Monday, June 20, 2011

Lake to Lake and a few things in between

I'll start off with training leading up to the race, didn't do much. My hard day was set to be the 8x12 but a flat ruined that. The walk was tough though. Starting to adapt to working 6-2:30 everyday, waking up at 5 sucks but way she goes. Lots of beer consumed to help me sleep early and plenty of coffee to help me wake up. Friday took an especially large amount of beer to get some snooze but eventually I got there.

So since cross bike was flat I figure I'd better just use the Kona and worry about cx in a few months.

On to the race. Start was fun, De Cal off the front and I was just hangin on. Couldn't take a pull because I was already spinning out my biggest gear so everything came back together pretty quick. After that it was just holding my spot to the first quad trail section. Lead group was still pretty big at this point. Chown got in first, Preston next, they both dabbed and I somehow made it to the front. I kept the pace high with a small gap but Anton came flying by with Chown on his wheel. Couldn't latch on, Soutter, Preston, De Cal rode by so did Schmidt at one point because I was chassing him down for a bit the lead group just out of reach.

Schmidt and I worked good together for a bit keeping the gap about the same. He crashed out in Mosquito Valley and I was left to chasse alone. De Cal was just ahead for so long but I couldn't bridge until eventually I came out of Suzanne to see Chown and De Cal with only a few seconds. Bridged up and should have been patient and waited for the rocky trail to attack but I was impatient. Chown got in that trail first and my race for 4th was over. I didn't have good enough power Sunday to shed two strong guys on cross bikes with my mountain bike on the road so 6th it was. I was happy with that.

Good day for the team with all 3 guys in the top 10, Meg 4th overall female and crushed some pretty fast guys too finishing 45th overall. Nice.

What to say about Nationals this upcoming weekend? Strategy is easy, sit in for the first lap to warm up, attack the first time up Appleby and solo the rest of the race riding nothing but the 53x11 and only shifting down to the 12 for the steepest part of the climb.

To be honest though, it's just going to be a cool experience. I'm way out of my league but I'm going to enjoy the experience for sure. Maybe get my butt signed by someone famous or something.

It has come, Mt Bellies Belly Buster Challenge Sunday. I've been training, I am now ready.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No power

Hmmm, what can I say about Albion. Start off with something like holy shit that was probably the scariest experience on a bike.

Don't know what happened from Friday to Sunday, pre-ride I felt amazing, field was small, course suited me pretty well, it was shaping up to be a great performance (relatively speaking of course).

Right from the gun I wasn't feeling it at all, start was horrible but actually ended up being the best part of my race. From the first piece of singletrack to the last I was in survival mode, I was so confused why I couldn't just go faster. I was barely in the big ring, I don't remember much but I'm pretty sure I took a couple descents in the granny ring. Fast forward to last lap, felt like I had done 8 laps and not 3, was riding like shit just like the rest of the race, then Koffman rode by me. I held HER wheel for a few minutes and actually started feeling good, contemplated passing but I figured I'll keep that pace and make it back to the start in good time. All of a sudden the terrain got steep, I got dizzy, dismounted and tried to pull myself together. Did this a few times, one hill I looked up and could have sworn I seen snow caps on the summit. It was not pretty.

Apparently I didn't DNF, but they pulled me. I wouldn't have went out for another lap anyways so in my head it's a DNF and I feel soft as hell for it.

8x12 was a bust, Etzl and myself had a big gap up front before heading into the first singletrack then next thing I know I'm walking for an hour to get back to the start. Down an expensice tire, the rip on the inner tube was big enough to just let all the stans I put in flow right out. Maybe I didn't do it right, fixin them fancy things was never my strong point. Either way, mtb tomorow, hopefully get to the quad trails in the lead group and see how she goes from there.

Good luck to Alain Deschamps tomorow, attempting his first race on two wheels instead of two feet. Who knows? Maybe he'll hang up the sneakers for good and trade em in for some razors and spandex.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Good power

Took thursday off and had 2 days in a row of good power after that, Friday I headed out to Port and did some motor pacing. It kind of sucks when the driver isn't someone you know, just a random vehicle turning onto the same street as me. You gotta be smart about it though, 50km/h limit streets are the best, look for an old clunker that can barely hit 60 or an old person driving a Buick. The Buick has less of a draft then an old rust bucket pick up but the fumes aren't as bad.

Today was Albion pre-ride, got a ride up with the Fleury express (big thanks Keith), rode 3 laps at a pretty good pace. Felt good on the climbs, singletrack is bermy like around here but better with the rock features and roots.

Tomorow I'm hoping for good power so I can keep it in the big ring the whole time, and that it stays a little greasy because it's funner that way. Tonight I'm gonna chill and watch some Planet Earth, tomorow it's pancake time!

I believe that is all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hills

Many hills climbed this week, for me anyways. Tuesday me and De Cal pre-rode the Albion course, good thing the Green Monster isn't in it, there's enough climbing on that course as it is. The singletrack is so sick, rock gardens, a few drops, bermy turns, good stuff.

