Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Who stabbed my leg and kicked my dog?

So I'll start with the good side of things. Molly is on the up and up. She is already in a better place when she is on her med's. A trip to the vets for more reassessments and confirmation of her injuries. There is a minor concern of something spotted on the x-ray but so far it is looking like she won't need surgery and will only need a splint instead of a cast. You are still welcome to sign her splint wrapping. She will love the attention. Breathing is all good and the swelling in areas is already going down. Was given the two thumbs up about using the laser on her.

I will put out the warning now, Molly will begin to work you over for attention and she will milk it well beyond the time of the actual injury. She is way to smart. A few years ago a dog she plays with broke a leg, he was getting lots of attention because of it. A few days later Molly began to fake a broken leg. This would come and go depending on who was around and how the attention was being spread out. Basically if it was elsewhere she began to limp. A treat or a run was optioned to her and she was fine. Smart girl.

Bob was making sure she wasn't lonely yesterday.

Now comes my thrills of seeing a doctor. Headed to Dr. Bill's for my weekly tune up recovery. I had some feelings on what may be said. A few hours earlier a could feel it spinning out my legs on the rail trail, then a little more while stretching. My left side leg muscles are tensed up so badly right now that there is almost no flexibility. It basically feels like someone stabbed my hamstring with a rusty dull knife then proceeded to tear it down the muscle. The spasms took their toll.

What does this mean, ride life is pretty much restricted to very easy spins and gasp, walking. Lot's of light stretching. In short my mtb race season may possibly be over. The marathon race is out, the Fall 8 hour being a month away is questionable at this point. That's why I spent some time last night working on this.

After some rest my fitness may only be high enough to use this, only ridden by a little old man to church on Sunday's. Church just happens to have barriers. Looks like I'll start a few of those off season projects a little sooner than planned.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not such a great weekend.

So I'll start with the race, everything went off like normal. Good prep, good breakfast, easy spin around the park to soften the legs up. Nothing different. Could feel the heat kicking in early so opted to carry a bottle of water in the back of the jersey for hosing myself down. Was feeling good, HR was lower than normal standing in the starting pack, the reason, wasn't nervous stressed excited etc. Things were good.

And were off, started a little farther back than normal and kept it pretty chill, didn't take long for Tristan and I to hook up on the course and made that truce, keep it sane battle it out on the last lap. Hopefully we can try it again another time because it wasn't going to happen today. Came through the timing tent 1st and 2nd. Things felt good. Lap 2 was about the same but backed it down just a little on the hills. This was my plan from the start and I was sticking with it. Save the legs. Tristan being a climber was off. Long race, no worries and besides this is a ride not a race I told myself.

Lap 3 was the same, felt good. Was spraying myself down from time to time. It was hot, it was awesome. Came through the feed feeling good, riding my pace, having fun. Then came lap 4, slowed up, a lot. Ok not slowed up but started to lose some horsepower. It was subtle enough to even me at first, then I did something I was shocked I did. I clicked into the granny gear on a climb. It wasn't even a big climb, not good. A short time later I felt a little tingle. Told myself it would go away.

Lap 5 told me that it wouldn't. Climbing power was gone, got my first round of cramps midway through the lap. One so bad that I was forced off the bike after a climb. Walked it out and did my first good cyclocross remount of the season. Came into my pits and got off the bike for a few. Had ice packs wedge in my legs and would have stood on my head if it would have helped. Spent about 10 minutes on my back trying to get the body feeling better. Of course I was in a bit of a grumpy mood at this point. Cramping has a tendency to hurt, I do like pain but not like this.

Lap 6 seemed to be better, back to sub hour lap which I was content with. Spun the climbs and figured I would take it easy until the heat of the day went away and would try to pick it up in the evening. It was a good plan but my body had other plans. Lap 7 had my body start to shut down on me. Got a few dizzy spells, stomach went crazy, and of course the cramping came back. Every climb was a battle. Not good. Came in to the pits again and tried to feel good again. It took about 25 minutes of debating with myself on what to do before pulling the plug. Frustrated very much so. Pretty much confirmed that it was heat stroke because I'm still feeling like absolute shit this morning after lots of fluids, food, rest etc. Legs are sore, feel like they could cramp any time. Still have a slight headache which for me is a sign of something really wrong. Headaches for me are usually alcohol induced. Of course there were a few bouts of vomiting in the evening. Pretty much all the symptoms. I don't do anything half assed, if you're going to blow up, blow up real good.

So that was the better part of the weekend. That evening the crap side of it came around. Molly got clipped by a car. I wasn't with her when it happened, she was up at Mom's place. Won't get into the details on the idiot that was driving that could have easily stopped if he was paying attention. I was already crashed but when I woke in the morning and saw that Mom had called i should have known something was wrong. It was a few minutes later she called and filled me in. Let's just say that it was a really long morning and then waiting till 3 before I could pick her up was hard to deal with. I'm not a patient person sometimes, most times, and this was hard for me. For those that have met Molly, you know that she is my kid.

Down to the ER vets with Mom. Things ended up being better than the first update. Still not great though. She has lots of bruising, a whole new collection of scraps, they have said that scares are sexy, and a broken leg. It's a non weight bearing bone that is broken and the er vet said it won't need surgery. The break is just above what would be your wrist. Just watching the clock to call my vet this morning to get her in.

So it's looking like things will be pretty low key for the Molly Monster and myself for the next few weeks. She is pretty sore right now, rightly so. Once the worst of the swelling and bruising is gone I bet she will start working the sympathy to the max. She is a smart girl. Will also be using the ray gun on her once it returns from the Worlds. It's helped a race organizer, a world cup racer, an endurance racer, now it's on to helping my training partner.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quick update

Race went to shit, body shut down on me. At this point thinking it was heat stroke which I normally don't have a problem with. Controlled pace right from the first lap, next two were fine then legs lost power. Total of 7 pulled the plug. Topped off my shitty race with more bad news. The Molly Monster was hit by a car last night. I wasn't with her so only have a few of the details. She is down at the emergency vet right now, just waiting for the call to go get her. Fingers are crossed it's minor besides the broken paw.

More later

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's about that time

Like usual I'm up way earlier than I wanted to be, probably because I went to bed way earlier than I normally do. A half decent ride yesterday to get the legs fired up. This was of course finished up riding straight into the wind. Great way to cool down. The legs felt as good as they should, the normal twitches have shown up in my right leg, I've had them before so I'm not stressing about it. The new game plan for the race should lossen things up smoothly.

For now I will leave you with my weekend plan. I think I'll do the race first.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Have I gotten that fast? Nope

I may have gotten faster over the last couple years, there isn't much doubt there but the gap between the Molly Monster has never been that large. The last ride before the last ride before the 24 hour was done on my backyard single track. After a week and a half of no trail riding followed by me clipping the tree during the Albion race I figured I should get the eyes and reaction time all back in check to the legs. I was also hoping to maybe come across another horseshoe, a little extra luck this weekend would not be turned down. Unfortunately no go on that, I'll be relying on what I have inside. HMMM.

