Sunday, October 31, 2010

stuff that didn't happen and the hillbilly hustle

I know there has been a lack of posts here, sorry, actually no I'm not sorry.

Haven't really been up to much this week. Still working on the garage, getting pretty dialed. I have a crazy plan to actually park my car in the garage.

But I may have made it up to blue mountain yesterday for a ride with some misfits to three stage and back. It could have been an awesome ride, i think we pedalled for about 2 hours of it but it took us about 5 hours to complete the ride. To go into more detail would probably mean a dis-invitation for next year. I did however fully miss the evening's festivities.

This morning I awoke to a face full of sunshine and though hey what a nice day for a bike race.

got driving still nice and sunny but i realized I couldn't see the escarpment from 26. And then the road got snowier and snowier, started to wonder if the van would make it up the hill to highlands nordic.

rolled into this

Hopped out of the van Pete Mogg rode past me on a mission, turns out that mission was to get the frack out of there(smart).

Signed in said my hello's to the hillbillies and Pete who tries to be a hillbilly once a year. The juniors race and womens races were good still very snowy and hopefully it would stay like that but it looked like the snow was starting to melt.

When I got on the course it was definitely starting to turn a little soupy like it usually does for the afternoon races like these, albion 07, riverdale 08. But apparently cross racers are tough so I'm told.

Got lined up and started in short order trying to minimize standing around. Mik took the lead right way, opened a gap, I ran a little more on the off camber and closed it back up. At the top i got clipped into my pedals faster and took the lead. Tried my best to not think about the prime cause it can lead to some good blowups.

Mik came back by on the last uphill and promptly slid out on the next corner, I think we both giggled like school girls. Regained the lead and was able to hold on through the line for the prime, the one and only time i used my big ring.

Anything below the knees was basically numb from riding through the growing icy puddles, core and hands were doing ok, but my face was a little numb.

Stafford rode up to me, really I just knew i wanted to be done as soon as possible. If J-staff went by and put the hammer down cool, but it was too cold to play games.

Slowly started to open a gap over the next several laps. Nothing to exciting happened during the race, the slackers standing by the off camber stuff were super loud and weren't above throwing snowballs.

Crossed the line and straight to the van, (soft) Hands, face, and toes were totally numb, took some time to try and wrangle off my muddy clothing.

But that's what cross racing is all about right? Looking back yeah it was fun kinda, but i think the earlier races would have been a little funnerer.

Got re-awarded the jacket, and some more beer which is good cause the wellington is almost all gone.

Thanks to the hillbillies for another great day of racing,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hey Zach you got this today? Yeah yeah I got this

Not going to lie it was a tough one getting out of bed this morning with the pouring rain. But I figured I would be ridiculed for being soft for many moons to come. Ate my Wheaties and jumped in the Mazda for a solo mission down to Kelso today.

Rolled in and parked beside giggles, signed in watched some of the 11:30 start and got warmed up, did one lap on the course and that was enough. Legs were feeling better than yesterday.

I was determined to stick to my plan of not leading from the start, which apparently was Nathan's and he did start to finish, with Zach hot on his heels and myself in third. Thats about all she wrote, I tried a few good efforts to try and close it down and managed about 1 sec in a lap. I felt good everywhere except the paved climbs. With about 2 to go I settled into a nice tempo and just tried to work on some mud skills.

Won some wellington and gas money and headed home after another great Speedriver weekend. Time to get focused on the biggest (Bragging rights) race in Ontario cyclocross. Bring it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


After getting my equipment all ready for today I got out for a ride on the road bike which has been neglected since the brewery to brewery. Headed over to the hardwood block to ride some of the new pavement there, down the 5th over and up the 6th, never thought I'd ever see these roads not gravel. Even I think they should leave whats left gravel. A touch on the chilly side especially when it started to drizzle, would have been better if it had snowed.

Legs felt good going into today's race, all that was left was to get a good nights sleep. Left earlier than normal had to make some stops along the way, one was a kitchen store, which turns out to be right next to Bikeland. After checking out some sick neon bikes of an unnamed brand it was on the road.

