Thursday, December 31, 2009

The end to start a new beginning

2009 is pretty much over, I think today will fly by. I'm looking back at the year thinking not bad, not to bad at all. Of course like every year it seems that at the beginning of the season it seems like a long season by the end it goes by really quickly.

Sitting here thinking about what is up for 2010 and I look at all the races and all the training ahead , again it will be another busy year. New focuses, same ideas, hoping for as good or better results. It will be fun regardless.

As for New Years resolutions, drink left coffee?? Hell no!!!!

Yesterday was a mix bag of training. Took the Molly Monster out to Copeland Forest for a good long ski. Opted for my race classics just in case I happen to come across some random track set. It was a little more work keeping the ski tracking, narrow skis are a little less stable on off groomed trails. Spent the first hour on some pretty level ground, nothing to spectacular, just some good base miles. Molly was setting a pretty good pace.

Made my way towards the hills of Copeland for the second hour with some good long climbs on things like Mile High and The Wall. Fitness on the skis is showing up, was able to stay in mid and upper aerobic zones for the climbs. Of course the downhills still got the heart a pumping. A few random soft sticky patches of snow worked great at slowing down one ski as the other accelerated. This led to my first real fall of the year. At least it was on a steep enough hill that it didn't hurt much except for some pride.

A good solid two hours of skiing and I was home bound. A few hours later I bundled up and headed out for an hour on the single speed. The plan was to scope out a route for the snowshoe tonight. Yes a bunch of drunk cyclists heading into the woods at night. It will be interesting. Another play ride on winter single track, snowmobile trails. Route is set, sorta. Only saw one sledder out there, probably doing one of those WTF seeing me out there.

Well this is the last post for 2009, All 291 of them are still below for those that will be hungover tomorrow and want to read a headache stopper. Wow, I didn't think that I would have that much to say, most of the time I don't shut up.

Happy New Years everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I did ride amongst the other stuff

With the crunch on to have the house in a useable condition I pretty much hammered away all day yesterday. It was one of those days that I had time lines to stick to. More so was to make sure I got on my bike and did what needed to be done. The bonus thing was it was an interval day. This means shorter work out.

So what have I been doing with my time. This.

One of the starting points, fridge is now in it's new home around the corner.

The original floor, pretty new cork floor in there now.

Gotta love breaking down a wall of a 80 year old house. The things you find.

Still have more trim work to do but getting closer. Cupboards will get refaced at another time once the new cooktop and wall oven are in.

Of course I took this from a distance so you don't see all the dust. Lots of cleaning to do.

Won't be doing to much work today, long training day. I say that now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The worst brings out the best

Monday has come and gone. The weather has well, it came and has yet to leave but back to the original rules of the Monday Night Something we go out no matter what the conditions are. Of course there are a couple subtexts that if the end of the world happens to be on a Monday we have a legitimate weather reason.

Last night led to crazy winds, blowing snow with white outs and minus 15 and dropping. It's minus 23 currently at my place. So what does this number bring, the largest group we have had in a while. 10 and 2 dogs. It turned into a pretty good bush whack adventure. There were many questions on course of direction and a concern or two that we may be mildly lost. There are no out and backs on the same trail with this group.

Liz, yes death march Liz was leading the way and promised that we were fine. There were talks of who would be the first to be eaten. The problem of hanging around with a bunch of cyclist is that nobody has that body that is looking to be cooked. You never see a skinny athletic cow doing laps of the field or the trim fit pig that was using the feeding bins for hurdles. Nope, we like the fat ones. Maybe we need to invite a few new people into the group when there are talks of a long epic snowshoe, a slightly larger than average type person. You know just in case.

Once we knew that food would be a problem with in 5 minutes death march Liz pulled us out on to a main trail and low and behold there was our heading out tracks. Mouths dropped, there were gasps of aww and loud cheers everywhere. More so because she had been using the moon for navigation. Apparently no matter where the moon is it always leads west. Last night it was straight up. Next week I will be wearing my GPS and carrying my fillet knife. You know, just in case.

Update on the broken toe, yep still pretty sure it's broken. I'm very aware of it but it's not at that type of pain that sends you to the couch and loading up on drugs. I find it interesting on the level of pain that you start to just consider an irritation but for others would be crippling. My only caution right now leads to my very graceful and coordinated dog who sometimes has four left feet. She has been known to step on a few toes, namely mine.

The kitchen creation, I will now be under a little deadline to get things done. I'm having a New Years Eve party here and I would prefer not to have one section of the house looking like hell. I have a short workout for today on the bike so there should be some good quality time put in. The local building store is just a smiling when they see me coming. Pictures up tomorrow, some before and afters.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A winter wonderland

The sun broke, the temperature was nice, the timing will work. Yep I went outside to ride my bike today. My original plan to ski was shut down, All the rain and then the freeze was going to make for some questionable conditions and hard to setup grip wax for. All the more reason to spin the wheels.

Opted to take the single speed because that same said ice conditions were on the in town roads and the 29er is the next best thing to studded tires. I'm finding that a 32-16 on the 29er is a perfect winter road riding gear ratio for endurance. Headed out on the service road towards Port Severn. I'd predetermined that I would try to ride fairly close to home and just venture down random roads to see where they go. I had no idea what I was in for.

The first 40 minutes of the ride were pretty sane, clear roads, snow/ice covered gravel roads etc. Nothing to spectacular. As I made my way down one random road which continued to get narrower the farther I got, it eventually turned into forced winter single track. You know the stuff, frozen car wheel trenches that you make sure you pick the right line or your pretty much screwed.

Eventually made my way to the first destination, Gloucester Pool is part of the Trent Severn water way which links up with my favorite ride, the Big Chute Loop. Not much in the line of boat traffic right now. I did get waved to by a snowmobiler though.

It's going to be a while before the ice is safe also, at least in this section. Being a dead end I didn't have much choice on the return trip. Pedalling along a thought popped into my head and a vision into my eyes. The snowmobiler, the snow mobile trial is just ahead. It could be better than the road or it could turn very bad. Of course I was not thinking about the bad side of things.

A few tips to snowmobile trail riding. Ride in the center of the the track not out where the skis were. packs the snow better. Look for the dirt spots, lots of grip. When riding in temperatures around the freezing mark stick to trails which are shaded. Open field sections soften up to much to ride and you will be pushing your bike instead of riding.

After those tips, lets just say that the ride was good, most of the trail was rideable and the swamp sections were frozen and ride able. Not much on the sled traffic which surprised me. I know where the first trail section I was on would meet up with the road, oh ya that is one more tip. Know where you should come out. After the successful ride of this area with only one hike a bike section I figured I might as well try the next section.

Things continued to stay smooth and I stopped for a quick drink right at the back side of the quarry.

Finished up this sections with no problems. So what is that quote, 3 times a charm or is it 3 strikes your out. Those apply is you some how mix them up in some twisted way. Headed out on the last planned section that heads to Coldwater. I should have know what I was in for when I looked at the start of the trail. Not as many tracks heading in, runs along the edge of the marsh from what I could see and it's in the open. Screw it got to try it.

