Saturday, December 31, 2011

It was a blur, now time to focus

Thats pretty much what it's felt like the last week,a hazy blur of travel,family,food, alcohol, and no physical activity. Can you say overdose bender. Well that's all about to change and yesterday was the first step on the road back to normalness. With winter finally here and the body craving, ok not craving, screaming for some sort of fresh air based movement we headed to the big backyard with sme slippery slicks. Awww it felt great, oh xc skiing how I missed you.

Shannon chased and was loving her new classics, of course the dogs were in their element. Molly loves chasing the bike but as she is gets a bit older I think she prefers the pace of skiing more and more. Of course Rogue just wants to run. It felt great just gliding along, getting those static muscles moving again. Mixed a few skate strides in for good measure, yes it's been a long summer. So this is my plan this year, ski, a lot. Avoid the hamster wheel of death at all costs. I am very tempted to have a monthly allowance of trainer time, this number will be low, very low. Something to the about, along with the plan for 2012.

Some major discussions have been started, a few more races are in consideration, my change of carrer to shorter race may be as short lived as the race. There is nothing set in stone at this point though. I'm still hazed over from 2011 with their highlights and low sides. A quick rundown of what it was and what it is.

A new start to the year had me playing on a 100 miler, body got mad at me, still finshed 2nd in catagory surprisingly. Came back a month later with the mighty T for a repeat win at the 24 hour of Summer Solstice, finished up the awards with a fiance. Huge thank you to AWI Racing and Chico Racing for everything. Then came the ups and downs, for some Aston old age caught up with me this year and my body was either on and fast of so pissed at me that I dropped out of races faster than I started. A couple new wins. at tour de king and Sir SAMs 4 hour and some new DFL at hardwood 8 hour and Mountainview 9. At least my crown was handed over to team mates at those two races.

Of course the season ending low light was my body checking move on a MNS ride. It killed my cross season which I was actually looking forward to. I'd heard cross keeps you fit in the fall, my bike was craving going fast, bad luck. After nearly 2 months Im feeling pretty good, training started slowly, But it started. Hmm speaking of training, I do believe my skate skis are calling me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

tradesy

Swapped out the rubber for some wax last night. No this is not some sort of kinky thing that I shouldn't be sharing with you. Honestly its not, clean your thoughts up. Headed over to the mountain/very large hill for some fun on man made winter. I needed to play on that white stuff, I'm a little disappointed in Mother Nature right now. I think most it the ski world a feeling the same way. 2 runs open but it was better than nothing.

The first run of the season reminds you very quickly how many leg muscles are used to defend yourself from certain death as you compete against gravity and terrain. I had to scream at myself to slam on the brakes and build up to warp speed. Soft conditions and lots of first time it for the season skiers and snowboarder meant more than your normal obstacles. I must say that the new GS skis a amazing, super stable at speed, they wanted to go faster than what my body was ready for and did a few of those slow the hell down moments on the first run. Took a f runs before starting to find that sweet spot on the ski, looking forward to some better snow conditions and letting them open up. Hopefully by then I'll have a few more days into the legs.

It's not looking like I'll be on the fitness slippery sticks anytime soon, heard rumours that Hardwood Ski and Bike has reopened their mountain bike trails. I'm pretty sure all they want for Christmas is snow. I won't complain. East bound this afternoon, let the mad rush of driving begin, Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and festivus for the rest of us.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

chilling while at warp speed

Life rolls on but not in this house. It's looking like the wheels will stay idle for most of the bikes, Chuck had a few minutes of quailty time on the rollers before being put away for pretty much the rest of the year. As the hectic rush of Christmas begins to slow down and the days till holidays can be counted on one hand riding has taken a bit of a back seat. In my life it's usually exhausting the week before rest and that states true again this year.

It's looking like a green Christmas is guarentteed, there will be no snowshoeing or xc skiing on Christmas day, are usual tradition, instead they will be traded out for trail runners on solid ground, a little disapointed for sure. It is was it is. I'm feeling a year in review will be coming soon, just not this morning. Coffee to drink, time is short.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

no change in sight

I missed a day, am I concerned? Not really. My grown up life took over yesterday, yes I can be a grown up and for most they are happy that they don't have to deal with my grown up side to often. It usually includes a bill. Well that side of my life had me sitting on a conference call instead of riding my bike with the boys. Every day that we are still riding trails at this time of year is a bonus, normally. Looking at the long term weather though I don't see us stopping in the new year.

Looks like our annual Christmas day snow adventure may include two wheels. A quote from the weekend that is starting to suit the conditions. Grip wax of the day, anything from Kenda, glide wax - DT Swiss.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm questioning my belief

I wonder, global warming? global cooling? Mother Nature just not giving a shit? Either way it meant a non skiing still riding my bike weekend again. I'm not complaining, really I'm not even though I would like to do a little gravity sliding. Soon. Saturday was spent on the cross bike on a mix of pavement,gravel roads and what would normally be a snowmobile trail at this time of year. My route was guided by wind avoidance, it wasn't strong but yet strong enough to make things uncomfortable.

I managed to squeeze two hours it of the body before the feet and toes began losing the battle. Hot pockets under rubber booties are just not an equal match to minus 10 plus a wind chill. I've forgotten how uncomfortable freezing feet can be. As the miles clicked away the home stretch was insight from the top of the hill. A few seconds later I found myself walking. Flat tires never happen when you would like, until now. A five minute walk from home which happened to be the perfect distance. It was just long enough to thaw the feet in a non painful way.

Sunday was a return to Copeland with Andrew and Jer. Solid ride, lots of climbing. It lead me to finally change out the dry tires. It looks like there is still a lot of trail riding to be done. Maybe it was the fact I couldn't hook up on a few climbs, but it finally meant the tire was beyond its all conditions no matte what use. Only a couple months before they return. Another 2 plus hour ride, I found myself riding a bit awkward but am blaming it on the tires, which now that are changed eliminates that excuse, and the slight plague.

Im not stricken with the full plague, Shannon is finally on the downside of it, so far I'm still feeling 80 percent or better and popping all the legal kill the bug drugs I can. The week is shaping up with a few more pre Christmas dinner rides. I need to lose the weight before filling my belly with all that goodness.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

borrowed time?

I sure as hell hope not. Shannon has the plauge, bird flu, mad cow disease, SARS, or what ever lease is know as the common cold. What does this mean for me? Well my concern is will I get it and if so when. This means each day of training is a bonus . Of course with Christmas coming quickly being sick is almost expected. I've attempted to quarantine her to the bedroom, of course don't tell her I'm doing this. As for me, I'm eating cold fx and vitamin C like its going out of style, will be injecting garlic like a good drug and sucking back as much fluid as possible. Attempts of using Jedi mind tricks to keep the virus from hell at bay will also be used.

A rest day yesterday, the weekend is shaping up to being a full on epic weekend. Coffee is tasting good as I wait for the sun to come up and tempature to rise. I beleive today will be a hot pocket day out on the road. At a crisp -15 I havent grown my winter manlyness yet for that yet. A couple different ride options have been put in front of me for this morning. It's going to be a coin toss decesion. All options are awesome.

Coffee.

Friday, December 16, 2011

it was like a cool spring day

ok, I have to admit that yesterday was pretty sweet. December 15th, finished up work early, two hour ride full of single track in the big backyard. Ya, I'm not complaining about the weather anymore. Joining in the fun were Mr. Watson and Mr Parker. In the parking lot the debate was made on how much or little to wear, Brandon trying to prove how tough he was and pity much dressed for a mid summer day. As the ride progressed I think he had it right.

11 degrees in the summer is freezing but in December it felt like a heat wave, especially on the climbs. Oh the climbs, for those who know the big backyard you are aware the of the climbs. Mix that in with December fitness and the problem of staying warm was no longer a problem. I felt better than I thought I might as Mr Watson set a pretty solid pace that included many smart ass comments. Base fitness is there, endurance is there, middle and top end is somewhere in March. I'm pretty content with that, considering the time off with the rib problem I think I'm starting up a few notches higher than last year.

As we made our way to the 5th line decent I got something I haven't had in a long time. I almost forgot how to change a tube, its been a long time since I flatted, lucky for me Brandon was carrying a tube and pump. Where was mine you might ask, tube was in the car, pump was in my pocket, with an empty co2. Lucky for me that the Top Gear ruled was not put into play. A few minutes later we were ripping up the downhill. I love my hardtail, it has it's place but I'm missing my dualie more and more. It will be a few months before the Anthem comes out to play.

Timing was everything, as we rolled into the parking lot Mother Nature started to open up the clouds and the rain came. We were done, no worries. The weekend is shaping up, some bigger hours a planned. Time to start building that match book as Mr Watson might say.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I said I wouldn't. I had my fingers crossed

I said I wouldn't do one in 2012 but sometimes you get that carrot put in front of you, sometimes that carrot is attached to a bushel that fell off the back of the truck. Some looking around this thing called the interweb and I came across for news on Canadian Cyclist. A few minutes later I emailed Ontario's premier undefeated tag team partner. Some more info will be searched for. So, what the hell am I talking about? 24 hour tag is what I'm talking about, 24 hour world championships to be more specific.

