Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sabatoged from within??

The leaves are changing colours, the sun is a little lower in the sky, the air is a little crisp, there are random chunks of building material left on the ground and the top of the car is throwing a different shadow.

Yep it's time of cyclocross season and last night was the start of the weekly series at Hardwood, seems like I was just there. I will say that I'm looking forward to the mini races but I did originally plan on just being a spectator for the first one and give the legs a good week of recovery. Some arm twisting, didn't take much and I was heading south with wheels strapped to the roof of the car. Seems like I wasn't the only one snookered in.

After a bunch of this and that's headed out for a warm up lap with Watson, the first rise and I knew the evening was going to hurt. I had low expectations on how much power was in the legs, I should have aimed lower. I could hear some words coming from them and they were not words that should be repeated here. The brain ignored them, or did it?

First lap felt like crap but started around for just a little more warm up. Heading out from the tunnel I felt this looseness in my left leg. It felt free and relaxed, that's why. The crank arm and pedal are no longer attached to my bike. Hmmm. It's not like it was just put on and I failed to tighten the bolts. Solid 100km of riding since the build up. Interesting. Quick run to the shop, returned to the proper position and made my way to the start line. Did the smart thing and started at the back of the pack, no point getting run over. Go!! Up the slight grade, 180 through a narrow line. The pack rolled through clean, slight downhill click up a few gears, put a little power down and then felt this very weird feeling of floating. Through the chicane there is some drifting out the back, flat rear tire. So roughly 2 minutes into the race I was out. There were expressions made as the crew came by a few minutes later with me on the sidelines.

I'm a believer in some different things, was it pure luck that this happened? Two mechanicals of totally different sorts less than 10 minutes apart. Or was it my mind doing that Jedi trick, your legs don't want you to race tonight, why are you not listening to them? That deeper section of the brain took over with a vengeance screaming "if you won't listen to your legs maybe you'll listen to this" as the crank fell off. Still going eh!!! This will shut you down as my tire blows. Yep the mind is a powerful thing. My legs were happy to have stopped.

Spent the rest of the time on the grandstands telling riders they were only 20 seconds back from the leader, watched a great last lap battle with the Shake'N"Bake twins. It's cross season, let the cowbells begin. .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Break the seal

I still don't know how dirt gets where it gets. I thought one of my rules involving racing may haven been broken as I cleaned the Anthem. The first big rule in racing for me still is if it takes longer to drive to the race than the race itself I can opt out of it with no guilt. Of course really cool short races never get bumped. The other has to do with cleaning the bike. If it's potentially going to take as long to clean the bike afterwards the same rules as above apply.

Ripping the bike apart started to bring back the memories of the 24 that became a 12 hour's of Summer Solstice. How did the dirt get there? A few hours of TLC and the Anthem was talking with me again.

Body is recovering well, stairs don't hurt as much. Just about the right time to go and throw some more abuse at it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skinny as hell? Not so so much compared to others

How much of an upper body does a cyclist really need to have? Ok more how much of an upper body does a male cyclist really need? Still not full sure on that at this point but let's just say that most of us fit in this description.

I'm in that group to, well at least until the fall when life takes over and this is what is in front of me.

I did what I could to persuade many to help on Sunday but my potential offer of beer and burgers was no match to some race that was throwing money around. Then there was my Tom Sawyer idea for the Monday Night Something crew to help last night. Well my idea of something was over topped with a something else that involved riding.

So the last couple days I spent time training for the next big peak of the season. With beer in hand both days I hammered away at the pile. Note: that was only half the pile and this is the other half where it belongs.

The next big peak obviously includes having fitness and it also includes alcohol. That's right I'm getting the body warmed up for the Anti-Race. It's a month away and there is lots of training to be had.

Don't worry to my crossfit friend there will be another round of firewood coming if your still interested in the workout.

Winter can come now and I'll be warm, this should hold the cold off for atleast a couple months!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

More from the 8 hour

All for one person, more pictures. It takes longer to do that then type. So I'm still feeling a little beaten up from Saturday's adventure. It's expected though, a few of the sight's around the venue. They are me based.

Molly doing her thing with some promo, she also milked so much attention with her broken leg.

The calm before the storm is not really all that calm as everyone battles for the front line. Mr Gain who has pulled me around the course many times gets into position. Because I'm always near the front of these starts I never realize how many people are there.

As I said at the front, I did fade back to where I needed to be soon enough

Making the last turn of the day.

Could I have gone faster? Yes. The pace off the line this year was much slower than in the past. I did what I needed to do to win. Of course I would have gone faster had I know Brent was gaining in the last two laps. We really weren't watching the over 40 category and having 2nd and 3rd in the u-40 pitting beside us made it really easy to watch gaps. Looks like Mom will have more to do the next time.

Besides not having to go full out like normal this race was a huge confidence booster on the shape of my body. After the 24 hour my legs were a real problem for a couple weeks with random cramping and crazy amounts of tightness. I went from being able to touch my toes to barely being able to touch my knees right after that race. Thanks to a few key people most of that was resolved but it was still in my head. I have less fear now to pin it.