Headed out on the hard tail, not a chance in hell I was going to get either of the Anthem's dirty, and for the first 5 minutes of the ride heading to the trail I tried to keep pace with Molly. That was about it, as we hit the single track and the first easy climb I already put a little gap into her. She caught up and stayed with me for most of the first lap. The next lap she yo-yo of the pace. By the third lap she was gassed but managed to get around with me waiting patiently at the end before the spin back home.

Now if the lap distance was O Cup length I would be thinking that's pretty normal. She has set some fast times around a couple Ontario venue's in the past that would make most Sport level riders jealous. Unfortunately each lap is only about 8 to 9 minutes. Did I mention that this was at recovery rate pace. I know, I do get to coast. I know it's my fault that my dog would much rather chill on the couch now. Overall I don't mind her not being a strung out lunatic that would walk on the ceiling if she didn't get a run. This fall will be spent getting her back in shape for the ski season.

As for me, legs felt good. The normal chill time tetchiness in them. It's almost annoying. The eyes and body came in check and each time around felt smoother than the last. Conditions for the weekend are still looking perfect. No last minute hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, or plague will be happening this weekend.

Potential post tomorrow, the car is already packed and ready to go. As much as I'm very low key about everything to do with this race there are still certain habits in my life that just can't be changed. About 28 hours till the fun begins.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Since I can talk about it now

The countdown is almost over, I'm pretty much as ready as I'm going to be. No last minute hill repeats, 6 hour rides or intervals. Maybe all of that is the reason I'm so chill about the race. Everything that needs to be done is well done. This included knowing where I will be plopping a tent the race. I won't be in my usual location this year at the road crossing. A change of scenery will be nice for Mom and my Aunt. Me, I don't plan on seeing much of it.

As for the scenery, I'm not sure if Adam and Sean of Chico did it for the good or some sick practical joke and put Ben and I in the same camp site. Just that combination of quick witted smart ass comments will probably have both our parents looking at us funny. Yes I can be mature, it just may be a little limited. Then add in two other solo riders one with the team name Shrek the other Donkey. You know that it will be an interesting site. For those other two guys, I really do hope they know each other.

I'm also now changing the rules for races, ok I'm changing them for me. I think that I should receive gifts before every race. Why? Just because. I like gifts. If this rule applies then I will make it worth your while and share with you!!! Like the gift I received from INFINIT yesterday.

I'll be sporting some new colours, a big thanks to Darcy and Jenn of INFINIT. Now I promised that I would share with you, here it is.

A huge box of goodness from INFINIT. Some of these are prizes for the race, but if you come to site 61 I have some single packs to hand out. If you are stopping by please do it before the race starts.

Both my Anthem's are ready to go, clean and shiny. I really needed to go above and beyond because one other thing I'll be hearing about from Ben is how much lighter his Anthem is than mine as he has done everything but scrap the paint off to shave a few grams. The thought of having the hardtail there with mud's on it is becoming more and more of only a thought. My over prep mind which always says that if you don't bring it you will probably need it is actually being eased with the weather reports that are continuing to keep me actually shocked. I've never ever seen both Environment Canada and the Weather Network actually 100% fully agree on weekend weather. Well the stars must be aligning, seas are parting and Sean Ruppel sacrificed his little dog to the weather gods.

This was taken moments before Sean through the dog into the sea, a great sacrifice for the greater cause of a bike race.

Time for a little more coffee and off to work. One final thought, I don't think I've ever been this chill going into a 24 hour race, ever. Actually I continue to be less and less stressed about a race and I've brought it to a new level this time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The cat is out of the bag

It didn't take to long for people to do the math last night and a few blunt questions, assumptions, accusations were made pretty quickly. Where was I that this happened, where else. Albion Hills for the last weekly race of their series and another preride of what now is the official 24 hour of Hot August Nights course. I think I was in the parking lot for less than a minute before the first person asked me what I was doing for the weekend. As I socialized with a few just before the start of the race an old friend/main competitor avoided asking but could see he wanted to know what I was up to.

So the answer is yes I am riding Hot August Nights solo. Now the main wording is ride, not race. I kept this very low key because I'm also trying to keep things very low key in my head also. No strategy, no stress of pre race hype, no self inflicted stress which I tend to do to myself. My original plan of just sneaking into the pack unseen at the beginning of the race was great but unrealistic. I'll be setup in the main solo area this time for easy of things for my favorite and greatest support crew consisting of my Mom and Aunt. They work like an F1 crew.

SO what brought on the decision to race. First up was the crash at the summer 8 hour. When the series overall was pretty much out the window, I got zero points at the second race, I sent Heather my idea. Of course my body was pretty out of whack so it was all judging on how things felt during the Mountainview 9 hour. Obviously things seemed to be pretty good. The other decision was the course. After the preliminary ride the Sean and Adam took us on I was pretty stoked about the course. It was fun, racing it last night was fun. Still lots of climbing but it's a course that I will want to ride over and over again.

As for attitude for the race, yes I'm going into it low key and plan on riding it a little different than I have in the past. Funny thing is sitting at the start line with Tristan Smit who I normally battle it out with, and may again, who knows, said he was planning to do pretty much the same thing I did. Could I end up riding with him? Maybe. There could be a neutral truce between us till late in the race?

As for the weekly race. Things went pretty good, clipped a tree and knocked of my chain about 10 minutes into the race which made me back down just a hair for the rest of the race. I lost about 7-8 spots when that happened but made up a few of them. Fast lap, around 42 minutes for me. With a little desire, if on a team could be push close to 40 minutes. There will be laps below that depending on who is playing this weekend. There is lots of climbing in the course and the numbers show it but yet I didn't notice it, that's maybe a good thing.

There will obviously be more posts on who what, where and why over the next couple days as things come together.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hands behind the wheel

My mellowness yesterday had me pass on a MNS ride. After a weekend of driving, then a typical day of driving for work, the return drive to Midland for physio with Dr. Bill and then continued the loop to pick up my Anthem for Jacob. I just didn't feel like driving any more.

I have to admit that I do have it pretty good having a ton of great riding right out the end of my driveway. I feel bad for people that actually need to drive someplace to ride their road bikes. It sounds funny but there are areas that I wouldn't' want to ride, risk your life in the first 20 feet by lunatic drivers.

