed the course. Kept things clean but started to try different lines on the downhill sections. Hitting the midway point I started to get the craving to go a little harder. As we hit the last tough climb (Glassford's Grind) I picked it up to race pace. My legs felt great. This section is short steep switchback climbs which suits my technical riding.
I gaped both the guys by about 10-15 seconds by the midway point of the climb when I heard Mark call out asking if I was using my granny gear in this section. NOPE, as I shifted one harder and put more time into them. Of course the pay off of Glassford's grind is the techy downhill of Last Resort. I let the Anthem do it's thing. Did I ever mention how much I love my Anthem's and 4 inches of travel???
Kept the pace up high coming across the line putting about 30 seconds into Mark by the time I crossed the line. I was in the top 10 overall, it was a pretty good gauge since a few of the guys there are in my division. Heard lots of good things about the course and the odd bad thing. Most of the bad things were kinda funny. It has no flow was one of them. If you go just a little bit faster there is lots of flow.
We did attempt to videotape chunks of the race. I am not the director or the camera man. What I didn't do was show Tristan how my video camera works. Please turn you monitors on their side.
I've only added this one because I'm concerned that I will get hate mail from people saying their monitor fell off the desk trying to watch.
Overall I'm happy with my ride last night, love the course, and had fun. I also met a few more readers last night. I'm really not sure what to say sometimes when someone comes up to me and says they read my blog. As funny as it sounds I almost turn shy and lost for words. Ya, me lost for words as funny as it sounds. Thank you for listening to my rants. Send me links to your blogs and I'll add it to my links. Ummm that or it means I can cyberstalk you!! Hey what goes around comes around.
So update on my post from yesterday. I will get into the Great Refrigerator round up this weekend. Not sure which day yet since I'm going to try and do a few fun rides this weekend. I also need the time to type since it will be a long post. I'm hoping that a few of you will find some great information from it. I'm guessing at this point it will be up Monday morning. Being a long weekend I'll be able to put a pot of coffee into me which will be needed.
On the appliance side don't hesitate to email me if you have problems. Helped Danielle Musto fix her washer and dryer by email last year after the Sears guy told her to toss them. It cost her 20 dollars in parts. Oh and Scott got to take a hammer to one of them. Come on how often have you wanted to do that???
Gotta work. It's Friday. Later
This is all about my day to day Monday to Friday life. I was recently in at one of our dealers and had a chance to see a few new products and also check out the prices of things. Being in the service industry you really don't get a concept of how much things unless you are scanning websites or checking out the stores monthly. To clear the air for some, I own a major appliance service that does the warranty work for about 20 manufacturers and about 40 dealers.
So one of the things I always hear from customers as I'm fixing the fridge or washer is that they don't make things like they used to. You know what, they are right. They don't they make things better. More buttons, more cycles, more bells and whistles. The biggest thing, they don't cost anywhere near as much as they used to.
My little visit to the store reminded me of this. I happen to be in the section of dryers and spotted what is considered by most in the industry as one of the best machines ever made. This machine has not changed in design since the early 1970. I can transfer almost every part from a machine of the 70's to a new one. Now here is the big problem. It is cheaper to buy that machine now than it was 20 years ago.
I tracked a few things down. 1970s average income started between $9000 to the high side of $17,500 near the end of the decade. A dryer in the 70's started at $219. That's started at. So this machine was out there. Now jump forward to now single individual is just under $36,000 and the average family is just over $70,000. So we make more money right with inflation, things have gone up in price right. Some complain that they have gone up to high to quickly. Well all but appliances.
That same dryer is now $274. What?? Yep, 30 years of inflation has added a grand total of $50 to the starting point of this dryer. Is it me or is something wrong with that. My Dad used to be just as busy back in the 70's, 80's etc fixing the same thing that I am now. Back then no one even considered just throwing out their dryer because it broke. Big reason, It was a month's worth of paychecks to replace it. Now, even the top of the line product is still extremely cheap and people just toss them. What the hell??
So here is the environmental side of me kicking in. If we want to save the world, start raising prices of all major appliances. We all use appliances daily. I don't think our society could survive if we had to go back going to the river with the wash board or having the old ice box fridge. No water dispenser in those.
When it is dramatically cheaper to throw something out than it is to fix even a simple repair. Example, the motor in that dryer plus service call is roughly $230. Why would people consider keeping it. I have products out there that I can't even consider fixing because of cost of repairs.
Now I will just highlight that I'm not yapping about this because my business is slow. Far from it, we are busier than ever. But what I'm looking at is long term environmental impact. I won't even start into how bad the Great Refrigerator roundup is. Don't do it. It's a pile of b.s.
Ok I better get off the of soap box, someone may kick me off plus I need to go to work. Comments? Thoughts??? I will get into this again in the near future when I have more time.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Usually by October there is only cross. Not everyone gets really excited about riding full out for 50 minutes and a lap on a bike that is supposed to be ridden on pavement being forced to run over barriers that just shouldn't be there. Me, I like it. I think this race may sell out quickly.
Speaking of race venues, I have to bring this up. For people in Ontario that are planning on riding Mountainview. I need to remind you that this is on private property. This means the only day that you are allowed to ride is on Thursday nights for the weekly series. Now if you would like to join the club for a huge fee of $15 this gives you a few extra days of riding on club nights. There have been a few people caught riding there already. Please play by the rules.
Mother Nature was nice to me, no rain on the ride last night, Hoping for the same tonight. Will hopefully be more exciting than climbing up and down a hill.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mansfield Ontario Cup
Saturday preride. Hot and dry,
Sunday Race Day Rain and cold
Monday Hot and dry
Albion Hills Ontario Cup
The week before Rain
Race day Rain and flooding in parts of the course
Marathon Race number one
Cold, really really cold 5-6 degrees at start time
Spring 8 hour
Actually a not bad day. No rain but cloudy around 16 degrees,
Canada Cup Hardwood Hills
So cold that it actually snowed. Crazy winds on top of that.