Things were going questionably down hill as I pedalled along but then the hike a bike over puddle sections became more and more common. It was only a few inches deep but I was pretty much riding on frozen bulrushes. I few times my feet dropped down lower and lower into the snow. I should have got the hint but I kept trudging along. Then I hit this.

And my face gave the look of this!!!

No this picture was not taken in the same place on the ride but the expression was much more fitting now than earlier. I did start to attempt this section, until my foot went deep enough that I felt some water seep in. That's it turn around. I pretty much hammered this section as quick as possible. Now with a slightly wet foot which would turn into a slightly frozen shoes to a frozen foot, meant no screwing around. I was still minimum 30 minutes from home.

I was almost surprised that I wasn't all that far from the road, it felt much longer heading into the swamp. Hit the road and pretty much hammered as fast as a 32/16 would let me. Control of the zone was pretty much out of my mind at this point, frozen foot pain was what I was trying to avoid. I did stay aerobic though, can't spin my legs that fast to break that zone. Rolled through Coldwater and out on to highway 12 turning right. No Vasey line climb for me now.

20 minutes later I was turning back into Waubuahshene. My foot was just starting to feel a little unhappy. Surprisingly enough my time on the bike was exactly what Heather had me scheduled to do. The tear off of the footwear did not take long. I rubbed the curve on something going bad very quickly but it was a great adventure and beat riding the rollers anytime.

Now to top off the ride no more than 10 minutes later I was walking out of the living room with bike gear in hand and I ended up catching one of the Molly Monster's rawhide chews with my left foot. Ok, more specific with my left middle toe. It was in that perfect position that it caught the door jam and didn't move. I'm not a doctor but I'm feeling wonderful things this morning. Pretty sure I broke a bone in my toe.

I've done the icing twice and that wonderful thing of polysporin with pain killer is helping. After the first icing as I removed the pack I squeezed the toe. Ya I'm the type of guy that would pour salt in his own would just to check it out. Actually it wasn't hurting to bad but I did feel a little pop of a bone. Advil may come out also. Not much you can do about it. I'm able to walk with little irritation so hopefully that means I'll be skiing in a day or so. I don't think riding will be a problem. Why are dogs so good at pulling out all their toys but totally suck at putting things away when they are done?

Does coffee have magical healing powers???

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Trying to keep myself ammused

Motther Nature gave me very little choice. Rain, slush, crap meant time on the hamster wheel. 2.5 hours of spinning and not getting anywhere. Yes I was so excited to watch movies instead of watching the scenery change. I did a few cheap parlour tricks during the time on the bike to try and keep me distracted.

What I did find were things like this I have some work to do. Legs felt not bad and I think I did manage to burn off most of the food, wine and desert I ate the night before. One plate is good, second plate is better. Not sure what the plan will be for today but looks like the weather is a little more favourable for outside play.

Right now, more coffee, maybe a little more work on the kitchen

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I know I know but what can I say, I've been a little busy. Some of it has been training, some of it has been house work and some of it' Christmas stuff. So backing up a few days.

Wednesday was spent running around like a lunatic on the last day of work. Lot's of procrastinating people who then expect a Christmas miracle to get their appliances working before the big dinner. The funny thing is that most of them broke many weeks earlier. Will I was the hero to most and the barer of bad news to a couple. Sorry to those but if I could pull a main control board out of my ass you would have been fixed. There were a few people that I wanted to tell them to get their own heads out of their asses. I don't have much self control but it is Christmas.

So the best way to finish the day is to get as far away from the work world as possible. Ok well for this experiment it meant the forest behind my coach and Jason's place. A wander up and down the hills with some bushwhacking sections made for a good 2 hour snowshoes with the dog's. Lot's of which way should we go now type direction, the best type. Finished up the day with my last minute Christmas shopping. Hey I'm male, what were you expecting.

Thursday found me doing the running around like a madman first thing in the morning followed by a quick trip to Copeland for an hour ski with the dog. I think the ski was more for the Molly Monster than me. Finished up feeling pretty good with the climbing that was done. I opted for a very hilly route, grip wax was questionable to say the least and being only an hour I didn't bring my wax pack. Figures.

This is where the fun begins. So Christmas dinner was at my place this year. HMMM well the kitchen reno has been planned for a few weeks now. A week off work give me lots of time to do it. Hey, look at that bottle of wine that has just been opened. One of the worst combinations, alcohol, home reno project and extra energy. Lets just say that I should have went for a 4 hour ski to kill that.

With just over 24 hours before dinner here I am tearing out 2 out of the 3 lower counters. Everything but the kitchen sink. Now the fun of an old 1930's home is the construction. Lets just say that a bomb could go off in this house and nothing would move. Everything is solid. This meant trying to remove the old cupboards with very minimal damage was a little nerving. It was to the point that if I couldn't get the first one out safe and intact I would have to modify my plans accordingly. Old marble counter tops are awesome and I wanted to reuse as much as possible.

Once the cabinets were out of the kitchen this lead to the new floor going down. MMM wine is helping. The house is looking like a disaster at this point with parts of the kitchen in the dining room and the fridge in the spare bedroom. Maybe we will have to order pizza for dinner. I was far from streesed at this point of the evening. A few hours later I was ready to crash and burn hard but the new cork floor was done.

Christmas morning meant a pot of coffee to kill the hangover and even more focus than the night before. The night before was alcohol motivation now it's coffee based panic. I motored steady. Now one of the highlights of my house was that everything was designed for short people. I guess int eh 30's nobody was above 5 foot 5 so every cabinet is low. Well having a family of what giants according to the 30's height requirements I had to make a booster seat for the cabinets. The whole time I'm swinging the hammer I'm staring at the clock. Perfect it's still flashing 12:00 on the stove which means time is standing still right????

Things started to fall into place and by 1 pm I had the kitchen very use able and the house back to clean, less than an hour later the family showed up to ohh and aww over what has been done. Move over Mike Holmes. Of course I'm still not done but I thought a half way cut down wall would probably be harder to deal with. That is still to come.
Great dinner, gained some weight. Means I'll be getting on the bike shortly for a long ride. Unfortunately it will be indoors. It's currently pouring rain. I'd planned on skiing this morning but I don't have a grip wax that works in rain and Molly is looking pretty content on the couch. My dvd collection has been increased again so it's looking like I'll be at the bike drive in, need to burn off what I consumed so I can do it again tonight.

More excitement tomorrow!!! Time to ride.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I got in trouble. 2 days no posts, I'm sorry. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and Festivus for the rest of us. Will do a run down of what I've been up to the last couple days tomorrow.

Right now, Back to that bottle of red.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now I'm Christmasy

This came in the mail yesterday. The coolest team in Ontario cycling now make the coolest Christmas card. You know they drank all the beer before doing the photo shoot. Now they need to sober up enough to get a website and an OCA sanctioned official team. Merry Christmas Ben and Tyler. Merry Christmas everyone
On the training front, good workout last night. Lots of high speed cadence stuff and one legged drills. On the rollers to make me not be lazy and keep things smooth. Bad form on the rollers equals burnt tires or worst bad falls to the floor. Legs felt good.
To kill the pain I pulled out some older race DVD's particularly 2008 Summer Solstice. The looking at dirt gives me the craving of dirt. I'm missing dirt and single track. Check out for more videos.
Last day of work before a nice break, hoping for some good weather for some great outdoor training days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's a dog's life

I'm blaming the dog, isn't that what you are supposed to do anytime there is a strange odour in the air??? How does that work for feeling tired and a little sore? She did set the pace on Sunday and picked the route. Yep her fault.

