Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not as broken as yesterday

Great body tune up with Jennie. Pretty sure we have the core problem sorted and basically tore my insides out so that my outsides can work better. Weekend is shaping up, some world cup action this morning, then some road bike thrills the rest of the weekend. Looks like I may have company for all the rides this weekend. Means no singing, this is probably a good thing since the population in the area seems to have quadrupled in the last 24 hours with the long weekend.

Pictures? maybe. Stories, for sure, Coffee, yes. Beer, most definitely!

Friday, July 30, 2010

An irritation that couldn't be scratched

It just continued to become more and more annoying. So annoying that I started to get into a bad mood. A bad mood that could not be cured by normal simple means or riding my bike because in some cases I knew it would irritate things a little more. This is not how to stop the irritation, I'm stubborn, I like pain, I have a pretty high threshold of pain but this was different. This is the ongoing need to get shit in order and body back in check type annoying pain.

So I did. I left the Chuck Norris bike in it's place and went where ever crazy person needs to spend time, the padded room. I did a movie worth of yoga and facial release. I poked at sore areas and rolled on objects to help bend and lengthen things back to normal. What is going on with the body? Have a few ideas, heading to the athletic therapist tonight to find out. It's amazing how more than likely one small muscle gets in a bad place and it pulls everything out of place and radiates it's annoyance through the body. I want it to stop, I need it to stop, NOW!!!

Long weekend coming, a couple long rides scheduled, new bike project to start. The return of a 26 inch single speed to be built for the eventual return of single speed only for the Monday night something. This usually happens once the race season is finished.

I need the break of the long weekend as yet another block of racing is about to begin. 3 days, no alarm clock, no crazy amounts of yard work. Just riding and recovering.

Thoughts on not riding last night, it was windy, I won't lose my fitness if I skip a day, I would have ridden made which usually means an aggressive ride, I would have given idiot car drivers the finger and swore at them, they probably would come back and run me over making me dead. Good idea not to ride.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A new species?

Just pedal Boy!!!! That was the plan, that was all I had to do, that was all I felt like doing. The only thing that I didn't like was the wind, it was one of those days that I would have headed for the trails in the protection of the trees. With the deal that I can't touch a mountain bike except for cleaning purposes (which I have still not done since the 8 hour) I headed towards some of the roads that are least traveled. A slight search of new pavement but also on a control of time. Focus on training is as high focus on recovery right now and wanting lots of time for stretching.

Headed to the base of the big hills of Oro and rode what would be considered it's shoulder. Not right to the top but just far enough up the hill before it got to steep to ride in that sweet spot. There becomes a point that pitch versus forward momentum divided by effort that there will become full exertion or full failure and usually leads to falling over. This was not that type of ride. Legs were still feeling, well one leg is feeling better.

Came across yet another disturbing sign that had me looking over my shoulder for a few km. I've seen lots of different animals while riding, bears, deers, turtles, snakes, skunks, children, dogs, cats, old people, etc. They are usually pretty predictable on how fast they will cross a road in front of you. Some add a little bit of caution but nothing to dramatic. This was different.

Has anyone ever seen a cob cross the road? Was it attached to a chicken? Does it move quickly? If you aggravate it will it attack? Are they normally in packs that make them feel tougher than they are? Either way I was concerned and sped up my pace and my alertness. I saw another sign farther up the road warning people traveling the other direction and felt I made it through safely. For now, I hoped, continued along on some more random roads with left and right turns before making my way head on into the wind for the last few km trying to spin the legs out.

More playing around tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Keep on rolling baby

Another wonderful spin, this one happened to have a little structure to it. Attempts are being made to figure out why my right side and leg seem to be made at me and not spin in sync with my left. The power is there out of both, now just need to get them working together.

No thrills or spills on the ride as I made my way up to Honey Harbour. The smell of the water is always enjoyable and the lack of traffic made it a little bit better. Along the way there was a sign that I questioned. It was in the middle of no where and in neon letters said Stuff For Sale. Who's stuff? What kind of Stuff? There seemed to be a lot of stuff on that board but to even get to the board to look or post something was a little challenge. Yes there are some strange things in the area that I call home.

A good hour and a half spin with some 5 minute 110 rpm stuff mixed in trying to force flexibility and smoothness, how successful was it? No clue at this point but the interesting thing is that all this body issue seemed to come around right at the time I stopped doing grunt work in the yard. Was it finally time for things to catch up cause problems? Or is it my body rejecting all the rest. I'm not sure but I'm getting tempted to start back into some sort of abusive physical work again soon. There is firewood to split and move soon, hmmmm.

Hoping the rain clears out, for now more coffee.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rail trails and pavement dreams

A great visit to Dr. Bill's yesterday brought a reality check to my body. I was so completely out of whack beyond my normally distorted state. Some snap, crackle and pop later and I was a little closer to normal. A simple question lead to a simple answer, my road bike and I will be intimate friends this week, there will be no dirt trails, switchback climbs or descents and definitely no bumps besides surface cracks in the asphalt. I expected that answer.

A short time later I was out on the TCR for an easy ride along the rail trail. I observed something very interesting last night. I say other cyclists, runners and walkers. My one complaint about our trail is that it doesn't have a center line that may help persuade people to stay on the right side of the trail depending on their direction. In most cases everyone was really good, waving to oncoming cyclists, calling out on your left to riders I was over taking followed by a thank you. Walkers received the same on your left but with some soft pedalling and the thank you, even slower if there were young kids present. But then!!!

As I came up on a pack of runners I swear it became a game of chicken. It wasn't a young group of thug type runners, these were older in their 50's plus. 2 and 3 wide some with their heads down because of the pain (running is painful) some paying attention and watching me coming at them at warp speed (30ish) but either way they seemed to keep their line. I debated about not slowing down an making an example out of one of them for failing to follow trail etiquette but my now semi feeling better neck and back probably couldn't take the hit. Finally a the last minute they shifted over but there were more than one I had to yell "Head's Up!" because they didn't have their heads up.