What has me potentially changing some of my race season? Well it looks like they are adding a couple divisions to the World Solo championships this year, mainly looking at the 2 person division that has been introduced for this year. Being rally close to us, Canmore, Alberta isn't that far is it? There is consideration of throwing AWI Racing into the ring. The good thing is we still have lots of time to discuss the details. I'm pretty sure the Mighty T and I have a strong enough resume to qualify for one of the two spots available for Canada. Hopefully.

There a still limited details on the 24 hour of adrenaline site, costs etc. Tristan and I will have some drinking to do, some coaching advice from team owner will be needed, It could be another crazy year. What to do, what to do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

needing a front end alignment

It's all about touching my toes, I can do it but want to do it better. Im putting a huge focus on flexibility for the rest of the month before I start ramping things up. The problem, yep still in my hip, I'm currently 5 foot 11 on my left side and 5'9 on the right. Riding with no hands, pretty much a death defying art at this time but progress is being made. The ribs are fully healed and bending no longer hurts. It took nearly two months for me to be able to sneeze with out any pain, now I'm seeing the end result of the impact. I think next time I'll try and hit something soft like a rock or tree. Let the rebuilding fun begin

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

double down

I'm just going to deal with it. That's my attitude now, if i can't ski or play in the snow I might as well embrace it and I started big. A double down ride yesterday, first of spinning out on the roads for an hour and a half. It was warm, the roads were dry, might as well. Nothing exciting, just asphalt and a loop at endurance pace. A small break then a trail ride in Midhurst with the boys. It seems that all the snow that came down only landed in our yard. The trails were in great shape with just a dusting in places. No crashes, no bikes on fire, just a little drifting in some corners.

Looking at the week, pretty sure the wheels will be turning all week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

it came, we saw, we?

I didn't get to play, well not at the level I would have liked to. The snow came, now it's looking like it will be gone again. Frustrated. THe countdown to a true return to training is approachinng very quickly and my 2012 plan is looking a little difficult. An attempt to avoid riding indoors and even limit outdoor rides and just focus on xc skiing is looking a little challenging.

Maybe it was my over zealous craving for snow and my continued battle with Mother Nature. Maybe Al Gore was right. Maybe it was Chuck not wanting to sit in the cold padded room alone all winter. So far to date, days on skis --- zero, days on rollers.---- 4. Am I sulking, whining, complaining, bitching, etc. Yes I am. What happened to the prediction of a tough winter with an excessive amount of snow???

I'm feeling that I may need to sabotage my snowblower, scuff up the freshly waxed classic skis, and put my summer tires back on the car just to counteract the anti snow jinx I may have created.

Friday, December 9, 2011

testing 1 2 3

It took a little more effort than I thought but I managed to kick my ass outside to play. It was windy, cold (around the freezing mark is cold right now) and snowing on and off. It was a warm day in February but I did debate about it a little more than I thought I would. After spending time on those rollers from hell the previous day, I needed some forward movement. It was time to test the big wheel, in short, best winter bike I've ever built up.

Mixed things up a bit, started on some gravel roads, just happen to have a solid climb mixed into it. After 30 minutes of going straight I made a hard right turn into the woods and began following some yellow arrows. Yes in my neck of the woods they just randomly put yellow arrows on trees. The adventure continued beyond just a fun double track trail when I was forced to stop by a small lake. If it was warm I may have attempted to ride through it, if it was colder I could have ridden over it. On this day I was hike a bike around it, dragging my big wheel over trees, a little upper body work out. Eventually I made my way back out on the gravel and settled into a good endurance peace for the rest of the ride. Movement in the cold is still better than warmth on the hamster wheel.

A hour and a half of testing of the KHS, happy with it and gives me something to entertain myself with until I can ski. The weekend is shaping up, a little riding and hiking along with a great event. Rick Hansen's Man in Motion relay comes to the area Sunday. Should be amazing to see.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

weakness sneaking through

I forgot, I forgot how quickly I get cold sometimes. I think I'm a pretty tough guy sometimes and can adapt quickly to the conditions and weather. Well the body wasn't willing last night and only lasted 40 minutes before the feet got cold. Maybe I should have accepted that its cold out now and put on booties. Maybe I just need to tougher up a little more. I did ride just long enough to get the cross bike dirty, it could be its last ride of the 2011 season also, hopefully. I want snow dammit.

Another attempt tonight, maybe with lights, maybe on the big wheel. Maybe

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the cursed component

It must be a cursed part, how can one man have so much problem with one component? I've given up thinking its a design flaw, false advertising, poor workmanship, bad luck, rider error, or Mother Natures revenge. How can I have three break in less than three years. I'm talking about my rear derailluer, my pretty carbon XTR. No I have not broken the same one three times, this is three different units, this is y I feel it's cursed.

The first one was understandable, summer solstice a couple years ago. The mud race, it got jammed, I see no major complaint in that one. The second was a curse filled one. Joyride150, first skinny, half way down, rear wheel slide, snap. I almost cried. Then there was last night. Just riding along with the boys on the MNS thing. Nothing strange happening, no random stick, not cruel rock or stump, I just felt something shift, then a strange feeling in the drivetrain. The chain was tucked in etween the lower pulley and the cage, how? The back plate that is epoxied into the carbon cage let go. There is number three.

An attempt to trail side repair it with some tape lasted only a few minutes before I turned back for the car. We were at the furthest point in the trail, that was about the we it should have happened. The spin back to the car b way of the road was done gingerly, I had no craving to walk. An hour later the bike was up on the stand. Lucky I seem to have all these random parts hanging around. Like the change out on the anthem the previous year,the is no longer a carbon derailur on the hardtail. I beleive I will be a fan of aluminum from this point on. Im not sure if the XTR weighs much mo in metal but I'll deal with it. Besides that anther great ride, it's December, it doesn't look like riding will end any time soon. I'm a little disapointed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

conditions are changing, backwards

Another good weekend of play for me, Saturday morning found me down in the big backyard. What shocked me though was I wasn't the first one out on the snow covered single track. As I left the parking lot the solo track lasted only a few minutes down the trail before turning around. I proceeded thinking that I would leave first tracks, well first bike tracks as I chased three crazy dogs. This lasted for a couple sections of trail before coming across another track. This one didn't turn and run away from a couple inches of snow.

It was perfect conditions for a ride, the snow just hard enough to support the weight but just soft enough that my favorite tires had traction. As I swapped the lead with the mad pack a couple times, we toured around the north end of the trails sticking to relatively flat terrain. I didn't avoid the hills for me, it was umm for the dogs, honest. An hour and a half of touring, we rolled back to the parking lot just as things started to soften up.

Sunday was a repeat visit to Copeland with an even larger pack of dogs and a few more people. The bikes were left at home this time, swapped it for trail runners. The would be no running though, Jacob was not in the mood. Deathmarch Liz and Shannon were nice enough to keep the pace sane enough for Jacob and I to keep up. The snow was gone, the rain came down, I don't see any of my skis coming out anytime soon. Maybe this is because I have everything snow related ready to go. Maybe.

Speaking of winter toys, the winter bike is ready. This year, a KHS Solo one that is no longer a one speed. The bomb proof friction thumb shifter is back giving me 8 gears at the back. Fenders are mounted, no wet ass this year, the 29er wheels will give me the option of tires, right now it's sporting for nevagals, no worries about slippery conditions with those. Now I just need some winter like conditions to use it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A change of enjoyment, let the suffering begin

Hills, sometimes there fun, sometimes not so much. I feel it depends on what direction on it that influences it's enjoyment. Now that the winter like temperatures have begun my love of one side is beginning to change to more of a dislike. Wind chill has a tendency to make even the most amazing road decent equal to a middle age style torture. Add in some slightly slippery underwheel excitement and that was part of the ride yesterday. I'm not complaining, it's better than riding indoors.

Great ride to Copeland yesterday, not a ride in the woods, just to it by way of the hilly route. Legs were feeling pretty good, hip alignment is slowly coming along. Once I arrived to the woods a small attempt was made on some single track. Using my awesome mud/snow/dry condition tires I slide around for about 10 minutes before meeting up with Shannon and the dogs who were running in the fresh snow. Looks like the thrills of singletrack may be done for the season, It may also be one of my last rides on a light bike. It won't be long till sand and salt takes over the streets and every bike that has the word carbon on it will be put away for the winter sleep.

The decision on what to abuse for the winter is pretty simple. It's looking like the big wheel bike will be the stead to beat on this year. A little working and some 700c will roll in the 29er frame. A 1x whatever I have hanging around will work the drive train. I'm figuring that with fenders and winter upgrades weight should easily bust the 30 pound mark. Yep, I'll be more inclined to ski before spinning on a tank. I will be reminding myself to cherish these last couple rides on a light, smooth shifting carbon race machine. The Mack truck is only a short time away.

