Friday, April 29, 2011

the right bike at the wrong place?

The weekend is upon us, the first O-cup is this weekend and I'll be there. Sort of. I'll be rolling on The Chuck, not any type of off road designed bike. Timing this year has O-cups on the very bottom of the list of to do's. Mansfield though will be very entertaining, the rumours I've heard have the elite race turning into a Canada Cup type proving ground with team Quebec crossing international boarders into the land of the free. I've even heard that riders from even farther east may be flying in. So the plan is to put in a good day of training with Tristan with a mid ride stop to see the start of the 1:00 race.

Mansfield is always that race that everyone comes out and riders way harder than they should off the start, blow up and then play damage control, finish and remind themselves of what not to do for the rest of the season. It's always entertaining. It will be strange being on the sidelines. I find it always weird being a spectator, there are some races, like cross that I have no problem with it but mountain bike events that I can race and I'm not is something I'm just not used to. I might enjoy it. Probably not. I think though this may be the case for a good chunk of the short races this year.

In other exciting news, Doug is home, a few pounds lighter and in back to normal spirits. surgery is fine. On an additional note, the Molly Monster had a complimentary X-ray done yesterday. The vet was curious on why she recovered so well and able to run and play like she has all winter after her accident last summer. What the body is capable of is still amazing. The bone mended it's self, without the help of surgery. The vet's were amazed and happy, I'd be curious if they will pass this info on to the surgeon that wanted to cut Molly open and do multiple things to her leg with no guarantee of success.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cat's in the closet

Training is training but a cat coming out of the closet is more entertaining. Dealing with a cat that has sexual identity issues has been interesting to say the least. Yes I'm talking about Doug or Dougless as he/she has now been known. It's surgery day, no this isn't my revenge on the freak for hiding his/hers true sex from both myself and the ospca. It's just that this household would prefer Dougless doesn't come home as a baby momma for some two bit four legged gangsta. So time to get snipped and wrapped or what ever else they do.

I'll admit that I'm still in denial that Doug is a girl, that she has been a transvestite for the last 6 months. I'm not sure if she started her cross sexing early to protect herself from the Bob, I could understand that. Bobke has most definitely followed in the steps of the man he was named after and for any woman this is a creepy thing. Of course it didn't take long for them to become close. At first we thought cute little buddies but then it wandered into the gay love with the two spending way to much quality time together in a very small bed. What ever amuses you, they always waited till no one was in the room. Of course this is where Doug's personality began to show. He/she was cool, played in the water, was interested in mechanical things, curious about everything, beat the shit out of dogs, you know boy things. Can you see why I'm still not fully accepting it. I don't want him to be a her. It's not right, it's not fair.

Well in the next 24 hours he/she will be a not got anything left and the problem will be solved. I don't think Doug will ever admit to herself that she is a bit butch. There is so much more that can be told about Bob and Doug but I'm running late this morning and someone has a date with the vet. I'll continue another day. Random thought, my Polar has now decided that it doesn't want to talk with the computer, any suggestions????

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't screw with Chuck's new shoes

I thought about it long and hard, it didn't make sense at first. As I pulled in the driveway it was, well it was almost nice out. It had stopped raining, the roads were actually dry, the wind was there but didn't seem to make and impact in any direction. Looks like I could scrap my original plan of hiding indoors. The question was why? Why had it stopped. Was it my continued bitching and complaining that Mother Nature is a (fill in the blank), maybe.

Rolled out to now do my favorite thing ever built by our local township, the rail trail. It was another one of those days filled with short hard blasts. Being on the water's edge I'd exp[etched to get blasted with cold wind like the past month, strangely that didn't happen. I could hear the wind and even slightly felt it, but it was strange. It was actually enjoyable and didn't seem to stop me like a brick wall every time it increased. A half second later I was screaming at myself to get rid of that thought, Mother Nature is a sneaky lady and reads minds. Hit the end of the trail and began the return trip still warm and dry and moving at a relatively fast pace mixed in with blasts up to warp speed. I was stunned, I was beginning to remember that I really like road riding.

As I finished up the must do list and coasted to a stop at the other end, it's still clear, hmmmm. Where I would have normally turned right and headed for home I took a chance and turned left. I had to milk as much out of this as I could, it's been a long time since I've really enjoyed being out on the road, I was in that happy place. As I made my way north up the service road a few minutes later I knew I was pushing my luck. I felt the first of what would for sure be followed by many more drops of rain. I put the pedals down, hit Port Severn still dry, turned left and then left again coming back south waiting to get soaked. As I made the last little climb I again felt a couple more drops, rolled down the driveway, walked in the house. Less than a minute later it hammered down.