Is there a different trail rules for pack runners? Do they realize that the rules they follow when running on the road do not apply when running on the trail where there are no cars? Who knows. I was not in a controversial mood so I didn't get into the lecture to the older group of shoe shufflers telling them that "when I was a kid we learned which side of the trail to run on" and continued my try to get the legs feeling better spin. Right side is still very tight. Then nose is healing well.

Training returns tonight, endurance may take over than sprints. The jerking motion is all it will take to knock my neck back into a question mark. The mountain bikes will get some TLC clean up but that's it till sometime next week. I may go through some with drawl. Side note, had my first complete organic salad from my garden last night. It was really really good!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another comparision

What is the difference between a fall and a crash? How do you rank which one you have just had? Do you have to show blood? I'm feeling a little rough again today, more so my neck. I completely understand whiplash now and why people end up in a lawsuit for it after a crash. No, I'm not going to sue the tree or the ground that hit me.

Falls just happen, slide out, fail to make a turn, just tip over. Pretty simple, they usually happen at slower speeds and the end result usually at worst is some bruises and on the worst side a couple scratches. In most cases you are back on your bike faster than you went down. We all fall , some more that others.

Now on to crashes, this are pretty easy to distinguish. There is usually blood, there is always some sort of horrible noise from either the bike or the rider. There is normally a major pause before that person is moving again and in some cases a pause from those around as they say 'Holy Shit!" Crashes always lead to scars. Scars always tell great stories a couple month later after things have fully healed. Falls don't cause you to hesitate when back on the bike, crashes almost always lead to a challenge to get over again.

Ya I need to get back on the horse. My original plan to go for a long easy spin turned into a short spin which finally turned into no riding at all but a really long walk with the dog on the bike path. I felt pretty trashed most of the day yesterday. The nose is feeling numb and a bit strange. The legs are tight right now because of the lack of stretching but overall feel ok. The neck on the other hand will take the longest to recover. At least the neck doesn't support anything important and useful!

Coffee, yoga then work. What will the day bring?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Epic 8 Hour, Epic is an understatement

The better story first, I skipped the first couple hours of the race yesterday and raced out to the Elvis festival to do what many of us have wanted to do. I killed the King, again. I also screamed out to many to move on. The only problem was unlike O.J. I screwed up with the bloody gloves and these ones fit my hands perfect.

I was only back to the race for a short while before I got pulled and I tried to use the "if the glove don't fit you must acquit" line but it just didn't' work. Race was over. The King is dead. Not a trade off.

Now the truth. My race did not go fully as planned, did all the normal things I do before the race. It was warm and a nice dense air. As much as many don't like it I love the heat, the rain was holding off nicely, it was turning into a good day for a race. Staged up on the front like normal, had already done the round of hi's and knew who was there and who the battles would be with. Go!!! It took all of 5 minutes in when Logan, Box and myself grouped together with a 4th rider tucked in with us. There were a few guys that blasted off the front, no worries.

First lap no real excitement, 2nd lap there was a little split and I was doing my own thing. 3rd lap came through the solo pit and saw Box chilling in a chair. Hmmm did we go to hard off the start? I don't think so but regardless I kept my pace. I kinda have that very controlled pace and always think of the later part of the race. This let Logan get a bit of a gap on me and also had this new mystery rider who actually wasn't a mystery get between us. Trevor is the rider from Brant Cycle that I rode with at the Ganaraska Marathon. I was not concerned, it was early.

Started lapping riders and this included riders that I really was not expecting to be catching at this point of the race. I'd wondered if we did start to hard again but I knew it wasn't the case. There is more to this thought of the pace, patience's!!! Starting on my 7th lap I was just riding along, as the lap came closer to the end I had my every couple year reminder crash. I seem to get one of these about every 3 years. As I was rolling the last downhill section heading towards the road crossing things went very very bad quickly. So my weakness has always been climbing, my strength it technical descending, today for 2 seconds I had neither.

I'm still not exactly sure what happened, did I hit a root? catch a bar? random bear attack? I some how ended up doing a front flip over my bars with a 180 degree twist landing on my back feet straight up in the air between two huge logs. Instant panic, I couldn't move because of fear of cramping, a second later I realized that I can feel blood coming from the left side of my face. let's just say that if I was to time a fall perfect this was it, 6 to 7 guys that all knew me saw me go over and raced to get me out, call the marshall's, and help me to the road crossing. Thank you so much guys!!!

At the marshall station I was already asking if I had an additional hole in my nose, there was blood everywhere. The blood covered gloves were not from killing Elvis, honest. Off to first aid by way of the the atv. Clean up, check up, nice new 5mm wide puncture on the left side of my nose. Does a nose piercing suit me???

Timing was perfect in first aid as Glenn's (event organizer) wife came into First Aid and just happens to be a local doctor checked me out, made a call to a hospital, gave me the good news that i didn't have to waste many hours of my life sitting in Emergency Room to get stitches. Regardless I'd already been informed earlier that my race was over.

Some additional war wounds, as I said I don't know how or what it was that caused it but I'm a little bit sore this morning. My neck is probably the worst because I came down backwards, the helmet doesn't appear to be cracked. Yes kids wear your helmet, they do work!!! Spent the rest of the day chilling around some close friends trying to get my head back in check. I was frustrated, now the funny thing was it wasn't fully about the crash. Yes that crash did scare the shit out of me, it could have gone very badly, it won't stop me from still descending fast and off my brakes.

I woke up in the morning and knew things were a little off, during an easy warm up there was something not fully right, each lap that sense of offness continued to get a little more intense. Legs felt tight, right side had a slight twitch to it, I tried to control things even on the first lap because I know that it sometimes takes an hour for my legs to come around but that wasn't happening today. I was starting to battle a little bit of cramping very early in the race, interestingly enough, I don't cramp. Let me rephrase that, it's been many many years since I've had a bad cramp during a race and that was caused by bad nutrition. I was in 3rd and I'd already started to consider pulling the plug early in the race or it was to just shut things down and ride with people as a social training. The crash was just Karma telling me to get off the bike?? Maybe.

