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.