Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 22 June 2017

24 Hour Summer Solstice - The preview

Well it is here...almost.  One of the most fun mountain bike racing events of the year.




24 Hours Summer Solstice; run my ChicoRacing...it's 20th anniversary!  Since 1998!  (Hopefully no trombones this year!)

For those unfamiliar (who doesn't know the 24HrSS??)...this race, held at Albion Hills Conservation area, is a lap (usually around 17 kms) that teams do in a relay...or that solo racers do repeatedly, starting at noon on Saturday, and ending at noon on Sunday.  There are teams of 6-10 racers, teams of 5, 4, 2.  And there are teams that do not race at night (???).  And there are solo racers.

I will be doing this race solo; and have for the past couple of years.  (I have done it on 5 man teams, and tag teams in the past...I think I have done this race every year since 2009.)

2010

2011


2015
OK...that's enough.

I will have Blaze and MattyT helping me out in the pit again...and Lois may show up at some point to help out...

Blaze 'n' me...


Me 'n' Lois...OK, not...that is still Blaze...don't ask...


To you we pass the torch...MattyTee


Teamwork

Right...well, it's great to have great friends (and family)...and I will need all the help I can get, as I will be defending last year's first place in my age category.


And word is there is some very steep competition this year...right dskunk!!??

And I expect ApexTed will be there to chronicle it all...




There will be suffering...



For anyone not racing, SSSarah said it so well on her face book page...Sorry Sarah I am stealing your words cuz they make a great quote!

"For my non cycling local friends...are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Do you wonder why I ride my bike so much? Well, come on out and see! I will be getting on the bike at noon on Saturday, and getting off again sometime around noon on Sunday because I can think of nothing more fun than riding my bike for 24 hours!! Honestly 😜 There is a Wellington beer garden, live music on the big stage, kids races and a tonne of people wandering, scantily clad in spandex! Please come cheer us on, have a beer and some BBQ, and enjoy the weekend!!"

SSSarah would know...she killed 20 laps last year to win her category (and tie for overall!!)...on a singlespeed!!!

I am still debating on whether my main race bike will be my rigid single speed Raijin...or the geared hardtail Raijin...it will be a gametime decision.

There will be many friends out for this one, again...

The PinoyPedalPushers are said to have a mega presence at this one!!

There will be Shikazes, Oggies, Guys, Giants, and Newfs...there will be True Grits, Lapdogs, BikeZones, and Energys...Alexas, Donnas, Sarahs, and Merediths...and more!!

So, if you're racing....best of luck!!  If you ain't...come on out and enjoy the spectacle...it's gonna be uuuuge!!

Till Tuesday...

Stay posted!!














Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hardwood, Turkey, and Lakes

So...there was a fair bit going on this past weekend!

There was the Hardwood Ocup/Canada Cup promoted by Pulse Racing.  By most accounts the course was simpler this year.  This may have had something to do with the deluge of weather on the Saturday (rain, hail?, tornadoes??....there were tornado warnings...).  However, the course included Boneshaker...and Boneshaker has always scared the hell out of me in any condition.  Kudos to all who participated and to the podium steppers.  A big True Grit yahoo to Seth...taking second place.  Seth is tearing up the OCup circuit this year!!



Also going on this weekend, was this...





Which is where I was...(I was not at the above said OCup)...

For 75kms of sweet Turkey Point single track for 5 hours of riding time in the 40 degree heat!!  We started 58 riders strong...





Some of the BicycleWorks crew was out!!

There were trails for all level of riders...and there were all types of mountain bikes!

Wardy on 29+ dropbar!


Duke went full fatbike!

48 riders finished the ride...including this weirdo on a rigid single speed...

moi...at the finish...


there were even guys in kilts...



Nooo!!  Don't look up!!!


It was an awesome event!  Membership has it's privileges!!  So well run and organized!



Thank you to the small group of volunteers who worked all day in the heat to keep us safe at road crossings, keep us watered at water stops, fed at lunch, and at the finish BBQ!  (really, it was the same small group racing ahead to all of the necessary points all day long!  Not really sure how they pulled that off!).  And thank you to Burning Kiln Winery for donating the Sparkling Wine for the champagne BBQ finish!