Congrats to Logan and Trevor for a great race. Nice to add another threat into the mix. Today will be a pretty chill day. The road bike and the rail trail with very low wattage numbers will be the thought of the day. Followed closely with some chill time in the sun. Luckily I will be seeing Dr. Bill tomorrow to get the neck checked out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's yet another wonderful weekend, I'm avoiding not full focusing on the outdoor conditions and instead staring at coffee and a Top Gear episode. How much Top Gear can one man watch before becoming bored? I'm really not sure but I've watched a lot and still can't turn it off. One of the reasons I race bikes, keeps my from going back to my old ways and be racing cars. The problem with racing cars is that it wasn't exactly legal and since I need my licence for work it makes sense that I race bikes.

So I have two very amazing places I could be today but I can only be at one. Option one is this.

The Collingwood Elvis Festival is on all weekend, tempting for sure to try and get some burning love while wearing my blue suede shoes, Shiver, Brrr , creeped out. Hmmm, well then there is option two.

The Summer 8 Hour at Hardwood Ski and Bike where I can go and get some muddy leg burning love while wearing my grey leather Sidi's.

I've debated, written down the pro's and con's, flipped a coin, spun the bottle, talked to a witch doctor and saw a psychic. In the end it was which ever online registration processed first and it seems that Glenn has his computer stuff running as smooth as his events and I won't be chilling with the King. The 8 hour it is.

Car is packed, bikes are ready, one has mud tires just in case, lots of stretching, 2 pounds heavier in food, the sun is just about to break. Race run down tomorrow. For those that have taken the better option for the day, say hi to the King for me. All of them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mother Nature`s thoughts

Did her love run short. Is it that time of the month. Did someone pee in her Cheerios. Does she have stock in mud tires, brake pads and chains. Did someone rain dance. Does she hate off camber trails. Does she believe that everyone likes it hot and wet. Does she think that the grass is not green enough.
Sunday looks nice.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

not important but not meaningless

Uncreative morning. Weekly series last night turned into another championship event. Started with 5, then to 4 with Mighty T leading us on a bike that should not even be allowed on the trails. One passed, pace quickened, 2nd passed to chase new leader. I sat behind Tristan, waited for right spot on inside up hill turn and squeezed by. Picked it up and regrouped.

3 of us pushing pretty good, coming down into the finish line stretch and I opted not to drift into a younger kid who was coming into the same area by way of a different course. 10 foot gap was created as the 2 broke free. Crossed the line 2 seconds behind. Leg's felt strong, good confidence boost on strength gauging on the two I was battling with. Comments were made that I can actually go fast for a short time instead of sorta fast for a long time. This was followed up with stories and food at a local restaurant.

Counting down.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Death proof??? It's not a car

I felt like I pushed the limit of my safety yesterday. Did my normal preride check and didn't think anything was out of the ordinary. Rolled out with the to do on the ride list on to some quiet roads. Good warm up, empty roads, hit the timer on the handlebar laptop, stood up, almost died.

Most things give you a fore warning that they are wearing out or have a time limit on service. You check the whole bike everytime you clean it, check brakes, tires, chain wear etc. Things are usually visual. When is it recommended to check your cleats? Now on the mountain bike it happens more often. You unclip so much more, you just know when the cleats are worn. On road shoes, well it just doesn't happen often. Shoes don't get dirty, you clip in and stay in for the duration of the ride, they just don't wear the same. But when they do!!!

Just about went over the bars as i started to sprint and tore my left foot out of the pedal. I'd love to say that it was because I have just so much power in my legs, but I'd be over exaggerating the facts. I continued my workout and had one more almost scare, this time feeling the less than secure foot slip a little, adjusted the alignment and continued the power down session.

After rolling safely back to the house, some quick inspection of both the pedal and the cleat. It was pretty obvious and had I looked at the bottom of my shoes at anytime in the last couple weeks I would have been aware of the due date for changing. Ride was good, weather held off, legs are feeling not bad. Only a few more days left.

Some agressive play time tonight. Some third degree questions of the mighty T to find out if he will be lining up in the solo catagory will be done tonight also.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This and that thoughts

Preparation has yet continued, as the continued threat of rain for this weekend still lingers I'm getting every potential Peirce of equipment needed to deal with the conditions. No I will not be bringing my cross bike to this race. The course would be a little nuts for a cross bike. Coffee run would be certain death.

The biggest prep work being done is what I'm doing to myself. This will be the most dramatic improvement. What am I doing? I'm doing nothing, I'm continuing to do no extra physical activities like build a deck, shovel dirt, move firewood etc etc. Another evening was spent sitting on my ass and watching the world go by after a great treatment from Dr. Bill. Time is being spent stretching and then not wrecking all that great recovery with some more grunt work. It's a weird feeling not being sore. This race I think I will need all the help I can get through. Tough competition, good abusive course, potentially tough weather conditions to deal with.

I'll admit that I'm getting a little excited about the race. After the 24 hour which took forever to recover from I know more and more how much I love the 8 hour distance. Race on Saturday, spend all day eating on Sunday. Currently Sunday weather is looking like the perfect day to be sitting on the deck staring blankly at ??? Some mountain biking will be happening in Europe, some good stuff to watch.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Reading her mind? It's a scary thought.

After a year of crap yesterday where Mother Nature seemed to hate not only me but every other cyclist by throwing just about every type of weather at us for some reason this year she seems to continue to be nice on her timing. Another long ride was completed and rain drops only came down at a point of concern 15 minutes after I was in the house.

I enjoyed some company for over half the ride, my sister was down from Ottawa and came armed with a road bike so that meant one thing, Big Chute Loop. Not knowing how strong she thought she would be I rolled out one of the Anthem's, figured my ride after she was done may include some dirt. Pretty much uneventful ride except for two separate idiots. One happened to be in a pickup with a big ass boat towed behind and decided that he thought it was a good idea to pass us on a blind turn. Of course you know that there will always be a car coming the other way. Idiot boy cut in, I was pushed on to the shoulder, very happy I was on a bike with big wide tires that are designed to not have me die when they touch dirt.

