Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Through the Wind and Rain, A Brand New Perfume Blows…

Well we had quite the mix of weather this week; with the supershitestorm yesterday!!  All in all it made for quite the mix of riding this week.  Here is how it looked:

Wednesday:  Rain and wind today.  I have a trainer set up in my dungeon (basement)…as you saw in my last post.  The problem with the trainer is motivation…it can be tough to stay on it for more than 10 minutes and really push yourself.  I set up a system to watch movies and videos as a distraction to keep me on the trainer…and it worked…kept me on, but didn’t really make me push.  Then I discovered Sufferlandria, and the sufferfest videos…so I downloaded one and tried out the first on today.  In a word AWESOME!!  The one I tried was titled Local Hero.  It keeps you engaged, and pushes you to your limits.  It’s entertaining, and as much fun as you can have while being that close to puking.  Different videos work on different aspects of racing.  If you are using a trainer to help you be a better racer, I strongly suggest checking these out.

Thursday:  From wind and rain yesterday to mid 20s and sunny today!!  So I got the minimum I needed to get done for work as quick as possible…and got out on the Venge (the trails were too muddy).  I planned on doing a buttertart run to Moffat and back, but it was so dang nice out that once I got to Moffat I just kept going.  Ended up doing 83.6 kms at an average of 32.4 km/hr (it was a struggle to keep this pace as the return leg was a headwind, but I wanted to maintain over 32).  Can you tell where I ended up by these pics???

Friday:  Busy work and busy life has been keeping BicycleWorksJim off his bike (he hasn’t ridden for a week…and before that a week between rides), so he wanted to get a ride in Friday, after Thursday’s great weather.  However, a cold front was moving in by the afternoon (more cold and rain), and he had to open up the store for 10AM so we headed out by 8:45AM, again on the road bikes.  We managed 32.5 kms at an average speed of 30.6km/hr (Jim’s goal was to average over 30), which got us back to the store in time for Jim to open up by 10.

Saturday:  6 degrees and rainy, but I had committed to the Dundas Monstercross group ride (a mountain bike / cyclocross ride).  37 had signed up, and 19 hardy souls showed up to combat the weather.  The ride started from Café Domestique in Dundas and ended at GarageMonster and Nerdgirl’s house 2 hours later.  It was cold, and it was wet, but every time I looked around at the group everyone was smiling.  Good group, good fun, and ended with spicy pumpkin soup and homemade bean burritos for recovery (Thanks to GM and NG!!).

Sunday:  My deeply religious beliefs kept me off the bike on Sunday…oh no wait…I was hung over (just kidding, although NewfieSteve and Lisa, and Zach, came over and Steve drank 40creek until Lisa told him to stop).  Actually neither, it was the fact that my quads were stiff as boards and I needed a rest day.  I did hit the weights though, in an effort to keep the upper body toned.  Maybe I wouldn't offend any religions if I wore this kit for my next Sunday ride.

C,mon, you didn’t think I could go through an entire post with no juvenile content did you!!??  Could’a been a lot worse, but Lois hates when I post nude pics of myself (or of her!).  Speaking of nude, have you ever seen a shaved Alpaca??  The things you see on a country road ride!!
Anyways...back on topic.

Monday:  More wind and rain.  So another stab on the trainer.  Downloaded another sufferfest video…’A Very Dark Place’.  Again, awesome.  An intense training run of sprints, and 4 minute intervals.  53 minutes of pain, and progress (hopefully!!).
So that’s been it this week.  Since the race season ended, I have just been riding to ride, and training (sort of) without any specific goal in mind, or any structure…mainly to maintain.  And to burn off the calories ingested (I have really relaxed on this front too).  Many racers do not set the goals and structure until the new year to prepare for the upcoming season, however I prefer to have a goal, and something to work towards.  Will have to work on this.
Will keep you posted!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

This Week in Mountain Biking – Has Lance’s Dec 21 Arrived?

So far this week we have seen sunny plus 20 and rainy plus 2 as far as the weather goes.  It’s tough enough to fit rides into work and family schedules, so now the weather is working to make it even trickier.  However did manage to fit in a couple of MTB rides, and a couple of road rides.  The leaves are really adding to the challenge…but the views are spectacular!!!


Lois was not really happy with my scenery pictures.  I don't know why?  Besides, I told her she had nothing to worry about.  Here is Lois...what do you think?
Anyways…did manage to get in a group ride at Kelso with NewfieSteve, EnglishJim, and Fig.  However, nothing of real significance to report.  Jim still gets naked in the parking lot (scared a group of girls, and a murder of crows away), and Steve still rides every bridge, skinny, and rock with his eyes closed (righteously making us all feel woefully inadequate…don’t I get enough of that at home??), and I think Fig has been riding with our friend CL too much (CL = incessant yappage while riding).
Speaking of yappage, this guy keeps calling me looking for sponsorship…he must really be getting desperate.


