Monday, April 30, 2012

Ontario Cup #1

It has begun, unfortunatly for me it didn't start as planned. Made my way to Mansfield for Ontario Cup #1 feeling far from ready. The legs were there, somewhere, good ride of the course on Friday let me know they were there and the bike was right for the course. A good warm up and things did still feel good. All the usual hoopla from warm up to the start line. A few new faces in the group, a very fast group indeed. Off and ru Ning and my legs did what they normally do in a mass start. Settled into the back 2/3 of the pack as everyone killed it up the start climb. I just did my thing, as the pitch got steeper some began to fade and my wattage just stayed steady, rolling by a few. Next half of the course I just let the bike do it's thing sitting atthe pack of 4, couldn't get past them on the straights yet and no room in the single track. Just waiting patiently for my move, aww there is some pause and fatigue, one passed. Fade at the bottom of the short steep pitch, another. On the brakes in a wide section of single track, another. Hey this is feeling pretty good. I've motored my way to the edge of the top 10 and still feeling good. Hit the feed at a steady pace but for some reason my brain got made at me and my race has now taken a back seat, up the climb I shift way mo than I needed to, hit the top and sit up. Yep, that's it. Have a couple major personal issues shut down the body. Pulled of the course, frustrated but I almost expected this to happen, I was hoping that some adrenalin And hype would mask and distracte me from what is happening in my head, unfortunatly it didn't. Of course I did race long enough to catch the Mansfield cough which had me in bed a few minutes after I got home feeling like death, some sleepless nights over the last couple days didn't help either but managed to use the old fashion chicken noodle soup to hopefully battle off the potential of a cold. Feeling pretty blah this morning but not as bad as I expected. Hoping the ride with the boys tonight will make me feel better, of course the first Wednesday night world cup is this week, that always does. Training will resume a couple weeks till Woodnewton. Lots of time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a new weapon

Life is just rolling along, unfortunatly the rolling the last two days hasn't included forward momentum. Snowed in and onto the trainer. I do beleive that the seconds go by much slower when you're not moving. Good work out but yet a better recovery. A new weapon has been included into the self abuse recovery tools. Check out the Rumble Roller,it looks like it hurts, in some cases it does but the end results are amazing. The pain we inflicted on ourselves to make you feel better. Return to the woods this evening, with the return of the sun.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a strange change, I like it

It's Sunday morning and I'm pouring coffee down my throat and watching a bit of a reversal of rolls. I'm sitting here not moving fast and Shannon is scurrying around getting ready to ride. Who would have ever thought they would see this. I'll be moving soon, just waiting for it to warm up a hair before heading to the big backyard to try out the now rocking xtc29er that's sporting new wheels and a few other weight dropping improvements. I'm excited. We have taken 4 plus pounds off the bike from its initial delivered weight, most of that it the rolling department. With all the fun with the bike there have been some discussion involving racing, mainly between Tristan and myself. It's pretty much official that we won't be spinning the wheels at the 24 hour this year. A few simple reasons, first off, T separated his shoulder a couple weeks ago, it's healing, slowly. As for me, I didnt really have the race in the cards until T asked me. I'm really looking forward to a season without complete and utter exhaustion, it will give me a chance to recharge for my return to the solo catagory as an old guy in the 40 plus division. I must say that I'm enjoying the shorter races, short training days etc. 5 years of big hour days adds up. So what does the month of June have in store for me? What about July? I've normally been trashed in July and have crap results, could this change this year? Myabe, will there be a longer race in my schedule this year? Maybe. It's a season of changes, no 24 hour, I continue to forget that I have a sweet 26 inch dualie in the basement, Shannon is more anxious to get on her bike than I am. I like 2012 so far.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back to where I started

I forgot, I should have gone sooner. Back to where I started, back to where I learned to ride 10 years ago. Back then it seemed to huge and epic every time I rode there, now it seems smaller but the end result is the same, one huge smile on my face. Where am I playing that does this, the 8th line trails. I found myself there last night with some timeand no really training agenda, just riding. Of course this meant random times of an increased pace because, well the trail tempted me to do it. The easiest way to describe the trails, fast and flowy. Played there for just under two hours, so much fun, must remind myself to visit those trails more often. Starting to count down till next weekend.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The season has truly begun

Best ride of the year to date happened last night. Pub ride number1 was filled with its usual antics on the way to the pub and increased on the alcohol fueled return trip. A good mix of carbon MTB, a little over kill for the paved trail, and fixed gear cruisers. It was nice to ride for the sake of riding. Stories told, one major bomb was dropped, some was also called fat.

Oh, yes I have been training not just drinking. Another good week ahead. It seems like a long time between races, starting to craving the intensity.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Not much, just life

Nothing exciting happening. Sme riding is getting done, some bike tlc to the 29er is happening, with every tweak I'm liking the bike more and more. With each change weight keeps coming off. Feeling the end goal weight with race wheels is in sight. Won't be the lightest thing on the trails but won't be to bad.

Looking like a good weekend, big chute loop on the agenda for tomrorow morning, will be racing mother nature's bad attitude, Sunday is filled with a bunch of excitement, hopefully. Unlike other years, it seems like huge gaps now between races. Just a random thought, time to get more coffee.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My international Easter

Headed east this past weekend, travelling lighter than normal with only a road bike strapped to the roof. Its been a while s once I've driven the northern route to Ottawa, fun roads, sometimes I craved a little more immaturity to play on them. Once at my sister's place in Rockland I got out for a short spin to get the 5 hours of stagnent movements out of the body, followed with seem family time.