I couldn't follow the spinach and anchovies diet to get down to race weight so I got a hair cut instead, probably a good 5 pounds, so I should be good for a few months to eat whatever I want.

The L!B 12 mile series was fun, an early attack from De Cal that only Etzl could respond to ment chasing for the whole race, passed De Cal after he rode right off the trail, didn't really know what he was doing turns out he was in the midst of a shit storm. It's funny how everyone in the top 5 had some good stories about crashing and whatnot after the race, no one really had a solid ride but De Cal definitely had the worst/best story. No one broke any bones so it was a good night.

Albion this weekend, pumped.

Monday, June 6, 2011

HARDwood

My first legit Canada Cup, I did the race at Hardwood three times now but unless you're Cadet/Junior Ex or Elite it's not really a Canada Cup. Right from the start there was definitely a HUGE difference from an O-Cup, I took the start climb way too easy trying not to burn out by the top. Lesson learned, pin it right to the first bottleneck then grab your bike, throw it over your shoulders and yell "Tasses-toi mon collise" as you plow through the field.

Once into the first singletrack it was all downhill from there, literally. I thought that I would have plenty of energy and I was so pumped to get going but I just couldn't get there. I was riding like a knob and climbing like a plug, therefore, making up not a single spot in the first lap. Caught a couple guys on the opening climb, but once back into the trail I was useless. For laps 2-4 I had times where I would feel amazing, but they were short-lived and soon I would be feeling like a shithawk trying to fly low enough to stay out of the shitstorm.

The best part of the race was when I jumped the biggest gap on the BMX descent, just before the second berm. I know it's nothing, but I haven't jumped a bike like that since my days riding the Raleigh CT special, destroyed pretty much every part on that thing. Good thing my sister had the same bike so I could just use it for spare parts.

Anyways, so lap 5 and 6 were awful. I was riding with Jamie Wagler for a bit and we were closing in on a couple guys but next thing I knew he was gone and I was nothing more than a pilon on the trail for anyone coming up to pass me. I got a last burst of energy just before the BMX descent and sprinted a guy at the end that actually ended up being a sprint to not be the last finisher. I can proudly say I crushed it and crossed the line a whopping 55th, oh well, it was so much fun to experience a Canada Cup, hopefully do a few more next year.

The weekend was alot of fun, felt amazing on the pre-ride Saturday which made for some fun riding. Highlight was definitely showing up at the fanciest place I've ever been too in my life wearing my french socks and Jamaican kicks, me and DeCal with our matching O-Cup shirts. I swear we were the only ones in there not wearing a suit and tie. First they wanted to tell us that they were booked til 8, but they couldn't even say it seriously as we looked around at 30 empty tables. Then the waitresse tells DeCal "so, I'm guessing you guys don't need a wine list", I guess only little kids wear matching t-shirts these days. We got a pint of steamwhistle and the most amazing pasta dish I've ever had, ever. And I've had alot of pasta. Come to think of it, maybe it's not actually called pasta, but I call any dish with noodles pasta so that's that.

Solid weekend for team Lib. Meg on the box, Schmidt got a solid race in after some bad luck in Québec. De Cal finally broke his curse at that place, no broken frames so all was good.

Just finished my last exam today, this week I'll be on the mountain bike every day. Hopefully get a BG fit if there's enough room this week then it's nothing but spinach and anchoves to get down to race weight, gotta counteract the cinnamon buns and apple pie that made up the majority of my diet over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

T.O. crit

Just lost the whole report I wrote up on the crit this weekend. Tried writting it at school and I guess the Toshiba can't compete with the Macs for internet reception.

All I'm gonna really mention is what happened at the end, because that's the best part. So I'm riding up along the side of what I think was the JetFuel train but can't really remember, got a little excited and tried to take the inside line, I wasn't really thinking straight because the JetFuel guy was just to my right and I was hoping he'd stay there because I was calling inside, he cut in and I had to grab the front brake hard, wheel popped up and skid for a bit, on Etzl's wheel (big thanks!) but luckily didn't go down and no damage was done. Just a lesson, merge into the pack a bit before the corner to keep everything smooth then keep going with the attack or leadout or whatever after the corner.

Anyways, felt like shit just before I did it and when I slowed down, I really slowed down because I was heaving pretty good. Never actually puked after the race I don't think, but that is all changed now. Let out a good spew half way down the finishing stretch as everyone was blowing by me trying to stay in with the sprint. Nutella and french toast it was, I understand why a kid in the crowd went "Eeeewww", there was some coffee in there too.

Good times in T.O. afterwards.

Training this week has beed pretty crap, usually takes me a couple weeks to get used to the heat. Hoping for gewd power this weekend and Hardwood... and RAIN.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nothing a little R&R can't take care of

So, how slow was I this weekend? Well, if you look closely, that there, ladies and gentlemen, is a snail who not only managed to catch me but then proceeded to drop me on one of the many rollers out on the course. My excuses are we were going into the wind and I was pulling the whole time AND is that shell even UCI legal? Super light and aero, there's no way that thing has enough protection to withstand a crash.

