Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another typical Saturday

I'm not expecting too too much out of myself in 4 hours time, top 10 would be sick but maybe pushing it. After spreading shavings in a barn filled with lime for a few hours I was pretty tired, my boss and I sat down for a break and we were discussing today's racing schedule. I mentionned the Pro/Elites take off at 11:30 and he asked a two-part question that has stuck with me. "When are you going to be at that level and more importantly, why aren't you there yet?". It's not like I don't put enough time in the saddle, not enough intensity? Not enough structure? Well, Chown has been helping me out but this week was a rest week so hopefully my form comes around when I start training smarter.

I got home yesterday with enough time to cut the neighboor's lawn (side job) and get a 1.5h spin done with some jumps before heading off to the club to wash some dishes. "It'll only be until 10 o'clock" she said, so I was home by 11:30, nice. Of course you can't just get home and magically fall asleep so bed time was a little into the am hours.

So why am I not there yet? I want to be, that's a start haha. I'm not going to upgrade if I find myself with 260 points but never cracking the top 5. Maybe I don't rest hard enough, I get the training done either after a hard day at work so right away I'm not 100% there or I have the day off and get in an awesome day, chill, then wake up early in the morning getting ready for another day at work. Getting another workout done after that shift almost seems counter-productive since you become stronger during rest. That's pretty much what my schedule has been like for the past little while.

Anyways, enough ranting, I'm not one to feel sorry for myself I'm just waiting for my dad to finish breakfast and I thought I'd post something. Of course I'm not the only one who has a physically demanding job with alot of hours while trying to squeeze in 20 hour weeks, that's just the way she goes.

See you all in a couple hours.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's a start

Mtb is still at the shop to ITT on the road bike it was, about 14km out at Silverdale with 2 out and backs. These fit perfectly into my schedule once every 4 weeks, on rest weeks. Ride out at a pretty good pace (45min) to get the heart rate up, 20(ish) minute effort then ride home easy (1h). Makes for just over 2 hours of riding and opens up the legs pretty good.

Holtzman was giving me some pointers on how to tackle the course, I tried to keep them in mind but when it's go time I have a hard time pacing myself when it's such a short effort. The St.CCC junior TTT were my minute men so no chance for a catch there, I was Noah's minute man so at least I had someone to run away from. Felt pretty shitty on the first out and back on Silverdale rd. but picked it up and felt great on my way out on Sixteen. I almost wiped out on the U-Turn after taking it a little too fast and ending up on the gravel, a short sprint and the time was made up. I might have pushed too big of a gear on my way back in the headwind but I felt good.

The ITT is an awesome gauge to see where you're at since it's not long enough to bring about any fatigue to carry over to the weekend but it's long enough to bring on the pain for the time being. Maybe if I get a Thursday off in the next 3 weeks I can get my hill work done early in the am and get a ride out there to do to ITT in the pm, pretty unlikely. 21:47 isn't bad, but it's not great, it's a start. Something to build on.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Never-ending chase

Had no Internet yesterday so today's blogroll took a while with the racing that went on this weekend, that's cool though, after a ride I like to read about riding so the more written the better. It seems half the posts I read were about crashing these past few days, from what I can remember Emily Batty, Guthrie, Kinsie, Dawson, Trevor, k I'm pretty tired but you get the point.

Yesterday's recovery ride went a little longer than expected at 2.5hrs, apparently the ferry closes at 1 on holidays, oh well. Good ride with Csikos and Hopkins through Pelham and the outskirts of Niagara Falls, all flat, just the way I like my R&R rides.

Got a solid 2 hours of sleep last night, this year all my friends my age are turning 19 so there may or may not be a few more nights like that. Farm this morning for 9am and it was freakin hot! Dragged some bags of shavings around in a barn with lime all over the floor for a couple hours and whatnot, fun times.