The second moron was about on par with his bus, close to the same results but this time it was my sister who was persuaded to the edge of the road. Sunday afternoon always brings out the stupid drivers heading home from the cottage. Trails are safer. So are rough gravel roads where I finished up my ride with a total of 4 hours. Legs felt good the whole time.

Some serious time was spent doing that pre race clean up with the 8 hour only a few days away. Looking at the weather also has me wondering what Mother Nature's intentions may be. Last year things were great for them until the 6 hour mark when she unleashed her fury. Like a few races last year it was shut down early. Hopefully that won't be the case but I'm getting prepared just in case.

Note the mud tires on one of the Anthem's, Only a couple more rides left and the only dirt time to be done this week will be at Hardwood for the weekly series. Rock the hardtail for that. More excitement tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I needed it to balance myself

Well the day was long but in the end was fun and interesting as I made my way up to Gravenhurst for the Multisport Tri. First off, holy crap do they start everything way to early!!!! I may or may not have sped past more than 1 or 2 cars loaded with tribikes as I was running a little late. I'm an early riser but leaving at 6 am instead of getting out of bed just after that time hurts.

I still had training to do later in the day and my original plan of riding around Lake Muskoka through Port Carling and Bala etc was so tempting except for the thoughts of all the crazy cottagers and I would probably be risking my life riding. Instead I loaded up a mountain bike just to rebel against the areo'd bikes.

Many hours later of trying to break the thoughts of triathletes, they are a very interesting group as many of us know, I had a lot of them very interested in Infinit. Hey what can I say, this stuff is the best. Spent the rest of the time being amused at the bike technology rolling around transition. Fun day. One thing about starting so early was finishing early, by just after 12 I was starting to get packed up, time for me to play and play I shall. I had some vomit paced riding to do.

It was hot, dam hot, which was great. It also got extremely windy which was not so great. My thoughts of wanting to be out on the road were being altered. The options Heather had given me were all some sort of torture, non any easier than other, it was just the where would I do it. I looked through the sunroof of the car at the Anthem sitting comfortably on the rack. I could pre ride the 8 hour course. Why didn't I think of that earlier. I know, because i woke up way to early. Not long after that I was heading up the start climb at Hardwood Ski and Bike.

The plan was simple, 2 laps of endurance, one race pace lap followed by at least one more endurance lap. To say I was very happy to be on my mountain bike would be an understatement. After spending the morning around some sightly less technically skilled rider all morning, riping it up over roots, rocks, and lose dirt put a smile on my face. As i made my way around the course I also kept saying to myself how good an idea it was to be out here. The course has a lot of random left turns that turn right into a steep hill. There are some good changes made on the wilderness side. Yet again this is an 8 hour course that is more technical that some of the o-cup courses and also having more climbing.

Unlike Mansfield where there were two long climbs every lap with a couple short ones mixed in here it's just a one after another of short steep climbs. There are one or two that the singlespeeders will be walking almost right from the start. Some great downhill sections too including a cool berm section. It's as course that it's very easy to work way to hard on if you can't keep your lines smooth. Abrupt turns that will stop you dead if you are off the mark.

Thoughts on the course, big ring and granny ring will be used on the same lap, it could be earlier in the race than many expect. There will be more climbing total at this race than Mansfield. It is a course that I really like and works well to my riding skills. Shorter climbs means less of a gap lost to guys like Logan who loves long climbs. Lots of tight tech stuff which is where I close that gap. Should be good. I won't tell you what my lap time was for race pace but I was 32 minutes for each of my 3 endurance laps. It's a course that I'm glad I pre rode.

One other interesting thing happened. When at Hardwood a little birdy told me an interesting thing. Apparently my 24 hour tag team partner has this idea that he is going to run me into the ground at the 8 hour. Mr. Spurr feels he can beat me in the solo division. HMMM well to steal a line from Peter Glassford used a few months back. "I love ya brother, now shut the hell up!" Notes for the Mighty T, there is not a lot of double track, there are some very narrow sections of trail called single track that have some turns mixed in. Of course I do welcome the competition. Logan, Box, Tristan, could make it a very tough race with the pace even higher than normal.

Today, will be a nice long spin. Congrats to those at Nationals. Check some blogs to the right for their stories. Should be some interesting ones for sure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

just because it can fly and I can't

I think my mountain bike may be sending me a "do you remember who I am"note soon. Yet again a my road bike took my on another long adventure, this time more south east to the farm lands of Severn. Again a non exciting ride broken down into 10 minute sections. The whole time I'm watching the wonderful clouds come rolling in. The whole time I'm wondering what is easier to maintain, tempo into the wind or with a wonderful tail wind. I'll say that it was a much more super hero like result with the tail wind pushing 40 km/h up hill.

The highlight of the ride was the very low on the evolution scale sea gull that, like the teenagers the day before, didn't look before he took off. As I'm spinning out the legs along the rail trail, riding no hands. I do have some madd skills, I watched this bird start to move from right to left at about the same pace as I'm going towards it. I'm not slowing down, it's not speeding up, the distance towards collision is disappearing very quickly. Now I've watched birds take off more than once in my life including this breed, let's just say I think that this was a bird that was asking to be part of the Darwin Awards. I don't even think a french fry would have sped him up.

I barely got my hands on the bars in time thinking that I have this strong chance of t boning the stupid flying machine. The edge of the wing touched my wheel as we crossed. That have second pause of my weight shift reaching for the bars was all that made the difference from having both of us on the ground. A simple reminder to all they flying species, please stay off the bong before you fly!!!

There will be no post tomorrow but if you really want to hear a story, come visit me at the Gravenhurst Triathlon. I'll be chilling in the INFINIT tent for the morning jacked up on way to much coffee. Up to early to post anything. Yes, I know that I said that I would be amongst triathletes, no I'm not planning on becoming one, relax. I'm and OCD workaholic but not at there level. Plus they don't allow water wings and squeaky toys for the swim section and my continued thought of not wanting to run unless being chased would become a bit of a problem in the transition section. I could see me in there having a temper tantrum, gripping my bike tightly screaming I don't want to get off my bike, I love my bike, running is stupid, there's no coasting in it!! Of course I think it's great that they are out there being active instead of sitting on they're asses in front of a tv getting fat.

