Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It has begun

I need to clear up the election results. The cat's name is Doug, sometimes those ballots can be confusing. If you read closely, "Watson is not an option" and most of you agreed with that. Watson should not be an option, I figured it was important that I allowed all of you to confirm that. So yes they great pair has resumed.

As life rolls on and the signs of winter have shown up, life has taken a little slip to another sport. Winter prep has started, the skis were in need of some attention. Let's just say that they were slid on hard and put away sticky. The classic a little more than the skate. I was a little concerned on the base conditions, I kinda neglected to put a storage wax on them in the spring, I'll be honest that I was hoping to have put a few more km's on them before the snow had disappeared but the excitement of spring riding distracted me.

Bases were in surprisingly good shape, I found a new base cleaner at a unnamed store that works great. Works better than the previous expensive big named stuff I've used in the past.

I had a little help from a friend,.

The official return to being an athlete started last night, I know I said December 1st but I got anxious. Power test is still on hold for at least another week, the ankle is coming along well and with some great recovering exercises from Dr. Bill I'll be back to 100% in no time. This sent me into the padded room last night for an hourish plus of yoga. To say my body is feeling a little pretzel like would be an understatement. With the lack of training meant a lack of stretching which equaled a very inflexible body. Found myself semi watching listening to my motivational get me in the spirit movie while attempts were made at things like warrior pose and triangle pose. Yes, 24 Solo still gets me wound up for racing, I think I can repeat every word of dialogue on cue.

Winter bike is ready, skis are almost ready, snowshoes are anxious, some consistent weather is all that is needed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Better than option B

I had the first reminder about the thrills of winter riding yesterday. Opted out of the trail ride with the guys for some base hours on the road. Pretty sure this was the last ride for the cross bike, the winter bike is ready to roll. Conditions were, how do you say, aaawwww Shitty. There was more snow on the side roads than I thought there would be, more so I don't think they were plowed. Anything under a foot the plows don't come out,. This left rutted sections on the less travelled roads. These were the better way to go.

Started out with a thought to head up Big Chute road, that was changed about 30 seconds into the idea. The roads were fairly clear but there were slush sections. There were also cars. Cars + Slush = a wet cyclist in a single blow. So on to the roads less travelled. It still didn't take long before body parts started to get wet, which lead to cold, which lead to grumpy. Still spent an hour and a half at a chill pace. This is the worst time for road but since I'm doing everything possible to avoid this.

This was done a couple days ago, forgive me for my sin. I really don't want to spend time in the padded room yet but things are pretty much ready to go, straight jacket is in the closet.

Think I'll get enough info while on the bike? Some tlc to the cross bike is needed and it will join the Chuck Norris bike in the padded room

The return to training has slowly started. With the long winter ahead, I have lots of time. Still no game plan for races next year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It was that time, it snowed. Just enough to only leave one good option on the what to do for the day. Loaded up the car with the dogs and ventured 15 minutes north to McCrae Lake for a long hike with the dogs. For some reason which I'm not complaining about the parking lot was empty, I'm guessing that everyone south of my area were spending the day putting their snow tires on.

Poles in hand I did what I could to keep up with the dogs. Molly set a pretty good pace.

Destination? Not really but this was the turn around point at the hour mark. It won't be long before everything is frozen. A great 2 hour fast paced hike.

On to the election results. The score is there and like I said earlier Watson is not an option so the new monster's name is Doug. The great Canadian pair has returned.

Winter has arrived, I'm excited.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still shaking

After a few days of no Internet the shakes are starting to settle. Withdrawal for the cyber world, hmm yes I'm weak. Much has happened in the mean time. The cats are getting along and the first real signs of winter showed it's face this morning. Could yesterday's trail ride in Copeland with Mr Watson be the last one of the season? May be.

It was a last minute decision, I was done work a little early and Andrew's 11 am ride seemed to be delayed by that evil Internet. Either way 2:30 pm had us heading out on a trails. I had a little reality check on what happens when you have chosen the off season earlier than others. I don't regret it but to there were more than one comment saying slow down. Of course there was a response of "you should do cross, it keeps you fit in the fall" Of course when this line came out I was usually gasping for air and unable to respond. Mixed without he fact that I couldn't catch up with him to push him into the trees for being a smart ass.

I needed the break from riding, I did the same thing at the same time last year and I was faster this season than the previous. You don't screw with what works right? The ride was good with a quick stop at Jacob and Liz's new pad In the heart of Copeland. To say I'm jealous and even offered to swap my place which I love for their new place. Of course I really wouldn't do it, I love my place. Finished up with some flat single track back to the cars. There was no socializing afterwards, it was cold and darkness was coming quickly.