Ontario Cup London
As funny as it sounds, it was almost to hot. mid 20's but since it has been so cold it was almost mean. No rain but it was called for at anytime.
Summer Solstice 24 hours
So much rain that it was shortened to a 12 hour race. Just a crazy day.
Marathon Race number 3 Ganaraska
This was probably the nicest day for racing. It was sunny and warm. Again the body wasn't used to the heat. No arm bands or knee band needed.
Buckwallow, Ontario Cup.
No rain but at anytime
Hardwood Summer 8 hour
Yep another early shut down and lots of rain in a very short time.
It's been interesting this year. I have raced more times wearing arm bands and knee bands than not. Some races took me longer to clean my bike afterwards than the race itself took. Could this next round of racing be better? Could Mother Nature start running out of rain?? Could the prediction of cross season weather be the opposite of what it should be. Could I actually have to ride the trainer in July?
Gotta pull out the rain coat.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Of course I can always see those nasty clouds off in the distance. Made my way through Penetang and up Champlain road. I had a couple options on time/distance. Things are still dry go, full loop. Great addition to the loop. There is now a store in Sawlog bay. A quick stop in to top up fluids and I made my way into the Park. I opted for the direction that has more steady climbs then false flats.
Yes this is uphill.
Stopped for a minute or two here. I xc ski and snowshoe around this lake normally. I can't remember the last time I saw it like this.
If I didn't have an agenda this is a place that I could sit and relax. Hmmm rest day hang out??
Back on the bike I headed to another area of Awenda I only usually see in the winter. Headed to the beach, why because of this sign.
I did go slower going back up but come on. When you see that sign what would you do??? Ok so maybe I'm more immature than you. I only hit the low 70's. I guess they are concerned of beach cruisers getting speed wobble.
Came through the park and still dry. Woo hoo. Head west towards the nasty weather. Coming through Lafontaine I knew I was starting to push my luck. The clouds heading south were far from the colours that bring out rainbows and butterflies.
My camera does not do justice.
This is from the top of an amazing climb on the 15th concession. Same thing about the camera. Unfortunately the normal day off of a fast decent was shut down. The road is in serious need of repaving. It felt more like flash backs to my alpine ski racing days on the worst laid out slalom course.
Started making my way back towards the house. Still dry, minus sweat. Legs are feeling really good. Took my happy highway way bypass, the rail trail. As I roiled back into Waubaushene I was at 4.5 hours. I could see the clouds to the left of me and the clouds to the right of me. No clouds in front of me. Ya you know this is going to turn bad. I figured I could do the loop up to Port Severn and cool down on the return. That would hit exactly 5 hours. Maybe I could do all this before the rain comes. Ya
I made it to Port Severn, started back towards the house, shifted into the small chain ring. I swear my HR monitor, my shift and the rain all hit at exactly 4:45.
Of course this was not calm nice light rain. Mother Nature was nice enough to give me the warning. She lightly hinted to start your cool down at 4:30. Ya I didn't listen. So she stopped with being subtle. Mr Spak your ride is done now! In 15 minutes I was soaked to the bone. I was overall very content. Rolled into the driveway with 5 hours on the monitor. Legs felt amazing the whole ride. I felt zero drop in speed and strength. The section up to Port Severn I was pushing mid 30km/h still staying in the mid zone 2.
I have a couple weeks with no races, next ramp up is for the Mountainview 9 hour but the big focus is now the 24 hour of Hanson Hills. Support is arranged, holidays booked, passport enroute. Let's just hope that Mother nature continues to really like me for the rest of the season. S
Saturday, July 25, 2009
So typical race conditions for Ontario. It started to rain, hard. race was cut about 50 minutes short. Regardless Heather was 1st, Jason was 3rd in single speed. Congratulations.
Weather for Sunday. Don't want to think about it. 5 hours tomorrow, hopefully that won't be on the trainer.
Friday, July 24, 2009
The last few days I have been rudely awake at 3-4 am by my cat who is coming in from a bender. She is 12, so what is that in cat year 85 ish?? Shouldn't she be pushing a walker around and talking about the past not going out on all night benders??
I'm hoping the weather is a little more willing tonight for a ride. As for the weekend. I'll be at the Hardwood 8 Hour in my coaches tent feed her and Jason bottles and food. Looks like it's going to be a very interesting race for them weather wise. It's right on par with the season to date. They may need to widen the trails so so riders can have umbrellas on their heads and pontoons on their bikes. I can't remember this many races in a row where rain has been an issue.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
First off, look at the way I drive a car. Hell look at the way I ride a bike. I like to go fast. I blame the car on the fact that I genetically have a longer right leg which really throws off the alignment of my whole body and the gas pedal. Great line eh? So what brought on this thought. I watched 3 crotch rockets go past me like I wasn't moving and trust me I was moving. At least with a bicycle I'm a little more restricted. It's rare that I bust the speed limit but when I do!!
Speaking of bikes, I found the reason that I love to just ride down random roads. Last nights ride was one of those lets see where this goes. I had a shorter ride planned, 2 hours, so I kept things relatively close to the house. There are a bunch of concessions off the famous Big Chute Loop that I've never ventured down, that changed last night.
Lots of new pavement, very little traffic, one great surprise. I came across this great waterfall with what you would almost think was an antique bridge going over it. This is also a big reason I normally have my camera with me. Sorry no pictures this time but I will be getting back there in the very near future. I think it could be one of those nice places to relax on a rest day.
I'm loving the idea of all these new loops to ride since I start getting a little sick of seeing the same cracks in the road by mid summer. Usually by August I have thoughts of driving (gasp) someplace to do road rides. I don't think that will be the case this year and with all the new pavement showing up next year may be covered also.
Looks like training may be brought indoors over the next day or so. A big run of rain days is called for and looking outside this morning I think they could at least be right about today. I really hope not as both the trainer and rollers are in the basement and it's going to have to be one hell of a good reason for me to bring one upstairs. Like thunder and lightning.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
That's right folks, there is something strange happening to the Monday Night Something team.
