Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Old building and nothing was square etc etc. This was where it was at before I started. Inside there is new hydro line, new walls, company style setup. Outside, has seen the new steel roof, door etc. Still looked pretty rough outside.
The change is coming. It will eventually be board and batten. Have not figured out the colour for the outside yet since I may be painting the house also. One step at a time. Lots to do before paint. It's looking a little Uncle Tom's cabin right now. I heard banjo's a couple times.
Ok so back tot the biking side of my crazy little world. It was a short work out, stomps to build power. I have this short hill that is on a very quiet road that I like to do these on. After a great warm up, great because I was wearing only shorts and a jersey and open finger gloves for the first time this year, I love the warmth. I made my way towards the hill.
Nothing to exciting in the workout, 5 repeats 5 sets, 5 minutes rest between sets. The first four sets went fine. Same routine etc. Now the lead up to all the things going bad was this. Have you ever noticed that you always turn around in the same direction. Always to the left. Look over your left shoulder to make sure it's clear then lean left'. I know you are on the right side of the road and by law that is what you are supposed to do. Apparently in life you are also supposed to rock the boat, step outside the box, voice and opinion and rebel from time to time. Well that is what I started to do.
So I would still look over my left shoulder, I'm brave but not stupid, then I would proceed to swing wide to the left followed by the 180 degree turn to the right. I know it doesn't sound complicated but something like that seems to crash out all the Nascar drivers so I'm very proud of myself. So I did this randomly after an interval or during a recovery session, not to improve my technical riding, obviously it doesn't but more to keep me amused. So this is when it started to go bad.
Last set, 1, 2, 3 repeats done at the top of the 4th one I do the anti Nascar turn, next thing you know I'm on the ground. I'm a little stunned at first, it was the holly shit what happened type stunned. Then it was the did anybody see this happen thought closely behind. The wonderful part of early spring riding is sand. Lots and lots of sand. They like sand here more than salt. The road I was riding on was that old pavement that is faded to a really light colour of, well sand colour of course.
I wasn't going fast, just a little more than not moving speed but the combination of that, a slight banking of the bike and full slicks on just the smallest patch of sand that I didn't see led me the ground. There was no forward motion just a straight down thump. The bike is fine, a small scratch on the shift lever, as for me, well. I came down hard on my ass, which doesn't have much in the line of padding anymore, hip and then my right shoulder. To say I'm sore would be an understatement.
I apologize now for the horribly graphic photo of part of my ass. Please don't send any hate mail and don't let your children see this as they may be scared for life.
I've had worst road rash but this seems to hurt a little more because the fact I wasn't moving forward. You can see all the brusing that is showing up already on my side. I opted not to show the whole thing in fear that I would be linked to porn sites instead of cycling. That'll teach ya for not following the rules, they are there for a reason, there will be no anarchy while following the coaches orders. I may be breaking my no drugs except during races rule along with my plan to ride in some single track tonight. We will see how the body feels in a few hours.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Of course me being the busy beaver that I am I couldn't fully crash and burn for the evening with out some sort of production. A little more work was done in the kitchen as the count down of inside renovations comes to an end and the outdoor projects begin. I have this rule about when certain renos should be done. By the time the last granular of snow has melted any indoor construction comes to a screeching stop until the fall, or rainy days. A little bit of trim work was all that was needed to keep me content for the next few months.
Sneaking in a mid week day off today, some major construction on the shop to be started and with great weather in the forecast I'm hoping to get a big chunk of the work done before the end of the long weekend. The count down to the race season is on, only a couple more weeks till the first race which will be out in Mansfield area. 50 km will be a great way to test the legs. I'll be attempting to battle it out with Jacob and Tristan at this one.
Coffee to drink, gotta run
Monday, March 29, 2010
My original plan went out the window when I snapped a spoke nipple on the hardtail 30 feet down the driveway. Being that was the only mountain bike that is ready to ride (or that I want to take out at this point) my plan to ride to Copeland, check out the conditions and return home wasn't going to happen. I could have fixed the wheel in a reasonable amount of time but there were predictions of rain and I knew I would but rubbing the curve on time.
Quick change and back out on the TCR with a half way figured out route. Started out with a nice tour along the rail trail. There was some purpose in the ride so tour meant not riding at vomit pace, The rail trail was perfect for me to play a bit with the powertap. Smooth, flat trail made it easier to settle in on a specific wattage. Still learning to set things up and one factor is it's reading time, need to change it.
Made my way to the backside of Midland for what used to be a long climb behind Mountainview. Let's just say I was laughing at the top after the previous days ride. It was so short in comparison my legs even tired felt strong. With the slightly warmer conditions the speed seemed to increase which meant more distance in a set time. After taking the long way around Penetang followed by the old Midland Triathlon road route I made my way back home with 73 km's in 2.5 hours. The rain rolled in not to long afterwards.
If this weekend was epic the talk of the plans for next weekend are sounding historical. Fixie ride for beer, group road ride for beer, regular training possibly followed by beer. Luckily it's a 4 day weekend. For now it's back to work.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
After having some stare downs with the skiers and snowboarders we were off. Just riding with a group again is enjoyable, I love drafting!!! We made our way over to the first climb of the day. Andrew had an agenda for the day, Jacob and I looked at each other and shouted, we'll see you at the top. Pretty River road is a long climb, I can't tell you how long but your longest climb you've ever done, this is longer. It was so long and high that we were riding over glaciers, ok maybe it was just frozen melt run off. We all commented on that ice and were happy we were going up when we crossed, downhill was for sure instant death.
Before making our way to the next decent/climb we chased down a horse and buggy and ran it off the road. Our little revenge for having to avoid the big pile of shit on the road. I'll steal the quote of the day from Andrew" I could be in the desert not seeing anyone for days and stop for a piss and a car would come by" Yes he was right, every single time anyone had to stop and go (mainly me) a car or person would show up. It's hard to do the pee pee dance on a bike.
