Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 26 July 2018

An Update, Late, and much to Encapsulate

So ya...I guess I haven't posted for quite a while.  And no really good reasons.  Just spending as much free time riding a bike...and life...so posting has fallen more to the back burner.  I've been posting rather regularly, but I really like writing this thing too....so just gotta find that balance, I guess.  I suppose that is really life's eternal endgame??

Anyways...you deserve an update, so here it be...

The obvious truth is I haven't really been racing so much this season.  I did the Spring 8 Hour...which I did post about on my last post.  And I did the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice....which I have not posted a review or update.  The 24 Hour did not really work out the way I had planned.  No 'A' team, "I love it when a plan comes together" for me on this one.  (OK...I know...you have to be rather old to get that reference...but...I am.)

 By my third lap I was burning up.  I didn't realize at the time I was feverish...just thought I wasn't dealing with the heat well (I usually deal with the heat just fine).  By lap 4 I was starting to feel nauseous. By lap 5 I was full on hugely ill.  Spent an hour in the port o' potty vomiting violently, repeatedly.  So much that Jonny came to check on me to make sure I was OK.  

I have to say, Jonny was an amazing pit boss.  He took care of me, and my bike, like a pro...and a friend.  It was my honour to have him on my team.



I was actually so sick, I was seriously considering calling an ambulance, it was seeming to never end.  It eventually let up enough, that I was able to make it back to our camp and collapse.  Holing up in my tent, sleeping like a dead man for many hours.  The race was secondary at this point...getting to feeling sub-human was the priority.

After 11 or more hours....the nausea started to pass, and I almost began to feel human again.  Enough that I determined to get back on my bike and make a go of it.  And I did, for a couple of more laps...then the race organizers called the race.  The steadily increasing rain was making the course very slick and dangerous.  It was the right call.  However, I had only managed a measly 6 laps.  My goal was to win this thing (my age category), with somewhere between 15 and 20 laps.

(The real question, for me, is what happened to dskunk, DavidS???  He is The Danger Man, the Toughest Male SS Solo around!!  But it seems he stopped after 11 laps.  What's the story here, Dave??)

So I will look to next year to get my revenge on Summer Solstice.  And it seems that Jonny will be with me there again....this time as a competitor.  I beleive the experience got him hooked!!  (It happens...this sport is more addictive than meth!!).  Stay tuned on this one!!





As I mentioned, I have not been racing so much this season.  No O'cups at all....that style of racing is not my style.  I missed the summer 8 hour...and I missed the first of Dan's (SubstanceProjects) gravel race of his Stuporcross series.  

Some of it has to do with my Saturdays being booked but the real truth is I have just been enjoying riding my bikes in a less formal atmosphere.  Get on and go whenever I wish wherever I want.  Sometimes solo, sometimes with friends.  Always better with company...almost.



More folks are coming out to take part in my Sunday Riot rides...surprisingly.  These rides are not for the faint of heart.  I have had riders come out and react, "Holy shite!  This is rediculous!  When can we go back??"  The rides are not blazing fast, cuz I am not blazing fast.  But they are epically long...and on the varied terrain of our local trails...of which there are many kilometers worth, literally right out my front door.  Fast flowy bermed singletrack, doubletrack, rocks, roots, short punchy climbs, long extended climbs.  As much elevation as you can dream (nightmare??) of, here on the escarpment.  It's all here...and I can't get enough of it.  A ride less than three hours is hardly worth putting the gear on for.  





So the Sunday Riot rides are usually 5+ hours.  And almost always finish with a feast (including beverages) provided by Lois...as she sits and listens (and almost believes) the stories of that days ride, and whatever else may be going on.  (Always interesting when Oggie attends!).




This Sunday's ride will be a double shot of epic.  (8 hours??  2000m elevation???). Why?  Well why not???  Besides, we have to make up for the ride where Al tried to do his best PhilGil impression!  


Looked nasty!!  But nothing actually broken, or torn.  Al will be back at it in no time!

I actually think it was the Sunday Riot rides that got Jonny hooked onto the marathon mountain bike scene.  Open to everyone....if you dare.  

With the growing popularity of the gravel grinder, Jonny has also instituted the Jonny (yeah we make the most creative ride names...) Gravel ride.  Usually Friday evenings after 6pm. Throw in some rail trail, gravel roads, some mountain bike trails, bike paths, and pavement, some waterfront, some country roads...for more epic variety.  Long enough to require lights to return...and a great excuse to finish off the Friday night with a cold one!  Sometimes it's just Jonny and me...sometimes it's a group who dares to come out and see what we are up to.  You??