This morning I woke up to a couple inches of white stuff on the ground, I ended up being that first guy to fire up the snowblower. With the internet crack dealing repair guy coming this morning I would have rolled out a red carpet for him if need be. Ended up not mattering, slid past the driveway, someone forgot to put on snow tires. I'm reattached to the world, there is much to update in the next few days. Stay tuned, I'm back. Don't forget to vote, it's your right and responsibility

Thursday, November 25, 2010

InterWeb failure. Not being creative with my phone

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Playing hooky?? Sorta

Sometimes you need to read the details, I may have two months ago but it really wasn't high on my priority to remember. It was a a day of manufacture product training that turned into only a half day of sitting around with my eyes glazed over. No, I'm not a bad student, just knew everything the day was to include already. Well let's just say I was happy to be done early and as I was driving towards home looking at the conditions of the weather deteriorate I started to wonder how many more days will be left before the ground is snow covered.

With crazy winds I had no craving to pedal into them and coming up with a route that had a tailwind would have had me figuring out how to get home from some south eastern town. A great day for the trails. Could this be the last time in the big back yard this year, on a bike at least. When I pulled into the parking lot, completely empty. What was I expecting? It was a mid afternoon Tuesday. It was the way I like it though.

Easy pace, trails were amazing, some work has been done, decided for an outside loop or at least an attempt of it. The 5th line climb which we normally descend had me off my bike. My ankle was feeling pretty good but even at prime time it's an almost impossible climb. Maybe that's the reason we come down it. It was fun to be back on the narrow trails, continually reminded myself to keep the pace in check. Just went fast enough to keep it fun.

Looks like the ski resort was thinking the same thing I was, trail markings and maps are now up. As I rolled back to the car after an hour and a half of play those thoughts became reality, a light snow began. I am really looking forward to skiing this year. It won't be long now. The ankle held up well, some stretching afterwards. A little tight first thing this morning but overall on the road to recovery.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Putting some visual to a name

Like many, people always research a name before making it legit. I thought I should do the came. What I came up with is interesting. Matching the name to the personality.


HMMM, he is not one of those cat's that you never see. Actually he is pretty much a be in the same room type cat.


Hmmmm, Very chill, very happy, stoned???? Haven't put out the cat nip yet. Close match.

Bob And Doug

I can't even comment. If you saw the two of them scenes from Strange Brew continue to appear. Yet again another very close match.


The best I could come up with. He does have better looks than this. I'm glad my parents never drove one of these, with all the windows you couldn't even hide in it. Match??? Not sure.


Well they both seem to be hacking up a hairball, Maybe if Andrew won we could name the cat after him. Go faster next year!!!

Well a cat and a fish do go together, sorta. I don't think this cat will live a life full of disappointment though.

So I just put in a random search for weave. Ummmmmmm????? Well let' just say that I learned something, I think. Does it have anything to do with the cat's name? Not really sure.

If you made it through the whole video you have withstood a new level of torture. Go back to the Bob Marley video and finish your reading with some rhythem.

Warm weather, an ok from Dr. Bill yesterday to start riding, slowly. The ankle is 85 percent, enough for some spinning and stretching. May find myself on a bike this evening. A return to a routine is about to start.

A racing around weekend

I never physically touched a bike this weekend but I feel like I did back to back marathon races. How can walking and standing be so exhausting? Sure it's off season and I've lost a little but I really wasn't expecting to be this trashed after 2 days of helping around around the Barre Cycling Club's cross race. It was a fun weekend and in some cases it was probably one of the best things I could have done for my ankle. After multiple loops around the course staking, taping, and then again tearing down I must have easily racked up the equivalent of walking around the world twice. It felt like it.

Sounds like it was a success though and for what the course lacked in vertical, Mother Nature made up with a strong headwind on the only section that would have given recovery. Some good racing, fun being on the sidelines, would obviously still rather be in between the tape though. That part will be here in no time. I was a little disappointed to only see one rider hop the barrier. Davis Ross on his last lap cleaned it, gaped Brett Matthews forcing him to put it all out there to catch up and take the win in the Junior race.

The ankle is coming back, a full weekend of non biking exercise was probably the best thing. It won't be long. Now on to the most important thing. NAME THAT CAT. So, personality wise. He is basically the opposite of Bob. He is chill and friendly not turning on a dime from attention to tear your arm off to attention. The poll is up, one full week. You can mulitipule vote if you would like, I will still add new names to the list if they come in. A name is need, it's hard to call the cat with "Hey you!!!" Doesn't seem to work to well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What time on a Sunday?..

