Friday, December 31, 2010

A flashback to another life

i did it, after many, many and many more years, I finally did something that I've wanted to do again but was afraid to. It might seem something minor for many but for me it was a big step. What is it you may ask, I slid down a big hill again. Yep, I strapped sticks to my feet that locked the ankle down. There was no grip wax needed for forward momentum, there was no elevated heart rate from excursion only from excitement. To say I had fun would be a subtle description.

So why was it such a big deal? Well it's been close to 15 years since I've slid down the hill. With me living 10 minutes from Mt. St. Louis and 15 from Horseshoe its sounds pretty lame but there is a lot more to it than that. 15 years ago I was almost a big thing, I had my 15 minutes of fame etc etc. Wow I like 15 it seems because that's the age that it all started. I like most got to do my first downhill ski trip in grade 8 and the following year when I was 15 I started to downhill ski at the infamous Mountainview ski hill. Ski Mountainview ski the world. Actually it was more go up the lift, turn right at top, tuck, hit jump, land turn right to the lift and do it again. I did eventually learn to turn left. When that happened the next step followed, yep my competitive nature took over and I found myself on the high school ski team.

I was hooked, I used to count down the days till the snow fell. Summers sucked and the fall meant ski swaps and the first tuning of the year. I had been seen more than once walking around in my ski boots in October just because. Yep I was a ski bum. So much so that I even had a mini career doing it teaching and coaching at Mt. St. Louis. Yep I got paid to ski and I was on the hills in every condition almost everyday. I was still doing the snow dance every September. My 15 minutes of fame came by way of the ski school commercial. I wowed the director so much with my amazing acting skills that he even gave me lines. "Try the New carving skis". Does that date me? Yep I was helping promote the carving skis in their first year of production.

Then things changed for me, my knees went and I was given a bit of an ultimatum from my doctor, quit or walking may be a problem in a few years. Unfortunately I didn't have the amazing support I have now from people like Dr. Bill. So that was it, the skis started collecting dust, a knee surgery to clean up the damage in the right knee and a search for a new thrill. Took almost 5 years before I started mountain biking.

Jumping forward 15 years, I've wanted to try again. I've driven past the resorts so many times and I still have all that old school ski gear. What was the fear, it was based on that has been and can't do again mentality. I knew the level I used to be capable of and I have this problem of not being able to do anything half assed. It would be the equal to me not training at all for 15 years and then jumping on the Anthem and wanting to battle with the big boys in an 8 hour. Ya, I know, just do it. That's what happened. I left the decision in Shannon's hands. It took her 3 seconds to say we were going and I had no arguments. I was humble and concerned as I dragged her to the beginner hill. No way in hell I was hitting anything larger than that. I've seen my skills on xc skis going down a hill fail dramatically. This was much bigger and if I'm going to die I'm doing it on a small hill.

I guess they are right when they say it's like riding a bike. HMMM wait I crash on the bike sometimes. HMMMM still stay in check. Actually it was not that bad. Shannon tore up the hills on her snowboard as I slid with some self control for the first few runs. I guess muscle memory is for ever because it didn't take long for things to start coming back. Driving a knee into the turn, compression and extension through the turn, started working the sidecut etc. Yep, even the instructor side started coming back. Yes, I'm crazy sometimes. Did I mention that I had enough fear of it though that I wouldn't use any of my current skis. It's not that they were the retro long sticks. It's what they were. It would have been like giving a 16 year old kid the keys to a Porsche and not expecting something bad to happen. GS and SL race skis are not very forgiving. The SL are responsible for my shattered wrist. Not a good way to start back so I picked up a used pair of carving skis.

To say I'm hooked would be an understatement but I won't be changing my training and lifestyle dramatically at this point. I still love my xc skis and they will still see more action than any other winter toys. Maybe it's the fact that certain body parts are sore. Body parts that I need for the bike. Will I play again. Dam right, possibly even tonight. There could be some New Years eve slipping and sliding with Shannon, Jason and the coach. That is if Mother Nature is feeling generous. I'm looking at the bike this morning wondering when the first winter man ride will kick in. The roads are melting and looking pretty clear right now. HMMM.

Have a happy New Years eve everyone and I'll attempt to sober up enough tomorrow to share my adventures with you in the new year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day versus Night

To boldly go places that you normally wouldn't go when we went. Yes, I'm aware that that doesn't really make sense but the timing on when we went to where we went didn't make full sense either but it was still great. So where was it that we adventured to you may ask. Here

And as you can tell it wasn't exactly dark when we were there so we didn't get the full benefit of the reserve. I don't think we would have made it till dark though. 2 dogs that had been packing up an excessive amount of energy after the last two days of car travel that there was conversations about which one would taste better if we decided to kill and cook one of them. Yes they were pushing our nerves a little, Molly may have more flavor with her extra layer of fat. Once out of the car things returned to normal.

