Sunday, February 28, 2010
Another random email will alter another race decision, more on that another time. Yes there were enough emails going through my computer to jam up the Internet. Don't people talk on the phone anymore???
The pimp parts for the Chuck Norris bike are on order, the is one missing component which I've yet to decide on. The bars need to be changed out to a wing bar but I'm hoping for some random diamond in the rough find at the Toronto Bike Show next weekend.
As for me physically, I'm back to feeling very Olympic. After a good walk with the dogs in the morning, I needed it to soften the legs up, I jumped on the hamster wheel of death with my eyes focused on the numbers. It didn't take me long to feel confident that the rest did the body good. Legs felt great during the long zone 3 intervals. My typical body with it's slow to warm up had me go up 10 watts by the third interval. I was feeling very happy!!!
A meet up with my coach for dinner last night with stories told, food consumed and beer and espresso drank lead up to the final plan for today's adventure. There is some fresh deep snow on those hills of Oro and are craving some foot prints left in them. Oh ya and the dogs need to be exhausted, 4 dogs, 3 people, should be comical.
An interesting side note of how far my training has come in the last 2 years. I was looking back at a power test I had done 2 years ago in February. I'm actually stunned at the difference. I've even compared to last year. I've yet to do a max wattage test this year, I think I'll run that one past Heather today. I'm curious, maybe I shouldn't find out and save it for the trails.
Time for food and play. More tomorrow
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Being the anal planner that I am I've already started preriding race courses, booked hotels, etc etc. Of course that is all in my head that I've been doing this. Maybe it's the anticipation of the season that I'm starting to feel couped up and wanting to play in that giant sandbox. All the signs are pointing to spring though, new road bike, race schedule are being posted, it's not minus freezeyournutsoff, I'm about to put all indoor house renos on hold for the next 9 months, etc etc.
It's coming so that also means training. Took a few days completely off the bike. The closest thing to physical activity has been a couple good stretching sessions and snowblowing the driveway. For those that have been to the house, you know that's a workout itself when it's close to an hour to clear on a good day. I'll be jumping on the hamster wheel of death shortly. Complete control of today's tempo intervals. I know what watts I should push at what heart rate for so long so I will be staring at that little display so hard that it may be feared into producing what I want to see. I am feeling better, minus the beer residue that is currently running through my system.
More to come (riding, stories, pictures) and more to go (snow?? Hoping)
Ontario Cup #2 Albion Hillls 13th
Marathon #1 Horseshoe Valley 3rd
Mansfield Spring 8 Hour 8th of 47 tag team with me riding most of it.
Canada Cup Hardwood Hills 15th
Ontario Cup #4 Boler Mountain 12th
24 hour Summer Solstice Solo 4th shortened to 12 hours
Marathon #3 Ganaraska 5th
Ontario Cup #6 Mountainview DNF
Mountainview 9 hour Solo 1st
24 hour of Hot August Nights 2nd corprate expert team
12 and 24 hour of Hansen Hills 4th
Hardwood Fall 8 Hour 1st under 40 solo 1st overall solo
Some random Cyclocross race
Hardwood 50km 1st in division 5th overall
Friday, February 26, 2010
I'm not going to argue that point. So if Chuck Norris was a cyclist, wait he probably is what bike would he ride. That's right folks, he would be riding this!!!
The new road whip showed up a couple days ago. Let's just say that this thing awesome. I've yet to show it to my other road bike just because of the jealousy it might have towards it.
Simple run down,lots of carbon, full Ultegra, Mavic Ksyriums. 15.9 lbs out of the crate. There will be some blinging out of the bike that may shave a little bit more weight off. Unfortunately the bars are not winged so that is the only major immediate change. Besides Chuck riding the same bike, slim chance I will be riding in the same pack as him so no concerns, Jacob and Tristan are both rolling on the same bikes. A little individual styling is in order.
The paint and graphics are very subtle
This does not do justice to the carbon weave.
The bike is sitting in my living room taunting me with thoughts of fast climbs and even faster descents. The worst thing is that all I can do is stare at it. Maybe I should hang it on the wall in the training room as incentive on what is to come. I can see a few inter club road races on this bike.
Huge thank you to Tristan, Jacob and Mike of Bike Stop in Orrilia for setting me up on the bike this year.
Hey Chuck give me my bike back!!!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Jumped on the cross bike, pressed the start button on my wrist lap top and it took only about a minute for me to decide. 10 minutes later there was still no improvement so I pretty much said screw it to trying to force the body to feel good and I actually just road my bike with no particular focus. It was a nice feeling I must say. It was a rare time that I didn't have music being pumped into the brain, all I heard was the sounds of the world. the birds, the wind, the snow the transport trucks whizzing by. 45 minutes of that and I was loading up the wagon for the return trip home. It's nice to have the car back. I spend so much time in the Element during work hours I was really getting sick of driving it on personal time. Felt like I was still working.
I'll try again on the weekend and see where things are at. The weather is looking a little unpredictable at this point and with my body appearing to be weak and frail right now I'll probably resort to indoor miles. I think I went through this exact same thing last year right about this time. Rest is good, I'll use all my extra time to scheme a way to melt all the snow on the trails and the road shoulders.
I'll save a few other things for another day, I've been lacking in material and creativity lately so I'm needing to milk the simplest things to the max to be able to write more than 17 words. I'll blame this on the weather also.