Heading up the Epping climb we all felt like super hero's, tail wind, smooth roads, no traffic. Ya we went up that way to easy. We paid for it only a few km later when we turned right and took the head wind on. Nothing like drooping your speed by half. The thoughts and decisions on which way to head back to the resort were made by my comment of" I have to ride this long" That was my gentle plea of don't make me ride around in circles for 45 minutes in the parking lot to get my time in. The long way it is as we headed to the backside of Grey 19 where Andrew started the next interval. Why is it that the smallest guy who is the hardest person to draft is the fastest amongst us. Jacob at over 6 foot couldn't tuck in enough to Andrew's 5'6" so I got in the middle and getting as small as possible became the middle buffer.
The pay off with any climb is the decent, the only problem with really long climbs is that the really long decent is almost more uncomfortable to the body than the climb itself. Tucking down 19 my body started to not like me. The neck got sore, etc, no road racing for me. We headed to the last climb of the day, Scenic Caves as I was informed after is a steady 10% grade to the top of Blue Mountain. I watched the boys go and play and I kept things to a steady grind to the top.
We stopped have way down to do the tourist thing when things went bad. It was one of those " I bet you can't ride over that, it would make a great video, I bet I can!!" type conversations. No sooner was it a double dog dare which lead to this.
Followed by this.
The Giant versus Norco debate started, on pure acceleration Giant takes it. After a very nervous decent down the rest of Scenic Caves, all tires packed with sand, pine needles and snow, I think I was still in the upper 70's we called it a day. 4:15 riding, 5200 feet of climbing, 106 km's. For me almost 3000 calories burned which needed to replaced quickly. Some random restaurant that we made fun of the name over the course of the ride did a good job at refueling me for the hour drive home.
I'm started to like these group road ride things, unfortunately I'll be out riding solo today. More tomorrow.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The evolution of me, well at least in the last couple years. Every year I seem to take things a little farther in my performance. I'm getting older shouldn't I be getting slower?? Why?? I'm not complaining that I continue to get faster but I started to wonder why. The last 3ish years I've put in about the same hours of training a week, of course having Heather keep me on a leash has helped dramatically. The interesting thing is that I am actually racing more events now than in the past, group rides with finish lines!! The big thing is I'm not exhausted from all of it.
What about my body. This has been a big thing. shaving a few grams off a bike here and there is a great but no where near as impactful as dropping pounds off the body. 2008 my race weight was floating between 165-168lbs. I still looked lean. If anything overall stronger. I had slightly bigger arms and chest. I'm skinny regardless but I was big for being skinny. 2009 I thought I would take it up a level and drop some weight. More for one of the 24 hour races so we lots of discipline I was able to drop a good chunk of weight. Went down to a light weight 155-157. I felt the difference, and it showed in my riding.
Then there is this year. Well I stayed discipline on my eating, no bags of potato chips for dinner or eating till I was stuffed, mmmm I miss that. Eating more veggies, wine instead of beer etc etc. Well the end result is a current 153 lbs this morning and as the outdoor miles increase a few more drop off. Again I feel it on the bike.
The gear of course always helps but I've pretty much always ridden high end bikes. The only other factor is who you ride with. In the past I've ridden with strong average riders and usually been one of the fastest, now it's been riding with the fastest elite/pro riders and been fighting not to be the slowest. I'm happy that I can keep up with the guys considering that most of them are at least 10 years younger than I am. Yep, I'm the old man but my thoughts, cycling has kept me looking, feeling and acting younger than I really am.
SO what is my conclusion. It's everything combined that made the difference. Eat better, get a coach and ride with really fast friends. You have no choice but to get faster, if you don't you will end up on the side of the road after being dropped, alone, starving, knowing that you will have to explain your actions to the person that can be meaner than your Mother. I'm eating lots this morning, looking like it's going to be a great ride of pain as we venture to the mountains of Collingwood for the day.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I don't think I was on my bike for more than 5 minutes when I got hit by my first blast as I crossed over the bridge and almost got blown into Georgian Bay. I'm not over exaggerating. Now the problem with the wind last night was a simple one, it was never head on and it was never steady.
A steady breeze is easy to keep a consistent effort into or to keep the bike at a steady lean. This kept changing from a good stiff breeze to where I was fighting to stay up right. As for forward momentum. Trying to actually keep moving was the challenge. Then there was the erratic directions the wind seemed to come from. My route didn't help as I headed up to Honey Harbour. This meant some big rock sections that had things banking and deflecting in every attempt to check my reaction time and agility. There is something to be said about being heavy. Harder to move, my lighter than ever body weight of 152 pounds along with a lighter than I've ever ridden road bike of just over 16 pounds add up to nothing for the wind to throw around. Frail little cyclist, HA, HA, HA!!!!!
I think I will continue to complain, well not complain but put out how much of a challenge the ride was yesterday. The temperature continued to drop quickly during the ride, how quick you may ask. Quick enough that I was concerned that I over dressed when I left to I wish I'd packed more clothing. That is the problem of leaving for your ride at just after 4pm. I know it's going to happen, I can't change it, suck it up and deal with it!!! The actual workout was the easy part though, a bunch of long zone 3 efforts. Playing with the powertap now and trying to get a gauge on effort, hr, and wattage.
As I spun closer to home I made a choice, I think it was a good choice. I could look for 20 minutes more of pavement or!!!! I could finish up on the trainer where it's warm and not windy. Of course I did that, the funny thing was I was right on the so chilly it hurt point that when I got on the trainer I didn't even take off my booties, full length tights or long sleeve insulated jersey. Why, because it was warm!!! Just over two hours of pedal time tonight.
The body has been feeling pretty good, a little bit of IT band issues but nothing that the foam roller and some self abuse can't cure. Some rest will be needed, it's looking like Saturday could become an epic day and I'm not the only one that is taking today off the bike in preparation for it. Yes pictures will be taken, promise!!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I tried to take the least hilly way I could find. It's not to say I don't like hills but these are a little bigger than I had planned for the ride. Some random lefts and rights on roads with no names (they do, I'm just not telling) had me with one last decision. Do I ride along Ingram and have to turn around when the pavement stops or do I suck it up, go up Mt.St. Louis road and make a loop. Of course I took the loop idea. Legs felt a little fatigued on the climb but overall not to bad.