Snowshoes strapped on, poles in hand, dogs running, great company, life is good. We motored around the outside loop which for the most part was really well marked. To come at night may have been a risky thing, my internal gps is good but not at Deathmarch Liz's level.

The dog's were scaling this wall in a single bound, us just a wee bit slower.

This in the mid Ontario version of stone hedge. Most of it's height is buried under snow, it really is huge.

A great 2 hour hike with somewhere around 6km mark added into the km book of 2010. We will be returning again in the spring to take in the full benefit of the reserve. Did I mention the giggle road that you have to take to get there. Summer tires and dry roads equals a lot of fun. Yes the snow kept my driving habits in control.

Time to play.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moving slowly

Ode to holidays, sleeping in late, eating more than you should, train when you feel like it, drink more coffee than normal. Yep it's going to be hard to go back on Monday. This also means that I've slacked a little on the daily stories. It's not that nothing has been happening but even my OCD ADD brain has seemed to be on holidays and the creative side of me has been limited. The last few days have been spent in the car with family and friends visits so I could go off on the driving abilities of others, but being the holiday's I'll just go with the flow.

There was an attempt to get me up in a plane but Mother Nature decided that she had different ideas on that and the flight was scrubbed both days. To say I was disappointed would be under stated but there will be other days to attempt it. I've never been in a plane, ok wait I've sat in one that was never ever leaving the ground again but to actually leave terra firma has been something on my to do list. Soon enough.

A few other interesting decisions have been made involving my cycling seasons. First up. There will be no 24 hour solo in my plans for a bit. A bit stands for me turning 40, yes the official old division. It's not that I care about which category I'm in but it's more the training and the focus it needs to do well at it. Basically there will be no other races in the mix to distract me from it. I figure it will take me to 40 to finally grow up enough. Probably not but it may happen. Right now the 8 hour's or that type of distance works well for me and I'll take another stab at the overall.

Some other minor thoughts on events have come up, Tristan if you are reading this. 24 hour tag???? I'm in if you are.

It's later than my normal time to post, time to start motoring on with the day. Things to do, a couple very wired dogs to exhaust, seems that travel time in the car allows them time to store mass amounts of energy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A better starting point

Yet another Christmas has come and passed. I'm the first to admit that Christmas is not a great time for me in some cases. Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death. Pretty obvious why I'm not always in the most festive mood in December, this year though things seemed to be a lot better. Of course I can blame a good chunk of that on She, and then add in the visit with my sister and brother in law and our annual outdoor play day before dinner. After weeks of dull grey skies that the only thing bright coming out of them was the white snow the sun finally broke.

Was it Mother Nature cutting us a break? Who cares but it made for a great slippery shuffle through Copeland Forest as I watched my sister adjust very well to her current center of gravity change. Someone else was nice and allowed my brother in law to reproduce. Not sure if that was a good decision or not, hopefully Jenn's DNA is the dominant one. Shannon was nice enough to not drop all of us with speed.

To say I've been happier the last while would be an understatement, going into January in better spirits will help for the long winter training season ahead. I'm going to need that happy thought stuff soon enough as that notorious power test that I had to put on the back shelf when my ankle went to shit back in November is starting to creep up and poke at me. I get off on a bit of pain but even the thought of it makes me cringe just a little. It hurts, it never gets easier, the last 3 minutes seems like 3 weeks. Hmmm maybe I shouldn't do it. Suck it up. You have Christmas calories to burn of now. Shit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Following tradition.

Well I've killed the dentist bug with a ski pole but it seemed to take a toll on the body. Nothing dramatic but just enough to make my skate ski attempt on Christmas eve day look pretty pitiful. Maybe it wasn't the best idea to jump back with two feet into a technique that even on a good day I'm missing a thing called grace. It didn't help that I got to the valley a little later than I should have, The trail grooming that was probably spectacular a few hours earlier but for me it was feeling like a sheet of ice and I was on dull skates. The extra slipping and sliding caused my body to expended more effort than normal just to stay vertical. Can we say out of base HR zone, only if you're not huffing and puffing.

I did make my way on to an expert trail which seemed to have scared the masses away and got a few km of smooth and fast, of course this was after I got to the top of the hill. New trails on the west side that brings you to the top of Horseshoe Valley. Let's just say it felt like I climbed K2 by the time I got to the top. The downhill, just like on a bike took just a fraction of the time of the climb. It's just not fair. 15 km of shuffling at unwanted intensity before calling it a day. Much to do, all that timed allowed, my body was pretty happy with that decision.