Time to run, walk, crawl to work.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The scheduled abuse was the perfect thing as a test. Nothing close to top end, just some high cadence stuff. I watched the little numbers carefully. They said I wasn't dead which is a good start. I know that my body is very much a diesel engine and warm up is always longer for me so the first 15 minutes I wasn't expecting the numbers to jump to that perfect zone. A few minutes later things were right where they should be. A couple more intervals and one legged things and I decided to keep the time on the bike on the low side. Better but not 100 percent.
I'm looking out the window with coffee filled eyes and noticed that winter has showed it's face again. I know I shouldn't be complaining to much about it since it's still February but I'm looking forward to the spring. It's not just the riding side, I've got my list of stuff for the house that needs to be done, with have Mom's move coming quickly and I'm hoping that we won't be tromping in the snow. Ok let me rephrase that, hopefully the movers won't be tromping in the snow. Clear roads, warm sun, playing at the local bike park with the bmx. Soon.
Off to work
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
When ever I get this feeling I always look back at the week or so earlier and see what it was that had changed in my life that got me to this point. It's such a fine line we play sometimes with the work, training and rest of life that one little change and the whole thing comes crashing down. I'm really not in that mood to be sick. I'm a really grumpy person when I'm sick.
I did make a little shopping run, a few new pairs of gloves, a reflective things for the insoles of my shoes that keep the feet warm, a misc chemical thing to really keep things warm. If I buy all the stuff for cold windy rides it will cause a shift in the earth and it will be instant rainbows and butterflies. This is a proven fact. The reason Barrie area has had very little snow this year, Jer and Andrew bought new snowblowers. Watch this weekend, I won't need any of the gear i just bought.
The count down is one, winter is running out of months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. Maybe it should just roll over and die now??? Instant spring works for me, yes Ben we could all just fly to your place in SC!!!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I was feeling not to bad for the first hour and got into a good steady rhythm but then the body started giving me a few signs, then a few more then it said you should turn around now. My heart rate dropped like a rock. I was feeling pretty good in the morning, just a little sore and that is still linked back to the xc ski on Thursday more than anything. I have been sleeping a little off though. I think it caught up with me.
As I turned my bike to head back north is when it kicked in. I knew it was there and it hit me like a frying pan to the face. Speed slowed and so did the body. Yep there is a wind there. I started to recalculate the return route home. With my heart rate not wanting to rise meant no wonderful warm blood getting to my fingers and toes. I started to zig and zag to get breaks to thaw out. This did lead me on to a few gravel roads which are currently mud roads. The bike wash tub looked like a sand box.
I eventually made my way to Coldwater where even though I was only 20 minutes from home I needed to stop and hide from the wind for a few. My hands had gotten to the point of the painful cold. I'll be buying a few of Watson's favorite things today, not having this happen again. In the end I still spent 3 hours on the bike and climbed nearly an hour of that time.
I spent the afternoon relaxing, eating and soaking up the sun in my very protected sun room which was somewhere in the 80's. We will see what another day of rest does along with some early to bed days. It's hard with the Olympics. I like riding in the cold but I'm getting a little sick of the wind.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I had some coaching requests to take care of first off, the first hour flew by with the long zone 3 intervals. The conditions of the roads were pretty much a mix of perfectly clear to somewhere under 2 inches of ice and everything in between. The in between was the nerving part, random ice pot holes kept me from gawking around to much.
I finished up the work side of the ride just as I was getting to the so called road. It was looking promising and I thought he end destination would be worth it. The first few km I thought it was going to be a pretty smooth ride. I was attempting to get to a control dam on the Trent Severn. Me and my water fetish. I kept spinning away with high hopes trying not to notice that the road had seemed to change a little. More the tracks on the road seemed to look more like snowmobile than car. Kept pedalling.
I came to a sign which had me a little concerned on my direction. Of course it was a snowmobile trail map which was pretty much useless for telling me if this road was the right road. With a trail split I guessed that it was the left trail. It's always the left trail right?? I did start running into a few sleds and got some waves. Most snowmobilers are very friendly. I glanced at the time and had given a cut off, it was approaching quickly.
Where the hell am I? Am I close, am I far, am I even on the right road, is this a road? I attempted to find myself with the handy use of my cell phone gps. I'm not sure if it was right or not but it showed me being what seemed to be hours away from the dam. I'd been holding a pretty good pace, the trails were almost perfect for riding. Of course as it got warmer the trail began to soften. They could turn real bad if the sun broke. At the 2 hour mark I gave up on my search, that dam fabled dam. Turning back to the way I came did become interesting though.
I'd come across snowmobilers which was completely expected, you can hear them coming and they don't take up the trail. What threw me was coming around a corner and coming face to face with a truck. I'm not sure who was more shocked. Now the concern was more the type of truck. What would be the chances that it was a Toyota, not a place to have that gas pedal stick. I swear no more than 10 minutes later I come face to face with another car and almost stunned it was a Toyota Camry. What the hell is going on. Even the sleds behind them didn't want to pass just in case. I think I timed my turn around perfect because I could see something very bad happening out on that trail.
Took a different way back to the house, more to break up the cruel head wind. My entertainment and challenge was to try and roll back to the house at the same time as the sun broke through the clouds, it was going to be close. The last climb up Mountain ave always feels like a mountain. Trying to keep the heart rate down and spin out the legs. From step to step I was 4 hours with almost half of that spent on what may or may not have been a road.