To make me feel a little better she was dragging her ass all day at the office. Apparently she was not even interested in doing her lunchtime walk. She was moving slowly. After my visit with the Dr. Bill to give me my pre Christmas break tune up, the thought of going snowshoeing was still very high. Molly was still moving slow after her 9th nap of the day, I gave her the question. Do you want to go. She gave me that look, then turned and hopped back up on the couch closest to the fire place, let out a grown and laid down. I guess that is a no.

Now what would snowshoeing be without the Molly Monster?? or xc skiing or any of the Monday Night Somethings. It just wouldn't be right. It's not that a gauge my training around my dog's energy level, if I did she would have blown me up so many times I'd probably still be crashed on the side of a trail somewhere but she is my favorite training partner. I thought about asking Bob (Bobke) the cat to see if he was willing to go. He looked up for half a second then went back to beating the shit out of my heart rate monitor strap. Cats and snowshoeing, just doesn't' seem to blend together.

My legs were still a little sore, the stair test reminded me of that, it was a tough physical work day so not much recovery time. I debated on still going but I also felt the energy level decreasing quickly and the thought of going into the cold dark night was becoming less appealing than trying to steal that spot that Molly has now nicely warmed up for me. I made my way towards the basement, past the xc skis, then the mountain bikes, then the road bikes, towards the snowshoes. Took a hard left into the wood room and headed up with another dead tree to light on fire. Rest day!!!

It's amazing how fast I can get that living room to sauna temperatures. I mid/late evening nap before bed told me that I made the right call. Legs are feeling better this morning, ready for the first set of drills on the bike to be done tonight. Molly will get another rest day today. The count down to the holiday break is on. Of course it's always the storm before the calm in the appliance world

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the games begin

Well I received the official word from Heather. I'm back at it again with more than just endurance miles now, time to start some intensity (scheduled intensity not the it just kinda happened type) So today is the official start of 2010!!! Woohoo it will make trainer time go by much quicker.

My last day of freedom was spent outside with some slippery sticks attached to the feet. Grabbed my best $70 dollars I've spent in a while. A short wide pair of wax less Peletons skis that are perfect for bushwhacking. Keeps my good classics in, well good shape!

After a quick call in the morning and a lot of twisting an arm I convinced Andrew to not sit and stare blankly at a wall while riding the rollers. Of course the Molly Monster took zero influence to want to go, I think she has ESP.

Conditions were great, minus 5, it's amazing how much hiking traffic there has been in Copeland. Enough that skating to some, umm randomly track set and groomed trails is possible. We had other plans, 10 minutes in on the smooth wide double track we made a hard left into the what would normally be single track for bikes. The short skis paid for themselves as much as a short bus at my door.

There was some weak attempts at jumps and it's was a little comical watching two former alpine ski instructors crash on completely flat ground. There were random trees that just reached out and grabbed the skis, honest.

There were more random turns of lets see where that goes to more of I don't know where we are going but going up is good. Going up in Copeland usually hurts and off trail in foot deep crunchy snow made things even better. Molly was setting a blistering pace that we fought to keep up with.

One of the highlights of the ski was watching Watson attempt to be a freekier. Racing for Norco may have gone to his head, we all know how good is freeriding skills are (cough cough) and have watching him clear huge gaps on that carbon hardtail ( 6 inches). Well if I can do it on a cross country bike I bet I can do it on cross country skis.

Like the Red Bull bike comps I don't think the free skiing world needs to be worried.

2.5 hours of not on the trainer or rollers had me feeling a little tired. Great way to spend the morning. The new skis worked great, not as fast as my good classics but for what I wanted them for I couldn't ask for better. I did notice that the wax less grooves make weird noises on track set.

Time is running out so story is short, that dam work thing is getting in the way.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

A one geared zombie Christmas

Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath. After my thoughts yesterday morning I most definitely needed to take more than one.

A late afternoon decision I headed out on the single speed to clear my brain. I have to admit that it was probably the perfect bike to do it. One gear equals no shifting which equals even less thinking. It was a ride that led me down some random road. Another reason to not think and just pedal. Coming up to the shortest day of the year I did start running out of daylight and another I didn't think or plan so went out with no lights. Only an hour but sometimes that is all it takes. This was not a ride for my body but for my spirit.

Looks like Georgian Bay is freezing over quickly, hopefully will be able to get some miles in out there. From there it was on to watching some seasonal theme movies at Ben's. . What seems more Christmas like than Zombie movies? Not just any zombie movies but THE zombie movies. Nothing like watching the originals. Of course this led to a larger dialogue from the viewing crowd than the movie itself as we all tried to up one another with our rolling commentary. Let's just say that we are no SciFi 3000 but we were a close second. Another good scene Interesting comparison. Mall scenes from Dawn of the Dead pretty much looked like a mall scene now with people wandering around aimlessly.

Thanks to a some good friends I'm feeling a little happier. Happy enough that I'm thinking I'm going to play in the snow for a few hours this morning with the Molly Monster. Time to get a little more jacked up on coffee before I head out.

More tomorrow

Thank you for the support everyone

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking at the bottom of the coffee cup

Trying to figure out what to do, what to type, when to do it etc etc etc. It's currently 7 am and my wonderful little device tells me that it's freeze my nuts off type temperatures outside. That in normal terms is minus 20 degrees Celsius. Looking like a nice day as the sun seems to have clear shots of being out today.

So what to do?? I'm starting to feel a bit better. It means resorting back to vitamins only, not a huge fan of taking any type of drug but Sudafed seemed to get me through that last couple days. Is this one of the many on the oh no list? It's not performance enhancing for me, it barely got me back up to almost normal enhancing which means about average.

So I'm going to jump off cycling topic for a few moments. I apologize in advance if I bring up a topic that you might not like. I'll be honest, Christmas has not really been an enjoyable time of year for me. I usually find myself in a bit of a grumpy mood, this all is centered around the death of my Father. The year that Dad was sick was very very hard on the family. Lot's of changes were made, some good some bad. In the end though the last couple days of his life were during Christmas. Everyday I go to work I get a reminder of my Dad, he did start the business and it's his name on the cards and work truck along with the amazing reputation he had. I do my very best everyday to live up to that name. I may own the business now but it's still Dad's company and always will be thought of that way.

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and after watching what my Dad went through sometimes I wonder if we have lost the true meaning of what Christmas is all about? It's not about getting the latest greatest things that we don't really need. It's supposed to be about family right? It's about the ones that can helping out the ones that can't. Every Christmas I am reminded of the unfortunate and how quickly it can happen. I watch a man (Dad) who had everything and could buy anything he wanted have it all taken away from him in the course of a year. A 56 year old self made man who was capable of just about anything turning into a man who had to be helped out with just about every task in life.