So why did Mother Nature seem to be nice? Well I've narrowed it down to one of two choices. First off, it could be the hair. I've finally had the first of many summer hair cuts, short and cool. She thought about being nice and not forcing me to wear a toque all the time to stay warm. This seemed like a good option but I think it was only a coincidence. The real reason. Chuck has some new bling and he threatened her. That's right, Chuck is rolling on some sweet white tires mounted on his sweet white rimed wheels. I'm pretty sure that had they gotten dirty there would have been hell to pay as Chuck would have gone all action movie star on her. For her own self survival Mother Nature cleared the roads, the sky and her medical expenses. We should all say thank you to Chuck.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stop it please

I'm getting a little frustrated but maybe, just maybe things will work out. Yes I'm on another venting spree about the weather. How much rain can we really get? The taps have got to run dry soon. The snow has melted in the woods, the roads are clear, you can stop now. I know that the old line of April showers bring May flowers but I really don't like flowers.

I'm looking at the week do list on the bike and I'm side glancing at the long term weather, I'm not impressed. Of course it could warm up 20 degrees and I wouldn't complain as much. See what the rain and cold does to people. Makes them ride road bikes on the dirt. Watch closely and you will see a couple AWI racing members near the end of the video.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Will train for food

That seemed to be the idea for this weekend with two family dinners to enjoy and 3 days of training in what almost felt like spring. Started out with a good 3 hour ride with Dr. Bill in the big backyard. Legs were feeling great and feisty on the climbs, good conversations and great weather. A good way to start the long weekend.

As early early Saturday morning came around that notorious sound of rain and wind returned. It was such a nasty sound that it woke me from a wonderful sleep to let me know what my morning ride was going to be like. Screw you Mother Nature was my thought and pulled the trainer out into the living room, fired the video wall up and watched Sir Watson and others kill it on the world cup. Little did I know I was about to kill myself. There is a reason I train in the cool padded room, there is a reason I don't train in a warm, fire heated living room. The body is currently used to cooler weather, well I felt like I was sitting on the equator and after the first of many 5 minute beat the shit out of myself pace intervals I blew up, HARD. The legs were questionable but my head was ready to explode with the heat. Yes, I'm aware that I could have opened a door or do this or do that, but I didn't' and I got what I deserved.

After a few minutes of refocusing I gathered myself, added a layer of clothing, grabbed the hard tail and did the ride the way I should have in the first place, outside. A good rip around the horse trail single track got the bike dirty, me wet and the the training done. Returned home, did the clean up and look respectable thing before heading south to Toronto. No more than 20 minutes after we left here the sun came out and the temperature double. Yes, Mother Nature is a $#&%#. Great meal was followed by a trip back north for what turned into and AWI Racing team meeting. There was beer involved. The topics discussed are top secret, sorry.

Topped out the weekend with an epic adventure on Sunday. The epic part came when I had my first ever mechanical on my Anthem. Not the one I race on that has seemed to have a bit of a curse when I train on it, nope the one that I've put quality time of use and abuse on with next to nothing more than clean, lube oil and filter type upkeep. As I did something stupid popping over a log I knew exactly what was about to happen. Crack, snapped a chain. Got the chain repair 101 lesson from Jacob that made it well worth doing it. Continued along for a while before picking up 2 more AWI team members. Scott flew in just for this ride. It only took about 15 minutes for him to decide that he should have missed the flight.

Scott left his geared bike up north and suffered hard keeping up on a rigid single speed. Of course with the team mentality Jacob lead us to pretty much all the tough climbs on the east side of Copeland. Climb and descend was the name of the game for the next couple hours. We finally finished up at the bottom of the 5th line downhill where I cut the strings and turned right while they turned left towards home. I still had miles to go and hills to climb. This included the gravel climb beside an unnamed ski hill. Never realized how steep it really is. Back on pavement eventually I motored my way towards home where another family dinner would be waiting for me. Rolled into the driveway at 5.5 hours of exertion time. 2 hours on the road, yes I know riding on the road sucks with a mountain bike but when the mid way point destination is Copeland forest it's worth the suffering. 3800 feet of climbing, most of that being in the 3 hours of trail play. A solid weekend or eating and riding. The countdown till race season is sub month now. After this ride I'm feeling a lot more confident in my legs. Felt great through the whole ride right up to the last climbs. Of course Shannon laughed when I said I was driving the 2 blocks to dinner, walking, like running, low on the priority scale.

Posts up on AWI Racing also.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bling Bling

They have finally been retired, my road shoes have been slowly going down hill but I've been in denial about it. They are like those comfy slippers, unfortunately though they were starting to be as soft as slippers. Add to it that the straps were starting to slip a bit and of course the cleats were due for replacement. It was time, time to be the backup or rain shoes. A trip to the Bike Stop didn't help either.