Pretty cooked when I got home, passed out for a bit and woke just before 5:30 in time to head out to the tuesday night race. Flat course today, I don't want to see Effingham for a few more days anyways. The pack was just leaving when I got there, Noah and myself were signing in as they rode off and by the time we took off they were nearly out of sight. We chassed, and chassed, and chassed, picked up Moote and Guy VK who dropped off the pack but just couldn't close it. After a couple more laps we knew we wouldn't close by the end, even after picking up Rob Visser who dropped off the pack. 8 laps of chassing full out leaves little energy for a sprint, I was feeling good today, did lots of pulling, if this wouldn't have been Noah's first ride in a couple weeks after getting hit by a car we probably could have closed it in a couple laps.

I don't think I'll be riding tomorow, working on the farm in the am and washing some dishes in the pm, Thursday will be either be the ITT or some trail riding. I'm hoping to see single-digit results from now on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Niagara Classique

After yesterday's 3.5hr ride through the rain with some good climbing and echelonning I was feeling really good, I was riding the echelon smoothly and felt punchy on the climbs. I was hoping that would transfer over to today's 60k race with 5 climbs up Saylor's and it did... sorta.

First lap I sat in, did no work whatsoever and took it pretty easy on the climb, I think I was second or third guy up but there were no KOM points for this one. I pushed over the crest and took the lead to try and thin out the pack a bit and drop some stragglers.

Second lap I started to launch some attacks to get a feel for the pack and see who was down for what, got away for a bit solo but shut that down because it was still very early and no one was with me. I was surprised at how slow the pack was taking the turns so I attacked a couple times before the bends to try and get rid of those that can potentially cause crashes. Once on Effingham the pace picked up a bit and some people pushed super hard on the climb, I decided to hold back since they looked like they were hurting and I did not want that feeling when we still have to go up 3 more times. No KOM points.

I was hoping to see Trevor Montague in the pack to try and organise something because I've been following his blog and he was to be here today, a fellow mtber who can really put the power down and probably had the same instinct as me which is to RACE from start to finish. On the third lap I seen the Brant Cycle jersey and we decided that we were going to try for a break. We launched a few times but nothing ever stuck, it's hard for 2 guys to get away from 50, but still very doable. I took off just before the downhill on Killman and put the hammer down heading in to the turn, I leaned but felt I can go faster so I started pedalling and my pedal caught the ground, I damn nead shit myself! Stayed up though, beauty. The reason I took off before the downhill was that we were passing M3's and I didn't want to be going down a twisty descent while trying to avoid smoking a M3. I looked back once I was on Effingham to see a crash, apparently it was just one guy, but it made me not regret my decision to go instead of completely saving my legs for some KOM points. Pushed a good pace up the climb but still pretty conservative, 3rd up gives me 1 point.

Trevor went off solo for a bit on the fourth lap (or third? it's hard to keep track), I was contemplating jumping to get up there but I knew a few guys would grab my wheel and I would eventually be dragging the whole pack. A few of us decided that we were going to push the pace after the fourth climb and we were down to commit to a break and work hard to hold it until the end. Second last time up I was third again, not enough for KOM, it didn't matter because I was getting ready for a bigger move worth more bills. I latched on the one of the guys who planned to go in the break with us and we got a little gap, I pulled through, Trev pulled through, some other guy pulled through then completely layed off the gas. We were getting caught so I pulled through, and the pace started to pick up again, we had somewhat of an echelon going then guy pulls through and dropped the pace yet again. It's easy to say "let's go for a break" but if you're going to commit then p├ędale tabarnak! So after a few surges then some more guys coming through and not wanting to push hard the pack was together again.c

No one was working so I guess that means it's going to be a sprint finish, I was feeling good and had been constantly drinking and took a gel so no cramps would occur for such and effort. We got the base and I made my way to the front, I took off on the left and heard "he's gone", I thought I was. Looked back and a group of 5 were coming on strong, they passed me and I couldn't hold on, came in 6th, one spot away from some cash and an upgrade point.

Realistically, I shouldn't have expected much today since it was my last day of a 3-week build, but I was feeling good and thought I could go for the W.

I really want to get out of S4 but I made a goal to win a race before I cat up, we'll see how she goes at KW.