Actually, one of the best parts to the day was that Lois joined me for this one...sort of!  The Turkey Point/Port Dover area has many worthy sites including wineries.  So Lois dropped me off at the start, and met me at the finish but enjoyed the day touring the local wineries and cideries?? in the area!!


One of Lois' discoveries...

If you missed this...you missed a good one...plan for it for next year!!

So how do you follow up a 75km mountain bike trail Saturday??

Well by getting dragged out by Blaze on Sunday for a 50km Lake to Lake trail ride...reminiscent of the old Lake to Lake mountain bike race from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.  Another 3 hours in even more heat than Saturday on trails that were a bit of a challenge on the single speed.  There was great fun rocky single track on the Hood trails to start the ride!  Then there were extended periods of gravel along the Welland Canal struggling/spinning on the single speed to keep up to the geared Energy Cycling Club riders (all exceptionally good riders!) on their geared bikes.  (AlD who is a memeber of ECC planned and hosted the ride.)  Then we were into several kms struggling through 4 foot tall prairie grass that had overgrown on the trail!!

In fact we discovered a new tribe living out in that grass!!  A 3 foot tall group of people called the Fahkarwee...at least that is what they seemed to call themselves.  They kept yelling to us as they jumped up in the 4 foot tall grass, "We're (Where??) the Fahkarwee!!"....as we rode by...

Then there were more kms of amazing, flowy single track to finish the ride!!

Then weekend recovery in Al's pool!!   Thanks Al!!

Anyways...this was a great ride to finish out the weekend...and great training for what is coming up...which is...??

Stay posted!!






Thursday, 15 June 2017

Canada Cups and Turkeys

So...just a shortie to preview the weekend.

A couple of things going on in the mountain bike scene this weekend.

Another OCup/Canada Cup.  This one at Hardwood Ski & Bike...home of Emily...will she be there???  Hardwood is always such a great course...once home of the Pan Am Games mountain bike race it proves to be fun yet very challenging.  With many options for hills, root, rocks and many technical features...it always has something for anyone willing to challenge their physical limits and mtb skills.  And Glenn of Pulse Racing always organizes an excellent event.  So if OCups are your thing you don't want to miss this one.  It is one of the best OCups of the season!






If OCups are not your thing, or you prefer longer endurance rides then Turkey Point may be the place to show.  Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club is hosting the EFT ride (Every F'n Trail)...a total of 77 kms on Saturday.  So, this is where I will be, riding the single speed.  Lois is coming with so she can scope out the local wineries while I ride.  Should be a blast!!

So many fun, flowy trails...with the occasional roots and rocks...drops and climbs.  Yes, climbs...if you are someone who thinks Turkey Point is flat...you haven't been hitting the proper trails.



I believe there is still room for registrants, but it is limited to 100 riders so if you are looking for a fun challenge...you'd better get on it before it's full...you can check it out here.  Turkey point is always a fun place to mtb in all weather conditions!




Anyways...on Sunday, Blaze and few other friends are doing a trail ride reminiscent of the old Lake to Lake race...from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario...a total of 55 kms.  So that's where I will be on Sunday...cuz Blaze and I have not suffered enough together for a few days now...  Riding the single again should help...



With a fresh new smaller rear cog to help me keep up...


And I am still following the dots on three big unsupported cross continental races...The Tour Divide, The American Trail Race, and The Trans Am Bike Race...
To me...currently the biggest battle in these races is in the Trans Am...with Evan Deutsch almost 3,000 miles in challenging Mike Hall's record!  And the ustoppable Janie Hayes only 200 miles behind Evan and challenging Lael Wilcox's record!!

Anyway...hope you are getting out on the trails somewhere this weekend!!  We dreamed of this weather all winter...and now it's here...rain or shine.

Hopefully we see you out there!

Stay posted!

Turkey Cat??


OK...one more Emily pic...


OK....go home now...













Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Ride Moar...or...Day 2 of Ride

So last post we left our 'heros' with 190ish kms after riding medical support on Day 1 of the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

At 7am sharp on Day 2 (Sunday), misconceptionz showed up to pick me up for the drive to Blaze's house in Stoney Creek where we would start our ride.  The three of us...tired...saddle sore...sun burnt from Day 1 were now joined by Jamie (some call him Shawn)...who was fresh and would help to lead our tired arses.

So by 7:45 the four of us were off to start Day 2...another journey...heading south and beginning almost immediately with a climb up the escarpment...200m of elevation over 1.5kms...a bit of a wall to warm up and get the heart rate spiked.  Then it was about 8kms further south to catch the main group heading west towards Niagara...and that is where we hooked into the official ride.

At around 30kms in we hit the first aid station to refuel and refill water bottles...again the stations so well stocked to keep riders going...mixed nu-un for electrolytes, water, ice, and all varieties of food and snacks.  Then somewhere after aid station 1 Blaze got Blaingry.

I'm not sure if him and misconceptionz had a lovers quarrel, or if I was starting to smell funny (very possible), or if he just missed his new pet possum, or more likely it was just the smooth pavement and the hefty tailwind...but he started going off on crazy attacks...ramping the speed up at every opportunity...slowing only when we needed to for traffic intersections...and attempting to drop us with a great pass around a large group right at the Welland canal.  It was fun actually as he kept this going for the next 30kms or so...a little more invigorating than the casual, barley threshold pace and great training for the upcoming 24 hour race in two weeks.  And at this pace we soon rolled into aid station two.

As part of the medical support team, the job was not only to enjoy the ride but to tend to medical incidents as necessary.  And as we progressed into the early afternoon part of this became monitoring riders as to how they were managing the climbing temperatures.  The 30 degree temperatures were accentuated by the heat reflecting off the pavement...and a tailwind was no help to cool one down.  It was getting very, very hot!!


And you thought I wouldn't get a cat pic in!?


In all seriousness (not you Tom...), the only real incident our group had to tend to was when Blaze had to assist ambulance personnel tending to a rider who heat stroked and passed out while riding...breaking his helmet and sustaining a fair bit of road rash.  But other than checking on riders as we passed them to make sure they were ok, that was it...for us.  (there were other incidents that other groups of medical teams had to tend to...).

After more kilometers...and a couple of more aid stations...our easterly route eventually turned north...and into Niagara Falls to the finish of the official ride...to cheering crowds of volunteers and riders families...at about the 90km mark.  There were celebrations going on...for so many finishing this ride is a marked accomplishment.  And there was solid food...and there was...beer.

The official ride was over...but ours wasn't.  After a small respite of food, water, (ok...and a beer...) we now had nearly 100km ride to get home...and the temps had risen dramatically.  And we now had to head back west...the once friendly tailwind was now our nemesis.  Adding to the drama...there were no more aid stations.  And Blazes early attempts to wreak havoc with his attacks had now left him shattered.  Blaze and misconceptions had not been riding much this season...and they were now spent.  Jamie was OK...as he didn't ride Day 1...and I have been training for the endurance riding so I was OK (notwithstanding saddle sores).

So, off we went on the journey home...Jamie and I dragging Blaze and misconceptionz...and the occasional coffee shops were now our aid stations...


A bright happy misconceptionz.



A Blaze of glory...(yes, that is sweat salt on his jersey...)



Jamie...fresh as a spring daisy...almost.


Anyways...after what seemed like forever riding into the increasing headwind in scorching temperatures...we made it back to Blazes house...almost 7 hours of riding time...and 185kms...

We arrived to Laura's cheering...and to these fellas on Blaze's lawn...


Snappers...hope they didn't eat Blaze's new pet possum!!

Seriously...Blaze lives near a turtle sanctuary, and at this time of year they wander looking for a place to lay their eggs...

Anyways...this is what this sport is all about (no..not the turtles...).  It's about pushing your limits...it's about getting outside...nature...out of the air conditioning; but mostly it's about friends...and sharing a passion.  So it was, once again...a great weekend!!