After a fun decent with some strategically placed sand patches to avoid I rolled into the parking lot of Copeland. It's looking good, limited how far I rode in on the skinny tires. A route by mountain bike may need to be set for some investigative trail searching in the next couple weeks. Continued along and headed south to the hills of Horseshoe doing the same thing avoiding the steepest route, it's an endurance miles day, cut me some slack. A few more random turns and I found myself close to Orillia. One more left turn and I headed towards home.
Whack, that is what the wind felt like once out in the open. Most of the time I was in valleys or protected by trees, not on Hwy 12 and I was heading face on into the wind. No big ring on the smooth pavement. The long decent, 3-4 minutes just north of Warminster where I normally hit close to 70 km/h coasting was cut back to barely over 30 km/h with me pedalling. Ya it was one of those winds. It's resistance training right!!! As I made my way along the last few km. the sun started to drop and so did the temperature. My thoughts of adding a little distance disappeared as fast as the feeling in my hands. I was dressed right, prepared for the drop and even had the chemical hand warmers in my jersey ready to go but I wasn't going to open them for 20 minutes of time.
Back in the driveway at 2:45, I'm starting to notice on how windy this spring has been. I'm not complaining, normally I'd still be riding on muddy, snow covered roads at this time with no chance of even wandering into the woods. A little wind is the least of my concerns. It's better than the Hamster wheel from Hell.
Eat, sleep, repeat tonight.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
After making my legs feel a little jello like the bigger project began. What would that be, it's making the Chuck bike even tougher. I know, I know it's hard to beat it right now. Actually this project is more to help separate the other TCR's that seem to be in our group.
First up was streamers??? NAH, to much drag, it was stripping out the black cables for the pretty new white ones.
This actually took longer than I thought because I ended up changing all the cables as well as the housings. After a little bit of patience's things were going back together.
Next up came the new real toughen things up addition. That little yellow thing has purpose. The purpose according to Andrew is it shows you when you are slacking. Great, no more coasting. It's also going to give me something else to stare at for hours on end both on the bike and then on the couch with the laptop. Great, I'll get nothing else done now.
A little bit of tuning and everything was back together and ready to rip for tonight's ride. The changes, just subtle stuff but, seat, bars, tape, and cables are now in white. Will it make it faster, probably not. Will it make it tougher, hmmm tough call. Could it be Christopher Walken tough? Maybe, I just know it's my weapon of choice. Will find out how it works tonight, the sun has reappeared for the day.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Some may call it a large group some a small but there were 4 of us plus the Molly Monster. A slight reroute to start the ride but let's just say it was a little bit of a reality check. It's been a long winter and things like bunny hopping, tight switchback turns and even keeping traction are just things you don't seem to be able to practice on the trainer or rollers. You can but you do look a little stupid turning while stationary. I have a few basic skills to refresh.
Road the bike I plan to race Ontario/Canada Cups on. Thought it would be good to get a little feel for it again. I like the setup but found that semi slicks are not the greatest thing on ice. Molly took her place taking up the rear making it impossible for someone to slow up. There were a few comments made on the pace of what is normally a chill ride. Of course that didn't make anyone slow down. Molly also started to short track the route, if it's not taped it's fair.
A few highlight included seeing a headlamp turned and facing the wrong direction as someone attempted to move a few of those fallen branches a little farther into the bush and then the real king of the mountain competition with attempts up the side of the last pile of snow in Simcoe County. The trails were in fantastic shape. A few sections of ice but in most cases everything was dry. Only a couple new tree falls from the winter but nothing that actually slowed any of use down.
I'm assuming that Jacob, Tristan and Andrew will all put their versions of the evening up in writing. I'm still smiling from my first playtime on the trails of the season. Will make tonight's cruel indoor workout a little more bearable knowing what is coming.
Less than a month out now until the first race. The way time goes by lately that will only few like a couple days. That long race season seems to fly by once it starts, like last year it's another busy one.
Let the 2010 season begin!!!
Monday, March 22, 2010
My morning didn't start out as smooth as I had planned. I was so far prepared to make sure I would be at the spot with lots of time. This went bad though when I couldn't find my HR monitor. I searched my house high and low. Probably went around in 5 or 6 times getting more and more frustrated. I had everything else packed and organized and I knew I left the watch in a spot right beside my bag. As the clock rolled past 8 I said screw it. I did wander over the speed limit but somehow managed to there with seconds to spare. As for the monitor, I did find it when Ii got home. Bob the cat thought it was a great toy to play with and knocked it under the laundry hamper 2 feet from where I had placed my bag.
On to the ride. there were sprint signs and KOM points to be accumulated. There was no easy smooth ride for food. You want to eat you need to build an appetite. After a conformation that the first spring was only a couple k from the start I shook my head and as it approached I stood up and then sat back down a few moments later. My body does not fire up that quickly and I could feel yesterday's ride in them. A little hill felt pretty big.
I did put my one good premeal sprint in coming into Shanty Bay. Jacob and I battled out the TCR's to the point that it almost became a photo finish. I kept about half a bike length on him as we crossed the line. Settled back into the group, talks of the upcoming season, who is going where etc etc. This lead to the most comical sprint of the day. The twin brothers from different mother's have been watching to many movies and went riping past the pack screaming shake and bake in a pretty pitiful attempt of a lead out and sprint for the home town line. Brandon the tank pulled a couple out of our pack, chased down and blew by for Brendan to take the points. The twins road with their heads down for a little while at the back of the pack. At least they weren't thinking Maverick and Goose or some wing man thoughts before there next attempt.
After a real exciting hour the destination finally appeared. After a little patience, 9 hungry cyclists don't have many and they could see the aggression building if we didn't eat soon and split us into two groups. Maybe they figured it would be easier to control a small pack than a large mob. The wait was worth it, food was awesome. I don't think I can make pancakes at home for a while till the memory of yesterday is cleared from my mind. A little jab at a friend. The fastest rider amongst us, let alone even the nation is the slowest pancake eater any of us have ever seen. We were done before he even took his first bite. Luckily none of us were still hungry or his plate of child sized bites may have been taken away from him.