I must wish two of my teammates good luck on yet another stupid endeavor, a non trained marathon attempt. Running is a human ability to be used for chasing food or to evade danger or death, not for fun. It hurts, it always hurts. It will hurt a lot over 42 km, I want them to make it but I also want them to suffer and suffer hard. Good luck to the twins,if you see Jacob and Tristan on the road near Orrilia honk your horn in support and swerve to scare them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Almost time, almost done

Well it looks like the 2011 ride/race season has come official to an end. Ok, maybe I'm jumping just a little, Im hoping to squeeze in a w more road rides but the small dump of snow yesterday appears to be just enough to make make all the single track disappear and it doesn't appear that the weather will allow it to melt from here on in.

Of course I'm also getting closer to having more time to play/train as the bathroom Reno is getting closer to being done. All the crazy challenges that we have encountered hopefully have come to an end. I'm afraid to use the famous Top Gear quote "how hard can it be" with any part of the rebuild since it has seemed that even the simpliest part has turned difficult. The shower valve from hell, the wonderful removal of the old galvanized steel pipe that was done in two stages, the vent that had the hidden two elbows, the slightly undeveloped floor. Of course the removal of the old tub, toilet and sink which all weighed as much as a car just added to the challenge. The end is near though, some tiling, the little bit of retiring of the electrical (this hopefully should be the only challenge) and then some trim and paint. A brak will be taken after this.

That brake will be to play and of good timing, my body is starting to feel better and the reintroduction of yoga into my weekly routines
should get me back to my old old self. The list of what to do and where to play is hanging in front of me, just a little more snow is needed. For the moment I'll enjoy somew more coffee. For now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

??????

I'm not sure how others deal with it but I find this is the hardest time of the year to do anything. To stay motivated, to not just curl up on the couch and just sleep. The combination of being dark at 5 pm, irratic tempature, inconsistent weather and a long season the craving to do nothing is very overwhelming. I think this is why I'm so anxious for snow. The transition of fall to winter always seems to be more painful than the one from winter to spring.

I can't handle riding the rollers right now, I won't take a bike outside in the cold rain of a dark evening sky and I can't ski. Yep, you can tell I'm not much of a fan of this time of year. Coffee only energizes for a short time, beer leans the body to the couch. Yep, I have the
November training blahs. Maybe the snow coming down will stay. I don't want a huge amount, just enough to play in.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

maybe, maybe not

Well that could be the last one for a while, the last Monday night ride with out snow. Conditions were perfect, 5 brave souls toured the 8th for the normal hour telling stories while having random bike problems. I've come to the conclusion that the more time you spend at a bike shop (work there being an example). the crappiest our bike is maintained. Of course I can't say much because I only want simple appliances in the house so I hopefully don't have to fix them.

Some helpful advice from my favorite chiropractor Dr Bill has me some things to do for my hip. It's the random sharp pains that are annoying me but the return to my distorted normalness is not to far off in the distance if I stay proactive. Focus Mr Spak, focus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

the long way around

With what felt like another bonus day of trail use I took myself and the dogs to Copeland for a couple hours of play. This was as much for them as it was for me, the rest of the weekend would be all business. Starting with the anti NASCAR right turn I attempted to stay upright and avoid being taken out by the rookie. Rogue has stepped into Molly's place on sketchy passes. The Molly Monster is now just a pacer, settles in behind the bike and doesn't waste energy on stupid attacks. Rogue hasn't learned this yet.

The route we chose, not the I really decided, but we circled the outside trails of the forest. This meant some good climbs, awesome flats and some amazing decents. I was smiling pretty much the whole time. Came across some forresty work along the 5th line. The trails are still fine just a slightly different view now. It seems to take 2 hours to do the loop, there is probably one longer but the dogs were pretty cooked by the time we got back to the car. I was feeling great, not a huge amount of power, hip is still giving me some annoyance.

The rest of the weekend was spent as a two against one battle. Shannon and I taking on the house and her galvanized pipes. We have been working away at the bathroom for a while, it's been a slow progression but the end is in sight. The fun of an old house, we would start to get ahead of the house then we would run into a wall. Eventually the walls started to get thinner, the old heavy corroded pipe was replaced with new abs, The old toilet made its way outside, the final bits of tile made its way to the floor, the toilet was finally installed, then the last wall appeared.

The old vent was, ummm how would you say, useless. It had been a walnut storage for squirrels for atleast 20 years. To as it was fun to remove a 20 foot peice of 4 inch steel tube would be an understatement. My sawzall pulled its weight around the house this weekend. After to solid days of fighting everything the house sent our way, we won. The bathroom Reno has the end in sight and the big challenges are hopefully dealt with. The return to more play time is also in sight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

swinging both ways

Maybe I'm trying to influence Mother Nature's plans, maybe I'm just screwing with her not telling her what I really want. I figure if I embrace the fact that the roads are clear and dry and put some miles in on the road bike she will blast us with snow, but then went the other way with a shopping spree of wax and some time spent waxing and tuning skis just to confuse her a little more.

I didn't think that Chuck would have come out again this year but the weather was perfect and it seemed a shame to leave him in the padded room. Headed north into what felt like early spring conditions, a brisk cool wind, the sun shining, the roads clear of traffic, not bad for end of Novemeber. I did enjoy the tail wind on the return trip but also learned that I still have some body recovery work still to do. Some alignment issues will always show up when on the road, it's amazing how sustained positions show weakness in the body core.

Once the sun was down I made my way down to the basement for the first of many waxing sessions. I forgot how many hours of prep is spent at the beginning of the ski season. Not unlike overhauling the bikes. Of course this season has a few more toys that need to be tuned. So far the GS and SL skis are done and the first snowboard. This is the easy side of it, the xc skis seem to take even longer. Am I craving snow, just a little. Which sliding sticks will be my go to this year. Hmmm. that's a tough call at this point. A very though call.

Weekend is shaping up, some house work, some play time. Lots of coffee drank. .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

slip, slide melting

That was what my ride consisted of yesterday. A pre dark arrival home had me pulling the hardtail off the rack and heading to the big backyard. With some solid time available before the sun drops, this getting dark by 5 pm is still difficult to get used to, I had a craving to get some play time in on some single track before winter hibernation. Rolling into the parking lot I got a slight idea of what I would be up against, the previous evenings freezing rain left the a skim of ice everywhere. This made the trails a little interesting, where the sun got to traction was plenty, other sections, not so much.

Downhill sections were ridden with a lot more care than normal, there were mo than a couple sections where I was dabbing down the foot trying to keep the bike vertical. Bridges we pretty much a guaranteed trip to the hospital if ridden. Even with all the balance challenges, I was still out riding single track in the end of November, no complaints from me. Just shy of 2 hours of lefts and rides and ups and downs. Put in some good climbing with an attempt to fast track some base fitness again. Still not wearing any electronic (stay in this zone) type stuff, no structure right now, just riding.

Another spin is planned for tonight, I'm craving snow but I might as well embrace the warmth.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

why did I

I can't believe I did it, it was something I said I wasn't going to do. I'm weak? It's not even winter yet so the excuse list is extremely short but I found myself on the rollers last night pedaling to no where. Why oh why would I do this to myself? I have been putting in some outside miles on the cross bike and trying to get the body adjusting to the late fall tempature, the only problem with this. Mother Nature is being a little inconsistent with her weather that acclimatization to the cold has been difficult.

I'm still uncertain on what brought me to doing the nasty deed, maybe it as the release of the 2012 Ontario cup schedule. It was the first step for a returned focus. most know by now, new venue to the north. Sudbury will be a trip, many will be excited about, I'm one of them. It may be early but time to start planning the "what to do" list and what it will take to do it. It will be a new approach this year to racing, the main focus is to make myself faster in the shorter races. Should be a good challenge.

Other highlights, team vp has been on a writing frenzy and is apparently getting fat while doing it. This past weekend had a winter warmup for the MNS group winter activities as Shannon, Jacob and I did what we could to keep pace with Deathmarch Liz on a hike on the Bruce trail. The pace was what aw expected and the warning came out of a couple new venues to keep the guys in fear of being lost in the woods forever if they can't keep up.

It's looking like some good weather rolling in, time to play outside.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still trying

Slacker? Lazy? Distracted? Either way I know I have not spent much time here in the mornings. It is the fall and that leads to little excitement outside of the MNS rides which have now been taken to a new level. It's not about the ride, it's all about the entrance. Of course we are not allowed to speak of it, what happens in MNS, stays in MNS?

I have made an attempt to ride, a random stick has also made its opinion on me riding known. A little run over to the super close big backyard single track on Wednesday was started with great enthusiasm but came to a halt almost as fast less than 15 minutes into the ride when I felt the snap. Where the sound came from had me slightly concerned. I almost didn't look hoping that it wasn't what it was. I felt the dollar bills leaving my wallet. After a few deep breathes I looked down towards the back of the bike to see my XTR just hanging there. I felt the shiver up my back as I got in a little closer, Awww, wait no four letter words needed, just a hanger. The run/walk home was enjoyable. The hardtail is repaired and ready to roll.

I can't not comment on this, it snowed, it's November, it's normal. Of course it probably won't stay. I'm anxious to slide around on sticks, hopefully it won't be to long till mother nature leaves her seasonal blanket of white so the fun can begin.

