Monday, August 31, 2009

ID the body

Got a great present this weekend. My little sister cares. That or she wants to find out if it's me dead on the road so she can take a couple of my bikes. Ok maybe not the last option. This is something that everyone who rides alone should be wearing.

It came in this shiny metal box. I like shiny things.
This is the smartest simplest thing to carry, has name, 3 contact phone numbers and religious views, mine informs them that the best views are from my bike so they can do what ever it takes to get me back on it.

I've always had a few of those what if thoughts out on long rides, this usually happens just after I've been buzzed by a car. My normal supplies for a ride are 2-3 bottles, $20, iPhone, and a repair kit. Time to add this to the list. With the amount of time I spend training alone why didn't I have one of these sooner. Thanks Jenn.

Here is a link to the site, ROAD ID.

It's Monday, single speed ride tonight, stories to be told. It's also 4 days till holidays!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

half good half bad

Ok so I'll be honest, the poll was just there for kicks. Like George W. it didn't matter how you voted I was going to do my own thing and win regardless of the results. Unfortunately for me I didn't get to try and run the world and blow things up for 8 years. This weekend had a few highlights and a few crap parts into it.

First of let's start with Saturday. Got up early to finally, or so I thought get the hitch install in on the work truck. You have no idea how frustrating it's been. It's only a Honda Element but the clowns at the place I was getting it done have messed this up 3 times and it's been over a month since the first appointment. Only one guy at that store has a brain in his head. Unfortunately he doesn't work weekends.

Drop the truck off and had an Anthem in the truck. Planned on meeting up with the Saturday ride which would be pretty low key. It was raining. What's new. Started to head towards the downtown by ways of the trail that runs behind the high school. Yep I'm getting old because I don't remember it looking like this.

Gave me a chance to work on some cross skills. Ok maybe not. I won't vent about the shit show that happened with the truck, lets just say that I had to race back to the store, empty the whole thing which someone could have given me the heads up the first couple times it was in reinstall everything after my ride. Oh and I went to put a ball on it today and it it hits the bumper. They didn't even check. Trust me when I say I'm pissed. It's not brain surgery.

Anyways, done venting, on that at least. Still made it downtown before 9 and waited patiently. Yes I can do that, sorta. Ok no I kept riding around. No one showed. Well lets just start riding and see how I feel. Body was still mad at me so it turned into a ride a little stop and visit random shops then ride a little more eventually ending up at Georgian Cycle. Ever since I moved to Waubaushene I don't get over to see Dave as much, I've worked on my bikes more in the last year than sine Dave started helping me out with gear. Things are good over there, season is trimming down. He had to pull out his own bikes to hang on the wall so it didn't look so vacant.

Of course this came into conversations about what I'm doing for bikes next year. I'm keeping both Anthem's. I like them way to much. I did have buyers for both. Sorry guys. Big reason is I want a new road bike for next season and possibly a hardtail. Out comes the catalog. Yep it's picked.

In the end the ride was about 3 hours but maybe half of that was actually moving. My body hinted for me to take it easy so I did. Spent the rest of the day napping and watching movies and drinking beer. That was the last ride on the Anthem's till Michigan.

Today was a different story. Woke up after lots of rest, good breakfast and I was off with a route in mind. It was cold, it was the cold that had me wearing arm bands, leg bands, a vest and full length gloves. Wonderful. It felt more like late October than late August. I saw two signs promoting fall fairs on my ride. Not impressed.

Made my way through to Penetang and then headed north to Awenda Park. I really do enjoy this loop. Steady climbs, quiet roads, good pavement.

The rain came on and off not enough to actually get wet, just enough to let you know that it was coming down. The wind on the other hand let you know it was there the whole time. Regardless of the weather, I was smiling. My body seemed to be back to normal. Heart rate was matched to the effort. I guess the beer did the fix. I was climbing the way I normally do which made me smile.

Coming out of the park was great. It's a 40 zone and I was able to tuck in behind a car. More smiling. Turned right and headed towards the water and Tiny Beaches road. Great winding road which led me to Balm Beach. A quick stop to top up my bottles. The place was dead.

The store owner said that the place has been dead most of the summer. I guess not just the cyclists have been having a crap summer. Continued south making my way to Elmvale by way of the long route. At the 3.5 hour mark I stopped at Coffee Time for a coffee and a cookie. MMMM cookies, as for coffee, if I could have coffee in my water bottles I probably would. Ok I can but it would be cold and cold coffee is gross.

To this point I had some rollers for about 20 km's of the ride. My plan was to head to the hills of Oro Medonte on all that fresh new pavement. Let the hills begin. Body still felt great. Zigged and zagged to get as much climbing in as I could without back tracking to much. Some good steady grinds.

Of course this also meant I was getting closer to home. It was looking at the time to hit the number I wanted. Rolled back into the house with 5 hours in and 153 km's. Kept things on the low side of zone 2. Body felt great, the right tired not the way I felt on Thursday to Saturday. My training decisions seemed to be the right ones.

Some interesting stats on my ride. 15 runners and one cyclist who happened to be a triathlete. I saw her twice and both times I debated about turning around after her. Then it was the thought of a triathlete, sorry to those I just offended. She was cute. I was shocked at how many people were out running. It's so painful compared to cycling. Oh and I get to coast going down hills.

Am I disappointed about not racing this weekend. Not really. Watson called me lazy, actually I put in twice the hours on the bike today than I would have if I'd raced. I was a little productive around the house. The next two weeks I'm barely around and all those domestic things still need to be done.

I'm feeling more confident in my fitness for Michigan after this ride. The countdown has begun. There was even more happening this weekend but my fingers are tired so check back in tomorrow.

Congratulation to Lee for winning our division today. Also to Andrew, check out his site for the run down. I'm assuming Jacob and Ben will have something up also. Peter?? Not sure. Jeff, Kris

Saturday, August 29, 2009

bad math

Well I added up the numbers and then times them by 6 to get the square root of pie and it pretty much came up with what I thought was going to happen. I'm fore going provincials. Lots of factors came into play on this decision. Actually there are lots of factors on what my training will be like this weekend also.

Work has been absolutely crazy these last few weeks and it always gets worse when I get ready for holidays. To add to the challenge, one of the guys was on holidays last week. How does that work, isn't the boss supposed to go first and everyone else gets the left overs?? Either way I've felt tired this week and could even see it in my heart rate versus effort during rides. I rode last night in Copeland and ended up shutting the effort down and just worked on technical riding for an hour.

That is the biggest influence, more than the weather and travel. The last thing I need to do is push my body beyond, not this close to the end. Of course as I look out at the crap weather I'm not disappointed. I wouldn't have been able to preride the course, looks like they will probably have it shut down to save it for tomorrow. The Chico guys have had this evil black cloud hanging over them this season. Actually every race organizer has been fighting the weather.

My training is a play it by ear on how I feel which means intensity may or may not happen, indoor riding could happen if the rain really hammers and lots of rest on the couch will definitely happen.

I'll at least be productive and start packing gear since next weekend is a write off with a wedding. Looks like the boys will be going go carting on the Friday night. HMMM I wonder if they want to see my drivers abstract before they give me the keys to a go kart.

Time to get moving, attempt number 4 to get a trailer hitch put on my my work truck this morning. Bringing a bike and heading out for the Saturday morning group ride. It's been a while since I've been out with them, they ride pretty low key so I'm bringing one of the Anthem's to make it at least a little harder. Plus if I get bored or tired I can just drift off into the bush.

Photos? Maybe? More tomorrow? Definitely. I may still rob a beer store.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The count down has begun

For what, Christmas??? Nope for Michigan. I spent a few hours last night tearing down both Anthem's and giving things a good cleaning, checking everything with a fine tune comb. There is a lot more planning for this race than anything I've done in the last few years. More so the fact that I'm limited on space of the station wagon. I also won't be able to make a phone call and have Mom stop by the house and pick it up anything I forgot. I will be bringing a great mechanic to this race. Jacob will be pulling double duty of feed/mechanic and honorary beer drinker at 3am.