I will make another attempt on that same route once the snow melts and I can visually see that it the road. Heading out for round two of the weekend. I know these are roads.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I have two great rides planned and the weather is looking like it might play on my side. I need the training because after I saw THIS I was feeling a little weak. More excitement tomorrow with pictures
Friday, February 19, 2010
Last night I was able to get out on the snow while there was still daylight. Figured I'd get my session of hills in when I can actually see where I'm going. Going up is the easy part, a few of those downhills are a little nasty. We made our way over to the hills of Oro where you are greeted by this sign.
My excuse is that I don't know where the clock feature is on the new HR monitor. After an hour of going up and down and that included only one really close call of actually going down it was time to head to the slightly less vertical areas. It was getting dark and I don't trust my technical skills on things like Achy Breaky with limited headlamp vision. I didn't want to break anything tonight.
That turned into a great idea because the snow started to roll in as the last of the light disappeared. The trails were in pretty good shape. I brought out the classics last night for a change. It's been a good month since the last time I played on them and it's probably going to be one of the last times this year. I've given myself till the Toronto Bike Show weekend to still be skiing. After that it's only bikes, that's the plan at least.
A solid 2.5 hour ski has me feeling a little stiff this morning and Molly seemed to move a little slower also as she jumped up on the couch. The new toy works well now that I have it all setup. That purple graph is the climbing for the day.
The weekend is here, almost. I don't think I'll be beating the boy's ride points tally but I'll be putting in some good solid miles. Until tomorrow.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
A few more texting bugging Mr. Watson about his power test and intensity, well what was in that wonderful email from my most favouritest coach in the world. Does that say z4, is that intensity, is that with power. So my output of words brought it back to haunt me. I knew this day was coming. In short, the work out was basically find as hill that keeps getting steeper until you can't ride up it. OR attempt to simulate the same on the trainer.
I opted for the trainer, I lost count of how many times I went up this imaginary hill but somewhere in the teens I was basically blowing up at the top of the hill. I won't tell you what wattage I was pushing and where I blew up but I was happy with it. I will say that near the end I was attempting to recover at 130 watts and it still seemed to be to much. It takes more effort to coast right???
On another note, the Mountainview Cycling Club is back again for the 2010 season with a couple new additions. The biggest one is being part of the inner club road race series now. This means the club will hold 2 small road races this summer. I'm looking forward to this, just hope the timing will jive with training. A few changes in management but seems like things will be good. We will also be holding another Ontario Cup race along with the return of the 9 hour race. Now we just need the snow to melt.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I liked my Garmin, it was pretty cool for what it gave me but I did find that I spent almost more time staring at the graphs on the computer than actually making the graphs. There were a couple quirks with it though that I didn't like and parts of the reason it sits on the shelf. Battery life was short. 8 hours at it's best. That's fine for most but for me and my obsession with long races I'd see that low battery life display come on way to often. I also found that it was just not comfortable to wear.
I constantly get bugged about my larger than normal wrapped grips on the mountain bikes, I have big hands and when you work with tools all day with squeezed hands fixing appliances putting your hand in the same position for an 8 hour race just doesn't work. I swear bar grips are still made for 13 year old. That said I still have skinny boney wrists and I found the Garmin to be uncomfortable to wear.
That lead back to the simple. Another extremely basic monitor that basically read my pulse but now having the wattage trainer the combination of the two gave me more than what I needed. Until now. I started to get a few twitchy things out of the monitor on my last ride. It's probably just a battery issue but there has been talks in the family that Mom has been interested in getting a monitor for here snowshoeing and return to running. I have Mom on a training program now with her treadmill.
Like the reason I needed to get new snowshoes that was all the reason I needed to go and buy a new toy. After a few questions to the crew at the MNS I stopped in to visit Jer at the Trek Store in Barrie. It was one of those things where I didn't even get a chance to ask questions like a regular consumer he just said you need this one as he points to the bottom of the case. Yes from top to bottom they go from cheapest to most expensive. Of course Jer would never lead me the wrong way because this laptop for the wrist was very on sale which made my normal thoughts come to ease.
So the new tool for the year is a Polar s725x. It has all the options I would need included and will probably overwhelm me with info. Right now I'm still stunned at how think the instruction manual is. I'll spend some time with the setup once the TCR shows up. I do like the big display, I found it a lot easier to read than my previous Polar and even the Garmin. I did put it to use last night on the rollers while doing some more spin ups and one legged things. The rest week did me good. Felt good with lots of power in the legs with just under two hours spent spinning the cranks.
Not sure what is on my agenda today since the coach's computer crashed a couple days ago and we have the first Mountainview Cycling Club meeting for 2010. Could be a ride to and from the meeting.
I have numbers to stare at, so many numbers!!!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Last night's snowshoe was hard to even get motivated to head to. Sitting at the side of the road I was yawning as I talked to the newbie. Krista, like usually was very chipper even after a 4 hour snowshoe earlier in the day. Those runners are a feisty bunch. As the cars rolled in my energy continued to drop, standing and waiting I faded more until the word go was said. A few moments later I found that energy I needed. I still moved with as little effort as needed but felt better.
I learned something about my friends last night. If the trail isn't taped were in trouble. Without Death march Liz leading the group it took about 40 minutes before the first "I don't know where we are" comment to come out. This of course was after someone said that we can't get lost in this area, it's too small. 10 minutes after the first sign of concern it came out again. I ended up taking the lead and with motivation of the hot chocolate in my truck I lead us to safety.