I even occasionally do a ride with gears.  Who knew!!

Anyways that's what I have been up to.  I expect to take part in the fall 8 hour...and at least one of Dan's gravel crossers.  And I plan to do some bike packing....  And fit in whatever else I can.

And I will endeavour to keep y'all more informed (sorry!!) to add to the flavour that is out there.  TeamColin's blogs are getting super popular, Steve's RideCycleSpin posts are always a great read.  And heck, even BarryC is staying almost glued and posting race reports!!  

So...

Stay posted!





Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Spring Epic 8 MTB Relay Race Mansfield by Chico Racing

Spiffy title there, eh?  Well thought out, dramatic, original...

Anyways...

Said race happened this weekend...Saturday.  And within minutes folks had their race reviews up in facebook.  What???  Did they post the review at the finish line??  I don't know...my brain is so mush after a race I can barely find my way back to pit afterwards.  If it wasn't for the smell of beer in the cooler...I don't know.



Yup...that's me, post race...(well...let's say just post race...)

Anyways...

Then within 14.2 minutes (OK...maybe a little longer than that...) ApexTed had his Apex Race Photography pics indexed and ready!!  Ted, you must have pulled a 24 hour solo indexing!!  As I'm sure you know, Ted and ApexRacePhotography are the premiere mountain bike race photogs in the known universe.

If they can make this chunky, dirty, mtb Metis appear almost legit...well, it's near magic...


That's supposed to be a smile....


Huge air (almost a full foot!), at the start of Exit Wound.


Zoom!!!  


Check out their pics of the event at ApexRacePhotography.  And feel free to buy some pics...even if they are not of racer number 86...

And then, like, within 24 hours TeamColin get's his race review/blog post posted!!  What the??  And it's well written, detailed, well thought out, dramatic, original, purty, intriguing...  Seriously....check it out at TeamColinBlog.


Sorry Colin, I totally stole this pic...


So, here I am...feeling the pressure to perform...and get a review/post out on this race...its really challenging my very strong procrastination skills...




OK...well...let's make an attempt...a short one...

So, I actually wasn't sure I would be able to do this race.  A recently broken thumb kept me off (mostly) bikes for 3 weeks, and off a mountain bike for almost the entire time.  I have managed to get some road rides in (easier on a broken thumb than mtb), first a mountain bike on the road, then an actual road bike....and just over the last week to 10 days dared to attempt trails on the mountain bike.

Other than being terribly out of shape (about 15 lbs overweight), from lack of riding...and more lack of culinary discipline, the thumb seemed to fare ok.  So, waiting till the last minute (that procrastination thing...), seeing that the race was nearly sold out, I signed up.

Solo single speed...I would ride single speed anyways...just wasn't sure if would enter solo single speed, or solo 50+....but solo single speed won the coin toss.  (It's always a gamble which way to go...the 50+ category is a tough mix of experienced, fast folks...single speed is open aged, so many fast younger folks...).

Anyways...single speed because I love single speed...plus no need for a thumb to shift.  I chose to ride my Kona Honzo, although it is more of a trail bike geometry, it has front suspension which would be easier on the thumb than my rigid XC setup Kona Raijin.

And I also convinced my friend/mtb cohort JonathanC to sign up.  For his very first mountain bike race...ever.  Ya...solo an 8 hour.  Jonathan has been kicking my arse all winter and spring on my regular Sunday Riot rides...usually more endurance style rides.  Mountain bike (or Fatbike) when the trails are rideable....road if the trails are out.  So I knew he had the stamina to do it...after that its all a mental game...mostly.  Plus...solo, you don't answer to anyone but yourself...go at your pace...as long or short as you want.  Well, except for that competitive drive thing we all have...

So....Saturday early (EARLY) we loaded up the truck and went to Beverly...Mansfield that is.  (OK, if you don't get that reference, you are too short to be reading this blog...).  Staked out at great spot at the solo pits...

Jonathan and GrantSonOfSeth strategizing...(must've worked, Grant ended up on the podium!!)



We were next to serious (TomB), keeping close to the good SS mojo!


Who was next to AdamH close to that magic super speed mojo!!


And the True Grit solo pit on the other side...

True Grit Support Crew...