It's 2 weeks till the race but less than that for departure. Wow, the season has just flew by. I swear I was sitting in this same spot typing 5 months ago thinking wow it's a long season but it went by fast.

Once the race is done and over with I will take on Peter's contest at full force. Big Ring has attempted to smack talk me but his placement in this contest is pretty much equal to how he places in a race. Back, way back. Maybe you should just sit and drink your Kool-Aid in the corner.

I actually don't care if I win the contest even though I would probably put the bike frame up on ebay and donate the money to charity, or bail. Looks like it's a close call right now about me going out on a complete bender if I get out the door alive or racing. Both leave you feeling completely trashed the next day. Both will make you want to puke if you go to hard to fast. Only one of them could get me shot.

Undecided at this point.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

decisions decisions

Out on my ride last night I spent half the time focused on the scenery and the other half of the time debating what to do for the weekend. Headed out on the Big Chute Loop with a few extra left and right turns to put me up to a 3 hour ride.

Some of the reasons I love this route.

And reasons I added extra turns. Could hang out here all day.

Great ride except for the fact that my knees started to ache. It's not that it was a hard ride but when I got out of the sun it was down right cold. I was missing my knee bands for sure. It's that tie again when I need to start carrying both them and my arm bands.

I did see one other thing that did not amuse me, leaves on the ground, gasp!!!!!! No.

Ok so back to the other thought and that is what do I do this weekend. Ontario Cup Provincial Championships is on Sunday. So my options are race or train. I've been weighing the options heavily

Race pro's
It's fun, Intensity training, upgrade points, overall ranking, technical training. race a place I haven't been before.

Race cons
It's supposed to rain, Kelso is clay, possibility of not being able to pre ride on Saturday, Another weekend away from home and the Molly Monster. If it's rains it will turn into a running race again and I won't run at all.

Training pros
over double the hours on the bike than if I race. I can control the intensity, route.

Training cons
I'll be tired.

I've raced every weekend for the last month and this would be one more race that I would have to travel and stay overnight down south. Heather has offered me her place which is close to the venue. That does make it a bit better. Right now I have work commitments first thing Saturday morning, finally getting my trailer hitch put on the Element. Ok I'm hoping it will be done.

It would mean racing home packing the car and racing to Kelso hoping that the weather holds off to get a few laps in of the course. Then Sunday hang out in the morning race then deal with cottage traffic heading back home Sunday afternoon. The 407 is mint and I'd miss most of the traffic but it also means having Mom having to take the Molly Monster for another weekend.

Speaking of the dog, the following two and half weeks she will be at Mom's more than she will be home. Next weekend I'm at a wedding in Ottawa, I come back for two days then I'm heading to Michigan for 5 days. No Molly. This also brings up the travelling. 10 plus hours of driving next weekend followed by 20 hours plus of driving a few days later with the trip to Michigan and back. . Do I really want to sit in the Audi in traffic again this weekend. hmmm

Now the training weekend spiel. No it's not a cake walk, actually the race option would be the easier weekend. What my total hours of riding for the weekend if I race is equal to what I would be doing on Saturday alone. Heather sent me options for both the race weekend or training and right now Saturday is a puke ride with some serious intensity. I can meet up with the Saturday morning road crew and see what type of damage I can do to them or vice versus watch my ass get dropped.

Sunday is a 5 hour endurance ride. I'm looking at things with my end goal in focus, 24 hour of Hanson Hills. What would be more beneficial for this. Of course it's a pretty simple answer. I'm not fully leaning in either direction at this point. I think the decision will be made more on Friday night. That is why I put the poll up. I may or may not be influenced by it.

What to do, what to do, I know get more coffee!!!!

decesions descesions

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The house is different now

The last week and a half I've been a little off. Holding on to a little hope but when I came home from the 24 hour race I had to accept it. She is not coming back. Oakley went missing a week ago Monday.

Oakley shedding on the couch.

I saw her a few times a week ago Sunday and since I was crashed hard not sure if she came in from her normal middle of the night bender. All last week I wander around the neighbourhood with a little hope. When I came back this past Sunday with no change I had to do what I didn't want to do. The cat dish was emptied. Even the Molly Monster has been looking around the house with a little confused look.

She had a great time for the last 12 plus years and I'm going to miss her waking me up at 3am with some present, some dead most alive.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hot August Nights cont

Some more random things about this race, 24 hour is a long time and it deserves more than one post.

Andrew Parry came for a visit, We almost convinced him to race back home and get his bike and put a few laps in. Hey there was still room on our team roster. Instead he drank beer.

One of my team mates showed up Saturday morning smelling like he was locked in the l.c.b.o over night. Ya, we gave him a few hours to sober up.

The Misfit Dance party was awesome from what I saw of it. One small problem with it. They put it at the bottom of a hill. Had they put it at the top of a really steep hill I bet they would have had ten times the amount of riders stopping. I didn't stop because I know I go down hill better than I go up and things in motion should stay in motion.

Speaking of hills, I must formally apologize to the guy I Nascar'd at the uphill corner at the half way mark of the lap. Yep that short left hand turn right above the timing tent. I saw him in the distance, I saw he was struggling a little going over the couple roots and slowing a little, I heard the derailleur shift and the chain clank a little, I watched him get stalled up to the point I was pretty sure he wasn't going to make the climb.

This was all as I came full speed out of the switch back decent right above the timing tent, shifted up at least two gears and started pinning it towards the turn, Cut in tight at the roots still accelerating, shifted again, stood up, drifted towards the riders front wheel as I stood and jammed down on the pedals, missed the fence by a few inches, missed the rider by a few more than a few inches, preyed that he had come to a stop, hammered the hill and accelerated over the top.

Now the kicker of it, as this all happens all I hear is "nice turn Earnhart", I found out tonight that that Andrew and half my team were all at the fence line when this happened and saw the whole thing. I'm sorry to who ever it was, had I not kept on that I think I would have put us both into the fence.

I reminded myself that having a set of wheels mounted with mud tires at all time is a great idea but actually bringing them to a race is even better. My second lap I was forced to run up a few of the hills because of complete lack of traction.

Andrew Watson and his bike weight about the same as I do. Roughly 154 lbs. Someone should feed him.

I'm still wondering what would have happened if any of the Norco riders saw what we did to him.

Adam and Sean Ruppel have huge shoulders. These two guys have had the roughest season but every time still put on one hell of a show. When the rain came down in the early afternoon Sean asked me for a job. You can have one only when you start laying out crappy race courses.

This was an awesome course, I said it earlier, I really wish I would have been racing solo. Great flow, lots of single track. The funny thing with it was there was a huge section of double track. Maybe a 1.5 km as you hammered back towards the timing tent. This was actually fun. Big ring pain type fun.

My lights like usual were amazing. I feel spoiled sometimes on how bright they are. Wait till you see whats coming. More on that later.

On my first lap I have never ever seen that many mechanical issues. I think I passed more riders on the side of the trail fixing things that I passed riding.

Passing was amazing, everyone was really good about it. That's what makes it fun. The level of riders is pretty vast.

Speaking of that, a comment that kinda caught me off guard came from a woman standing beside me in transition during my first lap. Andrew and I were smack talking a little and when he decided to nicely reposition my bike I made one hell of a scene. Of course everyone is looking but this woman said something in the lines of that's a dirty move. I gave the really short story of who Andrew was and this little team rivalry thing happening . Then she said something that caught me off guard a little. "it's pretty cool the fact that some of the best racers in Canada are riding with people who started almost yesterday" And why??? To have fun. It was one of those reality check things reminding me why I do this. It's fun. It doesn't mater if you are fast or not, it's fun.

I've learned that in a team race I can live on blueberry muffins and Infinit.

Albion Hills food people had the best coffee of any venue I've ever raced. For those that saw me at 3am talking at a million miles an hour you will agree that it did it's job. mmmm coffee!!!

I had at least 10 people ask me where the Molly Monster was, I know I should have brought her.