The new kicks, they're shiny. The Chuck likes them, not as much as if they were white but shiny silver is closer to chrome and The Chuck like that. With my new kicks strapped on I headed out for my day's todo. It was cold, plus 1, it was windy, north west wind of the bay yet again, but it was sunny. Now normally I would be wearing booties but with new shoes like some young kid I didn't want to cover up the flashy. You know where this was going. First half of the ride was not to bad but things started feeling a little frosty. Of course the new shoes have some added features that once it's a little bit warmer will be fantastic. Right now, well, they just sped up the time it took for the bottom of my feet to turn into ice blocks. Simple reminder for me, grow up, keep the feet warm.

The Chuck will be rocking some new style also, some more flash will be coming it's way in the next day or so. Training continues. Some good winter miles will be put in this weekend, eventually it will warm up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No title needed

Nothing, I got nothing. It's crap outside, there is snow on the ground, it's cold. Mother Nature hates cyclist.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chasing Numbers

How can one top a day like yesterday. It's impossible, the launch of what could become the greatest cycling team of all time, or at least the 2011 season. With the team logo on my mind I knew I was going to have to pick up the pace. This is a cruel bunch that I will be playing with. So cruel that there is more of a competition amongst ourselves than amongst others. So out on Chuck I went hoping to miss the rain and out chasing numbers.

Some town workers must have been bored one day and marked every 1/2 km on the rail trail. Worked out well and has now become my new sprinting strip. Last night was pretty straight forward, cross the number and give it everything I had. Of course the power tap was nice enough to remind me if I slacked off or not. The quick accelerations were putting me up in the 50 plus km/h range and in the conditions last night was pretty much impressive. The speed is one thing, the rail trail is a very very popular place for runners and walkers of all ages travelling at different speeds. I've already started wondering what may be the best warning device to use, a bell is a thought but I wondered if the sound would travel far enough, quick enough to avoid a collision. Don't want a scratch on The Chuck. I wondered if a nice polite verbal comment would be more appropriate, I've used on your left in the past with great success but that's at a slower speed. I questioned use the "coming through granny" or " speed your ass up or stand on the sidelines, I'm coming through" Of course living in a small town I'm concerned that it will only take a couple days for people to figure out which house is mine and I'll be lynched by the local retirement home. So I'll stick with the on your left and only sprint when I've got a clear run.

Considering I was feeling like a pile of crap a week and a half ago, some quality time doing gumby type moves and physio the body is coming around and so is the power. What seemed to really hurt only a short time ago is back in the wattage realm of normal. This of course lowered my stress level a lot, the countdown to the 100 miler has begun, barely 4 weeks out. I'm hoping that more signs of spring will appear besides the swarms of little black bugs I rode through. I'm having flashbacks of two years ago where I stayed as pale as a sheet most of the summer. Aww just keep your head down and keep chasing numbers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


That's right, they were rumors. They were rumors that made people ask questions, questions that you were afraid to ask. No, not those questions and yes if you do continue to do it you will go blind and they make a cream to take care of that. No the questions about a so called rumored race team. A team that was so secretive it couldn't possibly be real. Well those rumors have come to an end, the team even made it's debut this weekend in full on fashionable style with absolute hard core tacky fast style. Yep the rumors are true, AWI Racing is in full on take over the world.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Only used part of it.

The weekend has come and gone and winter was supposed to be gone but had come again. Never really got what they depicted but it still sucked. Managed to sneak a bonus fun ride in on Friday. It was nice out, if you could call it that so loaded up the dogs and headed to the big backyard for an easy ride. Just after our arrival in the parking lot Andrew Watson appeared out of no where with this growth attached to his head. He;s upgraded his status from movie critic to movie maker. A little rip around the bottom trails before hitting up the berms, the new Speilberg wanted to video it. Down we went, dogs in chase, come to a stop at the bottom and a stunned look on Watson's face. We have to do it again, I didn't turn the camera on. I do believe that there were many more oscar level movies made but that line was used.

Followed up with round 2 where he was triple checked on pressing record. Cool nose wheelie landing for me over a jump, burped a tire, kept it real, didn't crash. Didn't want my face on youtube. Finished out the ride just shy of 2 hours, the dogs are in check for more. Watch out. That was the highlight of the weather, the low side came Saturday. Looked out the window more than once and delayed my attempts for abuse more than once. Finally said screw it and pulled down the rollers and a movie. To say I was happy it was a short work out is an understatement. I was not looking forward to Sunday if it meant indoors.

Morning came and there was snow. The thoughts, well in some cases it's better than rain. I again delayed my start till late morning hoping things would clear up. No luck, I'd put a few options out and kept smashing each down. Road ride, no the 1000 mile an hour wind and random snow squalls would almost guarantee certain death as I'm blown into traffic. That was one of many, finally put down the answer that forced me to put the full time in. Loaded up the hard tail, drove again to Copeland with a big loop planned.