Quick post, up at a stupid hour on a weekend with very limited time. A few more names added to the name that cat list. Why am I up at this time on a Sunday? Helping set up the Barrie cross race. Come race, it's a fun, tough course. I'll be on the side lines drinking, probably just coffee.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter prep?

With the first snow, for my area at least come and already gone. Yes disappointed, while many will be racing around in panic with a full realization that winter is actually coming, like it always does and will be doing all that stuff that panic brings with it. Snow tires on the cars, snowblower running, firewood etc. Me, well being a planner can be a good thing since I finished all that stuff a month ago. This gives me all the time to play, and also watch Bob and the new cat sort out their shit.

Of course I have this hard time to sit still and found myself in the basement working on phase two of the revamping. With the work area almost finished I moved on to something I've wanted to change for a while. I've made many a cyclist jealous with my bike wash down there. Hey I prioritized reins, that being the first thing I did when I moved into the house 2 years ago. But when I did it I rushed things a little with the layout. The biggest problem was the height. Is it because I'm two years older to being old and a grown up? Well the old part may have a part of it, grown up is all in perspective. So brings on the next step. This time I had someone watching me making sure I do it right.

The new guardian of the bike basement. An hour later the tub was unistalled, frame built, reinstalled and tested. Well almost tested, some plumbing alterations need be done and I was minus the pipping needed. There is no more need to be hunched over straining my old man back while scrubbing down a dirty bike, no straining knees while sitting on them trying to clean a drivetrain. Nope, it's now at geriatric height which will prolong my cycling career for a few more years.

With the crap weather on it's way this will be used soon enough. The basement is also one step closer to being perfect. For now. Vices for xc skis were set up also, some base cleaning is in order, need to be ready. With all this free time this weekend, what will I do? Looking like a good one for sure. Might even include some bikes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yet another animal store(y)

Seems like the last couple posts have been animal based. This happens to be another. Made my way down to a newly opened outdoor equipment store a couple days ago. With me, the Molly Monster. Why? because she has been in the same store in Toronto and in many other similar stores in the Barrie area. After about 10 minutes a a sales person came up to me, very apologetic saying they don't let dogs in the store. But she has been in other of the same stores, why the change? She gave me a few legit answers, i accepted it and brought Molly back to the car and returned to the store for some continued browsing.

I was slightly disappointed in this particular retailer for their change in policy, I was informed that the Toronto store has a tendency to break the rules and that was why Molly was allowed in. I know I know, she is a dog and that for the longest time pets were supposed to stay in the car during shopping. Things have changed in the last few years and more and more stores are allowing them in. Obviously on leash and sane are allowed in. Home Depot gives out treats, other hardware stores are following suit. Banks are allowing them in now. Molly has seen the inside of most bike shops in the area. I'm hoping that this newly open store may push corporate to change their policy, outdoor gear and dogs pretty much goes hand and hand. When they find out their competitor allows them . Rant finished.

Cat is home, a couple more names to add to the list. Bob and ???? are sorta playing stare down. The new guy has a tendency to get himself out of the corner with little conflict. Bob, well he makes a lot of noise. I can see there being a balance with the two in no time. I hope.

It snowed!!! It won't last but I have to admit that I'm slightly excited. It made the dreary dark November nights just a little brighter. It will also make this weekend's Barrie Cross (Baseball Cross) race just a little more interesting. Yep, I'll still be on the sidelines. The ankle has just that slight tinge to it now, pretty sure the ramp test may be put off for an additional week now just for good measures but no matter what training resumes December 1st. Some slight prep work was done last night with a good stretching session. The body was craving it until I started to do it. It's always that way.

Keep sending in the cat names.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's in a name

Let me tell you about the story of Bob. Bob the cat. Yes, we all remember Bob, he moved into the house last year and with the help of everyone Bob gained the name Bob. Named after Bob Roll and guess what everyone, he is about as bright. Not to say Bob is not a smart cat but he just does things that makes you question his intelligence level. Bob is a little bit of a disappointment to his species but he is cute and we have all learned that looks will get you far in this world.

With the cold weather coming Bob will be spending more and more time inside. He's talkative, social, huge, a little dense and A.D.D. This combination makes him a little annoying. When I head off to work the Molly Monster comes with me to the office and chills there for the day, this leaves Bob home, alone, lonely, bored, lonely, yes I'm aware that I typed lonely twice. This means when I walk in the door he spends the next half hour squawking at me while forcing attention out of me by running between my legs as I attempt to walk through the house doing what ever. It's only November, I know it will only get worse so I made a trip yesterday. A buy a friend store. Yes, a trip to the OSPCA. It didn't take long for me to find Bob a new friend.