There are already talks of doing this again next year.

There are different grades of balloons and some break and some do not. I found out that the ones I bought don't break. Lesson learned.

Sleeping does not happen during a 24 hour event even on a big team.

Most of my teammates including myself could have fit in the small sized t-shirt that everyone entered gets. That's pretty bad. Frail little cyclists.

I think that is all for the moment, maybe I can make this turn into three posts. Probably not so something new and exciting for tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

24 Hours of Hot August Nights

Were to start, from the beginning. Skipped the thoughts on heading down Friday night. Crazy week, wasn't ready, hell this was the least ready for any race this year. I still had clothes to pack, food to pack etc. Mellow night with a visit with Jason and Heather.

Up early, good breakfast and i was south bound to Albion Hills. The weather? Actually not that bad, for now Got to the venue, did my captain duties, plates, race order etc etc. Time to play.

Just before start time the normal conditions for the 2009 Ontario race season showed, it started to rain. Jacob was running first lap. Now back up a few days, remember our mind set of immature tactics for this race. Hey just because it's a bunch of Elite and Expert racers doesn't mean they don't play a little dirty. It started right off the line

We were all acting pretty good till about a minute out.

This was 30 seconds before the start, right before Stu (Norco) and Jacob (Trek/Hardwood) started beating at each other. Yep the cheap shots are starting, It's going to be a long race. Stu came through first overall, unfortunately Jacob found a great section to try and nose wheelie and ended up coming in 4th overall on the first lap.

Next out was Ben and Zach. Zach had a lead heading out then then managed to put out the fasted of the whole race on this lap. The boy was moving. Ben had a great lap.

This is where the the cheap tricks and the fear that Norco had started to show. I'm going out the same time as Mr. Watson. He would have a head start on me. Ya I really really think he would need it. But this was the worst part. Instead of just riding off to do his lap he stopped, moved my bike out and away from the rack and laid it down. He was nice enough to put it down gently with the derailleur up but after the lap and closer inspection I swear I saw Shimano cleat imprints into the carbon.

Anyways got on my bike and pretty much gave it right from the start. This is my first bought of intensity in 2 weeks. Ya I was expecting things to hurt. It was pretty good though, a bit of lapped traffic but overall a clean lap just over 42 minutes. Hand off the timing chip and I'm off for some downtime. Ya totally new concept for me.

Things were going good when Mother Nature decided to say screw you little cyclist people and open up the rain clouds. It didn't rain long but long enough to turn the course into a mud pit. Let's just say that the flash backs to Summer Solstice started showing up. Our riders were dong pretty good in the rain but we suffered a broken chain which dropped up back to third. No worries still many hour to go.

I rolled up to transition a few hours later for my lap. Who seems to be there, that Watson fella this time trying to block my bike with his. See and we thought it would be us doing the cheap parlor tricks to get an advantage. This was the first of my night laps, things were still slick coming down some of the double track sections. Dry tires were not a great choice but managed to slide around the course upright.

The first highlight of the night, we could see stars, no rain woo hoo. The course started to dry up Bikes were coming in cleaner. Unfortunately Norco had a pretty big gap on us by this point and it was going to be hard to gain it back. We caught the Impala/3Rox team of Cranked a few hours earlier to put us back in 2nd place.

My third lap I just shook my head after it. I totally forgot how to ride a bike. I bumped at least a half dozen trees, miss shifted going into switch back climbs where it forced me off the bike and running the climb. Oh then there was the endo over a root drop off. Ya how I managed to put my shoes on before this lap makes me wonder. Managed to get things back in check on the second half of the lap and was in in 47 minutes. I think my technical skills are similar to my legs and take a little longer to get firing most days.

Unfortunately at this point I had only been over to the Misfit dance party for a few minutes before the race and only while blasting through on a lap. It was 4am the temptation was there but the thought of actually getting a little sleep overwhelmed those other thought. I came up with a really good layout in the back of the station wagon with a little bed on one side and gear storage on the other. It was better than the tent.

At the mark Norco was a lap up on us and we were half a lap up on Cranked. Not much is going to change now. The course dried up and lap times began to drop and the time left was counting down. Hmmm we need to start something soon. Our late night attempt at water balloons attacks of the Norco trailer failed when they wouldn't pop. They just bounced, there was only one concussion. We will need to come up with a great plan.

Went out on what would be my last lap around 10am. Time to leave the legs out there. Hammered the first half of the course at a pretty hard pace when I caught up with one of the Hardwood Devo riders. J.D. your keeping up with me for the rest of the lap, alright. I'm not sure who pushed who harder? The big double track sections he tucked into my draft and we kept pushing one another in the single track. He was pushing good. We crossed the line with J.D. puling a 52 minute and me with a 44 minute. To bad I didn't catch him earlier. This kid is fast when you push him a little.

With the time ticking down on one more effort of revenge my little evil mind started. Hey Andrew is doing last lap. That was all it took to get the whole team on board. We all took our spots on the top of the hill. With a little help from an unnamed event organizer (Sean Ruppel) the stage was set for the next few photos.

There were no Norco riders to be found anywhere and Cory Hancock from the 3 Rox was smart to just stay out of it and let Andrew get what he deserved. There are no bruises in places that are visible.

The race finished up with Norco taking the win, us in 2nd and Cranked in third. Here are the full results. It was a great weekend of riding and a few beers were drank. There will be some stories to tell tonight on the Monday night something ride that will include that shady Norco rider.

In the end it was a great event. Adam and Sean put on a great show. Some riders who bailed on the race missed out on an amazing event. One of the best courses, kinda wish I was solo at this one. That's one more weekend gone in the count down to the grand finalle of the 2009 season.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

words of motivation

Since I ended up becoming the team dictator (captain) for this weekends excitement I thought it might be important to have some good one liners of motivation.

It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winnings winning. Fast and the foolish

It's not worth winning if you don't win big, The evil bastard coach from the Mighty Ducks

If your not first your last. Ricky Bobby's father

If all else fails all get into the win one for the gipper (Jeremy) speech.

Time to roll out, pictures, reports, hardware?? will all be up on Sunday night.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Almost time for the fun to begin

Last nights right was put on hold by a very convincing storm cloud. We had a tornado warning for our area. Ya that's a pretty good reason to stay off the bike. It was great though the grocery stores were empty.

I used the time to be productive. Weather for the weekend is exactly what should be expected. They are calling for rain all weekend and that brings back flash backs to Summer Solstice. I talked to a few team mates yesterday and they mentioned they were bringing their single speeds, just in case. Great idea. At least it's easier to run in the mud with than my Anthem. I'm almost inclined to bring my cross bike.

I did spend a little more than 30 seconds getting it ready, the chain runs straight!!! There is only one gear on the back. It's amazing how proper spacers work. I'm kinda in confusion on what to bring for food etc. This 10 person team thing will be something new for me on that side of it.

Pack Beer check,
some food check
a couple bikes check
pack beer check
a few race kits check
lights check
beer check
pop up 10x10 tent

I think that's all I need, not sure if I will be partaking in the Friday night festivities at this point. Heather and Jason are staying at my place this weekend and using it as a jump off point for some coaching sessions. Either way I think I will be having a few beers tonight.

Time for work

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Can't find it when you're looking

Because of the 24 hour this weekend Heather has gently persuaded me to put a long ride in during the week. I think the ratio of laps ridden to beers being consumed will not balance out a good weekend of training. Well after a late morning stop at Starbuck's with Andrew to set some rules about what is allowed and what isn't the evening ride plans were set. Oh as for the rules, I suggest other racers walk around with main coats on at all times to start.

The plan, park at Copeland Forest in search of of the infamous berms and continue by as much trail as possible across Horsehoe Valley eventually making it to the the 8th line grid for a loop and the return. With the start time though it meant a couple hours of night. Perfect.

Met up with Andrew at 6 and he was already injured before we started. A random (straticgically) placed bee's nest sent one of it's warrior's to try and put Norco's fast guy on the slow list. He missed his target of the shifting finger and stung him on his forearm. I conveniently was not there at that time and I have an alibi to prove it.