Not sure when the shitty feelings stared but when I was barely hanging on to any surges and found myself off the back about 5km into the race, something wasn't quite right. Maybe a little overtrained? Underrested? Who knows, or better yet, who cares? What I know is that this week is going to be super easy, tomorow I'll try some 30/30s to get some top-end training in before the crit this weekend and every other day will be very easy spins. Tuesday night was another brutal attempt at intensity, I'm not worried though, I'm bound to string together a few bad days in a row here and there. It's all part of the learning process. At least it's going much, much, much better than last year.



Can you say winter training partners?


Some awesome interval sessions going down along the Feeder in Wainfleet, a big question I have is are those beavers or muskrats that have their little dams in there? I didn't think we had beavers this far south but they look like they have flat tails and buck teeth.









Hopefully I start to come around by this weekend. I'm pretty sure I was at my best form of all time last week and was loving every minute on the bike. I'll post up before the T.O crit with what I hope are words of happiness.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Round 2 - Woodnewton

Sick weekend started at casa De Cal with all the boys on the Lib! team loading our stuff into Schmidt's van, a couple hours or so of driving and we were at the venue. We remembered to shut the car doors this time during the pre-ride and all went well. Some good singletrack, good climbs to go hard and a couple drag race sections to get to the singletrack in front. Just like last year, we hit up subway for some fuel and Vince's for some groceries. The team chefs cooked up some potent fuel at a cool B&B on Scugog Island. The night was super chill, just sittin around, eating and I even got in a foam roll session. Won't be long now before I get myself one of them fancy things.

Morning of the race was awesome with about 6 pounds of french toast in us and seeing Contador rip a mountain stage apart we were all set. Good vibes on the drive there, pulled in with plenty of time to watch Meg take a win in the cadet expert field after opting for the rock garden which gave her a big enough gap to hold to the line. Then, with the help of JC, I got my bike dialed and I was ready to go. Warm up felt good, some spinning, some efforts, it's all pretty much the same.

Had a good start position, I was riding behind Peter Glassford for a bit then by myself. The Lapierre train came rolling by and I hopped on for a bit, turns out my stop was the first one and I was all alone again. I was hurting by the end of the first lap, not being able to hold anyone's wheel that came by. I don't even remember who came by me and where I was position wise, I just kept a pace that wouldn't blow me up before the finish. I think it was Tim Carleton that came by me at the end of the third lap, we battled for the 4th lap, caught someone, now it was starting to get funner.

Fifth lap was by far my best one, I dropped that group and just kept hammering everywhere I could. The tight sloppy singletrack section was probably the worst riding I've seen from myself in a while but it was slow for everyone anyways so no worries. Not sure when it really started to come around but next thing I knew I was bridging up to Jamie Wagler, then a few other guys, then Simon Wagler just before the last climb. I punched it and just kept hammering into the last descent, I didn't want the race to end because I was finally going like I was the first lap. I'm very happy with 20th because my goal for the first half of the season (pre-Nationals) was to get in the top 20s and because I get some points.

Another successful o-cup for the team with Meg's win, Schmidt (huge thanks for the weekend of driving!) coming in 6th, a solid result in such a stacked field. De Cal always doing his thing, only 3 spots away from a top 10. Sara got herself on the podium again at Bike the Bruce, should be some fun racing this weekend on the pavement.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mansfield XC O-Cup

First race in the big boy field went as well as I could have hoped, my goal was to start off at a pace that won't blow me up then pick people off as the race went on and I did just that. Here's a video of the start with some halarious commentary from mama De Cal.


video


The guy leading our group into the first set of singletrack was going pretty slow then clipped a tree, I ended up at the front after that then caught up to the next group before the first of two steep climbs. Ended up on Soutter's wheel before the third lap, nearing the end of lap 3 I got away from him, then the next guy up the trail, then the next guy. Now I was getting pumped, maybe a little too much because I came into the technical(ish) descent and had a pretty sick crash. Lost the two guys I passed and ended up back with Soutter.


Last lap wasn't too exciting, I got away from Soutter on the start climb. I was feeling surprisingly god on that climb byt the third lap, big ring until the steeper part. Then it was all about making my way around lapped traffic efficiently. I caught another guy and dropped him near the last few trails, he caught me on the descent but I stayed in front coming into the last cyclocross turns. Or at least I should have been, he cut me off big time on the first of the turns, I had to slow down enough to lose his wheel and I couldn't take the next 2 corners quick enough to catch him, oh well, I'll crush him at Woodnewton. The only shitty part is that was #20 Ontario finisher so the last position to get points. This video would be awful evidence because it misses the most important part but I'll post it anyways.



video


Solid day for Lib! with De Cal getting a good position to go up if history repeats itself. Meg on the podium and Schmidt in the top 10 in a very strong junior field. Sara was up there at Springbank, her first year in Elite and she's killing it! Again, huge thanks to the guys at Lib! for the last minute hook up. Had a skipping cassette during pre-ride Saturday (thanks to De Cal for the drive!), I thought it had plenty of life left and would be good for a new chain... nope.