Round 2 brought out are usual Christmas Day ski or snowshoe to tire the dogs, build and appetite etc. It was a slightly smaller group this time just having my brother in law Rick and myself with just 2 dogs in chase. Yes, the same Rick that skied naked, there is a different dress code for those people that live on the border of the nation with in a nation. Today he stayed fully clothed. We headed out to do the big loop of Awenda Park. It's been a while since I've done this loop and after Shannon's and my visit there just a few days earlier I got to see that they still randomly groom the trail.

With Rick training for the Canadian Ski Marathon he strapped everything but the kitchen ski to his back. Obviously you know that me being the endurance efficiency junkie on a mountain bike that it transfers over to the skiing, yep not carrying anymore than I needed, dressed perfect, the perfect wax etc etc. Yep, I pulled away from Rick pretty quickly. I will give credit where it's due though, carrying a 35 pound backpack would slow me down also. Not much but enough. This was good for me also, kept myself in that hr I should be. That one that helps build an appetite for Christmas dinner. Of course having the Molly Monster and Mom's dog chasing meant I couldn't slow to much. Yes that dog that had the broken leg was setting a great pace.

Except for the ungroomed section around the lake the trail was in pretty good shape, Some good base miles put in and 19 km added to the winter slip slide count. There was a mini race where Rick figured that if he blocked the trail with his skis and swung his poles wildly that I wouldn't be able to get ahead of him. As he found out that the skinny frail cyclist can put a throw down acceleration if need be on slippery sticks. It didn't take long for the dogs to crash and burn, we didn't take much longer to show what fresh air and turkey can do to the human species. Yet another great Christmas day. Round 3 will be starting in a few hours, who we were short today will be back out in full force today. More tomorrow.

Friday, December 24, 2010

no title needed

The sun is up, holidays have begun, skate skis are waxed by way of an amazing new iron that came from She. Yep some slipping and sliding on big sticks will be done this morning. After more coffee. Merry Christmas everyone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The countdown

A well needed holiday/vacation is only around the corner. Some training will be had, family festivities will be done, food will be eaten and more than one special drink will be consumed. Then lots of activity will be needed to burn all that extra festival type calories. The annual Christmas day ski/snowshoe has been planned to exhaust the dogs so we can enjoy our meal in peace. Will there be any memorable moments this year? This particular one has just finally stopped giving me nightmares. Click me

The dentist bug is showing it's weakness and I've hit it full force with a blunt object. Feeling much better and I'm not talking with a bit of a slur anymore which in this time of year is probably a good thing. Of course some self induced slurring will happen during dinner.

Hours left, the alarm clock will be on holidays, I'm getting excited.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A long ride???

I'm sick, not that is to anyones surprise. Actually I'm not really sick but I've got something. Maybe I'm in denial, if I will hard enough it will go away. It will go away no matter what but I'm hoping sooner than later. The left side of my throat is swollen and numb. Feels a lot like the after effects of the dentist. Ya I like the dentist so much, that's what I'm going to call it. The dentist bug.

Because I don't feel all that bad in the sick way and my body was feeling way out of whack in the muscle way I decided to do a little ride followed by stretching. Started out like a good boy and stayed on the rollers just spinning enough to loosen up the legs. I got bored, even with a movie on so I went for an adventure.

It started in the hall,

Then the kitchen,

Then the dinning room, around the table,

Back through the kitchen.

Finished up in the padded room on the floor waiting for the crazy people with white jackets to show up. Oh wait their not the crazy one. That's the farthest distance I've ridden in the last couple weeks. Some serious bendy stretchy time was spent and I'm feeling much more olympic. Can feeling olympic make you strong enough to kill a dentist??? I'm hoping snow. Holidays are almost here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's cold and snowy and the last thing on most of our minds right now is riding bikes. It's xc skiing, snowshoeing, shoveling and trying to stay warm. Ok, actually cycling is very much on our minds, someplace warm where it doesn't take 30 minutes to put on six layers of clothing to be able to survive a couple hours of winter riding. A road trip during the winter may happen but I'm also starting to look ahead at next seasons events of choice.

I've been tempted to ride in a few different places the last little while. New scenery, new competition etc etc. As I've scanned around and thought about races, 100 milers have been on the maybe list another race has now come into the mix. This is something that crossed the radar last year but a last minute decision to abuse the shit out of the body at the 24 hour with Tristan shut the option down. Well this year it's back and with a larger carrot hanging in front of the registration page.