One rider was questionable right from the get go. No worries there the space was filled instantly. Next up were the first round of rumours. Those rumours turned out to be true and another rider was lost to his sponsor's team. A team that was never supposed to be a threat. Now they want to battle with the Monday Night crew. Why?? What did we do to them besides not ride a free ride bike.
Now there are more rumours that another crazy fast team is trying to be put together. Brown envelopes are being slid under the table, phones are being tapped, many riders are being secretly followed during training rides. Of course if theres one team being built there will be other's.
To equalize us from complete domination someone payed off that rock to take out the creator of the Monday Night Something team. Rumours that they have rebuilt him strong and lighter with a titanium carbon scandium knee cap may be true. Will check in this week with Jeremy for more details.
Some rules are being broken, riders are being pulled from other teams, worst other factory teams. When confronted on the matter the answer given was completely unacceptable. 2 riders on our team only show up every once in a while. SO!!! The challenge now for Norco is to get Mr. PG to sport one of their jerseys and bikes at the World Cup this weekend.
SO who started the corruption of the Monday Night Team. Was it the government? Was it an inside job? Was it the same people that apparently staged the moon landing? I have my own theories but I'm keeping my mouth shut. I saw lots of strange movements in the trees last night during my ride. I also had a bat in my house when I got home. Are they checking in on me while I sleep?? I foiled their plans with the help of my tennis racket. No I didn't destroy it, what fun would that be. Just a light tap to stun the bugger and sent him back to the spies base.
We are currently at 8 riders with all the changes but some email's have gone out, since at least one other team is not playing by the rules anymore it's a complete free for all. In a day or so I will hand the reigns back over to Jeremy as team captain. Watch out everyone, he may not be racing but he wants the win more now than ever.
The expert/pro 10 person division looks like it will be the race to watch this year. For anyone getting that nudge from someone to race on their super fast team to battle with us. Don't do it, come join us, we have beer!!! Oh and we will also have very immature race tactics to deal with all the other teams that attempt to challenge. Immature may be an understatement. Down right childish might be the better wording.
Yes these thoughts are all over the place. It's done for a reason. It's coded, if you spend a really really really long time staring at it and trying to place things in the right order and digging deeper for the hidden message in this blog. Our team will be spending that time riding our bikes.
Oh, by the way. I did ride my bike last night. Legs felt good, that hill is getting a little smaller. Time to work. More excitement tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Anyone, back to the point. I think it's great that they have them back on but here is where I am confused. I remember back in the 90's that both the guy and the girl were ripped and they showed them running, skiing, biking etc etc. Most shown were in good shape.
Now speed up to the 2009 commercial. I swear the guy on there is sporting man boobs. The woman, sorry to those I'm about to offend, is sporting lots of junk in the trunk let alone what she managed to get in the cab. The first commercial I saw was based on sitting in front of the couch eating popcorn. Apparently it's healthy popcorn but it still should them sitting on the couch. Is this Participation??? Oh the next one was even better, it was about eating potatoes. I can feel the pounds just falling off.
The latest one would scare me back on the couch if I saw it. They said get out for a walk/run but things you may need to do after exercise included taking pain killers, or icing body parts along with stretching etc. Now the last is important but come on. Telling people that they may be in pain after getting their fat ass off the couch. Great encouragement. I tried to find one of the new commercials but I think they probably keep them hidden.
Oh none of the people on the commercial were umm whats the politically correct term that I should use? UMMM screw it none of them were thin. I've heard from a few women that clothing sizes have changed. The numbers are the same but they have seemed to be a little off.
Do I sound like a mean ass for saying this, maybe I am but I live in the world of common sense and pretty much think those commercials don't give anyone an incentive to get in shape but more to make a run to Mcdonald's drivethru come home to the couch and watch pro poker on the sports network. Don't get me started on that.
Ok I maybe shouldn't have had that extra coffee. Off to work, more bike stuff tomorrow.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Yesterday I headed out for a long road ride. The weather, pretty much the same crap we have had all summer. I know don't whine about the weather, no control over it. I half assed plotted a route at 7am and was on the bike by 8 heading towards Orillia by way of town line. My plan was a slightly extended route of one I took early spring. I've been wanting to see what new roads have been paved. Oro/Medonte is going to be the most popular place for roadies in the very near future.
Cruised past Bass Lake where I saw a mommy and baby duck trying to stay warm. Even the animal world is getting a little sick of this weather. I'll stop complaining, instead I'll tease you with this.
Not enough justice to show this awesome road. The 10th line is a great winding climb followed by the same thing going down hill. Oh one other small perk, NO TRAFFIC!!!
Rolled into Hardwood Ski and Bike to take advantage of their sink to top up some bottles. It was pretty quiet, why? Who knows. Did run into Terry from Northern Cycle. Short chat about the last marathon race and I was off to go play in the hills.
Started up the 2nd line which is another one of those beautifully paved roads with zero traffic.
Made my way over to the top of Horseshoe Valley. Great view of what I was heading for. Hills and lots of them.
Saw lots of these signs on my way north. I alternated climbing positions from standing to sitting every other hill. Since Heather wanted me to open things up a bit on some of the climbs I did my very bestest.
I hit the last big climb of Ogden's Beach road. Roughly 40 km of either going up or down. I was at the 4 hour mark of my ride at this point. Did a tour along the water front of the town that I used to live in. Made my way down to the subdivision that gave me the reason to leave the nice little town I grew up in.
Remember my post on the grain elevators that were the reason the town existed. This is all that is left of them.
Rolled back towards home via the rail trail. Finished up at 154km and 5 hour of pedal time. All done with lots of day time left. Woo hoo, an hour of running around had me back to the house with some time for a quick nap. I needed the nap since my most favoritest coach and her boyfriend were on their way to my place. They were on a mini vacation and one stop was my place for a visit. Bikes were pulled out again for a cruise along the rail trail to a great local waterfront restaurant. A few beers drank and I also attempted to eat the biggest potato skins appetisers ever.
