Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is that it? is it? well the muds are coming off

Today is Tuesday so by my calculation yesterday was Monday, that can only mean one thing trying my darnedest to stay of my bike to appease the cycling gods.

Afternoon was spent dialing in and torquing all the nuts and bolts down to spec on the FFH team bike. Air pressure, nice to have it on the side of the fork for reference. A call to the OCA re: my license which has pulled a Jimi Hoffa twice now.

After dinner I caved and packed up the bike and headed to Midhurst for a dusk ride. At the last second i second guess myself taking the beast and loaded up the bucket instead, oops, the trails were in mid summer shape dry as a bone, even the muddy corners that were never dry last summer were lacking moisture. Only had to use my light for the last 15 minutes or so.

This morning started with me setting up camp at the mailbox across the street. Still nothing, called down to the OCA and they were super helpful and agreed enough was enough and are printing a new license. They dispatched Brendan Arnold on his bmx bike to personally deliver it. So if you see an Australian dude riding up the 400 at 130 rpm, pass him some water and food. The first license and race plate was returned once already for my street name having an extra letter in it. resent on march 7th and has never been seen since. Not the OCA's fault, again salt of the earth, Nicky Pearson and Chris Baskys have both been super helpful.

Headed out on the beast for a shakedown ride, headed out through the simcoe county forrest, yeah muddy, but don't worry the damage i did compared to the trucks, atv's dirt bikes, and the 8 loads of garbage dumped in there was negligible. I almost used the sofa's to bypass the muddier spots.

Did some fiddling, then onto some gravel roads, bike feels pretty much the same as last years, imagine that, except for the fork, lockout is sooooooo nice, and the ergon grips are a little different.

Afternoon, washing all the bikes, except for the r-series bucket, that needs to stay dirty until the first Wednesday in may. And switched off the muds for the summer tires, oh and how sweet they are. The summer tires drive like they are made from a mixture of angel feathers, baby seal skin, polar bear tears, and butter. Compared to the snows.

The suns drying power was cranked to 11 this afternoon.

The new m-series beast

Bike wash party

Inside, an e-mail was awaiting me confirming an evening ride from downtown, quick dinner and downtown to meet Orrin for a nice ride out ridge and back. Legs feel good and recovered from last week, time to hurt them again.

Steady ride, well maybe slacked a bit at the end

Sunday, March 28, 2010

before I get ahead of myself

First congrats to Sue for a 2:39 and new addition for a solid 2:20 at the around the bay run. Scary how much info you can gather on a person using their last name and the sportstat website.

For myself a little more coasting is in order. Up early to beat the rain that was supposed to start at 11(actual start time 5) also changed out the powermeter for a "DA" wheel in anticipation of rain and with it an 11-23.

Some others apparently had the same idea met up with O, Jherbst1, and F1 rush. Out ridge to Hawkstone, then up to 15/16 and back, pretty straight forward. Good conversation, wide range of topics, most good, some caught me off guard. Passed some runners way out near the 9th or 10th, one we saw three times, going out, coming back, and then again at the coffee shop. If it was an out and back she probably ran darn close to 42 km. Tristan i think i have a running partner for you.

Coffee at Casa, again more conversation of a secretive nature, Handshake, chanting, secret symbols, straight out of a Dan Brown novel.

Weather wise, looking up for the rest of the week until Guatemala where it will probably snow (advance apologies to the people of that country).

I'm sure I am forgetting something,

"I was sitting beside Oprah and some old guy who flew a plane" (old guy being Chuck Yeager)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

hour of power

crunch time, one hour to type this up before powering everything down for 60 minutes, ok, ill even go the extra and say 65 minutes.

The day I had planned went well, Tristan couldn't make it, we missed him, especially Jacob, they are like milk and cookies those two. But in his place Lizard was there to keep us humble, I think she took every sign sprint and hilltop finish.