The parking lot was empty, the trails ended up being empty to. Earphone in, podcast turned on, off I went. Turned left, the start of the next 4.5 hours of mainly single track. Long climb out of Copeland before crossing H.V. road into another grid. More climbing to be done. Found myself on a few new trails and followed them to the end. With the time I had to spend out here, there was plenty of chances to get lost, back track and continue along. Eventually made my way over to the 8th line grid for a loop around.

Just over the mid way point now. Found myself a little nervous when I heard an excessive amount of gun shots in the distance. Not just a couple then nothing but what sounded like drunken target practise. When i finished up the loop of the 8th I saw a pile of shells, yet more concerns because this wasn't where the noise was coming from. Took my chances and hit up the trails where I may or may not get stuffed and hung on a wall. The shots were gone, they could be hiding, I rode quickly.

The return trip was uneventful, avoided overlapping any of the trails I went out on. As the time added up I began to remember why I race on my dualies for long races. My back was starting to feel a bit beaten up by the chatter. I'll be back on tem on the next adventure. Rolled back to the car 4.5 hours later, riding through multiple snow storms but protected from the killer wind. Felt good, body tired and hungry but content. Much better than riding the trainer. Much better.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I got a pass, I don't want this pass

Not looking very impressed with what is supposed to be coming the next few days. Fear that the trainer and the rollers may be my best friend this weekend as is the tv in the padded room. Shannon may need to put a lock on the door to keep me in there long enough to complete what needs to be completed with random drops of food and water. Chuck doesn't like water and after last weekends thrill I'm saying that I put enough toughen up boy hours in over the course of the winter to get an indoor pass. But do I really want that pass?

After yesterdays romp in the big back yard and remembering how much I love to blast through single track going back to the road will be hard enough, onto the trainer will be absolute torture. The big backyard is in great shape, put in a solid amount of tempo climbing in the first hour, roughly 1200 feet which is pretty easy to get in Copeland with the second hour about flow. It was all about flow and smiles. Body is feeling a little bit better, need to stay proactive on it though.

I'm already scanning the movie collection , what series am I going to watch? Roughly 8 hours of potential indoor hell to deal with. Maybe Mother Nature will be nice and change her tune for me. Maybe?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The return to something good

I'd almost forgot how much fun it is. It also reminded me that I could never train to race road when I know what lies in the woods. A solid training ride on the road before our little adventure reminded me of this. A little adventure to Midhurst forest, the sight of many MNS rides.

This was a little test for everyone. For me a return to singletrack, yes I was smiling and for Shannon, it was her first time in the trails in a while. It was also some animal testing. the Molly Monster showed the young one how to set pace for the rides and in some cases was much more energetic at the end.

I will say that it was riding strange riding these trails, I do believe it was the first time I've ever been there during the daylight hours and put things into more perspective. Most rides are under the cover of darkness and follow the leader. Lots of fun, happy to be in the trails again, I do believe that could be my riding option for the net little bit. I'm wondering what the big backyard is like. HMMMMM

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ball 4 start walking

It was one of those days. One of those days that I just shouldn't have even bothered attempting to ride. I saw a few of the signs during the day and tried to ignore them, ignorance is bliss sometimes, other times it nails you like a sledgehammer. Today was one of those days.

Work was work, it was busy but I started to get ahead of schedule, sweet be done a little early. As the calls counted down I almost came to a halt. The few calls that should have been cruise control and quick all became stubborn and awkward. Not more difficult just machines that developed an attitude. I was no longer ahead of schedule, so much for those bonus times.

With work finally done, I was going to have just enough time for my to do list on the bike before heading to physio, or so I thought. Earlier in the day my back began to tighten up, no worries some quick stretching and it will loosen on the bike. That wasn't as much of a concern at this point, a few minutes later I was wandering out the door with Chuck in hand. So far so good, the good lasted about 3 minutes. As I rolled down the hill I knew instantly I was under dressed, hmmm, go back or not? If I go back I will be short of time, toughen up and deal with it. A few seconds later I noticed the next sign of what was to come. Where is my water bottle???? Right where I left it on the kitchen counter just freshly filled. Now what do I do? It's a short workout, water is for the weak. Screw it, toughen up. I continued along.

This was the first true workout in a week, recovery is great but I usually find my body is a little stale on the first day back and today was no different. The legs were feeling blah, this is also linked to my tight lower back which seemed to not be loosening up at this point. It was still only a few minutes in to the ride. Why is it so quiet, no music that's why. I didn't grab my headphones, it's a short workout you don't need music for this. Toughen up and sing to yourself if you need entertainment. At this point I figured all the weak attempts to stop my from riding had come to an end, I overpowered the forces of nature with being persistent in my pursuits, can't stop me now.