Back on the bikes, movement was slow for the first few km, and then a few more. The next run of sprint signs I opted to lay low and keep that good food in my stomach. We decided to take the long way around, I needed the miles so not doing it alone was a bonus. Some fun left and rights which included a few very sketchy sandy downhill turns but there were no fatalities.
My last blast was for the Craighurst sign. I did the bad thing and thought I had a large enough gap. Went pretty good out of the box and maxed out the gears standing. A glance back I had a sizable lead on the chasers and I sat down to try and maintain the pace. Worst thing, felt the bike slow a bit, stood back up and accelerated again but it was to late. Brandon the tank came around me just before the sign. A downhill sprint against a 200 plus pound guy is not an easy thing to take.
More talks of saving the world, environment etc as we rolled back towards and into Barrie. Last attempts of hammering were pretty much fizzle. As the pack split up for people to roll home only a few back to the starting point. 3.5 hours and 85 kms to add to the mileage count. Great ride and food. Maybe every ride should be some sort of destination ride. As I drove back home to the great white north which is apparently 20 minutes north of Barrie according to some the sun broke out and the temperature warmed up. A quick text out and the response I got was comical. It's snowing down here. HMMMM I like living north, less snow.
The first MNS pancake ride was extremely successful. Now the count down until next year for round. two. Back to the work world today.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The legs were a little stiff starting out, couple days of inactivity seems to do that. Climb number one felt, umm painful. We are back to normal weather conditions so the return trip down the hill almost hurt as much as going up with the cold air blasting the fingers. Round 2 felt better but still hurt, It was a 3 minutes of abuse 3 minutes recovery. It's amazing the difference between the two. 3 minutes of climbing can seem very long when at intensity but 3 minutes of riding in circles goes by so quickly that you wonder if the clock is out of calibration.
Continuing to go up then returning to the start until I knew it was time to stop. how did I know, when I tasted breakfast again. It was just a hint of it but i knew that if I went again I was leaving food streaks on the side of the road. At the top of the hill I kept going straight towards Coldwater. A quick stop at a store to top up my bottles. I knew that there would be no stores open where I was going. Had a random woman make a comment to me as I was paying for my bottles. How far are you going she asked. Gave her the distance and she said she was a triathlete and from Florida. She admired the fact that I was out riding in the cold. I bit my tongue and didn't make any triathletes jokes. She was cute.I didn't tell her that I had toe and hand warmers under my layers of clothing. She thought I was tough. Chuck would be proud!!!
Back on the bike I headed out for my favourite loop. I haven't been around the Big Chute loop in a while and it's so scenic that it helped with the next part of my ride. Sometimes I'm really bad at over analyzing everything and staring at the numbers way to long. this included my heartrate monitor. The mantra for the rest of the ride, don't think just pedal. I did randomly look down but I kept myself distracted by the amazing views. Coming through to the locks as I suspected, the marina store was closed. I've been caught by this once a long a few years back and was not going to put myself through that again.
Heading towards South Bay road I started to wonder when the head wind was going to become my friend and become a tail wind. I'm doing a loop and it's been pretty steady in my face, some pay back would be nice. I knew there would be no roller coaster ride today on the South Bay road section, it was riding in defense mode with all the sand. My favourite corner was a death trap and I had absolutely no craving to see if I could drift/skid/power slide the TCR. I am not planning on using any type of crash warranty. I don't think the body could take it.
As I started to make my way to the home stretch I finally got a treat of a tail wind. It for some reason only lasted 30 seconds. I didn't change direction but just to be stubborn the wind seemed to. Spun out the last 15 minutes to home. Legs, body, mind, etc etc are all feeling really good. 3:45 on the bike. A great way to spend a Saturday and I think i may have some feisty legs for the Pancake ride. A couple sprint lines and king of the mountain points to be had. Could it all go wrong and see 5-6 riders crash it out. Hopefully not.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Heather is nice enough to let me choose how I would like to suffer. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. I look at the list of choices and they all hurt. The shorter intervals just have more repeats, the longer intervals are just long. Of course I know where my weakness are and what I should be doing. It hurts.
I'll admit that I'm not a great climber. Let me rephrase that I suck at those medium length climbs while going full speed. Always focusing on endurance I basically find my rhythm at the bottom of the hill and stay there. The problem with that is it's the same pace that I would use on long climbs. Steady steady steady. This works great for the 8 hour races etc but I would like to pick things up a little in the Ontario Cup events. That said I'm planning on beating the crap out of myself on the hills today. It's just figuring out which hill is pretty and scenic enough to continually go up and down it a few times. I'm still trying to find one that happens to have a Starbucks at the mid way point.
Time is a wasting, time to see where I'm at. Have to make sure I save a little leg for tomorrow's pancake ride with the crew. I think it's a gang up on a certain Norco factory rider for the town line sprints.
Friday, March 19, 2010
With the extra time on the couch I stared at the laptop a little longer than normal and came across this race. Dan did a great job with the marathon series last year, now the plan is to run some short enduro style races to help get fresh faces in to the mountain bike scene. This is a great thing and I'll do what I can to support him. The first event is in Mansfield in mid April.
With the way this winter was by then the trails will be amazing. I've never seen winter go away so quickly but when there really wasn't much of it to start with. Georgian Bay is pretty much clear now, all the snow in my yard except for the high banks I created with the snowblower are all gone. I drove past Copeland forest yesterday on the low side and there was still a fair bit there but it's one of the last places to clear and with the rain coming it won't take long. All this and it's only the middle of March.
Last season I went to the southern trails of Ontario in April to get a little preMansfield Ontario cup training in since we were still dig out here. This year could see a good couple weeks of single track skill acquiring before they are even needed. I'm not complaining, looks like I won't get one more skate ski in this year. Weekend project, storage wax.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I was feeling draggy on Tuesday from the combination of the weekend of moving and daylight savings time. I could see it at the end of the ride on Tuesday, part of the reason I took it easy for most of the ride and had a long cool down. Well yesterday I was just down right exhausted. Of course the timing was not exactly ideal. I was home early from work and had time for a nice long ride in the sun. Headed out and no more than 15 minutes out I was decided to call it and turn around. Something about yawning and trying to keep the eyes open while in forward motion were good signs to take the day off. Rolled back to the house 45 minutes after I headed out. Why can't I feel crappy when the weather sucks!!!