Not a bad run though of the 8 hour series plus one. 2nd at Mansfeild, Blow up at the first Hardwood, win at Mountainview, win at Hardwood. Plus a few other races mixed in there I think it was a really good season again this year. Still lots left though

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hardwood Fall 8 Hour Part 1

As the last race of major importance to me came up quickly so did I. Up way to early, nervous? Excitement? Fear? All? I did my normal prerace stuff and was happy to see a hint of sun breaking through the clouds. Hmmm maybe, as I rolled out of town there was even a rainbow over Georgain Bay. That hope was shut down pretty quick as I drove through a wall of rain. It's going to be one of those days.

All the normal setup, social stuff, smack talk, and a quick warm up and it was that time. Lined up right on the front, wanting to stay out of the usual pack mess, Jon Barnes from Trek hinted for me to try and keep up, I thought about it. I usually kick ass or blow up so spectacularly and today I was hoping to kick some ass. If I tried to pace with Jon it would have been the second option. We were off. I had my game plan in my head and just under 8 hours to do it in.

The first lap was pretty good, kept it smooth and by 3/4 way through was leading the solo's not exactly what I wanted but I was also riding in control. My thoughts were to keep one in front and in sight and just deal with who ever wanted to go first. Good plan, safe plan, I'll be honest that I was concerned about how the body was going to hold up. I haven't really trained since the 24 hour, no really long rides, no real intensity except for last weekend, the fact I was still sick was in the back of my mind also.

the first of the highlights of the race came early, coming into the transition/timing tent I wanted to show off my cross dismount skills. FAIL!!!! The wood chips had better ideas for me and my bike washed out underneath me. Crash in from of the crowd, it's not worth doing if you can't do it good!!! There was no blood so I was laughing, off for lap two. I let John, who eventually finished 3rd start to set the pace and very shortly Evan rolled in to join the group. 2nd lap was sane. The 3rd lap I kept to my game plan, John put a very small gap on use of 15 seconds or so. Into the 4th lap was about the same, Evan was still with me, John about 30 seconds ahead. It was nice chatting it up with him. As we finished up the lap I started to get a feeling, it was of little concern but knew it would increase.

Evan held up in the pits, back on my own. Brain started to think, hmmm. Not long after Mike Mazza caught me and it lite a fire in my pedals. Picked up the pace, Mike held on for a few minutes but eventually fell off. I kept the pace up and grabbed a draft when I could on all the double track. Went blowing by John and didn't look back. The next 2 laps I continued to pin it, I started to feel good and that initial feeling I had a few laps earlier had continued to grow. Pit stop beside a tree. There is a reason I'm talking about my urinary issues. In time it will make sense. After that I felt even better and kept pinning it putting minutes a lap on everyone. I was smiling and it had nothing to do with leading.

I will say that this was one of the most enjoyable courses Hardwood has ever set up. The course never felt boring, never felt slow, it was just plain fun. There could have been a little more climbing but with all the grindy singletrack overall it was a great balance. Lap 11 came around, that feeling came back. A glance at the watch, hmmm I wonder how long you can hold it before the bladder will explode? I backed the pace a little, I had a 15 minute lead at this point, what we didn't' watch was the over 40 solo. As I went through on 12 my next little incident happened. On the double track I grabbed the wheel of a Trek team rider, not just any Trek rider but a female rider. The question came out, "is it lame that I'm drafting you" of course that was not asked with my inner voice. The response "yes it is" There was more commentary but you get the picture. Of course when she found out it was me it was probably even worst. As I passed Erica before the single track I did say thank you.

Heading into the last lap that feeling became unbearable. As I headed up the doubletrack start climb I pulled into a little corner and attempted to do the needed. My concerns became reality. Stage fright kicked in as I stood there using all my brain power, will and anything else I could do to pee. After 2 solid minutes of staring I finally went and was back on the bike. Less than a minute later Brent caught and passed me. On the climb I held back and he gaped me. I did what I could on the rest of the course but he was a man on a misson. I motored through the lap and crossed the line about 2 minutes behind him. 1 place solo under 40, 2nd overall. We chatted after the race and said he was shocked when he caught me. Most of the race I kept him in check on certain spots of the course where you could see back about 2-3 minutes. I'm going to start racing in Depends from now on.

Overall I'm really happy with how the race went. I had fun the whole day. My hands are a little sore this morning. An attempt to do an easy spin sometime will be made. Some beer will be drank in celebration, some food will be ate, 6500 calories burned during the race. Interesting note, start weight 156.2, weight before I went to bed last night 159.8. six to seven washroom trips in the night morning weight 152.3. I'd say hydration was more than adequate.

Huge thank you to my Mom and Aunt Ruth for yet again amazing support, couldn't do what I do without their help. Infinit Nutrition, energy level stayed perfect for the whole race. So that's it for the really important races, everything else is just fun.