Today was a little messed up. First off there is still two huge piles of dirt in my driveway and not where they should be. I won't even start into that one. SO with things in indecision which for me is just the most horrible evil cruelest thing that can happen to me. Yes Mr. organized/planner guy had zero control over his day. With that I figured I could head up and cheer on some teammates while I waited for my phone to ring. Buckwallow was packed. Good to see. Did my little tour around doing the "hey how are you and hearing the why are you not racing question more than once. I brought my partner in crime, the Molly Monster, who was way to strung out.
Headed back home just after the 1:30 racers went off. Congrats to Lee for killing it today in our division. Results are here for everyone.
So since I never got a phone call about the tractor coming to move dirt I loaded up a bike and my favorite training partner. I get to ride with some really great riders but I have to say that I enjoy solo rides with the Molly Monster. The month of July were supposed to be spent spending time with the dog since all the neglect of the crazy race season up to solstice. Hey what can I say, Molly is my kid.
We headed to Copeland forest, the plan, none really, just ride. What it developed into was me riding at my endurance race pace. This is my favorite pace. This is just below the point that I feel like complete death (Ontario Cup race pace) and just above basic endurance. I haven't ridden Copeland since the 1st marathon race. Pretty bad since I live 10 minutes away.
I found this new trail. Yes it's bermed, yes there was much more of it, yes it was lots of fun, no I don't know exactly where it is in Copeland.
Chasing the Monster. She may out climb me but I can still coast downhill faster than her.
Did I ever say that I love riding in the pine trees?
We finished up with Molly getting a quick dip in the lake before spinning back to the car. 2 hours of good paced singletrack riding and a lot of climbing. Overall this turned out to be a good weekend for training. Much more beneficial for the bigger goals of the season. There was a reason I wasn't supposed to race today, I'll see why soon enough.
I have a couple weeks with nothing. Next up is the Mountainview Ontario Cup followed by the 9 hour the next weekend. Things start to pick up from there. For now, I'm relaxing in the sunroom with my feet up. Check out Watson's blog for the rundown on the Elite's race.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Recently I couldn't find a pair of my Oakley's. Searched for a week or so with no luck so started shopping around. The short story, two weeks of looking stores were either sold out or what they had were crap. Ok, well order a pair online. Oh wait I just payed for the Hot August Night team registration on that credit card. Hmmm Nope, just waiting. 3 days later I found my glasses. 3 full weeks plus and they appear. Hmmm.
Ok not convinced. Look at things with my parents. The timing of Mom leaving the law office and eventually joining the family business to my Dad getting sick and eventually losing to cancer to my sister and myself getting along to me becoming a grown up (sometimes). Of course this was spread out over a year and a half but there are way to many signs that happened over this time to be just coincident. This was also about the time that I started paying attention to it.
My work also opens my eyes to signs, helps solve problems quickly. Come with me for a day of service and you would see what I mean. I'm constantly asking my apprentice. What do you see, while at a service call. Hey honestly, the Maytag Man is never lonely and sitting around. I don't pay the bills with the money I make racing bikes. I think I'm at about $100 to date.
Where am I going to with this story. How does fate work? For me most of the time I flip a coin. Seriously I do. I know Watson has a magic eight ball. I 'm not the only one having weird vibes about the race. My thoughts on racing Buckwallow Ontario Cup on Sunday were influenced by a little more dramatic means.
Obviously last Sunday's crash with Erin's broken radius was the first, followed by carrying Jeremy out on Thursday after his crash,(more on his stuff in a minute) was the second. The third was watching another rider crash at the same spot. Ok so 3 laps 3 crashed. Subtle yes but didn't fully convince me. Well the final sign that came bluntly said you are not racing Sunday or you will never ever get things done.
This is my driveway
This is my backyard.
The guy who was going to come over last night and this morning to move all this to it's final home called me mid day yesterday. First question, can you be home early today, nope. Told you the Maytag Man is run ragged. Next question, what about Monday, can you take the day off? Nope Same reason. The tractor guy is an old friend and since I'm going to be doing most of the raking I need to be there.
He ran into other work related problems so Friday and Saturday were out. Obviously Monday was out, he brought it up. What about first thing Sunday morning. Well I kinda have a race and need to put in some hours on the bike before. Ummmm He is booked for the next two weeks. I start a 4 race weekend block next month. It will start snowing and hell will freeze over before I get this move. Subtle sign???
Anyways, that was it. So Sunday morning at 8:30 am I will be loading up my retaining wall not my bike, drinking more coffee than I should instead of water and Infinit. Not wearing bike shoes but work boots. Not racing but raking. Something is telling me not to race this weekend. Who, what, why I don't know but I'll be watching for the reason.
Back to Jeremy. Broken patella. Check this out if your stomach can take it.
He seems to be in good spirits, he is a bit of a shitty actor though. The good news is that the organizers of Trans Rockies have deferred their entry till next year and everything else has been credited. I'll be contacting Chico this week, Jer is still very much part of our Hot August Nights team. He will be back to captain in charge of the hole dam thing. He has become the official start line place holder guy and will also be used to corrupt any other team that could be somehow trying to challenge us, cough cough norco cough cough.
As for my riding, I'm up early, quick talk with Heather yesterday puts me to a freeforall road ride today. Attack the hills, town line sprints etc etc. I'm heading out for 4-5 hours depending on the weather. No gnome spotting today. Riding solo at this point. I do plan to make an appearance at the race though. It will be kinda cool watching the crew instead of chasing them.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The plan, ride their weekly series race along with a prerace tour lap. Got up with lots of time, parking lot was packed with O-cuppers. Guess I wasn't the only one with the idea. We started down the long start loop, will get to this part of the course shortly. Cruised the first single track section fairly smooth. Because of the prediction of rain, I've already changed tires in prep for it. One step bellow studded tires? Close, lots of grip for those possible wet roots.