Pulled into the parking lot at blue pretty much right at 10, alongside the die hard skiers and boarders, exchanged weird looks with them as Matt and I got our bikes out and kitted up. Both thinking the other was crazy, actually the skiing would have been great today. But so was the riding, its all about choices.

Rolled out, I think I made a bet that on the other side of the escarpment it would be cold,cloudy and windy. As opposed to the sunny, clear, and balmy 5 degrees on this side.

First up after about 30 minutes pretty river road, Jacob and Matt stopped at the bottom to do some burpe's and lunges and various crossfit things, while I continued on with my prescribed workout, HR on the first one bumping it up over the course of the climb.

Matt and Jacob arrived shortly after and we carried on down 31, where i was quickly educated that just cause a road is highlighted in yellow doesn't mean its paved. But it was still 10 times smoother than most paved roads.

Fast decent into Kimberly, then up Epping, total hero climb, huge tailwind pushing an already fast climb, this time was starting hard and bringing it gradually back to tempo. you know what, ill put some charts up. speed blue, power yellow, hr red, torque pink,

Repeat, then again up the backside of 19, Tempo this time taking Jacob and Matt along for the ride. Down, then back up the super chill easy scenic caves road at the end of 4 hours.

here's just the interval for scenic caves, what caught my eye was the torque/speed relationship on the flat portion at the top.

Jacob proved whos TCR was fastest, stop at the top to take some shots and video's, testing road tires on a ski hill, prorace3 vs, conti something's the conti's won, better braking and steering.

you guessed it back down, through the euro roundabout, and to car. 110km, 5200 feet, not bad for flat Ontario. Calorie intake at the bull and beaver or beaver and beer can't remember the name.

Home, present from sibling, customized energy bars, can't wait to try em out. Usually I can guess just about any gift that is wrapped, had me guessing right to the end.

I think I surpassed my goal of one screen length of post.

"you want to turn around and chase that guy don't you"

"yes i do"

Friday, March 26, 2010

......... magazine day(this is a pg blog)

Lots to tell, not enough energy to type it all out, or am i just saving my energy for the Collingwood thing Tomorrow?

Workout yesterday went as planned kind of, I fiendishly devised a workout on the rail trail. Basically every time I had to slow down to cross a line, I would then accelerate to x hr before settling back down to tempo. I thought it would give me roughly equal parts on/off, since while riding it seems to take for ever to get to each line. I misjudged, while doing 40 the lines come up really fast.

Got home and called it a good 72 hours of intensity, legs agreed walking up the stairs. Arranged for some female assistance in the shopping department and headed to the upper Canada mall in Newmarket, puts the Georgian mall to shame really. Still found myself raiding the same stores, west 49 and sport check but way better selection. Yes there was some EMO pants tried on by mistake, they fit but didn't think it was really me. Nice evening/dinner out forgetting about cycling for a night.

First day off since getting back from Bens, so got some stuff done around here took the pup for a solid W.A.L.K. Before heading to Woodbridge to make all the guys at Norco stay late so I had the new bike all setup for this weekend. Salt of the earth those guys(and girls) Spent the evening measuring and dialing it in, still needs some work. May or may not be right at 21 lbs with a quick heavish tire and tube setup.

Here's a taste. In my mind the best new MTB innovation in the past 10 years.(maybe second to lightweight xc disc brakes)

10, need sleep, pretty river, Epping, back side of 19, scenic caves(last), in the morning.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

what no lollipop?

The travel clinic visit was productive in that i can't lift either arm over my head. The address said penetangue road, turns out its on a sidestreet right across from mountainview. Lot was full, so i just parked in a dr. cameron's spot.

Got more shots than i thought i was getting, and even a prescription for anti malaria meds, i was joking when i said malaria yesterday. Overall i walked out of there somewhat nervous.

The weather did a 180 today so it was sunscreen instead of a buff over my face. Similar workout to yesterday but on the road bike, with power. I still rode by hr but it was good to get some reference points for when ill be without the powermeter for the coming weeks.