Look around and you will see lots of people in that position. It may not be a sickness or disease but as simple as poverty. It's been a tough year economically for many people, food bank and charity donations are down and needs are up. I'm not trying to preach or anything but maybe look outside yourself. Most of us in the cycling world are pretty good at giving back. What is $20 out of your life put in the Salvation Army's bucket or better yet go on a grocery shopping spree for the food bank. I think this is the last year that my family exchanges presents. I've suggested to Mom that next year we pool our money and raid the grocery store for the food bank. Just a reminder that the ones that can should be helping out the ones that can't. I went out last night. I'm sorry if I laid a guilt trip on anyone.

Back to my original thought. I've decided to do this ever year now and not shave and attempt to grow a beard close to what Dad's every December from now on. I will shave it off on December 27th, the day he passed away.

Miss you Dad.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stopped, Forced, Shut Down

It was not by choice but of course things happen for a reason and there must be one hell of a reason besides what I'm obviously seeing. It became a forced rest day, I could have trained after my little incident but I was pretty much in a pissed off frustrated mood and was not in much of a want to get out and do things type mood. The rest is probably a good thing though and I'm opting to take a couple more days off of training.

I've been fighting a cold the last few days and it did finally get to the point that I knew I should spend some serious couch time, of course fresh snow new toys and needing to destress with the Christmas season upon us I needed to do some thing active. The combination of Christmas shopping, dealing with crazy customers who are now in panic about their stove not working for Christmas even though it broke a month ago and they just called now and then of course it's coming up to the 6th year since my Dad passed away. All this is probably why my cold developed, can you understand why I was out beating the crap out of my body. Helps to step away from the world even for 2 hours.

Well yesterday added to my can we just get the first part of this holiday done mindset when one of my 4 wheeled toys broke. Managed to get home from the ordeal and will be calling the mechanic today but of course Christmas means shut downs for all so repair time will be delayed.

So why did Karma do this? Or was it Santa? Am I on the naughty list for going shopping for myself yesterday? Was it my coach doing some mantra/meditation thing telling me to rest?? Who knows but like a bad bike race you need to figure out what when wrong, learn from it, fix the result and then move on and deal with the next thing that happens.

As for the cold, it's set in pretty much the same way it did before the Hardwood Fall 8 hour. Hmmm maybe I should be training really, really hard since it seems that I ride really well when I'm as sick physically as I am mentally. I'm not a happy person when I'm sick, I don't know many people who are, it's a good thing it doesn't happen very often and in most cases it's something I've done during the recovery time that allowed my immune system to weaken enough to catch something. Yep, self inflicted just like a hangover. What ever I did must have been fun and now I'm paying for it.

On a high note I did test my light when I got home in the driveway. It works well. Really well and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to actually see what you are doing. I'll see what comes of the weekend. It's still endurance hours for a while. Lots of options depending on how I feel.

I'm done rambling, whining, bitching, complaining, sulking. Well at least for today. More tomorrow.

Oh, random thought. Sounds like Watson better start getting his creative writing skills going because like most Toronto Maple Leaf fans they jump off the band wagon really quick when they are sucking out. Welcome new readers to the steady and consistent team!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A new toy for the balance blind

Went self Christmas shopping yesterday, I've been a good boy and I thought I deserved it. My headlamp had died recently and I was left only with my 5 year old first generation tikka which is great for hiking and snowshoeing but when it comes to skiing, more so skate skiing, its a little weak on compensating vision for balance.

24 hour race by the time it gets dark I pretty much have the course memorized that I swear I could ride it blind, slippery ground on long skinny sticks I want to see everything so a quick stop at one of my favorite local outdoor stores and out I came with the newest caveman torch. This thing is awesome.
I've had a couple of the Myo's before and they worked awesome putting out about a 100 lumens on the brightest setting. Well the newest one is at 140 lumens. How bright is that? Bright that is all I can say. Physical size and weight haven't changed and there are a few new options that you can do with this one. I'll pretty much just turn it on and turn it off.

Tonight will be the test, planning on a couple hours of skiing after work today. At least I can't blame any falls on not seeing what I'm about to land on. It will be another play time on the classics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Training for 2014

That's right, all this bike riding thing is just my off season base training for what my real goal is. The IOC is about to announce the list of new sports for the 2014 winter Olympics. They did have to drop a few to make some space so hockey and curling have been kicked to the curve. What will be the new sport that Canada may have a strong chance at dominating??? Snowblowing and shoveling. The true sport of Canada.

A few of the events will include the sprints, timed over a small driveway. Hurdles, same small driveway but with randomly placed frozen objects that must be avoid or the chance of auger jam could occur. Of course this is also a spectacular event when objects are shred and spread if the competitor nails the perfect line. There will also be the artistic events, pretty self explanatory but these will not be highlighted to much. Back to the real events. The big draw and this is the one I'll be going for, the Marathon. With my driveway I'll be ready for sure as I managed to take 5 minutes off my PBR last night, the snow was light. Yep, I love Canadian winters.

I did do some cross training last night with 2 hours on the rollers watching the extras of Offroad to Athens. The girl was unable to play last night so I was riding alone with my thoughts, ya see what happens when my mind gets to wander. Heather has not cracked the whip on me yet with some intervals but I did play a little ladder game up into some tempo work. The good thing is that I'm not wanting to tear my hair out while riding indoors. 2 hours and I mentally could handle more, this is an important thing at this point with the long snowy months to come. I'll be honest, you probably won't hear about me skiing for 4-5 hours straight any time this winter, I don't like skiing THAT much.

The highlight of the ride?? I crashed!!! Screwing around not paying attention I turned my upper body way to far to reach for a towel and my bike decided to drift a little bit the other direction. I didn't go down but the bike did. Let's just say that I was happy to be able to get out of the pedals quickly.

This is not the first time I've crashed on the rollers. A couple years ago I went down hard. I had the projector and big screen out and was watching an Everest documentary while riding. As they panned across the mountain my eyes followed, then my head, then my body. Of course that was all it took to send the bike off the edge of the rollers. Unable to catch my balance and get clipped out I fell into the couch with an outreached left arm. A sprained wrist was the result of that crash. I no longer watch the huge screen, currently in the sun room I have a 18 monitor which is perfect for keeping me looking forward.

Just heard the news, another 30cm of snow today, looks like another training day. I need to be ready for the Olympic qualifier. I've heard rumours that the Jamaicans are putting a team together, we all know what happen the last time that happened.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What happened

Well the Monday Night Something has come and passed again. It was the first half attempt at snowshoeing, big feet worked just as well as snowshoes tonight. During the hike I started to remember some of the original rules for the MNS.

The bike rules are easy, single speeds or cross bikes, one hour ride, rain or shine or hail or global warming. there is no warm up there is no cool down. The pace is sane, there is no shame in walking hills(this is usually after race days) and lots of immature trash talk.

Now the snowshoe rules. The weather rule is pretty much the same unless there is a strong chance of death if driving to the destination, that is a get out of jail pass. Equipment, snowshoes!! duh!! Headlamps are optional but are recommended as Tristan found out last night. The pace of the hike, low!!! and usually with lots of random stops and which way should we go from here type comments. There is never any fear of getting lost because Andrew has a compass, gps, map, telescope, star map, and takes photographs every ten feet just in case the trail of bread crumbs doesn't work.