So far so good, cut into the next section of trail to see 5-6 riders standing around. Oh wait it's a bunch of Trek Store Jerseys. There is a rock, are they checking out which line to take? Wait, Awww shit it's Jeremy on the ground. He is smiling, sorta when he said he went over hard and slammed his knee. Sean From Chico along with the Mike the Owner of Buckwallow were splinting up his leg when we stopped.
Hmmm 2nd attempt to ride a lap, 2nd time I've helped a broken rider out of the trail. Is there some sign I'm seeing??? I feel really bad for Jer, Last I heard he was sent by ambulance to the hospital. He did get a standing ovation when he went through the start area on the back of the ATV. The shitty thing is that he and his wife leave for Trans Rockies in a couple weeks. Fingers are crossed buddy.
Back at the start line, no I didn't get a lap in to this point, the group of racers was huge for a weekly race. So big that they did an age cut off to break the pack up. Good thing as I really didn't want to have to physically push a few 10 year olds into the push if they tried to pass me.
We're off. Every race always has a long run out or a climb to split us up. This place was no different except the run out seem to be forever. I was planning on staying very aerobic for the race. Of course this got kicked a bit to the back seat going down this section. There were a ton of riders that you knew were going to pop by the end of the run out so the attempt to stay ahead of them did push me a little higher than planned.
This start run is very long and control is important. There will be a lot of experienced riders going to hard on Sunday here and blowing up early. Hit the first singletrack in a good spot and cruise through it. Next section comes in and a riders from Cycle Solutions is right in front of me. Up the rock right turn he went to the inside I was on the outside. I then watched him stall, lean, lean more, stall more, then he moved but the bike didn't. Straight down face first. This was the exact same place that Jeremy fell and probably the exact same thing he did. As I said about watching for signs. Is this telling me something??
After a quick are you ok, are you ok, I was off. No ambulance needed this time. Kept things back to the right pace, barely. Buckwallow is a place that tempo riding is pretty much impossible. Nothing really exciting happened till right near then end of the lap. I was in a small pack which included a friend's father. I had followed him a good chunk of the lap when we happen to come across Courtney. "You can't let my Dad beat you Matt" Great, my competitive side kicked in for about a minute. We happened to be in double track when I heard Courtney scream this. Slammed the big ring, looked at her Dad, smiled and let'er rip.
Yep I can still get the heart rate up there. Into the singletrack smart Matt took over again and got back in the rhythm. This was after seeing 193 on the monitor, Spun out the rest of the lap with no incidents.
It's a fun course, very fast, less technical than last year. One of the best sections is not in this year. A tough rocky trail, too bad. The course currently is very dry, almost slippery but all the fast switchback sections are bermed.
So here is how I see it. I'm a "things happen for a reason, watch for signs, believe in fate" type of person. My decision to race will be done on a coin toss Sunday morning. This is partly on the rain also. If the coffee looks like it might taste better on my couch than in the car, well you know. Why am I thinking this, 3 bad crashes viewed in 3 laps. Heads I race, tails I don't. Currently I'm racing. The one that counts is on Sunday morning. Either way I have a 4 hour ride to do Sunday it will either be including the o-cup or it could include the vomit comet ride with the local roadies. They do a crit just down the road from my place.
It's Friday, it's work time. Need more coffee.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
First stop was a track bike but that faded quickly. Then it was a start into a full restore of the early 1990's components and have it as a fun road bike. Wait I probably wouldn't do it and if I went through the effort the bike should be at least something from the 80's or better yet the 70's. Next stop, build it up for crap conditions and winter riding. It was a great thought. Went friction shift and a Sram x9 derailleur. A set of Mavic's for the summer and a crap wheel set for the off weather. The down fall on this thought. The front fork doesn't have the clearance for anything more than a 25c and that is pushing it. Let alone a tire with some bit to it. Oh ya I have a cross bike that I can use for that type of riding.
Well it's been sitting idle till now. We have a great rail trail that I never ride just to ride. Till now.
The new and final set up. No gears, no drop bars, one brake. Flat pedals? Flat bar?? Yep, Yep etc etc.
A new rear wheel started it. Flip flop rear wheel. So the end result is this.
A very non flashy fixie for doing the cruise to the local pub/patio. No graphics, no flashy bladed spokes wheels, just something that if I lock it to a pole I know it will be there when I come back. I'll be testing it out this weekend when I get a visit from my coach.
The second change. I cancelled my cable. Not that I can't afford it but more that what is the point. My tv is never on, I've barely even watched the tour. The $80 a month they take for something I barely use the decision was pretty easy. Will I bring it back for the winter, probably not. I listen to the news on the radio and I live feed anything else that I want to watch off the laptop. Now the problem is figuring out what to do with the big ass tv in the living room.
What will I do with all that extra money. $80 a month times 12 months equals just under a grand off probably more amusement than the tv could give me. Oh and yes that is the back of my work truck.
Off to work, need to motor through the day. Heading to Buckwallow tonight to play on the Ontario Cup course.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I'd plotted out the route a few day earlier not knowing I would be heading there for a purpose besides miles. I know I'm a neurotic planner but I normally have a reason for it, this was pure luck. Lee was gung ho for the ride also.
It's been awhile since I've ridden a completely new route so I thought maybe, just maybe I might see some things I normally wouldn't. Yes sir, I was out Madone Gnome spotting. This fabled carbon fiber creature has been hard to find the last couple weeks.
Lee and I headed up a route that I've taken before to Washago. The great perk of the way we were going, zero traffic. We pretty much road side by side the whole time. No pictures of this section. It was flat farm fields, oh and I forgot also.
We rolled over the bridge at the Washago locks and what did we spot enjoying the view.
I can totally understand why he was here. I could almost be tempted to stop biking and start boating. Nah
A quick stop in Washago to top up bottles and energy.
These were not my idea. Doesn't mean I didn't have any.
Headed east on what turned into the nicest section of the ride. Copper's Falls road runs parallel to what else. A river with lots of different waterfalls.
I'm going to plan another ride out this way again just because of this road. Out of the corner of our eye what did we see.