Rolled into Kelso a little later than planned but I was still able to get most of a lap in on the course before the 11:30 start. Rode with Mike Dennis who talked me through all the lines, I got the impression he laid a lot of the course out.

The 11:30 races were good, saw a couple nice bails and rolled tubular's, pumped up my tires a little more, and decided to play it a little on the safer side.

Road a couple full laps to warmup, and got lined up for the start, which was good, got clipped in and off the line well. Didn't follow my plan which was to let some of the other guys set the pace. But it didn't take long for Stafford and I too expand a little gap and on a turn that I blew j-staff came by on the inside smack talking. He continued to drill it, and but me in a spot of bother. He blew another corner, I made sure to point it out, and just tucked into his wake. He shined a barrier hard, I took over the lead and tried to dish out some pain. I made myself hurt but I think Stafford was A) riding the turns better than me and B) was pretty comfortable.

After a fast corner I did a casual, look back without looking like I was looking back, to see him standing on the course. I thought he had crashed but instead just powered off his hanger.

After those two laps we had a good gap, after those efforts left me with nothing in the tank but to hold onto that gap.

Settled into a nice pace(I say that a lot) then felt what I thought was my front tire roll off, backed way off thinking it was going to come completely off. Kept checking it without looking like I was looking at my tire. Seemed to be holding on. I slowly started to ramp the corner speed back up. It was a weird couple corners but the tire is still on when I checked it at home. Weird as my prediction of Cam winning would have come true. So really it was win win.

Rolled in for my first win of the season, wasn't sure it would ever happen this season.

Thanks to speedriver for putting on another great race, and a great provincials.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ruffling some feathers

Oh boy, that's what went through my head when the first snowflake hit my glasses on my ride today. Already? Are you serious? I know I'm really in the snowbelt now but really? Also played the clothing a little on the light side trying to delay the inevitable winter.

Well I guess its time to bundle up and just keep trucking through until I literally can't ride anymore. I was hoping to do some more miles before the big stuff hits hopefully there's still a couple more weeks.

Got out to Hardwood ski and bike last night for some Cyclocross photography action, The lighting sucked that's my excuse. but I did score some decent shots, some in black and white cause that's what its all about. Two of the better ones

After getting warmed up it was a quick drive to midland to get my hep a booster shot, good for life now they tell me. Then back south to the city for a little Pie and Wall Street. At Pie I was told to try Netherworld, flying monkeys dark beer, I'm going to have some words with some people about that.

Onto Wall Street, awesome a lot different than the previous one. But I think in a good way fractional stoke quotes just wouldn't work these days. Bud Fox, Gordon Gecko, awesome characters, I don't expect any Oscars to come out of this one but I enjoyed it, and being set during the 2008 meltdown was a nice touch and added a bit of current relevance.

Now for the big money bets,

U-23 not a giant field but some serious engines in here, May come down to MTB provincials all over again, but I sense that J-staff really wants 4 new jerseys this year, and he only has two more to go. This will probably be the best battle of the day.

Senior, Cameron Jette,

Master A Mogg, Weber, Reid

And Master C, Mark Herbst for sure,

That's all i'm prepared to publish at this point, for fear of reprisals.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AWI correction

In a previous post I stated that Breton destroyed everyone at the 50km. Although he did kill it, it appears that Mike Dennis did in fact win the whole shebang, with Davis(overlord)Ross taking 2nd, my bad.

out of my comfort zone

Got out for an awesome 2 hour ride in THE copeland, trails are in great shape after the rain the day before, did the berms which I see are now named "logans run" and some other highlighted trails before riding home via highlands and bidwell, in what became a typhoon. I was a little chilly by the time I rolled in.

Then got ready to head to Toronto for fubar 2, I hadn't seen the first one and that was a mistake I was a bit lost in the complex storyline. It didn't meet the expectations or the hype it received but it was still good, I'm not even sure they said giver once.

Got some gluing to do before the weekend,

"yeah I got skills I got two skills right here"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SLX is good stuff yeah I like it, it shifts nice

Start things off with a bit of a why? and that why is, why am I(and others) always referred to as a "Mountain biker" in the cross reports, it doesn't say road racer Derrick St John, road racer Mark Batty(who is a MTBer at heart) etc. When we are out there racing our cross bikes aren't we all cross racers?