Yes they can, less than 7 minutes into the ride I came to a skidding halt. I won't repeat some of the words used but they were colorful for sure as i looked at my back wheel. The wheel itself is fine, the tire is fine, it's that thing in between it that's cooked. This is flat tire number ???, I'm not even counting now. Here I stand on the side of the road debating, I have a pump and I have a tube. I could fix it in a few minutes and continue along but the workout is pretty much not going to happen now. I was pushing the limits of the clock to begin with and this finally brought my ride to a permanent halt. I weighed the options, I knew where my body was, my mind was not far behind and I took off my helmet and shoes and began walking the 2-3 km back home. It's just a pleasant day for a stroll.

Yet another walk/run day, I've seen to many this year. I'm hoping that maybe I'm using them all up now before the race season begins. I still believe that running should only be done when being chased. My body was still fairly unhappy with me and my back was still a bit grumpy. The visit to Physio was needed. I've been burning the candle a little hotter this year, looking at my hours I've actually done more per week this year than last. This has two options of results. I will be even faster this year at the long races or I will catastrophically blow up and die in exhaustion. I do feel better on the bike but one thing I have been slacking on is recovery, the first thing we all seem to slip on. Stretching and rolling is going to be forced back in focus again. Starting tomorrow, ok I mean this morning. I have big hopes this season, hopes for results that top out even last years. Attempts to be gumby have returned.

Coffee is a great muscle relaxant right???

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Could the big backyard finally be snow free? Could that wonderful thing called single track that has been hibernation finally away? Could my protection on those excessively windy days returned? I'm hoping so and plan on finding out first hand over the next couple days. That is all I have this morning.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Training Day 101

First rule, toughen up boys and girls if you want to be part of this team. It was the first official non official AWI racing team training camp. Most members were in attendance, the ones who didn't will need to bring a note from their Mom's explaining why they didn't show. Conditions were, ummmmm, questionable. The promises by the weather networks and continued checks of the radar gave us just a slim hope of a warm and dry ride. They were wrong. The start time was pushed back, more coffee was drank, more stories were told. The cut off time was 11:30, at 11:22 we were heading for our bikes.

The first hour of the ride things were pretty good, groups were spread out a little with random regrouping sections. The rain was just a light mist, the wind was to our backs, things were rainbows and butterflies. As we got closer and closer to the mid way point or what is better know as the Big Chute things began to change, unfortunately not to the better. There will be no rainbow and butterflies on this day. There was no sight seeing done today, no craving to climb the observation tower, no walking down to lower platforms. We blasted right through the Chute and only a few minutes the air got a little lighter, this happened to be followed by the earth shaking. The twins on what could only be called a rolling lightning rod were off like a scared deer. This may have been for our benefit since lighting has a tendency to hit the tallest and easiest target, two tall men on a tandem please.

I pulled the daily duty of group cleaning up and got everyone back together then proceed to pace line for a good chunk of the remaining ride. There were two reasons for this, First off, many horrific newspaper headings began going through my mind. There were probably more than one car going by looking at us in a strange manner. The other and probably the more important reason, Jacob and Tristan were racing towards the house where there was mass amounts of food. If we were to far behind it could possibly be gone by the time we rolled into the driveway.

What is normally one of the most scenic rides around turned into survival camp 101. Everyone was cold, soaked to the bone and starving. I had flashback to a race not all that long ago were I felt like this. The kms disappeared and the hopes and spirits began to rise as the house came closer and closer. T and J did do the smart thing and made the attempt to come back by car as rescue vehicles, unfortunately they were only 5 minutes from the house when we met them. Success. Just shy of 3 hours in crazy conditions, the fireplace became the most popular spot in my house. The living room was pushing upper 80's but nobody complained. The reward of the day was the best late afternoon breakfast any of us have ever had.

Stories were told, beer was drank, the rain stopped a few moments after we were home and never returned. If we can get through a day like that,l the rest of the season will be a breeze. A good weekend in all, back to hard training Tuesday.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

May cause nausea

The day started out normal.

A good solid breakfast while amusing myself with lots of technology. It tasted great, I would find out a short time later. Yes the Maytag Man loves his coffee cup. Rolled out Chuck who is now back armed with power, tap. Made my way down to the rail trail for that fun little blast I have to do after every week of chill. Sorry no photos.

The ride it's self was a loop to Midland by way of the rail trail turn left up a big hill, turn left again after the big hill and return to the rail trail. Now the trail is normally used for recovery, not today. Random blasts at random picked wattage outputs for random amounts of time. Some hurt more than others did, some made me taste my toast. Multi grain turned multiple digestion.

An hour and a halfish later I rolled back into the house with my legs hating me. It's about the way they normally feel after this. Hopefully they'll be ready for another training block, hopefully. The next round of thrills came after lunch. We drove a few minutes to the west of the house to yet another flat non car driven piece of pavement. Why??

For this.

So here is the rundown, I have never been in a plane, ever. I've seen one on tv and of course I've seen Top Gun more than once. Well after a couple failed attempts because of Mother Nature's attitude the weather was perfect. I'll admit that I may have been just a hair bit nervous, but of course the excitement overwhelmed it.