It would be interesting to go back and check our route during the daylight and seeing how many times we came close to crisscrossing. No one was lost and I only heard one comment about eating Molly if all else fails. Once back at the cars I consumed the last of my hot chocolate as my energy level went back to it's original lower level.
I'll be feeling draggy until I hit the office this morning. It's also back to self abuse tonight with a list of intervals to do. At least I'll be playing in the newly setup training room, part of this past weekend list of projects to do.
I think it will be an extra coffee day!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I did have a destination on this ride though so I was forced out on to the highway and heading toward Midland. Traffic was light but I'm not a big fan of this section of highway and usually use are rail trail anytime I'm heading this way. The winter just makes it a little nerving since the roads seem to be a little narrower and drivers are not expecting to see a cyclist out in February.
After catching a draft of a snowplow for a few km/h, I rolled my way into the next town. I was ducking off the highway as much as possible, the towns added miles and gave me a little mental rest. This was good because I got flagged down by a car. I tried not to laugh to hard when they asked for directions. You want to go where??? Kitchener??? You should have seen the look on his face when I told him how far away they were. Something tells me that they had been heading a few hours in the wrong direction already. Maybe they should have been using a handheld gps and talking to CAA for directions on their cell phones, guarantee they wouldn't have been lost.
I finally rolled into my planned stop. Had I known what was about to happen happened I would have put in a few more miles before stopping. A quick stair climb to Brandon and Ange's apartment found me being tempted by coffee. What was I going to do, say no?? My feet were cold from the head wind so I figured a coffee would equal just long enough to thaw then back at it. Well one coffee leg to a second and as much is caffeine is a motivator the warmth was sucking the life out of me. When the chocolate chip filled pancakes came out I knew I had to go now or I would never leave.
Back out on the bike I was feeling a little slow now. The legs felt fine and I was still motoring along at a good pace but the rest of me just wanted to sit on the couch. No more than 20 minutes later the ride 3.76 km and have to pee thing started. I swear it was that consistent as the coffee caught up with me. I made a turn left towards the east. Yes east is homeward bound. My craving to be outside riding was not on the high side at this point. The route I was on was boring, had lots of traffic and also something I had ridden so many times I swear I know where every crack in the pavement was. Also the wonderful taste of salt everytime I took a drink from my bottles was starting to play on me. The salt did do a great job clearing the roads
After stopping for the 5th time I was on the home stretch. Man ride failure, coach's requirement, just a little short. 3 hours and 13 minutes. I almost wanted to count the seconds. A quick clean up, not of the bike since it was not going to be a quick one with it, and it was out on the bay for a stroll with the dog. Watched a few kite boarders play for a bit before the cold and wind took the last of my energy. The couch and the Olympics finished out the day. Good to see a Canadian Gold already.
What is on the agenda today? No riding
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I considered doing a ramp test just to see where things are at at the top end. Ok I can have fun and I was thinking of a power test. That thought left pretty quick. It was still really chilly out when I wanted to go and the thought of the bike on the road crossed my mind more and more. Then those eyes came, the stare, the guilty look, the what about me look. Molly staring at me saying lets play. The bike idea went on hold. Thank god Bob the cat amuses himself by killing my plants or I'd have those two teaming on me.
With the Monster needing a run there was only one option left. Skate skiing it is. For me it's that perfect sport that with just 5 percent more effort I'm into a race pace. With it being family day weekend all the resorts would be packed so definitely no dogs allowed. I headed down to my favorite free ski resort with a route in mind. I was just hoping that the conditions were going to be enjoyable.
Wind is good and bad for the ice. The bad is lead off by of course a cruel resistance and with not much in the line of trees as buffers it can be a lot of extra work. of course the return with a tail wind does make it all worth while. The bigger problem can be drifting. Depending on how the snow sets up you can hit a random soft pack and almost come to a dead stop. The dead stop is usually face first if you're not ready for it. Of course the other side is that the wind can make the ice perfect with a half inch of snow on bullet proof base. Means just the right amount of grip to the best glide. Let's see those groomers at Hardwood top out Mother Nature on this.
For the most part the conditions were perfect. Next to no wind, a few sun breaks and lot's of energy. After that initial 10 minutes of trying to find my balance and technique, yes it takes that long sometimes and the technique is still very limited. I'd made a loop around a couple islands after staring at google maps. It didn't take long for Molly to take the lead.
Not much in photos because to be honest skiing on the bay when you look at photos, well it all looks the same. Flat, white and very open. As for the coach's requests, I would increase my pace for a song or two. Cautiously I'd catch a glimpse of the heart rate monitor. I say cautiously because as the intensity increased I knew my balance would start to be compromised and the last thing I wanted to do is get crossed up or worst get to far over a ski and go down hard. The only down fall with having perfect snow on the ice is that it's not very soft when you do fall.
Finished up with 5-6 really good blasts, I stopped counting after the 2nd because I was to busy smiling. Was it a runner's high on skis? Maybe? Did my favourite type of cool down next to coasting. No not drinking beer, the walk back to the house is a necessity for the knees. The recovery week is coming to an end. I'm looking forward to next week though. The car should be back, finally. The new road bike will be here, we are one more week closer to spring also. Oh and the intensity is probably going to pick up.