The Ultimate XC race held at Tremblant has really caught my attention and now with the top prize being a free entry to La Ruta, another race I would like to suffer through, I'm very tempted to race in another country. I know I may have a problem learning the new cultures and they may attempt to deport me but the trip to Quebec could be worth it. Besides the great top prize to ride for, this could also bring some of the top guys in the 100 miler crowd to battle with. I've been wanting to see where I'm at amongst the big boys from the states for a while now. I know on a good day I can be right in the mix with them.

I've got a few months to full decide on the where and when I want to sit my ass on a bike for 8ish hours. Doesn't look like there is a limitation on the race at this point. HMMMM 8 hours of warm riding weather, ok. Trip to Joyride may be in order.

Monday, December 20, 2010

To the beach

It was yet another epic weekend of wintery fun. So epic and so enjoyable that I was distracted away from the computer each day. Saturday was another great day of classic skiing in Copeland Forest. A nice mix up of some ungroomed back country stuff along with some track set follow the leader stuff. Conditions were fantastic. Lead to two tired dogs and two tired people. She yet again was nice enough to let me feel fast and let me set the pace, at any given time I think she could drop me if she wanted. 2 hours of slipping and sliding. Some good base miles.

Sunday was road trip time with a drive up to Awenda Park. Snowshoes were thrown in the trunk but not planned on being used. First hope was to see track set. Yes there is, trails are set up for classic. A day around the big loop will be planned in the near future. We opted for the stroll to the beach instead. Would snowshoes have made it easier, probably. Did we use snowshoes, of course not. Why, were snowshoeing tonight so they needed the rest. Luckily there was enough of a packed down section to make it even possible. Can't do things the easy way all the time.

As we strolled along in the shin deep snow we came to a hill, a very steep hill, a hill I've ridden. Today I don't think this would have been a problem.

Should someone attempt to do a man ride up here and include this big hill in their ride??? Extra points for not being plowed?

It was a questionable day for chilling at the beach, seems like many others agreed. There was no tanning happening today. No dip in the bay as tempting as the water looked.

Yet again two tired dogs. Again two happy people, and again two days of winter playing that was not on the bike. This winter thing is kinda fun

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grip or Glide????

Yet another play day in the snow, I'm not sure if it would be called xc skiing or not. Headed into the south side of the Wye Marsh just for a little change up and I was very much surprised that nobody had been in to the trail system after the dumping of snow. We didn't get as much snow as other areas but when it's been untracked it's amazing how little it takes to completely eliminate the concept of glide. Tromping along in more of a shuffle slippery shuffle than any real form of classic technique would be the theme of the night.

Of course me being the man and also the one semi focused on training which meant I broke trail. It would have been great if the dogs had done their duties but I'll cut them a little slack, the snow was well above chest height with a good crust on top. Yep they tucked into the draft letting me smash a path. Worked well though giving me one of those well timed muscle endurance work outs. Shannon just laughed and kept the dogs moving forward with a well timed ski tip when there was pause.

We eventually made our way onto a few of the what would be well used trails and yet again they were not. Grooming was pretty much a snowmobile track and it was short lived. It did give the slacking dogs a chance to lead though. Of course when the track ended they tucked in behind with one of those looks. A continued shuffle as we went through the enchanted forest, a great section of cedar trees that feels like a green tunnel. On the other side a pheasant scare the crap out of me when it took off. Of course I probably scared the shit out of it, the disappointment came from the dogs, both hound type dogs, both completely stunned to the situation.

Finished up with the long climb back to the car. Not really a ski, but fun regardless. The weekend is looking like it will be filled with more of this snow shuffling stuff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nothing thrilling, drinking coffee and watching snow fall. Come back tomorrow

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looking out of the box called the house

The weather has been interesting the last few days. Great dumps as we get ready for the holiday break. Lot's of skiing and snowshoeing to be done. What it has also done is kept the craving to do a man ride down to a minimum. I know part of the challenge of the man ride is the conditions and the points added up for this weather would be awesome but it's just one step beyond my wanting to show up the boys. The wind has been at a point that I think forward momentum into it is almost impossible. The hour it would take to get dressed outweighs the time I could be pedaling. In a nut shell I just don't wanna.

I think for the first time Mother Nature has finally overwhelmed the roads beyond what my geared winter bike is capable of. The ice under the snow has limited grip for the 28c touring tires. I'm limited to that, no cross tires this year. The old OCR won't fit anything larger. In the past this would have been fine and under normal conditions which will return this is more than adequate to keep the rubber side down. It's still very early in a long winter, there will be plenty of time to put in some of those attempts to one up the boys on some epic ride. There are islands I need to visit, what is the point count for riding to a place that you can't normally ride to???