Other excitement, the body is still feeling a little old man like. Hip flexor is pissing me off but some voodoo technology will hopefully help cure the problem. I'll make attempts to update this a little more often.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Slightly frustrated

That's how I feel right now. Very very frustrated. Yet again I'm feeling like a beaten down old man. All I can say is that at least this is all happening at the right time of the year, off season. I'm not missing races, not missing those perfect ride days, if I was I would be sulking a lot more. So what's happening with my aging body, it's the hips and lower back yet again. It decided that it doesn't like me again. I know that the route cause comes from the crash just over a month ago, yep it's still nagging me. Of course I slacked a hair on the stretching and recovery after I started feeling better after the last time. I know , I know, you have to keep up the rehab if you really want to recover but of course life becomes distracting and obviously I'm easily sidetracked when I'm not really training and there is no focus in the rides I do go on.

So what does this mean? Yep a delay in riding for a few days, an excessive amount of quailty time in the padded room and a returned focus to make myself feel better. Time to get at it, iI can't stretch out the problem with me just sitting here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

burning bikes and a questionable driver

The return to the woods and a simple reminder about how quickly you can lose the feeling happened Monday night. Met up with the crew and after watching the antics of Mr Watson and the expression of Mr Spurr we headed out for a romp in the woods. At first things were sane but then the pace increased, I normally would have no problem with this but it didn't take long for me to have a few bobbles. It's been a while since I've ridden the trails at that pace, more so riding in the dark. My B game would have been adequate but I brought my E game instead and it showed.

Ride was fun, some random bounces into trees, mud etc. There were seem elbows thrown, ninja kicks while in motion and crashes to finish of the list of things we normally do on these rides. It appears that the old basis of these rides is no longer about recovery and social. It's about dramatic entrances and carnage filled attacks. I do believe that the A game may be needed before the snow comes and the bikes a hung up for the season. Feeling a bit better though, another ride tonight.

Will not mention that there are a couple new parking lots now in the woods.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It looked like summer but didn't feel like it

At times the summer seems short, other times it's extremely long. It's so long that I forgot what windchill felt like. What may be a comfortable temperature standing still becomes closer to medieval torture as moment increases. Of course it's never an instant freeze, it takes a few minutes for it to cut through the layers of clothing before getting to the core. About the time and distance that you say screw it, I'm to far away from the house to turn back now. That's what happened for me Saturday.

The sun was spectacular and eventually warmed me up as I turned onto the gravel rail trail east of Coldwater. This turned into one of those rides that I appreciate the cross bike. A warm up on pavement before the "let's see where this goes and I've never been down that road before began" Random left and right turns onto roads that only farmers ever drive down and eventually onto a road that stopped being a road a kilometer in. That didn't stop me from following what becomes the snowmobile trail in the winter. To my surprise I started to notice an unusual rut in the mud. Way to small to be anything with a motor. It couldn't be? As it appeared in all the soft stuff on the only ride able line it fully registered. Someone else on a cross bike had already beat me through this trail. For the next few km's our trails seemed to match up on anything technical. I kept looking far ahead waiting to see this mystery rider. A mystery they will stay.

Eventually I rolled back into my driveway 2 hours after I started. The legs were feeling happy, a great way to start the weekend. More adventures tonight once the sun drops. Pretty much any ride midweek will be auxiliary light lead. It doesn't look like there is any snow in the near future, looks like I better get the lights charged up.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Becoming what I was and wondering who that man is

It seems that I am not the only one that has returned to riding. Ontario's number one tag team partner that will guarantee you a win has started prepping for the 2012 season. Watch out. As for this guy, I'm riding. There is no training regiment, it's the fall and I don't need one. The body is still feeling a little weak with certain movements but I'm able to finally ride in the trails without major discomfort. It's only been 4 weeks since I went down like a bag of bricks and from what I've been told by many it's up to 8 weeks before ribs fully heal. Great.

Being Saturday morning in November I'm currently watching the thermometer waiting for it to leave the negative side of the scale before I head out for a couple hours on the road bike this morning. I've yet to get that winter insulation that is needed for those cold rides, I've been trying though. I've been enjoying that over eating benders that I try to keep to a minimum during the summer. It won't be long now till the discipline starts back and the attempts at being fit begin.

The beard growing is moving slowly, I'm still trying to figure out who that stranger is in the mirror right now. Awww, the sun just broke and falsified the temperature reading. I'll attempt to fool myself into thinking it's warm out for the first hour. Must run, opps I mean ride.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Movember

That's right it's that time of the year and I'm doing my duty but with a slightly different focus than the masses. That's usually what I do. I am currently face hairless, to say it;s strange not having a goatee which has been with me for the last 10 plus years but for the cause it was little sacrifice. My cause and symbol though is more of a remembrance. There will be no stache for this guy, nope it will be a full on beard. So who,what, where and why?? It's for my Dad.

It's still a bit of a blur that it has been 8 years since we lost my Dad to cancer. For the last couple years every November I attempt to grow a beard similar to what he had. There are many reasons for this, it's not for the masses, it's not for some questionable charity, it's much deeper than that. It's a reminder, it's a sign of respect,

Day 2 has begun, the shadow has begun. By the end of the month I'll be a little grizzly looking. I like it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm not dead

Hiding? Not really I've just been preocupied with the off season lifestyle and the road to recovery that coming here has been a little low on the priority. It has not helped that there has been little cycling based entertainment to write about. I have returned to riding, sort of. The weekend was spent spinning the legs with Shannon and the dogs. The body has finally allowed me to take the 2 wheels off raod so an easy spin on Saturday in the big back yard was topped of with a 2 hour adventure at the Torrence Barrens on Sunday. It's great to be back, even if it's low key.

As much as I'm happy to be back riding I have found myself beginning to crave snow. This may be because of the new additions to the gear collection. With a new plan for winter training this year, the plan includes hopefully zero time on the trainier and no real set schedule, the extra time will be spent playing on the snow in different disciplines. The main one is returning to a past interest, gravity. XC skiing will keep me fit but downhill skiing and snowboarding will keep me smiling. I'm looking forward to the sliding that will be done. I'm sorry for what I'm about to say, let it snow!!!!

What does add to the craving for the white stuff, the full tear down and tune-up of the two wheel collection. My Anthem is currently in about 40 peices and a pound lighter after scrubbing the year worth of dirt out of it. The rebuild will be a little slower than the tear down but by spring it should be a couple pounds lighter and a whole lot cleaner. Photos will be taken, they may even be put online.

Back to my coffee, I will do my best to visit this place a little more often.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A slow return

The first attempts of riding have begun and it's a pretty pitiful one at that. Made my way to Copeland to atttempt to exhaust the dogs with them chacing me. That plan changed and it seemed to be the other way around when we hit the singletrack. The vibration was just not feeling great and the upper body effort needed to deal with the most simple technical section felt like a knife in the side. I found my way out on to the double track where we stayed for the remainder of the ride. Were the dogs tired, not really.

On came ride number two, this being a little more of a had to to get home type ride. A point to point from the auto mechanics to home. It turned into a semi hilly 1.5 hour ride on the the cross bike on far from dry roads. In the spring the body and mind seem to deal with being cold in wet much better than they do in the fall. The legs were still feeling stagent and the body a little out of whack, I shouldn't expect that much at this point. It's a long off season, lots of time to recover.

It seems that the road is going to be my friend for the next few weeks. That is if it ever stops raining.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A fast update

As holidays offically begin tomorrow morning the conditions called weather have pretty much gone to the dumps. Well it's not snowing, yet. An attempt to ride tomorrow will be made, the dogs are craving a pace higher than walking speed. Not sure what will happpen, the ribs are still sore but in a point that I can sneeze and it only feels like a punch in the chest, much better than the previous feeling of a freight train hitting me.

Some updates from the land down under, Shannon is there and having fun in great conditions. I'm jealous and wish I was there with her. The house is quiet, I don't like it. Less than 2 weeks till she is back. I'm counting the hours.

There are a few epic adventures planned for the next few days. Weather permitting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

it's the fall, what do you expect

I know, I know, the blog has sucked for the last little while. What can I say? There is little to write about, little happening. I'm still off the bike, the swelling has pretty much gone down on my right side, this allowed a couple of my ribs to make a wonderful popping sound with certain movement. No X-ray needed, no phd to determine what's going on. To say that I'm almost happy that the weather is crap would be an over exaggeration but it does numb the pain of not being able to ride.

Instead I've been just strolling with the dogs in the big back yard. Yesterday had me running into a certain AWI fast guy testing his new rocket ship. Feel sorry for those trying to keep up with him this weekend in 3 different events. I may make my way to one or two races and mock/cheer everyone.

Holidays begin in less than 12 hours, they ad needed but will say that they won't be as enjoyable as I had hoped. Shannon has landed safely in the land down under, I will be landing in the side or backyard for the week. There was no last minute change to head with her as much as I would have loved to. Instead it's a local stay cation for me and the dogs with a long to do list for the week. Hopefully some easy road riding will be in that mix, hopefully.