I love to drive the car, but there are days, as the season starts to wind down, that I would rather chill on the couch. That was what I did. That's where I'm about to head back to now. Another busy day of work and driving. I think I'll be needing a little more coffee.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No, I didn't race, I didn't even go

As I moved slowly again yesterday morning it was all with a pleasant enjoyment that I wasn't loading up a car and travelling. Did enough of that the previous day. Of course the pouring rain didn't exactly make me feel guilty for not racing provincials this weekend. I am a little disappointed that I didn't get to race someplace new, like Mountainview there is only limited time access to these trails. Maybe next year.

I've always said that Ontario Cup races are for training only and that I also only do them when then jive with what I'm supposed to be doing at that time. I do have fun with them but I do keep them in check, I'm an endurance focused racer. I had a different focus for this weekend that did not include racing.

Unfortunately it did find me indoors, on the rollers, watching a movie, dry. Yep, I couldn't persuade myself to ride outdoors, everytime I started to make my way in that direction a wall of rain appeared. I'm hoping that the rain was only focused at my house and that provincials was all rainbows and butterflies. Part of my age was showing yesterday, I still had a bit of a hangover. 2 Days, that's not right. You would think that with age the body would be more efficient at this point of flushing alcohol out of the system. I guess that's one of the first things that goes when you're out of your 20's.

The plans for the next month are all coming together quickly, more details were finalized yesterday. Probably post the full run down of my plans this week, when I got nothing else to write.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

May have been drunk

After a very interesting Friday night that included bikes, beer, food and fire that continued late into the night with some of those good friends that I say keep me young, I woke up feeling very old. Actually I woke up feeling like I was on my death bed. I won't get into the antics of the evening but there were some good stories told. As I sprawled out on the couch waiting for the grime reaper to just finish the job I started to debate on what to do. If I stay on this couch much longer I won't be doing anything. Google maps can be a great thing. This decision was made by the click of the keyboard. 15 minutes later I was in the car with coffee, water, lots of water and an Anthem.

I figured I was going to need a little more time to get the evil alcohol out of my system before I raised the heart rate up. A nice two hour drive north while listening to some comedy helped this. After staying on the same road for the 2 hours I made my favorite type turn, to the left, drove two minutes and parked the car. Time to pedal. It had been a couple years since I'd been on this particular road, the Anthem was the bike of choice. Last time up the road was under construction and I didn't plan on driving this far to be shut down because a road bike couldn't handle the conditions.

Didn't take long to get in the groove, the head still hurt a little though. Traffic was almost non existent and everyone seemed to either have a camper trailer or a canoe. Now the last thing I expected to see out here was another cyclist. At first I thought I may still be a little drunk and seeing things in the distance but I seemed to be gaining on the hallucination. Of course I chased the rider down. Ended up being a tourer from Gatineau, had to be from Gatineau because he was riding and Eclipse. Chatted for a few kms, he was riding roughly 2400km all over Ontario. Very jealous. Motored on as I had limited time.

The ride to the west was pretty undramatic, some amazing views. I'll be honest that I was getting a little concerned that the distance that google maps versus the odd distance signs on the road were both screwed and that I wouldn't make it to my destination. I also misjudged the pace a little that I could sustain on the Anthem. Not having anything more than a hr monitor I didn't really no how fast I was going. As I rolled past the 2 hour mark I saw the sign I really wanted to see.

Topped up the bottles and made a short tour of the park with a stop at the beach, Always need to go to the beach. The camera does not give you a true idea of the big rock faces in the distance. This is one of my favourite paddling places and a trip to the top of Silver Peak is still on the agenda for the day.

I came across this also.

For all those cyclists how have been randomly attacked you may want to read this. Now for the return trip. Now the ride out was pretty tame, great scenery that's about it. No more than a km out of the park I swear I almost T-boned a deer. Stopped and stared for a few minutes with amazement, the deer did the same. We looked at one another, probably thinking the same thing. Stupid animal watch where you're going!!!!

Back to pedalling, WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! on the brakes. Hey the cars are all on the brakes to. Unlike the deer this stop had me ready to make some evasive moves. Yep, big fuzzy cuddly black bear. I was about 300 feet away, the cars not so much. Attempts to get the camera out were done but in a way that I could spin the bike around and sprint away in fear if he started to head my way. He did stare down the Kia minivan for a few moments. In to the bush he went, I delayed for a second just to make sure there wasn't a pack of them in chase.

I passed the only other cyclist on the road about 20 minutes later. He was probably looking forward to reaching the campground also. Now knowing roughly how long it would take for me to get back to the car nutrition concerns were gone. There's not much in the line of convience stores up this way. Kept pedalling along enjoying the solitude.

As the hours started to add up and the hangover still was lingering I was starting to watch in the distance for the antenna that I parked at. 4.5 hours on the bike I coasted the last 100 feet of the 120km ride. What a great way to spend the day. The road bike will be used the next time I do this. I'd like to make my way right to the town of Killarney, there is a great restaurant there, maybe a trip in the fall is in order. Group ride?????

SO it's pretty obvious I'm not racing provincials today. Long story, it will all make sense over the next few weeks. Bigger plans that have yet to be announced, changed etc. The schedule to the right is pretty much all tentative right now because of these changes. It's all for the good though. There will be some stories to be told.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Acting my age? Screw that

As I pondered on the back deck last night with a glass of wine while listening to some slight more aggressive music that was blasting out of the car. Not to loud that it could annoy my neighbours but just loud enough to suit the type of music that was playing ad I started to think, " How old am I ?"

Some people have met me in a business side of my life and probably had to do a double take. I act like a grown up when it comes to business, much older than my age truly is. This is because I do what I need to do, and be who I need to been when the time is needed. In the work world I dress work related, listen to talk radio, stay up to date on the market, deal with customers in a mature responsible manor, etc, etc.

Then there is the other me, out of the work world, the bike me. The young me. I've seen some old friends recently, people my age living a different lifestyle that what I have grown into. Man, did they look old and sound old. Cycling has kept me young, hell I'm 37 and compete against guys that I'm almost old enough to be their father's, bad shivers there. I do from time to time get reminders that even though my mindset may be younger at times that my body does have some well used parts on it now and does need to be treated a little different. Regardless of the mild discomfort from time to time I can't see me slowing down from this type of life anytime soon. A few of the over 40 division guys have told me they are not looking forward to me hitting that magical age and since I've continued to get faster still every year, who knows what will happen.

Cycling has also brought me some great friends, many will be over tonight for yet another one of those story filled evenings that include bikes, rail trail, pub, food, beer and for sure lots of laughter. These guys are also part of the reason for me feeling young also. I'm actually going to blame them for all of it. You become who you surround yourself with. It's one of those zen like thoughts. So far I think it's been pretty good results.

Friday is going to be a good day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I thought the summer was busy

I'm staring blankly at my computer screen yet again this morning, the only problem is that screen seems to be a little harder to fill today. The first cup of coffee has been poured, the smell is in the air. That cool crisp air of, I won't say it but we know what is on it's way. I could feel it yesterday while riding, afterwards when I took the dog for a walk, at night as I slept.