Come visit me, INFINIT is giving away a bike, come see, come see!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


There is something about riding a loop rather than an out and back. Better yet there is something about loops that have only one way to get around them. This eliminates that choice of taking the shortcut back, avoiding a huge hill on the main route, and it also keeps things interesting. I love loops and my timing for the ride allowed me to do one that I haven't been on in a while.

Quick prep with a bunch of 3's. 3 bottles, 3 gel's, 3 dollars, that is all it takes to prep for up to a 4 hour ride. I could squeeze more out of those 3 groups but since I was hoping for something just over 3 hours and didn't do the mapmyride distance check and my planned pace would be a little slower, a lot slower than the vomit sessions of the previous night I thought better safe than dead. Yes the other thrill of loops, if you bonk on a loop you just automatically die and become buzzard food.

Living in Waubaushene now I've found that I ride to the east more or south to the hills of Oro. The Awenda Park loop was something that used to be a monthly trip from the old house. I did have a couple options on routes depending on what time it took me to hit the parks entrance. With no drama on the way I was there surprisingly quick, I turned into the entrance with full commitment. No turning around , if I did I wouldn't say that here. I forgot how awesome the park road is and with a speed limit of 40km/h cars were not supposed to be going that dramatically faster than I was.

A continued drama free ride minus the idiot teenagers that had parents that didn't love them and never told them to look both ways before crossing the road and forced me onto my brakes. Funny thing was they gave me the dirty look. A highlight, no more death at the midway point of the ride, the store in Sawlog Bay is open. Great refuel stop which I didn't need. It took roughly an hour to do the circle. An hourish after that I was shifting up a few gears for a nice cool down on the rail trail. 100km round trip, I messed up the 3's by rolling 3:10 for time. Considering the legs are still a little frustrated when I make them do things they seem to have regained a good amount of power. Made me feel better with the 8 coming up fast.

What loop will I attempt tonight with my mild abuse ride? HMMMMM, need more coffee to decide that.

P.S. to one reader, yes I rode at the right lower wattage, yes I stayed in that wattage zone even on the hills and almost had to walk a steep pitch to stay in that zone, there was only 1400 feet of climbing on that ride and I had a tail wind the whole time????

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Time flies, Time stand stills

Sometimes it seems to be able to do that at the exact same time. Was lucky enough that the rain was everywhere but where I was riding as I headed out for a vomit session. During this ride I really wonder how consistent time really is?

Why is it that while doing an full force interval where the heart rate is speeding up at an excessive rate, legs are spinning as fast as they can, the bike continues to accelerate and the world seems to be flying by but for some reason that my stopwatch seems to almost come to a stop. This seems to be the exact opposite for the time between reps and sets. As you are doing everything you possibly can to recover and I swear 1 minute or 5 minutes seems to fly by like i happened to roll across into a different time zone. Let's just say that there were many times during the workout where I was hearing the thunder and actually hoped that I might get struck by lighting because it would hurt less.

I probably made a few people wonder what the hell I was doing, going from close to 50 km/h standing and looking strong to then being hunched over my bars with my eyes crossed gasping for air. Then doing it again, and a again, and a again. An old couple sitting on their front deck watching the world go by probably made a few comments like" Look at the lunatic Marge" " Awww Penetang Mental Institution must be letting clients out for exercise and this one got lost" " I'll get the phone"

The legs were aching so much that I even did something that breaks better judgement by having an cold water bath afterwards, the thoughts of putting the lower body in cold water by choice is not something any man really wants to or should consider doing without thinking about it at least 7 times. Well I didn't and a I did it anyways followed by some seriously violent attacks at my i.t. bands. Regained focus is needed as payment has been made for the Hardwood 8 hour. Less than 2 weeks. Starting to get excited.

More thrills, hopefully no spills tomorrow. Later

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The return of two

Of being a good athlete has started. The week of training is long but I know that I will be fighting with myself to just chill after rides. It always begins with a first step and that step found me in my padded room for half a movie stretching. Why only half a movie? It's not that I have such a short attention span that I needed to leave, it was one very long movie.

My body has been feeling a little out of whack lately and it will be a slow progression to get it back to normal. The 24 hour was very tough on the body and my inability to stay vertical on my bike way to many times lead to bruises which lead to the pretzel shaped body I'm currently dealing with. Am I concerned, nope, I've felt worst and done more.

On a small side note, a return of a race that I would have love to have done had it been on any other date. The Battery Burner is a 12 hour race held at Boler Bump (Mountain) in London. I did this race 5-6 years ago and had such a great time, grass roots type racing, camping, beer consumption, music etc. Unfortunately it's on the same weekend as Mountainview's 9 hour which is a must do again this year. If this race returns for next year I'll be doing what I can to mix it into the schedule.

Hoping that the weather clears for my return to abusive training tonight. The road bike is looking pretty pimp right now and don't really have that craving to spend another 1.5 hours cleaning grit out of places I didn't think grit could get.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good timing

Rain is rolling into today, seems to be a good time for it since I have a few bikes to make all pretty again. Time must be spent in the basement for that full tear down which is always a little easier to deal with when it's a little dreary outside.

Short post, all the excitement was yesterday and I'm waiting patiently for updates from Edmonton. More excitement tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Buffed, Bluffs, Looking Rough, Life is tough.

Yet another crazy weekend with so many things to be done and for a rare time racing was not one of them. I know this is later than my normal 6 am post but this weekend was so jammed packed that I needed the extra sleep.

Rolled out of the house Saturday morning with the Anthem on the roof of the new hot rod. A quick drop off at the window tint place and I was off in search of some trails in the Barrie area. I'd heard stories about the Ardagh Bluff trails but had never had the chance to play there. Today would change that. It was a free for all ride today, Heather just hinting to put some hammer time intensity in to the short ride. Short is an hour and a half now.