The kitten on the bottom of the cage. He is about 5 months old. Yes another male cat. They seem to always recommend that more than a male/ female forced living together. We know how well arranged marriages work. I'll be picking the little monster up tonight. He seems a little more laid back, chill type attitude. Balance I'm hoping.

This is where you come in, I need a name. So like what I did with Bob, I will let everyone put in their ideas, put up a poll and let the masses decide. Now first off their will be no naming him a friend's name. Their will be no calling him Watson, sorry Andrew, as much as many would like to be able to call Watson a pussy every time they see him, it's creepy and not going to happen.

Creativity is key, I've thought about calling him Doug. Just a thought, then I would have one of the most legendary Canadian pairing of all time, Bob and Doug McKenzie. Take off eh. I do wonder about calling out "Here Doug, come Dougy, Dougy, Dougy" Ya, exactly. So I'll give new name list until Sunday night, put up the poll for 7 days and hope I end up with a name that matches well with him. Nailed the name with Bob, two for two? We will see.

I'll put up more photo's of the cat when I get him home. On the ankle front, feeling good. Just a little pain left, almost all flexibility is back. Hopefully return to the bike this weekend. Yep I over reacted.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recovering random thoughts

Day 3 of the ankle and I'm now realizing that I slightly over reacted. Me do that, no not me. I've gone from a really bad limp shuffle to a gangsta limp walk to now this morning almost normal movement. It will only be a few more days before the pain is gone and that will be when I put a bit note up reminding me that it's still not healed. The weather is very accommodating in the not doing anything outside type way and I'm still not ready mentally to put myself on the trainer or rollers. Indoor riding, except for Joyride 150, is not allowed until there is snow on the ground. I'm going to attempt to stick to that rule.

In other news, the rumors are starting to fly about a new cycling team. Who is on the team? Unsure. The team name? Unsure. The race kit look? Unsure. Is this team going to make an impact in Ontario, Canadian and MUAHHHH the World of cycling. Maybe. Will this be the team that many will want to leave their existing team for, most definitively That is all I know at this time, as I said earlier, these are just the things I've heard.

I leave you with some random photos of timing from the weekend.

A great way to start a ride, with a song with the word bicycle in it. It was on random and it randomly showed up just before I got on the bike Saturday.

This may have turned into the biggest ever game of Tic, Tack, Toe. Then someone parked their car on the game board.

Not even sure what to say about this, I spent the rest of the time looking for a sign saying Matt Wanted and hoping she was a cute single cyclist. Phil, if you need the address it's on the 7th line.

We won't tell Phil that it looked like i redneck house and I think I heard banjo's.

More miscellaneous stuff tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wha Happpan?????

I'm still trying to full figure it out. Back up 24 hours, I slept in because I didn't fall asleep till well after 1 and that ended up being on the couch beside the fire. Why was I still awake at that time? Well that was the stressed out mode that put me there. After a fun afternoon of cheering at the Hardwood Cross race I slowly made my way home. Felt good and wondered what I could do with the rest of the day. On the drive is towards home is where I first felt it. My ankle was a little sore but nothing that would have had me worried in any way. I should have been. When I got out of the car at home I felt it, pain. As the evening the pain increased, momentum decreased, and my brain started to over analyze everything I'd done in the last 48 hours.

What did I do? I walked, I rode, I walked again, I couched it. Day one. I put the ski box on, I walked, I stood, I walked, I sat. Day two. What the hell did I do and when?? At the same time I was being proactive, heat, ice, laser, ice, drugs, repeat. With all that and it continued to get worse. Go to bed early I thought, rest will help the most. Of course the pain continued to increase and with no distractions my brain started going so fast that sleep was impossible. I lay there thinking all the worst case scenario's When you are the owner of a small business it basically means that if you don't go to work you don't make an income and my job is the farthest thing from being a desk jockey. As my brain is thinking this it's also thinking, how am I going to train? I can barely stand up how will I pedal a bike? The training was a farther back thought that the life thoughts. Unable to sleep in bed I made my way down to the room with distractions, turned on a movie and did everything I could to focus on it. Eventually I fell asleep, woke up late and limped to work.