Jonathan's race setup...Rocky Mountain Growler...27.5


Then we headed to the start corral and picked a spot near the back of the pack to start.  I did not want to get caught in the heat of the front of the pack start.  I knew I didn't have the training in me to go full bore...so forcing myself to pace right off the start would give me a better chance of not falling daid (ya....daid) 5 hours in....

So....first lap...sold out race...the course was PACKED with traffic...so mostly settled in with True Grit duo (actually they were soloing, together...figure that one out...), JennR and KarenD, with Jonathan along for most of the lap.  Until I stopped at the solo pit to get ride of the vest and arm warmers I started with...

Lap 2...still packed...but kept me paced.

Lap 3-4....the thumb started aching...but never got worse than that...so kept going.  Also...by this  time I starting walking the wall climb at the end of the false flat coming out of the solo pit...and I walked the steep loose left switchback over the root on the single track climb.  Riding those two jaunts were sucking the single speed life out of me on the first 3 laps.  I also tripodded the loose right switchback decent out of exit wound all day for fear of falling off the edge of the earth...

Laps 5, 6, 7....then somewhere around the 4 or 5 hour mark, I always hit that wall (often earlier at Mansfield with all the elevation), where I just have to make sure I keep properly hydrated and keep the nutrition plan going.  Gotta eat even though my stomach wants nothing to do with food...especially most commercial 'race' food, which is why I always bring real food to accompany the 'race' food.  And, otherwise just focus on keeping the pedals turning...

And the encouragement along the way by so many people was an amazing boost much needed throughout the day...

The fellow solo pits cheering, cow bells, offers of food...

HeatherD telling me I was doing awesome while her AdamH was about 24 miles ahead of me...

JennKenn cheering all the way through the transition zone...

JennKenn and her hot MikeO!

The Lapdogs, and other friends in the transition zone...

The Shikaze ladies in their pit didn't know me at all but I know them and who they were supporting and I found encouragement in that...

Another stolen pic....of two tough dudes!!

The group of kids on the rooty, zippy,single track climb cheering their butts off for us....
And the regular encouragement from fellow riders who passed me along the course...

All helped keep me going...

Eventually I stopped to look at the leader board in the transition zone...and despite lugging around the equivalent of an extra bag of potatoes around my fat arse...I was doing OK.  I was maintaining a 4th place out of the 10 solo single speeders in this race.  Hmmmm...what would it take to get to third...alot...but...

Laps 8-11...stop to pee somewhere in there.  And stopping at the solo pit every lap now, to feed, refill water bottles, and stretch out the kinks...then just keep going.  I was now solidly in 4th place...pulled away from the 5th place rider...and third was almost 15 minutes ahead of me...out of reach.

So, at 5:23 I headed out for lap 12.  After 6pm you are not allowed to go for another lap...before 6pm you can go for another lap, but you must finish by 6:30 for it to count.  So...I settled in knowing this would be my last lap...every climb, would be the last time I had to do that climb...every root would be the last time I had to navigate that root...the last time I had to worry about falling off the edge of the earth...then into the transition zone and swipe my chip for the last time...

"You have 44 minutes to complete your final lap!!"

Wait??  What???  NOOOOO!!!

They had extended the deadline...we must have started a few minutes late...

I crawled over to check the leader board...my last lap was 37 minutes...so I likely had time to complete another lap...but I was 13 minutes out of third place...I couldn't make that up...I was physically and mentally done...I threw my chip in the box...

(No, I do not have the mental fortitude of TeamColin...if you haven't read his report....read it...dude is a BEAST!!)

My thumb had fared OK...but my quads, calves, lower back, and shoulders were crushed by the single speed elevation that Mansfield throws at you.  I need to drop some chunky parts....

But so many other stories I could write full posts on...

Fellow BicycleWorks rider AllanM had a great race going...until mechanical...

Fellow BicycleWorks rider GaryS coming in 4th to fellow BicycleWorks rider MartinM by 10 SECONDS!!

Well done Martin....and JeffS!!

Yes, that is JeffS making his solo comeback....and winning!

TomB, serious(ly) sneaking into solo single speed second place.  Nice work Tom!!!  What in the world do I have to do to catch you??  I must work much harder...or something...

SethS making his solo debut and coming in second!!  Amazing job Seth!!

AdamH...killing the solo field with 17 laps!!  Unbelievable.  Oh....then he went and did an 'easy' 50km ride on Sunday....

JennR...gettin lead out by KarenD on her first solo 8 hour....and is now addicted.  Look out ladies...JennR is a powerhouse!


If you didn't look this good after the race, you weren't trying...