Jumped into the front seat and stared at the dash. First question, where is the cd player???

As we rolled onto the runway I battled shaking with excitement. Of course I looked around to see if there was a Bugatti or something else cool hanging around for a Top Gear challenge, no such luck. A few minutes later we were airborne, it took me a few moments to regain bearings of the body. After that I seriously wanted to take my seat belt off and run jump around the cabin so I could stare out every window, kinda like little rat dogs do in the back of a car. For the next 30 minutes I couldn't stop smiling.

We flew over my house, this was just outside of Waubaushene.

I could have stayed up there for hours and would have been content to fly in circles, not this time. Back on the ground I still was armed with a smile from ear to ear. A huge thank you to Shannon's parents for flying up and turning my into a little kid. Did I get a little nausea, lets just say that the bike ride earlier caused more than the small amounts of jarring in the plane. A good quote of the day came from Sir Watson when I sent him a photo of where we were. "That's not a plane, that's a car with wings" Pretty much and now I want one. I can't wait to go again.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Prep for the ride of all rides

It's that time, I'm watching the thermometer. I have a happy number which with the sun is pretty low before I wander outside. The focus today??? Get the legs fired up and feeling good because there are big things in the mists come tomorrow. Getting a little feisty in them will be needed for sure with the annual pancake ride turn non pancake pancake ride happening tomorrow. This could be the most serious group ride of the season, forget the importance of World Cups, Canada Cups, 100 milers and 24 hour events, this one leads to inner team bragging rights and continued reminders will be brought up at any given time during the season. . We all remember some of the highlights of last years when the Twins attempted their lame Shake'N'Bake move multiple times for sign sprints and were shut down hard on each attempt.

So what's changed, the venue for one. After hearing about the crap excuse of pancakes that have been served this season our usual destination point has lost this group, for this year at least. Lot's of research of the area and no suitable replacement was found and after some group conversations my place was donated to the great cause and the Big Chute Loop will be the ride of choice. This means the route I know like the back of my hand and my choice of the sign sprints. This is a good slash bad thing. I know when I should go, of course knowing this means I have a slight advantage but not enough of one to cover up for a power deficit. Of course the women will be sitting at the back of the group watching the immature antics. Hopefully they'll be armed with cameras and cell phones with 911 ready to be dialed.

There are rumors that the twins may be riding the mandem and this could be turned into a warm up for Paris to Ancaster. They have a focus of not just winning the tandem division by a huge margin like last year but to hopefully destroy the field finishing in the top 20 overall. Of course Sir Watson will need to use this also as training because this is the best warm up ever for the South Africa World Cup. As for me, I'll be rolling on some week rested legs which should give me a little bit of an edge, I'm telling myself that now for a confidence boost. In the end the food will be worth it.

The best part of this, this is only a quarter of the excitement I have in store for me this weekend. There are big things a stirring, more on that soon. Coffee is getting lower, thermometer is getting closer to the plus mark. Just about that time.

Friday, April 8, 2011


It seems that rest weeks are not as long as a training week. It's already Friday, the body is starting to feel better but the time running out before I start to abuse it again. Something to be said about racing, especially the important ones where there is some chill time before and then some good recovery after. To say I'm getting anxious to start racing is an understatement. Training is boring, racing is fun.

It's funny that time is flying when it comes to training but the race season still seems so far away and seems to only be moving at a snails pace. We are still a few weeks out before the first o cup and well over a month away before doing what I do best. I hate to tell time to speed up, life moves pretty fast, sometimes you need to stop and look around, thanks for the reminder Mr. Bueller, but right now the things I want to move fast aren't and the things I don't want are. Maybe I should be researching Mr. Newton's laws to find out why things don't seem to be in a constant.

Way to much science for this early in the morning, I need coffee that seems to cure everything, for a minute or two. The weekend is shaping up, some excitement for me, some excitement for you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A new perspective

I have to stop complaining about it, especially after yesterday. Made my way into the valley yesterday for a short ride, everyone has there own idea on what short is, with Jacob. Now the emphasis here is on the word valley. Valley means hill, hill means climbing, into the valley means down the hill. That means climbing out of the valley to even start.

I've always complained and starting an finishing on the hill. I live on a hill. My previous house I used to live at the bottom of the hill but was saved when they paved the rail trail, I moved about a year after they did that, back to a house on a hill. I used to think my hill was a pain in the ass to deal with. Always trying to figure out the best way to finish up a ride but it usually meant that after great cool down there was a short effort, just enough to put your heart rate up to 7 for a few minutes. Of course there was always option B and that's getting off the bike and walking it up the hill. I've had a day or two where that crossed my mind, of course pride and the neighbor outside cutting his grass kept that from happening.