Maybe it's the age kicking in, a little mature and self reasoning. It's not looking like I'll be out there spinning anytime soon. I'm loving the xc skiing and looking at putting in some good hours of it this weekend again. For now, its more coffee and stretching. Both are warmer than outside.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running out of a reason

A chill evening of clean up and recovery work. The ankle is at about 95 percent now. That skiing and snowshoeing thing has made a huge difference in the recovery. Flexibility has almost fully returned, you know what this means. Yep, it's just about time to take a ride on the vomit machine., Am I looked forward to this, not really. Do I need to do it, yes. There is no what if's or well I could guesstimate my numbers. Not going to work. My biggest question right now is winter hr numbers.

It's been 2 years since I did my last ramp test. That means two years older. I've watched my hr the last season and I'm pretty sure that my higher than average max hr has decreased just a little with age. It should, I am 2 years closer to being an old guy and old guys hr max don't normally line up with someone's half my age. Of course some power numbers are needed to for those soon to be started intervals. ARGGG not looking forward to those either. My original plan for December 1st was bumped back to an open date. When will I do this? Still open but I'm starting to run out of injury to hide behind. Predictions on power, still won't share that with the world. HR well I think the max may have finally dropped below 200. unless I attempt the liquid input of Red Bull in quantities that most teenagers live on.

Things to do, coffee to drink.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter thrills

I can't even list the reasons this weekend was an amazing one, there are way to many. It was a weekend filled with non wheel based training. The short side of the weekend started with a trip to Horseshoe Valley Nordic Center. The time was set and after an early morning reminder phone call to Dr. Bill the 10 am meeting for the first skate ski of the season was a go. Easy pace start on the flatter loop. Conditions were pretty good considering the lack of snow. I was impressing myself a little, I remembered how to do that side sliding technique of skating and my balance was surprisingly good.

The pace was picked up a little as we made our way over to the north trails. We slid along talking about everything cycling. I find that interesting that now bikes are on the racks for the most part there seems to be more bike talk than normal. A stop at the Junction seemed to be the meeting place for people we haven't seen in a while. A few minutes later we finished up at the chalet with 2 hours of sliding in. The last 15 minutes let me know that my legs were pretty trashed, I could feel the rubbery kicking in and my limited technique was pretty much gone. Great timing, time to head home. So I thought. As Dr. Bill and Rob headed out for another short loop I wandered back to the car. This is were things changed a little. Reaching into my pockets I was missing something. Yep, my car keys.

I knew they were with me when I left, not in the car. I started searching the parking lot, no luck. Nobody had turned them in at that point of the chalet. Secondary plans were made to get home. I had time to kill so I pulled the skis out again, figuring I had some time to kill I might as well do a short search of a couple of the trails we were on. THe pace was higher, the heart rate showed. Trying to cover a 2 hour endurance pace ski in under an hour was impossible but I figured I'd try. Made my way to the junction were there was a mini social gathering and I'd pulled my bottle out more than once and low and behold in the center of the trail there was a black dot. Luck kicked in and reminded me that there are better places to hide you keys. An additional 45 minutes added in pretty much cooked the legs.

Sunday was spent snowshoeing with the coach and Jason in their big back yard. Shannon and I followed enjoying the fresh dumping of snow watching 4 lunatic dogs run about for 2.5 hours. An amazing weekend of fun playing in the winter wonderland.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chasing girls

Made my way south with an idea and a plan. It was all about creating a peaceful household for the evening and that meant make the dogs tired. The she and I were also craving that first ski of the season. Aww the thrills of keeping you balance on a slippery surface is challenging, add a couple long planks to your feet and spears in both hands and it can turn either into a very graceful thing to watch or a potential mass murder on the loose stabbing wildly while hopefully moving forward. For us, well it was somewhere in the middle.

She was following most of the time checking out what is left of a cyclists ass and giggling. Partly for that partly watching me do the odd leaning the wrong balance check. I never hit full grace but I do usually get close after a couple days of skiing. As we slid along the bigger plan was working as the two lunatic dogs ran.

Molly is doing fantastic, she may never NASCAR pass any of us again going into a piece of single track but endurance wise I thing she will be great as an LSD dog. She was so happy to be out running.

Now on the other side of things, could this be Molly's pinch hitter. Yep this puppy needs to run and reminds me very much of the Molly of yester year. There could be the return to a dog breathing on ankles during the MNS bike. Meet Rogue.