More pictures tomorrow and more about the race and life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Food, bikes, gear, energy, rain. Some are yes, some are no. Will see the end result around 6pm tonight.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rebounding slightly, into a brick wall

I rode my bike, I was so excited to do it, I was feeling just slightly better and felt an easy spin was doable. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to be a controlling bitch and 30 minutes before I was home she brought in clouds, then wind, then rain basically saying to me "Man up boy if you really want to ride!" So I cowered and carried the Chuck Norris bike into the warm dry padded room and jumped on the rollers. I'm weak and fearful still, plus it's fall and the craving to do solo training rides in less than optimum weather conditions is pretty much non existent. The new set up in the padded room is fantastic.

Things were feeling pretty good body wise, still know I'm sick but hoping that the crap conditions will compromise everyone else's riding abilities to equal the playing field. I'd say I'm about 80 percent in the health department. The prediction for crap weather is at about 80 percent also, balance???? I'm prepped for the blah conditions. Overheating won't be a problem tomorrow. The course should hold up well even with rain.

Did a little number crunching, no matter what the outcome tomorrow there is no way of winning the overall. Because of my crash/failure at the summer 8 hour that had me finish just far enough back to not receive any points for the series standing even with a win the best I can finish will be 2nd place for the series. No chance of a free jersey. Of course I'll still hammer hard with hopes of a win to take all the fame and glory that comes from it. People will want my autograph, I'll end up on cereal boxes and doing Buick commercial. Scientist will want my DNA to use for a new super human race. Ok, maybe just some applause and a really nice plaque.

Time for more coffee since it appears I've been dreaming while typing that last piece. More to come.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

They shoot sick animals

Bikes, cleaned and tuned. Clothing, clean and ready to wear. Nutrition, organized and ready to go. Body, screwed. Still feeling like crap, throat feels as dry as sand paper which is almost impossible considering all the water I've been drinking. If I consume anymore I swear I'll be hearing "Hey Culigan Man, opps sorry you're just a really hydrated guy" There is a little cure that I used during the day yesterday since work still must go on and I'll be using it again today.

With the last long race coming up quickly I started to look at the season. Not to bad yet again this year, I'm still missing one result to my list of need to do's and that still is linked to a 24 hour. There is always next year. There will be no talk of events for next year yet.

Short post, lack of energy, want to go back to sleep.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not what I wanted

That's it, I'm sick. Sore throat has turned a nasty. I can still breathe, sorta but I've now invested in stocks of a throat lozenge company. Am I stressed yet, not really. It's a few days out still. The weather is a little accommodating to wanting to stay indoors with rain for the next few days. One perk of this is I'll be going into the 8 hour well rested.

Some final updates have been made to the Midland Enduro. Some thoughts of scoping out the river crossing may happen on Sunday.

There are a few fast names already in for this adventure. Thanksgiving weekend at the Mountainview ski hill 8 am !!! Be there.

A few chill days filled with renewing my love for chicken noodle soup. I'll be doing the anti sick dance soon enough.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Maybe it's their revenge for doing it? It happened, I felt it, I knew it might, there was those signs. Yep I woke up with a sore throat. Not the sore throat that is cured with water but the sore throat that could become something more than a sore throat. I'm not impressed obviously but I do remind myself that I've had some of my best results at long races when I felt like shit a few days out. Actually it's a deja vu of last Fall 8 hour and that turned out good. Not stressing.

Of course when ever the body turns funny you always look back at the last few days and think about what may have been the collection of things that could have caused it. Not that you won't ever do the exact same thing again, I know I will but more just for a reason or answer. I'm pretty sure it came from the actions of last night.

I wandered into the basement with a focus, it's time. You have to do this, they don't have sentimental value, there is space being wasted. Yep it was the purging of dead clothing. Gloves that have extra holes, shorts that are no longer spandexy, etc. The collection was larger than I thought. Why was I saving them? I haven't worn them in years, they stayed safe hidden under layers of good shorts taking up good space on the shelf.

From there I made my way onto the work bench, there was a little more control there but lot's of cables, and old chains that I just haven't seem to be able to part with. Pieces of bar tape left over from my supersized grips that I thought I might need one day. I wouldn't but it was the security of just knowing I had it for that just in case. Well it's all gone, I need the space. Why do I need the space? I don't have the answer to that at this point but it will probably be more stuff related. Yet again I took another to do off the fall list.

As I slept last night I swore I heard crying from the garbage bag, I think I disrupted the basement to much by removing both the soft clothing and the hard mechanical stuff at the same time. There was an adjustment and some voodoo karma mumbo jumbo type dance happening two levels lower than my bed of the remaining bike gear. There is a lot of it and when joined together the power they have is relentless. The result, I woke up with a sore throat. Note to self, don't rock the boat when it comes to gear. I'm almost afraid to sell any of the bikes to bring in new ones now.

Training front will be low key, it's pouring rain today mixed with lightning. Rest day and physio are sounding like a better option.

Monday, September 20, 2010

counting down

I've begun the count down to the last race of the season, maybe more the last big race of the season. Everything else is just filler and fun. Some forced intensity yesterday as I hammered into Midland to make the start of the Terry Fox Run. Great turn out again for an amazing cause. The last few days have been spent trying to fast track some top end fitness back into my legs, it may or may not work.