Luckily the road bike wasn't hard on the guns. Great workout, blew out lots of carbon, cobwebs, oxidation.

One more tough workout tomorrow on the rail trail,


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

18 minutes

All the time i have to write up this post, that's one way to make sure its not a book.

Got my taxes out of the way monday afternoon, in time to get my battery charged for a ride in midhurst. Looked at my files and the first ride last year was april 27th, so about 4-5 weeks ahead of last year. Another point for Al Gore. Solid ride one new tree down thanks to not having 8 winter storms roll through, a little snow here and there, Copeland shouldn't be to far behind. Yes I crashed, it was more of a bail then a stumble and trip into some brush.

Matt killed some parking cones with his Audi afterwards.

Today I was back on the mtb for some intensity on mapleton, started a workout i wanted to do, almost passed, gathered my thoughts and decided to do something a little more progressive, start at 165 hr and keep bumping that up 5 beats each run up until I couldn't go any higher. That went a lot better.

10 minutes.

Now headed to Midland for my polio, diphtheria, tetanus, malaria, small pox, plague etc, all kinds of crazy shots for Guatemala.

Weekend could see another mns group road ride,

Also discovered I am (will be) within riding distance of the midland TT's, Orillia has a new club as well, not sure where there TT's are though, might be nice to mix it up a little.

2 minutes

Stoked, .....oh looks like I need to get down to JR150 soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I lost

I am officially MNS's slowest eater, apparently i am horrible at eating my food in a timely fashion.

Now that i have cleared that up, I got ready for today's ride by doing a jaunt around town on my exc1 or xce1 or cex 1.... hitting up the various little city trails and green ways here and there. Sunnidale, bike path, bluffs, and of course to remind a few of the impending ride. I thought i would be a tough guy yesterday and forgo my booties bad call, and my feet were a little angry at me by the end.

But today was the big day, the (well,a) pancake ride, missed it the past couple years as it has been pushed back into April and race season. Well dusted off the facebooks account and got the MNS+ crew out to do the ride seeing as we all start racing soon and will miss THE pancake ride most likely.

I won't go into to many details as the usual suspects will probably all have good versions, unless they all write the same thing in which case I can describe in detail the happenings, just some highlights,

-Almost running over a running group who apparently felt like playing chicken with me on the bike path.

-The twins riding by yelling shake and bake 3 km out from Hawkstone only to get steamrolled by Brandon.

-Delicious, delicious, pancakes and sausage and coffee

rest day,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nice while it lasted

Today brings to an end the summer weather, apparently the mercury is going to drop this weekend. But the rain appears to be holding off.

Dual purpose for today's ride a) ride my bicycle b) scope out coulson hill for dampness ... c) work on my knee tan.

Riding out into the south I noticed a lot of dump sites on the sides of the roads, actually been noticing them a lot this week. Nothing new spring cleaning always brings spring roadside dumps, fun for the whole family. But the amount of stuff has risen I thought.

Continued on removed the warmers to let my knees breath again, made it to coulson rode into the first piece of single track, snow appears to be gone but just barely and the ground is still super soft. A little more time to dry out.

Turned north again as the wind really started to pick up, had the 45 degree lean on a few times, headed west towards Egbert to see what the government is cooking up on the hill. Wind was maxed out here, pushing tempo wattage going downhill at 22kph.

Home, chatted with neighbor about the weather and his choice of 404's.

Inside, got the scoop about the new dump tipping policy the city has put in place in February, eureka. We used to get 500kg free per year, now its 100, that explains all the dumping going on. That will teach Innisfil to reject Barrie's growth.

Sunday, 7 degrees and sun, Not sure we can call it the Chuck Norris pancake ride anymore.

should be a good weekend

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Been getting back into the swing of summer in the metropolis that is Barrie. I hate to say it but Al gore just got a couple more points. I think he may have edged ahead of the non-climate change movement. Today was the earliest my knees have ever seen sun this side of the border. And I have the left knee of a 90 year old man and keep my knee warmers on longer than most.