It wasn't long until we started climbing. Yes Copeland and climbing go hand in hand. Remember the 1st Marathon race 7500 ft of climbing in 55km. I couple fell my legs were still not recovered from the weekend but the last thing you show your competition is your weakness. I think the huffing and puffing killed my attempts of covering it.

We toured around Copeland for about an hour or so searching for berms. My last two rides I found them with no problems, today, because I was looking really hard not a chance in hell. Headed out towards the 5th line and back on to some snowmobile trails before cutting through Sugar bush.

I haven't ridden this grid all season, I forgot how much fun it is. Still daylight so we could see the trail really well but that didn't stop this from happening.

Another one of those randomly (strategically) place roots just reached out and grabbed the front wheel. Hey is that poison ivy you're laying in???

This was a nice site, Not me but the fresh new pavement over my shoulder.
A loop around the 8th reminds us why we don't like to ride the 8th as much at this time of the year. It was also why we saw lots of cars at Copeland and zero cars at the 8th. The wonderful raspberry bushes. My forearms look like hell. Still fun trails.

We were at the mid way point at this point and time to fire up the lights. We still did one of those lets turn left here type return to start. When we rolled back towards Copeland we got some strange looks from all the rider drinking beer at the back of their cars. Buy some lights, ride longer!!! So I'll say it before he spreads rumours about what didn't really happen.

Coming down one trail system there was a big rock pile, huge rock pile to be precise. Andrew was leading, stalls at the top and then takes the very narrow rock ramp. I got to the top and was just about to go when out of the corner of my eye I spotted this flash of red. I stopped and looked quickly. I swear I say at least two Norco Jerseys disappear behind a tree. I think I'll walk down this. I made some excuse about not enough momentum etc etc to cover it up.

We rolled back into the car 3.5 hours after starting. Great ride, lots of climbing. My legs felt good by about an hour into the ride and my night riding eyes are back for this weekend. Much better than spending the time on the road.

So the team for this weekend.

Brendan Matheson
Ben Dawson
Jacob McClelland
Tristan Spurr
Colin Scott
Scott Irwin
Chris Wong (may have bike issues)
a possible mystery Trek rider

I 've heard that Peter is putting a team together now too to add into the mix in the Expert division.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It was an attempt at something a little different tonight. Put the single speed on the roof of the car and headed south to Albion Hills. They run a weekly race series that just happen to be using the Hot August Nights course for Tuesday's event. Get a couple things done at once.

My former (it abused me) race bike from last season is now my slammed together single speed. When I say slammed together I mean it. After adding the Misfit cog that Peter was so nice to bring to me on the weekend I ran into a problem. Spacing was all different so I pretty much scrambled around finding anything I could to fill in the gaps. This basically meant there were a few extra cogs shoved on the free hub. I onced over the alignment at the back and it looked not to bad. I should have spent a little more than a once over on it.

The race, it was a pretty big group for the mass start. Hammered up the start loop , long double track section and fell back to mid pack. There is something to be said about a big ring which I was missing tonight. Mr. Peter and the Lepper got ahead of me by a few feet. HMMMM can't have this.

As we hit the first climb I stood up and put a little power down. I shocked myself a little thinking my legs would scream at me at even attempted to attack a climb. A little zig and zagging and passed a dozen or so people. Didn't make a smart ass comment at all when I went past the Misfit crew. Am I growing up??? Nawww. I was more focused on the noise coming from my chain.

Kept motoring along for another km before the next climb. That's when I should have known I was in trouble. Dropped the chain but not to the inside but to the outside of the chain ring. Took a second to clue in what happened. A second in weekly race series times means half the pack when flying by.

Finally regrouped and got into the single track. All good, I think . Oh there is that sound again. Maybe another half k and we hit the next climb where I needed to stand. There she blows. Snapped it in two places, no tools, no power link, no chain break. Start walking. Race was over, rode about 10 minutes, scooter pushed a bit and coasted the rest. It was fun.

So what and why did it happen? Was it Karma telling me to have another easy day before picking things up tonight? Maybe. Was it Peter?? Is there a chip in that cog that when he feels the need to take me down he press the button and my chain disintegrates? I believe in Karma but I think this time it was Peter not wanting me to play in the sandbox of Albion Hills against his Empire. It was his fault that I was drinking way to many beers while setting up the bike Sunday afternoon. I will get my revenge. I will spend a grand total of one full beer on the repair of the single speed and one full beer on the chain alignment issue. I have the proper parts now.

On another note, Albion Hills from what I did ride looks amazing. After the mud fest of the last 24 hour you would have never known there was ever a problem. One of the sections coming up towards the timing tent previously looked like an ocean of mud around the pine trees. Now it's a buff single track switch back again. The Chico guys did an amazing job. I'm really looking forward to this weekends festivities. Apparently there is still room to register. What are you waiting for????

Epic training ride planned for tonight. With pictures

In response to Team Dicky's comment yesterday., Al Gore emailed me last night. He said that if I give him all those carbon credits I bought on Ebay and Kiiji that I can stay. I guess he is running a little short this month and was afraid he wouldn't be able to leave all the lights on in the manision this week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

win, lose or dare? Better yet double dog dare!!!

That's right I double dog dare you. Ok so what is up with me sending you to the Misfit site? Why have I pushed in such a nice gentle way with the grace of a sledgehammer in a glass room. Because Peter is doing a contest. I'll be straight out I really don't care if I win or lose. Ok let's just say that I would rather win than lose but it's more I want to do what I can to make this guy not win.

It's a lot like our team mindset for this weekend's race. Not to win but to make the Norco Factory Team loose at any cost. This could mean spiked water bottles with 80proof, bear hug tackles at the start line, waterballons attacks at 3 am. There are no rules. Speaking of the 24 hour Peter is now bringing out a team to play dirty against us. Could make for a very interesting race.

Ok back to the original point. Yes I'm typing this in the evening. This means no coffee to fuel my imagination. Yep that's right folks I'm powered by the other dark coloured drink of choice. So why am I trying to take out Team Dicky?? Boredom? naw.

I think it's like the little battle of the north and the south. The Canadians taking on the Americans. I like the Americans, they have more bombs than I do so no mater what I like them. They can blow you up wheeeellll good. I just thought that since Peter is a Canadian based company that maybe just maybe there should be a Canadian winner. Come on the Americans have taken everything from us from our trees, water, metals, gas a nd have now started into our actual important things like the Stanley Cup, Tim Hortons coffee and most of our beer companies. The only thing left is curling and Misfit Psycles. I've seen a couple cars with US plates at Glen Howard's mother's place in the last few days. HMMM we could lose him too.

So here is my poor excuse of a plea. Tell all your friends, even the ones that (gasp) don't ride bikes to come read my shit for a couple days and press the button at the bottom. Even easier tell them they can just scroll through everything, ignore all the crap I type and just push the button. Wait I'll make it even easier, I'll put the button at the top of every single post just to save them time.

In the end if you tell 3 friends and those 3 friends each tell 3 friends and so on and so on we can beat The Dicky. I promise that Avon will not knock on you door after you do this. The double dog dare is on!!!!

A little this a little that

What do do on a rest day after a very long race. Anything I want!!! Started out with the Sunday breakfast buffet with some of the MCC. Yes Andrew the club gives hugs and they go out for breakfast. Doesn't the Barrie CC suck in comparison?

Next up was damage control on the bike. At least I only had one bike to take care of.

A little inspection of the front wheel that I didn't really race on answered all my thoughts. No Stan's left, dry as a bone. It's almost amazing that I hadn't flatted sooner.

I finally got out to do one of my other most favoritist things. I hadn't put my canoe in the water this year until yesterday. Pretty bad considering I live 2 minutes from the water. This is normally something I do on a rest day. Well it's been that kind of summer.

Molly attempting to get comfortable.