I'll do my best to do something crazy and entertaining over then next while to write about. For now I'm going to drink some more coffee, watch the rain and sit by a warm fire.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A thankfully good long weekend

October? Maybe by date but like everyone noticed that weather was spectacular feeling more like a mid summer day than the one of the big steps sloth season. All week I was cringing with the inability to ride, well there wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to spend this weekend sulking on the sidelines. My ribs were feeling better each day as the swelling went down but I was still very aware of them. This is probably a good thing for a guy with that can't sit still for more than a minute mentality. If it hurts you stop, in most cases.

Saturday came around and I opted for a chill paced solo ride along the rail trail. No motors, no power, just feel and the feeling at times went from pleasure to pain. Regardless I was just happy to be out and that hour on the road bike was glorious One hour, yes just one hour, the pace was pretty lame also. It is what it is.

Then came Sunday, I needed more, I had to do more. With predictions of yet another amazing family meal that I try to eat way more than I should I knew something pre dinner had to be done. With the company of my brother in law we headed by way of the rail trail yet again. Glorious conditions and great company with a hair bit of family rivalry. Rick was one of those culprits that helped me grow as a rider with many 24 hour battles. The plan was for a semi chill ride again so I opted to make peace with my hardtail with Rick on his road bike. It wasn't long before Rick began half wheeling me and driving the pace up. Chill was out of the vocabulary for the first part of the ride. It was great for me though, my chest opened up a bit more, I was able to breath a little easier, I was seeing hope. We also doubled my time from the previous day with 2 hours and somewhere in the mid 50 km range. Perfect, then I reloaded those spent calories with some amazing food.

On came Monday and the annual Brewery to Brewery ride. 2 days earlier I was feeling I'd be sidelined for it, I woke up finally feeling pretty good. Chest was only a little irritable, minimal compared to the previous week. Screw it, just ride. It didn't take long for me to get caught up in the excitement of a large group wide with way to many sign sprints to keep track off. Sun shining, great company again, beer at the mid and finish points. How else would you want to spend your long weekend Monday? The ride was far from perfect though with a blown up pedal, a blown rear tire, a slow speed collision into a wall that lead to a broken shifter. Interesting part of this was that two of the three incidents involved the same rider.

Adding another hour to the previous days ride but with a much higher pace had me feeling good for a bit, then it happened. That notorious result of feeling good and pushing well beyond what I should have. Common sense would have told me to just ride chill in the pack, of course I ignored that with the random sprints and sitting at the front longer than I should have. My chest and side are far from impressed with me right now, some swelling has returned, yes it hurts and it's not that good hurt. I won't have changed my decision though, it helped me reality check a few things. I question the thought of still being able to race this fall, even potentially this weekend at the 50 km. I had my answer gently handed to me. If I'm this sore riding a road bike with some random blasts how will the mountain bike feel at race pace for close to the same time. The race season is officially over, the riding on the other hand has returned, at a sane pace.

An amazing weekend, some great riding with some great friends. Add in fantastic food, beer destinations and a slight tan leads this to one of the best Thanksgiving long weekends in many years. I did forget to mention that the drive home on the 400 north bound was spectacular at 120 while the southbound people were at a standstill.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not ready yet

An attempt was made but something decided that it was way to early. Maybe I was over anxious as I jumped on to the TCR, Chuck was covered in a bit of dust so he didn't complain with the opportunity to see the light of day and a short vacation from the basement. I didn't plan on riding long and defiantly not hard. Rolled down the hill and over the bridge spinning the legs, the sun was shining, I needed to be out here. It took less than 5 minutes before I realized how rough the roads really are.

I could feel every crack, I started to try and ride around them but there were just way to many of them. At a glance the road looks perfect, in most cases it would be called pristine but like most things, as you look a little closer you start to see all the imperfections and blemishes. every time I hit one of these it hurt. Not just a little hurt, the knife blade was feeling dull and spread over a larger than normal area. Carbon only detunes the vibration so much, I should have been smart about it and turned around, I didn't. The distance I'd travelled took considerable longer than it normally would, I was enjoying the weather more than the pain and used it as a stronger influence to stay out. I turned to the right and made my way up a gentle hill. I must say that it's difficult to climb hills with minimal lung expansion. That's when it happened.

Things feel soft and rubbery, is it my legs? Nope it's my rear tire. Of course I'd only planned a short ride I didn't even consider bringing a tube or pump, that would be overkill for what would have been a sub 50 minute spin only a few km from the house. What I did have was the phone and after multiple calls and texts the rescue car was on it's way to pick me up as I walked along in the fall sun. A 30 minute ride seems almost trivial when your used to 4 plus hours. When there is a mix of pleasure and pain in such a short time why ride longer. Yes I know I should be waiting it out a little longer before riding, yes I know I'm stubborn and over anxious sometimes.

Once home some tlc and wrenching has the road bike ready for it's next attempt. I'm hoping to get out this weekend for another easy spin with a real ride setup for Monday on the famous Brewery to Brewery ride. I'm hoping.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pretty sure

Where am I at? Currently I'm on the floor and I choose to be down here and came down in a controlled state. I great visit with Dr. Bill yesterday for a once over the body and some alignment adjustment. I screwed myself up pretty good. I'm still moving around, still going to work but I'm aware of every movement. My thoughts on being on the mountain bike anytime soon is looking slimmer, the road is seeming like a good choice.

I've been nagging myself about spending quality time recovering and stretching. Well I have the time and I have a slighting stronger reason to get at it. Where to start. The first is accepting, race season is officially over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just Riding Along When

Monday has come and gone but it's a Monday that I will be feeling for a little while longer. The legs were tired, the body was aching but I against better judgement loaded up a bike and headed to the usual place at the usual time to ride with the usual people for the usual Monday Night Something. There were rules set for this week and with half of us sitting on sitting on abused legs from the previous day the pace was to be sane.

Because I was still feeling the love of the hardtail, more because the Anthem wasn't ready to go I found myself on the Blue once again. Ride started, pace was normal, the trail was a bit slick but it was all good. 35 minutes or more things are still all good. A few random bursts from random riders but nothing to be concerned of. As we headed to the trail of thrills and bridges approached the pace quickened on the doubletrack. It increased a little more between Tristan, Andrew and myself when it finally ramped up to an out of the saddle sprint. It was the shorts sprint of my life.

As Tristan pinned it I stood up and prepared for a hard effort, one second later I was gasping for air. I wasn't trying to bring in that wonder fuel known as oxygen to help power my legs to try and out sprint Tristan, not this time. No I was gasping for air trying to get it back into my lungs with that wonderful necessity of life. It's been a long time since I've knocked the wind out of me, it's not an enjoyable feeling, it's not something I would like to do again anytime soon.

So what happened? In some cases nobody really knows. At first I thought I caught a wheel that caused me to go over the bars. That would have been great, someone to blame. Then it almost happened again spinning easy. Something in my rear wheel is deciding that it doesn't want to turn. Under extreme load my rear wheel locked up, stopping the crank dead and sending me to a new world. That world this morning, pain. My right side is not in a great place right now. I broke a few ribs a couple years ago in a similar impact. It was very enjoyable, I'm hoping and just suspect I just bruised the hell out of everything.

Thoughts now for the rest of the race season, well at this point I'm pretty sure I'll be sidelining this weeks world cup weekly cross race, the 50 km is hopefully still in the mix, it's still a little ways away. It won't be a bad thing if official events are done for the season, ending on a high note with last weekend. I would have preferred to have the option though, this morning though just even the option of reaching for a coffee hurts. I feel I was due for a good crash, I've been pushing the limits and sneaking through a few close calls the last couple years. I just got my speed check, thanks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tour Du King

Had I not put my money down a few days earlier I probably would have spent the day at home on the couch in front of the fire. Had I done that I would have missed out on what will most definitely become the fall classic of southern Ontario. I had low expectations for results based on how I felt on Saturday, actually all week I've still had traces of that evil cold that beat me down the previous weekend. After doing some team duties of moving stuff I made my way to Copeland for a test ride of the newly rebuilt hard tail. The Blue XC has returned to it's roots armed with a drivetrain, I don't think it was enjoying being a gear less wonder. During the test ride I started to feel like crap, when your sweating in plus 3 temperature with little effort you know it's not a great thing. To the couch I went and spent the rest of the afternoon.

On comes Sunday morning, look out the window. It's cold and cloudy with rain easily hovering in the background. HMMM do I really want to?? I was feeling better but when you're sitting beside a warm fire with a cup of coffee you always feel better. Against better judgement and the thought of wasting an entry fee I mounted the bike to the car and headed south with the heat and heated seats on max and the outside temperature on the car turned off. Ignorance is bliss. How cold was it? Lets just saw that the wind chill factor had me adding air to the Blue's shock once I got there. A little this and that, some socializing and a weak warm up that seemed to numb the hands more than warm the body before rolling into the swarm already filling the start coral.