Maybe it's because it's been such a hot summer that it just feels fallish when the temperature drops a little. Maybe it's because I'm a skinny frail guy and found myself wearing a sweatshirt when it says it's 24. It has been a great year this year for heat, the break in it though is very much enjoyed while training. Last night's stand up sit down fight fight fight intervals would have hurt more had it been any warmer.

The look into the fall though looks to potentially as busy as the summer for thrills and possible spills in the line of racing. Lot's of cross races, the Hardwood Ski and Bike mid week race series under the lights is back again, I'll be there more this year, it was fun. Of course there will be other random cross races. There is also a Substance Project MTB festival that could be a road trip for. Then there is the Anti Race which will pretty much be the greatest day of riding all year with the next day of death 100% guaranteed. It's all worth it though. None of these things will be Incorporated into training, just fun.

The fall is looking like it's going to be a great time, hoping for a great one. I'm looking forward to skiing just not yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dazed and daydreams

After a Top Gear powered nap. Yes, my inner child is still a car junkie and the sounds of stupidly fast cars is very soothing for me. I finally felt re-energized and headed out for an easy spin on the road bike. It was one of those rides that was filled with over observation. First was the wind, but it was strange, it wasn't a slow head wind. No humidity, I was cooking the rail trail with little effort. Could have been some new pb set at the Midland TT last night.

The next was one of fun, of planning for the fall. It also brought back memories of my youth. The township had dropped a few big piles of dirt at the side of the rail trail. Of course it doesn't take long for a kid to get in there and say "look at the jump" Watched a couple of them huck the double, they dared me to try, I passed on the thought. Surprising but they were interested in the road bike, next generation roadies???

What it brings up though is the thought of a trip to Joyride 150. It's been a while, the craving of riding indoors seems to disappear once the roads are clear. Now after a great summer and a long session of training, the time to go and launch a bike into the foam pit, hit the jump line, exhausted the upper body riding the pump track is beginning to grow. This past weekend The Summer's family was up at the Mountainview 9 hour and Mark mentioned to me all the changes and additions that are being done. Looking forward to being immature and trying not to have the Summer's kids show me up to badly, of course they will.

Back in the reality of the ride, a pretty chill 1.5 hour rail trail ride. Legs felt good. Actually body in general feels really good. Of course tonight's ride will be a little more of a test of metal. Hoping a nap won't be needed before the self abuse.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wave your hands in the air!!!

After a couple of chill days off the bike it will be the return of maintaining fitness, what I'm maintaining it for I'm yet to fully figure out. It's a big block now until the Fall 8 hour, there are a few random thing from now till then. I will say that my hands are looking forward to a bit of a break from the mountain bike right now. From time to time flash back of my youth come back to haunt me.

In part of my previous life I played varsity volleyball, those skinny things I call legs had a little power back then and I was able to jump. The notorious injures to volleyball player, ankles, knees and hands. Well I got two of the three. The knees have been good for a while now but my hands which have had every figure fractured or sprained at least once. Ad that up to my daily life of working in the trades and it leads to sore hands from time to time. Main reason for my well know larger than most grips. The setup works fantastic for anyone with large powerful hands. I can crush a small child's head with one hand, ok maybe a small chipmunk and that still probably wouldn't happen.

Besides the hands being still sore the body is coming around pretty well. The stairs are not a challenge to go up, I can touch my toes again. Still want to nap though. The next week or two will be mainly asphalt based training. Not complaining at this point, not looking at sneaking a trail ride in yet. I know that will change though. The temptation to do night riding will start soon. Not having to stay up till all hours of the night waiting for it to get dark helps. I have that nice light set that was won at Solstice that has yet to be tried out.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I swear my coach must have a direct link to my computer or has some little bird sitting in the window watching what I'm doing. No more than 5 minutes after I posted my race report that I had planned to do an easy ride came a link of text saying no you're not. I did what I really do like to do instead, I used my feet and walked. Like running, walking is just at a slower pace but there is still no coasting.

Of course I was doing my rain dance hoping for the right weather for a guilt free indoor day. Looks like everywhere in Ontario except for where my exact current position got rain. Instead it was just hot, the hot that you want to be out doing fun things but I didn't wanna!

A few more random thoughts about the 9 hour. Yet again the Mountainview mystery woodsman Nik was randomly showing up in different trail sections calling out Giver!!!! You pretty much have no choice but to make the climb with that motivation.

The apres race food was better than the race food. The 2 meat burgers and 1 veggie burger were very good but you coudn't eat that on the course. The Infinit mix worked amazing yet again with zero energy loss. Of course when I smelt the BBQ on my last lap my stomach rumbled.

My upper body is in rougher shape than my lower body. The stair test is not to bad, now my hands and shoulders are another story. It is a very physically demanding course and I'll be sore for a few days. Need to be proactive with he bending and stretching stuff.

Talked to Peter about what will be the highlight of the 2010 cycling season. The Misfitpscyles Antirace. Looks like it will be another adventure for sure.

Was happy that I halfway cleaned the bike right after the race Like the body I really wonder how dirt gets where it does. It's going to be a pretty chill week with lots of recovery rides. Should be good.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mountainview 9 hour

Same old thing, yet another long race. Got ready to do what I do best doing the same thing I do before a long race. Pot of coffee, computer, followed by a little stretching. Then this.

MMMM Banana pancakes that weigh 2 pounds. Yes it fattens me up for an hour or so but it's so worth it. Loaded the car up with two bikes, needed gear and the Molly Monster. I'm not sure who likes the long races more, me or her. The normal set up etc etc.

So the start, unfortunately this year the race was a little smaller than the past. Tons of racing happening in August and I guess people can only be in so many places at once. In the solo division there was a grand total of two in the men's side and the same in the women. Either way it's still long race and it's more about the time than the competition sometimes. So knowing that I was not actually racing I turned it into a very very long training ride.

First lap had me catching team riders pretty quickly even at a sane pace. Gave me that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that I could go faster if need be. The course, well if you have ever been to Mountainview you know that there are no steady smooth climbs here. Everything looks like a vertical wall, even the switchbacks that make it a hair bit easier, ok not really. First climb was up the ski hill switchback. Knowing that I was going to see this often I started spinning climbs early. Some great flowing switch back at the top of the hill lead us out to the farm field. It was a nice recovery but for some reason someone stuck this huge pile of dirt up there and we ended up climbing that also.

More flowing stuff, including a technical decent down the riverbed. Some good kill yourself if you're not paying attention type rocks. Had a couple laps where I shook my head back to focus. From there we went into this newly cut section. Right from the first lap it was into the 22, knew this would start to hurt later on. It's a tough off camber, grindy, rooty, turny trail that can suck the power out of your legs quickly. It's also at such a slow pace that it's a full on body strain trying to keep the bike vertical. More flow stuff followed by a few short punchy climbs before rolling into the timing tent. First lap was just under 30 minutes.