It's kept pretty simple since this is supposed to be a non training day/recovery what ever. Well, what happened last night??? The pace was driven up high, to the point that my heart rate monitor actually considered this a workout. There wasn't much snow and I wasn't feeling tired. The pace was noticed not only by I so I didn't think it was just my poor excuse of fitness. I wasn't at the front setting the pace, hell even the Molly Monster was working hard. So what happened, who is responsible?

Hey LIZ!!!! Slow down!!!! That's right Liz was on a mission to put some hurt in the boys. This is not the first time that a woman has come into the group and altered the MNS plan. The last attempt was done by a rider who wanted to warm up and cool down. That is not allowed, ever! The next day an anonymous email was sent to her coach. The following week things were back to normal. Well what will happen this time. Well I looked back in time to try and get advice on how to deal with this. I came up with this answer

My vote goes to Jacob for president since it was his girlfriend. Now, I'm not saying that it's bad to have woman out to play, I'll be out playing with mine in the snow tonight hopefully and the ones that come out have a pretty sick sense of humour. It did give us someone to throw snowballs at, she ramped up the pace again once that happened. They just need to play by the rules. Since we have to play by women's rules the rest of the time in life during the MNS it's our time. Let's see what happens next week.

Back at it today, ski, bike, snowshoe? Something will happen. Later

Monday, December 14, 2009

I rode my mountain bike

That's right, I spent a full two hours on my Anthem, oh how I have missed you. I also watched others ride their mountain bike. Spent some time on some single track and saw lots of dirt. I even watched a couple mountain bike races. Then the blur in my head cleared and I realized that I was watching Off road to Athens and I was stuck on the rollers.

Skiing Saturday had me on the upper side of my endurance zone, riding the Anthem on the rollers had just enough gears left to keep me on the bottom side. Didn't do much in the line of thrilling intervals or tempo stuff, I just turned my legs. Did some tricks though like no hands and the no hands one leg thing. Of course some time standing and working balance points is always amusing. Seeing how far across the roller width you can go without riding off. Ya, boring.

Riding on rainy slush covered roads was actually put 3rd behind the wattage trainer then the rollers. I never though that riding indoors would win hands down. A good weekend of training though. Back at it tonight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

As crazy as a drunken bushman

Started out the day with more than enough coffee to kill a small rodent. The knock on the door happened right about when I thought it might. My firewood guy showed right on time. Because it was a beautiful day outside the temptation to put play before work needed to be shut down quickly. Drop it right there sir, yep right in the middle of the driveway so I can't get my car out.

Out of curiosity I put on my heart rate monitor, why??? Because I'm such a numbers geek and wanted to see if this would be good enough for my workout today. Of course I would still want to do something fun after lugging wood around. It was also going to give me a chance to test my new traction thing a ma bobs for my favorite outdoor grunt work boots.

Lets just say that it was the best $13 dollars I've ever spent. Lots of grip, no extra weight etc. So two hours later I was feeling very Grizzly Adams/Davey Crocketish. I felt so bushman like that I thought I could kill Bambi with my bare hands, ok maybe not Bambi. Who am I kidding, I have a hard time killing a six pack of beer now let alone some cute wild animal. I did learn that moving and stacking a cord of firewood is only considered active recovery according to my stupid little tracking device.

Work done, driveway clear, one wired dog looking at me saying WTF, I loaded up the classic skis in the car and headed to my other backyard. I haven't been to Copeland since the snow dropped and was a little excited, so was the Molly Monster. Conditions were a little tough to setup grip wax since there was some tracks already cut and being around the freezing mark and sunny meant a mix of snow. Honestly I didn't care if I had grip or not, the weather was amazing. It's been awhile since the sun has been out like it was and I was going to play.

I know Copeland really well by single track bike directions but by double track it was a different experience. This was a good thing because the plan is to ski here at night a lot this winter. It's a 9 minute drive from my house, why wouldn't I. Of course I may accidentally come across some great groomed track set if I continue in certain directions.
Making some of my own tracks.

At your own risk?? Well I'm such a risky guy that I had to see what the concern was all about.

The risk?? The sun, it must have been the sun and possible snow blindness. I'll take that risk.

Remember that puddle that Dan sent us through twice during the first Marathon race? yep I had to ski through that puddle. I also got on to some single track sections that were apparently still controversial on being to wet for people to ride through. Funny thing about that. It was still wet with the snow on it, I guess I'm a bastard for skiing through it.

Finished up with 2 hours of kick and glide and I stayed aerobic the whole time!!! I'll spend a few more weeks on the classics building my base before jumping on the skate skis again. Well that is the plan. I felt great afterwards and still had a smile on my face from all the Vitamin D I soaked in. The Molly Monster was all happy too and is still crashed on the couch with not to much motivation to get off.

The plan for the day? Still debating on that one, check back tomorrow to find out if the excitement continues.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The options are endless

Well it's the first weekend with good snow coverage, what should I do? Unfortunately I will be starting off with some grunt work as I have another load of wood being delivered this morning. I do need to keep warm. Hmmmm burning wood keeps you warm, moving wood keeps you warm. Maybe I should just keep moving the same piece of wood back and forth when I'm at home?? I did do the Tom Sawyer approach on getting some people over to help. Hmmm, I guess everyone had read the book and knew my plan.

It's another weekend of endurance training so what do I do? Ski, it would most definitely be classic as I'm still feeling the mild abuse of Thursday. Snowshoe, there is more than ample enough snow now in the area to actually need them. The last thought is to get out on the bike. I'm sure I'll put the wheels to the snow once this weekend.

My area and just north of here have been getting pummelled with snow and crazy winds the last couple days. There is an imaginary line that the snow just seems to stop about 15 minute drive south of here. Last night they had the 400 north shut down right at the off ramp to my town. This is a major road and I have never ever seen so many transport trucks lined up in one place. Up and down both sides of highway 12. If there was a stretch of pavement that a truck and trailer could fit there was one there. Winter came in in a hurry. Things are looking a little nicer out there this morning as I suck back my second cup of coffee, that could change on the third cup.

Side note. Watson is talking a bunch of smack about the dogs and called the Molly Monster a wimp. She is actually a drama queen and only has a fear of inanimate objects. BUT!!! at least she doesn't need help getting over fallen trees. Another dog I know needs help to get around those trees, oops I meant fallen tree limbs, oh wait now the truth fallen twigs that are half buried in the ground.

Photos and fun to come. Should be a good weekend of training.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Feel the pain get passed by an old guy

Well my half assed not going to save the world plan did work. Made my way down to Hardwood first thing in the morning. I figured that I might need to be fresh with energy for this. Looking at the conditions I thought maybe I'll just bring my skate skis, I'm only skiing for an hour. Yes, I am.

I guess not everyone was as anxious to get on the snow as I was. Oh there was this older guy there. A few hey what's up with Ben, Andrew and Jason and I decided it was time for the self abuse to begin. Music on, heart rate monitor on, poles on, I'm off. I'll be honest, 36 years of living in this area and I have never ever xc skied at Hardwood. This also meant I had know idea where the trails were an what the terrain would be like. Stuck to a medium difficulty loop that was 8km, not going all Olympic on the first time out.