Or does it make roadies more comfortable to remind themselves they are the normal ones?

If we crash, do we not bleed? If you smack talk, do we not smack talk in return? If you crash us into a sandpit do we not revenge?

Anyways, lots of work done yesterday before heading out to ride last night in Midhurst. It was raining nicely here in Craighurst but by the time I got a couple KM down the road it was dry as a bone. Good ride, we were graced by Ben Dawsons presence. With the leaves down we(Tristan and I) kept riding off the trail, I think of it as trail blazing. Sun is coming out nicely time for a little bikcyle ride before heading to the center of the universe to see Fubar 2, I haven't seen the first one so I hope I'm not lost.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Upload on facebooks just failed, grumpy now.

Today wasn't a fail though, the plan was basically the same except for an earlier departure time. Got there just a hair over 11:30 to sunny skies again.

Got the camera out for some good stalker shots with the long lens, before kitting up to ride the course during intermission.

Before lining up did some media

My apologies to Peter in case he wanted something more serious.

Lined up on the right side today in between Schooler and St John and before long we started, not quite myself on the starts these days and found myself back a little bit but still lightyears ahead of usual. Got into a train just behind Nathan and J-Staff, not to long after Nathan went down hard(hope hes ok) and Stafford had nowhere to go but into him. I screamed like a little girl and managed to get by on the left, and regained some ground.

The group split with Frattini, St John and Mark, I was still a couple wheels back. Came into the chute right behind Schooler and suddenly realized I was in the air, Obviously went into it a little to hot, channeled my inner joyride to make a semi smooth landing and it was hard on the brakes, I managed to get slowed down but Schooler slid out a bit.

If memory serves thats when I managed to get into third, rode there for a lap until making a mistake in the sand pit which allowed Lalonde by, which immediately opened up a gap to the leaders. Got by him and turned it to 10.5 to try and bridge back up to Frattini and St John, not sure if they knew I was coming back or if they just didn't care. Once I was on i looked at my watch and saw 22 minutes, ouch, shouldn't have down that. St John must have watched Without Limits last night cause he was just attacking out of every corner. Hey winning any other way is just you know the line. It was all I could do to hang on and ride well and clean to stay in contact.

Counting the laps go by, it was definitely going to come down to whoever didn't make a mistake, and with a lap and bit to go, DSJ slid out after the chute which gave Frattini his opening, I got by as well and hammered it but the steam was gone, out of the sand lane, and it was just a pure guts race, Survived the final few KM for a solid 3rd.

Best overall weekend at this race since it started in 07, It was nice to be back at the cross races, I look forward to the next month of racing.

Also shout out to Bret Mathews for destroying at the Hardwood challenge today.

Thanks for the cheers and support from all my readers who were there the past couple days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 1 Toronto uci cross race of the world, ok italy versus north america

Plan was to be there for noon to ride a few laps during what appeared to be scheduled half time in the day. Rolled in just after I keep forgetting I'm 20 minutes further north now.

Nice to see folks like Box, Chown, Morse, Mancini, and to catch up with the MTB crowd too, only been away from racing for a couple weeks but it feels like longer. I missed you guys.

Got my numbers which are getting bigger every year, and headed onto the course for a few laps, right away I was digging it, felt comfortable in the fast flowing corners, If you can ride Hardwood's rough course semi smooth, when you get to smooth grass its as easy eating pancakes. Not sure who set the course but it was awesome, none of this 30- 180 degree corners every corner was smooth and allowed for some good momentum throughout the course. Rode with the 3 Rox Armada for a bit, which appears to be growing.

Watched the womens race good to see some Norco's up front in the field. An exciting finish to womens race.