From there the next 4-5 hours these were the riders I kept imagining I was chasing.

I needed that driving carrot ahead of me. I was a bit lonely, I was still ahead of most of the teams and holding the same lap times, wasn't going to push to catch the faster of the teams and riders that I did catch were going to slow for me to chat with for very long. At the 4.5 hour mark I found Peter's wife on the course taking pictures of flower's with her friend. Maybe they had the better way of racing. There was a very staged picture taken that may or may not make it onto his website.

Kept motoring along and passed the 6 hour mark, I'd lapped all the solo's many times, hard to motivate yourself sometimes. Rode with one for a while and talked about long racing. He'll be making a 2nd attempt at a 24 hour solo coming up in two weeks. Gave him all the info I could on what I've tried, whats worked, what doesn't etc. Nice guy, hope he gets through it.

Coming up to 7 hours I actually got off the bike and sat down. This actually worked well because a few minutes later one of the teams came through to tag up and I went out for a lap with Brandon. Of course this was short lived when his bike broke after the first climb. Back on my own. Near the end of that lap Marc from Misfit caught up and passed me, jumped on the wheel and hammered out the rest of the lap with him and started the next one with Kim. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! I'm riding with people, I'm not the most social guy sometimes but I needed it today. Yet another rider came by and I rode with Dale for a bit. I opted to back off. Going anaerobic in the 7th hour was not necessary.

Then came the rain, very quickly. The coolness of it felt amazing, the slickness of the trails not so much. It did not take long for the trails to become very very slick. Of course I happened to be riding on my xcr dry tires which, well their dry tires. That grindy off camber rooty new trail, ya, lets just say that it was faster and safer to run/walk it than to ride it. Looked at the time, it was close to the 8 hour point of the race. I knew I would have to switch tires if I wanted to continue. This meant switching bikes. HMMM the other Anthem was ready to roll with mud's all in prep for rain. With an hour left did I really want to clean two bikes? Not really. Crossed the line, called it. Had a 6 lap lead over 2nd.

The main point of this race became training, minus the screwing around that I did with a couple social stops on the course late in the race, slowed shared laps etc etc I was running very consistent lap times the whole day. It was also a test to see where my body was at after the crash. I've been very twisted the last couple weeks. A couple hours in the twitchyness went away, legs felt strong all day. This morning besides being a little tired, the legs feel good. The hands are tired, lot's of death gripping and braking. Overall happy with how things went.

Pace was on track for 17 laps, the big break and quiting an hour early had me finish up with 14 laps, 6000 feet of climbing and an average heart rate of 154. Intensity was down from other 8 hours where it's usually in the mid to upper 160's. Today will be some damage control of the bike, BB was starting to squeak a little and began to annoy me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Double post today

Just saw this on MTBR in the endurance forum ad couldn't resist. My stuff is below. Enjoy

A dating guide to understanding your triathlete (or runner or cyclist...)

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I train in any type of weather. If its raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100% humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don't want to hear any complaints because I will still train in it and you're just a big wuss for complaining about it.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: With or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peloton, I don't care. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then you're not my type. I will let you draft, but if you can't hang and I drop you - I will see you later. I am a capable mechanic, but don't expect me to change your flats or tune your bike. You need to learn that on your own.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Lets run hills until we puke. I have just as many shoes as you only mine are better because they are functional and all look the same.

"I enjoy dining out." Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don't be shy because with the amount of food I eat, you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison. Don't get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of you. Most importantly don't expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring something to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4,000+ calories a day your going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Oh, and don't ask me any questions during breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon lunch, dinner or recovery dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into an 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the ocean for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you're going to find out what mass start is and let me assure you that you don't want to find out.

"I find fulfilment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not racing, I am volunteering or cheering on my buddies and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out sports drink to cyclists going 20 mph. Just stick the ol' arm out there and hope it doesn't get taken off.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time. Just back off because I am strategizing, trying to get into the zone and in a pissy mood because I am worried about my "A" race and can't workout.

"I am an active person." Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 mandatory hours of sleep a night. 10 hours a week are devoted to me during the off-season and 20 during race season leaving us 4 hours. 2 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so lets make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day.

If you are a licensed message therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

"I enjoy road trips and vacations." Really means: You have your choice of British Columbia, Wisconsin, Idaho, Florida, California, Arizona, and New York, but don't expect to do much site seeing. But if I get enough support from you we might be able to include Hawaii in there.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: Lets grab a mountain bike and get our HR's up to 90%. There's plenty of time to look around on the descent as trees and bushes whiz by you at 40 mph.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: while we are running, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how horribly out of shape we are, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm interested in photography" Really Means: My camera is permanently perched a tripod in front of my trainer. I obsess over taking photos of my bike position and analyzing them to get the perfect set-up.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and bike computer are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if you recognize and feed my dependancy by buying me more gear.

Article courtesy of an anonymous Triathlete who is likely still single, from Toronto, and who completed rather well the Lake Placid Ironman in 2006. For a small fee we'll connect you to this handsome and successful individual...(works "downtown" Toronto in the "money business"

I have a problem

I'm the first to say that I'm weak. Not all the time but just sometimes. I intentionally avoid seeing them so I don't fall prey to needing them. The sign's are everywhere though.

It's sometimes impossible to not have the craving, especially when it's a sunny day. Yes I have a weakness for sunglasses. Women have their shoe fetish, me it's been glasses. Luckily I don't need to wear my prescription eye glasses more otherwise I'd probably have twenty pairs of different frames.

Now the bigger problem, if you can call it that is that I'm addicted to Oakley glasses. Why? Who knows but it started at a young age. It's pretty much all I've been wearing since I started wearing sunglasses. Started out with the Razor Blades. Still remember my parents freaking out when I came home with them. It was something along the lines of "you paid how much!!! You're bringing them back right now" Of course I didn't and it all went downhill from there. A couple different M-frame's came next along with goggles for skiing. Minutes followed.

As I have gotten older the addiction has increased a little with the ability to have less guilt when purchasing a new pair. Does that come with maturity? Nope just a larger bank account. So with multiple pairs of half jackets, 5's squared, custom square wire prescription, and racing jackets I've caved yet again. I'm actually a little proud of myself that I lasted this long with out getting them. I looked at them enough online and saw many at races wearing them, even got to the point of trying them on. Well these are on their way now.

Would have loved to have had them for today's 9 hour but I guess I'll have to suffer with the racing jackets for the time being.