JonathanC...him and I came into the transition zone for our 12 laps together...but when he heard there was 44 minutes remaining, he headed out for another lap...while I withered and died.  13 laps on his first ever mountain bike race...not to mention soloing an 8 hour.  On a gnarly trail bike.  Look out for him if he is in your category!!  Dude is gonna mix it up!!

Jonathan in this mix of .... Something...

The legendary Knucking Futts changing teammates but staying legendary....

Knucking Futts??

Hey...where were the Pinoy Pedal Pushers out there??  Did I miss them???

And many other stories....many folks who toughed it through though scrapes (SueM, hope you are doing OK!), amazing accomplishments, and many laughs...but...

This short review got waaay too long didn't it...

Another great event by Chico Racing...as always!!!  And huge thanks to all the volunteers!!

Thank you to BicycleWorks, the best bike shop in Waterdown, for the support!!

If you are looking for another MTB event...wait no longer than this weekend for Substance Projects Long Sock Classic....get in there!!  Register at XC Marathon Long Sock Classic.

And then....

Stay posted!















Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A Few Updates

So...a few updates.  Lets start with the obvious...

Update - The Freedomburn (Alternate Tilsonburn):

So...the totals are in.  You all managed to raise enough to provide bikes, helmets, and locks for two young folks!!!  So many huge thank you's to all who took part and contributed!!



Wardy is now on the search for the two deserving young people.  We will keep you posted.  Thank you again...this was so much more than I expected.  Your generosity will bring joy to two young lives...and it is so appreciated!!

And word is JeffS is now almost fully recovered and ready for another 200km ride on his fatbike.  The weather is actually supposed to turn almost nice this weekend.  Waddaya think Jeff??  Besides, have to do that part of the FreedomBurn that Oggie and Al talked us all into skipping on Good Friday...about 600m of elevation over a couple of kilometres....

Anyways...speaking of the weather...another update...

Update - O'Cup #1 is postponed:

Due to this nasty crap weather...seriously,  O'Cup #1 scheduled for this weekend in Mansfield has been postponed (twice actually, but whose counting?), rescheduled, and revamped.  You best check out all the details HERE.





Speaking of the weather...another update...

If spring/summer ever does show up...there is a new gravel grinder race/ride to enjoy...if gravel is your thing.  The Steaming Nostril has successfully happened, the P2A is coming up, as are SubstanceProjects gravel series...and they now have a complimentary compatriot.  This...




Click on the pic/poster to link to more details.  Hopefully the slush is gone by June...

Speaking of the weather...another update...

Update - My thumb:

Busted thumb...healing nicely...the bone is knitting crooked...but its knitting (it doesn't crochet...), and although crooked it will be functional (according to the osteoplastic surgeon...).  The giant plaster cast/splint has been replaced with a sleek thermoplastic one.




This with a few bike modifications has allowed me to ride...


...although so far it has been MTB on the road.  MTB to minimize road 'clatter' from jarring the thumb.  Besides....it makes for a great workout.  May try a roadbike soon...well if the weather smartens the heff up!!  And trail riding is a couple of weeks away regardless of the weather.

Have to give a shout out to JonathanTheMechanic.  He has been making sure I continue to get out, and he kicks my ass, in all conditions...day and night.  Ya...we got out for an unintentional night ride (I got carried away with distance), and besides...it was the nicest part of that day.  Damned weather!!

And, yes...Jonathan is a mechanic...auto.  His shop, just outside of Waterdown, near the Picards Peanuts on Hwy 5.


So...if you need work done...call/go there!!  Very professional, and more than fair pricing (especially if you throw him post ride meals and beer...).

OK...enough non-self promotion.

Anyways....that's about it for updates...so now that there is no O'Cup this weekend...and the weather forecast is almost normal...hope you get out for some bike joy!!

And...again...thank you to all the FreedomBurners!!

Stay posted!











Wednesday, 4 April 2018

FreedomBurn Post Op

So the FreedomBurn (Tilsonburn), is over and done....and apparently it appears to be a great success!!  There are a couple of tweeks that could be done to make it even better if we ever do it again...but overall, it was a great day!


Lois directs the 100km group out...




So first things first....so, so many thanks to give....but the greatest thanks have got to be to all of you who came out to participate and donate to Freedom Bike.  A deserving young person will get to experience the joy of owning and riding a bicycle because of your generosity.  In fact, preliminary totals show that we may even be able to squeeze two bikes and bring more happiness to two young lives!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  We will keep you up to date!

