Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Taste of Spring?

So far this week fatbike conditions have been excellent.  And I have managed to get out on the local trails...









And although it may have seemed like I was riding solo...I did have some company on one ride...


 My friend Steven


There was also some Valentines stuff going on this week...
I got Lois flowers....






And perhaps this...






And SingleSpeedSarah sent this around...or was it just to me??




Now the bag is out of the cat??


Ah...mostly just jokes...you have to be careful who you make mad these days...





Anyways...get your snow riding in while you can!!  We are supposed to get a blast of solar power this weekend!!  Perhaps up to plus 15 Saturday...and near that Sunday!

I hope the Wildwood ride still works out well...



I suspect that in my neck of the woods...or gravel and roads...there will be alot of CX/road riding going on.  CoachRob says 5+ hours...



More than that sissy pants!!


There may be a couple of Riot buttertart type rides goin on.  Yup, you can combine training and buttertarts.  It's the right weather for it...
Who likes buttertarts???  

Snow fatbiking, CX gravel/road, buttertarts...all in the same week can put you on top of the world!





So we will keep this one short and sweet.  Come join the weekend fun!
Something worth singin' about!

Stay posted!!


 
 Ask Matty Tee!





Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Winter Briefs

Well winter returned this weekend...I guess it needed a valentine??

The return of sub zero temps turned the previous rain to ice...and Friday and Saturday the trails were a combination of glare ice...glare ice covered with a skiff of snow...or previously soft snow that had now frozen solid and mostly heavily post holed by hikers.

So, for me this meant a couple of days of riding the single speed, cuz it's the only bike I have studded tires on.  This meant great workouts, cuz it is so hilly here on the escarpment...and single speed...and ice.  So Friday I headed west along the fallsview trails, to the Spencer Creek trails, to the trails at Christie Lake.  An occasional laugh to myself where it was obvious hikers had decided to slide down icy hills on their arses.

Saturday, still icy, took the single speed east...through the very hilly and technical Waterdown trails, through the King Road trails along the top of the escarpment to Kerncliffe Park trails.  This time there were a few studded fatbike riders along the way.  And another great workout!  But two rides in a row, and no wipeouts!!  I must not be trying hard enough.

Then Saturday evening and night the winter wonderland took over!  Snow...lots of it!  So Sunday was time for the fatbike.  The snow was so wet and heavy, and the trails unbroken it made for a huge (yuuuuge???) effort...all in the guise of fatbike awesomeness!!



Always better with at least two sets of tracks, 
but solo is OK too!






Sorry too deep?  (The thought I mean...not the snow...)

Speaking of too deep, word is in the world of LandHam they got 70cm of the snowy stuff!!  I guess Hoking and Shoeing will be the activities (other than shoveling and pushing!) du jour out there!  And great new opportunities to get trucks stuck!!

Also...some Wendigo hunting went on this past Saturday up in the Pembroke/Cobden area!!



150 kms on fatbikes!!




The Start


There were also 50km and 100km race options.  But local legends JackP, and AdamF were both tackling the full 150!!  And they kicked it!!


Adam, first place!!  12 hours even!!  
(Didn't recognize him with sleeves!)



Jack second place!!  12 hours 40 minutes!!



The podium, Jack, Adam, Greg.
3 tough dudes!!


I'm not sure what the course conditions were, or the temps...but 150kms on fatbikes!!!  You will have to ask these dudes their stories...they gotta be great!!

So...what's up for the rest of this week??


Hey!!  No Fake News!!
(or Blaze News??)


Well you all know what today is, right??






Well Lois got me this...



In case you thought this post was getting too sappy....


Anyways...I get off track...again.

Get out there and make it great!!  And...

Stay posted!



Happy Lois day, everyone!!







Friday, 10 February 2017

Sorry...But I am Still Back (Part Ooo)

So...yesterday we left our oaf (I may be Lois' Superman, but I am otherwise no hero...perhaps a protagonist at best...even a jolly fellow on a good day...anyway...digressing already...) on the eve of race day Saturday out in LandHam, New Brunswick, which is just outside of Minto, which is east of Fredericton.

So, the Friday evening race prep led to race day Saturday.




I had two jobs this day.  The first one was to make on last check of the course to make sure no trees came down, or signs got moved.  So out I went 9am on Saturday...and minus 23 degrees.  Yes...minus 23.  I put on as much warm gear as I could...but minus 23.  It was almost cold enough for me to forget about my painfully bruised groin...reminder to possibly get that checked when I get home.  So, it wasn't a speedy ride...but it was a ride...and the course got checked...and it warmed up to minus 18 by ride end.