It was a perfect day for a ride, my form is starting to come around, had some good talks with Chown about smart training lately and listening to someone who know's his shit can only do good. And it is.

Big ups to the Cadet boys from the St.CCC for their 1-2-3 performance, De Cal for his podium in the S3/Junior race, Csikos for a solid race, and of course Chown for finishing with the S1/2 pack with guys like Roth and Riggs in there. He was up since 5:30 and probably got a solid 5h of sleep last night, intense.

Big thanks to Bryan Sheldon for setting up the tent which helped me avoid heat stroke while I stayed to watch the rest of the day's races and to all those from the St.CCC and Alexander's Farm for putting together such a sick event.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So this week's mishaps

This week was supposed to be the third week of my Base 3, the third week is supposed to be the hardest with a rest week waiting on the other side of the weekend. I'm still taking next week as a rest week going in to Hardwood then I'll be starting my Build 1. This week was pretty much a rest week, not by choice, but that's just the way she goes.

Monday was a recovery ride, felt alright, my legs were feeling it from the weekend.

Tuesday I had a great warm up and was feeling pumped to ride the Niagara Classic course at race pace with some fast guys. While signing in and shooting the shit I noticed my brake was rubbing, centered it, still rubbing. Backed it off a bit and spun it to see a crazy wobble then Holtzman pointed out that my spoke was broken, the good news was, said Chown, that I can probably use the rest. Fair enough, I rode home and chilled out for the rest of the night.

Wednesday I planned on doing a hot lap of the 8x12 in each direction, once I got to the trail I heard a loud ticking noise and realised that my hub (or something) came loose and there was some good play in my wheel. Last year the exact same thin happened while pre-riding at Mountainview, by the time I realised it all the shops were closed but some guy came over and stuck an allen key in each side, tightened and it was good to go. The last two times this happened to me I tried the same thing but it didn't work, nothing the LBS can't handle.

Today was my day off work, got a text from a friend reminding me that we were working at the club to wash some dishes. This left me with little time to drop off the money for some XT shifters (that I might "unlock"), drop off what need to be fixed at Liberty! (the new shop is saweeet) before heading back to Port Robinson to wash some dishes. It all worked out. Afterwards I gave a nice clean up to my road bike before taking it out for some 10min intervals. The plan was to do 3 and see if I was going to be good for a fourth, I was feeling really good even with only 3min recovery in between and wasn't loosing much power at all... Until the third one, with a minute and 30 to go I started to feel week but pushed through and decided to call it a day.

Getting fueled up and destinked to watch the Habs come back from a 2 game deficit, last I checked it was 1-0 with 13 or so to go in the first.

Just got a call from Derek M. from Liberty!, my wheel was to be ready for Saturday but it's ready to go now. Siiiiick, thanks guys.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another 24h week

Yesterday's club ride went a little longer than usual, met Csikos and Hopkins on Cataract and made it to the chip shop on time to start the ride. The pace was easy, as usual, heading in to Jordan. Afterwards it was a bunch of hills and echelons, I wasn't feeling too bad but my legs were very stiff then became very sore. Could have been the fact that it wasn't warm enough for shorts at 7 in the morning, but I don't have arm or leg warmers to peel off, just underarmor so I dressed for the 9am weather. Or it could have been Friday's ride.

I peeled off heading towards Smithville and followed Hopkins, Csikos, and Wes who wanted to climb one last hill. Quarry isn't too bad at all, but it sure as hell hurts when you're legs weigh 800 pounds. I was expecting to hammer from Jordan to Smithville, but with the detour I had already done 130km and I wasn't even home yet. We stopped at a corner store for some kick-ass cookies which gave me enough fuel to make it home, nearly 140km and close to 5 hours later.

Today was a mixture of gnarly, radical, and serious. I headed over to Hardwood with De Cal for some pure awesomeness, we rode every trail there and decided that an extra lap of the o-cup course was not going to happen after finishing the ride with Radical. Before doing this trail, we thought that Gnarly was the longest one, so we debated whether to go back to the car to fill up our bottles or not. Good thing we did because this trail went on forever, it was defenitely the toughest trail physical wise, not too sure if it's the toughest technical trail, it felt like it but maybe that's just because I was starting to fatigue after chassing around an Elite rider all day. Now that I think of it, all the methane that was being shot into my face could have weakened me as well, there was only one that went by that I didn't get 2 solid whiffs of, only because we were on a switchback. Thankfully, no triple whiffers.