Just kidding…the only calls I get are from people wanting to clean my ducts (that means telemarketers; not the fancy lady on the corner).
Speaking of sponsorship, Paul at BicycleWorks kindly donated an old (very, very old) bike to put in my trainer.  Check out this sweet setup!

Hey, it might be older than me, weigh more than me, and only have 5 working gears, but I had a test ride on it and it does exactly what I need it to do; and it saves me putting my real bikes in the trainer.  Thank you Paul!!  Further, when using the trainer (I prefer to ride the real thing whenever possible) I have always just used my imagination, some music, and a stopwatch to structure the ride/workout; however, today I have downloaded my first Sufferfest video; I’m itchin to try it!!  It is raining today, so today would be the perfect opportunity; however I have hockey tonight (and I play crappy if I am burnt from a solid ride), so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

I will keep you posted!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Race Season Review and A Few Questions Answered

Well so far this week I have managed to get in a few decent rides…mountain and road.  Other than solo rides; NewfieSteve and EnglishJim and I got up to the Hydrocut for a great mountain ride on Saturday before the rain hit.  Nothing drastic to report on this…just a good ride, then homemade chili (I do make the best chili!!), recovery ales (spouses invited) for an evening at the Riot’s!  I managed a great road ride to Moffat on Sunday…again before the rain hit.  Picked up butter tarts in Moffat for Lois and Mother.  J

Otherwise, as far as training goes I also managed to fit in a couple of good weight training sessions.  Training for what, you say?  The race season is over, you say.  Well I still need to get better at this game…I have riding friends I can’t keep up with.
As far as the 2012 race season review, I managed a couple of podium finishes, which was awesome!!
Me and NewfieSteve, Second Place Fall 8Hour
Otherwise I was consistently (but not always) in the top 10 finishers in my age category, which was within my original goals…so that is good.  Still, I always wish I could do better.   However, overall I am happy…it was a challenging season, with losing my bike and all, but it all turned out OK.  (Replacing my bike did cost more than I had hoped, but life happens…and we deal with it). 

  Is it wrong to put another pic of the new bike?
Also ended up buying a new road bike, which was not really planned…but it is a great training tool!!  And a reason to do road races in 2013??  There were no significant injuries, and I managed to get all the races I wanted in…and had a lot of fun doing it all…and stayed in shape.  So overall…great season.
So for now…try to maintain over the winter; get better for 2013.  Goal is to be a consistent podium contender in 2013.  A stretch?  Maybe, but that’s what makes it a challenge.  Also, as mentioned, I would like to try my hand at some road races in 2013.
So…onto a couple of questions I have been asked over the last week.
Number 1:  What is a Metis?
Somewhere in my intro, or one of my very first posts, I make mention that I am Metis.  If you are Canadian and you don’t know what that is…shame on you.  Really, turn in your citizenship…you probably don’t drink beer either.  Otherwise, a very brief history lesson;
The Métis are one of three groups, along with First Nations and Inuit peoples, recognised as Canada's aboriginal peoples in the Canadian Constitution.  The origin of the Metis goes back to the French voyageurs (explorers), who first came to the Canadian interior in the 1600’s.  Of course, these were all guys (as in males, dudes…).  Apparently they found the aboriginal women (Cree, Ojibway, and Saulteaux just to keep the history accurate here) attractive.  Who would have thought toned, tanned, women in loin cloths would be attractive?

Anyways the offspring of this comingling were not truly accepted by either original culture (European, or native), and a new culture was born of the mixed traditions, Cree and French language, and a way of life centred around the early Canadian fur trade.
What it's like to not fit in...
Of course there is more to this story than I can put here as the Metis fought for a place in this fine country.  In fact, the Riel Rebellion began on my ancestors land…The Battle of Tourond’s Coulee.  OK...enough of the history lesson, I assume you get the picture.  Next…
Number 2:  Why do you incorporate weight workouts into your training?
The general belief is that cyclists should not lift weights as part of their training.  The idea is to be as light as possible.  I do not subscribe to this theory (that means I don’t buy this shite).
First of all I am vane…I want to look a certain way.  And the truth is that Lois would prefer that I look like a man…not a 14 year old boy.  I don’t want to be huge…I just want to be fit.

This is not me…This may be just a little too big...
Besides...I have to keep Lois believing that I am a superhero...
Green Lantern?