Other thanks:

- To RobT, and Unglued for leading out the 50km and 100km groups.  They did a great job of dealing with last minute re-routes due to trail conditions and herding a large group of wild mountain bikers of varying abilities.

Unglued....still glued at this point...

RobT discussing proper water bottle placement...


Pinoy's crew joined the 50km and 100km fun!


The BW logo on display! (But not impressing the ladies?)


An iconic spot in this area this time of year!


- To BicycleWorks Waterdown for hosting the first aide stop for the 160km route, supplying water, electrolytes, and nutrition....much needed after 2.5 hours of energy draining gravel and wind conditions.  Additional thanks to BicycleWorks owner Paul Schnepf for leading us over 30+km of his local gravel in the Brantford area.  

Aid station 1....Paul's Place...



Paul leads us on part of the journey.


- Thank you to 97 General store on 97 Road near Valens Conservation area for dealing with 30+ dirty, sweaty, hungry, thirsty cyclists...and having a healthy(??) supply of famous Dee's buttertarts; and ice cream for Oggie!



- Gotta give gratitude to Mother Nature for giving us a beauty day amidst a couple of trashy weather weeks.

And so many stories, could fill months worth of blog posts.  Don't worry...I won't do that to you.
However...some highlights:

- Fatbikes.  Ya, a number of folks on fatbikes....that had to be incredibly tough!  Especially the dude on the 160km route!!  JeffS...awe and respect!

Kinda like this 6000 yr old tree?

- What would have made it tougher for fatbikes was re-routing required due to wet trail conditions.  We didn't want to be responsible for damaging trails...plus some of the local trails are rooty, and rocky, and come dangerously close (centimetres close) to the sharp edge of the escarpment.  I didn't think losing someone to a 1000 foot fall off a rock wall would be a good thing.  The result was more road/pavement than planned...but this may have been a bit of a blessing given wet gravel and hefty winds.

- As mentioned now a couple of times...the life sucking railtrail and gravel.  Still frozen enough to be rough and bone jarring...but soft enough on the top to act like glue to skinny CX tires.  And after making up a good portion of the first 100kms of the 160km route....some solid pavement felt civilized!



- At the 97 General store stop (at about 120km into the 160km route, and 55km into the 100km route) I faced a bit of a mutiny.  The remainder of the route included 25kms of fire road that made for 700ms of climbing.  The overwhelming consensus was that this was too much after what we had just been through (there had already been plenty of swearing at Riot...)...so we opted for a flat, direct, paved route home.  In hindsight...this was likely the right call;  this time....


There were threats...

And I didn't want to be seen as this guy....so I reneged...

Death to the rebels, meow!

- 15kms from home...one of the route leaders became violently ill...having to pull over and passionately dispatch all gastro contents...then limp home concentrating on preventing further dumpage.  According to Dr.Kate (who was in on the 100km route), an apparent reaction to too much Advil gel capsules (3 X daily max) on an empty stomach.  Thank you to Oggie for dragging my sorry carcass home...and to JennR for coming back to check on me.  Got home just in time to release all further contents...but in the civilized comfort of a modern washroom...


Still smiling...

Finally...so very thankful to the universe for a day with 50 fellow mountain bikers...with no significant mechanicals or crashes over 7+ hours of riding.  Amazing!!

Then there was the after...  Thank you Lois for directing the massive amount of food and beverage for the post party as folks came and went...




And again...massive thanks to everyone who participated, and supported this day and the cause.  Jeff Ward founder of the Tilsonburn and Freedom Bikes passes on his unending gratitude to each and everyone of you!  Deserving teens will enjoy life a little bit more because of you.  A totally amazing day spent with such great folks...it was an honour spending it with you all!

Now we can look forward to the proper Tilsonburn in 2019!  

Also...there are so many kilometres of local challenging trails just metres from my home...so a plan for an endurance all trail ride is in the works for later this season...stay tuned!




In the meantime, I have a freshly broken thumb metacarpal bone I need to let heal properly (this ride didn't seem to help much).  Which means I am going to miss out on early season events.  The first one is coming up this weekend...the Steaming Nostril.  If you are not registered yet....get on it HERE!!

Then Substance Projects (DanOfSubstance) has events coming up the following week.  The first race of their XC MTB Marathon series....the Homage to Ice...check it out HERE!

So much going one...here comes mtb season!!!  Finally!!!  
And finally....the end of this post!

Stay posted!
(Thank you to all the unofficial photogs who supplied me with photos of this event!)