Now the problem starts, I know I needed to just relax. BUT, it was so nice outside and I have so many projects to do that next thing I know I'm carrying heavy items out to the shop and starting to scrap old paint of the storm windows etc. I finally yelled at myself to stop, yes I had to yell because a stern voice just wasn't cutting it. Made my way into the sun room for a movie and less than an hour later I was wandering up to bed. It was dark so it was allowed. Got close to 10 hours sleep and will be playing it by ear for today's ride.
With racing coming up quickly the thoughts of getting in as much training as possible constantly return but yet being tired turns it into a waste of time. I think there will be a little more yelling at myself over the next couple days. I won't loose what I've gained over the course of a couple days of extra rest. Plus I swear I feel less drained after an 8 hour race than I did during that move. I think I get to coast more in the trails.
I could find myself out for an easy spin on the rail trail with the fixie tonight instead of riding the Chuck Norris bike. More excitement tomorrow. I hope!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The sun was out and it felt like spring even with that steady wind which of course was a head wind on the way up. I really didn't care though. Stayed in the 39 for the ride up to soften the lower body. It was a nice change not wearing thick layers for a change. Of course in my thinnest I still needed some arm and knee warmers.
Actually it was more to save the world from blindness with my pasty white albino skin. Just a little at a time.
Took a quick glance around once I rolled into town. Right now things in Honey Harbour are dead. No ice for sleds and to early for boating. Or so I thought.
Yes that is a boat of the 9th green. I watched them smash through the ice a little bit till common sense told them that the ice may still be a little stronger than the hull of their boat. No I didn't play around of mini putt.
The return trip was interesting and fun. I opened things up in both the legs and the bike. Staying at the top of my zone two, with a tail wind I found the fun side of the big ring and was cruising in the upper 40's. The bike feels so amazing, I was smiling the whole time.
I'd decided that a long cool down would be a good thing so once I hit Port Severn I would spin the rest of the way home. This meant a few minutes break to check out things.
I think this could be a new Giant ad. Out of the wind I could feel my energy being sucked out of me, I could have hung out on the rock for a few hours. Or till the sun went down. Didn't take long before the stomach rumbled, spun out the last 15 minutes. 1:40 of non trainer/roller/cold riding. Legs are feeling much better this morning. Another long ride planned for today that could be finished with a beer or two. It is St. Patty's day!!!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It was the official move day for Mom. It also happened to be her birthday. Yes, I had remembered. The weather for a move couldn't have been better, it was going to take a while so might as well make it enjoyable. Things didn't start right at the crack of down though, there was no point. This house was as packed as it could be and the movers were not rolling in till the noon hour. There is always that delay of getting the keys to the house and Mom was being prepared for it. She worked for the same law firm that was dealing with her closing and she also used to do all this type of stuff so she knew the drill all to well.
Loading the first round went smooth, a few trip in the cars as the truck was being filled. It was a little strange wandering through the house now that it was becoming empty. Had a little bit of emotion run through the body. Checking out my old bedroom that for the past 15 years really didn't me much until now, it is no longer the old bedroom, it's someone's new bedroom. The reality started to sink in.
The fun began a couple hours later. I get the call from Mom that the new owners and her movers have shown up. Her movers are pretty much packed but yet still no key for her new place. The lawyers, just happens to be her friends, let her know that it could be anytime so I was Midland bound to sit patiently (yes I can do that) the waiting room of the lawyers. Chatted with a few of Mom's friends and final at 5 to 5 things finally closed. It's typical Murphy's law. Everyone's went quick and smooth and the one that they tried to speed up a little (Mom's) took the longest. Of course the whole time Mom was in a little stress mode. A few phone updates kept it bearable. The biggest thing was she didn't really want to meet the new owners. It's not that they are bad people but it's more the history of the house, it's the house my Dad built.
Things started to smooth themselves out. Key in hand she now had the fun of deciding where things were going as the movers and I went back for round two. This gave me a chance to meet the new owner and answered a few questions about the house to her family. I laid a guilt filled plea to her to take car of the place. She seemed nice and energetic. She will need to be to keep that house to a certain standard.
Finally back at the new house I was able to crack open a beer, no more driving. I live a block and a bit away. As the clock ticked away so did the layers of boxes and furniture in the back of the truck. Seeing that back wall brought some smiles to everyone including the movers. A thought on movers. These guys were down right amazing. Efficient, organized, respectful etc etc. I dealt with a crew when I did my move a year ago. The crew that moved my house were younger, bigger and there were three of them and the two gentlemen that moved Mom yesterday put the young guys to shame. Anyone looking for movers in the Simcoe County area let me know and I'll pass on their name.
Back to the house, Mom cracked open one of her birthday presents. A little bit of wine sees to fuel you when the energy is dropping. Might consider trying that during the next 24 hour. Hmmm, crashing might not hurt as much. There is lots to do today, she has two extra sets of hands their to help her. I'm back in the orange crate working today. The office may be closed for another day but there is service to be done.
The house that Dad built, going to miss it but this change is for the best. I was hoping to see the house completely empty but the timing with the new owners didn't allow it. She better keep the house looking nice, I know where she lives!!!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
After taking the Molly Monster for a long walk it was a pretty easy decision that it would be an indoor day. A stop at the local amusement store (convenience store) for a few movies that will easy the pain and I was ready to hunker down.
5 bottles, 3 movies, 3 cliff bars, 2 bikes, 1 computer. Do you think I'll be distracted long enough to stay. The plan was to switch from wattage trainer to rollers every hour. Why, variety, man needs variety in his life right?? Ok simple answer, it would give me something to look forward to every hour. It was a intensity work out zone 1/2 so basically turning my feet in some way or another. One of the other reasons for the switch between training tools, the wattage trainer lets you know exactly how hard you are working and when you know what numbers you should be at your guilty side kicks in if you slack off. Ok, maybe that's just me. Stayed right at the bottom of zone 2 at 260 watts. 59:59 CHANGE!!!!!