Also, overall fitness is crucial.  An engine with huge pistons won’t work if the block is cracked and the chassis is weak.  A cyclist’s core has to be strong to facilitate power transfer, and the upper body has to be able to manoeuvre the bike, and endure the event as long as the legs do.  Yes, time on the bike is key, but overall fitness is necessary to make the riding time effective.
Finally Number 3:  What is My Fitness Pal?
I have mentioned this before; I use My Fitness Pal, a website to track calories in and calories burned.  It lets you know your net calories to meet your goals (to lose fat, to maintain, to gain muscle…whatever your goal).  Of course, there is more to nutrition than calories in/out and MFP helps with tracking macronutrients too.  Also, it has a social aspect…you can make friends, other users of the program, to help motivate you.  For example, my MFP friend coolcatrandy challenged me to a ride to burn at least 2000 calories yesterday.  It was wet, and windy out, and I may not have gone for it without this challenge; so thanks coolcat!!  Went to Moffat and back at an average of 31km/hr to burn over 2200 calories!
Anymore questions??
Keep ya posted!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

No Rest for the Wicked??

For wanting to look forward to relaxing after the end of the race season, I found myself on a bike 9 out of the last 10 days…and weight training on the one day off.

As far as the weekend went Friday had me on a morning mountain bike ride with Paul and BicycleWorksJim to celebrate the maiden voyage of the new bike.


We ended up meeting Rod on the trail, who joined us.  These guys are all fast, fit, skilled riders so this ended up being a great two hour workout! 
Also Friday, my son arrived (from University in Windsor) for a weekend Thanksgiving visit.

Saturday was the BicycleWorks advanced group ride.  This group is all skilled, fast, fit, and always ride the most challenging trails.  Again, an awesome two hour workout…and me getting used to the new bike.
Also Saturday, my daughter departed back to Saskatchewan for College.   However my mother arrived for a fall visit!
Guess which one is my mom?

Sunday, was a somewhat leisurely (finally!!) local trail mountain bike ride with Rich, and Fig.  Almost enough of a calorie burn to make up for the Thanksgiving dinner gorge-fest that followed in the afternoon!  Even our cats enjoyed some ‘fallen’ scraps of turkey and ham…athough this food puts them a little off…

Monday had me waking up feeling depleted from all the riding, and with a messy stomach from the rich Thanksgiving overindulgence.  However, I had committed to a road ride with Fig and Centurion (starting from Fig’s house)…so I packed up my bike and gear and headed to Fig’s house.  Now I have mentioned in previous posts that Fig and Centurion are greased lightning on road bikes!!  Very fast, very fit…I knew I was in for a world of hurt in my condition.
Also joining us was EnglishJim for his very first real road ride on his brand new Roubaix!!  (Just purchase from ‘yours truly’…yes, ‘yours truly’ means me).

Fig was all excited about this ride cuz he gots to wear his new ‘Series Champ’ jersey.  (See the previous couple of posts for the story on this jersey).

It was a cold morning…like 5d Celsius!!    So I was wearing a cycling jacket…of course I had my necessary uniform underneath that…

Then I wear this under that…

I wish…so does Lois!  J
Anyways...digressing once again...actually for most of the ride I was OK…keeping pace and all.  Then around the last 5 kilometres (of an about 80 km ride), climbing up the long steep Cedar Springs road hill, my quads decided they had had enough.  With a ball of Charlie horse on each quad screaming at me, “Riot, we are shuttin you down!!” I struggled just to keep the legs moving so they wouldn’t lock up.  I managed to keep them going at a moderate pace, as Fig and Centurion peeled off ahead of me…I limped on to follow them to the finish of the ride. 
EnglishJim followed, happy with the new roadbike experience, and we all recovered on the deck in Fig’s back yard.  Actually this little fellow joined us…and I shared some of Fig’s organic sunflower seeds with him…which upset Fig’s Dutch sensibilities.   J

So Monday evening, with the quads trying to recover…I get a text from NewfieSteve, who was camping in Algonquin with his LCW Lisa for the Thanksgiving weekend.  Steve hadn’t been on a bike for 9 days (since the tour de king race).  He was fresh, raring to see my new bike, and to go on a ride.  Great…Steve is as fast on a mountain bike as Fig, and Centurion are on road bikes.  No rest for the weary…
So Tuesday afternoon…great weather…Steve and I hit the trails.  It was a good pace….but thankfully we cut it short.  Steve had family commitments…plus he took a nasty tumble on a fast downhill over a small but hidden kicker that caught him by surprise…over the bars onto the hardpack trail.  Scrapes and bruises to bike and rider…but otherwise ok…which is good…cuz then it’s OK to make fun of it.  J
It is rare to see Steve wipe out!