So one thing about the trail coming out of the chalet, it is the same trail that we use for starts at mountain bike races. You remember, the one with wood chips. Well there were no wood chips to be seen but it hurt just about the same. It didn't take long for the heart rate to start going up, the breathing to start getting heavy and the speed to start slowing down. HMMM are these things to come?

Started to find a bit of a rhythm but the thought of stay aerobic pretty much went out the window. A few years ago I did a very short stint of running, ya then I woke up, but when I did I was doing the 10 and 1 system and it worked well for me. Well today it was ski till I could see the technique diminish have a short rest and repeat. It's a very interesting combination as the body goes farther anaerobic the bodies balance pretty much goes to shit. That would explained being cross eyed at the top of a climb.

When I was in a rhythm I found my 2 skate wasn't to bad, my 1 skate technique is pretty sketchy right now, as my ski endurance increases so does my tech skills. As I was playing around I heard these weird noises over the sounds of Rage Against the Machine. I'm about to be passed, it was that old guy from the parking lot. I let him go by and of course my racer boy mentality came on and I started to chase. On the flats I was slowly gaining, we hit a downhill section and I was gaining even quicker. I did a great job waxing, we then hit the next uphill and there was a gap, then a bigger gap then he was gone. Fitness is not as important as technique when it comes to skate skiing.

Continued along, alone, enjoying the sites and conditions. The trails were in great shape and well protected from that crazy wind. It was interesting noticing the different trail heads of the single track sections. Made my way back towards the chalet trying to get the 35 pounds of lactic acid out of my legs and my heart rate down to non race pace. Came across Jason and he asked how it was. The trails were great I was not.

Headed home after my planned hour, ya I didn't have any more in me, at least of skating. A little running around doing grown up things and then I found myself relaxing on the couch in the afternoon, this led from sitting, to laying down to falling asleep on the couch for an hour or so. I was actually feeling a little trashed from the morning of play. Altered my afternoon/evening plans because of that. The Molly Monster got a good walk and my legs needed the easy movements to feel better.

So my thoughts on the first ski, it was fun but like the first time big training block it always hurts. I'm thinking that I will be spending a good chunk of time on my classics and building my base that way. I honestly love my classics. Funny thing is I can almost go as fast on those as I can on the skates and I do it with less effort. I could get out again this weekend.
Well it's back to work today, only a 24 hour pass for a mid week break. It was a nice addition and that mid afternoon nap is always enjoyable. More tomorrow

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Putting a plan in action, I hope

Well that is what I'm hoping it will become. After having a very fun reminder of how much I LOVE snow blowing the driveway I had a thought come into my mind. Yes, these things do happen, usually when I'm on the bike for hours on end, this time it was while pushing around the snow blower for hours on end.

It was the perfect packing snow, this also meant a good workout even snow blowing. This is also the best base layer snow for xc skiing. HMMM, well I've opted to take today off from work. Why, just because. HMMM, I think Hardwood Ski and Bike may be open. A quick text to the coach who has someone on the inside confirmed my thought. HMMM, I think it would be fun to get out on my slippery sticks for a couple km. After an hour of core work I was heading down in the dungeon.

The slippery sticks were both needing the storage wax taken off and a good base cleaning. Of course when you are waxing anything, including your legs you need to have some good entertainment. Last nights choice, the classic. Spaceballs the Movie. We all know who the real Dark Helmet is don't we.

Base binder prep for the classics. I've learned that you can B.S. your way with wax on skate skis but classic waxing is an art that I am slowly learning. The prep work etc must be done or you are spending more time putting grip waxing on than you are wearing it off.

A nice purple/pink mix of glide wax for the Skates. Should be a safe call for the month of December looking at the forecast. Spend more time brushing my skis than my hair in the winter. I love toques!!! Went more purple on the Classics.

A short time later and I'm ready for the long haul. Of course I have a big pile of wax shavings on the ground. Cleaning bikes leaves dirt, tuning skis leaves wax, back country hiking leaves mud maybe I need to take up a clean sport like knitting or lawn bowling.

If my plan holds together I'll get out this morning to play. I'm avoiding that vomit machine today at all costs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The comparision I wish I wasn't making

It happened last night and I was not impressed. I was forced to ride the trainer. It's not that the weather was bad but I cross bike was needing a little TLC after Sunday's ride and I had yet to do it. Hey I've been busy!!

The road bike was all set up, I looked at it, I sulked, I grabbed a movie and headed into the cold room of hell. My sunroom is actually awesome when there is sun but at this time of the year it's become the best training room. I had to wear knee warmers and a sweatshirt for the warm up. Luckily the classic Quicksilver was just long enough to make my training time needed.

So the comparison, outdoor winter riding versus indoor trainer time. It's that time of year and I know I'm not the only one who will do these debates.

The prep before the ride. The trainer side first. Clothing is pretty much the same as what you wear outside in the summer. No big deal, no worries on wearing team colours and a matching kit. Helmet not fully recommended but is an option. As for outside time. Making sure you have the RIGHT amount of clothing on. To much and you feel comfy in the beginning then blow up from overheating. To little and you freeze the your boys off and hate ever minute of being out there. Of course the fashion guru's know that you still must look good when out there so matching kit is important. Don't forget the feet and hands side also. Cold toes and fingers just plain suck. Overall prep time, indoor definitely has the time advantage on this. Many times you get that child hood flashback of getting all dressed up in seventeen layers of clothing and then having to go to the washroom.

The bike, Setup, clean up etc no questions asked the trainer gets the win on this one. My road bike is on it's winter perch of the vomit machine. All I need to do is plug it in. After the ride a quick clean of the floor and the top tube and I'm done. Outdoors, well that's another story, especially depending on road conditions. Salt, sand, snow, etc are great for keeping your time around your bike stand up. That indoor bike wash gets plenty of use. You can spend as much time cleaning the bike after a ride than the ride itself, of course beer helps this. Oh and don't forget about lights.

The workout : This is a split decision, there are NO hills on the trainer. This can be looked at two ways, going up and coming down. As much as I can increase the wattage on the trainer and it can hurt like hell I have yet to ever ride any trainer that feeling like you are going up hill. There is also the visual side of it, seeing that the hill is that long and you are only a quarter way up can never be produced on the trainer. Of course the other side is the downhills, the only way to coast on a trainer?? Stop pedalling!!! Not a great idea though of course the perk is that there are also no stop signs, stupid drivers, bumpy roads, etc to worry about. you can setup a long tempo and not worry about an intersection. Easier to set a zone and stay there.

Of course the scenery never changes, movies and a surround system will only get you so far compared to trees and rocks and roads always changing. I like new visuals, I'd lean a little more to the outside for this one. Cycling is an outdoor sport.

Recovery, cleanup, nutrition and everything I missed etc. Ya this is always the fun one. On the trainer you don't need to worry about nutrition, I'm only 20 feet from the kitchen. The concerns of bonking an hour from home never happens. Same with mechanical, I've never blown a chain or tire on the trainer. If I did still not worried. Clean up, yep the bike is fine, not leaving a mess of winter riding wear in the basement that now needs washing, etc etc. Advantage to the trainer again.