Leg's are starting to feel pretty good and the body in general is finally close to normal. Who would have thought that cramping the way I did back at the 24 hour would have taken this long to recover from. I'm finally able to touch my toes again. Because ,my body has felt like crap I've spent more time than I would have liked in the padded room. So much that I decided to finally set up the room a little more practical and useful. As much as I cringe with the thought of the time that will be spent in there in only a few months from now at least it a little more welcoming now. The to do list during the fall off season has yet one more thing ticked off it.

Sounds like CTS was a good tough race. Peter describes it best. Yep I think it will be on my list for next season. What else will start to show up on the to do list?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hardwood prep day

Quick thoughts on yesterday's ride. The 8 hour course, pretty awesome. We ended up using the course for the time trial race also. Overheard someone saying that it's a good course for solo's yes and no. Not a huge amount of climbing but the problem with that is that you are on the gas the whole time. There are some good long singletrack sections that will make you work and if you screw your line up your coming to a stop. That said, they mixed in some long double track sections which just cry for the big ring.

One race lap in the 28's and a couple endurance laps in the low 30's. Lot's of fun, still going to hurt because 8 hours no matter what course you're riding is still 8 hours of riding.

Put a couple laps into the cross course, would have been more except for a wonderful flat tire. This course is a little less loved. Lot's of the same corners as last year which are sand pits right now. Can't take what would be the proper line through it, it will eat you up. One other thought is the corner which took out my tube. It's a line that should be right but it's not. Won't get into more detail but I'm hoping they may do a few modifications to the course before the first race.

My barrier work was questionable but I semi impressed myself with my shouldering during the run up. Sun is out, more to do today.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 times a charm?

How often do you get to ride 3 different race courses that will all be used in the next 2 weeks with out doing anymore than switching bikes? That's the plan for today as I load up the Anthem and the Blue Cx on top of the old man car and make my way to Hardwood Ski and Bike.

After the failed attempt earlier in the week to get a few laps in of the 8 hour course a better plan came to sight. I can do it all PLUS do their off road time trial to try and get a little intensity back in my body. It may be 3 times a charm but I was thinking that doubling my pleasure for each of the course would be about perfect. a warm up and a race lap of the TT course, a repeat for the 8 hour course and then the same for the coming up quickly weekly cross races under the lights. Rumours have told me that the cross course is short and bumpy. May have to double my double pleasure with 4 laps of it.

Looking a little chilly out there, may be racing in winter wear! More tomorrow, don't forget about the Terry Fox Run!!!! Important event.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The weekend of everything

It seems that almost every race organizer in Ontario has some sort of event on this weekend. It doesn't matter if it's road, cross or mountain bike, if you want to race you it's almost overwhelming the options. Good luck to everyone at Crank the Shield, the sun is out here hopefully it will hold out for you. The dirty enduro is tomorrow, Benno is of to regain his title for the ? year in a row. Me, well I'll be doing a little rednecking tonight with a few of the crew, more later on those adventures.

Training was limited to stretching yesterday, I don't believe anyone in southern Ontario rode a bike yesterday. With the steady rain, cool temperatures and end of the season mentality there was not a chance in hell for me. Instead I started to be pro-active on the re-layout of the padded room. Last winter it was put together in a few moments, now since the winter has me spending more time in there than I would like to, I would like to have it a little more user friendly.

That also lead to next end of race season step that needed to be taken. It involves the Chuck Norris bike. It's pretty hard to de-tune the ninja killin, bad guy stomping, coolest bike around but I was able to take away a weapon. The bike is back to fighting with it's bare hands for the rest of the season, that's right the Power Tap has come off the bike and the stock Ksyriums will be rolling until the snow flies. There will be no staring at numbers for a couple months. It will be just random rides with no focus, zones or times.

Good luck to everyone this weekend, I have my own list of to do here on the bike. Should be a great weekend for all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Treasure Map? Maybe

After the spy vs spy stuff yesterday I attempted my own little secret agent type stuff and stole a copy of this map. Actually I know the race organizer and he sent me the info to get out in the public while the Mountainview website is being changed. So that's the map of the 90 km race. Learn it, Live it, Love it. I know most of the area on here pretty well, it's going to hurt and it's going to be fun.

There is more info here. This race happens to be on Thanksgiving weekend. It also happens to be early in the weekend which means you can hammer the race then proceed to eat more than what you should at Thanksgiving dinner. MMMM 3rd plate of food now needed.

Looking forward to this, almost as much as I'm looking forward to the 8 hour. Hoping for good weather for the people pedalling to the north this weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where you are, where you're not

I've had this question asked before many times, I've always answered with the same answer. I'm going to this race instead. The question is why are you not racing Crank the Shield which is happening this weekend. The first year was understandable, first year races are always questionable even with great event organizers. Last year I was in the States racing, as for this year. Well I'll be racing something different. I think this will be the last year I can avoid it.

It could be a very interesting race between these to riders.

Oh wait I meant Andrew and Peter. Each have been doing top secret training which they both seem to not keep secret. Hey Peter, apparently Andrew tackled a fridge last night and knocked it on it's side. How that will help during the race I have no idea.