Time to do the man ride challenge. I believe Jacob and Tristan are attempting something big today. I'm going to try and take it above and beyond. More on that tomorrow.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I did miss the final leg of the torch run but found out that Wayne Gretzky lite the torch. Not a bad choice. So now it's 2 weeks of winter sports. There may be an attempt to wire up a laptop to the big tv in the training room with hopes that I'll be able to live stream most of the events. Could this make me want to train inside more. Probably not.
I did find the Canadians team outfit's a little interesting. It reminded me a little of the Bob and Doug McKenzie meet Red Green type look. I actually waited for one of them to pull a beer out of their pocket and tell the French to "take off eh".
The Olympics do come at a great time with the count down to the end of winter. It equals a great distraction. With that countdown started one of the normal things i look forward to is the Uxbridge Icebreaker. I've done this event a few times now and unfortunately that was the last time. The organizer have decided to cancel the event this year after numbers hit a low last season. I'm really disappointed because this was such a fun way to start the season. I guess Paris to Ancaster may be the new first event this year.
Time to go play
Friday, February 12, 2010
I like skiing, not that much to want to ski back to back days of 80 km. They have had some interesting conditions in the past with years of perfect snow and weather to times when the event had to be shortened because of lack of snow. Hopefully the conditions are a little nicer this year. Jenn is only doing one day of 80 km but Rick is going for the gold where he carries a pack with what he needs and then sleeps outside. No Thanks!!!! I know Tanya will be joining them also, I'm hoping she has a much better ski this year.
I'm thinking that I might do a nice short in comparison skate ski today
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Snowshoeing is enjoyable and with friends it's even better. Great power work out in the right conditions but technically it's just walking with big shoe . How they offer lessons at resorts on how to snowshoe still shocks me. I wonder if they include how to tie your shoe and the push and pull dynamics of opening the door of the rental shop.
There is always the option of heading to a warm place to ride. Both Ben and Peter have both offered this option to many. I wonder what would be better though. Suffering indoors on the trainer with continued anticipation that spring is coming or going to some place where spring has never left, ride for a week, get sun burnt and then return to home to go back on the trainer for a few more weeks? Hmmm Don't get me wrong I would be heading to one of those hot spots myself but work is busy, a shop is going to need to be moved etc etc. I just can't take the time off right now.
Then there is this manly ride thing, the challenge amongst friends to try and one up the rest and call them a biotch. The challenges have been laid and the routes are being laid out. I think that the manly ride should also include wearing a greasy wife beater tank top. That seems to be the clothing of choice for the local rednecks who seem to be at the top of the food chain of the man's man.
Of course the purchase of a couple new bikes helps keep the motivation up that the warm weather is on the way. Last night's work out for some reason seemed to do an even better job at getting me motivated again. It was nothing challenging, just spin up and one legged things. A couple of easy days let my legs feel really good during the work out but it was the older 24 hour of Adrenaline video I watched that seemed to get me smiling and thinking. Seeing the dirt and logs and rocks. Lots of other racers doing what they love doing. Come on spring, melt that snow!!!
The secondary thoughts are still involving a 24 hour solo for this year. Yes, I am doing one for sure it's just which one. I'll be staying local this year, I still have some scheduling to figure out but right now I'm actually smiling at the thought of doing another. That's how it starts, that's what will get you through the February blah's.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This brought the thought of how many bikes are enough? I think I've thought about this way to many times but maybe I need to justify it to myself. Is there a specific number? A perfect balance point. I know Miss Tanya is almost as bad as I am with her collection, a women who loves bikes!!!! My friend Jeremy has a huge row of wheels but he uses the excuse that the bikes are divided evenly between him and his wife. My fastest friend barely technically owns a bike. So why do I need so many? Do they make any faster? Sometimes yes sometimes no. Do they make me feel safe like a crazy person with the Catcher in the Rye? I won't answer that one.
This is the third or forth time I've rearranged the setup each time making more efficient use of space. Can you tell I'm an endurance racer with a comment like that, looking for every ounce of power with as minimal effort needed. Trying to make it so that each bike is easily accessible because I actually use them all. Maybe that's how you justify needing this many bikes.
The list is getting long:
Carbon hardtail: O-cups and training
2 identical full suspensions: Marathons. 8 hours and 24 hours
29er Single speed: winter bike and the MNS rides
Old full suspension half built: this is my only debatable bike, my first good bike just can't seem to sell it. Maybe a geared winter bike
Cyclocross bike: winter bike, cross bike, crap weather bike
Carbon road: simple training
Aluminum/carbon road: My older road bike which will be used on the trainer, wet road, etc
Fixie: Do I need to explain
Did I mention that I'm getting a bmx, after breaking the derailleur the cost of a bmx is almost equal to the cost of a replacement shifting device. This may also have me down at Joyride more often because if I'm on a bike that I am not clipped into then I am not technically training. Maybe I'll build a pump track in the lower front yard of the house. I never use that part of the yard anyways.
After an hour or so I've moving hangers, hooks and bikes I think I've pretty much maxed out the space. Now if I got rid of the hot water tank and furnace I could add at least 3-4 more spots. I think the recovery week has already got my heart rate up higher in anticipation than most of the intervals last week.
One project done on a list of many. I have this feeling that the week will fly by. Time for that work thing.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
This seems to come to bikes also. I've been back in forth on my new road bike. Having lots of options, maybe to many options I've spent time on manufacture websites, used gear websites etc etc. Came close to purchasing a 1 year old top of the pack 14 pound road bike but I'm still really nervous sending that type of money on a bike that I physically can't look at and touch until I've actually paid for it.