It's the Madone Gnome!!! He was pissed because this is what his former owner traded him in for. It was a pretty sweet ride though. Right down to the John Deere emblem on the hood. We managed to pulled the Madone Gnome away from the car before he tried to slice all the tires. I think he is holding a grudge.
Back out on the road we set a pretty good pace into some great roads.
At this point we had still ridden side by side with no worries and zero traffic. This was right about the time Lee said we haven't' had a car come from behind us for the last 25 minutes. I swear no more than 20 seconds later some idiot in a big ass redneck pickup truck got right up behind us and pulled around right at the last minute. Why?? Just to be an ass!!! Of course two of his buddies were right behind him and one had to crank up his diesel truck as he passed. Hmmm note to self.
Never talk about lack of traffic.
As we got closer to our destination we spotted another strange thing on the side of the road.
Bad oats kicked out by the cows? The left overs from some crop circles? A northern speed bump? Not sure but the Madone Gnome was pretty interested.
We rolled into our destination. Things are a little different in this area. You will never see the normal animal crossing signs. Ever.
Unlike the city dwelling animals, all northern ones ride bikes.
Lee attempts to imitate. I'm not sure how efficient that position is going into the wind?
Down time now for the 40 minute drive home. Erin could you please fix your radio? We watched it scan for a radio station for a steady minute with no success. We are north but not that north.
It was a great route and I recommend it to anyone. Just under 3 hours for the 89 km. Well it's off to work.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Why am I talking about the weather. We have a race this weekend. What kinda crap are we going to get this time. So far for the O-cups we have had 2 with mud and rain, one that was so cold that warm ups were pretty much non existent. Oh did I mention that it snowed that race. Now I will say London was perfect, wait ya it was hot and it hadn't been hot yet so many felt it. I won't even get into the other races.
Well right now the weather looks like it's been revised from a couple days ago. Why would it change. Because it was looking way to nice. Now, straight rain till race day. Does anyone remember last year??? Of course the other weather site contradicts the first one saying sun with rainbows and butterflies with rivers made of chocolate. How can scientist really honestly say that they can map out the weather 50 years a head when they can barely get it right 50 minutes a head???
I've always said that I love racing in the worst conditions but I usually mean this after we have had a bunch of races in great conditions. Some great conditions would be nice. Spending longer cleaning my bike on race day than the actual race is getting to be a little much. Am I whining?? Yes I am!!!!
Since I've yet to ride the course, heard it's similar to last year, I'm planning on going up for their weekly series on Thursday and then again Saturday. I've already opted to a much more aggressive tire regardless of the predicted weather because there seems to be a lot more roots this year. Last year I ran the XCR muds (it was muddy though) and the little loss on the double track was made up with grip on the slick rocks etc etc.
Back to last night's ride. It was probably one of the most low key rides we have ever done. Why, who knows. Of course it had to come to an end in the last km where everyone opened up to sprint for the cars. Scott took the lead but got held up at the log crossing where Watson jumped over it on the inside to take the lead. Jacob took an alternate route through the former trail where logging happened. I followed. The intensity was nuts. Out of our side all you saw were small sticks flying everywhere. At least there were no derailleurs to take out. Andrew proved why he is one of the best riders in Canada by smoking it past us. Of course our short cut almost worked. Had I felt really aggressive I could have cut Scott off and put him into the trees. I'm saving that for Sunday!!! Another fun Monday ride.
Time for more coffee and the real job.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Today started out great. Up early, full o energy. The plan was to get to buckwallow early to put in a couple hours on the road before meeting up with the club at 11 for a training ride on next weekend Ontario cup course. Got there with lots of spare time. Talked to mike, owner of buckwallow who helped me with a great loop. I really don't like riding the mountain bike on the road. It's boring and slow but this route was nice .
Great scenery in cottage country.
I didn't get any pictures off them but I saw more random doors leaning against trees. Why? I'm still wondering. He other interesting part of the ride was some of the homes. There were a few huge monster homes but it was the shacks that had me concerned. Every once in a while I swore I heard a banjo. This would be right about the perfect time to pick up he pace to tempo.
It was a great mix of pavement and gravel road with some rolling hills. Just under two hours with the quick section of single track before heading back to the parking lot. Erin was the first of the crew from mcc to show up. Apparently everyone was running behind. Well we can head out for a lap till they show
Buckwallow had filled up quickly with everyone planning on the same thing of a few laps. Started out with a sane pace. The first section of trail is fast and flowy. No pictures sorry. Out to the double track spinning easy. A quick split on q section that we do at 130 so Erin decided to meet me at the other end instead of following. Things are still good. There insnt much climbing at buckwallow but this is the meanest area for rocks (which is pretty much the trail) and lots of roots. The one rare climb is where things got messed up.
It's a short steep climb with a plateau between the roots and the rock face. I went first I got up with no problem. Everything at buckwallow is about the right line and momentum. If you only have one you are not going to make it. Erin had the line but lost a bit of traction on the roots. She got stalled up and fell to her left. Everyone says don't reach to catch yourself. Of course it's q natural reaction to reach. Unfortunately what she reached for was rocks and roots. Not good. A few minutes of catching her breath and the decision was easy to start walking back.
A couple quick assessments from people, looks like we are hospital bound. A couple more team mates showed up at the right time. A few phone calls were made and Erin was loaded up in my car for the trip to Orillia hospital.
I've seen more than my share of hospitals. At least this time it's not for me. I'm currently typing this on my iPhone. Technology is great. It's better than watching the infomercials they are showing on the tv. I've ordered a juicer already.
I'm doubting I will get back on the bike this afternoon. I'll try to get a few more miles in Tomorrow since it's back to training. Will finish this post tomorrow with pictures.
Poor Erin broke her radius. Season is pretty much done for her. What sucks is that Buckwallow and her home course of Mountainview were the next two races and the best suited to her riding. Technical. She is a stubborn and determined woman, you will probably see her out doing something sooner than expected.