Getting ahead of myself, with little sleep after the weekends journey home I wasted no time getting in some good long miles(sorry kilometers). Monday, tuesday details are escaping me but they were good, all the roads are in superb shape stopped in at the shops to say hello and to show off the new beast, well received at both shops maybe better at one than the other.

Yesterday I had plans to ride with another human being but was scared of his manliness and switched up my workouts. And found myself spinning my wheels in the afternoon doing powerstarts and stomps. New high max sprint, I can probably win a cadet road o-cup sprint now. (or was i getting ready for the all out sign sprints on the pancake ride...which is funny as i don't think there is a single sign between barrie to shaws.....)

Which brought me to today, got up as early as i could and hit the road to collingwood, and pretty river road. I'll spare the weather details, got asked 3 times in about 15 minutes how to get to blue mountain. I just pointed to my 2 o'clock and said its that big giant hill with ski runs on it.

The climb was nice as always, decent was also nice. I have gotten with the times and been doing a little logging on mapmyride, and thanks to a "jherbst1" I discovered a new route back from Creemore which is way nicer than the regular division to 9 route. Wish I could thank this anonymous mapmyrider, will make the brewery to brewery a lot nicer as well.

Heres the route

ChuckNorriscakes ride Sunday,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

jet lag

Back home after a long drive yesterday. Took the super secret route home, saved a bit of time and distance. The drive was mostly uneventful, lots of rain which actually acted to keep me awake and focused on the task at hand.

Highlight came just after Erie heading towards Buffalo. Two solid lanes of traffic just cruising in the fog and rain, no one was going anywhere in a hurry. I was just about to move over into the right hand lane as I figured it would be the same anyway. When a guy in a Toyota started flashing his high beams. At first i thought he couldn't stop and he was warning me. Then i realized he was just an impatient something something. So i decided to sit tight and just follow the 200 cars in front of me. He did it a couple times more until he realized he wasn't going anywhere even if i did move. Got clear a few minutes later and he smoked by and put the hammer down. Sure enough 30 km down the road, he's pulled over by a state trooper. It took every ounce of my limited matureness not to flash my high beams as i went by.

Made it home, a shade under 16 hours, new PB, I think I can go sub 15. With some better stops and not getting stuck at the border.

Unloaded, piled my stuff in garage some of it on top of a bunch of big moving boxes, which i didn't really notice. Got to bed, woke up realized my watch and my cell phone were different immediately felt out of whack.

Wandered in to say hi to mom and noticed stuff in boxes and empty selves. Didn't take long to put 2 and 2 together and realize, in my 13 day absence, mom found a house bought it, and sold this house to my brother. lots of what?, when? how? wheres? later and things got cleared up with little to no swearing.

So, early June big move to Craighurst just west of Horseshoe Valley. Keeping with tradition, of never being to far from 400 i think i could hit it with a potato gun.

Great location for sure, I can be on trail in minutes, and my favorite roads are just outside the door. Big enough yard for two dogs, pool, walkout from the basement to the garage.

And not really a huge rush out the door in one day from here,

Gonna miss, the bluffs, street fights, proximity to Starbucks, finishing most rides up Mapleton,

Not gonna miss, finishing most rides up mapleton, The heavy traffic around town, driving to ride my MTB,

Hitting my word limit. Stay tuned I have a post that is long overdue in the works.

Oh yeah, ride today, legs good, it rained....

"Sir do you know how to use a pen?"

Friday, March 12, 2010

uber quiet

morning post, please don't fall out of your chairs. This place seems to be deserted, the quiet is deafening. Time really has no meaning here, in regards to bedtime or sleeping in,

The end days are hear with my departure from chez Benno tomorrow sometime looking at a sunday arrival home. Yesterday I took the juniors over to rocky bottom to the OCA training camp.The drive over was interested fully loaded van, then had to stop to buy the camp groceries for the next morning,the small fuel efficient engine was struggling a little bit driving into rocky bottom.Made it in one piece.