An hour later it was back to the vomit machine that was not making me vomit. I was already into movie two. The problem with the placement of the trainer is the window. My line of sight, it didn't look that bad out now. HMMM. at the 2.5 hour mark I was in the basement changing, filling bottles and pulling the TCR off the wall. No route just pedalled. The wind was there, that played into my direction. I left going into it and an hour later really enjoyed that tail wind with the cool down.
Spring is here, Georgian Bay is already breaking up with lots of open water already. The snow is going extremely quickly in my area and this just happens to be the snowbelt so I imagine places south are already clear.
As for the other things going on. Well it's Mom's moving day. I think I'll save that for tomorrow. It will be a little emotional saying goodbye to the family home. I know it's for the better, easier house for her to upkeep, a block away from my house, etc etc.
Maybe the weather is clearing today for a reason.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Being on the hardtail gave me a few options and I wandered off road a few times and even included some curb jumping just, well just because. As I finished up my ride I ran into our former v.p. of the Mountainview club. Greg has been involved with a separate club for the last few years. Great group of guys who ride to just ride. Actually I think they ride so they can justify the beer they consume after the rides. They also do lots of non profit charity group rides. Check out their stuff here!
There were a few interesting looks at the truck rental place, as expected. Truck dropped off, training done and thing to be moved but all this was after a treat for me. Hitting up the local greasy spoon restaurant. I haven't gone out for a good/bad breakfast in a while and went full bore with the hungry man special. Like bike shops it seems that everyone solves the world problems in these small restaurants.
Back at Mom's it was round one of loading. Things went quickly, maybe we felt it did. The real movers show up Monday for the big stuff. Either way we managed to get everything done in one day. That leads me to today. It's currently raining and windy. I'm also recovering from daylight savings time. Like a good beer bender daylight savings time always leads to good memories but that initial hangover of one less sleep always hurts. There was an option for a group ride but with the time change and my current energy level there isn't a chance in hell that I can be dresses, feed, packed, etc and make it there in 20 minutes. The drive alone is 20 minutes. I'm going to suck back a bit more coffee before siding on where to play today.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
I did manage to stay off the bike though, it took every ounce of strength and discipline that even a monk would have been impressed. Many tasks were finished including cutting a hole in the wall of the shop. It's always fun being destructive and the bigger the hole the more fun it becomes. I did show a little self restraint while doing this and opted for the electric sawsal instead of my big gas powered chainsaw. See, control.
With the weekend coming quickly and the reality of Mom moving coming into vision a little destruction is a good thing. The shop is one step closer to being done. It's been a bit of a slow process in the beginning but now it's nice to see the final stages in sight. I've been modifying, rebuilding and repairing what at one time was a two bedroom house into what eventually will be the home office/shop for my company. Taking out walls that really don't need to be there and putting up walls in a better place. The inside is almost done, the outside, I'm just waiting for the snow to melt for the board and batten to go on. My rest days are always filled with other things to do.
I did lie though and was on my bike for a few minutes. Thanks to Jeremy for another great bike fit. I may have also scored another component needed for the pimping of the TCR. Of course the weekend is here and the rain, wind and clouds have shown up. Well at least it's daylight savings time this weekend. I'm looking forward to riding till dark and it not be 6 pm.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Headed north up the service road towards Port Severn, just spinning the legs and looking around. There was still something strange about the evening that I couldn't put my finger on. I took care of Heathers requests quickly and then began to play. How can you play while riding the road, well some random snowbanks happen to be ridden to start. I was just in that type of mood where I needed to keep thing light. It seemed to go with the evening.
I made a quick stop at the bay, just soaking in things. The control dams were running pretty sane, with the lack of snow this year I think the Bay may be down a little bit this year. Continued on going left and right down random roads till the end. A little technical riding on what was left of the snowmobile trail. I knew there was a reason to be on the fat tires tonight.
As I made my way back home I was still trying to figure out what was in the air. Some people were out walking their dogs, that's nothing new. I smelt a couple bbq's, of course that is a wonderful smell. As I was making one of the last turns before my driveway I figured it out. It was the wind, the temperature, and the air. It felt like summer. I know that sounds crazy but hear me out. On this flat section right along Georgian Bay is where I noticed, the wind was warm. Almost a summer like breeze. With a few traces of sun left it felt like the tail end of a long June ride. Spring is upon us, summer is not that far away.
This turned out to be more of a ride for my soul than for my body. I felt lighter for the rest of the evening, what started out as a training ride turned more into a reminder. Have fun, enjoy the things around and even more important be aware of all the little changes. Those little changes can be more rewarding.
It's a non training day for me, I'll be enjoying it.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
A little bit of bike clean up on the cross bike. With a possible long group ride this weekend the thought of having a big ring on the bike again seemed a little important. 34-12 could have me spinning like a mad man in certain situations. I've been lazy with photos the last while, my bad. It would save my fingers some abuse.
The next project on the agenda was my Friday night investment from the bike show. The stock Giant bar was pretty good, light and the shape wasn't pad but me being that weird guy with my hands it just wasn't perfect. Those that have seen my bikes know I have that huge grip build up. I have big hands, it's more comfortable. Well the Zipp contour is a wing bar, oh did I mention that I could feel the weight difference. Obviously it's not going to make me going any faster but speed is only one part of it.
Some rain in the forecast, equals cleaner roads. Finally hooked up the speed and cadence sensors for the hr laptop. Not having to clean the bike after every ride would be a nice change. Time for that work thing. I'll try and be exciting tomorrow
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Unless Mother Nature brings back winter in full force with feet of snow, she does have a sick sense of humour, my snowshoes are officially away for the season. The skate skis may make one last hurray appearance for a Georgian Bay ski but with the look at the weather that is even looking doubtful.
This is almost a tougher time of year than the fall. There is so much anticipation of what is to come that spring clean up seems to come along at a snails pace. The schedule of of the first race only a few weeks away but yet the snow is still stopping any trail riding. All those months of training alone will finally be able to be tested in the first group road rides. Melt dammit!!!!!!!