What an awesome day, I can't get over how sick the trails are, when I'm older and I have millions of dollars that fell from the sky I'm going to build an exact replica of that place in my backyard. Phrases along the lines of "that was cool" or "that was awesome" were repeated at least 35 times.

Big thanks to AD for the drive.

Looking forward to a few more trips there this year, it's always a good time at Hardwood.

Tomorow there is alot of grass to cut at the farm, nothing like some quality time with the push-mower and weed-whacker on a recovery day. Tuesday is the hilly course, we'll be doing the Niagara Classic course 4 times or so and I've got plans for a good 3-4 more climbs up Saylor's before calling it a day. We'll see how she goes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Winter flashbacks

Just like a nice weekend day in the winter, De Cal and I headed out for the circle route. The weather was looking pretty miserable when I was eating breakfast and getting ready, but the weatherman said it was going to clear up by 10. I headed out with one layer too much, it turned out to be a shorts and tee day after all.

We had a good pace on East-West Line heading to Queenston, up the escarpment then it was time for some pretty big winds on the Parkway. We worked together and made some great timing, before we knew it the side road signs read 20...10...3,2,1... Pastry time! I can't remember the name of the place because I forget things very easily but I do remember that it was goooood. De Cal set a world record of highest calorie intake/time ratio, all was burnt in the headwind heading to Port so it's all good.

I was pretty cold heading out from the shop and to make things worse it was 20 degrees colder in Fort Erie and the winds were three times stronger. The sun made its appearance as we got closer to Port and before we knew it we were sweating again and on our way to Welland. A few sketchy intersections and a girl tanning in her bikini later and we were in the Rose City, saw The Coach and his boss jogging on the path, always good to see them.

An awesome 5h ride, our average speed was just over 30km/h so about 150km, beauty. Tomorow I've got an early start with plans to meet up with Max Csikos and head over to the hilly club ride. Lots of sleep and calories are needed for the rest of the day.

Plans for a pre-ride at Hardwood on Sunday, so pumped.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Change of plans

After Monday's not-so-recovery ride I need a recovery day this week, tomorow is looking like a nice day for a circle route and with the club rides on the weekend that leaves today. It's looking like thunder showers anyways

I might make my way over to St. Kitts if the sun pops out but it's not looking good, I'm off work until Monday so the next three days will be focused on just riding.

Core it is...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ready for Game 7

After a late wake up and a few hours of procrastination I suited up in my old man socks and vest and headed out, for a whole 2 seconds, the temperature had warmed up a bit so the vest wasn't needed. Then I headed out for real, had a tough workout ahead of me and I'm feeling it now as I'm watching the habs smoke the Penguins, should be an interesting third period.

After a loop by the river I started a 10min build to get my heart rate up and my legs ready for a hard effort. De Cal explained how to do these intervals properly and he's the one who told me about them in the first place, thanks man. The plan was to do 5 minutes of 30s on/30s off with 5 minutes recovery 5 times, but I was to stop if my power dropped too much. The first three were very tough, I thought my fourth would be my last but decided to start my fifth set and see how I felt. I finished it strong but had a hard time spinning slowly for a bit with the strong headwind. I thought of turning around to recover but I found my groove in my second lowest gear. The hard part is that the 30s off is not really off but more like ease back down to tempo because by the time you start slowing down it's time to go hard again.

Next up was 4x8min cruise intervals with 3min recovery, perfect to start at the 2h mark. The effort is just a bit harder than tempo, like being in a break that just formed and you're trying to build a gap. I had to take a gel after the third one to make it through the fourth which was going straight into the big headwind, I was fighting off a bonk with 3 minutes left and managed to hold it off. I still had some time to do in the headwind, I spun as smooth as I could, I could feel the lactic acid attempting to drain from my legs and it made quite the burn. Got back home with just over 3 hours of ride time, 2 bars, 2 750ml bottles of water and a gel in me.