Not a fun day at work but some good pain killers helped get me throughout he day before I got to see my favorite person. My normal visit to Total Pain and Injury clinic on Monday's is for maintenance. Dr. Bill has been keeping me in check for the last couple years, I wreck it, he fixes it . Well last night's visit has with major focus. I was doing that mental projection of thought that he would give me the answer I want to hear. Something along the lines of "it's only a minor sprain, You'll be fine in no time. Do this this and this". Well guess what, I did get that type of answer, just a little different. I some how strained my Achilles tendon right at the attachment to the ankle. There is huge inflammation, so much heat coming off my foot that I could cook up a steak. Some work around the injury, some super high powered laser work, and a list of to do's and I was homeward bound. My stress level was back at normal.

So the next week this is my life focus.

Dr. Bill gave me the rundown to what to watch for, At this point it's looking like a class one strain which means minor. Yeah for me!!!! The big thing for me will be keeping myself in check for the time needed to heal, not doing that I feel better, It better, before I really am better. This morning there is already improvement, I'll have to cook breakfast on the stove. Swelling is already at half of what it was yesterday, the pain is just more of an annoyance, I'm back in a happier place.

After lot's of time replaying the only thing that I can track it back to was the little bobble that coupled be called a crash I had on my ride Saturday. Wasn't going fast, probably the reason I went over but it may have been the way my foot came out of the pedal, The hike probably put it over the edge. There is lot's of to do's to write about that are still bike based. More tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Over slept, check back tonight or tomorrow. In stress mode right now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A do over day

Sun shining, temperature rising, just one of those days that needed to be spent outside. Loaded up the hard tail and headed to the 8th line. It's been a while since I've ridden there and I wasn't in the mood for a crazy amount of climbing, this meant it was perfect place to play. The trails were perfect. It's been a while since I've ridden single track in the daylight, it was a nice change. Started on the outer loop, didn't take long before I made my first encounter with a group of horseback riders. I started being a little more aware of the trail, I'm not a fan of cleaning horse crap out of tires.

A short stop at the top of the switchback climb. A nice run around the outside of the 8th line grid had me wanting more, on to an inner loop when I passed the same group of riders again. This wouldn't be the last time, a few minutes later I passed them for the third time. This time one of the riders asked me if I was able to jump over those logs, isn't that what all mountain bikers do? I was tempted to respond with "you cleaned the big pile of horse shit of the trail because that's what all horseback riders do?" but I figured he wouldn't get it so just smiled and kept riding.

1.5 hours of fast flowing trails had me in a great mood so a quick change of footwear, swapped the bike for the dogs and headed to another one of my favorite places to play. Being fall it has returned to a higher standing on my list since all the not so giving a crap campers disappeared for the season. You know the type, leave their junk thinking that like a campground someone will come and clean it up after them. McCrae Lake is a very popular spot for that since it's free camping, pretty much a zoo all summer long. Not today though.

Headed out towards the rapids letting the Molly Monster and Mom's dog run like a bunch of lunatics. Didn't take long before they were in every mud puddle they could find. A short time later this appeared.

Pretty obvious why I like this area.

The dog's had their fun also.

I need to drop the canoe in the water a few more times before the snow flies.

The return trip was comical, Molly had a little thrill crossing the bridge. Reminded me of the train scene from Stand By Me. I was tempted to scream train but I don't think it would have helped.

End of the day had me enjoying a little sun and a beer. Hmmm pretty sure I made up the lost day. The only complaint, I woke up with a slightly strained ankle, it was worth it though.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Not fun

The nicest day of the fall, I had plans, they were good plans. My plans failed catastrophically, my body, namely my stomach had an alternative plan for me. Thursday afternoon started out great. Home early enough to sneak a two hour road ride in before the sun dropped, great comfort food recovery meal. While doing some errands things started to go strange. I've had many thrilling adventures because of my stomach, things have been under control though for the last couple years after a huge change in my diet, of course everyone in a while I get a flashback.

I'll be nice enough to not go into detail of the next 24 hours but lets just say that I've done races as long and felt better afterwards. You have no idea on how powerful the core muscles are until you spend a night with them continually going into spasms. This left my lower back so tight that bending hurt, my legs feeling like they were charlie horsed. Of course I was exhausted, I looked like the walking dead and my normal ability to multi focus at a thousand miles an hour was replaced with the focus to lie back down on the couch and sleep. That is what I did for most of the day yesterday.

The plan to get a trail ride in, fail. The plan to sit in the sun with a beer, fail. The plan to do anything but sleep, fail. It was needed though, feeling much better this morning, I'm able to drink coffee, will be eating excessively today to try and make up for the lack of calories yesterday. Not a great way to lose weight. I'm pretty sure I know what the culprit was that caused my body to go in to full rejection, has been dealt with accordly.