Saturday was the bigger day, some map starring. Finally came up with a route off my sister's idea. 45 km up and down the river with two ferry crossings. I figure I would add more distance after the 2nd crossing. "How hard could it be". For those that know Top Gear you know what that leads to. Rolled down the driveway, along the first road, turned left and got blasted by wind. Yep it will be a nice ride. 15 minutes later I rolled to the first ferry crossing. I was nervous, crossing the boarder with no papers. I did bring my wallet, I was prepared, 2 dollars was all it took to bribe the operator to sneak me across the river. Once on the other side I started heading east on the 148. Nice wide shoulder,relatively flat but random blast of wind to slow the forward motion down. All is good, or so I thought.

I looked at the maps but didn't actually plot any distances. I was told 45 km loop, no worries. As I motored along I started wondering. It had been an hour already, hmm I'm not riding slow, I should have been to the other crossing by now. I know I don't speak the language but I don't think they have different pictures for boats,or do they. Did I miss it? I couldn't have. I started paying more attentiion to every sign. I finally stopped in Montobello and pulled out the phone. Hmm, should have plotted it, 2 km later I was heading back to Canada. Of course it cost me more to come back, for some reason it cost 3 dollars to get back,I didn't even have anything to declare.

The sun broke on the Canadian side of the river but the wind didn't drop. The return trip had me looking for a refueling stop, I was travel long light for what was turning into a 3 hour ride. Got some strange looks at the local depenaur where I swear everyone smokes. I remember those days, don't miss them. Great loop, there is a longer option which I'd like to do. Sundayhad me out riding with my brother-in-law for a 2 hour loop. The wind again was hammering. Great as a tail wind, stop-you-dead blasts not so much.

Legs are a good tired from the weekend, will feel them tonight on the MNS ride. Will be happy to be back in the woods, out of the wind.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A return to structure

Riding bikes isn't supposed to be, it's serious shit so start to focus. Woo, hold up screw that thought, its always fun. But it's time to get back to some controlled workouts and that means leaving the big tired bikes alone for a while. My sneaky manipulation of Mother Nature has worked and the weather has returned to slightly warmer than normal spring tempatures and the return of the sun. How did I do this, Shannon and I finished the training room on the weekend, to say its bad ass would be an understatement. Roughly a 7 foot screen from the projector for entertaining and amusing while trapped on the hamster wheel of death. Hopefully I don't have to use it till the winter.

The return to the road bike, I must say I'm happy about that, I miss the simpliesty and the structure of the the road and the power tap. Less than 3 weeks till the next big leg test, lots of time,so little time. No trails for the next week, let the asphalt games begin.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ler the games begin

The first race has come and gone, whens the next one. It hurt, it was fun, oh how I missed it. Woke up to something I was really excited to see, a dusting of snow. My thoughts jump to worst case scenarios and start thinning Mansfield will be under a foot of snow. luckily that want the case. A weak short warm up, just long enough to know Thea legs were a little draggy. Settled into the start coral a little farther back than I wanted to be, I'd planned on keeping it semi sane of the start. This meant get in the lead pack and get pulled through the start loop, It took only a few minutes until tho e burn set it,yep this is racing.

The first lap of 25 kms, well just felt like shit. Not horrible,it just felt awkward. Lots of bobbling on the bike, lungs didn't feel great, legs were burning, eyes were fuzzy,pretty much everything. I was expecting the pain in the body, it was the bike handling that was bothering me. I normally make up for any fitness weakness with some good bike handling skills, at th is point I wa wondering where I left them. I was riding the brakes way to much, I wasn't t letting the bike find the fastest smooth line. I just felt awkward while at race pace. Of course the whole time I'm talking to myself about this. Was the 29er a bad idea? This was my thought at first then sit started to click.

Second lap things just started to feel right, heartate was still as high but it felt good. Like I could hold a lecture and not be gasping, I also seemed to find some of my bike skills. That thought about the 29er went out the window. I was rolling through things faster, of course a couple climbs really started to burn but started paying attention and being in the right gear again. The fun returned. seems that nothing has changed, I still see to need an hour to warm up. Second lap felt short, it was more that I was dramatically quicker. Crossed the line with a smile on my face. At this point I think I was top 10 overall, Of course being the old man in the young division kept me away from the podium, would have been 2nd if I was that magical one year older. I'm one of those rare ones that's actually looking forward to turning 40next year. Jacob put AWI Racing on the radar for 2012 taking the overall win.

I'm feeling pretty happy with my fitness, it needed that hard fire up. I also created the to do list for the xtc. Stan's wheels are on order, I must say I wish I had them yesterday minus the one nasty stick I picked up which probably would have snapped a spoke. A minor slimming of the bars is in order. I like the 690 but mentally its hard heading towards two trees wondering if your going to fit. I'm feeling that 650 to 660 may be the happy number. Last but not least, brakes. Already looking into a change for something more powerful. The stock brakes just don't seem to be powerful enough to slow down the wagon wheels. It would have explained why the bike came with a 180 rotor, of course that came of for the 160.

Let the season begin!!!!!