Looked at a couple custom build options, I also looked at bl0wout shop sales on 2009 models. There were lots of options. A couple things always kept me from going for the new ride. changing the shifting groupo is something I'm very back in forth on and I have to admit that change is something I just don't want to do. Campy is pretty and like a Ferrari, you just don't bring it to the local garage for a tune up. Plus all my wheel sets would now be useless for that set. As for Sram, I debated highly on this. Used Sram for a few years on the trails and then returned to Shimano after the company did a major change that I liked. Also the shifting pattern between the two is not dramatic. On the road, well that is the problem. The change is enough that I swear I would probably break off the brake lever forgetting which bike I'm on.
That said I pretty much wanted a bike with Shimano, I don't like change on the road. I want to be able to shut my mind off when out there and just put on the miles. This made me think I could hold out to the spring bike show and maybe I'd get lucky. Of course I'd have to know my prices and keep my figures crossed that sizing would match up. Same thing I could be doing that needle in the haystack since I happen to be a very common height and the price range I'm looking at spending is a pretty popular amount. Could be just dreaming about finding something there. So this is where I came to a final decision.
I don't like change, after so many years riding Giant's changing to another company is just something that doesn't feel right. At least for right now. That said the new ride came to be an easy decision. I'm actually back to my original plan for a bike. The wheels are already turning for the purchase of a pretty 2010 TCR Advanced.
I really did want a white bike, why? Just because. I considered downgrading a model to get the white frame but the money spent upgrading everything it was just not a smart idea. This has everything I want. Full Ultegra, pretty good wheels and more than light enough for me. Jacob estimates around the 16 pound mark. Since I don't race road and this is more a training tool I really should be riding a 20 pound road bike, make me work a little harder. Might have to invest in a trailer for those hill repeats. I wonder how the Molly Monster would feel about sitting in there?
The sun is coming up, the coffee is tasting good. Looks like another good day
Monday, February 8, 2010
I had an upper and a lower time limit for my ride. I was planning for the upper time but I knew it would be tough to pull off in these conditions. To even make the ride possible was as much a work out as the ride. The layers of clothing that went on added easily 15 pounds to my body. My feet have always been the hardest part to keep warm so I tried something new. Marina wool socks followed by a thin cycling sock. Then came the plastic bag over the feet. The shoes came next then my medium weight booties topping it off with the neoprene booties. Maybe???
As for body, who would have ever thought that I would use my fleece lined cold weather paddle synthetic shirt as a base layer. This thing is awesome for cold canoe adventures and worked amazing as the first layer followed by another warm fleece winter jersey and then my MCC team jacket. I was going to stay warm today, whether or not I could actually move was not on higher side of the list.
I swear it took 15 minutes to get all the clothes on but I rolled out with the cross bike with a route in mind. I originally thought of going to Hardwood the hilly way but the speed in the temperature is pretty low and I didn't think I would even make it with the upper time limits so i opted for the biggest hills in the Oro Medonte area. These all seem to be surrounding a certain ski resort.
The conditions were not to bad, lots of clear pavement on the heavily used road like Vasey line. The wind was pretty steady and I tried to break up things with direction switches as much as I could. Every time I was starting to feel a little chill or my feet gave a tingle I would modify the route a little and manage to warm back. Didn't really matter which way I went because this whole area is either uphill or downhill. I tried to find the longer uphills since they didn't hurt as much as the downhill.
Climbing the 4th line my feet were a little mad at me but again managed to warm up just before the bail out left turn so I continued on towards Copeland forest. This area happens to run along the side of the snowmobile trail and again I got lots of strange looks and some random thumbs up. Underneath their helmets they were probably saying look at that nut!!!!
Just over the two hour mark I rolled into Mt St. Louis ski resort for a quick warm up. Now you think the snowmobilers look at you funny you should see the looks all the skiers gave me. A large hot chocolate, didn't want to trust their coffee, and I sat out in the sun watching everyone stand in a lift line. Nope don't miss it much. I saw flashbacks of my early twenties with the ski school lesson bell. I spent many a good years playing at this resort.
Now jacked up with sugar I made my way to the hill of hills, the 7th line runs parallel with the resort. If they ski down it I should be able to ride up it. And I did a nice steady 2 song climb to the top. Feeling pretty good. I started to watch the time a little more but continued to zig zag concessions for shorter runs into the head wind. Of course I had to stop here.
The horse was pretty bored and came right over to me. He did try and eat my glove.
No ride is ever complete without some random turn and this was the one I took down a logging road. Had to check and see if they went straight to the next concession. They didn't.
As I made my way to the home stretch it was all in the right timing. Long section into the head wind finally started to take it;s toll on me and my feet began to get cold quickly. Didn't matter much as the ride was a success. Lots of climbing, 3:40 in time and very little time spent inside. Just a line up in the chalet. I'm into a recovery week this week which is going to be well received. The body is feeling the last 3 weeks.
Looks like the boys may need to butch up a little for their next ride. Me, I'm going to drink some more coffee and continue thawing out
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Well it was another repeat. Hammered away at it for about an hour before I took break. Because of the abuse it puts on the body I figured if I split the job in half it would only hurt half as much. Good theory but I proved it wrong. Maybe it was what I did during the break. I had tempo on the agenda for today and the thought of riding inside was not high on my list. The Molly Monster needed a good run also. Skate skis it is. The bay was not as pristine so hitting tempo heart rates would not be a problem.