It's funny how full your fridge looks when you're resting or fighting off a cold and once you're training picks up again it's "where the hell's all my food!?!". If the rain holds off I'll be cutting grass tomorow at work and hopefully getting a good tempo ride on the mtb in the afternoon, if it rains then I'll most likely do some core in the am and head over to the ITT for 6. I'm hoping for no rain because even though I'll have to work I'll have some beauty trails to look forward too and money is never a bad thing either.

A perfect meal for a carb-starved body, that's chicken parmesian burried under the pasta salad

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm running out of names for titles

Just sippin on some Sleepy Time tea right now to make sure I pass right out after the movie I'm watching, gotta get a whole bunch of sleep for tomorow's interval session. I've emailed De Cal about the 5min of 30s on/30s off, I'd like to do a few of those, ride around a bit to pull myself back together then move on to some cruise intervals. I'll post up tomorow on what I do and how they go, if all goes well then I shouldn't be able to walk until I go into work Thursday morning.

The reason for the needed sleep is that testosterone took over on yesterday's youth mtb ride with Etzl, Perry, Hopkins, and myself pushing a little too hard for a rest day. A pretty dumb decision, mostly on my part, you'd think I would be the last one to push hard on a rest day after what I went through a month ago that stayed with me for a long ass time. A good ride though, I'm surprised how well the two roadies ride the trails even after being away from the dirt for so long, Perry still had mud on his bike from September, maybe earlier. We have come to an agreement that there will be no more of that.

On my way in to work this morning I thought that it was another one of those days that would be freezing in the morning then the sun would come out and make it perfect for a tuesday night hammerfest. Not the case, at all, it got colder and the shit storm rolled in. My hands and feet were numb by the time I got there, as I approached the baseball diamond I seen cars pulling out in groups of 5. Even if it was cancelled, I came to rip my legs apart in the freezing cold rain so that's what I was gonna do. 8 of us had the same thing in mind, although some of us were questioning our decision after 30 seconds, mainly me and Etzl. I had no excuse though, having the most layers on and some wool socks.

The ride went well, we rode hard, when the pace settled there would be an attack within 15s from someone who was either too cold or pissed about getting someone's road spray in the face. Noah was launching some good ones, one was bound to stick, and it did. Three though juniors, they were gone, Etzl kept launching and got some good gaps quickly but with no one to work with he couldn't bridge. We cut the "crit" one lap short and Etzl tried to set up something good for me but he pushed a little hard and he was gone. I felt my bike bobbing a little towards the end and realised I flatted, the air held in time to get me to the sign.

Big thanks to Moote for letting me chill in his car while I waited for my dad, nice ride by everyone who came out today, good commitment.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

O-Cup #2 Albion Hills

After my dad decided to go to Kitchener for the weekend for my sister's last b-ball tourney of the year, I was left without a ride. If worse came to worse I would have taken the shitbox that really shouldn't be on the highway for longer than, well actually not at all. It got me to St. Catharines to hitch a ride with De Cal.

Got a good warm-up in with Etzl then around the circle by the stage area that went down last year too, got staged second row and was ready to go. I wasn't feeling as bad as I thought I would, but I did develop a small cough that is still with me now. Probably just some chicken manure residue, nothing major.

The start was pretty quick and I found myself near the back in a train with Moote, we were moving along at an easy pace and once I started to catch my breath from the start I picked the pace up and only Moote responded. We were with each other for while then we weren't, then we were, I picked it up again at the opening climb and he was still with me for a bit. I found myself alone, started feeling really good and quickly started realling guys in, quite a few were past on the Green Monster.

Lap 3 felt even better than the first 2, I was pushing hard on the double track and was riding the single track smoother than the way I rode it last year. The course suited a roadie very well, only a few slick sections and no real technical sections. I was surprised at how fast I was riding up the Green Monster, I always passed at least 3 guys there and was never passed. Just good timing I guess, obviously there were guys riding it much faster than I was.