Looking like better weather than predicted, rain is supposed to hold off till the end of the day. It's going to be hot, I like hot. Right now I'm liking my coffee, oh sweet coffee. Race report tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

zen like thoughts? No. Crazy?? Yes

After a great ride, followed by a great dinner I did everything I could to stay up late enough to watch what was supposed to be an amazing light show. One of those perks of living where I do, amazing dark star filled skies. I sometimes forget how good I have it living in an area with the best cycling, skiing, canoeing etc in Ontario but looking up last night reminded me of the simple things.

As the sky darkened an the stars came out, this was 9:30 and of course this is getting close to my bed time but I was going to resist the urge and stay up till at least 10:15. It was well worth it after I saw the first rock rip across the sky with a bright white streamer chasing it. As I laid on the ground staring up in awe I got yet another one of those zen like moments, just thinking about life and why we do the things we do. Yes this is cycling based.

As the Mountainview 9 hour is almost upon us a quote from one of my reminder warm up get in check movies came to mind. 24 solo is still a great motivator for me. I still love this line "It's great to win bike races but life is a little deeper than that. What I'll take is the memories and the friendships I've made over the years." Exactly, being a mid late 30 something year old I know my chances of going to the Olympics are limited to how much room is on my credit card. Now this type of thought works for me, some of my fast friends like Andrew and Peter, kill it boys.

Racing has brought me some pretty cool friendships. I've met people from all over the world, some faster, some slower than myself. Some serious about racing, some not so much. In the end they are all out to enjoy the love of riding bikes. Racing just seems to bring us all to the same location on any given day.

As my zen like state started to dissolve, more by the head butting from Bob the special ed cat wanting attention I caught a glimpse of a few more random flying rocks, 7 UFOs, 2 planes and one crazy woman on a broom stick. It was 10:23, I must have been hallucinating from exhaustion so it was off to bed.

There will be a short pre race post tomorrow, promise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

plan? Not really just playing

I did it for Summer Solstice, I'm going to do it again. I'm putting my race strategy out in the open because as they say, if it's done right it doesn't matter if they know or not. Actually there won;t be anything exciting or new. I'm going into this race pretty low key.

The plan is to experiment a little on pace. I'm not expecting to have to kill it the same way as we do at the larger events. What I'm looking at is trying to maintain my lap times a little longer. It always -seems that it drops in 2-2.5 hour increments. May drop the intensity a little sooner and see what happens. Of course I'm also going to try and hit up the fun events if possible. That alters pace for sure.

Weather is continuing to look to the better. Sun and cloud now with a small chance of rain. Hopefully it becomes a day of rainbows and butterflies. Just in case, one of the bikes is ready to roll with a nice said of grippy tires. Going into the course blind but not to concerned. 9 hours is still, well 9 hours. There was a temptation to pack the car and race to London instead for the 12 hour battery burner. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Battle of the war

As the countdown continues for what could be yet another battle of Good versus Evil. Using the power of flipping a coin, which of course is how I make all decisions, I'm pretty sure Peter will be pedalling around the Mountainview 9 hour course solo also. Will it be a repeat of last year? There has not been a real repeat of some of previous battles of smack talk now in a couple years.

The battle of gears versus no gears. Little wheels versus big wheels. Full suspension versus no suspension. Cake versus pie. Sugar versus artificial sweetener. Jedi versus the Empire. Yes the Empire will be at Moutainview. The race is even run by the Empires only paid follower.

I must ride fast enough to beat Peter, for all mankind and the honour of the Molly Monster. At our last meeting Peter was politically correct enough to say that Molly looked a little more muscular than in the past. Yes, he called her Fat. Maybe she is but denial can be a good thing. She will be at the race and maybe she'll run a lap and prove that even slightly large she can still bust a faster lap time than said single speeder.

Regardless of the outcome it will be a fun day, there is pie to eat, tricycles to ride, demo single speeds from the Empire, and a great bbq after the race. Oh ya, some amazing trails to ride also. Don't debate anymore, come watch the war at Mountainview. Better yet get on your bike and join a side. Of course I'd suggest my side. We get to shift on the hills.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It came back two fold

A rest day before a Monday Night Something ride has never been needed. EVER!! Until last night. Met up with the boys at the what we thought was the right parking spot. I think there was mutual agreement on not letting the person who gets lost in his driveway without a gps telling him where to go decide on where we start rides from. Of course there was some confusion since this was not the normal MNS type ride. It was in the big backyard of Copeland.

It was not long till we were riping the berms, of course what goes down has to go up and in Copeland that pretty much describes the place. Climbing or descending and there was a statement made on how fair it is that the descending time never equals the ascending time. I think I need to either learn to climb a lot faster or start riding my brakes the whole way down.

I was playing on the other Anthem, the one that I beat on for training, halfway maintain and have had absolutely no problems with in the lines of broken parts. until last night when I found out my front derailleur didn't want to shift out of the middle ring. I made an attempt on one of those climbs that just kept going. Maybe it was my bike saying "man up boy!" saving me from ridicule from the guys. Either way it meant as little huffing and puffing. Of course this meant we hit yet another awesome downhill.

Yes as much as climbing can suck, the downhill sections are so much fun that it's all worth it. Hearing Tristan scream like a 5 year old girl was very comical also. The return to the singlespeed bikes only was also brought up. It was shut down pretty quick though, are we all getting old? Maybe, some are minus SS now, I'm not but I do admit I enjoy the safe predictability of my race bike over some sketchy build up that works great in the off season.

We did go back to an old tradition and finished up the ride with beer and stories of who is going where for what races and that there is a weekend in September that has more races going on than racers to fill the spots. Don't promoters ever talk? I may be hit up one of those events. To far away at this point.

A little riding tonight and some gentle tuning of the Anthem will be done. Hoping I won't need to switch bikes at any point on Saturday but just in case I think I may want use of all my gears. It is Mountainview, there will be climbing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

non race weekend

It was a weekend of long roads, some on the bike, some in the car. It was a bright and early start on Saturday armed with 3 bottles, money and some music. I needed it as I was off to the beach. Lately I've been getting that craving to ride different roads, a change of scenery. I think I've ridden everything east of my house, south is running out and north, well north is water. Been a while since I made the run to Wasaga.

As I made my way along and went from the roads filled with locals to the roads of the cottagers I was a little disappointed. I guess cottage cyclist don't wave. Wasaga was busy even at the time I rolled through. Some nice views. Of course busy meant traffic and went back to focus for the next few km before making my way on some farmland concessions. The next 2 hours I saw minimal cars and lots of cows and corn.

Great sign on the side of the road. Said "Speed Kills, Slow Down" About 20 feet up there was a dead Raccoon. Hmmm Maybe if the raccoon went faster he wouldn't be dead. Maybe it should be "Slow Kills, Speed your Ass up". Highlight of the ride, a quick stop to scope out the retro bike guy's stock.