The sun made it all worth while as we headed out past the first island. My body was not exactly impressed with me. Shoulders and arms are very much needed in skate skiing and my left one was not super willing for the first few km's but started to soften. There was no really direction or plan on where to go but I did remember to pack $5 just in case I came across a random store that I could grab a coffee, not today. Great loop of the bay and managed to do the coach requests. Tempo heart rate at 75-85 rpm, well my skate stride was pretty close to that.
Now the fun side, I ended up wearing my monitor for the rest of my lumberjack time. It's total was training intensity but I'm 100 percent guaranteed that I will not be doing any type of lumberjack firewood race in the near future. I can see it now the 24 hours of wood stacking. Have lights on my wheel barrel for the night laps. It also still proves why Rocky was able to beat the big Russian dude. Lifting weights will never equal the man power built by throwing frozen firewood.
Of course I'm sore as hell this morning. In total it was 1:45 on the skis and 2.5 hours of wood moving and stacking. Well at least I will not freeze my *#^$@ off. I like burning things, it's fun. The skis will be staying on the rack today, the cross bike is waiting patiently for the thermometer to reach a certain number. No upper body work today. Lifting my coffee cup was hard enough.
Long range weather is looking good, thoughts on the new road bike have come a little closer to a reality, race schedule is getting a little closer to being done and the coffee pot is getting close to empty. Time to go
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Nothing to exciting on the way down except for the rental car driver that was on the 400 with no lights on. Random thoughts on this include he either took the night vision goggles option or he is in a rental car because he smacked up his own car for being stupid.
It was pretty calm around the bike park, I guess everyone would rather be out partying on a Friday than riding their bikes. I hang with a different crowd though. This meant no line ups and the first place we hit up was the foam pit. Have to admit it was kinda fun. I think tonight should have been a night where both my bike and myself should have stayed around the heavily padded area.
i made my way out on the skinnies for a little tech work, ok there was no training in this just playing. It may have been the 3rd or 4th time down and my back wheel slide of the side of the log. Crack. Not what I wanted to hear. I was riding my Anthem that i normally race on, the one that hangs on the wall most of the time. Why was I on it, new drive train I wanted to get a few miles on it. Let's just say that I had a few thoughts go through my mind on what it could be with that noise and none of them were good.
Looking down I saw the damage, snapped cage. Not just any cage but an xtr carbon cage. Shit. This is the second one on this bike. Both times I was not even pedalling or technically riding. The first was at the mudfest called 24 hour Summer Solstice where I pushed my bike around the mud pit and somehow snapped one. Apparently the xtr shadow derailleur is designed to have less chance of being taken out by random objects, HMMM.
Back at the front desk another huge thank you to Scott and Shannon for setting me up with a bike to play on for the evening. I made my way around to all the playground stuff. With my bike down and out the next thing on the list was hurting myself and my pride. It didn't take long. When fatigue sets in it hits hard. My body is trained to ride a trail for hours on end with no problems, this is not a trail. Because this place is so popular there are a few sections that are getting a little slippery with repeated turns in the same direction. Well I found them and slide out. Road rash without ever hitting the road. Of course it had to be on my left shoulder which has been a little trouble some but was starting to feel better. I'm feeling it this morning.
We managed to stay till closing time, a quick stop at a coffee shop that I'm not a fan of topped the night off. Let's just say that we were very entertained by both the staff and the customers. All we wanted was our food. I rolled in to the house just after midnight, I'm not sure when the last time I saw that hour. Maybe New Years.
So my thoughts on the derailleur issue. It was talked about on the drive home. I may score a almost new xtr from Tristan or I'm going back to an aluminum xtr or xt replacement. It's funny that my other Anthem has ten times the miles on it and never a problem. Hmm. I have a full weekend of training, going to attempt to get as much outside as possible even with the chillier temperatures. The bay is looking good and the dog has to much energy. Those skis are a calling.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Headed out with the Molly Monster with skate skis in hand for a warm up walk to Georgian Bay. I'm not sure of any other way of warming up for skate skiing since my heart rate pretty much launches as I put them on and stays there till I take them off. Well I did have all those cookies to burn off. I'm not sure who needed the ski more, me or the dog. It's funny that I opted for the skis before the bike with this type of weather. Maybe it's my intuition that the snow will be gone soon and the skis will begin collecting dust.
Now somehow I managed to make a loop on water. One big random island seemed to work. With not a lot of snowmobile traffic out there being mid week I kinda wander on the out route I wanted to take. It's not like the roads or trails where I know all the local stuff inside out. Not being a boater this was still all new ground for me. We toured around a few of the ice hut villages, a sport I still can't understand but I do believe it includes lots of drinking games for amusement. Hooked on to a collection of tracks thinking that if the sledders all go this way maybe I should check it out.
In amongst a bunch of small islands and a light house I found a place that I need to come back to in the summer by canoe and just hang out. I'll also need to do some more exploration on the skis before the snow/ice goes. A short time later we slide into the parking lot again. A great 1.5 hour skate ski and a slightly tired dog. Me, well I'm still feeling a little energetic, just the thought of actual forward motion had me feeling good. A quick change of clothes and I had the cross bike in hand.