Lap 4 started to get a little iffy, I took a water instead of E-Load (filled up my bottles there since I still haven't got around to buying some mix) to wash down the pasty lemon taste mixed with the thick gel I had a little before the end of the lap. I was drinking quite a bit because I could feel the cramp coming on in my right quad, the fourth time up the GM it made its way to my hamstrings and pedal stroke I could feel my right leg throbbing ready to unleash the cramp of all cramps. I tried to ease the pressure by pushing harder with my left leg and pulling up to baby the right one, kinda hard on a hill that steep. On the last long(ish) climb I knew I had to stay seated over the roots and at the steep switchback pitches because I could almost hear my right quad saying "if you stand, I explode". Had a 4-man train going and attacked on the last doubletrack and stayed solo till the finish.

I'm pleased with my effort, thought I did much better than 19th but that's just the way she goes. Niagara Classic will be a good tune-up race for Hardwood in a few weeks, goal is top 10/-10min from leader, seems pretty realistic if things go well.

Big thanks to De Cal's rents for the ride and him for the gels and Oat Meal to Go and to those who stuck around through the cold to cheer me on. Kerton and Jakob were super motivating at the top of GM, thanks guys.

Huge props to De Cal for a massive ride in Elite, Kerton and Jakob both narrowly missing podium spots and Sara from the SHCC who went from winning her second-ever o-cup in sport 2 weeks ago to a podium in expert today. As well as Morka and Emily for their big wins, over 20km/h average speed for Elite Women! Apparently Etzl was rockin before he got his mechanical too, bummer.

Of course, big thanks to my mom (and dad but it's mother's day) for all her support.

Day off work tomorow!

Stolen from Kerton's Flickr, coming up the Green Monster

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We'll see how it goes

Starting from Thursday, well the day at the barn turned out to be a little longer than I would have thought. There was no way I was going riding after an 11 hour shift, I had plans to hit up the clubs ITT but when the clock hit 6 and I was still in the barn finishing getting rid of the heavy it was not possible. I was so fried after that shift, I couldn't stand up at all by the end of the day and didn't really move the rest of the night.

Yesterday was pretty much the same, up at 7:30 trying to get some food in me before heading to the barn for 8. I was hoping for some easy distance after the shift just to get the legs going, 8 hours later I was heading home with the same intentions. Got home, showered up, didn't care what the weather was like because I needed to get out there. I started to get some clothing ready and the next thing I remember was waking up and realising that I had fallen asleep face-plant style with the towel still on for 3 hours, nice. Needless to say, there was no riding done. 19 hours of work in 2 days so far, it gets better.

So that brings us to today, same story, barn at 8. Got lots of work done in 6 hours which was enough to allow me to head home. I wanted to get a short tempo ride in but by the time I got home, do what I gotta do, it was time to head to my job at Club Castropignano to wash some dishes for 6 hours. 3 days, 31 hours or work, now I'm sitting in my room writting this out at midnight. I can't say I'm excited for tomorow's race, but I can say that I'm looking forward to a day off work and a day on the bike. I would be very happy with a top 15, satisfied with 16th.

Working that many hours wouldn't be so big of a deal if I had a desk job of some sort, although an 11 hour shift at the desk would have me coming home tired as hell, it's a different tired. Much like studying for a while then trying to get on the bike, it's all about getting over that mental hump. Whethere it be going from cycling to work or work to cycling, if you're job isn't physical then you've just got to be mentally strong enough to switch gears. Much easier said than done, I know, I'm just starting to ramble on now, time for bed.

I'll see you tomorow at Albion, well, today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Work then more work

Started work later than usual this morning, 10am, seems the catchers were slow as hell. I'm getting much more efficient at cleaning the barn and I convince myself that it will transfer over to the bike. It's good for strength building that's for sure.