Mid pack starting is always a scary thing in a group this large. The mix of cross bikes and mountain bikes were pretty equal, Add in a dash of over energetic racers that attacked off the front less than 30 seconds into the race thinking the finish line was at the top of the first hill. I had a young kid ask if he could start in front of me, I said "no, you should chill there are 20 guys here that are crazy fast, it will sort itself shortly" Less than a minute into the race that kid blasted past me along with a few others on cross bikes making smart ass comments to some of the mountain bikers. Karma almost got one as he t-boned himself in a high speed wobble that he barley saved. Comments were made as that pack of mountain bikers road past. Yes this all happened within the first 5 minutes.

Not preriding the course left me hitting the single track back about 30th, had I known I would have pinned it a bit more to get in front of those over excited cross bike riders. Instead I slowly worked my way through them moving up slowly. I was still feeling a bit off so kept my attacks to a controlled approach, if they swung wide, over braked etc I just rolled past. To say that I was happy I chose the hardtail would be an understatement. The trails were fun. Once out of them I'd moved up pretty quickly, remember the kid that wanted to start in front. Ya I caught him sounding like his lungs were going to explode on a climb, I rode past him and quickly commented "shouldn't had started so hard" and rode away from him. Youth.

Out on the road the challenge began, locked out the shock got as low as possible and did what I could to keep pace with the cross bikes, I battled with a couple gaining then losing then regaining ground on them depending on the road or trail. The body was still far from impressed with what I was doing and asking off it, I kept things at that 90%of normal race pace mark hoping to just hold on. Then came the 5 k to go sign. I was in a pack of 5 and yes on the road they were on cross bikes. I didn't play dirty and just tuck in, I put my time in at the front. The pace was high and any chance that the road became favourable to me,gravel bumpy etc I would ramp up the pace a little. The 1km to go sign shows up, it's down to 2 other cross bikes. I'm crossing my fingers that there was a chunk of singletrack in the mix, I didn't want to sprint. I wasn't that luck and it was one other rider and myself sprinting to the line. Victory for another mountain biker.

Ended up 11th overall and first in the middle aged division. Not bad for feeling crappy and sore with no real intensity in my fitness supply right now. Seems that most of the top 15 were on mountain bikes, After the race I realized how much I enjoyed the shorter events, there was more time for socializing, eating, drinking, etc. The boys from Chico Racing put on yet another great race and I even got a hug from Sean Ruppel on the podium. Shannon wasn't there, someone had to step up and it was Sean.

I have regained a little love to the hardtail, it has it's place and yesterday it shined. A couple days of chill, still feeling a little off but an attempt to ride with the team will happen.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Is drinking coffee training?

It's become that time of the year, the time when some of us who appear to be tougher than the elements instantly become fair weather riders. Where in the spring you will battle the worst conditions because everything is better than the trainer to now even the remote hint of unfavorable condition the bike stays on the rack and another beer is opened.

The first cross race went as well as expected, it hurt, I liked it, I will be back next week to be kicked at yet again. I haven't been on a bike since then, it seems that the only time I might be on it again will be for racing. Tonight, doubt it, tomorrow??? Well if things fall the weather predictions it's a major debate. Lots of fun and exciting things to do that I normally would be all over. I question the cold and rain that is supposed to be coming in. I know lame and weak. I'll use the reasoning that I'll be well rested for the Tour de King.

The bike debate is still on, cross bike or hard tail. Attack the trails and suffer on the road? Faster wheels but questionable handling? I'm at this point thinking I will strap both bikes to the car and see what the masses are do it. If the cool kids are on cross bikes, I may turn sheepish and join it or knowing me will rebel against the norm rock the hard tail. Decisions to be made, some important, some not so much.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The new beginning

I officially start my 2012 short races only career now. Well sort of, it happens more on Sunday than today. Dropped my coin in the hat and will be chasing people for 52 km at the Tour de King. I'm looking forward to it, crossing the line and not heading out for another lap. It will be an unusual feeling that I'm looking forward to. Conditions are looking pretty good at this point and I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking to the 26 inch wheels for this one.

That brings on tonight, I'm looking out the window and wondering. The body is still not feeling great, still congested and there are some muscles that are not impressed with me at this time but I'm thinking about it. Another trip to Hardwood. Tonight is the first of 4 Wednesday night world cup cross races. It's only 30 minutes, it doesn't hurt for that long, if might be what my lungs need to blast the crap out of them. The bike is tuned and ready to go, I'm not, 50/50 isn't a bad start.

I'm excited about this short racing stuff, the plan is to hopefully build up some explosive power which I've been watching slowly disappear, I didn't have much to start with but over the last couple years it seems to be dropping more and more. Hopefully that will change and when I return to the long stuff it will give me a little more uhmp when needed. Hopefully.

Rain rain go away, Matt wants to go and play.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hardwood Fall 8 hour

I came, I rode, I will get to that soon enough. Race started pretty much the way I had hoped. Luckily Mother Nature changed her plans for the day opening up the sun and shutting off the taps. The line up, in all division and the by means of who what sitting at the start line it was going to be tough to not get caught up in the mass attack off the line. Self control did take over on the word go.

First lap had me up front and a train of solo's behind me. Kept things smooth, the course was slick, pace was not killer. Came through the first lap leading. Lap two saw a split in the train. It went down to Jacob, John and myself with a few very fast guys in the just a minute back. We kept the pace around the same, everything this is good. Went on to the third lap, same thing. Kept things smooth, the course started to become slicker in the rooty sections. I watched Jacob almost slide off a bridge, not good.

At this point I still felt really good, on to the 4th I was still in the mix and feeling great, pace was steady but we started running into lots of traffic dropping the pace a little. Came through the feed and still had a smile on my face. The 5th is when things went wrong. About mid way through the lap we got caught up with a few lapped riders and I took the grunt end of it when one of them had a problem on a wet root. I found myself hugging a tree, Unfortunately for me that rider righted himself and jumped in front of me and pushed me in the woods again. I spent then next few minutes riding in fear and had to pin it on the double track to get ahead of this rider. He seemed to have some legs on the double track. which made me work even more than I wanted to. I found out only a few minutes later.

I don't like feeling dizzy, it's not fun. I found myself pulling over on the side of the trail. I normally recover pretty quickly and even the effort I put out should not have caused the results that happened. Sitting on the top tube of my bike trying to regain my focus, I glanced at my HR 189. that's not good. I waited until it dropped back to the 130s before moving again. From that point on my body just didn't like me anymore. My head started to pound and squeeze tighter. The legs felt ok but every effort my focus disappeared. Rolled into the feed zone, grabbed a bottle and went out for lap 6.

Things didn't feel right, I also wasn't ready to pull the plug. The arguments amongst myself began. I was still sitting comfortably in 3rd with a few minutes over 4th. Spin easy, this will go away, you will feel fine is what I kept telling myself. My head started to hurt even more. I felt the evil thought start to enter my mind. I rolled through the timing tent up to my feed zone and stopped. I sat there on the bike for a few minutes trying to regain some focus, yelling at my body to stop what it's doing. I didn't want to stop. I argued but the overwhelming skull crushing pain was starting to win. I don't get headaches unless I'm hungover, I don't do well with them. I managed to put on a good front. I felt a lot worst than I said. I got off my bike.

I've raced sick before and done ok, this time it was the timing of getting sick. I was at the mid cycle of it and drugs didn't seem to overcome it,. I'm still battling a headache this morning and it seems that it intensifies with exertion. Not impressed. The highlight, if I couldn't win the 8 hour for the 3rd time in a row it was at least handed over to a teammate. Congrats to Jacob for a strong ride. I will stake some claim to his success for helping pace the first couple laps. Some Shake'n'Bake style where I took myself out. See Team Player.

This now officially ends my endurance racing career for one full season. I'll return to the long stuff after a full year of rest and recovery with short races. I've also decided that I'm not enjoying being the very very old guy in the young category. So what will 2012 have for me, the plan at this point is to play on the Ontario and a select few of the Canada Cup series. Means less long days on the bike and more time to let the body feel good. I'll admit that I'm part of the reason my body feels off this year, time was not spent doing things like stretching like in previous years and it finally caught up with me. I've been doing this long stuff for a long time now, I've had some amazing results but I feel I need a new challenge, my heart just isn't into the same way anymore. Let's see what I can do in the hammerfest races.

So what is on the agenda for the fall, cross is crossing my mind. At least for a few races. The options are endless but I'll admit I'm looking forward to just having some fun. Let the fun begin!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A couple changes and a few things I expected.

It's the day before and everything that should be in check is in check. A short ride on the backyard single track that I don't drive to. It's been a while since I played on the horse trail, it was worth the wait. Packed in pretty good with all the horse traffic after the logging earlier this spring. A few laps gave a test of everything on the Anthem, an hour later the bike was on the stand with the bottom bracket pulled. If it was going to fail,let it do it a few days before. With the part failure I shook my head a little about the oversight. I don't have a just in case for this race.

What's a just in case? A spare bike just in case. After so many years it was never even a thought, but with one of my Anthems living at a new home I found myself digging out components out of the stock pile drawer and returned the Blue hardtail back to a geared bike. 1x9 and mud tires has it ready just in case. It also relaxes me a little going into the race. I should be calm, things are pretty much on par with previous years.