To say I was mildly impressed would be an understatement. It was fun ripping around in the bluffs, a little caution was used on the downhill sections since I had zero idea of what could be around the next corner. Being on the side of the ravine it wasn't hard to get the heart rate up in that vomit area. Not a bad little play ground right in the middle of a city. Finished up the ride with some road sections including a certain hill that is deceivingly longer and steeper than you think. I drive Mapleton all the time. Nice climb. The down hill part was worth going up it.

Rolled back to the tint place to see the Hot Rod looking even more like a me type vehicle. I don't think I've owned a vehicle longer than a couple weeks before sending it out for tint. Gives it a just a little more aggressive styling, maybe everyone will stop asking if I borrowed Mom's car. One more check mark on the list dealt with as I rolled back home.

The productiveness of an OCD workaholic sometimes even shocks the workaholic. Put the head down and worked solidly at the upper deck with plans already formed to enjoy a fire while realizing on it in the evening. Had no other option but to finish it. Of course that lead to beer consumption and a generally rough next morning. Yet again happy with the results.

Dragging my butt out of bed to be on the bike early was hard than expected, 8 am though the wheels were turning. I've been wanting to do the loop around Lake Couchaching again and the time needed and the time available seemed to match up. The legs were far from happy this morning but the planned pace was pretty low. Traffic was non existent for the first hour but as I rolled through Orillia the waterfront trail was crazy with people showing up for the Mariposa Folk Festival. Played chicken with a group that had any clue of bike path etiquette. They swerved.

My last ride up Rama Road I came across some major road construction but nothing that was not of major concern. I'd figured that all of that work would have been cleaned up by now and there would be wonderful fresh pavement laid, I assumed to much. From a distance the road didn't look to bad. It looked like a hardpacked limestone, what I didn't realize was that it had just been freshly soaked down to control the dust. With the lack of traffic I didn't have that opportunity to see a dirty car coming the other direction. Ok no worries, it will be a short section. I repeated that over and over again as I started to maneuver around huge sections of potholes. I also noticed that my very pretty all black carbon bike was starting to change shades of grey and eventually half white. The shallow side of a at the time roadie is that everything must look right. No dirty bike, the matching race kit, gotta look fast to be fast. I was actually a little embarrassed to be on my bike since it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years.

After a good couple km's the asphalt returned and the vibrations that even carbon can't absorbed disappeared. Rolled through Washago at the mid way point of the ride feeling pretty good. After a 2 minute break at one set of the locks on the trent-severn it was on to the boring flat farmland roads. Traffic was light which means non existent in farmland terms. What was enjoyable was the tail wind, as I headed the long way towards home. Over the next two hours I basically talked to , sang to, and started blankly to myself. I opt for those secluded roads so I can do it and not as many people find out that I'm crazy.

After a chase, rundown with a tractor along Big Chute road I coasted into my driveway just over 4 hours after starting. I again reminded myself on how much I love my house by why yet again I live on the middle of a hill and seem to almost always finish up my ride having to climb it. Spent the next hour with some serious stretching, this is a huge focus for me again, I need to get the body feeling good. This was followed with some great chill time on the deck. All major household reno's will now be on hold till near the end of the race season. What this means is that I will actually start recovering properly, resting more, not beating the shit out of my body after I beat the shit out of my body. Hmmm what could this mean, I've been doing really well this year with things out of whack, could I step it up a bit more if I'm not aching and sore???Only time will tell!

How I finished up my weekend. Countdown is on yet again. Congrats to everyone out west and at Buckwallow. Looks like both were tough races.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In awww

Weather is to nice to sit inside this morning. Coffee is good, energy is high and the to do list is long. Updates later. Looking like Mother Nature has run out of steam and is offering up some nice weather for those playing hard at Buckwallow this weekend.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Coffee and ?????

Dragging today, the bikes are in the basement warm and dry. As a rest day was consumed with abuse that I wonder if it was really a rest day. The weekend brings more of that self abuse stuff as continued time will be spent finishing up the deck, pedalling both road and mountain bikes and trying to bend my body back to it's original height.

Though I'm taking some time off from racing over the next couple weeks, there will be lots of race associated stuff that will be done, course to ride. The 8 hour course is now posted. Next weekend I'll be surrounded by a bunch of multi sport type athletes while representing Infinit. I'll have them drinking kool-aid, beer, and the best sport drink in existence in no time. Use a few of those minor things I learned in marketing, maybe I can convince them that the Maytag Man is not the lonely also.

Is there disappointment about not racing this weekend, not really. I like buckwallow a lot but after such a long block of racing up to Solstice having this break is needed. The long block coming up I'll be thinking about how good a decision it was to have the break. My yard is thanking me right now also.

I need more coffee or I'll be back in bed. The blame to my tiredness. BOB the cat. He is a little bit of a disappointment to his species when it comes to the intelligence side of things. It had something to do with rain, I'll leave it at that. At least he has his looks and that seems to get a lot of people through life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Round ?????

Yet again what could have been just a mellow night with some intensity training at a local cycling venue turned into another intergalactic championships race. With the return of a little vomit paced riding to my training the weekly series at Hardwood Ski and Bike which has now moved it it's venue onto the sun ended up being the place to play. Seems that everyone was feeling the same way.

After a half decent warm up which consisted of actually riding and not just rolling from the car to the start line, settled in behind a wall of pre teen riders. Amongst those late stagers like myself were Mr. Spurr of now Tag Team superstardom, Andrew Watson, who thought that he was going to have an easy night, Jeremy Simmons, the man who has attempted to turn himself into the bionic man with multiple knee surgeries and of course Brendan Matheson of elite fame. The only man that could be vomiting while climbing a hill and still be smiling.

To say the start was calm would be a lie, I really had concerns with flash backs of the last time this type of crowd lined up together. Because of the heat there were less on the line, less small children to run over and sacrifice for the greater cause. It took about 20 seconds before 7 off us split around the crowd and another 5 seconds before Tristan blasted off the front splitting the group again. 25 seconds in it's already going to start hurting. First climb spits out the couple extra riders that tried to mix it up. Jer faded back a bit. You are only bionic on one side, time to wreak the other knee and get balance back to the legs or start learning to ride one legged!!!