I walked in a thought it was my kind of place, no tv, no internet, no distractions. The youngins don't think so and I think I caught some of those looks that parents get when they drop their kids off at a summer camp they don't want to be at.

Its just another reminder of the positive changes going on in cycling in the province. not to use the "when i was a kid" line but yeah, there were never huge oca camps with 40+ kids and 10+ coaches when i was that age. I think Ontario cyclists are some of the best in the country and with camps and support like this is can only get better.

looks like there could be a little more rain today, but it is looking clearer, the st kitts guys left early to do their last ride as well.

gonna miss, the nice drivers, giant walmart, being in a house full of other cyclists so there is always someone to ride with, the ingles advantage, the beautiful glow of the nuclear powerplant on a foggy night.

looking forward to, being taken for walks by Starbuck, an early mtb riding season, tuesday night world road championships of Barrie,a pancake ride, swapping back to the Mazda,

getting a little long, i wish blogger had a word count then i could set a limit...oh I think I just had an idea.

"Hey Dan theres a mistake in your new magazine"
(I think 4 people yelled that at some point)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


You know the drill, two day recap of the events, The st kitts guys are all settled in and were getting along swell. Today we headed out in a big group with most heading to Clemson to hit up starbucks. I had some stomps and powerstarts to do and didn't want to be that guy on the ride so i peeled off on the 130. Actually i couldn't handle the taunting by the juniors. Good ride, the rain started to come down near the end, but I was good and warmed up by that time. I felt good at the end the legs really opened up finally after feeling a little flat.

Yesterday, I headed out to pickens to do some tempo after warming up with LB. Made it there made an awesome 40 kph 4 lane u-turn, and headed back but headed towards Clemson to get more time in. Finished the 90 minutes in time to look up and see juice coming up the hill, was a little tired so i didn't turn around, he would have just chirped me for being slow anyway.

A couple good dinners, some good tan lines, good times all around,

"too many to list"

Monday, March 8, 2010

a monday for the books

Onto an every other day post routine apparently, so as such i will hit the rewind button to yesterday.

The weather was seasonal, started out with the usual warming apparel. Headed out with Anton, DZ and the juniors, They were planning on doing the whitewater loop, but i had some 30/30's to do, i was able to get a nice 45+ mins in with them, making one wrong turn which caused a nice daiquiri break. Its been a while, actually since the "THE ride" that i have ridden with people so i was a little unsure of the pace and Anton was killing it right off the bat. I wasn't alone and we all came to the agreement that we would not want to race Anton on the road anytime soon.

I turned off in Salem and headed back doing the workout as planned, 2 sets, the second set went better than the first, not to surprised about that one.

Dinner, homemade burgers, I was in-charge of said burgers and grilling them, semi-epic fail, but salvageable.

Today was laid out in advance as a recovery/starbucks/chill/tanning ride. Started with telling Zach he wouldn't need a vest he argued and subsequently was a little overheated. Great ride into Clemson, LB and Zach me tricked into getting a scrumptious cinnamon roll. On the ride back there was some dreams of full zip jerseys. Ended up riding some of the St Kitts guys that are down for this week. Capped off the afternoon with some dock time, trying to bribe each other into the water, I finally caved for the grand sum of 5 greenbacks. But apparently it wasn't a real bet.

Pretty chilly not gonna lie it was hard to breath at first, but in man-ride tradition i did a backstroke, front crawl, and doggy paddle.

Dinner was a 3rox/Norco mission to Clemson to find the most legit mexican place we could find, wasn't as good as the west union place but it was still solid.