Got warmed up, and called up to the front line a first at this race, a lot nicer than 4th row the past 2 years. Start I missed the memo on starting on the word go, and didn't get a good kick off the line, no matter until the rider to my left missed a pedal or blew out of his pedal, lost his hands off his bars and rode into the rest of the field, coined it as being Kulhavied(again. Mogg and Myself had to slam on the stoppers to avoid a pile up and restarted in the 20's. Stayed calm, it happens, just focused on getting moving again to be honest I didn't have a great idea of how I'd feel so not being in the front front wasn't bad, just wished I was at least in the top ten.

The first few corners were slightly dicey, locked bars with Conor obrien, I think we even made eye contact, Somehow came out of it.

Rest of the next two laps were jumping the gaps from group to group making my way up.

Rode in the Stafford train, basically him on the front and an American sitting in, tried to move my way up twice thinking the three of us could reel some guys in, America didn't like that and kept sprinting me. Ok, so i sat in for a while and when I went by and made sure to go it alone.

Started to put some time into the 4 guys in front of me, got to see the St John passes. I settled into a nice pace and worked on getting Junior(McNeely). Touch and go for a while but I think the length got to him a bit and I was able to reel him in with a lap to go.

Got to 4th, crossed the line happy that I stayed calm and was relatively patient and didn't burn to many matches moving up.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thats one way to get the page views up

Looks like my hits per day has tripled in the last couple days, thanks to links from CC and the OCA. Suddenly very self conscious that means that about 6 people now read this blog.

First race since CTS is coming up tomorrow, bike is ready to go, got my <33mm tires on, the stock clinchers were a bit over.

Got on the the MTB for a gravel road ride this afternoon, obviously I didn't ride in Oro as the gravel there is becoming as common as seeing a unicorn.

Went into springwater and flos, windy but hey that's why they invented gears.

looking forward to some good racing the next couple days.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

you going? I don't know are you going?

Started pretty early on yesterday regarding the racing at hardwood hills(yes hills) I had just finished getting the CCX SL ready, took off the bar top brake levers. Switched the stem,bar,seatpost and the wheels.

Thought it was a good idea to get some intensity in before the races this weekend which will be awesome. A slight drizzle had started before arriving perfect fall cross weather. A few changes to the course, for the better, took out some straightaways and made the tunnel a little safer going into it.

Start was pretty much a group ride for the first lap. We were getting heckled pretty good by some spectators, Davis went to the front and took the speed up a bit, I put in an effort which seemed to explode the group. I wasn't riding the sand very good, sorry superman does good, I didn't ride the sand very well. Lots of fun and put some good efforts into the legs, enough? probably not, racing is the best training anyway I always tell myself.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

beer place to beer place

First to "speedriver", sunday check, but not knowing about it? it was posted all over the place, it would have made for a nice weekend drive in your porsche.

After a nice thanksgiving dinner Sunday, got up early to make the ride into town to meet up with the folks from sport swap and head to Creemore. Tristan said he was riding in from Orillia so I couldn't not ride into Barrie, he didn't. Elizabeth and Jacob drove past and didn't even offer a motorpace at all not even 15 seconds.

Matt P even made the trip up from the GTA bubble to ride here in Barrie, He rolled up on a sick carbon bike. Actually Norco's were outnumbering Treks.

No time was wasted in the sign sprints, Brandon Parker made the ride to finish what he started on the pancake ride.

Rolled into Creemore after a dude in sketchy Intrepid followed us for a while, Peter G hobbled out of the his car to have some samples and lunch with us.

The ride back started out slow but that didn't last long by the end we were splintered into about 4 groups on the road. That's when I said I don't need this and turned for home.

Perfect day for the ride,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

forgot how to take screenshots

The smell of thanksgiving dinner is in the air, Seabiscuit is on the tube, as good a time as any to fill you on recent AWI happenings.

Ok, just got caught up on how to do a screenshot and tag stuff.

Yesterday was the 1st annual Midland Enduro, well time will tell if its annual, I hope it is. Also it was decided that a better name would be needed. Oro-medonte off road Gran fondo will probably get people out, gotta use those buzz words.

Got to Mountainiview for the start after an awesome experience at the midland Mcdonalds, I love midland. I think 10 of us started out at 10 am. why only Ten? I have no idea, this was going to be an awesome event.