Anyways, does anyone know if ZM Crit is on? If not, I'll have a good 2 weeks to focus on round 2 of the XC series, if it's on, it'll be a great time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ride in the wind

The wind that is. I'm stuck inside the house all day because I have to watch my sister's new little husky puppie, I was going in waves of getting pumped to ride out in yesterday's wind then actually considering riding the trainer for a whole minute or so. This video is what pushed me over the edge, I was psyched, I couldn't wait for someone to come home to take over the babysitting shift so I could get out there.


I was loving the crosswinds, there's something about leaning hard into the wind while hammering that gets you jacked up, like pressing your check into the boards and holding em there til someone picks up the puck. A great thing about big winds is that you always have to be alert, keep an eye in the direction the wind is coming from for flying debris, cars, trees, cows or anything. You have to be ready to react quickly, either dismount and hind behind your 15 pound bike and hope the welders weren't hammered when they put 'er together or get out of the way. If it came to it, I would have chosen the latter but to each their own. I'll admit I was a little scared at times when the wind would really pick up only because I heard rumours of a tornado warning and it's pretty gloomy near Dunville especially with no sun. I still had my shades on but that was more to protect my eyes against the flying odjects mentionned earlier, it's always good to be able to see IF you go down so you can pull yourself together.



Facing a massive crosswind on river road I actually managed to put together a decent plan for the ride. Fight the wind hard til Pt. Davidson, 1-2-3-2-1 minutes intervals with equal rest time in the tailwind to keep an effort going instead of unzipping my jersey to use as a wind sail. Then attack the mini rollers all the way home. Lots of trees down on the route and even a chunk of road flew away.






A couple pics from Wednesday's ride. The first one is a sick piece of land that I would like to own, it was taken at (probably) around 40km/h, because of a nice tailwind, besides the pole getting in the way it doesn't look too bad. I took it 2 minutes before I saw Morka coming from the opposite direction, did a U and rode against that beautiful tailwind I was having and had a solid chat.






Not much else going on, I'm taking a couple courses in the spring. A physiology course and injury care & prevention, so 7 hours of class on monday and wednesday, gotta figure something out for the 3 hour window I have on those days. Maybe a 3 hour jumping jack session at the gym.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Friday Road Race

It's getting better, this race actually went pretty good. Minus the DQ of course.

The day started off the same as P2A with a bowl of oatmeal and 4 pieces of french toast, only difference was 3 eggs intsead of 2, that's probably what did it. Left home a little behind schedule but it was cold anyways so hanging around to watch the earlier races wouldn't have been too fun anyways.

Warm up was pretty short, rode up and down a few roads, a couple leaks and I was good to go, or so I thought. I was trying to ignore the fact that I had to pee and the race was about to start any second, the race started and just as I made my way close to the front De Cal mentionned he had to pee as well. It really only bothered me at the start when there were only a few surges and I couldn't drink because it made me want to pee, by the second lap I guess I forgot about it.

When I made my goals for the first half of the season (before Nationals) a big one for me was to be able to hang with the S1/2 pack. I'm not strong enough to make anything happen yet so basically my plan is to always be looking for shelter from the wind and going hard to stay with the surges. There were a few exciting things that happened during my race, the first came at one of the short climbs either on the first or second lap. Anton was to my right, the guy to his right either fell or just bumped him, which made us go shoulder to shoulder, a solid body check. We both stayed up but someone must have hit my back wheel and I heard there was a crash so either that guy went down or the guy that nudged Anton went down. Either way, close call.

Another close call came when I was on the left of the pack, on the yellow line coming into a turn, I wasn't paying attention for a sec and when I looked up there were the pilons that I had seen every lap but managed to forget about them, swirved to the left to dodge it then cut right before the next one which lined me up good for the corner.

The best part of my race preceded the worst part of my race by about a minute. There was an attack, Anton went with it, Cam Jette tried to go and I was on his wheel. As he started to slow down I jumped and made it to Anton and some other guy. I wanted to go but they were already sitting up waiting for the pack, probably a good thing because apparently just getting to them took a tonne out of me. The reason I say that is because once I was back in the pace picked in a crosswind section and the pack was strung out from front to back. It was cool to see but not when that string of guys is coming zipping by you and there's nothing you can do about it. I couldn't latch on just before a right turn, Trevor was dropped at that time as well and we worked hard to get back in. Good thing it was a tailwing, I thought for sure my race was done at that point.

Nothing too exciting after that, the crosswind section where everyone was on the other side of the line was probably the toughest section. I always found myself near the back here, there were many surges and to hang on to the guys wheel in front of you not only were you across the yellow line but you had to be careful not to end up on the gravel shoulder, ok, maybe not that bad but it was pretty bad. I couldn't see up there but I imagine the guys responsible for the surges were going close to the yellow line so one could get shelter but since it was after a corner the guys wouldn't come back on the right side of the line and kind of like a domino effect, by mid-pack everyone was on the wrong side of the road. A couple times I didn't go but when that would happed you would be the guy that would cause a split, everyone would come by you on the left and you're right back where you started.