So what wins, outdoor riding. As much as my efficiency junkie attitude loves crunching the numbers and shows all the time saved by riding the trainer I would still much rather be outside. You can not compare the two. The feeling of cold crisp air freezing the tail end of that snot rocket to your nose. The sensation of the bike sliding a little on random ice sections. The look on peoples faces as they drive past you in there cars with the heater cranked up thinking look at that nut.

After my two hours of boredom I did the much needed work on the bike, it's ready for the next workout, I'll prolong the vomit machine as long as I can.

Oh and on the snow front, yes we have it, no other places do not. yes I will be getting the skis ready this week. Soon, very soon

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some changes

I'm thinking about you, so I thought it would be nice to make it easier for you to link to other riders with a good clean up of the list to the right. More so to divide it up. Seems that everyone is on a roll with blogs now and that list is getting a little long.

Easy way to classify things. Well I thought about going with the categories of Fast people and Funny people. The thought of the guys versus the girls came to mind of course along with shirts and skins but I'm pretty sure Emily and Tanya may have a comment or two about going topless for their profile pictures. I also would have to start billing $4.99 for the first minute. There was the World Cup/Ocup group and the endurance group but there were to many crossovers.

In the end I felt that I was putting labels on people, huge nameplates that may or may not be true so I came to the final decision of two groups. The Canadians with good stories and people that want to be Canadians with good stories. Stephen Colbert may be going after our speed skating team but I'm going to attempt to steal a few riders and bring them to the land of beavertails and igloos. All this to make your life just a little better. You may notice a few more names now also in both categories.

On the training excitement side of things I opted to skip the MNS ride. Looking at the forecast I think there will be one more and it will have more than 12 snowflakes on the ground in Midhurst. It may even look close to my 3 inch thick white yard. Instead I did some quality time with the Molly Monster with a hike in Scout Valley. I was feeling a little guilty of the long rides on the weekend and her not getting a good run. I also need to get her lazy couch sleeping ass in shape for the up coming snowshoe season and doing a crazy intensity run behind a bunch of bikes is not the best way for a 6 year old dog.

It was a nice 1.5 hour hike on snow covered trails. Lights, don't need no stinkin lights . Happy dog and a happy me. It could be the first snow covered road ride tonight, we will see what comes after work.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Apperently it was my day???

Some how it this ride was named after me, why, how, who etc caused it I don't know. Hell I didn't do even a speck of planning for it. I plan was simple, ride for a really long time on cross bikes. That's it' Of course waking up in the morning and seeing the snow in my yard made me wonder how long a ride it might really be.

Quick walk with the Molly Monster and then I packed the car. She was not to impressed to see me leave with a bike and not her. She does know that the cross bike equals no play time for her though. I headed out a little early not know what the conditions in Barrie might be. This also meant i through my other wheel set in the car with the aggressive cross tire on them. Why, snow and slicks just don't mix.

First time seeing these things out. Not impressed, 40 km/h on a highway. I will not off ramp on ramp??? No comment. Made it to Watson's place with some extra time. No snow here, sun was out. I actually thought it might have been a heat wave, then I got out of the car and had that shock to the system, not today!

Headed over to The School. Let's just say that it's a special place, Check out the storage bins and they call Waubaushene redneck!!!!

We also found Andrew a Trans Am to go with his poor excuse of a sketchy type beard thingy that he has growing. Didn't even have to trade in the Mazda.

Lots of excitement and we really haven't even started riding yet. Tristan, running a little late rolled in, quick talks and we were off. Mental projection is supposed to work, I tried to think warm, it wasn't happening today. Now the first few hills did a better job. Gravel concessions are always a good way to get the body warm.

Made our way south before jumping on the rail trail, not the pretty paved one that I'm used to at the bottom of my yard but pretty dam close with packed limestone, Lots of 3 up riding and talking at this point. A few more lefts and rights and we were at the north end of Coulsen Hill. Before we hit the single track we stopped and watched in complete aww.

Tristan is known for his ability to put the power down, he is also known for his bike handling ability. I use that term loosely. The ability to keep the bike smooth and straight is not a strength, UNLESS he rides on something that has absolutely zero traction and was know way strong enough to hold his weight.

Let's just say that I'm still in aww. He even went across in a perfectly straight line and had the evidence in the ice to prove it. Check out the video of this on Andrew's blog. Of course we made our way into the single track and old Tristan came back to life. For me I found some interesting times in there having to back pedal a little because my foot would get hung up on the wrong side of the fender if I hadn't

We continued south back on some pavement before the next off road adventure kicked in. It was a nice change riding on roads I've never been on and mixing it up with a little off road. Into another park area where there were a few on the edge decent, clay mud and slicks equals a lot of drifting.

A quick break, it's interesting on how often breaks to pee happen in the cold weather.

Nice area to hang out.

We started the return trip north. Watson is complaining that I didn't pull. My thought, I'm the old guy today and you ride faster than I do. Does that equal things out. I will say that I was a little cautious on my output during the later part of the ride. I could feel a little weakness coming on during a couple climbs. I was trying to ride in control and getting up front would not have been a great idea. Oh and for the most part we road side by side most of the ride unless the amount of cars on the road would alter that.

We made a quick stop at Tim Hortons. Coffee, not theirs, sorry tastes like crap but the hot chocolate and the peanut butter cookies were very very good. Slightly refueled we headed back up the rail trail towards Barrie. Way in the distance we saw a cyclist. Are racer mindset has the three of us picking up the pace to catch the distant rider. A few efforts and we finally caught up, it took longer than we thought and we worked harder than we thought. Once we passed the mystery hammer time rider we realized it was a middle aged woman on a mountain bike who basically put the hurt into the three of us while she wobbled and bounced around as she pushed the hard gear. I started to think about taking up a new sport. Watson was beyond words all I heard was a few really deep breaths. I think it was because his head was hanging a little low and he could hardly breath. I bet he was thinking that the UCI would want to urine test her!!! It was a little humbling.

Heading into the final stretch Andrew had this crazy notion to try some crazy steep climb. It's a great way to cool down I opted to walk at the mid way point. I did shoulder the bike and run a bit when I saw the camera come out trying to show off my world class cross skills. Once the camera was away I pretty much came to a stop.

Tristan and Andrew battled it out on the climb before they both cracked. Spun back to the house and finished the ride the right way with a beer and some stories. A few random things talked about during and after the ride. Winter training, next seasons events, who is doing what, entry fees and prizes, what o cup division I'm going to race in next season, where to ski, who is slacking off etc. In the end it was a great day.
There is currently 2 plus inchs of snow now and looks like winter may officially be here. I guess I'll be getting my skis ready this week. I'm still not putting the bike away.
Time to head out in the white stuff

Night and day

Maybe not the best contrast, how about black and white? Or ying and yang. Ok to subtle how about no snow and snow!!!! That is what I'm looking at this morning at 7 am thinking it's going to be an interesting group ride this morning.

It looks like I should be ready to go and do this.

