Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kelso day 2

Kelso Day 2
I arrived again in time to watch the start of the 11:30 race. Which again had some great racing. I’m sure the 10:30 start does too I just need too much sleep to get up that early. The course was guaranteed to be dryer even if it rained the course was mainly on high ground which drained well. The course is very well balanced with a little bit of everything, sand, pavement, power sections two run ups, a great all around course.
The start narrowed a bit at first and had two little chicanes so I wanted to get a good position. It worked out that I ended up leading for the first couple hundred meters. Until the first set of double barriers when Nathan passed me. I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to feel and I was also riding brand new tubulars that I hadn’t ridden before and wanted to get used to them. After the first run up, I was shuffled back into the back of a group of 6. Nathan and Box opened up a bit of a gap to Hines, Jette, Morse and myself. At the top of the first run up I made a couple passes and started to close the gap to the leaders. By the time we hit the paved downhill to the beach I was on there wheel. Which I quickly stopped following when nathan went wide up a bank, and Box ended up going wide too and had to hop the tape.(which was vary impressive) I moved into the lead going onto the beach and came out with a bit of a gap. That’s when I punched it to open it up. From there I was able to comfortably ride my own pace, which was interrupted when the organizer egged me on to ride up the first "unrideable" run up. I somehow managed to ride it, probably losing ten seconds. But it was well worth it. I was able to hold my lead and open it up a little each lap, to cross the line first to take the days win and the overall weekend.

I have a couple good quotes.

"That was the biggest waste of energy in a race ever"
Tim, the organizer over the megaphone.

"Is Stafford warming up for the senior race"?
"I really hope not?"
Both anonymous.

"Sorry about the sand…..Box"
or "sorry about the sandbox" not really sure which

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kelso Day 1

Today, was the first of two cross races at Kelso this year. We arrived in time to watch the start of the 11:30 race which was full of tight races. Also I found out BCC racer Mark Gray won the M3 race. The cadet junior race provided some great racing some nice spills to capture on camera. The course was slick in most places and downright muddy in others.

We lined up and admired a few of the costumes being worn, like Peter Mogg dressed as the Master A national champ, Rod Oliver well, he just didn’t change from Friday night, Batman, and the Mummy also made appearances. I wasn’t sure of either my riding or my legs after taking a week off the bike to rest my achilles. So I started off conservatively keeping my power down and keep upright the best I could. Nathan took off on the first lap and opened up a commanding lead. Erik, Hines, Morse and myself tussled around for a lap. I was getting comfortable on the slick course, and used an off camber section to pass Erik on the inside, almost crashing out but I managed to keep it up and rode up to Hines who slid out on a corner at the end of the second lap. Which left me in 2nd with a slight gap. While coming through the lap I noticed Nathan switching bike, which I later learned was due to a puncture. It allowed me to catch him and I was able to pass him on the flat muddy power section, leading into the one (big) climb. I opened up a good gap as Nathan struggled on his spare bike. I was able to settle into my own pace which was nice cause the course very tough especially the first half which left the second half for recovery. I was able to open the gap up a little each lap, which was good cause if I need to do a bike change it would have affected my lap times to jump on my C bike.(equipped with lights and all) Bretton Matthews rode my Jake again in the 11:30 race and it was a little muddy so I opted to use my back up backup bike. Once I hit the top of the climb on the last lap I just relaxed and rode in, the last couple laps really took their toll on my legs and I even walked over the last set of barriers.

Tommorow looks like it will be more of the same, we’ll see how the legs feel, but im looking forward to it.

i really can't think of anything

Sunday, October 19, 2008

East vs South? Showdown

Today we loaded up for the 3+ hour drive to kingston for what was supposed to be a cross battle of epic proportions with racers from both the Ottawa cross series and the Southern Ontario series. I learned something today, this time of year the sun doesn’t come up till after 7. With my mom doing 130+ all the way(hey gas is practically free now so why not use it) we arrived in no time to watch the first race go off at 10:30. Walking around I didn’t see to many southerners but I was excited about the course. It looked really well laid out with plenty of technical features. Including three run ups, and four dismounts where if have the skills to dismount on your right hand side you could gain considerable time through each lap. (I do not posses these skills as I found out in my warmup) When the first race finished we were supposed to be able to register. And the organizers were very clear in there releases "do not show up 20 mins before your race and expect to start" Well I guess this didn’t apply to them cause they didn’t open registration(to the southerners, the ottawa guys were out warming up on the course) till 22 mins before our start. Luckily for them there weren’t too many racers from the GTA. I was able to get one lap in on the longish 8 min course. I was very impressed.