Headed out around 3:15 with blue skies and lots of sun shine, oh yeah, and WIND. Very, very strong winds today. I had 4x6min intervals planned with 3 minutes of recovery in between, I headed down by the river to warm up then made my way North to start the intervals with a tailwind. I felt super strong through the first two and really felt the burn by the third one. After three I was on 8th Ave. heading east, so the fourth one was through a combination of crosswind and headwind depending on which way the road was curving. This one was really though but I pushed through and made my way over to Decew.

I decided to do one more after going down the wall, I pushed really hard through the headwind in the valley between both hills and I was really suffering trying to stay above threshold on the climb. With the stopwatch going I was able to time myself up the climb, starting at the 40km/h sign to the top was 2:45, not bad. However I still had a minute to go on the watch so hammered after the crest, made a quick right turn and finished it off with a sprint up the first hill on Cataract. High cadence spin in to the headwind on the way home.

It just started to rain now, I was hoping for some mtbing tomorow with a 5-20-5 tempo with equal rest thrown in. I guess it's gonna be 3h on the road with a 5min tempo then the St.CCC ITT which takes around 20min followed by another 5min tempo. Should be fun after a full day of shit removal, gotta make up for todays half-day.

If anyone needs some high quality chicken manure for their lawn, garden or to place in a glass bowl in your living room and call it pot-pourri, let me know. You'll have the best garden in the neighborhood, guaranteed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It came down to Handlebars CC v. St.CCC

Another good Tuesday night race, the pace was quick from the start with a few attacks on the first half lap. The climb up Saylor's didn't hurt so bad because Kerton, Moote, Watt and myself got the first one out of the way in warm up. Who am I kidding, my legs were screaming at the top and Etzl was feeling good so he took off. From then on it was attack after attack, surge after surge, everyone wanted to get a good workout in.

On the last lap there was a 6-man St.CCC train of pain goin on as we approached the Hollows so I attacked to break that up, it ended up working out and with Chown taking the switchback like Armstrong it was our turn to bring the pain. The climb up Hansler hurt as we made our way through the C and dropped B riders, I thought I was dropped but I dug deep and caught back on. This also happened coming through Sulfur Spring. I'm not very good at racing on gravel.

Coming onto Metler (last road before turning left onto Effingham) Noah launched a beauty attack and was quickly building a gap, his team mates played it smart as I was too gassed to chase and they weren't going to be giving no free rides. Chown told me to go, but I was loosing steam, for some reason I got a second wind a few seconds later and surged real hard in an attempt to bring Noah back. By this time the only people left of the 15 or so guys who started were 5 St.CCC racers (4 juniors) along with me and Chown. I knew Chown would have a much better sprint up Saylor's then I would so I tried the best I could to bring the pack back together. It worked, sorta, as we were closing in, Holtzman attacked and brought the pack back together without me. So I was popped off the back chassing as hard as I could up Saylor's, ended up catching Holtzman but the rest were gone.

Not a bad race at all, felt good and my top end is existent for the first time in a while. Albion this weekend... pumped.

Lots of chicken shit to shovel tomorow and 4x6min intervals after... not so pumped.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Night Youth Club

After a day of work around the house, mostly the garage, to make room for my bike-repair centre, I loaded up the truck and headed to Brock to meet the club. Yeah, I know, driving there is weak but mondays are my active recovery days so a 2h (usually 1.5h ride time) trail ride is perfect. As I was heading there it started to rain harder and harder, by the time I was at Brock it was coming down pretty good so I was thinking it would be a dump ride to work on skills which would have been fine by me.
We headed towards the trails despite the short rain fall and to our surpise they were not bad at all, a little soft heading towards the 8x12 along the creek. The 8x12 itself seemed like it would be soft so we avoided any damage to Marv's hard work. Since last week wasn't so hard on training I decided to give a few good efforts today, nothing Etzl couldn't shut down and easily counter with his team mate Hopkins close behind. I felt pretty good, my legs would burn any time I put an effort in but I wasn't exhausted.
We rode up Hogsback then some horse trail it was insanely humid and the rest of the trails we rode were bone dry. Somehow anything around Brock got much less rain than closer to suzanne's, even right after the rain fall the stuff around Brock was dry.
It was a great ride with some good guys, as usual. Even though I'm one of the guys that is supposed to be helping out the youth, I find myself learning from guys like Kirbie and Lemon (though he wasn't out tonight, back injury, get better soon man) and now even Etzl seems to have much more knowledge than myself.
Sorry for the lack of pressing enter, blogger isn't letting me tonight for some reason