This is just some of the bikes the guy sells. If you say the pile in the shop you'd stare in awe. He was checking out the Chuck Norris Bike with a hint of jealousy. Like last weekend I made my way into the hills of Oro at the end of the ride but opted to go around the ski hill this time for a little more controlled climbing. In the end just under 5 hours of rolling around.

Yesterday was a write off. Pouring rain kept me on the couch with no craving to be at the o-cup. Heard things were rainbow's and butterflies down south but I was pretty content to stick to my plan. Short spin on the rollers before going on a road ride scouting mission. Found the most amazing road. A very long version of the roller coaster section of the Big Chute Loop. Next to zero traffic, low speed limit etc. There is the potential for a fall epic road ride. Planning.

Countdown is on for the 9 hour. Hoping for some nice weather. Legs are coming around. More to do this week.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekend update

Thrills of the weekend held off till tomorrow. Couch is calling.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A glimpse of the future?

This summer has been a blur. 6 months ago I was riding the trainer, playing on skis and randomly getting outside for a ride. At that point summer seemed so far away. The thought of riding outside lead to 20 plus minutes to get dressed with the hopes of surviving more than an hour in the brisk cold. Now it's 5 minutes to be ready for 4-5 hour rides. As we roll towards the middle of August already I'm already starting to think about the winter. Blah.

There is still lots of riding and racing to be done, more so just riding. I admit that I love riding in the fall. Trails become colourful and yes even though there are usually random branches that are hiding under fresh fallen leaves looking for a derailleur, the same trails introduce new challenges. The roads change also, less traffic as cottagers stay home. The sun changes from melting your skin off to just hot enough to keep you an enjoyable warm.

The biggest change? Intensity, there is none. There is no scheduled time, no hill repeats, no must do's. It becomes a time to remind yourself of the simple pleasures of riding. Some random fun group rides, a ride that ends up turning into a longer or shorter ride than planned with no recourse. It's just fun. Now I'm not complaining about where I'm at at the moment. I'm currently sucking back coffee and counting the moments before I head out for a 4.5 plus hour road ride which I'm really looking forward to.

Why I'm feeling this way even though it's still August. Last night the weather just felt like fall. Cool, crisp wind. The sun was warm but not killer. No humidity. My arthritis kicked in a little. Some random fallen leaves. That smell that fall has. It felt like the end of September/October for a few moments. Of course I'm glad it's not that time already. I'm not ready for the thoughts of snow for a little while longer.

The race season always seems to be a blur, the summer always seems to be a blur. I'll admit that I'm not disappointed about skipping Kelso. I'm going to enjoy chilling around the house with tired legs this afternoon. Just enjoying the warmth of the sun. Time to get rolling.


Friday, August 6, 2010

It was one of those rides

I rode my bike yesterday, I know nothing out of the ordinary but it seemed to have a slightly different purpose. Yes it was still training but it was one of those rides that I have before events. No music, a ride just spent in my head. To do this it was even a rail trail ride where I didn't even have to worry about fast moving objects.

As the season is winding down but I look at the craziness still to come I had some decisions to be made. First up was this weekends o-cup in Kelso. I was all in and then eventually was sitting on the fence. I had options of the race or a really long ride, I debated back in forth. I brought up the rule I created for events last year. If it takes me longer to drive to the race than the actually time it would take to race I have full thumbs up to skip it. I drive fast, self processed speed demon, but even smoking it down and jumping on the 407 I'm looking at 2 hours. I ride pretty fast but not crazy fast but either way it's never taken me longer than 2 hours to do any Ontario Cup race. HMMMM. Of course the coach gave the hint to me that endurance racers (which apparently I am) do long rides!!! So with Mountainview 9 hour coming up in a week I'm passing on the trip south.

This lead to the next thought on races. Why do I do the long races? Why do I do something that makes me exhausted for a solid week? Something that really hurts on good days but when the weather turns bad becomes a complete sufferfest and down right miserable. It's pretty easy to push yourself through the rain in a sub 2 hour race but knowing that you still have 6- 12 hours to go what will you do? It's a mental game, again one of those reasons I do these "get into your head" type rides. Why do I do this to myself, I do it for me. To see what I am capable of during the race mentally and physically. The bonus of being pretty good at it and finishing on the top of the pile is just that, a bonus.

I know that things will be pretty low key next weekend but I'll be honest I'm hoping that there will be at least one or two riders who will give me a go at the 9 hour. After the Summer race, my nose is still a little numb, I need to get my head recovered fully to move onto the next step for the season. I've got a million thoughts going on right now for a few different races and as much as things have flown by there are events all the way into November, including a few in the States that I've been scanning. Road trip? Long races? Cross? I'm not making any decisions for another week or two. Or at least another pot of coffee.

As for the ride, it's amazing what you can fit in in an hour recovery ride. Time to stare at maps, plotting out a 4.5 hour ride. Looks like it will be a solo ride for the Chuck Norris bike and me on Saturday.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Road trip of sorts

Made my way south for a slight change of scenery. The Chico Racing boys were doing a little tour of the Hot August Nights course last night and thought it would be nice to just ride and be social at Albion. I don't think I've ever just ridden there in after all the years. The recently returned from a World Cup month Andrew Watson decided to join. He did continue to remind me that he was still on euro time and it was currently 4 am or something like that.

It was an impressive turn out forcing the boys to split into two groups. We jumped in with the infamous Sean Ruppuel, course designer extraordinaire, with Chico himself riding in tow making sure none of us fell of the pace and got lost. I think he was concerned for a few of us. Mainly two. I guess every group of friends that ride bikes has them, our group has the Shake'n'Bake twins. Well Albion has there own.

There were many times during the ride that instant death was barely avoided. If there was a stick on the ground these two seemed to have to race for it, they bickered about past races, etc. It was very amusing. Andrew braved it and got between the two with hopes for greater safety. There were a few whimpers as they seemed to have separation anxiety. Some reason they always managed to get back together.

As for the course, minus us having a granny gear race up the main climb of the course. One of the twins cheated riding on a 2x9, the course is amazing. We rode sections of trails that Sean said had been used int he past. I'm not sure but there was one single track section that was just amazing, with speed there were mini gap jumps, great flow. Lots of fun sections, just enough double track for passing, there is climbing but except for the one grass climb most were mixed in with single track which seems to make them almost disappear.

Of course I'm currently unsure what I'm doing for the race. I've been asked to join a couple teams and a slight hint for tag team. I've also thought of just making my way down Saturday with some food, some gear, some beer and just chilling for the weekend and doing some random laps for different teams. Right now there is no real thought on it. I do want to play on that course again, next time at race speed. For those on the fence, sign up, the course is worth it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Turned right for a change

After a short visit with the Shake'n'Bake twins at the Bike Stop an idea was put in my head. I haven't been on my cross bike in a long time. With the to do list I had for my ride it would work out just about right. After 8 minutes of asphalt I saw the chance and I turned right. Right into some Ministry of the Environment trails that didn't have no bike signs posted. All was good.