As we hit the first couple single track sections a regroup of Tristan leading, Brendan, Andrew and myself happened. It instantly felt like a Monday Night recovery ride, then we hit a double track section and T just blasted off again with all of us in chase. I'd fall off the back, my top end power has yet to fully return but once the trail narrowed would catch back onto the group.

This continued over and over again, until Brendan mentioned to Tristan something about a turn he just went through, explaining the better line. For some reason T thought he was talking about the corner coming up and blasted way of line blowing a tire and having the three of up roll by. Then it just fell apart. Brendan in stress mode with Watson on his wheel kept riding faster and faster, I just watched the gap grow with no real attempt to hold on. Tristan began walking.

Crossed the line about 45 seconds after, apparently knowledge of the course over took power and gears last night, or someone was just saving themselves for Kabush. As for me, considering that my legs have felt like crap since the 24 hour I set a P.B. on that course. I guess there is power beginning to return, it's just not feeling good. That's where tonight's plan is coming into play as i visit yet another body manipulator with some very abusive myo facial release stuff being done this evening.

The next round of the H.S.B. weekly worlds won't happen for a few weeks now with some C.C., W.C, 8HRS, and life coming into play but I've heard rumours that the U.C.I. will be there next time with camera's and possibly urine testing after the race. They'll also be checking the top 5's bikes for motors. The secret is out.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


No nothing catastrophic happened to my bike last night but there was a true sighting. Made my way just a little south for an easy spin on the mountain bike. I haven't been to the 7th line trails in a while but heard the notorious raspberry bushes were not so overgrown that instant skin shredding would happen. Timed it well that that fun crew from C.T.S bike club rolled in at the same time. Pacing would be pretty good for what I needed to accomplish.

After being bugged about not bringing baggies yet again, we were off for a tour. It was some stop and go riding but when moving it was perfect A.R. pace while yet having fun. Secondary purpose was to get the body used to the heat even more. No wind in the trees.

There is an old saying when it comes to unusual things. You don't need to be the fastest but as long as you're not the slowest. In my case being that skinny frail racer type riding with a bunch of chill weekend warriors who are known for having chicken wings and beers as a recovery meal also left me low on the choice of potentially eaten. Yes, back to those raspberry bushes. As we bermed through one section things came to an abrupt halt. Look at the big fuzzy rock!! Wait it's moving. Now it's running away.

Yes, it was a black bear, yes he/she was eating the berries, yes it did what they normally do when they meet up with human. No there were no cyclists eaten, mauled, dry humped, hugged or robbed of gel packs. Why, because we didn't chase the bear as he walked away. Why, because cyclists are a little smarter than those other that? Maybe.

Ride continued along with the same numbers as we started with, the only blood that was drawn was from random raspberry thorns. An hour and a half of fun, they went off for wings and beer. I came home and made a salad. Eat, sleep, repeat.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Riding skill reality check

Headed out to meet the Monday Night Something crew. It was hot, crazy hot. It was great, there were no knee warmers or arm warmers needed. Those skinny frail racer types were all loving the heat. Normal time, normal place, normal group with the addition of two people riding big wheelers, off we went.

Now I'll say that I may have had better judgement had I been on a singlespeed, if the group stuck to the old rules which have gone slack. I would have never even considered my actions. One of the cool things about Midhurst is the North shore, freeride bridges along with a few obstacles etc. Like any strung out rider we all alter the routes a little to catch as many of these as possible. First couple no problem, nothing new. What's that!!

As everyone turns to the right I drift to the left. As I roll towards it on my 4 inch front and 4 inch rear travel which should be plenty for anything type racish mountain bike known as an Anthem I'd wish I'd looked before I leaped. Or in this case jumped. I rolled up the little ramp and the ground didn't seem all that far away when i looked at it from the distance so of course I didn't even pause. What I didn't realize is that who ever built this jump had dug out the dirt directly after it meaning that there is a big hole, gap, cavern that if I didn't make some very quick movements I was probably going to land in it.

No I didn't make a spectacular blooper video, what I did do though was land a little off balance and put an unusual pressure on my not designed for launching off a 3 feet drop xc tires and my front tire decided to fart. A blast of air seemed to bring things back to normal and the ride continued, for 3 minutes. A second attempt to seal the tire but failure, the bead managed to scoop up a sand box of dirt. My ride was over as I limped the bike back to the car. The others went off to play.

Lesson learned, look before you leap, xc bikes are not for hucking huge doubles and having more than mid 20 psi in a tire to do something it's not supposed to do is very important. On a good not the body is beginning to feel a little bit better each day, the stairs in my house do not scare me, the general ache of the body has gone down to a few specific spots of normal discomfort. These are all good things with it less than 3 weeks before I do it all again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The day time stood still

Actually it seemed to be the whole weekend. Things just seemed to move a little slower, or tasks seemed to be done a little quicker. Yet another good road ride with the coach. Some world problems solved, some sore legs were feeling better on Sunday. The start of a few yard projects and the finish to a couple others. All that along with lots of down time in a chair on the grass.

Decision on Buckwallow is finalized, no play for me. Some long rides are in the mix instead. Skipped it last year with no remorse and after hearing that a MCC club member broke his arm there was a preliminary warning or gentle hint. Flashbacks of last year? Hopefully for many that's a no.

It's funny that during the Buckwallow race last year I ended up working on the back yard retaining wall, I'm still working on that same area this year with the start of the deck. Hmmm what will I be building there next season?

Coffee and stretching. Later

Sunday, July 4, 2010

slow to go fast

But yet another wonderful day, the mind, body and soul all willing to get out for a long ride. Unfortunately that line 2 out of 3 ain't bad is a complete farce when the missing component happens to be the body. It was a reasonably early start rolling south bound to meet Andrew for a rip around the Big Chute. The return of lots of info was a good thing and I was happy to see that my heart rate has come out of the basement, the legs on the other hand. I was hoping Mr. Watson was going to be feeling weak. Wasn't happening.