My first mistake was not being more aggressive lining up and was second row to the side. We started and my legs felt good but the start was chaos. I stayed out of trouble and found myself sitting about 10 guys back I made a couple passes and moved up to the top five, which I quickly lost cause I was stupid and rode the actual course that was flagged. I opened up some cans of you know what, and rode into third place by the end of the first lap. I found myself about 15-20 seconds behind Osmand Bakker and Derrick St John. Which would pretty much hold for the rest of the race. About halfway through I started to make a little bit of ground but a girl crashed on the stairs right in front of me pretty hard and 1, her bike took up the whole staircase and 2, I was pretty scared she really hurt herself. I stopped and lifted her bike off her and made sure she was breathing before I carried on. From that point on it was just holding onto third and hoping maybe the two leaders would start playing some games and slow down…. they didn’t and drilled it right to the finish. Osmond won St John was second and I rolled across for third.
I was pretty happy with the whole day, we stopped for some dinner on the way home. I also almost found myself in the middle of a little dispute over Tim Hortons line protocol. It was tense.
Up next Halloween cross stage race next weekend.

"Please show up with plenty of time to register"

"Excuse me, when will registration open up"
Me, very politely asking with 25 mins before the race started.

"When I get there"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Media Rant,

K K K, so this has kinda been bugging me the past couple days. First before the election there was a little news story on the CBC about posting blog or facebook reports on local election results before polls on the other side of the country haven't closed yet. Because lawmakers don't want results in the maritimes to affect voters on the west coast. k makes sense.

The next report i saw after the election was talking about the low voter turnout. I find this very ironic the media would be surprised. Since for weeks before the election they were reporting the results of polls saying the conservatives would win a minority government by 8 points and say its accurate to 2 points. Well isn't that basically reporting the results of the election to the entire country before it even happend. Does anyone at CBC, Citynews, A news, ever think "hey maybe people will hear this poll result and think hey why should I vote, the conservatives are going to win" Seriously, if the media and lawmakers in canada actually cared about voter manipulation and getting more people out to elections they would stop broadcasting hyperaccurate polls to the public basically telling them how the election is going to go.

"voter turnout was the worst ever" f*&(cking think ?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brewery to Brewery

Today i had the very special honour of being invited to the fourth annual brewery to brewery ride. I woke up early with anticipation to a beautiful july morning. 20 degrees, sun no wind. I headed down to the start point the Robert Simpson brewery. I was greeted by some familiar faces i haven't seen for a while, like retired elite cyclist turned firefighter Jamie Matheson. We headed out at 10 ish, which i think was closer to 10:20. Our destination was the Creemore springs brewery in you guessed it Creemore. Jeremy stole my route from last weeks ride to get us over there. Even with a longer than desired ride on hwy 90 we all made it in one piece. I do admit my ego was taken down a few notches when i missed not one but two sign sprints. Like didn't just lose i could have handled that, but missed they were coming up. Oh well, we arrived and had some samples. Well i had one sample as i was worried about my handling skills if i had more. Then headed across the street to a little restaurant for coffee and lunch. By this point we were all starting to get a nice sun burn. After blocking the sidewalk for an hour while we ate outside at our own sidewalk tables. We got back on our bikes for the tailwind ride back home. With my brain on full alert after an awesome grill cheese I took the downhill tailwind sprint from Scott and Jacob. Well Jacob had no chance cause he was riding a cross bike with a 46 tooth big ring. Then we settled into a nice rythem back down through glencairn and above Base Borden.

I was already at this point physching my self up for the big sprint of the day BARRIE. yup, we climbed up sunnidale and i played my cards just right with Jacob leading me out. At one point it was a full 9 person wide sprint. If only there was a photographer. Thankfully i think i was the only one riding a full size crankset with an 11tooth cog so i was able to take it.