Tim and Ben finished up in the top 30. Lots of race reports up in the next few days. Me, I'm off to Buckwallow to ride the Ontario Cup course for a few hours today. More on that later. Gotta run.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Headed out to my favorite climbing area, Vasey line area, and turned west. The plan was some big climbs followed by some tempo work on the flats roads then return home through the hills. Yep that's what I did. The sluggish legs started to open up pretty quick.
Vasey line has some of the best signs on it, like this one.
What goes up gets to go down, quickly.
Another sign I saw but this one still disturbs me every time. The pedestrian with no feet sign. I've never ever seen someone walking without feet. Is this a fabled creature that only comes out at certain times? With no feet I can understand the warning, it probably couldn't go very fast. Could I be spending to much time thinking about things???
So with no sightings I kept things rolling. One nice sign happened to be the sun. I have yet to get a real tan line on my legs this year. More so because this summer has sucked to this point. It was down right hot on the ride, it was awesome.
Finished up the ride on the rail trail for a cool down. Lots of people enjoying our 3rd day of summer. The next sign I saw would be this.
The sign that I have lots of work to do this weekend. My big pile of dirt. It's interesting that the dirt showed up right around the same time that some of my friends have left the country(Quebec) for the National Championships. HMMM Good luck to everyone out there. Heard it's a great course.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I figured it was best to stay away from gears and with a 34-16 mix that pretty much forces me to spin out the legs when on the roads. Ya road on a mountain bike is boring but very effective. I'm still playing a little damage control from the cramping session on Sunday. Since I normally don't cramp it's a bit of a new thing to deal with. The legs did feel a little sluggish but will probably open up a bit more by tomorrow.
The ride was nothing to exciting, little pavement, little dirt and a little bit of fun.
Played around on some of the rocks along Georgian Bay. Fun just trying to find the line and hit a couple low drop offs. No hucking a 4 foot drop on a carbon hardtail.
Finished up today's ride with some self abuse with the foam roller and the stick. The self inflicted body pain never seems to end. Speaking of abuse. Talked with Heather, one more day of easy rides then the abuse starts up. Buckwallow is pretty much a go. The even remote thought of me racing at the Hardwood summer 8 hour is out the window. Heather took care of that one as I'll be hanging in her pit ding feed for both her and Jason. Cooler full of beer for me??? Maybe!! Camera? For Sure.
The only other big thing happening. The Hot August Nights 24 hour team is set and registered. Some how I ended up playing captain. How, why, are they crazy giving me the power, did this happen. Anyways here is the team. For those of you up to date on the National and Provincial side of racing most of these names will be familiar.
Ya the team is a little scary BUT we will be down on the Friday night taking in the Misfit 48 hours dance party and drinking session. We are trying to hook up with Robert Simpsons for some help in hydration. We will be having lots of fun. Just to clear the air we are registered in the Expert division, come on now. There will be no singlespeeds in our site. They will be saved for the Monday after. The whole grand plan is to have fun, drink some beer and get Watson a winner's jersey which considering his racing career he has yet to get in a 24 hour race. Think he has won every other one out there.
Well the tour team time trial is on, way to distracting.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
First off, patio at a local restaurant with a really good not the right choice dinner last night mixed with a beer or two. Aww that was followed by a couple more when I got home and a little damage of a bag of potato chips. This is my last week of bad food so I had to binge. Woke up and had a halfway close to good breakfast along with lots of coffee. I was feeling the results of last nights poor decision. Anyways, loaded the car and I was off. 2 hours later I rolled into Ganaraska forest. Lots of cars. Nice, the numbers are increasing which is great for Dan.
Did the normal run around and get registered. AWWW Tim is here. First question from me, Aren't you supposed to be in Quebec??? He is saving it for next weekends National Championships. I started to see a few more really fast people. Hmmm it's going to hurt a bit more than I thought. Got a half decent warmup in and rolled up to the line. It's hot, I'm not sure what heat is anymore. I saw sweat. A race without kneebands or arm warmers??? My fashion accessories.
So the talk started at the line, lets not go to hard off the start. This wasn't me this was everyone saying this. Hey I'm cool with not killing it right off the get go. It was funny Dan had predicted the first rider to finish up around the 3 something hour mark. We'll get to that one soon enough.
So it's go time and everyone does take it pretty easy. Well sort of, I end up setting the pace and I keep it pretty mellow for about 5 minutes then get into my happy place pace. My legs were not to happy at this pace but I kept at it. Backed down a hair on the hills but kept the pace high every where else. Tim, myself and another rider from Coach Chris put a gap into the group. Right about this time this is when I did this. How I don't know.
I didn't lose a bottle but it did make things a little awkward pulling a bottle out of the jersey every time I wanted to drink. I dropped the pace and ended up joining in with the other group. It's early be smart. I have know idea where I am for strength.
I hung with this pack of 7-8 till just before the 1st feed zone when they road away for me. This put me out of the top ten, I felt a little shitty but just kept pedalling. Just after the feed zone roughly 18 km into the 79km a rider rolls in behind me. "How do you like my trails?" So I knew he was local but called back" who's that?" Zach Wheeler, Awww makes sense. We rode together for about 5 minutes chatting about this and that. Hey cool I'm going to have someone to ride with. Zach and I battled back in forth at the first race at Horseshoe. Well until.
I made a bad turn and got kicked of the course letting Zach get ahead of me. This was just about the time he was telling me that he built most of the trails here. That's fantastic. Zach is a former top Elite racer. So right as he finished up his thought about the trails he slammed hard into a tree. Enough that it rung his bell and cracked his helmet (saw the crack after the race). A quick are you ok are you ok and a response of "ya I'm good keep going" and I did. He was more shaken than anything. So on that note at the first race Zach and I were climbing right about the same time in the race as this one when his wheel basiclly froze solid. Hmmm am I bad luck for Mr. Wheeler?