Wasn't to long before I had a chance to work on my minimal level cross skills with a set of stairs to a look out tower. To say I was rusty is an understatement. How about seized up. It was not a run up but more a strolling up attempt.

Great view, I came, I saw, time to move on. This did mean back on the pavement, for now. I decided to head down a road that I hadn't been on since the winter. I was still a little nervous because the last time down there was a huge Wolf(dog) that had the hugest eyes I've ever seen. Well I ended up meeting the Wolf(dog) and he is a nice not so big German Sheppard.

Short visit and it was back to pedalling with a few of those one legged pedal thingys. This is when I spotted something that made the heart race. I braved the risk to get this photo.

Cannibals!!!! Helmet wanting Cannibals. Fast moving helmet wanting Cannibals. If they can catch someone that was on a snowmobile what about a cyclist? I heard a rustle in the woods behind me and didn't stick around to find out.

Half an hour later I was rolling to my lower yard where there was a chance to work on those cross skills again. Weak attempt, didn't even look good doing them at slow speed so there was no reason to go any faster. It's a few months till I really need them. Nice change though being on a different bike with different riding options. Leads to a ride that I would like to try again that was attempted in the winter. Soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day of the Dog

The Molly Monster is spoiled, she pretty much gets everything, including a day of fun.Of course this doesn't mean I didn't get to enjoy it also. It was a return to the mountain bike as we battled for 10 minutes of south bound traffic to my backyard of Copeland Forest. The legs were a little tired but the plan was for an easy hour to spin them out and let Molly get a good run. Both happened.

With Molly being spoiled her high intensity level is now just a little lower than it used to be but after 30 minutes or so she started to pick up the pace. As for me, would there be a sense of caution used in the singletrack? Would I have a fear of narrow trees? Or roots? Nope. Rode the hardtail and bounced around hoping downed logs and rolling the trails with good confidence. I may or may not have kicked a couple downed trees and said some colourful words while doing it.

After a short break at the house we followed with the third favourite thing of Molly's, car rides. Headed north on to some back country windy roads in the hot rod where she spent time bouncing from window to window. Some were her choice, some were caused by me having a little fun in the windy roads. Passed a small group of roadies who were just about to get caught in one of those blasts of rain that instantly makes you miserable. The type that windshield wipers on high can't even keep up.

A few hours later and some chill time on the couch it was off to the 2nd favourite thing of Molly. Dropped my cob webbed covered canoe in the water, it's been a few weeks since it's moved. Perfect conditions on Georgian Bay and we chased what ever water fowl we could as Molly stood on the front of the canoe like a hood ornament pointing in the direction we needed to go next. It was a nice reminder about slowing things down.

There is something to be said about being on the water, everyone is friendly. Everyone waves as they pass and they are all courteous about speed and wake towards smaller crafts. HMMM I wonder why we can't get that out on the road with cars and bikes?

Molly is tired, I'm dragging this morning as I asked my alarm clock nicely to stop what it was doing. 4 day work week, sane training week. Lot's of coffee needed, body is feeling better.

Monday, August 2, 2010

2 days, 2 loops, 2 extra people,

This sleeping in thing is a treat, I'm thinking of selling the company, selling everything including the alarm clock and never get out of bed before 8 again. That would last for about 3 days. The last couple days have been spent on the Chuck Norris bike and we weren't alone. Nice change.

Saturday brought Heather and Jason up to do the Big Chute loop and as mentioned lots of intensity mixed into the ride. This was also a test of what was done to the body Friday. Things were feeling better and after a good walk with the Molly Monster followed by more stretching the right side of my body was feeling not to bad.

This brought on Sunday. A long ride was scheduled, some texts were made and arrangements were made that the Shake'n'Bake twins were going to join me on the 4 plus hour tour. Start time for the ride was 10:30. Jacob rolled down the driveway about 10:15, won't even mention what time the Mighty T rolled in at. Some excuse of late night and alcohol. Of course this meant Jacob and I would be merciless and see if we could make Tristan bring up his breakfast. Yes we are as mature as 12 year old.

Nice and controlled pace as we headed south towards Orrilia, followed by a right turn to the west towards Barrie by way of the waters edge. Yet again the maturity hovered on the low side as we watched for other groups of cyclists that we could run down. For some reason the roads were empty, may have been our later than planned start. A quick stop for refueling which included cookies. It would be needed as the harder part of the ride would begin. The first 2 hours were pretty low key with limited amounts of climbing, that wouldn't be the case for return part of the loop.

Heading out of Midhurst we finally saw some other cyclist, if you can call them that. Sorry to those I'm about to offend. As we were on this side road riding 3 wide we spotted a triathlete group ride. Yes they were spread out in 30 second intervals so they couldn't draft one another. There was huge temptation to turn around and run them down but of the 4 riders, two had there deep dish, tri spoke, areo wheels and a couple had their areo helmets on which seemed to be making a huge difference for them as they barely made it up the climb we were descending. The temptation was there, we instead started to focus on abusing Tristan.

As we rolled past the 3.5 hour mark we rolled through Hillsdale and into the hills of Oro. The bigger hills. There were random attacks, there were random off the road in the dirt, those were all from Tristan as we made our way to the last challenge of the day. The 7th line right beside Mt. St. Louis ski resort looks like a wall sometimes. Today was one of them, I opted to a very controlled intensity as the Shake'n"Bake twins hammered up the hill trying to destroy one another. I'm the first to admit that I'm not a great climber and even staying at a steady 330 watts the boys rode away from me. What did make me happy was how quick the legs recovered when I came over the top. I needed it to catch up with the guys.

Still some distance to go but we kept it semi-sane eventually rolling back into the driveway at the 4:20 mark and just under 130km. There was as sprint to the house by the twins, they just don't play nice with one another. As for me, I hoped my age brought on a little maturity and self control, just a little bit more. Great ride, happy to say that the body is feeling better. Still need to stay proactive on the stretching, after I have a little more coffee.

Play time again today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Short updates

Good ride, good company, good recovery, good beer. More thrills to happen as the Shake'N'Bake twins are on their way to my place for what will most definitely turn into an epic road ride. Full updates tomorrow.

Good quote from my coach to her boyfriend yesterday after finishing the Big Chute loop which he has never done before. "It's really a beautiful ride, when you don't have your head down tucked into the draft." Jay and Heather tucked into my draft during my scheduled intensity and having my coach all of 6 feet behind me meant no sand bagging. The only good thing was I had both of them working really hard to hold on that they couldn't afford to waste any oxygen to tell me I wasn't going hard enough. A bunch of zone 4 stuff, felt good, leg is still tight but getting better.

Coffee, no world cup, long ride. Check out Mr. Watson's race report.