So where, what, when am I racing next. It will be a week this Saturday. Yep I'm doing the Fall 8 hour Solo.

As I made my way to Hardwood all enthusiastic last night to ride both the 8 hour course and the weekly cyclocross series course little did I realize that they close a lot earlier that I thought. I pretty much only go there except for racing where hours are always extended. So doing it blindly and relying on the opinion of Ben about the course I signed my name at the bottom line and was added to the list. It will be a geared race for me, no single speed this year.

Guess you can say that the body is beginning to feel better finally, some weak attempts of regaining some top end fitness have happened. Not in a panic of putting in any huge hours in a row type rides. I figure if I don't have the endurance in my legs by now I'm not going to gain much with one long ride this weekend.

With Hardwood closing way to early I found myself playing in one of the random trail systems just tothe north, it was fun being back on the Anthem. The weekend will be another attempt to ride both courses and maybe add a bonus event in. Should be fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Return to a routine, this sucks

As my holidays have now officially ended and I'm up at my normal alarm buzzing time, hurt a little, haven't smacked the snooze bar for over a week and my hands are a little soft. It will be back to those early morning posts as I pour liquid black gold down my throat.

A quick Molly update, were some concerns on the bone healing out of whack. Yet another trip to a vet but this time it was the surgeon. A couple more X-rays done. Yep the Monster knocked it just a little out of alignment but not enough to panic about. She now is the proud owner of a one of a kind custom splint that I'm keeping my fingers crossed she doesn't break. Molly the destroyer shows up from time to time still.

Yet another day of riding. Played on the cross bike and had the wind work to my advantage, head wind when wanted, tail wind when needed. Leg's are beginning to feel really good again. Power seems to be returning, flexibility is starting to be back to normal. All good things. Why? Just found out about a local race that sounds awesome.

A roughly 90 km race that is a mix of road surfaces that includes off road. Cross bike designed, mountain bike raceable. A loop from Midland to Horseshoe Valley and back to Midland. Apparently the second half of the loop is very hilly. I know the area well and from the updates I was given this will be a pretty cool event on Oct 9th. Mark this date on your calender and check the OCA website for full details, I'll post more once.

Will attempt to dodge some rain drops tonight before another round of physio.

Monday, September 13, 2010

There is no coasting here

This was a weekend of big and walking. I like big but I'm a cyclist, this walking thing is still very much questionable. I tried to coast a few times but just stopped. Friday had me heading to Burl's Creek for the largest automotive flea market in Canada. I was on a mission, winter is coming and the Nissan as great as it is on dry roads has me concerned about it's handling once the roads turn white and shiny. Of course having something a little different meant that I wouldn't be using the normal type ugly black steel wheels for winter rims, apparently they still don't make 18's.

I was pretty lucky and hit the jack pot pretty early, around the 5th row, had the guy hold them and continued through the fields filled with row after row of car stuff. In walking distance roughly about 6-7km covered. In the end self control took over and just went home with what was really needed.

Not a bad find, now it's the debate on what will become the winter rims. Why do I love the fleamarket so much? Paid $160 for a set of 18 inch rims that would retail for well over a grand brand new. Right time right place!!!!

On to the thrills of the weekend. Early morning roll out with lots of coffee in me, some food, trail runners, a canoe and an energetic passenger sitting beside me I pointed the Nissan north. Their were no bikes in that mix. A couple touristy stops along the way but after about 3 hours of drive time the canoe was being pulled off the car and being dropped into Johnny Lake in Killarney Park. The weather was perfect, not to hot, wind was pretty calm. A great day for the paddle and with the clear air our destination would be even more spectacular.

I'm the first to say that I love Killarney, I love paddling here. I was happy that my slightly larger than a normal cyclists body was feeling good. Hit the short portages and just over an hour and a half from the launch we were switching from sandals to hiking boots for the next step of our adventure. Sorry no photos out on the water. It was an after thought.

The first few km's are pretty chill, just rolling trail but then there is a left turn, isn't it always a left turn? We began going up.

And still going up, I swear that you goes as much vertical as you do forward. 583 m's up in just a little more than that in distance. Yep, it hurts.

The grunt work does make it all worth while though when you start to break through the tree line. Some of those large lakes start to look like puddles.

With nearly perfect skies you could see huge distances from the top of Silver Peak. Manitoulin Island seemed close, I've seen it many times but it's still breath taking.

After about a half hour of recovery, refueling and soaking in the view we started the return back to the car. Yep only the mid way of the day. I'm not sure what seems longer sometimes the distance when you are anxious to get there full of energy or the distance when you are anxious and getting tired. To say we were happy to be back in the canoe was a mild statement.

As we made our way past the last portage and back through Johnny Lake the talk of food that will be consumed became closer to a reality. Roughly 7 hours from the moment the canoe it the water it was being hoisted back on top of the car and we were racing towards the town of Killarney craving substance.