She loves the canoe almost as much as me. Stopped in a few areas in the bay for her to jump in and chase the wildlife. I may not be a hunter but I'm a really good pisser offer.

Last up was a trip to my favorite restaurant. I was feeling lazy about cooking yesterday, understandable. Grabbed the fixie and spun out on the rail trail. It's a nice 45 minute round trip spin, my legs actually felt pretty good.

You can decide if this was taken before or after a beer or two on the deck.

It's single speed ride night. Speaking of that, you should click here again. There is a storey to this and I will explain more tomorrow. Tell your friends, even the non cycling ones to come here and click this WORD. Fun isn't it? There is a really really big reason why everyone should do it.

More tomorrow, back to the day to day today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mountainview 9 Hour Festival

It's funny but I was actually nervous before the race yesterday. Why?? A few reasons, first was this is the club venue. Not a big deal but racing at home is always interesting. The second thing was my concern of my legs. All week they have been feeling like shit. No power going up hill and just heavy doing day to day crap. Mountainivew is a place that the climbing hurts. I also was wanting to get my title back. Lost it last year to my then unsolved stomach problems. That is not an issue this year. Awww Last but not least I was nervous about battling this guy.

That's right folks I was taking on the Empire starting at the top. We all know what happened back at Summer Solstice. Well that is Peter's sandbox and Mountainview is mine. Don't pee in my sandbox.

Now one thing that caught me off guard. Peter was seeded number 1. Yes a Misfit ( Mr. Summers) beat me last year and apparently that is how it was transferred. I was noticing more that Thomas (club president/organizer) has been ridding a Misfit all year. Who bribed who???

There was surprisingly little smack talk before the race and moments before the start. I think it was an attempt to save as much energy as possible. It was going to be a long day with a lot of climbing. Oh and it was going to be hot, more on that shortly. Screw shortly. At 9:30 it was close to 27 degrees. Were off. I pretty much started out like I normally do, fast and hard. Wanted to be closer to the front like usual. By the mid way point of the lap I was already noticing how hot it was.

The first lap I kept the pace high (but not as high as I normally would) and put a gap into everyone in the solo division. Starting into the second lap I knew the heat was going to be an issue so I back things down a little. Nothing much happened on the next few laps except for the temperature going up. Legs were feeling good.

Around the 4-5th lap in any race I usually start to play with different lines. This is sometimes a good thing but more often a bad thing. I usually end up being bounced around, rub trees, hit rocks etc. A habit I need to break and all it is to attempt to save a few seconds a lap. Well yesterday was a reminder on why I shouldn't screw with my original line.

Coming down the creek bed decent I got bounced off the course a little and t up a rock. SSSSSS, WTF. Front tire started to loose air with the sound of a whistle. Pulled the CO2 sealant and gave it a blast. Ok it stopped but I didn't get much air in it . Start running. One note, I've been running tubeless wheels for a long time this is still a rare thing. I think the Stan's may have dried out. It was safer to run the downhill than risk breaking the bead of the tire. I was able to ride the flats. Thanks to Rob for dropping his pump.

Came into transition a few minutes slower and worked like a nascar pit. Tire was being stubborn so pulled it the wheel off my other Anthem and I was off. This was probably a good thing to have happens as I stayed smooth for the next 3-4 hours. This was also about the time I started to ride with a bottle of water in my jersey pocket. Not for my stomach but for my head. It was hot, really hot but at least there was a wind up in the fields. At this point I didn't have any splits on the other riders but had already lapped a couple. Didn't want to know anything yet.

Coming under the 4 hour mark I saw him off in the distance. PETER!!!! Mom had given me the split that he was in third and second place was just ahead of him. I resisted the urge to hammer and just maintained my pace. Surprisingly enough I caught him about the mid way point of the lap. The heat had gotten to him and he was going to pull the plug. Shitty. I'd had in the game plan from the start to lap the field and then ride the rest of the race with Peter. We finished out the lap together and I was off. When I went through the pits 2nd was there refueling. Gotta go. Brought the pace up a little for the next 2 laps and put half a lap another half lap into 2nd. The heat was taking it's toll on everyone. I still felt good.

I did manage to hit all the fun events for the bonus times. The bike limbo, well lets just say that the bar was lower than my handlebars when I rolled over quickly to try. I started at it in a track stand and thought to myself "if I even attempt to bend my body over enough to do this I will cramp so badly that I'll never get up" Back to racing. The 2 other events were no problem. The pie eating contest. Let's see 6 plus hours in, plus 30 degree temperature, a lot of climbing, can you say vomit. Didn't even consider stopping in for this one.

Every once in a while I would look at my HR monitor, a mix of seeing my pace and seeing how long into the race we were. At the 7 hour mark I was 2 laps up on everyone. I had fun and rode some sections with team riders chatting. The first thing I will say is that I never ever got bored on this course. There was so much single track and technical that you just couldn't. I pretty much smiled the whole race. I did start walking one short section of the main climb. Trying to keep my wheels going straight up a narrow snowmobile track was harder and slower than walking it. Besides that section I kept riding everything. I know the ski lift switch back climb inside and out now.

On my second last lap I did have my scare. Coming down a tough decent my hands fatigued and I lost control of the bike. Feet got unclipped, hands were barely on the bars and I'm looking at the bone breaking rocks, trees and drop off. I managed to get back under control, came to a dead stop and stared blankly for about 20 seconds thinking holly shit that was close. That was one thing about the race my hands were exhausted. Because of everything I love about it, technical single track, it was really hard on the hands. I finished up the lap not 100 percent positive on my lead and asked if it was possible for anyone to catch me if I did one more and called it. Everyone paused, ok I'm off.

Stayed conservative on the last lap, rode clean. On the last lap Lee came screaming by me but had his suspenders down, why?? no idea but it was very tempting to grab them and get a pull up the first climb. Kept the legs spinning and rolled into the finish line, I saw 2nd place buy already off his bike. I'm done, I was 3 laps up on him. Everyone lied to me. I had legs for one more lap if needed. Last lap was still under 30 minutes.

Fuel for the day was my INFINT 24 hour mix. It worked awesome. The one mistake I did make was asking for the mix to be detuned a little so I could bring in more fluids. That was fine in the peak of the day but we didn't bring the mix back up when I went back to normal intake. My last lap I started to play on the edge of energy. A good experiment for me to do with Michigan coming up in about a month.

My bike was awesome, I ran the suspension a little softer than normal and I'm happy I did, my back felt pretty good afterwards. My hands are sore this morning and so are my arms. A couple new war wounds in the shoulders from rubbing trees.

Like usual I have to say thank you so much to my Mom and Aunt for doing support/feed for me today. Things rolled smoothly like usual. Thanks to Lee for screwing around with my wheel. It was another great event. I managed to get all my heat training in in one day.

My attempts to take on the Empire were shut down by Mother Nature. I did get a couple new toys from him for my single speed. I'll need it for sure this Monday night. I think the kool-aid is spiked.

Low key day, meeting up for the all you can eat breakfast buffet with the crew shortly. I may drop my canoe in the water for the first time this year. Oh and there is beer to be drank and more food to eat.

Podium shots.

Can't tell but I'm wearing a Misfit t-shirt. Revenge from Solstice? Not really.

The tag winners. Rode with Jeff Moote a few times. Congrats to him and Ryan for 2nd place. Those Lap dogs taking 1st and 3rd. Great job

Mountainview domination in the 4 person divsion.

Brett Matthews killed it for the fastest lap. 19 minutes and some seconds. Ya fast.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Good versus Evil

That's right folks, I made myself get up a little earlier than I wanted to make sure I typed this. Actually I wanted coffee and this was a time killer while it brewed. AWWWWW sweet coffee.

Well it's race day and I will be taking on the Empire. The continued battle of good verses evil, white versus black, David versus Goliath, Luke versus Vader, gears versus no gears. I have more but I'll never get to Mountainview on time.