What has happened though, Mother Nature has felt sorry for me. As I sit in the sunroom and watch the sun rise and the tempature do the the same, she has given me a make up day, a do over. Some play time in the big back yard is in order for today, some attempts to get some tan lines will be made before the long winter ahead. Looking like a great day

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looking back

Could write about bikes, could write about training, could write about races. Instead I'm going to shut up, think and remember. All of us should because without what was done in the past by many, none of us would be able to plan that next race, next trip, next ???? Please take a minute or two today and remember who gave up so much for you. Makes any race result look pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things doesn't it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A good odour

The smells one gets in the fall while riding are awesome. They are still only a close second to those smells of spring, bbq's are the cruelest thing. The last few days have been amazing, sun and warm, almost an Indian summer. The snow is still holding out but it's still cold enough that some of us Northerner's are already lighting fires to keep warm. The smell in the air is fantastic. It's yet another smell that reminds me why I live where I live.

The thoughts of colder weather had me looking back at posts in this time frame. Two years ago it snowed pretty good only a few days from this point. Last year it was into December before the white stuff stayed. This year?? Who knows, for those still craving that racing thing there is still pretty of racing left. Hardwood Cross this weekend, Barrie CC next weekend. Neither will see me on a bike. I've pretty much, fully completely called the racing side of the season. The next test of intensity for me will be at the end of this month. Setting that date now, Nov 30 will be a riding on the vomit machine for some winter training numbers. Until then I'll be able to breathe at a level that I can enjoy those fall smells.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From a walk to a run

Not me but someone very close to me has made some big steps forward. It's been a while since I've done a Molly update, it's been two weeks now since the split has been removed. Guess what, she is still very happy, better yet she is running. Not far but like anyone it's a slow progress to rebuild. Yesterday had me sneaking a little sun time in before quality time in the shop. Out to some random trail where she ran/walked for 30 minutes. She still limps a little in a walk but it disappears in a run. It's fantastic. So good that we attempted to do a very short mountain bike ride. Short means 25 minutes, we never actually made it to the trail before turning around but a solid hour of higher intensity than laying on the couch. Could she be back for a the winter, snowshoeing is a for sure. Skiing will be a wait and see. The best part of this is that it's all without a brace or support splint.

As for me, well I debated on all types of options of the could do yesterday but found myself using the warmth and sun for work productivity and waited till it was cold and dark to meet up with the MNS crew. We're starting to ride on borrowed time before the transition to snowshoes, Two years ago in one week it went from great fall riding to the following week of 2 feet of snow. Last year was about half as much snow in the same time but it was a quick transition. This year??? Who knows. Great ride, was riding the hard tail which Has been collecting an excessive amount of dust this year. Yet another great ride.

Talks of a new team were brought up, could be. The rumors may be starting shortly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's never boring

Screw winter, it's the return to summer. Maybe not fully summer but it's not snowing, the sun was out and the roads are still salt free. It meant time for a spin around the Big Chute Loop. I'd have some company for the ride this time, and just about every time I ride with Lee there ends up being some weird adventure mixed in. We all remember the Madone gnome adventure, there was talks of another one of those type rides but it was apparently a little to cold out for him. My TCR was feeling the same way so it was the cross bike yet again.

Traffic along Upper Big Chute road was next to none, all the cottagers were gone, just all the locals and it seemed that every other truck either had furniture or firewood in it's box. Not sure if both had ideas that it will keep them warm this winter. Not sure how a dresser burns? The pace of the ride was, well let's just say that I did wear my HR monitor. I should have hide it under my sleeve, endurance pace, mmmmm, not really. The good thing was that Lee was in the same zone so i didn't feel to out of shape. As Lee quoted "if we went slower it wouldn't be fun" Good point.

We rolled into the Marine Railway, everything is shut down for the season and the dam was fully open. Hmmm, no tourists, no boaters, no staff, it's nice. Looking around and my 10 year old side of me appeared as I was looking up. Hey, I'm going up there. A quick look around, no one to arrest me so I was off up the ladder of the boat transporter. For those that have been to the chute you know exactly what I'm talking about, for those who haven't, here you go. Of course it only took a few moments for Lee to follow suit.

Pretty good view from up there.