It's been an easy winter for sure, I live in the heart of the snow belt and lets just say that it won't take long for this to go, we have lost lots of snow already in the past few days of warm and sun. I'm just anxious, most times time seems to fly by, right now it seems like it's standing still.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Things were going really well, lots of ups, lots of downs until I had the final down. It wasn't supposed to be the final down but it just ended up that way. I was about an 1:45 into the ride when I felt a weird amount of float in the bike. Glance down and see the back tire is not looking much like 110 psi anymore. Hey I remembered to put the tool bag on, no worries. Out comes the tube, pump etc etc. Start into not a record pace tire change and when I went to burp the no tube I know I was in trouble. The co2 cartridge and the pump didn't want to work together. Shit, played with it for a few more minutes before pulling out the cell phone. Thanks so much to Meg for coming and getting me. So this is the good side.
Now my disappointment begins with the amount of cars that went by and no one slowing down. I started to walk back toward the main road and the small town of Vasey. Still everyone went flying by, the worst was an old guy that i had to jump off the road onto the shoulder because he came pretty dam close. There was no reason for it, no on coming traffic for him. What added to the disappointment in society was that it was Sunday morning around 11 am and a certain thing had just left out. I won't even continue on that point so i don't offend anyone.
30 minutes or so later I was home and getting changed. I called it a day, my body was tired. Sent some info to the coach involving this last training block, then spent the rest of the doing the last of the grown up things I needed to do before relaxing in the sunroom for a couple movies and a couple glasses of wine. This week is going to be very low key on the training front which is great, have some bike work to do, house work to do, sleeping to do. I'll be taking full advantage of the down time and also laying in the sun trying to get rid of that pasty white skin on my legs.
Off to work.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The rest week couldn't be coming at a better time. The count down is on for Mom's big move. This also includes moving the office/company which just adds to the challenge. Spent a couple hours yesterday in the new shop along with helping over at Mom's place. It's going to be a major change. Actually it will be weird not walking into my Father's house every morning for work.
There will be lots to do over the next week so having a low key time from training will be a good thing.
Of course I can't have the down time with out the hard work, I'm just waiting for the coffee pot to be down to an acceptable level to be left alone then it's off for a very vertically challenging ride. The wind is already visible but it seems to disappear when you are going up hill.
Looking at that sun, it's looking like another great day in southern Ontario. More tomorrow
Saturday, March 6, 2010
So if you want to be in a candy store of cycling, this would be the place to go. Of course keeping your head straight is important. Saw a few of the drool over bikes. There were deals to be had if you were really looking, me I guess I'm not much of a shopper, I'd rather not search just walk in and get what I want rather than trying to remember where I saw this and it was cheaper at this place type. I did score a sweet upgrade for the TCR in the line of handlebars. A nice set of Zipp carbon bars was all that was needed. I'm winging it with the seat for a little longer to see if my ass will change shape and like it.
After a few hours of over stimulation of gear we were car bound again. Next stop, Joyride 150. Lot's of playing around. I managed to crash no more than 10 minutes after getting on the bmx. It's so tiny and I found myself way to far forward. It was fun, I would rather get all my crashing out of me at this place than during the race season. I started to slowly get the feel of the bike. It did become more and more fun. Jumping took the longest to get used to but once you figured out the balance on it, it's so much more fun than a xc bike.
With hit up the foam pit, check out Tristan's videos. Jacob came close to a back flip. On the bmx you get so much more air. I hit once and as I'm stalled up in the air I thought I would do a front flip, hey I'm so high I got time. Half way through my forward rotation I connected with the foam, head first, I went so far down that I was actually stuck. I was concerned for my life, that all the foam blocks would start closing in even more and things would just go black. Of course I was laughing the whole time.
There were a few blast on the xc loop. Jacob pulled a 2:09 and Tristan had some controversial time that may or may not count. There was another rip on the track before calling it a night, this time with me in chase on the bmx. Pulled a low 2:20's time and this included me running the bike up the climb. Bmx's do not climb well. The long drive home was a little shorter because of a challenge, I missed it by 1 minute. Another successful adventure of bikes sorts, something to keep the hours of training in check with a few hours of play.
The sun is up and it's looking like it will be that way all weekend, I'll be heading out this afternoon for some more road miles and tanning. More later.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I'd figure I'd be rolling in the door at my typical 4:30 5 pm be on the bike by 5:30 which meant dark by 6:30. That meant another 3 hours in the dark and cold, well when it was 3 pm and the sun still high in the sky I was not going to man up and sit there waiting for it to get cold and dark.
This also meant another adventure on the TCR Advanced. According to Jacob his TCR is fast than mine. I'd question that one but mine definitely can go farther. Headed south on HWY 12 towards Orillia. This has actually become an amazing road since the last 2 years of work done. Super wide shoulder and a rumble strip between the road and shoulder. Add in the fresh pavement and a couple long steady climbs and it's perfect. I had no real direction in mind, more a play it as it comes and see what time it is. Those can be the best rides.
Made my way out to Oro again for some more hills, I took the easy lines today. I could feel yesterdays hills in the legs. The wind was going to be a factor for my loop, it makes you fast in one direction but really slow at other times and I was not sure how slow it may make me so took the 7th line and headed back north towards the ski hills. You of my thoughts for my road rides this year will be routes with very little population, this means I can sing to myself and not offend anyone, or worst get caught by some random pedestrian and get some weird looks.
I'm also planning on riding on as many roads that I've never been on before. Google maps and Map my Ride are going to be my friends this summer. The reason for this is to come across more things like this.
Besides the awesome art work you will notice that it is not bright. The sun was out but getting very very low. My little watch still said more time needed. From where I was I started to make some lefts and rights on roads that I knew how much time it would add. Of course I was starting to battle the cold with my hands and feet. This is the problem of early spring, when that sun goes that temperature drops like a rock. Dressing for the occasion is hard. Well I listened to Mr. Watson one trick and tried it out tonight. Those little hand warmer packages work. They take a little while to warm up but once they are ripping my hands were toasty.
The sun was gone now and a quick stop to pull out my headlamp for the last 45 minutes. Repositioned the hand warmer in my booties to make my feet all happy and I spun back towards home. 3:45 on the bike, 96km and the same amount as climbing as yesterday. 8 hours on the TCR and I'm loving it more and more. Another 8 in this weekend. Today is a rest/play day that may include a bunch of bikes and a bmx. More on that tomorrow.