"click, click, click"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

day something

The warming trend culminated in a shorts and jersey ride today. Well at least i finished in that with my vest packed full of gloves, and knee/arm warmers.

yesterday, I just toured around here kinda sorta getting lost, but generally knew where i was and knew i would find my way out to a road i knew, found a gravel road climb, i swear i heard banjo music playing, went a little faster. Im sure you've heard all about the nice roads and weather down here from various other sources. So I won't go into that, but one more thing that makes this place great for cycling is the friendly drivers. Whenever i start out down this way the people waving at me and being patient always throws me for a loop. Takes me a few waves before i remember "oh yeah the drivers aren't all a bunch of bleeps down here"

Today, was some punishment on the 130, or whitewater climb. 6 on 6 off 6 times. Thought i would get to the other side. After over an hour of climbing still didn't get to the top of the climb, made it too North Carolina though. Lots of snow and pretty chilly almost had to pull my arm warmers up.

Semi-bonked by the time I got back to the house, Good stuff.

virtual applause to Jacob for almost pulling of a back flip, almost there.

The AW LP lawyers are in contact with cornering extraordinaire's lawyers regarding some blatent plagiarism. Even though it was encouraging.

"how many cyclists does it take to clean a vacuum cleaner?"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

day 3

Two days in a row now of nice weather, could be a trend. My bed is right under a window that gets the sun shining in the morning which I have discovered is a really nice way to wake up.

On tap for today was a mtb ride over to the isqua....i can't remember trails. I was able to convince Zach to come along and show me the way, and with his help was able to put together a nice 25 minutes lap that i did twice and a bit at race pace. Made myself hurt good on the climbs, which was strangely a nice sensation. After that i explored a little bit, didn't even scratch the surface i think. I had the gps on, but couldn't "acquire" any satellites. Nice riding, nothing gigantic (8th line type stuff for my oro area readers) in the way of climbs, one nice long gravel road climb which gave me flashbacks(nightmarish) to sea otter.

As is common, I have a tough time believing the weather when it comes to dressing at first down here and always over do it. Good warm weather training I tell myself.

Not sure if it will ever get posted but i've been selected to the pan am championships team, in Guatemala on april 11th, and then shortly after that I'll be heading to the first two world cups first one is, Dalby Forest in England and the second being the infamous Houffalize. Just recently i got the official invites so Im pretty excited about those races. Three new countries, three new courses, two new languages not to be able to speak. And a good chance for some good uci and world cup points.

Hopefully I'll still do Paris to Ancaster, the flight over is the day after. Mansfield is out but I should be back for the big Wednesday night winter bike showdown. Rest of the season through mid July should be pretty straight forward.

looking forward to the pancake ride/ 3 giants and a Norco showdown that i think will happen.

tomorrow, we'll see how the legs feel.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

rough day

day 2 was much better than day 1, yesterday was what i would call the worst possible cycling conditions, 2 and wet/snow/wind, yeah good thing i brought my new minoura trainer with bar adjustable resistance. I wasn't really planning on doing much anyway. The juniors put in a good man-ride, not 400 range but solid 300 pointers, with Laura getting bonus points for not being a guy.

Today, i was awoke by this bright thing in the sky, looked familiar. Good eats, then off to do the "devils Staircase" ride, i forgot how long the climb is and how steep it gets. the entire ride went a little longer than i wanted but it was ok. they love there road salt down here, there was a solid layer on the roads up higher. had to rinse off the beast after the ride.

The beast, tightest, twitchiest, stiffest bike I have ridden. Very pleased but i do need to switch some stuff around, a carbon post i think would help.

poweragent went bluey on me and didn't save my ride, i was going to snip it and post it. shame.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

morning post

After 16 hours, many coffes a monster energy drink, questionable border crossing, many arguments ranging from girls to deer, we made it here just after midnight.......and its snowing. awesome.

9:15 and there are only two people awake, these are my kinds of people I'm sure i'll sleep a lot more tomorrow.