Back on the bike, conversations on saving the world continued, till the next short stop at the Port Severn locks. No pictures here, no sneaky things like opening the locks etc . A few minutes later we rolled back into the driveway. Gone for just under 3.5 hours with most of that spent actually riding. The reminder that cold weather riding is always slower, a lot slower. I'm wanting snow, but not that quickly with the week of nice weather coming.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Everytime I've walked in the room I start to smile. It's a great sight, but it could be even better. Well it was time to finally do it, major change. What am I talking about, my basement. For those that have been down there by choice, ummm I meant everyone who has been down there it was by there choice and they were all happy about it, honest. The basement was a pretty cool layout with many drooling over the bike wash. It just wasn't prefect, lot's of mix matched cabinets here and there with just not enough storage in one area and to much in another. Work space was limited and my bench always was buried under tools and parts. It bothered me, the guy of planning and organization and it looked like a bomb went off in certain areas.

One of my other complaints with the layout has to do with the up coming season called winter It comes in the terms of xc skiing and waxing, I've never had a great bench to do it, well that's about to change. With a destructive mindset I walked downstairs with a tool box and started to pull things off the wall. Then the cutting began, followed by the new table frame. At first I started to look around at the mess and think what the hell are you doing, why can't you leave good enough alone? Because I can't and it can be better. An hour later the main bench was up and the first level of shelving was built. Was able to reuse a couple of the old cabinets which saved some time but to the point I'm at this morning I'm pretty happy with it. Yes, this went late into the evening.

A long section that will have a couple vices put in for waxing, lots of table space for the up coming stripe and clean the bike session. That was one of my fears in the old setup, little table space, small parts wandering off, etc.

One of the best return of use parts was this. Yes that was a gun rack, no I don't have any guns. I don't even have A gun so is there really a need of a rack? It was built into on section of the wall but I feel it's new home as a xc ski rack is much better suited. For those that have seen me skate ski, well it's almost as dangerous as someone with a gun.

It's back to the basement shortly to get the clothing rack built followed up with a road trip full of excitement. More thrils tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Future thoughts

With the return to focus comes a whole new question. What the hell am I going to do next year? I'm actually a little stumped right now, I have no idea what races to focus on. Is there something new? Something different, return to the same old thing? I'm not really sure. The easy ones, like the end of the season types like the fall 8 hour and the 50 km are easy. By that point I'm not really training and at the end of the season lack of focus has started to kick in. What do I do for the rest of the year?

Considerations have been given to focus on Ontario Cup and Canada Cup races for a change, that lasted less than the time it would take to do one of those races. Like usual I think they'll be through in the mix though as a group training vomit session with some friends. I've been considering some of the 100 miler's down in the states more an more. A change of scenery, competitor's etc. There are a few close enough to keep in the maybe column. There are a few stage races that have been in the radar now that there are solo categories. I'm started to feel overwhelmed. The options seem endless. Of course there is the Ontario 8 hour series along with the marathon series. HMMM there fun also. There was also a slight thought put out there this past weekend, Tristan has managed to bury the bad memories of the 24 hour tag team away, only happy thoughts. Could we attempt to repeat the performance? What about both 24 hours?

I've thought long and hard about a 24 hour solo, I;m pretty sure it will be out of the cards next season. Of course I said that this year. What I learned this year is that I really shouldn't just decide to do a 24 hour solo a couple weeks before the race, not great on the body or the prep. I've been doing this long enough that I should have known better. I did, I just ignored myself.

I need ideas, I need suggestions, I need recommendations. Anybody??? What have you done that would be worth doing? There are a few of those races out there that always fly under the radar, things I would at least like to do once. Lost in the rocks and trees would be one, there was an 8 hour up in the Sault which would have been fun, what about things in that country to the east of us? I have lots of time to lay out a schedule, it's just that OCD workaholic planner mentality in me that wants to be ready way to far in advanced.

For now, I'll ride my bike a little, stretch a little more and stare out the window patiently waiting for that green ground to turn white. No my skis are not ready to go, yet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's on the map, it has to be there

The day allowed for it, I had a craving for it, I had to do it. Yep I was out on my bike. As the return to the routine starts the bike was still a little lighter, yet another ride without the HR monitor strapped to the bar. I can see that returning shortly.

Earlier in the day I went on to a road that I'd never been on before for work. I was curious to see where it went but of course during work hours I had to make my way the other direction. On GPS and google maps it showed it went through to a road I know very well, hmmm I've never seen another side street. A few hours later I found my way in the right direction this time. Of course I had to make a quick stop for some sight seeing.

Kept rolling along beside the golf course, looks like they're not expecting snow for a while. Pins are still in. As I road past the No Exit sign I started to wonder if the gps lied? I know of a few roads that should be a dead end, for some. After a hike a bike up a wall of a climb that could, ummm , maybe be driven up, not by anything I own. Maybe the google maps did lie?