And then there is she, she was nice enough not to show me up with her fitness as I'm still looking for a bit of mine. I have no top end but that is expected. It's probably there but I'll keep it in the reserve for right now. A great 1.5 hour classic ski. The non ride a bike season has begun. As much as I get annoyed with snowplowing the driveway by January I'm pretty much ecstatic about the ski season being here. It won't be long before the bay is frozen that some of those epic town to town skis will be made. No hills on the ice.

More coffee then I'm off to Horseshoe to meet up with Dr. Bill for a little skate skiing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Making sticks slide

Time and life shut done my ambitions last night, that and the fact that I was actually not ready to play in the snow. Found myself down in the basement instead with a beer and a focus. The weekend is looking great in the world of snow conditions, sliding on sticks the plan. Waxing is an art, I've learned a lot in the last few years. Compared to alpine, xc perfect wax setup needs a rocket scientist and an MIT grad to get it right. I spent many a day studying snow back in my downhill racing days and there were days I was pretty sure I had it wrong but gravity made up for that minor miscalculation. Eliminate gravity and you get it wrong and your pretty much frustrated with no forward momentum. Glide is the easy part.

Half way through the collection, this includes another pair of random skis that have been added to the mix. Yes, she skis too. As I said glide is the easy prep work.

I know my iron is pretty, I've still never been able to switch to a true waxing iron. No, I don't iron collars with it. Maybe that's because I don't have many shirts with collars but I am willing to try on any of your shirts, just bring some beer.

My biggest frustration with waxing is this, yes this mess. I want to put the wax on the skis to make me go faster but you always have this little mess of scrapped of excess topped with a fine dust from brushing leading to a mess. Me, the guy with the bike wash setup only feet away from where I'm doing this has yet to figure out how to catch all this before it hits the floor. Maybe I'll need to build a shop vac system to attach to my scraper.

Looking forward to falling on my ass this weekend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A first step to a bigger world

Get outside young man, there is a whole world out there for you to explore!!!! Great line, don't know who said it if anyone important at all. I followed that advice and went out and left big foot prints in the snow. For some reason my big backyard is not getting pummeled with snow like some other people's so a slight drive south found us on some random road with a big sign saying forest. HMMMM trees, lots of trees, yep they were right it's a forest. Strapped on the big slippers and started off like any great adventure, yep, turned left.

Watching the two lunatic dogs tromp through the snow kept us amused as we climbed over downed trees and ducked under what will soon be downed trees. It was a nice change up from riding, the air was a little crisper and even moving slowly there was more forward momentum in the first 5 minutes than there is in a 2 hour session on the rollers. More elevation change as well. I had to remind myself that what goes down eventually needs to come back up. Hmmm, going down is still easier.

Just shy of an hour of weaving and zagging with a bunch of lefts and rights mixed in as we returned to the road. My winter sense of direction wasn't to bad for the first time out in the dark as we appeared about 300 feet from where we started. Nav skills will still be left to Deathmarch Liz for those MNS snowshoe adventures. I do believe that Jacob just says the destination to her and she can blow away any gps.

It's seeming like winter has hit hard everywhere in Ontario except where is normally would. Last year I was snowplowing my drive for a solid month before the city of Barrie just 25 minutes south of me had enough snow to cover the grass. This year it's looking like pay back is a bitch. The head of the snow belt streamer has seemed to move about 15 minutes to the south of me. I have fired up the snowblower, it was a waste of gas and time, I could barely tell where I had been and what still needed to be done. Snow everywhere else should mean a strong chance of some xc skiing this weekend.

Get outside, ok!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I want to, ummm not really, wait that's better

As the wheels keep on turning and not getting anywhere I'll admit I'm already at that point that I don't really want to be on the rollers right now. I want to ski, I want to snowshoe, I actually want to snowplow my driveway. By the third time I snowplow the driveway I'll be saying I want to cut grass again but I'm getting more and more anxious to slide around on couple 2x4's. Instead i found myself on the hamster wheel for some easy base miles. To amuse myself a little and to try and not develop the upper body of a 12 year old girl there were a few round of push ups and chin ups thrown into the mix. To say it helped at making the time go by a little easier I would be lying.

Some of the many 2011 events have now been posted at It's started to give me a few more ideas for what is happening next season. Things may be a little detuned for next year. At this point I'm looking at the 8 hours yet again this year. This of course is just a base idea at this point. There will be no 24 hour solo next season but the last time I chatted with a guy with a name starting with T he seemed to be interested in defending our tag team win from last year. Like most that do it, you forget about all the bad stuff pretty quickly and it only returns the moment you roll up to the start line. Besides that I think it's going to be a slightly more chill season. Easily said now as the snow is coming down and my long term vision is blurred.