Just over 11 km of hiking, 8-9 km of paddling and two tired souls, a great day. As for Sunday I did ride my bike, there were some hills mixed in, I did turn on the power tap, I may have even hit the timer on the HRM once or twice and it might be something that looked like an interval. Last day of holidays today. More tomorrow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There will be lots tomorrow. Busy weekend, lots of fun, little this little that. More in the morning,. I even have pictures!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Death and a rebirth

What happens when you have to many bikes, actually define to many bikes. New intro, what do you do when you have many bikes? Most are ridden but a couple are slowly seeing less an less action. Other's at certain times of the year begin to see more. That would be the story of the Blue CX6.5 cross bike. As the leaves change it becomes the season of random 2x10's falling off trees and road bikes that grow knobby tires. The fall does bring out some strange things.

I've never really thought much about cross and got the bike more for crappy weather rides/winter bike. Then this year came around. In the past I've usually done a single race but I'm feeling that craving to ride really hard for one hour, trying not to vomit and not trip over boards. That said the twins ordered me in some goodies to do an overhaul on the bike. I did get the weigh in before the rebirth, just over 20 pounds. ok, but can be a lot better.

The old build up

Aluminum seat post, not so light handle bars, 9 speed Tiagra shifters, 105 derailleur, wtb seat, Time heavy Atac pedals and a set of Maxis Locust tires which are great for mud but not great at being really fast in dry conditions. To top off the old look, black bar tape (lots of it) and cables. It was a bomb proof build up.

One thing the bike had been asking for was a full tear down and scrubbing. I wonder how dirt gets to certain areas some time. With a now shiny frame sitting in front of me I glanced around the basement. That moment old faithful caught my eye. My Giant OCR road bike that was turned into a trainer bike. Old faith full can't battle with the Chuck Norris TCR and has not seen outdoor action in a couple years. I noticed that there has been a lot of higher end gear sitting on that old beast. It was my first road bike and I loved the way it felt and as things wore out parts got upgraded. It took about 3 seconds of pause to reflect on all the fun I had on it, then like a crazed murderer I ripped the bike off the wall and began slashing and tearing it apart with little regard for it's feelings. 5 minutes later there was oil stains left on the floor, a pile of dismembered body parts and a body hanging from the bike stand. I looked at my hands with a little shame, ok that's enough time to move on.

The Blue was going to look good, I'm going to go really fast with all this new stuff. Ok maybe it will just be the Blue looking good. Puttered away for the next couple hours mounting this and running cables for that when the final product emerged.

The run down. Drivetrain now is a 105 10 speed shifters, Ultegra derailleur, 105 compact crank (the Ultegra on the other bike is internal BB) Areus carbon seat post,(seat itself is still under debate), Amoeba Scud wing bar, the light Time Atac pedals, dry condition wheels are Xero lite's with Schwalbe CX tires with a 12-25 cassette, mud is Mavic Aksiums with the Maxis Locust and a 12-27. Weigh in will be done soon enough but a full pound was dropped, just those pedals made a huge difference. Things were topped off with white bar tape and white cable housings. I know white in a sport that will turn things dirty very quickly.

A short ride was needed, when I say short I mean short. The shortest ride I've done ever. About 15 minutes, just long enough to fine tune some fit. Got a message from a friend on a way to maximize a 15 minute ride. 3min E1 spin (high cadence), 1 min zone 4@90 rpm, 1min soft pedal, 2 min zone 4-5 100rpm, 1 min soft pedal, 2 min LT 120 rpm, 1 min soft pedal, 4 min max power/cadence all out, stop no cool down. According to new recent study you will recover stronger leaving the lactate in the muscles. Scott has a really sick sense of humour. What was not included was what happens at minute 16, vomiting, seizures and almost certain death.

It's a few weeks before the first real test, there will be some fun test rides though in the near future.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

a good step

As I dragged myself out of bed a little later this morning I felt something a little different. Less pain, actually no pain at all. This is a nice feeling. Spent a huge amount of time yesterday morning being bent and forced into what started as uncomfortable positions. Why is it everything that seems to be good for you seems to hurt more while doing it. Of course not coming home and slicing and dicing firewood helped dramatically.

No creativity this morning. Looking like a good day to ride in the trails. The wind is looking a little blah for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

walking wounded

So what does an OCD workaholic do on his holidays? He works if given the option and doesn't stop until forced to. Well I came dam close to being forced to. That wonderful wood splitter was the toy that did it. I continued to keep pushing my body and the pile of wood was getting smaller. Unfortunately the logs in that pile seemed to be getting bigger. Why is it a human reaction to go after the lighter stuff first when the body is feeling the strongest? As I got to the bottom of the pile it also seemed to be what was the bottom of the tree. It was a big tree.

Let's just say that if I continued to push the way I did I wouldn't be racing for the rest of the season, hell I'd be lucky if I was able to ride my bike at all. I would have needed another holiday to recover from this one. My back is absolutely screaming, I forced myself to stop. I did the smartest thing I could and that was hook the slitter up to the truck and brought it back to the rental place. Out of sight out of mind and out of temptation.

The rest of my week will be spent recovering, yoga first thing this morning followed by a visit to physio. Massage please!!!! I planned on taking today off the bike regardless and the weather is looking like a great day to do that. I need to make my body feel better with still random thoughts about the rest of the season. I've been looking at cross races trying to plan which ones to hit up. Looking like the Kawartha rube eh could be one of the first. Potential fun group ride with it become violent in the last 10 km. I have such great friends.