It didn't take long before I was riding again, always find it interesting finding random gates on the trail.

So where did this phantom road that was marked out as a good road end up, I'm sorry for cutting through that person's yard. Honest. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. Just under 2 hours on the cross bike, followed up with all those proper apres ride things. Yet another great reminder why I ride a bike. What's up next, only the day will tell.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Like a druggie

On a comeback, a month of falling off the wagon was hard to break but I did a few of my first steps in the return of me. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a month. Like most cyclists we weigh ourselves more than high school girls. I was actually a little shocked that considering the food consumed, amongst other things the gain wasn't as much as I thought. A gain of only 4ish pounds. Not bad, means I don't need to stop eating for a couple weeks.

From there I made my way into the padded room, I have yet again remembered why I laid foam on every inch of the floor. It's for why I fall off the roller because the pain is beyond sustainable. To say that things like IT band, quad and hamstring have just slightly fused together would be an understatement. I have some work to do. It did feel pretty good though in a sick twisted type of way.

Looks like there could be some fun times ahead. Hate to say that I'm looking forward to the snow. Maybe it's because I'm not racing in it, maybe it's because I'm ready for it.

A quick note involving that Waldo picture, it was local, he only appeared a few weeks ago, I wonder if he realized that most people had stopped looking for him 15 years ago. If he ever attempts to steal my fitness again, many will be looking for him, nobody will find him!!! I'll be sure of that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have you seen him?

It's official, I've gone looking for him. Actually I'm going looking more for it. I've gone in search of finding my fitness again. I decided that November 1st was the date to start being an athlete again. Actually it was more caused by the fact that my body is sore and achy from the lack of fun activity and more so recovery. Also that my Antirace training caused my Antirace failure.

What better way than to start back into it than a ride with the Monday night something crew. The conditions were actually perfect, clear night, no wind and a wonderful temperature in the minus side of freezing. After getting a short JDM lesson from Ben we were on our bikes. 1,2,3,4 out of 5 of us were all in the same boat with the lack of riding in the last month and it showed a little. Random crashes, random mini races, and the coolest skid ever seen were all squeezed into the 1 hour ride. It felt great being out there and when the feeling came back to my fingers and toes it felt even better.

My month of well, what ever except what I should have been doing is over. Why? Because I pretty much got everything I needed to get done around the house done and I'm able to be focused again. Riding will still be limited but recovery is now in my line of sight. Yoga will heal me, the foam roller will hurt me, somewhere mixed in that mix will be some sorts of aerobic activities mixed in. I'm searching for it and saw just a quick glimpse of it last night.

I saw my fitness and that bastard Waldo has it. Time to go get my baseball bat and deal with him the northern way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Anti up, I'm outta chips

Yes, I failed at the event I was going to peak for. Of course I did receive a few drunken booty call text's and even a phone call from the evening event. I won't go into detail on who it was or what was said in the phone message. Of course, that made it even more frustrating not going. Had I felt like I did on Sunday I would have been there. I'm finally feeling pretty good again, throat is back to a normal size etc.

With a non bike riding weekend I found myself craving some kind of two wheel thrill was needed and wandered my way into the basement. Yet again I heard rumours of snow, it seems it was yet again everywhere but here in the snow belt center. No complaints here. Maybe it's all the planning ahead type stuff that did it. Anyways, I felt it was time to get my winter toys ready.

First up is the working winter bike, I'm hoping to ski even more but in those right conditions this will be what I put some miles on.

Starts out as my old Giant OCR2 that last year spent it's time on the trainer. It's been demoted. Pretty much a bomb proof build up Mavic Aksium wheels, riser bar swapped in so I can put hand covers for those colder than normal rides. Went with a 1x9 setup. 39 up front and a 12-36 in the rear with a good old fashion friction shifter which should making shifting a dream in even the worst conditions. Why the demotion of my old road bike? My cross bike, which has been my winter bike for the last few years is now just way to pimp to put it through winter hell.

Next up is the winter play bike, the Joyride150 bike, the need to catch air bike.

A good cheap investment of a old Oryx frame lead to this. Some old xt wheels, an old Skareb fork etc. Flat pedals, which will take a little getting used to, not being clipped in has some advantages. Now all that's left is a road trip south.

I know that a few hours of work on the bikes still doesn't make up for a party type bike ride but it did make the burn not so intense. Looks like I could end up on the bike tonight for the first time in a while, MNS is happening, conditions are looking pretty good.