So, after an hour plus, we retired to my house for recovery. 
Looks like rain today (Wednesday)…finally, rest day off the bike.  Do some money making work, get some weight training in, and visit with mother.  Also need to take an opportunity to review how this year’s race season went, and what might be in store for this winter.

I’ll keep you posted!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Tour de King Race Review and a Great Surprise!!

So the Tour de King has come and gone…and no crown for me (unless Crown Royal counts!).
The race started with Lois driving me, NewfieSteve, and Fig to the start.  EnglishJim and Ondre followed us in.  Suprisingly, John (of Jean Luc Picard) pulled in behind us!  We got suited up and ready; it was friggin cold, but we knew it would warm up so we all fought with what gear to wear!!  Anyways NewfieSteve, Fig, and I all pulled into the paddock to start the race (EnglishJim, Ondre, and John were starting in Wave 2).  Lois left in the truck to meet us at the finish.
With the sound of the gun, we were off.  This race was about half road (gravel, and pavement), and half twisty single track, over the 50km distance.  The start was a lengthy bit of gravel road.  I pulled in front of Fig and Steve in an attempt to take and hold the lead.  Steve is a rocket in the single track, and Fig is just young, fit, and fast so I needed to go hard right off the bat!  Plus I really wanted to beat last years time of 2min12sec.  I also did not want to get caught behind cyclecross bikes once we got into the singletrack.  The cyclecross bikes are the wrong bikes for this race…too many roots and climbs on the singletrack…although many riders had them thinking they would be faster on the road sections.  Speaking of climbs…this race was full of them…long steep climbs, on both the singletrack and the roads!!  Many opportunities to pass!

However, hammering up the hills was almost my undoing.  Well into the race, I hammered up a lengthy road climb; head down, I looked up to see a police car at the top of the hill, I sped towards it…assuming he was there to direct traffic for us racers.  He was not.  He was there to inform dipshit racers (me) that they had gone the wrong way and missed a turn somewhere down the hill!  I turned around to head back, and saw at least a dozen racers that I had already passed dive into some singletrack…how many more also got in front of me?  Did Steve?  Fig?  Damn idiot I was for not keeping my head up!  Damn poorly marked turn!  (Homer taught me that it is always good to deflect the blame.)  Anyways I hammered on.
If Steve and Fig were still behind me, they had to be close now.  I kept looking over my shoulder, while trying to pass back as many riders as I could!  It’s tough to pass in the singletrack, but managed to gain ground on several riders who would walk the climbs…and a couple who made ill advised shifts on the climbs (broken chains).  Got caught behind a couple of cyclecross bikes struggling on the singletrack…then…earlier than I expected…the ‘1 Km to go’ sign!!  So I hammered out the last kilometre to the finish!  It wasn’t as good of a finish as I would have liked…but I beat my time from last year by over 12 minutes.
A minute later Steve crossed the finish line.  A few minutes later Fig crossed.  Apparently Fig pulled ahead of Steve early…but then had a nasty wipeout on a very soft gravely descending curve.  Steve passed him as he was laying on his bike in the gravel.  Every racer for himself!  (Just kidding…Steve made sure he was OK first).

Made for a good story on the way home.  In fact, Fig yapped the entire way home.  He’s the only guy I know that can work in bleeding hemorrhoids, great Danes, wood splitters, and altar boys all into the same conversation.  Blame it on the post race beer and BBQ.
So this race was Sunday; as far as the rest of the week.  Monday I went for a fast, solo, mountain bike ride on our local trails.  Thought I should get in a ride before Richard wants his mountain bike back.  (Thanks again Richard!!)
Tuesday I managed an early morning road ride…every time I ride the Venge, I remember how much I love that thing!  It is fast!  It’s impossible to not push your limits on it…it demands full effort!!  After that ride I was pooched.  The BicycleWorks group wanted me to join them for a ride in the evening, but I did not have the legs…I needed a rest (and you won’t hear that from me often!).  Guess I really am getting old.
A very busy work day on Wednesday kept me off the bike…plus my daughter is visiting from Saskatchewan, where she is going to college, this week so I have been spending all non-work and non-bike time with her.

Here we are hanging out today at Café Domestique.

 And Lois trying to hide behind Superman's Stout.
Thursday (today) morning went for a mountain bike ride with BicycleWorks Jim at the Hydrocut (Waterloo).  A great ride…but the best thing was coming home.  No sooner had I come in the door than my cell phone rang…with a familiar ring tone.  BicycleWorks!!  My new bike was in!!!

Joy! Joy!! Joy!!!
Look out 2013 race season!!!  Maybe I will have to do the 50 km SingleTrack Challenge at Hardwood in late October after all?  I now have some work to do, to qualify myself to properly ride this new deadly weapon.

I will keep you posted!