As for Dr. Watson's comment on Mr. Watson. Be nice, his trip down south has given all of us stuck at home the most amazing riding weather. His loss are gain. Thanks Andrew.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Simulating hills on the trainer is not fun, increases with wattage etc etc. but there is still nothing like the visual of that long grind a head of you. Mentally you can't get that on the trainer. After a 30 minute spin on relatively level roads I made that right turn. Moonstone road was the first of many. A good steady 5 minute low cadence climb. The pay off was the rip down the hill beside the ski resort. Of course that meant going back up. That was the agenda for the day. Get in as much low cadence grind climbing in as I can. Well in the two hours I was out I squeezed in just under 2000 feet. Take away the 30 minute warm up and 15 minute cool down. I love this area.
Roads were in great shape and though some have mentioned the salt, we have more use of sand in this area, only on the major roads is it used. That said the only places to be concerned are intersections where there is enough sand laid that some beaches would be jealous.
A little tweaking on the fit and I'm finding the bike even more comfortable. This bike is amazing. I had to remind myself to watch he corners. The bike wants to dive bomb into the apex of the corner and I have to slow it down. Those images of everything going bad and me attempting to slide in to second base across the sandy road have come up once or twice.
Could the trainer be done for the season, are the skis and snowshoes ready to collect dust? Is it all rainbows and butterflies??? To counter jinx the whole comment I have: not put my snowblower away, not put my cross bike back to good condition (still in winter mode with the setup) not put away any of my cold weather gear, not put away my new chemical hand warmers. To top it off, my other road bike is still mounted on the hamster wheel of death ready to go. The rollers are still setup right beside it and one of the Anthem's still has slicks on it to ride on those mentioned rollers.
Hmmm Sun is coming up, I wonder what I may do tonight?? Later
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
A half way bike fit followed by putting two bottles in the cages and I headed out for the inaugural ride. Why was there such a delay in taking the beast out for a rip. I'll blame the roads but after a couple days of sun and above the freezing mark things seemed to clear up enough that I felt I wasn't doing some sort of sacrificial ceremony.
I did have a bigger reason for the ride, needed to see if there are any components that I want to change out and with the bike show coming. I mixed in the training requirements also. Headed out Quarry road and made for the concessions. Right off the bat I could feel how fast and smooth this bike is. Being on roads I know have this little resonation to them, let me rephrase that on this back they used to have a resonation. The wonderful world of carbon eliminated it.
Some zigging and zagging kept the bike pretty clean, took care of the coach's requests, enjoyed not being on the trainer. SO I love this bike. made my way to some short climbs and played a little bit. Standing this thing puts every ounce of power to the road, wait it did that sitting also. Handling is quick, compared to my older Giant it's night and day. If I have any complaints it will be the seat. I'll be looking to change it out. The only other consideration is to a set of wing bars and that is just to personal feel.
1:45 on the road and 51 kms had me coming back into the house. Yes that is just under 30 km/h average, in these conditions and the intensity that I was riding at I'll blame the bike for being that quick. The legs were feeling pretty good though. Looks like I'll be on the hamster wheel tonight so I'll be thinking about yesterday's ride as I pedal to no where.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The pace was, well, erratic. Deathmarch Liz somehow began having snowshoe mechanical. How?? After the 3rd time of (I think she didn't actually fix the problem the 1st time) the pace went to a snail's pace and then eventually a rock. We found ourselves very close to where the cars were and a glance at the watch. We've only been out for 20 minutes!!! That's it??? We started to blame everyone who was not there and then stood still watching the clock killing time before making our ways back to the car.
This is probably a good thing, my planning for the season has all come together. I was giving myself till the bike show to decide on what I was going to do for June and after that one random email and a few phone texts everything was confirmed last night in person. I'll be at Solstice this year racing tag team with Tristan Spurr.
I've been itching at doing tag again for a good year. I've had a couple 3rd places with my brother in law a few years back. I'm a different rider now, faster, lighter, stronger. Did I just steal the Olympics trademark?? Trying to get someone at the same level or faster to do this has been hard since most of those people are pretty focused on the Ontario/ Canada Cup events and I'll be honest tag is very tough. So to fill in the blanks, it was Tristan's idea, I just didn't try and talk him out of it.
SO with the first 24 hour figured out that fill in the options for the second one. I'll be doing Hot August Nights solo. I've always found the course a little more technical and usually more steady climbing with suits my riding style. There is a lot more time in the dark also which means I'll be getting some good quality time with my lights as I try and burn a mark on the trails.
Weather is looking up for this week, lots of sun, lots of above freezing temperatures, lots of clear roads. I wonder how life in South Carolina is right now? I've heard that it might be snowing there.
Time to work, hoping to roll in early enough to ride outside tonight.
Monday, March 1, 2010
It didn't take to long for the dogs to clue in they all began playing follow the leader and who can step on the back of Matt's snowshoes and get him to fall first. Luckily the face plant never happened. The energy you needed to plow through the snow and then add a 50 pound dog standing on the tails counteracting that motion leads to a disaster.
There were lots of lefts and rights mixed in with lots of ups and downs, no real focus on direction. Unlike the Monday Night Something where we have only an hour so the curve of time that you are allowed to be lost in minimal yesterday we had between 3-4 hours.
I have found the latest add on for snowshoeing for the person that has everything,
Fenders, my back stay dry and of course it just looks cool and fast.
As the miles added on the energy levels dropped. The snow was so deep that it was an amazing feeling for the legs for this little break on the snowmobile trail. Almost the same affect as spinning out the legs after doing hill repeats. Of course it didn't last long and it was back into the bush on the return towards to the house. We did spend a little time on our outgoing tracks before attempting to get lost again.
3 hours later we stepped into the driveway. 3 tired people, 4 exhausted dogs. I'd considered doing an easy spin afterwards but my legs were feeling it so opted for a pizza and the Gold medal game. I think that's the first time in a long time that I sat on the couch in the middle of a Sunday for that long.
It's Monday, that means a shortened repeat, I'll be following in some tracks tonight. Will post up some other race schedule updates tomorrow. Time for work