As mentioned, Shannon has a cold. Yesterday she was worst, this morning I heard the cough. Guess what, I'm stuffed up first thing this morning. Not bad but I'm aware of it. Is this something out of the ordinary? Not for me. I don't get sick very often but this will now be the forth year in a row going into the 8 hour I have a cold. I must say it's consistent. Hopefully my results tomorrow will be as consistent of the previous 3 years. If it works out I think I will be doing everything I can in the future to get sick before a race, it may be a good thing for me.

On a change of subject, my wonderful fall vacation plan has been forced to a halt. Unfortunately I won't be heading to the land of criminals this fall. With the way the economy has been this year and that fun thing of being a small business owner it's just not a great time to shut the company down for 3 weeks. It sucks, I know. Shannon is still going, she has her friends wedding commitment to attend to. I am disappointed that I can't go and held this decision until the last minute with both fingers crossed in hope. Unfortunately a few really good weeks doesn't fill in a few months of a slower economy. You know it's very scary out there when someone who works on some of the most needed things in life, appliances, is even feeling the recession. How long can you live without a washer, fridge, stove etc? Exactly. Unfortunately people are.

So what does that mean? Well the cross season is now in the cards, the Anti race, etc etc. The modify a quote from a good friend. Economic recession, it'll keep you fit in the fall. Hmmm, would have rather been hanging in the land down under.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It is what it is and buy my bike

It's feeling very similiar to last year, the weather predictions are pretty much the same as the last. The course is a good one for rain. Health wise I'm on par as last year, a little off going into the race. Shannon warned me that she thinks she is getting a cold, funny thing is I've had a cold the last two years during the race and had great results. It is what it is an things will play out the way they should.

On another note, my other Anthem is now up for sale and will be ready after the 8 hour. This one comes with extras. A rockin set of mud wheels. So the bike is size medium, XT/XTR drivetrain, Roxshox Sid front shock, Avid brakes,. The big update, Mavic Crossmax SLR's with dry tiresand a second set of SLR's with mud tires. $2500 for the package.

Back to the race, Hightlight, won't haves to worry about dusty conditions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Burn baby burn

To say that the Monday night something was interesting and entertaining last night was an understatement. It was great fall riding weather, rain. Maybe some good prep for this weekend. There was a bunch of bickering in the parking lot and then someone who will remain nameless blast out of the parking lot with 4 of us in chance. So much for a chill ride. That was pretty much the the theme for the ride with each person taking their turn trying to wreck the rest of the group. Nothing new, nothing unusual.

Then there came the fire. Or the so called fire that just about lead to the death of many. It's on Facebook so its now part of history. Tristan is leading, pace is fairly high, random log jump just ahead. Tristan is the first over the jump, then comes the scream. Screams out of Tristan are not unusual but this was different, this was a fear scream. Now I'm not full positive if he had landed at this point but I am sure that Andrew was in the air and part of my bike was already leaving the ground when Tristan decided to dismount his bike in the landing pathway as he continued to scream like a 10 year old. I had no idea that brakes worked so well in the air. How things ended up as well as they did was amazing.

Andrew missed T by inches, I did somehow end up punching the back of Andrews bike, Jeremy stopped inches from the jump and Jacob started laughing from the back. That's when the sceaming continued "My bike is on fire!! My bike is on fire!!!" To say the 4 of us were stunned, laughing and maybe even cheering "burn baby burn" would be a mild description. Cutting Tristan a little slack, he does have a letter saying that his light systems battery may blow up, it also says do not continue to use and return to manufacture. Of course the slack is short on the fact that he was using it.

Unfortunately his bike did not catch on fire, something about the refection of light off gold cable casings looks just like a flame if you have smoked a bunch of crack. The ride continued, more bickering happened, it was just another MNS ride. A good way to start the week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two new things

The weekend has come and gone with a highlight of a new addition to the house hold. Unfortunatly a months back we lost Dougless. She/he will be missed. The hardest hit was Bob, he has been lonely the last few months. Well that has all changed with the introduction of CC. The little terror suits her name, CC is short for Copeland Cougar, that fabled creature that lives just to the south of us. Lets just say the last three days have been entertaining.

Mixed into the animal house in Waubaushene were some rides. After a week of solid recovery I wandered my way down to Hardwood to spend some quality time on the Anthem and on the race course. The time was spent very intune with my body with that continued question, will it hold up?? Well I'm still here, it held, I feel pretty good. Not 100 percent but if I play my cards right this week will be at least into a passing grade. I will say that the race course does play well to my body's condition which probably helps. So I will be sticking my nose in the mix this Saturday with an attempt at 3 wins in a row and a 4th time on the podium.

Of course I will have some solid competition, like usual. A message from an old rival/good friend has Mr. Smit playing with the boys along with a battle of AWI having Jacob putting his wheels in the mix. Of course there are a few others that can always mix into the group. It will be a tough day, it always is. There will be games mental games played for sure. I'll just do what I always do and hopefully it works the way it usually does. Hopefully.

Need more coffee, it's Monday. Blah!@!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where I'm at? Got 2 turntables and a microphone

I know I've been slacking when it comes to the blog lately, I've also been slacking in the world of riding also. I took this week completely off the bike, minus a small team ride at the Share the Road campaign in Orillia on Wednesday evening which was finished up with some great non training style food. Will say that seeing the team kits in pack formation did get a lot of attention.

So where am I at for the season? Body is feeling better, far from perfect but at least I'm not feeling like I was beaten with a nail filed baseball bat repeatedly. Now it's just the baseball bat. I've yet to make a decision on the 8 hour still, sometime in the next few days.

The fall has seemed to kick in full force in the last few days, of course this has people talking cross, this also has me debating on my race licence. I currently don't have one for my current level and again debate on getting one. I look back now at that spring decision on to skip on it, pretty much a stupid decision. I more than likely would have raced provincials had I been able to race on the dualie, possibly. Add in the Canada Cup earlier in the season and now my debate on cross and only having the current option of racing in M3 which because I didn't race cross last season is allowed but I will be shamed by others for it has me looking. Is it worth the $80, will I do more than one race this year? Will I do any races at all? Australia is in the center of the race season but as some will remind me the season continues all through November. Screw it, I'm not thinking about it.

Going red necking tonight, its fall fair season and this means tractor pulls. I love the smell of burning diesel in the morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Attacked from the front.

It was a stupid thing to happen,maybe I shouldn't have said it in front of him. The Chuck Norris bike was pissed. How pissed was he? So pissed that he used the power of Chuck Norris to widen the distance between the floor and ceiling to break the grip that the storage system had where he was hanging and attacked me. He gave me a noise warning, Chuck never does a sneak attack, he wants his prey to know he's coming. Then came the fury, yes Chuck unleashed the fury!!! It was so fast I didn't realize what happened but I did realize there was blood and it sure as hell wasn't coming from the bike. Chuck doesn't bleed. A few minutes later I was cleaning up the mess. I'm sorry Chuck, I will not end the cycling season early, I will be proactive and stretch. I will abuse my muscles with the foam rollers, I will make my body feel better so you can play outside again.

So what really happen? Yesterday morning the storage system that is in the padded room slipped. How? I assume it was not tight enough so user installation error. Either way it had Chuck on the top mount and Shannon's road bike (the mafia boss) on the bottom rack. Chuck always has to go on top. I ended up stopping Chuck from killing me by catching the chain ring with my left hand which lead to a nice puncture in my hand. Great way to start a Monday morning. I was barely a cup of coffee into the day when this happened. To say that I double checked the installation this time is an understatement.

Body update, everything hurts but I have the list of to do's and the time to do them. Fingers are crossed, I have a plan, it's a good plan, I hope it ends up being the right plan. At least there is a plan.

Monday, September 12, 2011

sporting a gangsta limp

So provincials have come and gone and as the results show, I wasn't there. I did make an appearance on Saturday for a pre ride of the course, fun tough course, definitely a course for the final race. Lots of climbing, great technical, etc etc. A riders course. So what became of me? Well the weekend played out a little like this. Arrived to get an idea of both the body and the race, 1st lap on the Anthem and felt pretty good. Returned to the car for the single speed, halfway up the start climb, bang. Snapped chain. HHMMMMM. Well not to waste the day I returned to the dualie for a couple more laps. I'll be honest, I was happy to be on the squish on that course, a hard tail would have beaten up the body.

I finished up and used the "signs" mentality once I got home and assessed the broken chain issue. I don't break chains, well at least not often and considering I wasn't even dropping big wattage up the hill I felt it might be better to skip things for Sunday. It was the good call, woke up, hip was not happy. Some household stuff done and forced my body to be good for a little bit and made our way to Hardwood for a tour of the 8 hour course.

This is where I'm at, my race season could be over officially at this point. I have way to many things going on right now in the body so I'm taking a full on recovery fight against my body and will make a decision sometime next weekend on whether or not I will be sitting on the sidelines or if I can get things into a bearable position. It's a bit frustrating but I knew things were building up slowly and then hit me like a sledge hammer. There are still a run of races I'd like to be in the mix with before Australia but day to day life needs to feel good first.