Ok maybe there is not that much, yet. I did get a great ride in on the road yesterday though. A mix of rail trail and side roads before making a quick stop up at Mountainview Ski Centre. Annual ski swap, lets just say it was a good thing I was on my bike an not able to bring anything back with me. Saw a couple nice skates and classic that were just looking for a new home in my collection.

Back on the bike I did manage to stop for one photo opportunity to prove I was out there. It's a little to chilly out to do random photos anymore. My gloves coming off versus giving you a better visual is a tough decision.

Those dark clouds coming in were packed with the white stuff. I've been loving the pimped out cross bike lately, it has the wide body fender flare kit on that makes it look so fast. It's kinda like a Honda Civic with a NOS sticker on it. Intimidation with flash works well!!
Just over 2 hours of riding, another one of those endurance mile ride where the only time my heart rate spiked was when I saw all the skis. Yes, I am weak!!!
Gotta roll, should be entertaining today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday into the abyss

Went into the weekend a little different, instead of my normal Friday night of banking, grocery and all the other grown up things I normally would do. After the week I had with the crazy people out there I needed a little fun time. Loaded up both my single speeds, lights and warm clothes, picked up a friend that had never ridden at night and we were off into the cold.

8th line is a great place to first time ride at night, not a lot of climbing, not to technical etc etc. A little adjustment of the NRS with some flat pedals added and we headed out. This also gave me a chance to ride my 29er which has been sitting for way to long. We cruised around for just over an hour, the one thing I did make a mistake about on the ride. I forgot that my intensity would be way down which meant my extremities would get cold a little quicker.

When is the last time you have ever felt the cold in a body part that made you sick to your stomach? For me it's been a long time but it brought back memories of teaching and coaching alpine skiing. Our wonderful high density plastic race boots that were so tight and had such a thin liner that keeping your feet warm was almost impossible if you were just standing on the hill for hours on end. I do remember one time where I was ready to break my ankle just to get my foot out of those rock hard minus 30 frozen boots because of the pain. Well that is almost how my fingers felt last night near the end of the ride. Why was I not that smart to wear warmer gloves. Because I was nice and let her use them.

Besides that is was a great way to start a weekend of mental de stress, lots of riding to be done. There has been a full moon which did seem to make sense on why and what was happening. After this week I came up with this thought. The human species is the only species that doesn't let natural selection do it's thing by killing of the weak and Stupid.

Off for a ride.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mixing things up

It was a little crappy out this evening so changed up the training thoughts of the day. I left all the bikes alone, pulled a pair of ski poles off the rack and headed down to my coach's new house. No I was not going to beat Heather. Instead it was a hike to Hardwood Ski and Bike and back.

It was one of those evening that I would have been forced on the trainer because it was just beyond what I will suffer through at this time of the year. A couple degrees above freezing, steady drizzle, dark. You know, absolute crap. Heather always makes it fun.

A mix of atv trails and then gravel roads before we hit the edge of Hardwood's property. Made the hike a little more interesting by taking some single track. Coffee Run is still one of my favorite sections and is always used at the Canada Cup. Walking it did give you a totally different look at the lines including a new one that I will have to watch and see if they tape it off. Lets just say that it's always faster to go straight than to turn around a tree.

Just over two hours of one foot in front of another and we were done. I did find out that this type of workout will not get my heart rate up. Now the bonus side of it was it did seem to help out my hip flexors and did give me a break off the bike.

Looks like the weekend is ramping up with lots of riding so this was probably a good thing. They are predicting snow all weekend and next week. I'll be interested to see if my setup from yesterday will stop it. I will be getting the skis ready though. Hardwood is looking at making snow this weekend.

I'll be watching

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting ready for the long haul

After the last blast of beautiful weather and the prediction of snow I thought I would do what I can to screw up Mother Natures plan again.

It was an off the bike night, spent the time being productive though. After nearly 2 hours of yoga I was feeling pretty good afterwards. I've been having a few hip flexor problems the last couple weeks but they are starting to get back under control. One of those strange things that always happens at this time of the year. The time when you start to pick up the training but also forget how much time is spent doing recovery and forget to incorporate that in the day. Ya, it was self inflicted.

It was then down in the dungeon (basement) to get the road bike cleaned up after that wonderful Sunday ride on it. I looked at old faithful and said sorry as I pulled the pretty deep dish wheel off the back and could hear a small whimper as that ugly heavy wheel approached. One gear only on a wheel that I swear almost weighs as much at the bike. Why one gear, well that wattage trainer works way to well that shifting is useless, I have the 39 for the lower warm up wattage of under 180 and then that 53 for everything else. No point on wasting a cassette.

Old faithful looked at me again with that look saying WHY????? as I strapped her to the vomit machine where she will sit for the winter. Sorry. I then walked away to get my other setup ready for the snow. My 29er which has been collecting an excessive amount of dust and needing a little tlc. A few minor adjustments and it's ready for the snow. For those days when I feel the cross bike may be a little to sketchy to ride. Those 2 foot snow dumps etc, arg the thoughts of that.

So the master plan of all this stuff. The last time I put the road bike on the trainer, about 3 weeks ago all thoughts of snow went out the window. To add one more wrench in the spokes, my snow blower is up and ready to roll also. Winter can come and I'm ready, Give me your best shot. Maybe I should take it one more step beyond and get the storage wax of the skate and classic skis and pull the snowshoes off the wall. Poke, poke poke, Mother Nature.

Gotta go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

into the dark both mind and physically

Another ride in the dark. Unlike some of my friends who had nice photos to show you where they were and what it looks like I can pretty much describe it. Turned left on that road, it was dark, turned right on the next road it was dark also. That's about it for an hour and a half.

My ride yesterday was more to clear my mind than for fitness. Things have been a little stressful the last few days at work. Some interesting things happened and are now dealt with. Things that needed to be dealt with but are very mentally exhausting. I have one more of them left today and then it's hopefully back to smooth for a year. There always seems to be an ebon flow of good smooth times and then the odd problem. I guess it's that time.

Not to sound all down here are a couple new places for you to visit. Sam is just a strung out kid who rides fast. Erick for those in the Canadian scene is one of the big threats in 24 hour racing. Nice guy at that.

Time for work.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Because I wished it.

Yep, because I wanted it to stay nice out. I'm currently looking out at about 2 inches of snow. It's not going to stay but it was a reminder of what it will look like in the very near future. I'm not sure what will even stay for this evening. Could I do the first ride in the snow? Could I be stuck on the trainer? I don't think trails are even an option. Living in the snow belt region and also in an area where we have our share of rednecks I'm still listening carefully to hear the first snowmobile go riping up the road.

The last few days have been good though in the prep for the inevitable. I got a few rides in that will keep me smiling even if I am stuck on the vomit machine. Most of the outside house stuff that needed to be done have been dealt with. My snow blower is being a little stubborn but it's at least in the shop where it's dry and warmish.

Last major project is to set up the trainer in it's permanent winter location. If I do it and put the road bike on it everything will melt. Movie collection is huge for the winter which hopefully will make the time go by smoother. Still sticking to my guns about riding outside as much as possible.

No control of it might as well get ready for it. I will say, it does look really pretty out there.