Got rolling T-dog and I knew how hard the day would be and just tried to keep the group chill, but guys were pretty keen on killing it. And it didn't take long for the group to split in half. 6 of us found ourselves up the road, Brien Ross took off on his own, but once we hit the second off road section we rolled past him. T-dog, Davis, Bretton and myself, came out. Settled into a nice sensible rythem. As Tristan regaled us with his previous nights adventures.

We got to the first section of Horseshoe valley west of 93, which has a nice paved shoulder, but within the first couple minutes we got buzzed by a truck for no reason and almost saw a head on collision, Myself being the CEO and Tristan being the COO of AWI decided to modify the route around the valley to avoid the Valley on probably the busiest day of the year. Bretton and Davis didn't put up any protest and Brien had caught back up and followed the detour which actually climbed higher than the valley on doubletrack and then cut through highland.

Hit the 6th line hike, Bretton made it the furthest on a cx bike, props for that. Filled up on a unamed great sports drink, and headed down to the Mississippi( actually i think its matheson creek) Bam, Tristan front flats, I said awesome pull out your spare lets fix this things, He replied what tube? Then my Bontrager dual action pump crapped out on me, should have got an axiom. Karma.

We got rolling Brien kept in race mode and attacked hard when T-dog flatted. Got to the river and I was totally dissapointed to see that the river had dropped about 18 inches, it was barely knee deep. I was grumpy after that.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful except for Bretton getting buzzed by a guy in a subaru with two bikes on it on a back gravel road. yeah asshole drivers were out in full force yesterday.

Tristan started laying down some insane attacks at the end, but in the end it was Davis, Bretton and myself crossing the non-finish line, line.

Turns out a guy missed the Craighurst turn and rode the entire Horseshoe valley, which is both insane(not a local) and a nice shortcut, a formal protest was launched.

In the end everyone had a great time, Feedback was welcomed by Tim the organizer, he's committed to keep the event going.

- name change
- a couple weeks earlier
- short course option
- NOT using the horseshoe valley on a holiday weekend
- cheaper(if there is better turnout potential)

Out of the squeezer, Paris to Ancaster, the old Hardwood raid and similar point to point or big loop races/rides. This has to be my favourite, most challenging one so far. Ok the point to point Canada Cup in Fernie was pretty cool too. Lets say in Ontario it was my Favorite.

that took up some webspace ill leave it there for now, gotta fuel up for the brewery to brewery tomorrow morning,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Should change my header pictures around, that hardtail is long gone, well not really its for sale in the near future.

Yesterday, got some stuff done around here which included a marathon car wash(double wash) hand wax and polish, wheel clean, tire shine, vacuum out the inside, shes looking like shes off the showroom floor except for the door marks.

After that went into Midhurst to hit up my first Monday nighter for a while. The other blogs have the highlights, but yeah I can confirm a big porcupine and many high fives.

Beauty day today, again on the cx bike trying to get those BB 30 bearings worked in, 200km of riding they are starting to free up. Did some doubletrack through Simcoe county forest to Midhurst then in the new bike lane on st vincent to my favorite Barrie hang out. Where i got attacked by a bumble bee, in fareness to the (Anonymous concept)store I was at I probably brought it in with me in my pocket. When I went to answer a stupid text from Spak bam little fracker got me. Bugger, anyway World problems solved and I was outa there to finish up through some oro hills and home.

The Phaser is going back to the future Tomorrow, so I got it all cleaned up, now anyone who knows me well knows I despise full suspension(for 2 hr xc racing) but this little gem wasn't bad, actually I really liked it, felt a lot more balanced and more progressive than any of the full squish's I've ridden before. Which were all FSR designs. The new ART is pretty slick, may be a convert to full squish who knows, can't believe I just said that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

yes two posts in a day

For this mornings post scroll down, should have written it last night but got that itch to do it this morning.

Great weekend on the bicycle, this October is shaping up a bit different than years past by this time I'd usually be starting into the Saturday game(I don't know why I'm using so many movie references lately, I think Scott Kelly will be the only one to get that last one)

Since the Bromont incident I haven't really been able to put many miles in, I just feel this urge to train now. Thats why I liked cross it was the lazy way to train. Now i actually feel motivated to do it on my own without chasing and being chased in circles by J-staff, Box, Chown, Morse.....ok now I actually miss it.