Its rides like those that remind me why i enjoy cycling.

"Its June, right?"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Escarpment escapades

Ok, so the niagara escarpment isn’t the rockies but it does provide for some nice cycling opportunities. Saturday I loaded up the cx bikes to head up to highlands nordic, near Duntron to defend my hillbilly hustle title. Next to the Barrie cross race this is the next closest so it was nice to be able to just cruise over there. I arrived partway through the 11:30 race to watch the juniors/womens/m2 race. I leant my Kona to Bretton Mathews who wanted to give cross a try. It was neat to see someone else racing the legendary two tone Jake. He finished up a strong 3rd not too shabby for his first cross race. I offered to let him keep it for another day and race Sunday in Toronto, He politely said no thanks, one was enough for the weekend. Warming up on the course was fun, seeing the modifications to last years course making it a little more visible. We lined up and started out hard for a $200 prime, I think was an attempt to see if I would repeat my epic explosion on the second lap. I was pretty much redlined and couldn’t close up the gaps to Mike G over the power sections Erik and I rode through a few seconds back. We regrouped on the second lap, our positions changed a few times as we took different lines through the "boggy" sections. Also through a narrow semi singletrack section I think Erik thought I was going to T-bone him but I rode past his rear wheel with about an inch to spare. As we hit the run up for the second time, Erik was leading and dismounted while Mike attempted to hop the barrier only to land a bit off center and roll his front tire off. Mike switched bikes and Erik and him chased up to a few seconds of me. I was the last person who thought they wouldn’t catch. One lap I was about 10 seconds up then I was suddenly 45 seconds. That’s actually when I pinned it to really open it up fearing they were playing some mind games and one would launch a massive attack and ride up to me. The course also got pretty tacky especially the downhill switchback so I was able to corner with a lot of confidence on the Norco CCX 1. After nine laps I crossed the line to take my second win of the cross season. And most importantly retained the red jacket which is what really counts.

After a good nights sleep in the jacket I woke up to sun and got ready for a long hilly ride from Barrie back up to the same area as the race. I met up with Scott, Kevin and Robb at fred grant at 10 am. We headed out for an awesome 190km ride with about 2000 meters of climbing. First up after a 2.5 hour warmup we hit scenic caves road, I was kinda a jerk and told Kevin the climb was just past the first corner. He believed me and kinda blew up. We creasted the top and rode down the other side to Ravenna, to find it cold dark and ominous. Then looped back on Grey road 19, and to our pleasant surprise the Sun came out and the temperature was easily 5 degrees higher on this side of the escarpement. Next we headed back up pretty river road towards Rob Roy, easily the nicest climb I have done in Ontario long, pitch changes, quiet road. We stopped in Singhampton for some fuel. Then headed back down to warmer temperatures in Creemore. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful until we were 25 minutes from home and almost all went down in a heap. I didn’t know until yesterday that two riders riding side by side could actually touch all four tires together. We made it back after 7 hours of riding, I drove Kevin home, it was the least I could do after misleading him.

After that I got cleaned up and headed out to see Nick and Norahs infinite playlist…..not to shabby, basically if you liked superbad and or Juno you’d like this.

"Half of what I say is bull"

"The other half is skewed"

"Guys where are we, do you think we are in Singhampton?" While standing under a big sign that says Singhampton.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mid week round up

Just sitting here getting ready to watch the Vice presidential debate. Im hoping Biden brings Palin down a couple notches. And i don't think McCain is allowed to stand beside her and talk for her, so she better be ready. I might flip by the Canadian Debate but seriously, 4 people yelling at Stephen Harper isn't exactly a debate.

Riding wise the past few days have been pretty good. Yesterday i did an awesome hilly 125+km ride, up Mt st louis, Moonstone, Horseshoe, basically every hilly road i could find i rode up. Today was an extended ride around base borden, which was topped off with a little rain just enough to make me feel tough when i finished. You know, all euro and stuff...

Tommorow ill probably head out on the road again for a few hours. Saturday theres a cx race up in Duntroon, followed Sunday by what might be shaping up to be a long group ride up to Scenic Caves road and back, which will be killer.

"I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office" Palin
......Then why are you?