I was watching the clock a little now, between apres work traffic and the daylight on the short side now I kept for a short out and back on hwy 12. Had I spent the time switching out the semi slicks wheel set up to the other wheels that was 5 minutes of wasted time that I could be out pedalling. I know. Hwy 12 way nice and clear and managed to put another hour in. It was nice to see what the legs can do in forward motion. Reading wattage numbers just doesn't give that same rewarding feeling of running out of gears on the flats and not be redlining the body. Of course it wasn't hard to max out the 34-12 gear ratio and still be low in the heart rate.
2.5 hours of not on the trainer or the rollers or having to wear a light to see has now given me a little boost in energy. What could the weekend entail. More later, it's Friday time to hammer through work.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Some have the magic 8 ball, for me it's a coin toss. I was tired after work, draggy tired and did the coin toss on taking the night off the bike. I won and opted for the couch. No more than 10 minutes later I was asleep. It's amazing how an hour nap revitalizes the body. I still debated back in forth and opted for another coin toss with my slightly rejuvenated body. I still won. A little work around the house and continued to debate. After looking at the clock and calculating the time needed to do the workout and the time I wanted to go to bed I still had room in the curve.
Next came the bribery of cookies. If all else fails, bribery works. Of course I need some pre ride enjoyment to satisfy that very small part of me, the I need it now way before I ever even consider doing the pay out for it side. Those that know me know that is not me but we are talking about cookies here not a tv, or another unnecessary toy that is not really needed.
1.5 hour later I was getting off the bike and happy. Legs are a good sore today and I have an outdoor play day today where I get to choose what I want to do. Still not as good of a temptation as cookies but a close second. Work first.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I guess I shouldn't hold to much faith in something that walks on all fours. Look at most weatherman and politicians. It's been a pretty mellow winter so far, I think we have seen as much rain as we have snow. The snow blower has lots of rest and after the previous year it still needs more. If winter ends early it means a tough transition for the Monday Night Something and things have just become more entertaining.
Summer, no problem we ride bikes. Fall, no problem we ride bikes. Winter no problem we play around on snowshoes. Spring?? Problem, what will we do? With our newest addition to the crew we do want to keep the excitement going, at least for a few more weeks.
Came up the 6th line to see a swarm of people around a little red car. Nobody goes up the 6th line, there is the row of cars from our group plus this random red car on the other side of the row. Did someone not look both ways and step out in front of the car like they do in Toronto? Naw, my friends all remember what there Mom's said to them when they were 6 about looking both ways!! Oh, that's Krista's car, why is the front a little lower? Not sure what happened but my thoughts is she came around the corner in full rally slide after hearing rumours of all of us doing immature four wheel slides in to parking lots. A randomly placed snowflake pushed the car just a little off track and this is where she ended up.
15 minutes later after watching Andrew and Krista play with a shovel we pulled the car out with the power of the Honda. It's pretty bad when this is excitement for us on a Monday night. Most would find going out for a snowshoe in the dark straight into the woods would be exciting, for us this is just normal. We did wander around for another 45 minutes filled with stories, tree removal and crashes. Another fun Monday night.
If that little rodent predicts a short winter we wouldn't get all this type of excitement. I wonder if Krista's car can take 6 more times in the ditch?? Punxatomey Phil better be nice for Krista's sake.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Anyways, I had a long climbing session scheduled for the day. I could play on the trainer going up and down with the wattage and then attempt to stab myself with a seat post, I tried to figure out where I could ski for 3 plus hours with enough hills to satisfy my coach and myself. The skiing was a close thought but then I concerned myself that shake legs going up the hill meant shaky legs going back down. OR!!! I can go and try my new toys in Copeland forest. Of course the last one one and we a few gently persuasive words I had 4 others joining me.
My new kicks!! MSR Denali's, there are not many snowshoes out there that you can get optional equipment but these have a long list of add ons. I skipped the optional heated foot beds and navigation but did pick up the 8 inch fins. I didn't need them for today's adventure but when Mother Nature hammers us again with the deep white stuff I 'll have all the float you will ever need.
After a nice easy warm up the we should go left happened and the tease of a slight slope started to change to more of a wall appearance. It didn't take long to get warmed up and more than one of us started stripping of layers.
This was the start of many climbs and for the next 3 hours we were pretty much going up or down. Death march Liz was unavailable for the hike, I'm not sure what is with the women in our group but they always seem to put the boys to shame. Krista, the newbie put the hurt on us with a cruel pace up the hills and then showed up both Andrew and I with her technical skills at crossing logs. She does kinda have a marathon running background which justifies why. I be we coast better than she does!!!
We made our way to The far side south side of Copeland and found ourselves at the top of Pine Ridge Ski club. It's for sale and we all started trying to guess how much and if we all put our pennies together if we could afford it. Of course someone had to go over the fence and out of bounds and it was of course one of the rebels from the Norco freeride team who will remain name less. I've heard they are a shady west coast bunch that don't play by the rules. The fence was taped!!!!
With a distance still to go back to the cars the conversation began to focus around food. Not sure who started it but I think every stomach was making noise at this point. There were a few concerns on whether we would make it back safely without killing off one of us for a mid hike snack. There was a straw pole and Jeremy lost, I think the pace picked up a little. Either to tire him out for less of a fight or to get back to the cars before we did what we didn't want to do.
3:15 equalled 4 tired cyclists, 1 tired dog and then Krista who probably would have been able to do the 3 hour snowshoe in 2 hours and still looked energetic. Got what I needed to be done for the day and spent the rest of it relaxing on the couch with a big plate of food. Great weekend of training, lets hope that flows into the work week.