The first hour wasn't to bad but I did find that what is normally a comfortable bottom zone 2 in wattage equalled an mid zone 3 in heart rate. Yep, still very weak. It didn't take long for me to clue in that as much as Andrew doesn't put out much of a draft I was going to need all the help I could get to try and keep my legs in a happy place on the slow road to recovery.

Lot's of mini groups of riders that seemed to be all going the wrong way on the loop. The thought of chasing them down and telling them that local law allows you to only go clockwise around that loop on every other Sunday. It was not every other Sunday.

Forced stop at Port Severn as the locks were crazy busy. This led to the strangest question from a woman. "Where do you get your bikes from?" I know it's a simple sort of answer but that not exactly a normal question you get from some stranger off the street. Ended up into a nice conversation, some links to her brother's bike shop in that other country, etc. Wanted to be nice to her, she arrived in a yacht bigger than my house and I thought she might put me in her will.

It will be a slightly shorter adventure today but yet again more time on the road. Thoughts on the next two races are more than likely only going to be thoughts. Some sponsor commitments are going to have me chilling around a bunch of triathletes, that will be entertaining. The rebuild is on. 3 weeks till Hardwood.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Time Flies

This is the first weekend in a long time when there has been no travelling, no racing, even low key training. I'm almost lost and confused on what to do with the extra time on my hands. Of course there is always that list of to do's that are always linked to my house. Even though it is only July we are almost at the mid way point of the season.

Staring at the list of what's to come seems to e getting a little smaller and with the options of a no go a couple of the shorter races it means that the season is just flying by. 30 years ago a day seems like an eternity, 30 weeks ago the 2009 season had just ended and it seemed like an eternity before the next season began. Mix that in with the snow that was coming and it seemed like it would be forever before being on the trails again. 30 days ago it was recovering from yet another race.

Having this small break from racing is much needed at this point of the season but it's really stunning on how fast it goes by. I cringe a little when I think that it won't be long until I'm waxing skis instead of cleaning chains. Shoveling snow instead of cutting grass. I need to work on my best Tom Sawyer lines to try and persuade Pete to come help me move firewood this fall. It's fun Pete, all the kids are doing it. It will be cross bikes instead of mountain bikes. Yes, my one or two cross races of the season will be done yet again.

I'll admit that I sometimes look forward to that month of October and November when there is no training, just random rides. Of course when it's that time of the year I'm already getting excited for the next year of racing. It's just one crazy circle of Deja Vu. Looking ahead seems to be just thoughts of what I'm doing currently, may as well enjoy it. Time flies, might as well have fun.

Friday, July 2, 2010

In the basement

That's where the heart rate seems to be. Made my way up to the north of called cottage country. Yes I know I live in cottage country but this is more cottage country than even my place. In this land of relaxation and serenity is a small place called Buckwallow. There is no serenity here, unless you love technical. There is no relaxation here unless you love big ass rocks and roots. Of course I like both, lots. With the next Ontario Cup coming up quickly and having a random day off during the middle of the week it made sense to get a little play time up there.

Buckwallow is not a place that you go if you are considering riding a flowing mix of trails that blend together flawlessly. Nope not at this place, what it does is give you a short section of certain death if you make a technical error followed by a break of double track. I was kinda in this mood to just play on the bike and that's just what it was. Mike didn't have the course marked so it was a bunch of random turns into what ever trails we came across. There were lots of doubling back and reriding of the same trail, just some fun. It had to stay that way for me as my heart rate would barely hit zone 1 and when I stopped even when it hit it's highest of 160 it dropped like it had an anchor on it.

Another fun thing about Buckwallow though is the lack of hills. In my weakened frail state the absence of hills was a good thing. A couple hours of being rattled around on car sized rocks before calling it. My current thoughts on the upcoming o-cup still lean towards taking the race of and continue my way along recovery road. The countdown to the Summer 8 hour is less than I would have liked, it is what it is and the coach and I will get it figured out with hopefully fast legs showing up race day.

Weekend is looking up, some time only on the road bike will be done. Need to stare at the two computers strapped on the handlebars for the next little while showing some major self control. I also need to work on those tan lines. To much time in the woods leads paleness. Can't have that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just riding along

After yet another day in the grown up world of work the return to my fun job of riding bikes has begun, at a very slow pace. All day the wind was intense and had me really debating about riding the Big Chute Loop. It's not that I don't like riding in the wind, it's not my favourite thing in the world but it seemed to be strong enough to blow the toaster box of a work truck around a lot and I wondered what would happen if I went head first into it on a bike. I was very concerned that I would come to a stop very quickly. So I didn't go.

Instead I loaded up a dirt liking type bike and made my way to my big backyard with my favourite training partner. I figured in my weakened state that bringing the dog with me might be a good idea, if I died out there she could do her best Lassie impression and get to Ranger Bob just in time and would save my life with moments to spare. I know we're talking about the Molly Monster but I can hope can't I.

It took only 5 minutes for me to realize that I'd made the better decision to the ride destination and that my legs are cooked. Today that slightly out of shape dog of mine set the pace and she got to stop a few times and look back at me hinting, Keep Up!!! I was doing my bestest but was more just out to enjoy things. We made some random lefts and rights and let's just say I was actually shocked when I saw this.

I attempted to prove them wrong but when Molly got attacked by flies so we turned around.

More lefts and rights had me find yet another new trail that I'd never seen before. I saw a couple more but the energy level was fading so we started to head back towards the car. A grand total of an hour and 10 minutes and an extremely low average heart rate. It's not that I didn't try even though I some how managed to climb just over 300 feet in Copeland, yes only 300 feet. I didn't think I was going to be able to piece together that much flat trails in a row and avoid Mile High and the Wall but I did. I'm expecting a good week plus before the horsepower starts to return closer to normal, this will leave the thought of the next Ontario Cup up in the air even though I'm off to Buckwallow today to play around a little.

Sporting the jersey, reminded me why I felt weak. I find it comical that a 5"10, 153 lbs man fits into a small jersey. Time for some more coffee.

Happy Canada Day