The padded room is pretty much ready to go though for those winter indoor hours, stereo system setup, big distracting screen in position, fan in the right spot, heater in it's proper spot. Everything and anything to make it a little more enjoyable has been done including making room for 2 others to sit and spin to nowhere. Please come ride with me, I'm bored in there!!!!! Now that it's ready the weather will become accommodating so I don't need to spend any time in there. I hope.

Coffee, yes please!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter storm? Nope just a bunch of snowflakes

As i looked outside yesterday morning some of the things I was reading just didn't make sense. They couldn't have? Why would they have? Are you serious, the school buses are cancelled? Things are shut down because of weather. Why can I see the end of my driveway then. My 300 foot long driveway. I gave a little leeway thinking that maybe it's worst in other place realizing that I'm not living at the center of the country, but I would have figured it would at least be snowing or there would be tree bending winds, or even some sort of eclipse. Something. As the day went on I travelled the areas that were apparently in a unsafe place for school buses to go. HMMM Big yellow bus, small orange truck. I seemed to get around pretty good in my little orange work truck that looks like a toaster. In our bigger is better world I would have figured the bus would have been the best thing on the road.

Maybe I'm old because when I was a kid they never cancelled the buses for a possible snow storm and that might be where the problem is. I like snow. I grew up in the snowbelt, I remember my father having to hoist the snowblower up on the roof because of one storms accumulation. Are perspective of what a winter storm is has changed. Now every time I hear the quote "winter storm warning 5-10 cm expected" I don't know what would be the better course of action, a nice email to the weather person saying move back to Florida where or to show up smack the person and say man up, it's Ontario and winter. Winter storms in the past where always double digits when I was a kid. Until there is a minimum of 35-40cm predicted all it is is a day that it's snowing. As for predictions of the weather people, well I don't think they have gotten much better than they used to be, they've only learned to scare people with a single snow flake. Of course if the weather people say it's scary, dangerous and horrible outside everyone reacts the same way. I could go on about the lack of winter driving skills of people that live in a country where winter used to be 4-5 months of the year but I'll show just a wee bit of self control this morning and stick to ripping apart the schools and buses. May I remind the bus drivers that all the kids are now wrapped in bubble wrap so even the most spectacular fire filled catastrophic crash would have these kids walking out with out scratch. Give them a little thrill on the way to school, we used to love it.

As for those weather people, maybe Mother Nature needs to give us a little reality check and remind us what a real winter storm is like. I don't really remember when we had the last good one. HMMMMM. Side note, training was some bendy stretchy time. Chances of skiing/snowshoeing has increased. What to do, what to do.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's starting

There has been some boring posting lately, there really hasn't been much to say lately. It's that time of the year where training is pretty much boring. Rides have been limited to indoors, There was a little excitement on the rollers between minute 34 and 35 where I spent a great amount of time to close to the edge. It was scary, I was concerned but nothing else happened except for concern. Outdoor rides have only been in cars lately,about the only big training thrills have been some great hikes with the Monster. Hasn't made for exciting reading and on certain cases none at all. The off season equals off writing?

Well with more snow now things should hopefully become entertaining. Snowshoes, xc skis, snow covered road rides, etc etc all mixed in with a return to some twisted sense of humor. As for this weekend, fitness side found me on the rollers for a short time followed up with an epic hike in my big backyard on Saturday. This was followed but some late night thrills and excitement that left me realizing that I am getting older and the things I used to be able to do in the evenings have a more dramatic effect on me the following day. How was it that I could survive on 3 hours sleep in my 20's and function normally the next day? It was well worth it. My couch was my friend yesterday with some movie napping. It was training for 24 hour racing next season? Maybe, maybe not.

As for snow, well all you southerners can start planning for your northern adventures involving skis. Mt. St. Louis is just hammering away with the snowmakers and mixed with the help of Mother Nature I'd expect them to open this coming weekend. Horseshoe will probably do their midweek open to continue being the first in Ontario to open. As for the fitness side of snow, I'll be waxing the xc skis in the next day or so. It will be some ungroomed play for a week or so I'm expecting but something is better than nothing. Winter is officially here even if the calendar says otherwise. Let the fun begin.

I have a few that have started to ask an are wondering, yes she rides bikes. More on that another time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Out of service? For the day

Coffee is distracting me this morning. Enjoying the chill time before a weekend of excitement. Come back tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

For the masses

Sometimes I wonder, do I live on the wrong side of the tracks? The bad side of town? In a different climate zone? As I was making my way home yesterday in the wonderful sunshine I could see it ahead. A darkened wall of clouds. I'd heard a comment from the home front earlier in the day but shrugged it of. As I got closer the sun disappeared, the ground started to change colour, the air seemed hazy. When I say closer I mean 5 minutes away.