The closing kilometres were pretty fun, I got beside De Cal, we were boxed in but I seen a line on the right that involved a little riding on the shoulder. I knew he'd be down, I yelled for it and I thought he was on my wheel so I went for it. I got up there but looked back to see a JetFuel guy, damn it! I dropped back a bit again to go get the guy in yellow, next thing I know we were flying and I started cramping, just survived to the finish.

I didn't expect the cramps because I didn't feel anything near a cramp during the race, the fact that I drank half a bottle for the entire race probably caught up with me. First no-snow (or so we hope) mtb race this weekend, pumped!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Paris to Ancaster

Gonna be a short one.

Started off around 300, start was pretty quick and I had a hard time moving up. We turned onto the first gravel stretch and I tried to move up as much as I can, riding off the trail or in the ditch proved to be ineffective, all the rain made it too soft to keep some good momentum. Moved up pretty close to the front and next thing I knew everyone surged then slowed right down, turned right, I guess this is the hill that I was told about. It wasn't too bad but everyone started dismounting in front and all around me so I was forced to do the same. Running didn't feel good.

I was in a group of 8 guys or so, Montague and Dakin were in it. We were working pretty well together, the pace wasn't too high but I didn't have the power to fight the wind by myself. I screwed up quite a bit in the mud sections and the last ones I actually did ride just filled the space around my brakes/fork/wheel with mud. I don't remember much from then until the finish, just nearly cramping up bad going up the last hill.

Again, huge thanks to the guys at Lib! for getting my bike dialed for the race, they're sick. Also, solid rides to DeCal, Chown, Perry all in the top 10. Schmidt had a good ride as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Homage to Bronte

2 race reports in one, could get long, here we go. Training was great since my last post, finished a few weeks ago, during the rest week I felt great and super pumped to start a new block. That was last week, the first hard ride was probably my best ride yet, rode hard to Hamilton, did the Big 3 three times each and rode hard home. I was pretty congested for the rest week but didn't think much of it because I'm always congested. Friday night before Bronte I really started to feel bad, brutally congested, ear infections, migraines, chest cold, I was a disease infested pile of shit. Saturday night I thought for sure I wasn't going to race but woke up feeling alright and after Derek from Lib! just made my bike a beautiful working machine (HUGE thanks for that!) I had to race it. Also, big thanks to DeCal for the flatbar. I started off pretty good, made my way close to the front and that was it. Turned onto the snow, rode it good but still lost a bunch of spots. Started the long hill climb and I watched everybody walk away from me. The rest of the time was spent feeling pretty good for a couple seconds and putting the hammer down then back to feeling like crap. Everybody rode away from me effortlessly, it really wasn't good for the pride. I had full intentions on pulling the shoot after the first lap but then Cayley Brooks caught me and convinced me to do another lap, glad I did because I ended that ride on a good note. Congrats to Meg and De Cal for their wins. Then it was on to a brutal night, finally fell asleep around 3am after 4 advils, not so liquifast. Doctors the next day confirmed a sinus infection, chest x-rays, throat swab, urine test, breathing test, ECG and physical just to be sure. Got meself a bunch of meds and took a week off the bike, still haven't even cleaned my mtb from the race. I wasn't expecting anything today but I was going to watch for sure anyways so I figure I mine as well race, maybe it was the 8 hours with the chicken shit yesterday that did it or the 5 hours of dishwashing last night but something gave me some good legs today and it was awesome. Start was really slow, the first few surges weren't so bad based on everybody's expression around me but I was hurtin bad. There were 8 short laps to get warmed up, nothing too drastic happened, an early break got away but they would later need assistance to survive. The surges were getting easier and easier as I started getting some legs, I was starting to feel good and made my way close to the front. Did a little work and a couple attacks but nothing too useful. Morka and De Cal were doing most of the work for the group, a chase group of 5 formed and stayed a few seconds ahead of us but they didn't seem like they were going anywhere. Not until Chown hammered away from the group to join them, the solo bridge was nuts, just sick to watch. Then they started making some ground and soon joined the lead group. I kept surprising myself every time we made it to the turn around and seeing the numbers go down while still being in the bunch. With 3 to go I thought it was over, I started cramping up really bad but thankfully the pace slowed and I was able to recover enough to stay in it. Same thing happened a few times but somehow I managed to stay in for the bunch kick. I made my way up good, got in the 53-12, started my sprint on the grass, still moving up and now I was pumped. Got back on the pavement to avoid the barricades and got boxed in. Oh well, started cramping up again anyways. Huge props to Chown for the win. Exams next week and hopefully feeling good enough to start some intensity again.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Making the best of things

Posts are coming pretty consistently at once a week, not bad I guess. I hope all you guys are nice and warm down south, I'm not jealous, ok maybe a little but only because the teacher's assistant union from Brock (CUPE) are supposed to be going on strike starting Monday, if the strike lasts 10 days I'm gonna snap. No I won't, but I'll be very sad that I didn't get to spend that time in some warm weather. That's a lie too, I'm not soft, I'll deal with what I'm given.