I'll be out there soon enough but before that hopefully some more rides like the past two.

Today I finished up the enduro route, the northern part is pretty straight forward lots of rolling climbs on road, some paved some gravel. 4 sectors of doubletrack, one pretty early on about 15 km it that will set the tone. Three after crossing the little Mississippi, really hope its relatively warm and sunny.

Did some math and figured out I did about 90% of the route in about 5 hours of riding.

Lots o miles beautiful colours are coming out, cool crisp clean air, never really enjoyed fall riding before this much, maybe I'm just happy to be riding at all.

I swear I saw Brad Pitt fly fishing

Before heading out to preview the northern sectors of the midland enduro, thought I would give a rundown on the southern part of the route. Why am I preriding a tour route? well its nice to follow someones else's route for a change and give my map my ride account a rest.

Tristan and I headed out on course in 15 seconds from the house and had a nice warmup climb up bidwell. Took the alternate route around horseshoe valley, still not sure about that one. the route around was good some nice doubletrack climbs and the 5th has two good climbs so your not loosing much elevation gain.

Tristan lost his iphone on the 5th line in a washout(of which there are many) had to back track and luckily we found it, for no other reason but to document the upcoming sections.

6th line climb north of mt st louis road was cruel, hiked it, grade isn't a big deal but its pretty loose gravel, i don't think a two wheel car would make it up.

Then the descent down into the swamp. I swear all you needed was Gollum leading us around and we could have been in the dead marshes heading to Mordor (yeah I know). Hiked in as far as we could, but then we came to the actual river crossing. That was as far as we were going, this wasn't some little creak or a standing pool of water, this river had some flow to it.

So, cold waist deep water crossing followed by 30km of road most likely into a headwind, in october, could be interesting. Hiked back out and cut west on moonstone road until we got back on course at around the 20km mark.

Followed the route from there back to Craighurst, it followed a bunch of snowmobile trail, and road allowances, sketchy on a cross bike, lots of sandy rocky washouts, used my bar top brake levers a lot and I'm leaving those on till next weekend(Fry I'm sorry i ever doubted you)

Overall, I'd say it will be an epic day, It is NOT Paris-Ancaster, Not sure you could put more climbing into a 95 km loop in Ontario.

So there you have it October 9th, Midland-Horseshoe-Midland enduro tour, and a river runs through it.

oh, yeah last night double movie night, first The Town, take Point Break, a touch of Ronin, and the soundtrack and film style of Gone Baby Gone and voila The Town, it was awesome batting 2 for 2 with hollywood films, are they out of the slumps can it be that some good films are finally getting made? Hope so Wall Street is next, if that's solid then I think the film industry is saved.

Friday, October 1, 2010

brilliant idea

After getting a taste of downhilling at blue, i had this itch to get out there without a camera crew yelling at me too hike back up a hill to do the same line 4 times.

It didn't take much arm twisting to get Matt and Tammy to join me at horseshoe for an evening, really I think I said im going with or without you and they were game.

The time was limited only 4-7 tonight so we got there at 3:30 to buy our tickets and do their stripe test of sorts, only hitch was they didn't even open the ticket counter till just before 4, but no worries it wasn't busy and we were on the lift by 4:15.

Got yelled at and warned to start on the green trails, so did some of the easier trails to get warmed up on, lots of high fives and girly screams on the way down.

The lifties (is that still an acceptable term) were super friendly, met one of the trail builders, nice guy, liked him more after he pulled a prank on me and dropped my seatpost all the way down while i was on the lift.

So a bunch of runs not sure how many but, it was a lot of fun, one bail on the last run of course.

Had a good time, we only rode three of the four runs, hopefully they can expand a little bit next year, lots of fun.

now, haven't had a quote of the day for a while but i can't not post this one

Liftie- Whats your favorite run?

Me- the one to the far right

Liftie- Time of the month

Tammy- ....actually i can't say what Tammy said, it was a good one