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.