I'm pretty cooked right now and it feels good, great ride today with Csikos, met up with Etzl and Sheldon and cruised around St. Kitts, stopped for coffee (of course!) before heading out to Smithville at a pretty good clip. We were going to make it a 2h ride but it started getting a little nicer out than the snow storm we headed out in so we extended the ride to about 110km. Big effort taking pulls on Pt. Davidson into the headwind, twas fun indeed.

So far 19 hours this week, after tomorow it should be 22-24 depending on my softness, for once I might actually go through with it and head out with the St.CCC. Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Motorpacing workout on Tuesday was awesome; 5x10min followed by some sprint work. Why do this behind a car you ask when I can do it by myself? Because riding behind a car makes you feel faster, therefore in better shape, need I say more?

So Wednesday I needed to get about 3 hours in but it was supposed to be at a nice easy pretty much recovery pace, planned out a route and a meeting point but then the wind picked up, the rain started and the temperature dropped 5 degrees. Let me explain myself why not going out in that was a good decision, training against the elements is arguably the best kind of training you can do. Mentally you feel tough, you feel like a badass, because you are. Everyone can agree that training weakens you and it's the rest that follows the training that makes you stronger, the deeper the hole you dig the higher the mound of dirt you have to stand on once you crawl out. Well, the tougher the elements, the bigger the shovel you have to dig that hole, you feel me? The analogy makes sense in my head so let's go with it. So if you're goal for the ride is to hurt then don't bitch out when it comes to harsh weather, the body will adapt. But if you're goal is to cruise, chill, recover or whatever you wanna call it then heading out in harsh weather seems counter productive, example, try recovering in a 40km/h headwind.

I've come to realise that my gym membership was a waste of money, the only thing I use is a set of dumbbells and the chin up bar, the olympic bar too for some squatskis but there's usually a line up so I don't bother. I do, however, enjoy laughing at meat heads, especially hearind them speak about how intense their workouts are. Seeing that intense workout in action is probably as entertaining as it gets; bicep curl a piece of iron for 18 seconds, pump arms in the air in different directions, fire a couple texts, call up their girlfriend or mother, hit up facebook and a sip or two from their protein shake before getting back at er. Then again, some pro guy can read this and be like: "24h week, yeah I remember my days as a cadet". Well screw you man cause I'm tired.

Thoughts everywhere on this post, could be a good thing. Maybe I should stop writting so much and post up some pictures like I've been saying I would countless times just like my foam roller routine and daily yoga sessions... yeah, maybe.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Already been a week!?

Not much has been happening since the last post but since I'm training now and it's been a week I figure I should do some sort of update.

I woke up Friday morning feeling a little more tired than I would have thought, the only sort of workout I got done was shoveling the driveway. I was good because of the crazy amount of snow we got but a little short, after that I was a zombie for the rest of the day. Saturday... well let me tell you about Saturday. First 5+ hour ride of the year, I wasn't feeling it right from the start, I was enjoying turning the cranks over but I wasn't getting anywhere fast. First bonk of the year also, but that's what pastrie shops and coffee are for, it was quite the recovery, enough to get me home anyways.

Sunday I was still feeling it so I got out with the dog for a couple hours in the Short Hills, ran a bit, walked a bit, no push ups or pull ups this time. I wasn't feeling like Rocky.

So that was the end of my reading week, this week flew by and now I'm up to my eye balls in homework that needs to get done by Monday. Today was supposed to be circle route #2 but there's no way that's going down considering I have to work tonight and tomorow night as well. I've got a paper to submit by tonight so I've got to get that done before heading in to work. It would have been good to get in a really long ride today because I've only got about 8 hours in so far this week.

Club ride tomorow is looking like a good idea, gotta get home in time to do some mathematics.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Some time with my bicycle

A wee bit of snow fell Sunday night, enough to leave the roads too shitty to ride on for 5+ hours so De Cal and myself headed out for a 4+ hour hike in the Short Hills with my dog who was chassing dear and squirrels the whole time. He's getting a little braver and starting to venture way out of sight only to come running back onto the trail to catch back up, pass, and jump back off the trail to do it again. Maybe one day he'll actually bring something back with him, but doubt it. We threw in some push-ups and attempted some pull-ups so we can feel like Rocky, it worked, I felt ripped.

Tuesday morning I hit up the Short Hills for 3 hours with the studded tires, I don't know if it was me or the tires but I was riding like shit for what the trails seemed like. On Monday there was an ice base layer and a little bit of snow on top, Tuesday it was pretty similar but the snow was a little firmer and ate my wheel quite a few times. Oh well, crashing is fun in the snow. Energy was very low as I was finishing up in the 8x12 loop so I decided to finish it up on the road to get back to the car. Followed that up with a couple hours of strength work on the farm carrying pales of chicken feed around.