Then I got into warm winter gear and 'supervised' the race registration...then headed out for my second job.  I was in charge of 'Marshalling' the firepit zone.  So I got the firepit roaring ablaze...




Not this Blaze...



this blaze...


I got a generator running to blast some music...and set up to cheer racers on, warn them of an upcoming tricky creek crossing, and hand out Timbits.  Yes....Timbits...

The original idea was to set up a shot station to hand out shots of Screech to racers as a warm up as they passed my station.


However, after (too much) thought, and a mention of such to a lawyer/rider (always be wary of lawyer/riders...)...the LandHams had worried themselves into a tizzy of believing it was possible to end up with a drunken Metis running down the trail throwing frozen Timbits at racers.  The possibility was quite probable.  And maybe an issue about liability...

So Timbits it was...

So...fire going...tunes blasting...racers racing by...some taking Timbits...the race went off great!!  It had actually warmed up to about -12.  No serious incidents (there was a nervous doctor who is also a local rider on site)...and racer feedback was phenominal.  Great course, perfect conditions, fun time, many prizes.  The LandHams broke the mold on this one...I was happy to play a small part in it.  I had a riot!

Then some post race cleanup....and recovery.  (Someone had to drink that Screech we bought!)
Day 4 of the Tour de LandHam done.

Sunday...the plan was to drive to Fredericton to ride some of the local trails that were reported to be in amazing condition for fatbiking.  After breakfast Jeff and I went out to prep the bikes.  I put my sockless feet into my winter boots, threw on my parka, touque and gloves...still in my pajama pants...out to the shed to air the tires, and lube chains.

Jeff decided that the shed was getting a little too full of accumulating bags of household recycling....and that since we were outside anyways...we should deliver them to the recycling centre.  So we loaded the bags into the truck...and headed out for the 10-12km drive.  Bad decision number one???

On the way Jeff spots a snowed over back road/short cut...(it was a skidoo trail!!!); puts the truck into 4x4 and decides to take this 'short cut'.  Should be fun...bad decision number 2!

A few 100 metres in....whump!!!  The left side of the truck sinks two feet deep.  Stuck...
Maybe not quite this bad...




Maybe closer to this...




After some unsuccessful digging...some walking up and down the road to assess the situation...a call to a buddy with a 4x4 Jimmy was made.  Out came buddy with his truck, and his dad to the rescue.  Still...after 3+ hours of digging, pushing, pulling, towropes and tow chains, a nearly second truck stuck (I hear a Corb Lund song in here somewhere)...me still in my pajama pants...we were finally free.

So...the planned fatbike ride was now out the window...but a good winter workout was had!

So...overall a wonderful 'vacation'!  Time spent with great friends...so many sincere 'thank yous' to the LandHams for their very gracious hospitality!!  At no time did I feel this happening to me...




Then Monday was the drive home.  1400 kilometres took me almost 18 hours.  The conditions through New Brunswick were much sketchier....snow and ice covered roads.  Then hit Quebec province through rush hour....so much stop and go traffic...

Luckily I had Blaze call me a couple of times to make sure I was alive, awake, aware.  Thank you, sir!!  (More good friends!)  And Lois stayed on the phone with me for long stretches.  Turns out she was eager for me to get home after all!  She was waiting for me upon arrival...






Her eagerness may have had something to do with the fella she hired to watch my bikes for me while I was gone...but oh well...






Anyways...back home...safe and sound.

First thing back was to make sure I didn't do permanent damage with the bar to the groin wipeout.  Now I am very, very lucky to have a great doctor.  She has seen me through various injuries over the last 15+ years...from severe saddle sores to collapsed lung.  She has probably seen more of my sorry carcass than Lois has...

So I was a little surprised this time when her first comment was...
"Wow, you are going to have to quit playing with yourself..."
Me:  "What?  Why?"
Doc:  "So I can examine you."

I guess, some old nervous habits never go away...

OK...I kid...seriously...all is good.  And now, it is time to get serious about training as well...so that has been starting this week.  And signing up for the necessary things...

License applied for...

Yup...as a member of True Grit Cycling...
And a couple of races signed up for...

It's only 2 months away!!




A 2017 'A' race



And time to get serious about CoachRob's workout schedule...

And did you now this is this weekend?


Not sure if it is sold out yet or not?

Anyways...again, a long one...CoachRob is telling me I gotta go...so...
Till next time...

Stay posted!


The end?  Or....the beginning???




Thursday, 9 February 2017

Sorry, But I am Back

So here I am all returned and stuff.  Last week Tuesday I set out for LandHam country...aka Minto, New Brunswick...




The truck was loaded up, with Hok skis, snowshoes, winter gear, food, drink....and the fatbike...