Now the Molly update. The girl has skills, she is healing really well and is back up and moving. Almost to much, maybe it's the drugs, maybe it's the fact that she was not allowed to move to much the first couple days. Well she's motoring now so quickly that she broke a splint in half. The vet loves her, she is just milking the attention. It will be no time at all before she's back full force. Hoping she will have the craving to get back in shape. Couch potato's sometimes grow roots, going to try to stop that from happening. Ski season is only a couple month's out. ECK!!!

More thrills tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brake the silence

Headed out for a repeated version of the day before ride. Cross bike under feet and a pump that works this time for that just in case. It was yet another one of those random left turns that found me riping through the back side of the Wye Marsh. Fallen trees became the barriers, height was always a little variable but still good practice. Even was forced to do a run up. I've learned that two water bottles in the frame does make it a little awkward to shoulder the bike. A simple reminder though that I hate running.

That's when I came across this sign.

This was also about the time that my brakes began to make a wonderful noise. That notorious cross bike squeal. In the middle of nature, with the air still and the world seeming just a little calmer it all came to a screeeeeeeeeeeaching halt. Deer's ran for their lives, birds looked at one another with a dazed look wondering who did that and bears, well they ducked in safety.

A short time later I was back out on the road heading towards Midland. This lead to a spin through Little Lake Park. As I ripped past one of the open sided buildings I saw a collection of people moving a little strange. It was right beside my route. Awww Tai Chi in the park, they look very meditative, let's see how meditative they really are. Ok no I didn't slam on the brakes, I'm not that big of an ass. I did startle a couple people walking farther along though. It's hard to muzzle a squeal like that. Some more thrills of rail trail riding on the way home lead to a 2.5 hour ride.

Happy to be on the bike, I can feel lots of body parts are not in a happy place right now. Left knee aches a bit but pain goes away. The whole body in general feels like a giant knot but things are coming along. Of course slicing an dicing wood is not helping recovery but apparently there are two skinny fast cyclists who want to come and share the fun of it.

Update on the Molly Monster tomorrow. Things are great at this point.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Catastrophic Failure

When you don't use something all the time how do you know if it still works? No I'm not talking about any type of body parts, this is mechanical. Got out bright and early on the cross bike with no real focus or game plan besides turning my legs. Hid the heart rate monitor under my jacket sleeve and kept my fingers crossed that Mother Nature would be semi considerate to me request.

I made one of those random left turns which switched from pavement to gravel. After staring at good maps it showed a road that should be the back way up to the Big Chute. It was a good plan, I thought so. It's fall and this is that time that random adventures need to be done. Things were going great, the odd little blast of rain but nothing enough to wreck my spirits, the wind was strong but I wasn't complaining. The view was worth it as I weaved around huge power line towers. I think that the hydro company that built this service road must be rally drivers. there was no attempt to smooth out the corners, leveling of hills over rocks etc.

I came to the road that apparently would lead me to the Chute. I rolled in about 15 feet and pretty much knew I'd come to a dead end. Winter time it's the snowmobile trail and would be possible when things like the small pond is frozen. There will be an attempt for sure. So it meant altered plans. Back on the main road I finally came to the end and started to make my way back when things went wrong. Standing going up a crazy steep pitch, almost steep enough to do a forced run up, the front of the bike felt funny. Shit, flat tire.

No worries, pulled out the fix it stuff and started the routine. Spun the pump onto the co2, hit the trigger and then swore. Checked the pump again and repeated. I was in the middle of nowhere on a road that really didn't have a name. I did the fill the tire full of leaves, there was no grass to be seen. Sorry to all the tree huggers for the small shrub that I probably killed but it was me or the tree. I like me a little better.

This got me a little distance but the rough road kept shifting things around and I was concerned that I was going to trash my wheel if I kept it up. This was right about the time a nice cottager in an S.U.V. went by and offered me a ride. No there was no candy used to bribe and there was no cash, grass, or ass sticker on the truck so I knew it was a safe ride. Dropped at an area that it was easier to give directions and a short time later Mom came to the rescue.

So to make sure this doesn't happen again I decided to dispose of that pump. I could have done it the easy way of putting it in the garbage but what fun would that be.

The problem causer

The problem solver, yes that is a wood splitter that can slice and dice a tree with little effort.

The results.

Some questionable weather is in again today, the cross bike will be used again today. I like my TCR to much to inflict the potential fall rain to it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Well I've seen it on tv

I find the craving to ride can be a very interesting. Unlike a good meal which you always have a craving for no matter what or when it is, riding outside can vary so dramatically. In the early spring it could be absolutely horrible outside but after spending 4 months riding the trainer you will suffer in just about any condition just to get that feeling of forward momentum. As the fall sets in and there are huge miles in the legs there seems to be a little bit of a change in attitude. With the season slowing down and coming to an end that craving to go out in the not so ideal condition begins to take over.