After yesterday though I can't complain about my little mole hill of a climb, not anymore. What Jacob has to deal with on just about every ride tops it off. Ride 2 minutes, roll to the stop sign, look left big hill, look right, short down hill then big hill, look forward, trees. Shit. Now for anyone knowing Horseshoe Valley area, yes I should have been more specific from the start, you know there is a ski hill there. It may be a crap hill for skiing but on a bike that hill can feel like a mountain. We took the lesser of the two evils yesterday and managed to stay somewhere in the middle of the bottom of what could turn vomit pace very quickly, deciding factor was staying calm. It also happens to be a very busy road and at certain times of the week a lost over anxious tourist filled freeway of bad drivers. It only takes one car buzzing by to jack the heart rate and cause you to climb out of fear or madness. Both ending with the same result though. A sprint to the top with no warm up.

This time was uneventful, the ride in general was sane. Body was still feeling some effects of the last 3 weeks. I really wasn't expecting an instant recovery but was feeling better. Some weekend planning and races were talked about. Just shy of an hour and a half later and a very fast downhill cool down, one perk is the 70 km/h plus return to the house. This again can be scary depending on the time of the week. We did ride into a little snow, some choice words were used. Hopefully that was the end of it.

A little later that day I pulled into my driveway, looked to the left, looked to the right. HMMMM, it's not really that bad is it. More thrills tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

House Keeping

Can I pick it, a great day not to be thinking about going outside to ride. What is crap conditions weather wise for riding leads to perfect conditions for riding. Above freezing, lots of wind, rain etc etc. All those things needed to clear sand off roads and destroy that snow that is left in the forest. On the home front, many to do things were done, to bikes, to house, to me, to racing.

. The Chuck Norris bike is sporting new cables and its now non trainer based tune. What does this mean, it means on the vomit machine there isn't much in the line of shifting so I really didn't care if some of the gears were a little out, can't have that with the full on thrills of outside training in the mist. Some random work was done on the Norco in my basement and topped out with a rub and tug on the dirty Anthem. Nice and clean.

As for me, well it's a week of getting my body feeling happy again before I start the next block of wrecking it. A great session with Dr. Bill to get those joints all back to where they are supposed to be and I kept at it with another hour of yoga bending a few things that didn't want to bend but should bend. Good progress. Over the years I find it doesn't take as much as it used to get the body back in check, when I put the time in to do it.

Finally, yet another registration detail has been taken care of. The mighty T (Tristan) and I are yet again registered for the 24 hour of Summer Solstice, strong hopes of winning again this year. The arguing amongst us has already began. More on the fact that someone almost blew himself up on the first lap. Not sure who that might be but we are pretty sure that it won't happen again this year, RIGHT!!!

This is a year of new conquests and defending some old ones. Attempts at winning the Victoria 100 is the first focus along with hopefully winning the Summer 8 hour solo. I've had bad luck at the summer 8, crashes, heat stroke, and mechanical have pretty much kept me away from the podium to date. Also a potential win in the co-ed tag at a 24 hour in August is on the new list. That one will be fun, racing with a hot chick, may find myself spending to much time watching her.

On the defending side, the 24 with T, Mountainview and the fall 8 hour all make it interesting. mountain view and the 8 will hopefully become 3 years in a row on the top spot and this solstice thing for T and I may become a permanent thing. Either way it's going to be an awesome season, I'm starting to get a little anxious for it to start. This training thing is getting a little long in the tooth, need to start testing the legs in real world fun. April is a short month right?????

Monday, April 4, 2011

The first dirty bike

I needed to be a little clearer, it was the first muddy bike of 2011. The better side of it was that it wasn't road mud, it was trail mud and it was trail mud that I wouldn't get in trouble for wrecking a trail. initial plans for the ride yesterday had Copeland forest as one of the destinations, Tired legs and a slower pace made that pretty much impossible for the time I was allowed to get there and back, so I brought on a new challenge. Snowmobile trails, since there was pretty much a 100% guarantee that OSFC would probably not have any members on them I had no risk of being smoked by fast moving sled.

After 5 months of indoor training and road riding, with a couple bonus days, to be on what would be considered single track for many felt awesome. It was a little mental wake up call also, huge ruts, logs, rocks etc at times meant your direction had to be picked out early or it was hike a bike crash in a rut. Took a few seconds to get all the small muscles firing again also and my hands found it a little strange with all the braking. Then came the fun of climbing. You get spoiled when you don't have to think about traction. The sled trail was a mix of frozen gravel, snow, ice, and pine needles thrown in for good measures. Rare time I was smiling while climbing.

After an hour and a half of this I rolled back into the driveway for refueling and company, Big Chute Loop with Shannon and DeathMarch Liz. Kept the pace sane at first then each of the girls took their turns ramping it up. Now had this been a typical Top Gear rule ride with the boys someone would have been blown up and left to fend for themselves as the rest of us motored along. Not to day, the ladies set the pace, I just rode along. Another great ride, twice around the loop in the last couple days. Both were sun filled and topped with save the world conversations. Not a bad way for spring to start.