Bikes are ready, Legs are?????. We will see. Food last night was added with some carb loading beer. It's going to be a hot one both on the course and in general. Should have a race report up sometime tomorrow in between eating sessions. Yes the all you can eat breakfast buffet is already planned for Sunday morning.
Gotta go ride a bike.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Round???? Mountainview 9 hour warm up

Made my way up to Mountainview again last night. I've been there more in the last 3 weeks that I have all year. Back to back races seem to do that. Last night was the prep ride of the 9 hour course. Yes, I know I will see the course an excessive number of times but this is one place it's important to pre ride.

Thomas came up with a great loop. Not as mean with climbing like the Ontario Cup but still enough to make you hurt. There is only one main climb this year and that is the ski hill switchback. No not the start hill climb but the one that we went up on the rest of the laps.

One thing some may be concerned of was water/mud trail damage. It was minimal after last weekend and it will be cleaned up by the end of the day. Things are almost dry in there and same as the trail work by the end of the day it will be perfect.

Things about the course. It's well, it's what Mountainview is becoming famous for. It's got some great fast flowy sections on the top and bottom of the hill where you have to be smooth and off the brakes. We are running some of the sections that were in the O-Cup in reverse. It messed me up a little and one of the technical decent had me grabbing for the brakes a little more than I normally would. Yes it's technical. Not killer but enough that makes it a challenge every lap. There are the great off camber single track log sections and yes just random rock piles in the trail.

First lap was very very interesting. The club was kinda sorta racing, everyone went off in their granny gear I swear, after last weekend I guess legs are still missing. After having the last course so embedded in my brain I found myself coming to a dead stop a few times. One of them was when I came off the double track into twisty treat at full speed expecting to go straight. What is that comment, keep your head up? Ya well when I did get my head up I noticed that I need to turn left, about 2 feet ago. Stupid tree!!! Most of the lap was like that. Trying to get one course out of my mind and ride with my eyes open. Second lap was a little bit better. As for the club members finish. Pretty much a cruise for most of them.

I'd say that the course is 75-80 percent single track which is usually not the case in most 8 hours. A mountain bikers course. Now here is another highlight for all the fence sitters out there. There is DAY OF registration. CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE The weather is looking perfect, get your bike ready to roll and come have fun. Oh one last thing. We have pie!!!

My legs yesterday, well they were keeping up when I stood up. Well I have a few hours tomorrow to find them. Should be a great day.

Oh ya you should really click here also. Just do it, it will only hurt for a moment. Did you do it???

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Cause

This is a great cause, donate and help out. Have a few friends riding in it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flash backs

Did my duties of going up and down a hill many many times. One thing about those rides is they hurt but they don't take long so I spent a few hours doing damage control on both Anthem's Yep this past weekend it almost took longer to clean the bike than it did to race the event that got it dirty. Seems to be the trend for this season.

While having bike parts spread out over the yard I had one of those trippy 60's flashback from smoking way to many drugs in the 50's. Ya I know the math doesn't work since I was born in the 70's. With the 9 hour this weekend and the 24 hour team next weekend I started thinking about my first time ever even seeing a mountain bike race let alone an endurance race.

It was right around this time 9 years ago that my sister invited me down to Hardwood Hills to hang out with a bunch of her friends from Ottawa who were doing the really long relay race. I'm like sure why not. This was the 24 hour of Adrenaline and was at that point the largest 24 hour race in North America. Ya I didn't know any of that stuff at this point. So here I was, the cool guy rolling in a slammed Acura (yes former street racer) with the music blaring and a smoke in my mouth (yes I used to smoke, a lot) No one seemed impressed.

I stayed the whole time and got sucked in. Helped wrench on a few bikes through the race (I did spend many hours on bikes in my teens and yes I still smoked) I was hooked. I was also a little embarrassed about smoking. I think there were roughly 2000 racers and there may have been 5 of us spectators who smoked. There was no lynching at that point. What it did do was a great thing. After the race I had such I great time that I said that I wouldn 't be on the sideline next year, I'll be in the grunt of it. 3 weeks later I had quit smoking cold turkey from that pack a day life. At that point I had smoked for more than half my life.

So what happened, obviously I went from one addiction to another. I sometimes wonder which one would be healthier or cheaper. I can't see myself quiting cycling cold turkey. Hell I think at the level that I'm at now I would be considered a hardcore crack addict. I did race the next year on a 5 person team with my sister. Let's just say it was interesting but it was a starting point.

Well I'm seeing things back in the right time frame again so it's time to go to work. More tomorrow

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Monday After

The Monday night ride last night was perfect again. Even though there were severe thunderstorm warnings along with threats of the tornadoes, hurricanes lions and tigers and bears and sharks with fricken lasers on their heads,nope none of it would happen.

Small group out but still fun, unfortunately Tristan blew a chain about 10 minutes into the ride. SO with the years of racing and the years of each of us working on our bikes or others there wasn't a tool to be found on any bikes. It's not that long of a walk out. Just make the sound of a dying giraffe if you get into problems and we will start searching for you. I did hear a few noises during the ride.

The ride was finished off with the parking lot smack talk about the race Sunday but more on the biggest most important race of the whole world. The 24 hour of Hot August Nights. Of course the two battling teams were there. There were those shady flat pedal type from Norco (he was just one of them there) that are MNS members along with a few of us. I'm not sure if any of us will ever actually get on our bikes with the immature tactics that will be used. Scott has put the age limit at 14 so nothing allowed that anyone older than that would consider.

It's back to training this week. Recovery weeks suck, my legs don't like them. I don't want to go into this weekend feeling flat. The weather is actually looking perfect at this point.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mountainview Ontario Cup

It was far from what I was expecting. So back track a day earlier. Weather, sunny and nice. Course dry, almost to dry. No worries, there is a little rain in the forecast. Perfect. If anything like last year it will make things amazing.

Fast track to this morning. Left here at 8:30 to cheer on club member, feed zone a few and drop off my Anthem. It's kinda sorta nice out. upper teens a little hazy, the sun looked like it was trying to come out. Got to the venue. I brought the Molly Monster with me so I had a few looks as she ran beside me down the road. So far so good. I have good coffee to drink, I'm happy. blah blah blah

One hour later, in the feed zone. Mother Nature turned into a raging bitch. Sorry but subtle went out the window when the ground started to shake. I think that everyone that was in the 9:30 race that road carbon bikes were all thinking that they might move up a few spots if lighting started to strike close by. Ya, it's making me think that aluminum is becoming a questionable material for Ontario racing.

The rain that came down was far from pleasant. Racers were not happy on their third lap. Hell feed zone people were not happy standing in the Mountainview Monsoon. I had Molly staring at me with that look (I'm going to shank him with a milk bone for this). Even with the shit rain the MCC destroyed it. Davis Ross destroyed the single speed field (I think they made him pee in a cup after the race he had that big a lead). Erin took third with a questionable forearm, watch out once she is healed. Ange took third in her division also. Dr. Bill rode his way to 2nd not being able to see (eye glasses/mud/rain not a great combination). If there was a mountainview rider in the field they ended up on the podium. I think there were 5 medals in the morning for the club. Great job everyone.

Alright, on to my shit show. The grand master pan was to end up with about 4.5 hours of riding today with a race mixed in. Hey O-cup is important but I still have a couple big fish I'm out to fry. Got home feeling good, had a small snack filled some bottles and headed back to Mountainview by means of the cross bike. Weather was still, well questionable. So I left the house wearing arm bands, knee bands and a vest and I felt comfortable. Legs felt great. The great I was hoping for. I've watched and I usually feel like shit at the end of a recovery week for some reason. Heather and I have talked about it

Riding in I saw some weird things, blue sky. Then it to warm. Then it got warmer. I still felt great though. A few intervals on the way in to get things firing. The route I took brought me out where I would have normally warmed up on the Anthem. Of course every other rider was out there and I got a few looks being on skinny wheels. Hit the club tent, a few things done and was on the Anthem for a few minutes before rolling into the start line.