Yesterday was one of those days. I'd considered getting even a short ride in but everytime I started to edge towards a bike the weather opened up the taps and the wind seemed to increase. It was also cold, so cold that I started a fire and closed up the windows in the house. After a few weak attempts I final gave up on the thought and spend some serious time bending and stretching the body back to normal. Making myself sit still long enough can be hard but the distraction of choice seem to work. I normally promote TV sucks ride your bike type attitude, there is normally nothing on worth watching. Until yesterday.

Settled in on the couch for both the Men's and Women's World Championships. Great race for the Canadians, the cheers from the crowds in Quebec were so loud I could feel them here. Some great results, I'm wishing more so now that I drove out to see it live. Andrew already has his run down of the race, check it out. Unlike yesterday though I'm not going to be watching cycling today but doing it first hand. Route is set sorta, cross bike is ready to go. Going to mix in a little barrier training today is possible. Going on some roads that I'm not sure fully exist. Should be fun!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Is it? I'm thinking that it's going to be the perfect weather for me to have a guilt free indoor day to watch World's. It's rainy and windy and I don't have much of a craving to be outside doing, well doing anything.

Good luck to everyone today, congrats to all the juniors and u-23's that raced yesterday. I'm almost wishing I'd jumped in the car last night and headed to Mt. St. Anne to watch first hand. I know Molly would have milked the attention of a few foreigners.

There may be a weak attempt at a ride this morning, possibly lots of stretching, and most certainly lots of coffee drank. Yep this is what holiday's are all about.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I'm almost into counting seconds, I just don't have enough fingers and toes. Holiday's are almost here and unlike my spring holidays where I was invaded with a couple squatters for the week this time will just be the Molly Monster, Bob the cat and myself chilling.

There will be a return to riding as well. Actual official training is on the table but more so just riding along will be more of the agenda for a little while. It's funny that it's been 4 days and I did sorta ride two of them but it feels like it's been weeks since I've spun the cranks. My body is still feeling like a pile of knotted rope but there seems to be a little progress in the recovery. As strange as it sounds, I'm happy to see the heat disappear for at least a few day to help.

With 10 full days ahead the options are endless, some are limited but the thought of not turning the alarm clock on is putting a smile on my face. Time for some more coffee, the faster I work today the sooner I'm done.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Death avoided?

Made my way to Hardwood Ski and Bike last night to possibly watch the suicide attempt of two friends. I felt I should be there for support, also to make sure they didn't back out of their plan. Jacob and Tristan have continued to always risk their own lives, and the lives of some children for the entertainment of the crowd. In a world of UFC and reality tv shows you need to really step up your game to even stand out in the tame cycling world. This could have been it.

The tandem seems to be their new trademark and tonight would be no different. To take things to the next level of, well use your own words on that thought, the boys showed up with the fixie tandem that is minus suspension and brakes. Exactly.

To make it interesting the twins lined up with what would be equal competition. Notice the 6 year old that is totally smack talking them. He called them out, more on that later. Rolled to the line with a slight head start of the mad pack of kindergarten kids that would run them down if they made a bad start, the countdown, GO!!! They grounded to a halt before one full pedal stroke, complete catastrophic failure.

Something about a combined wattage well above the metal fatigue point of a recreational level chain ring. After a little bit of gasping in shock and dodging of that mad pack the boys man'd up and opted to run the 6 km course.

There is a very distinct sound that carbon soled mountain bike shoes make on dirt, it's called painful. I did my best not to tease them to much as I coasted beside them spitting out random comments.

30 minutes later to make it official they needed to cross the line the same way they started it. The push drag pull across the line got some cheers. So the kid that was smack talking them at the line, yep he took them just before the finish line.

Was the mechanical done intention by the bike gods? Probably, the Fun course is not overly challenging but no brakes and a few tight spots were almost guaranteed collisions with non moving objects called trees. I was pretty certain I heard the air ambulance hovering around.

Yet another part of the race season has come to a close as the weekly series is now done. A few of us made our way over to the bar at Horseshoe Valley for some recovery drinks and stories. It's a time of play.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Next week and next year.

With all the time in the world to do anything and everything non cycling yesterday what do I find myself doing. Yep, spent some quality time in a bike shop. A visit to Bike Stop had me spinning my head around like a kid during Christmas as I stared at the 2011 bikes and attempt to figure out what I will be riding next season. That said, I tentatively had 2 Giant Anthem's x1 and a Blue XC Carbon for sale. All are medium. Send me an email if you are interested. Make you good deal!!!!

With a semi off season started I've been looking at what to do with my time including holidays starting next week. It's funny how when your life is focused around being activate it's hard to plan things with out it. My original plan of a few days in the middle of Killarney with my canoe has gone out the window. It would be very difficult for Molly to deal with a portage at this time. Plus if I happen to come across some wild animal which always pray on the weak and injured both Molly and I are pretty much screwed. Currently a road trip is possibly in the works. Of course this is all weather dependant.

There will be a bike ridden tonight, injury or no injury I won't be able to miss the potential life ending feat that the Shake'N"Bake twins are attempting. No they will not be trying to jump over 12 burning school buses but it's at that level.