On a positive note, the 8 hour course is a lot of fun, very similar to last years, I want to race, I hope I can race, I have a title I'd like to defend.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's going to be a blur

I've been slacking, it's not that I haven't been filled with things to write but other parts of life seem to have taken over the extra time. Of course things have been a little more chill in both the training and racing department, until now. My second kick at the can racing single speed comes by way of a new venue and the thrill of provincial championships. It will also be my return to some sort of racing and a solid test of the body.

The body has been a little pissed at me lately, a little more than normal but attempts at fixing the problem are in the works and if things continue a hopefully competitive effort will be at the fall 8 hour, hopefully. Of course all the recovery type efforts have been contracted with some not such a good idea type rides. The plan started out well but went downhill quickly, like the cross bike ride around the double track of Copeland which quickly turned into a ride in the single track which when adding in darkness lead to a abusive strain on a few body parts. My hands were far than impressed with me after that.

The huge list of to ride/race seems to be growing and the countdown till Austrailia is on. I feel the fall is just going to fly by. I've heard the month of November is nice for relaxing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A jammed pack ride

A solid weekend on the bike with a mix of every condition. Friday night was spent in the forest, not just any forest but the Copeland rain forest. The humidity was a wall in there but that didn't stop Jacob and I from climbing and descending some of the good stuff. The first reality check that fall was in the air happened at about 7:45. This was when the trails started to disappear into darkness, didn't stop us, much. A couple hours in the trails was a great start of what was to come.

Day 2 had me up early, very very early. How early? So early that it was still Friday. Mild exaggeration but a trip to Shannon's work to watch some animal NASCAR. There was no rubbing or fiery crashes, just qualifying and testing. Was pretty cool seeing a horse at speeds, they breathe loud. That was the note for me to head out on Chuck for a long one direction ride. I'm starting to like these point to point rides. This time had me heading from Aurora to Peterbourgh by way of a ski resort. Yet another heat wave ride through some big hills. Some great scenery with 4 hours put into the legs.

Sunday's ride was spent in the car but the highlight of the day is Shannon's new pub cruiser bike, to say it's sweet is an understatement. A little TLC was followed up with a small test ride. I chased on the fixie. Photos to come, some awesome paint schemes have been come up with already. Winter projects are adding up!!

The grand final, taking a group on a tour of Copeland. A 3 hour tour but there was no shipwreck on this adventure. Some good climbs and amazing downhills including the berms. Everyone was happy and smiling the whole time. Abilities in the group varied from racer to weekend warrior, there were baggy shorts and team kits, everyone got along and there were lots of great conversations during regroups. It was another fun day on the bike.

Next big thing is provincials, yet again a single speed challenge. A couple rides this week will hopefully get some top end for it. Also have some Rocky Balboa fall training on the list of things to do. Maybe I should try and run an AWI Racing fall training camp.

Friday, September 2, 2011

the jump

As promised

Long training ride yesterday, longer tomorrow. Body needs the miles and the recovery if I want to make this 8 hour thing work. Besides that, this is entertaining. This was my power training from Wednesday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another 15 minutes of fame attempt

Words can't describe what happened last night, video to come. 3 people, 2 bikes, 1 pedal cart and a vision. It worked, it was filmed, it was awesome.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bromance rekindled


The first day back on the bike in a week, yep it felt strange and my body questioned me more than once. I questioned it also as I debated on my momentum being slowed by the wind or if my legs where really that cooked. I was lucky and it was the wind and after 40ish minutes the legs started to come around, the tightness loosened and the pace increased. I also renewed my romance with Chuck, as we road into the sunset of what would be called cottage country.

A quick stop for this.

After a bit of debate I've decided to leave the bmx in the basement for tonight. A test ride around the yard reminded me that I'm not 12 anymore and that I would probably crash horrifically over and over again on it. I'm just starting to feel good and recovered, I feel that poling at death with a mallet would not be a wise decision so there are a couple options for tonight. The cross bike is craving some abuse, the SS is always a go to or last resort is the TLC given Anthem that will be coming home from the shop this afternoon. Either way watching the antics of the twins will be entertaining enough for the masses. Training continues, let the fun begin.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Warming up for Worlds


I know that summer unfortunately is coming to a close when the World Cup championship are here. No I'm not talking about the ones that Mr Watson is at, I'm talking about the real ones, the Wednesday night one. It's the last night for the season this Wednesday and that means something special must be ridden to run done all the up and coming kids. There is no age categories, there is no mercy rule for a 6 year old. We will be racing amongst them so to equal the playing field I've opted to ride something of equal or lesser value for the last night.

That's right, I'm rockin the bmx for tomorrow night. I was nice and took off all the pegs, partly for the kids, they work well at taking out a f spokes, partly for me, the inability to lean the bike more than a few degrees could lead me to death if they were on. Also swapped out the flat pedals for something I'm a little more comfortable with. I'm still concerned that the ridged fork is going to hurt me a little over the 8 km course. Of course I will do my very best RAD impression, I'm interested to see what the twins bring this year.

Tonight will be an easy ride to easy back into the training thing. One full week of the bike seems to have made the body feel better minus the sore body parts from last weekend, hopefully it leads to a great September.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The 24 hours of Killarney

That's almost the perfect description of the weekend as Jacob, Liz, Shannon, the 2 dogs and myself headed north for a non bike weekend. It was far from a sit on the dirt in some campground surrounded by many other car campers, not this group. Arrival time to the launch on Bell lake was 3pm, yes a bit later than we all would have liked but it is what it is. Multiple portages finally got us on to David Lake where we would be staying the night, if we could find an empty campsite. As we paddled every liquidy inch of the lake we finally ended up at the farthest site on the lake. We should have just went to the end and worked are way back. Set up and food was started quickly and by 7pm we were ready to chill and eat. Campfire stories began with attempts of making Loon's a gang type attacking bird. It was pretty unsuccessful.

Like usual camping leads to early mornings, for some of us, normal wake up for others. Yet another great meal, fueling for the day would be essential. Another hour paddle fully loaded in the return direction but this time it was a portage, drop and leave. On to the hike of the day up to the top of Silver Peak. A good pace, especially for two weak frail cyclists who tried to keep up with the women. The climb is always worth the view and as we broke through the tree line the wind increased. After the exertion it felt great. Some more food and photo shoot at the top to say we were there was done. No AWI Racing flag left on the top, not this time.

The decent down is almost harder as you look at the sharp point rocks, of course Jacob and I were looking at what lines we would take through it if we had our bikes. An hourish later we were back in the canoe and heading towards the final portage back to Bell Lake. 780 meters feels more like 2340 feet. The winds increased and our hope for a tail wind on the last lake were of course shut down as we battled through the results of that hurricane on the east coast. We slide up on the shore just before 3 pm. According to 24 hour racing rules we could have gone back out for our last lap of the lake, we had time but are lead was solid and we strapped the canoes to the cars and headed south in search of food and beer.

The beer was good, the food was questionable. A great weekend away from 24 hour racing of bikes, the next block of training and racing is about to start. 4 tired people, 2 exhausted dogs. Yep a great weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fun in a special way

What happens when you have to much energy stored up because of you lack of riding? Dangerous idea start and the time to do it follows. A visit to The Bike Stop mid afternoon turned into an evening of entertainment at the team president decided to step up and double dog challenge all other race team directors to show their commitment. Not on a race course, not even on a bike, nope Tristan Spurr has risked all to entertain us with thrills and laughter. Ladies and gentleman welcome to the greatest show on earth or at least the Oro Medonte area until the tractor pulls this fall.

There is not much I can say that the pictures below can't describe better. There were video's taken, the editing is currently taking pace by others.










Some may say this is childish and dangerous, you're right but it's also fun and sometimes you need to mix that back into your life in this crazy world.

I just realized that this is the first 24 hour I won't be at in 6-7 years. Strange, good luck to those that are playing this weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a mini vacation

A the lack of riding continues the time was easily filled in with other to do's. Cleaning and tuning bikes has seemed to be at the top of the list. A close second is weekend prep, normally I'd be planning for a long ride at the 24 hour instead its for a short camping trip with a long hike mixed in. AWI racing takes on Silver Peak in Killarney this weekend where some of us will show off our upper body strength and some won't during the couple hours of paddling and portages. Life on the bike will return when we return..

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

where it's at

So where am I at? It's day by day on what will happen for the rest of this season. Aft a double treatment from two smart people and a list of what to do's made up from them and me the hip is feeling a bit better. The first thing on the list for this week, no bike. A full rest week away from e two wheels, I haven't done this since, ummm, hmmm. last October. Of course that no bike thing doesn't start until today because last night was the perfect night for a MNS ride. I'll post a classic picture of one of my teammates antics and McGyever repair for a broken helmet.

Next on the list, an excessive amount of stretching, yoga, relaxation and some other means of movement to recover. This weekend has us north bound with a canoe and some hiking trails, this week may be some other form of strolling. I've told myself that no decision on racing will be made until next week. I don't expect the body to be fully cured in 5 days but as long as I see progress and can start training again comfortably the fall 8 hour is the last focus for this year.

Think I'll pour another cup of coffee. I've got some time