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


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.


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.