SO first off, I like the heat, I normally do really well in the heat, I like to have a little heat training before hand. The start climb was typical and for me the worst thing. For those that are in the know I suck at blasting off the line. Always have and it's probably not going to change. Top of the first climb I was lucky if I was in the top 20. Thomas got pushed of course by a couple riders, it was a pretty shitty thing the way it happened. Lee was gone.

We hit the first technical section. So yes Mountainview is technical and yes half the people in Senior Expert are not that technically strong. Now for me that sucks because I'm always coming from the back on the first lap. I was a bit of an ass and started to tell a few riders to start running. They were dead stop, especially in the rock garden. I'm normally really really nice when it comes to passing but this pissed me off. Dead stop and just staring as the pack rode away. Oh by the way at this point the sun started to come out.

Come into the first downhill single track. Not really ride able, regroup. The first thing that popped into my mind was Summer Solstice. Now the funny thing with all of this I have more running/dragging a bike time in my legs than anyone in my division. I should have been killing them up this section. Ya well my body had other thoughts. More on that shortly.

The big part of Mountainview is technical, my strengths, my weakness, flat double track. Well that seemed to be the only place to make up the time. I would pull a rider in and they let me pass them in anything sketchy to technical and for every two coming in one would rip by me on the flats. That was lap one came through 16th and already thinking.

Lap two started ok in the feed but I could already feel the dead weight in my legs, Came across the ski hill climb that I normally run in mid chain ring and a couple cogs down from the top. Ya well I started to shift up then ran out of gears. The next sound was clunk, yes that was my granny kicking in. Spun up the switchbacks far from normal. My body started to get mad at me.

Ok start playing control, that's what i kept saying. Normally it would be work your strengths maintain the weakness. Attack the single track and recover and hammer the double track and hills in a controlled manner. Well I lost my place to recover on the first half of the course. It was sketchy to walk let alone ride. I knew I was riding like shit at this point because Andrew caught me. Yes he is fast (scary fast) but I normally hold him off till mid/end of the third lap, this was not event the middle of the 2nd lap.

Even before this I could feel the heat starting to rip me up. I almost pulled the plug after the first lap but kept saying to myself road or trail you need to put the hours in. So from the time I left my house the temperature was 20.5 degrees. It went to 32 degrees and a crazy amount of humidity. Back to the thought. I love the heat but I like to have a few rides in it before I race in it.

Hit the lower single track. I was still catching riders which actually shocked me. Now the worst thing to remind me I was riding slow. Coming up the false flat I was riding with a Cycle Solutions rider. I'm normally ahead of him but where things were we ended up chatting. Yes talking during a race. This was right about the time Mike Garrigan came riping up behind me and all I hear was "Matt are you out for a leisurely ride?" Ya thanks Mike.

I finished up my lap and pulled the plug. I knew it was stupid to keep pushing. My heart rate wasn't dropping in areas that it should, it was still pushing mid 150's when I went to get my bottles out of the feed zone. Thank you again to Erin for throwing bottles at me.

My body was really mad at me today, of course I still needed to ride home. Ya my car was sitting in my driveway. It was actually good though. Spun home for an hour. Total time on the bike was about 4:15. Legs feel like shit right now even after the awesome MCC BBQ.

I have figured out that I'm going to ride indoors all week with the furnace on full blast to get a little heat training in. Ok maybe not but it defiantly gave a reality check on how crappy the weather has been to date.

Overall, ya I'm a little pissed. With out the rain I think this would have been a venue that I could have broken into the top 10. Let alone it being a home town event which is always fun. Shit happens, I've had a pretty good seasons to date and it will just keep getting better. This was my blow up race of the year.

No links added today, they are all to the right.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

UMMMM not enough coffee

Never ever is there enough coffee. It's 6:30am, the sun is out, it is chilly though. It's not raining!!!! I'm currently staring at the two different weather reports and scratching my head. What was I expecting for tomorrow? Rainbow and butterflies and rivers filled with chocolate?? I'm done complaining. On a good note my bike will be easier to clean after this mornings final pre ride of the course.

Legs are feeling as good as they should with a couple days of easy training. Today will be a better judge on what I expect for tomorrow. Recovery weeks are boring aren't they???

May have some photo's up later of the venue. That's it, go get more coffee!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Predictable and unpredictable

The next block of racing is about to start. Yes this is very predictable. I'm getting anxious. I love racing more than training for racing. So what are we looking at that is very predictable?? The weather. Looks like it's going to be perfect 2009 race conditions. Rain.

Was up at Mountainview again last night. Honestly a little bit of rain will be a good thing. With the increase in traffic from the last two weekly series along with the extra club rides and the fantastic sunny days of the last two weeks the course is dry. There were dust clouds.

I'm feeling pretty confident on the course. I'll spend one more session first thing tomorrow morning. Legs are feeling as Olympic as they should. The next 6 weeks are nuts so this is a good thing. 4 weekends in a row of racing, one week off then the last 24 hour for the season. Don't think, just pedal.

In other interesting news. The Hot August Nights team. Some strange things have been happening. More random injuries. First we lost Jeremy to a rock that should have never moved. HMMM??? One random crash is one thing but now there was another attempt to take out a rider. Jacob is now nursing a few cracked ribs. Apparently the lake just reached out and punched him in the chest. As much as I would like to believe that these are completely unrelated I can't. Even back to Erin's broke wrist, maybe that was supposed to be setup for me but I was leading and not following at that section of the course.

There is this really shady team that I'm thinking is 100 percent responsible. Most of you know who the team is. They try to look like cross country racers but deep down we know they are that shady freeride type. I've seen at least one of them wearing baggy shorts and a downhiller's jersey. I won't name names here but we all know there continued attempt to bring down the Monday Night Something. Now rumours are flying around that they are all scared and have even attempted to bring in riders from other factory teams. I'm guessing that this is cheaper for them than hiring a hit man to take us out.

The Monday Night Something will survive. As mentioned in previous posts. The team strategy has changed slightly. We are not 100 percent concerned on winning but we will make sure this unnamed team loses even if it means childish behaviour. For most of us this won't be to hard.

Off to work.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mountainview and the people who ride it.

Recovery weeks always have me digging for something to yap about. This time it was really easy. This was posted on a MTBR forum a couple days ago after another rider came up to our weekly series which is using the Ontario Cup course. A few club members have seen this and end up having huge smiles on their faces.

Here is the description of Mountainview and the MCC as described from a first timer.

I went up to pre-ride last Thursday. Here are my impressions from my initial visit to MountainView.

No, it's not on "the escarpment." It's on a small ski hill about 70km across the bay from "the escarpment."

Yes, there is a ton of climbing. The kind that hurts so good.

No, don't leave the granny gear at home.

Yes, the climbing is tough.

No, it does not resemble any of the other O-Cup courses. It's much tougher. It's actually a mountain bike course.

No, it's not a ROADIE course. Roadies will be crying, and asking for Albion. This is for mountain bikers that race.

Yes, it's rooty.

Yes, the locals are fast. They wear bright blue jerseys. Find them. Make friends with them. Ask them where the good lines are.

Yes, I raced the course on Thursday night.

No, I didn't see any of the locals after the first climb. They were gone.

Yes, there are some faster lines that will make big time differences. Study the course and figure them out, or follow a local on the pre-ride.

Yes, I need to get up there again and pre-ride.

Yes, there are switchback climbs.

No, I do not envy the singlespeeders.

Yes, there is a guy in the bush yelling "GIV'ER!!!"

No, we don't see that type of thing at Albion.

Yes, you will be breathing hard.

No, it's not "somewhat technical." It's very technical. Roots, turny, off-camber...good stuff.

Yes, it's got flow - if you ride it fast. Brake gently, and carry speed through the turns and up the climbs.

Yes, you will actually need technical skills. Remember what those are?

No, I don't mean technical repair skills.

Yes, it's got some big rocks in the way. Learn to ride over them.

No, you don't want to just "wing it."

Yes, it's also got a kick ass rock garden. Ride it. Love it. Find the fast line.