A couple quick stops near the end of the ride including a preview of the deck that the MNS pub ride will be enjoying in the next couple weeks. For those looking, a restaurant will be opening up shortly in Port Severn, right on the water beside the locks. The Owner is looking at putting in bike racks, great beer on tap and even vegetarian and lactose free meals. Can you say new local hangout with a huge deck.

By the end i rolled in with 4:45 of pedaling time, a good way to finish up a 3 week block. My legs are pretty tired and rest is needed, i felt that when Shannon and I went for a walk without he dogs along the backyard horse trail single track. Looks like it will be rideable in the next few days, once the legs have some rest. Thunderstorms today, lots of rain, a great evening for cleaning a bike and working on more of the next big thing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pedal Pedal Puke

It felt like spring yesterday, the sun was out, the wind wasn't freezing the body instantly and I was climbing hills with my eyes crossed. Over and over and over. I'll admit this part of the reason I love the long races over those vomit inducing short 2 hour races. Climbing is never done at this intensity or if it is it's short lived. Either way the business of doing it must be done and as mentioned I hate climbing, it's not fun and anyone who says it is has a serious problem. The only reason I do it, the downhills.

Racked up nearly 1800 feet of climbing in the course of 40 minutes which in Ontario means only one thing, going up and down on the same hill Vasey line hill was the weapon of choice and only being about 15 minutes from home meant that if I died there was a strong chance that a local would recognize the body. on the side of the road they would call the right list of people. No death this time but rubber built legs by the end of the session and I continued to motor along for another couple hours rolling back to the house 3 hours after my last coffee.

There will be more climbing done today but at a much saner pace, my pace, 8 hour race pace, my favorite pace, tempo pace where I can stay forever with a smile on my face. With multiple destinations on for today should be a good day, sun is up again this morning. I'll attempt for some pictures.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Like watching paint dry

A typical Saturday morning, armed with a pot a coffee I'm staring at three things right now. First this addictive thing called the Ipad as I type away, second is the thermometer. I've got shit to do today, I want to get outside but I'm also not craving the cold. The list of things on the agenda includes some quality time on the bike while meeting up with my least favorite thing, hills. I like part of the concept of hills and I'm good at 50 percent of what hills are good for. Going down has never been a problem, it's that climbing thing that even after so many years i still don't do as well as others.

So, since I'm going to go and abuse the hell out of my body I would prefer it to be warm or at least warmer than it currently is. Suffering while being cold would just frustrate me. Of course it finally being the first nice and semi warm weekend of the spring and with such a busy schedule starting soon this is also a weekend to get things done around the yard, drink some beer, work on eliminating pale white skin, clean cars etc etc. These are all parts of the reason I've opted out of doing Homage to Ice tomorrow. Did I mention that I also don't have much of a craving to do a 50 km hike a bike at the beginning of the season, those epic adventures are a little more fall weather end of season play and not caring type events. Instead a good 4.5 hour endurance ride is in the cards for tomorrow. Anyone care to join for part of it?

The third thing I've been staring at is a pile of papers, this pile leads to debating. The pile includes two applications, one is for a UCI license the other is for an Ontario citizen permit. Now the debate is how many times will I really need the big boy license this year? How many o-cups, Canada Cups, cyclocross races will I do, if any. The debate is intensity training is always in the cards and doing it alone kinda sucks, these races make great training days and will push me more than if I train alone. Of course there is the whole social side of it too, it's so much more fun going fast with others. Then it comes back to how many races will I actually be able to do. I have said that I'd love to see what the new provincial course will be like, of course there is the Canada Cup at Hardwood, etc etc. The list grows, so much for me thinking it would be a chill race season this year. Between mine and Shannon's races the weekends not at some event is at a minimum.

So the debate will continue for at least another day or two, more lead to the fact that I don't feel like going to the office to use the fax machine on a weekend. Time to stop staring at the papers and focus my energy on make the temperature rise, a little easier and seems to be more successful. Coffee is getting low, just about that time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Not fooling around

I could have done something for April Fools but I'm just not feeling that creative this morning. Anything that could be comical has already happened, the cat not being a he but a she is a good example. Doug the Lady Man, I have to admit I wish he would have been a ladies man like Bob.

In the cycling world, nothing to exciting in the last few days, some solid training, some racing decisions made, some snow not melted. Weekend is almost here, a couple good rides in the works with options depending on weather and how quickly I want to get out of bed. Coming to the end of another good block of building and a well needed recovery week, the agenda is there already including summer tuning of the Chuck Norris bike and reinstalling of the power tap. There will be no more trainer days, I hope and the return of number watching will be outside.

I need coffee, I need to be fueled for the next big thing. It's in the works.