But...after a nearly 400km road bike weekend, it's going to be a long time before my saddle sore arse sees a road bike saddle again.  Give me my mountain bike...give me the forest...the trails...into the thick of mother nature.  More turtles, possums, deer, and foxes...even the rat cousin squirrels.

And friends to share it with...

Stay posted!








Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ride

So....a couple of cool things went on this past weekend, in the heat...

There was a mountain bike OCup/Canada Cup race at Horseshoe Resort sponsored by Superfly Racing on Sunday.  The Horseshoe OCup is always a fun technical course...and because it is a ski resort, there is always plenty of climbing.  And apparently the heat made this year particularly challenging!  Congratulations to all participants and to all podium finishers.  Getting on the podium at a Canada Cup is always a special thing...right serious??


Lover of the heat

JeffS was on hand at Horseshoe to take pics...you can check them all out here to see if you were lucky enough to be a model.  Actually, JeffS really made the rounds this weekend!

I was not at Horseshoe.  I opted for more mileage...so I joined these two medical professionals...




Blaze and misconceptionz.  They were riding the Ride To Conquer Cancer as the medical support crew and invited me to join them (I have First Aid/Responder training as part of my Kinesiology/Education degree).

However, these guys don't just do the RTCC...they ride to the start on the Saturday; which adds at least another 70km.  And then they ride the Sunday....and ride back home from the finish...adding another 90+km to the Sunday....to make for a near 400km weekend!

So Saturday at 5am I left my house riding to Spencer Smith park in Burlington to meet up with Blaze and misconceptions to get to Toronto for the 8am start time.

In case you didn't know...the early morning views on the lake are a beauty!






We often forget how fortunate we are to live where we are, and the beauty of nature that exists right outside our back door.

So, when they showed up...off we went...into the sunrise...




The ride into Toronto went mostly without incident...mostly.  There was a point where we were passing over a bridge, and a possum popped out of a water drain and hissed at Blaze.  Blaze almost lost his 'stuff'...but now he and the possum are best friends....




70km and then we were at the start...and met with all the other members of the medical support team...but the coolest thing was to see the mass of 5000+ cyclists together in one paddock!!  A sea of bikes and spandex...scary.  Then the start...




We let a few hundred riders by...then we mosied in.  Our job was to stay towards the front of the group and tend to incidents as required or as were called in (Blaze was in constant connection on a phone).

The start was stop and go...a crowd of riders, some experienced...but mostly not so much.  About 15kms further it began to stretch out...and opened up.  And we were off north and then west towards Hamilton....the end goal for the day for the official riders was MacMaster University.  And the route was very well planned with aid stations every 20 kms or so...and all very well stocked with food, snacks, water, and fluid electrolytes.  Which was more than necessary with the heat...

And so we went...mostly without any undue excitement...and mostly flat until we hit our 120km mark ...(with our 70km pre start...)...then there were hills...a couple of good ones to make sure you were still awake!!  Then...at our 160km mark ...we ran into this guy...



Yeah...that's JeffS....on his fatbike!  He was riding with his wife Elaine (I think)...



and his brother was out there too...



Anyways...after a brief sprint to chase him down...(if one can sprint after 160kms)...he was kind enough to take a couple of pics  (yeah...believe it or not...he took pics!!)...

That is the look of pain of trying to catch JeffS...even on his fatbike...


misconceptionz....why is he smiling???


Anyways....after that raft of excitement...it was another 20km to the finish...I peeled off for home (I live a couple of kms from Mac).  Blaze and misconceptionz carried on to the finish...then rode on to Blaze's house (another 15kms for those guys!).

And that was it...day one done.  180+kms...

And with day 2 ahead...with another 180+kms expected...and even hotter temperatures!!  And saddlesores!

And with that...in an unprecedented move (OK...I think I've done it before)...we will leave off here for now...and continue the story tomorrow.  Yes!!  A cliffhangar!!  A Wednesday post!!!

Sorry...please, no yelling!!




I promise...it will be short!!

Stay posted!!