Yesterday was supposed to be crap out and my boss needed me, plus I knew I'd be tired so it was perfect. After a couple hours of work it was really nice out and I wasn't feeling tired at all, oh well, can't complain about making money. For the first time in a long time I was motivated enough to come home and ride the trainer for an hour or so. Today I was planning on 4 hours on the road, it would have been pefect if I wasn't stuck in my big ring. I tried to downshift coming out of my street but nothing, with no choice but to hammer all the climbs and keep a decent pace when it's flat I ended up with 3.5hrs, after killing myself up DeCew I knew I wasn't going to bother with another little loop to get the time in. I felt really good today, recovered quickly from uphill efforts and stayed strong the entire ride.

It's good to finish rides this time of year feeling like you could have kept going physically and mentally. Physically because this isn't the time of year (for those starting their race season in April like myself anyways) to be putting in those kinds of rides because that calls for an early season burn out, especially if you live where it's a little colder than places like AZ or Cali. Mentally it's great because you're already pumped for the next ride from the second you get off your bike and wipe it down.

So I guess training is now in full swing, so is calorie consumption. I'm hooked on dates now, I always seen De Cal munching on them when we were at races and whatnot but never really liked them that much. Now, for some reason, I can't open the fridge without popping one or two in my mouth.

Hmmm, what else is new... I'm in charge of groceries now and cooking most nights so pics of deliciousness are defenitely on their way.

I haven't decided on mtb or road tomorow, if we get alot of snow then it's going to be mtb for sure, but if we get more than alot I might head out for another monster hike. Saturday is supposed to be nice enough outside for a few hours on the road and then some, we'll see how she goes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Frostbike - déja vu

I was feeling really good heading into the race yesterday after an amazing pre-ride on Tuesday and a very similar one Saturday. We did a lap and a bit with the big frenchman in the picture below who ended up taking second overall! I felt I was riding strong and started to find some good rhythm in the trails, top that off with am amazing bike tune-up by none other than Mr. Derek McCaulay himself and I was good to go.

Got to the venue just after 9am to find that all the prime parking spots were already taken, so I found a nice hidden spot right by my dumpster friend. Got registered and was surprised that the guys from the SHCC had reserved my number for me, big thanks. Did the usual pre-race shoot the shit, get kitted, complain about a thing or two like the cold and eventually get spinning. We headed out onto the course for a lap and my rear tire was slowly losing pressure, I topped it up and made it back to the start/finish with a little less pressure again. You'd think I would do something smart like throw a tube in there or swap wheels, but no! That's just not how I roll. Well, I didn't roll far.

The start was pretty relaxed, settled in behind Spak with JC leading the train. He started pulling away with De Cal right on his wheel so I was looking for a spot to get around Spak. First attempt was unsuccessful because my chain jammed, I got around him on some pavement and hammered into some awesome singletrack with JC in sight. I rode his wheel for a bit then when things opened up again I hammered and didn't look back until the next set of singletrack. I had a decent gap but the one between De Cal and myself was even bigger. Next thing I knew I was almost riding on my rim, huge thanks to teammate Alex for stopping to give me a CO2 despite a hard chassing JC. The tire filled well then emptied even better before the end of the next doubletrack. The walk back was long, boring and shameful but it is what it is.

I got back to the truck, threw a tube in and was destined to hammer out an awesome lap to try and get a spot on the podium. I started off strong and motivated only to find myself on some crazy slick trails and I knew it would take one hell of a ride to pull off a good time on a course like that. I guess you can say I rode like a knob, a knob on a mission though. I wanted nothing but to hammer my brains out and found myself down hard a few times, again, you'd think I'd learn and slow down, ride smooth, not! In the end I missed the age cat. podium by 10s. On a positive note I did have the fastest second lap time, but that, of course, doesn't mean squat.

Huge congrats to team L!B for 2 wins and a third (+ age cat. win), they killed it. JC is a machine, old news, but a 2nd overall is a great way to start a season to be raced in expert. AJ posted a crazy fast time despite riding 3 times since November!

Of course, big thanks to the SHCC for all their hard work to get this race going. It was a great time, already looking forward to next year.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rider(s) announced for awesomest training camp in the world

It's official, the applications came in and the selection was made, riders attending the super awesome 10 day training camp are;

- Justin Henri
- Your name here

Originally I had plans to go to Blue Mountain for 5 days but when I found out I could be riding 3-6 hours a day straight out of the armpit of the world I couldn't resist. Big reason is that I've been slacking, school work has something to do with it, but in the end I blame it on poor time management.

Today was day 1 of the training camp and it was a solo 2.5hr ride until I met up with Keith Fleury and Chris heading towars DeCew, shot the shit then we parted ways heading up DeCew. It was a great ride, the wind was strong but it wasn't cold so it wasn't bad at all. First ride without a jacket this year, pumped about that. Too bad it's going to get cold again by tomorow morning, -6 isn't too bad but the wind coming from the North is freakin cold. That being said, Frostbike cold go either way conditions wise, if the trails got flooded from the melt we just got then I might be better off swapping the spd's for my skates. If the trails managed to stay alright then the little bit of snow we're supposed to get will make for some perfect conditions, we'll just have to wait and see.