As I drove past two ski areas life was still rainbows and butterflies, then I crossed the line. the Vasey line. Yes the line with a big hill, not a mountain just a great big hill. I know this hill, I like this hill, this hill was now a wall trapping all the clouds from traveling south and snowing on everyone elses parade. I'm not complaining about the snow, I just would like many others to enjoy it's wonderfulness. I don't feel it's right that as I rolled into my town with a few inches on the ground that we are trapping it all to ourselves. There are many others out there that have are craving a white blanket in their yards. I'm a sharing type person. Mother Nature please share this with EVERYONE!!!

Last year I was using my snowblower for a month before a unnamed city 20 minutes south was even aware that it was winter. It was a little cruel, working there all day, seeing green grass and clear driveways then coming home and crossing that invisible line to instant winter. I'm not complaining, I picked my living arrangements, I like winter, I just want to share. Mother Nature please share dammit.

About 3 inches on the ground now. Not enough to snowshoe, skiing is questionable. Not going to lie, there are thoughts of it crossing my mind. Rock skis may become rail trail skis. We will see what today brings for accumulations. Some winter excitement may be planned for this weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I saw it in a movie once

For some reason I choice the rollers yet again over the thrills of forward and lateral motion. Why??? Why would I much rather be indoors that on some asphalt or dirt? Maybe it's the time it takes to get ready? Maybe it's the fact that I don't spend up to an hour cleaning the bike after an hour and a half ride? Maybe it's because it's not raining in the padded room. Either way I guess I disappoint myself a little showing not much in the lines of toughness right now. I've ridden/dragging and pushed my bike in the worst possible riding conditions, maybe I'm using a few of the passes I've earned to enjoy the simplicity of indoor training. Ya, I'll be sick of it soon.

Yet again I watched a movie that I know all the dialect to. Rad is still an amazing movie to train to. What I noticed though, the movie must have been shot in the last week of Movember, there were lot's of those dirty type moustaches. Rad has also given me a few ideas. I've been debating since I bought this house what I would do with the lower front yard. I don't ever go down there except to cut the grass. The grass is not in the greatest shape, it could be but my focus has been on the backyard the last couple years but things are almost finished back there so my thoughts have some mastermind plan. Could there potentially be a pump track in the yard next year? I've thought about it, I'm thinking about it, I'll continue to think about it. It's probably a good thing that winter is upon us, that snow will discourage me from pulling out the shovel, calling my dirt guy and starting. It will give me a few months of pause to plan and determine what is needed.

Have to admit that a pump track behind a white picket fence is not something you see everyday. Matt's Hell Track!!! Hmmmm the ideas are rolling already. Looks like even old movies can still influence.

I've also decided to give a daily snow condition update for those south of here. Living in the corral of snow that also ties into a bunch of ski area I normally get hit with snow before everyone else. Day one update, it snowed last night, about half an inch. Can you ski on it, go for it but not recommended. My skis, including my rock skis will be staying put a little longer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

There was no real option

I really didn't want to do it but what choice did I have. It was cold, dark and rainy and it wasn't even the evening yet. Time was restricted by a previously scheduled engagement, What choice did I really have. Well the other option was pretty lame. Yep I spent time pedaling and not getting anywhere.

Opted away from the vomit machine, instead spending some quality time on the rollers. The cross bike is now set up with slicks for those roller days and I have to admit that it really wasn't that bad. Maybe it was because I've got that craving to train? Maybe because it really wasn't that much time on there, maybe it was because it was the first time. I know by February just the thought of riding indoors will be cruel as the spring gets closer.

The legs felt good, there is some fitness deep down there it just takes a little bit of labored breathing at a low heart rate to find it. Maybe it was caused by the excessive drag I had? Movember has come and gone and so will this. Always have some version of a moustache/goatee I let everything else grow into place. More for my own reasons as a little tribute to my Dad which I do once a year. The full beard was something Dad was known for, For me, not really but it's something I like to do to pay a little respect and as a reminder.

It will be gone this morning, it may make a return another time. I've heard many times that for the winter it's great, helps keep the face warm. Well I never really have a problem with that but what I wonder about is the collection of ice that seems to grow to it during outdoor activities. How many skiers do you see with icicles attached to their face? I've seen a fair share and I know my goatee has collected it's own collection many a time. Hmmm warm face with chunks of ice attached to it, I don't see how that works. I think I'll stick to the balaclava and the terrorist look on those very cold days of skiing/riding. It's December, where is winter????