Now right after that I started to feel really good, why I don't know. I was climbing fast felt very strong all of a sudden. The pace picked up. A lot. It wasn't long before I started to catch riders from that pack of 7-8. I went passed them fast enough that they couldn't grab wheel to recover. I slowly made my way up to 5th overall. Things are good, Kept at it into the 3rd feed zone feeling really good. Not to far after this we made our way through the start/finish area on my return out for the final loop which ended up being 28 km I got a chance to gauge my gap on other riders. I was in a pretty comfortable place.
This is just about when things started to change. My shoulder was starting to get mad at me. All the way down my arm. The next thing to start was a little twinge in my leg. Both I can deal with. Just back down a little on the climbs. Aww the climbing, both legs just started to scream at me. Loudly!!! Not good. Not sure what set off the cramps. Started to push a little more fuel into my body and back down even more. To the point that I walked one of the steep switchback climbs. I was always looking back to see if anyone was gaining. It was always clear even though the sun breaking through the trees did play a little trick on me the odd time.
I knew that my pace dropping that much someone would gain on me. First up was Zach. He checked to make sure I was ok then went. Another rider who I had past 40 minutes or so earlier had full recovery and went by pretty quick. He ended up finishing 3rd in the under 40. It wasn't to much longer when another pack caught me. Back to 10th overall, No worries. The cramping was under control and I was into some flat singletrack now and could still moter pretty good. This is when I noticed how low on fluid I was running. Low enough to make me nervous.
Who's that, it's Dan with a mini feed. I stopped pretty fast, sat down filled up my two bottles, said thanks and got back on my bike. The next 10 minutes or so was spent doing controlled fluid intake. My cramping settled, strength started coming back and I started to pick it up a bit. I was still about 10 km from the finish. I started feeling good enough to catch one of the riders that had went by me earlier.
After the 3rd feed I started to look at the time on my watch. first time we were 3 hours in then 3.5 hours then 4 hours. Dan must have thought we were all on epo or something Anyways, I was very happy when I saw what was the 1st feed zone and we were directed the other way. Nice. I kept pushing and crossed the line 9th overall and 5th in the division. Lots of fast riders there which made me happy with my performance minus the time lost from cramping.
So a couple off notes.The 2nd place rider from Summer Solstice was there today. I knew it was Stu but didn't saw much till after the race when Big Ring Craig introduced me. We chatted about the 24hr/12hr I will say that I did want make sure I beat him. Sorry I know, just some minor revenge. For anyone wanting to ride the Ganaraska I would highly recommend Paul's Dirty Enduro. Congrats to Tanya and Craig for getting up on that podium again. Big Ring Racing domination???
Heather knows I raced, a couple mellow recovery rides then I'm back at it. One other thing. Congratulations to Mr. Watson for killing it in Bromont. Heard it was a crazy course. I expect a race report up shortly from him, Check it out. I think he is still the National Overall leader heading into the finals. A wonder if Zandstra and Kabush are getting a little nervous. Between the elbows and the moustache I would be.
That's it, more food. 3500 calories burned at the race today. I'm a weeeee bit hungry.
Friday, July 3, 2009
A couple hours before my ride I didn't something a normally don't do. I ate a chocolate bar. Yes, I have had them in the past but not during the work day. I actually got a bit of a sugar headache and the shakes. Well at least it worked well with me doing intervals since I was strung out.
Just proves that I'm more of a salty guy than sweet. Pretty much matches my personality. Salty equals crusty, crusty equals grumpy. Some days. Mellow day as I get prepped for the weekend. The fence is leaning more and more.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If you look real close, yes that is a pirate ship. The swans liked it also. I couldn't take enogh pictures to show the whole garden and waterfalls the owners built but just the fact of having a pirate ship in your back pond is cool.
Made my way into Orillia and down to the water front. Big Canada Day festivities, a quick ride through and I was heading North again but being a little more adventurous on the return. Started on Fairground Road until I ran out of dirt. It was cool being on roads I've never been on either driving or riding. Have to pull the cross bike out for one of these rides.
My luck did run out as fast as the pavement did and I was forced to play swerve the pot holes and big rocks for a few km. I kept at the turn left as an option and finally made my way into Coldwater. Found a bunch of new paved roads along with a couple good climbs that I'll integrate into training rides. Finished up heading up Vasey line hill before the turn up Gratrix road heading for home.
3.5 hours put a smile on my face. No rain, very little traffic, new places to play. On the race front. I'm on the fence about the Ganaraska Marathon race this Sunday. Of course the fence is tipped over.
Back to the grind.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I headed out right up the middle heading towards Coldwater. I was prepped for two hours but the wall of black way off that I was pedaling towards was probably not going to let that happen. Every once in a while I was hearing a little rumble. Now here was the weird part. About 30 minutes into my ride I felt a whack on my helmet. No cars around, on my road bike so I can't blame it on the trees, what the hell. I felt it again. It wasn't just a whack but more of a scrap. Looked back, it was a bird trying to take me out. It was weird, it was squawking away and started to move in again. A couple waves of the arm kept it off and then it turned away.
What the hell??? Was it a bird that drank a little to much whiskey??? I didn't try and rob the nest, was it telling me to turn around away from the storm I was riding towards?? I started staring at the power lines at every bird. I had red wing blackbird start to move and fly just above me. Ya I started pedalling a little harder, what is there max speed? I was pushing mid 40"s km/h hoping that it wasn't that fast. No second attack. Of course I wish I would have had my camera, the rare time I leave with out it.
Kept rolling keeping my head a little lower for the next few km before heading north again. I was a little concerned as those walls of black seemed to be getting closer to on another. Managed to only see a few drops when I was 5 minutes from the house. Not the total time I would have liked to have seen but better than sitting on my ass eating potato chips and drinking a beer. Yes I did do that late last night.
Today is a great day off. Happy Canada Day.
Going to try and ride around the clouds again today, hopefully in that 3 hour range. Have yet to decide if it will be road, or a mix of road and trail yet. It's early, I've barely finished my first cup of coffee, my brain is still sleeping in. I won't forget my camera today.