So the next days of camp should look something like Frostbike pre-ride, Frostbike, century ride and a 3-5hr ride Tuesday morning before I have to be at work for 1. Wednesday I told my boss I'd work a full shift because he needs the help and it's a good way to get two birds stoned with a rest day and a money making day in one. If I'm feeling motivated I'll hit up the trainer afterwards or maybe, just maybe, I'll put a lamp on my head and go see how many times I can eat it before I get tired and start crying for my mommy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Say it ain't so

It's been quite some time but my life isn't all that interesting, especially with the lack of physiology-related courses this semester. I do, however, have zoology which is kind of cool, sponges are sick, that's pretty much what I learned so far.


I'll start from where I left off about a month ago, that weekend was pretty rough, turned out to be a 3 week process because I was only able to work weekends. My weeks have been pretty much the same until this past weekend where I didn't have to work and I was able to ride Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I've been getting out as much I can during the week and making some money while cross-training during the weekend. I might have to work this weekend, it won't be so bad now that we got about 12 feet of snow! Snow day yesterday was awesome even though I didn't get much done because I was tired from all the outdoor riding. It's crazy how much of a toll the cold takes on your body, but push through it and the body will adapt. The only thing that keeps me going when my hands and feet are numb is that it will only make me stronger. I'm pumped for the third year exercise physiology course I'm going to have with Dr. Cheung to understand the scientific explanation behind those adaptations.

Hmm, what else? I tried to ride the Hood sometime last week and the trail wasn't packed in at all so I stayed on the ski doo tracks for a couple hours. Today I didn't even bother with the outdoors because I had a 2 hour window to get some tempo done so that brought me to my first trainer ride of the year. Thursday mornings are good for trainer rides because I don't have much time and tempo work is pretty efficient on the trainer. Tomorow I'll try and get out on some trails, I have a loop in mind, depends on the weather and tonight's festivities.

Now that De Cal has announced it I guess it's official; I'll be riding for team Liberty! Bicycles this season, big thanks to Kurt for how generous he's being for us. The guys at Handlebars are awesome but it's hard to build a solid relationship when the shop is over the border and I am rarely racind there on top of that. Great group of guys though and I hope to see them when I head over there for some racing.

Now that training is in good swing, I wouldn't say full swing yet, I'll post up here a bit more often. Frostbike is coming up quick, then before you know it it'll be race season. Some big days on the calendar include National's for road racing because it's real close for the next couple years, there's Hardwood because it'll be my first legit Canada Cup, and of course Green Mountain.

Oh yeah and this thing needs some pictures once in a while, so next post will have a few of those... maybe. It's pretty darn cold out to stop and take some snapshots and I'm not one for self-portraits on the trainer. So maybe pictures will have to wait a bit afterall, ok now I'm just wasting your time. Later.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This should be interesting

It's 11pm and in an hour I'll be heading off to work, I'll get to that in a bit.

Starting from where I left off at the last post, Christmas was fast approaching and if you've watched TPB Christmas Special then you've learned everything you need to know about what Christmas is all about. I'm not gonna lie, I was drunk for 5 days straight, then when the dust settled I went for an awesome mtb ride with De Cal and since then I've been riding alot on the mountain bike. Before the heat and rain came the trails were so amazing I couldn't not go for a ride. New year's came and went, not much to say about that night, really, I worked from 5pm-3am in the kitchen because the other dishwasher that was supposed to be with me cancelled at the last second. My breaks consisted of beer, tequila shots and when it was midnight I drank some champagne, then some more, and more. Before I knew it it was 3am and I was finally done all the dishes, I was heading out calling around looking for some place to enjoy my buzz but apparently everyone passes out early on new year's. Whatever, I drove to work so I needed to find a ride regardless of where I was going.

I just thought of a good resolution now; learn how to fix my freakin bikes. I only thought of it because that's what I've been doing anyways, I got my cross bike and beater mtb working perfectly minus the avid juicy 5 adjustment. I'll give that another go when I get the chance.

I have a rough idea on what my season is going to look like but some changes to class schedule will most likely alter what my weeks will look like. Oh sweet, just though of resolution #2, stick to a training plan. Meaning proper train/recovery cycles and learn how to peak and taper for races. So, I guess I'm in Base 1 now. Had a good cross training workout today with a good 9-2 shift on the farm, since one guy from our 3 guy crew moved away to Dominican I've got to step up this crop and help out with the shipping which means in 30 minutes I'll be back the farm ready for an 8 hour shift to get thousands of chickens loaded into a truck. Then it's time for some hockey with the St. Catharines CC, hopefully I wake up tomorow afternoon because I've got to go back to work for some quality time with the scrapper, shovel, and tonnes upon tonnes of good ol' chicken shit.

Happy new year!