No, I don't feel sympathy for the singlespeeders. They choose that way of life, and they will face adversity on this course
Yes, the majority of riders will be in for a shock.

No, it's not a bad shock. It's more of a reality check.

Yes, you will figure out quickly whether you are a good "technical" rider or not.

Yes, it is mostly singletrack, so you had better know the course so you know where to pass.

No, there is not a lot of passing opportunity in the singletrack. It's constantly up, down, left, right, rooty, etc. Know the passing zones. Be one with the passing zones. Because like Cadboury mini eggs, they are there for a limited time only.

Yes, it starts with a lungbusting climb straight up the ski hill.

No, the climb is not a big ring climb, but you can try it and see what happens.

Yes, the course is a welcome change from the "roadie" courses that seem to be taking over.

Yes, the course kicks ass. It will most likely kick your ass!!!

Yes, it's worth the drive up for a pre-ride or two.

Yes, MountainView should remain on the circuit as a standard stop.

And yes, I hope the guy in the bush yelling "GIV'ER" is there on race day. He's freakin awesome.

I'll be up there again tonight listening for comments from more newbie's.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

just pedalling around

Ok now back to bike stuff. Spent the evening up at Mountainview again last night. The club is very determined to dominate this weekend. In most division we hopefully will. Me I'm looking for a top 10 on my home course.

My ride itself was pretty low key. It's a recovery week so I think Heather has Gremlins hiding around both my Anthem's. Mondays attempt of a ride which I was not supposed to do at all ended up with me having a flat 15 minutes in. Last night was drama free but I also didn't push my luck. I wonder if Karma and Heather are working together to keep me from over doing things?

Spent the first lap working with a couple club members, showing a few new lines and different tactics. The girls are going ti kill it this weekend. Spent the next lap reassessing the way I'm planning on racing. I'm very programed into endurance strategy and pace. Where to attack and where to be reserved. It works well in most cases but there are places I need to push when normally I wouldn't. Should be interesting and I hope I get the results I'm looking for.

The course it self is awesome . If you are interested in a few highlights check this out from club member/club mechanic Nick. Hopefully he will be in the course doing the same thing again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Great Refrigerator Round Up Scam

The great refrigerator round up, don’t believe the hype. I’m going to do my very best to keep things in order to make it easy to follow. Alright where to start. How about a mean way. This program is not backed by any environmental agency what so ever. This is completely run by the power authority. This is about as good an idea as those compact florescent that they have just proved are causing more problems (this is just one of the problems) than saving them.

So lets start with the ad first. If you listen closely they will only pick up fridges that are in working order. Awww you mean you want me to throw out something that is fine?? Yes they do!!! SO where is the environmental benefits to that??? This is the first sign showing that this is not a good idea. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it and if it's not broke don't throw it out for no good reason. Pretty simple right???

Here is the run down on the pre 90’s fridges. The two biggest differences to a new unit are the refrigerant change and insulation. The older units used r12, this is the famed gas that apparently killed the ozone layer. I’ve also heard that the manufacturer of it lost the patent and it was billions to resign. Hmmm makes you think. The other big factor is the insulation. The older units were hand stuffed insulation like what is used in your house walls, sound dead for sure but usually there are some voids in there which means a little energy loss.

Jump forward to the 90’s . The new units are now expandable foam cabinets. This is like the foam that you use to seal in a window. This stuff is very dense and fantastic at keeping the cool where it should be and the heat away from where it shouldn’t be. So as of the early 90’s fridges are already efficient. The next major change is the refrigerant. Now a134. I’ve seen the graphs and comparisons. It’s still bad but not as bad as r12 for breaking down in the atmosphere. Regardless it’s not supposed to be released in the air. If you see a tech blasting of refrigerant from a fridge or air conditioner it’s very illegal and has a nasty fine for both him and the company he/she works for.

Ok so there is the basic timeline of the products that are out there. So here is where my problem with this program starts. Obviously throwing out something that is still working is a very bad idea but here is where the short sighted kicks in and the sneaky influence to make you consume more things.

Lets start with the disposal side of things. First how much power would it take to recycle that old fridge? Well the factory that is running all those lights and all the machines are a strain on the power grid. Then there is the recovery of all that refrigerant. If done properly it must be stored. Awww stored since it will take about 140 years for it to break down. Wasn’t it being stored a little more efficiently having it still in that working fridge??? Next up is they say that everything will be recycled except about a hardhat sized piece of garbage that will end up in the landfill. Excuse me??? Haven’t we put enough in the earth?? Now the funny thing is a fridge is pretty much a frame with a lot of dead space. One of those big ass garbage compactors would probably squash a full size fridge into that hardhat size so are things really being recycled and which parts are??? So where is the environmental and the power savings so far?
Next up. That wonderful new fridge. How much power will it take for the factory to manufacture the frame, then the factory that makes the inner cabinet mold, along with the compressor etc etc etc. Wow that’s a lot of juice. I didn’t even start into the refrigerant. The other problem is the metal needed to build the fridge. Does that magically appear or do we rip it out of the earth?? Well we do need a place to stick that old fridge so keep digging boys.

So far we have an excessive amount of factories running 24 hours a day 7 days a week that are sucking up huge amounts of power while stripping out non renewable resources out of the ground while putting the leftovers of another product back into it. Woo hoo I feel very green now. Al Gore eat your heart out. Check out this video, I like it Yep I'm sold. They neglect to include all the other parts of it.

So here is the common sense side of saving the world with your fridge. Keep it full. Refrigeration works on the principal of removing heat. Every time you open and close the door warm air is introduced to the cabinet space which now needs to be removed. The more air space removed by product the less dramatic the change. Think of a frozen chunk of meat. It takes hours to thaw. If you open the door to your house in the winter for 1 minute you see a huge temperature change.

So that beer fridge in the basement, keep it full of beer. If you don’t have that much beer will the freezer with bags of ice to remove dead space. This will cause the thermostat to cycle less. A new fridge will suck up just as much power as an old fridge if it’s running a lot.

As for the energy star rating . It’s just a new flashy word to stick on a product. Appliances are used different by every consumer. How can they predict the power draw by each unit? It’s kinda like car manufactures giving crazy mpg predictions. Sure if you drive downhill with a tail wind. Trust me on this one, nobody does laundry the same way, nobody loads the dishwasher the same way, no one keeps the exact same temperature or product in their fridge identical to someone else, etc etc. There are a bunch of other appliance myths that I’ll get into another time. Things like hot water on demand systems which don’t work with most dishwashers and washing machines. That’s on another day.

The end result involving the great refrigerator roundup. Don’t do it. If you care about the environment it is better to keep your old fridge running. Keep the back clean and keep it full. Remind the kids not to stare blankly into the fridge trying to figure out what to eat, we have all done that. It’s pretty simple math showing that the 20-30 factories will suck up way more hydro than any single family home.

Let's not forget about the excavating machinery for raw ore to make the new steel frame and the ones in the garbage dumps burying the old parts. Aww then comes the transport trucks used to deliver both the raw materials and the finished product. Don't they use a non renewable resource??? and pump out wonderful emissions that we are all so concerned about.

On a side note, warranties have changed on compressors also. What used to be 5-10 years are now as low as 1 year. Average compressor replacement cost is between $450-$600 and with the cost of a low end fridge at the $600 mark what do you think is going to happen??? Now not to discourage you on the cost of service. Comparing the amount of compressor changes now to how many Dad did back in the 70-80's the numbers have dropped. There is more product out there now also. They do work much better.

Most repairs in fridges now a days are based around defrost issues and I hate to say it but all those toys that we love to add. You know what I'm talking about, ice makers and water dispensers. Yes toys!! and of course toys break. Either way repairs are not crazy expensive and it is always much cheaper to fix an existing unit than it is to replace it.

Ok that's enough appliance babble. So not that you are going to do the right thing go have fun with that money you were about to use on that new fridge, buy another bike instead. I’ll do another soap box spiel in the near future. Maybe on where you can really save power when it comes to appliances. For now enjoy.