Looks good, now I just need some mechanical knowledge

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Handlebars Spring MTB Classic

Neil Armstrong was over at 7:30 to pick me up, we headed south of the border for my first race in a different country. Rolled in Sprague Brook park before 9 and got registered and whatnot, hit up the first set of singletrack a few minutes later and realised I still had my toque on. I actually got in a very good warm-up today, around 40min, delayed start, some more spinning, shoot the shit, line up at a baseball diamond and we were off.

I entered the first bit of singletrack sitting 8th, up the first long climb I was pretty comfortable in the train. I didn't loose any spots but by the time we got out the open road I seemed to be behind 20, not sure what happened there, some people were talking about wrong turns that made for a short cut, I'm sure no one actually ment to do it. Anyways, this was before the second big climb so I picked off a few here and there and made my way back to my spot. Coming around the pond before the final descent of lap 1 a few people got caught by a flat trap, a dip just big enough to fit your wheel so if you hit it just right you find yourself with no more air, the guy in front of me who got caught was riding a 29er. Dismount and run it is.

Lap 2 I was feeling very good, the caffeine from the gel Nathan gave me was working its magic and I was starting to bridge gaps in the singletrack. I'll have a better idea of what position I was it at what point when the results are up but I believe I was in 5th or 6th and starting to pull in the next guy. I wanted to pick off 2 more guys before the end of the lap, but riding on the bumpy and greasy open field between trails just kicks the shit out of you. There was one nice really long doubletrack section that was pure horsepower, but I still couldn't seem to get the next guy. A few spots were swapped before the end of the lap but I think I stayed in the same position.

Starting lap 3 I could feel the depletion of energy in my legs and a hard-charging JC "the power house frenchman" Roberge wasn't making things any better. He ended up catching me on an open field section and I was unable to hold on to his wheel, I should have taken my gel before the next guy caught me that way I could have jumped on his wheel, but I took it after I realised that if I went hard on the next climb I would surely cramp. I had to let him go, lesson learned, eat gel before getting caught and not after. The rest of the race I fought hard but there was no one in sight behind me or in front of me, JC was gone. Came through the finish in 1:48 -corrected- and the winning time was 1:40ish by none other than Nathan Chown, no need for ""'s between his first and last name. Apparently he was leading the country in UCI points way back when, had no idea until there was a speach about him before his award.

Before the awards JC and I headed over to some 55 degree water to destinkafy and cool off, I'm not too sure where the water came from but I'll post up tomorow if I start to sprout a third arm.

Now get this, after the race we were treated to some deliciously greassy pizza, some salad AND FREE BEER! Yeah, I know, crazy. It nearly brought a tear to my eye, I think I saw JC crying out of joy though while eating out of his pizza box: "What? Dey ran out of plate". Although it was not as good as we make it, a wise man once told me that the best beer in world is a free beer, that would be my father. Out of respect, I couldn't not have one.

Huge props, first of all, to anyone who rode that course on a cross bike. Just finishing with one of those must have been a huge challenge, I couldn't bring myself to complain about how sore my arms and lower back were because of them. Of course, big props to Chown for the win, Neil Armstrong for his second place in 45+ (both on cx bikes), JC for an awesome performance for his first race of the year, as a matter of fact, Canada was really well represented with the SHCC and St.CCC. Also, props to De Cal, Perry, Visser, and Maccalum for their performance at Springbank.
Huge thanks to Neil for taking me there and back, that guy is awesome. Also, to Chown for his defenitely needed gel and bottle-and-a-half of Accelerade.

Tomorow is the opening night of the Youth MTB club, always a good time. Looks like a road race weekend in Hamburg as well as the Racoon Rally might be added to the schedule, which is getting pretty crammed if you ask me.