And so off I was for a 2am departure, with Lois reluctantly waving me goodbye...






The drive out actually went according to plan...great weather, and very manageable traffic...even through Quebec.  I pulled into the LandHam's yard late Tuesday afternoon...where it was time to meet and greet...


Two of the family of five


Then a post drive relaxer that I had imported...





One of the reasons for this visit was to help the LandHams with a winter race they were running on Saturday.  But first Jeff had a different plan for the Wednesday.  Wednesday the plan was to ride out fatbikes to Fredericton to visit a local brewery or three.  60+ kms of skidoo trails and rail trail...only some of which Jeff was familiar with.  So Wednesday morning at about -10 degrees (which was not so bad), we headed out on this adventure...



Testing out the LandHam's new bikepacking seat packs.


A small bit of road riding (icy and slippy as heck!!) and we were on the trails.  Mint!!  The trails looked like 4ft deep powder, but they were frozen solid!!  It was a veritable highway of snow...as long as you didn't break though the crust.  We encountered a couple of detours in the skidoo trails (where landowners must have revoked permission for use), and maybe a time or two getting lost, which made the 60km ride a 70km ride.  But trail conditions were so perfect we flew...even with a few pit stops we covered the distance in 4.5 hours...4 hours of riding time.


A stop to eat along the way...


But even with the great conditions, pushing a 40lb fatbike is no easy matter...so we were grateful when we finally  pulled into Fredericton and the first brewery, Picaroons...




We put on dry gear, ordered warm food, great beer.  Tanya had driven to Fredericton to ride a local trail, then came to Picaroons to join us...more warm food, more great beer.  You guessed it...we pitted in...now warm, sated, and tired...that was it for the tour.  An awesome Wednesday, and day 1 of the Tour de LandHam!

Thursday was all about preparing the race.  Jeff and I planned to ride out to sign the course.  With bulky backpacks ungainly laden with large course signs and tools, we set out to ride the course and plant the route signs.  The course was a great 12 km mix of long straitaways, tricky single track, flats, false flats, and outright hills.  One of the long straitaways, slightly descending had been ridden by an ATV that left deep wheel ruts, and was a lot more sketchy to ride than it looked.  (Hint: foreshadowing...)




Parts of the course were quite icy....making some of the hills a challenge, and some off camber sections sketch.  Riding with the full back pack, route signs banging off the back of my helmet and clipping every tree and branch within 3 feet of me...I went down in a couple of icy off camber sections, spilling signs all over the course.  Anyways, a couple of hours of riding, and sign planting, then we headed back to chez LandHam for food.

Then back on with dry gear, to head out for a night ride of the course with a group of local riders.  This was my first night ride since the previous 24 hours of Summer Solstice...but it was great.  The course actually went by a firepit (with a little wood hut).  So post ride the group congregated around the firepit with adult recovery beverages...(yeah...beer...and maybe a flask or two...), and perhaps an inappropriate comment or two...Riot style.  And that was Thursday, several hours of great fatbiking...day 2 of the Tour de LandHam.

Friday, the plan was for the LandHams to snowshoe the course with tools to scuff up the icy sections and trim trees and branches that may interfere with the course.  I rode a couple of laps to make sure the sign we had planted were adequate, and to test the LandHams course grooming.


Jeff and puppies grooming...

As I rode the course the LandHam's grooming was perfect.  There was a steep drop with a sharp left turn that required a caution sign (every good course needs a caution sign), that now rode easily after their trail work....the icy hills were now all rideable...and perhaps my confidence grew more than my skill level (not at all hard to do).  I was screaming down a straitaway, when I caught one of the sketchy ATV ruts...and down I went...hard; firmly planting a handle bar end into my groin.  How do you wipe out and take a bar to the groin??  I don't know, but I did it.  Luckily, it missed the important bits (you know what I mean...)...but still, a nasty lump and bruise.  Made it not entirely pleasant to get back seated on the bike.  Oh well...I survived...and limped on...

Friday evening was spent with final planning...and some prize preparation...



What do you think DanOfSubstance???


And perhaps a few too many recovery beverages.  Friday, a couple hours of riding, a nasty wipeout, lots of planning...a sore groin...day 3 of the Tour de LandHam was in the books.

Saturday...race day...lots to do!!  But...there is a lot more to this story...with not a lot of time left today.  Haven't even got to the race yet...

or how my injury progressed...

or the story about how I wasn't sure if I would even make it home again...ever.

Or if Lois even wanted me home again...




And all the stuff that happened now that I am back...

So...in an unprecedented move...we will continue this saga tomorrow...yeah a Friday post...

Almost cliffhanger-y eh??  All the best stuff is coming!!

Stay posted!