Friday, July 30, 2010

ding ding round 2

Sun is out in full force today drying things up nicely. Course is in good shape, the more it erodes the more it reminds me of sunpeaks.

Legs feel good, but thats just one piece of the puzzle. If they send us out for 7 laps it will be a game of going hard enough to make the last lap and saving the legs,It's a course that if you have good legs you can move up 15 spots on the last lap.

And yes this has been a hot topic but all on the project agree that Italians are not as passionate about their coffee as you might believe. I've found some not bad stuff, but by no means is it exceptional. Pizza and Pasta on the other hand forget about it. its awesome.

Well i think its time to head back to the german/canadian compound.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Italia

After 10 hours in the car a few mountain passes later including some wicked giro ones we made it to the next venue in Val di Sole.

Highlights from the drive include the best meal I’ve had in days at a rest stop, picture the McDonalds on 400 and 89 but a wicked 4 course meal. Some wicked tunnels and views, I took some good pictures, ill hope to upload a little later. Don’t have interweb at the moment so this may end up being one long post when we get back to Zurich.

Had a tight squeeze, about 1 cm clearance on either side of the van thanks to some random italian guy who guided us through with a scratch or two on the mirror.

Nice little town here nestled in a valley, back to a typical Euro cx/mtb course it sounds like, an Achilles heal of mine no doubt. Lots of bumpy open grass sections.

Big negative here is the coffee in the morning, absolutely horrible, couldn’t finish it. Again desperate times, I picked up some instant coffee, blah.

Time is ticking by this race is coming up fast, three days of prep until the race. A day to chill on sunday while the dh’ers race, maybe we’ll try to find a glacier to head up.

Wednesday report:

Rode a bunch of laps of the course today, better than I expected, kept hearing it was cross bikeable, but the descents are semi sketchy with the soft loamy interior BC’s esque lines. Nothing insane but you need to stick to your guns. Tons of climbing though, basically steep descent turn left and climb up a steep hill, kinda like Kelso on crack, shortish lap sub 20 easy could be interesting what they decide for laps 6 or 7. 7 will hurt a lot on the climbs.

Course is a big fitness course, other than just focusing on keeping up some momentum it will pretty much sort itself out.


Thursday

Woke up to another breaky with the team, instant coffee is taking off, first people scolded me and turned their noses up at me, but now they have accepted the fact the hotel coffee is so bad I wouldn’t give it to a prisoner,

Good Recovery spin with the team, sure enough with all national team recovery rides it started to piss rain. The Maple leaf on my chest kept me warm though, a little lunch and a solid nap, now im sitting at the coolest Laundromat ever, the people are just as sketchy but the place is nice, very automated basically bean to cup Laundry.

They actually even have a sweet little coffee maker in the place. Sketchy people inside, so I’m sitting outside….looking up at rain soaked Italian…alps?…im actually not sure.

Good chat with Catherine P, i was explaining the tight race for the canada cup overall, she one upped me with her points breakdown for the world cup lead.

Project is going well getting to know some new non Ontario people. Well the two that are on the project. Leandre from Alma, who’s english is pretty good considering that and Lauren from swamish as she calls it.

Also having a stupid off with Laura, whoever says the stupidest thing takes the lead, we were back and forth for a while but she has taken the lead. A couple good ones there.

One more tune up Tomorrow on the course then its slaying dragons time on Saturday. Should be on Freecaster again, apparently I was seen crossing the line by some people I think they were the last 4 people watching in the world, thanks guys. Sorry I didn’t wave, I was pretty sure they had turned the camera off by that point.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Houffalize Redux

Going into this all i had playing in my head was my houffa performance. Nats also was in there, wanted to slay a couple dragons today.

The sun was out drying things out nicely. Watched the womens race and got a good idea of what was what out there, the "Hell Zone" looked all good.

Warmup went ok, legs didn't really come around like I wanted but figured it was a pretty long race anyway.

Sure enough on the line they dropped it a lap as usual. DZ commented that we were pretty much exactly halfway. Start was semi-chaos made it through the bridge turn without incident and settled in for the start loop. Made some good passes, only to get swamped and nascared 30 seconds later.

Usual world cup first lap antics, really wonder about some peoples IQ's out there, I'd say the number one difference between north american and euro racers is Euro's race whoever is behind them, not the people who are up the trail 10 seconds. North Americans buckle down and move. Some people just can't ride their bikes in some stuff, we all have our skills and weakness in the technical, I'm no different but the last thing i do is throw myself infront of someone to impede them when they are riding past me.

Anywho the whole race is kinda a blur minus using 11 of my 12 matches to pass one guy, took me all race, finally got him using the drop, and made sure to make it stick.

Almost had my myself and my bike run over by a moto. He passed me over a bridge and I thought that was kinda weird, it wasn't the lead or follow moto. I follow him through a singletrack with a tricky root climb. Guy doesn't make it pulls the clutch and 400 lbs of guy and moto come rolling backwards, I do my best jump for my life as he hits my bike luckily it through it back and he didn't run it over. He came to a rest right beside me, and I'm sorry but i unleashed the largest amount of frack's ever in a race. Definitely a couple firsts, he just had this blank stare on his face, it was a weird one. Picked up my bike and ran up, to have a course marshal yell at me, I apologized for trying to race my bike at a world cup.

I think I just remember the more negative things, but it was a good race, I felt stronger than the past couple weeks, and kept trucking, made it through for the last lap and started to get that crampy bonking feeling. Realized I was the last one on course and just tried to ride clean and not take myself out. Crossed in 58th. Best euro world cup since this race last year, not as high 44th, but still happy to get some world cup points.

Worked on some wet rooty skills, drop wasn't a problem, hopefully get another crack at the course next year.

Big thanks to Norco for making sure i was all dialed with tires and parts for the trip, Scotty and KD had the bike dialed, Dan and Kelly for taking care of everything else.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ok fine its wet

After about 47.5 hours of rain the course is a little damp in places.

We were the first ones on the course and it wasn't horrible but by the end of the training time I think it was pretty torn up.

The gap jump is super sketchy now, watched a kid wreck himself and a carbon front wheel trying it.

I think 90% of the course is covered in roots, not very sustainable trail building going on here, IMBA would freak if they saw some of this stuff.

Not much else to report, pretty chill, been doing some stretching, watching the tour live in the afternoon for 5 hours thanks to euro sport.

Friday, July 23, 2010

some pics

Haven't been playing photographer very well this trip but I've got a few pics.


Could that be the new fully?


Important Hockey Tournament





A bit bigger in person,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

summer euro 09

Landed all safe and sound in Zurich after a long flight from Calgary to Frankfurt and a short connection to Switzerland. Scenic drive to Champery, short spin to the course to see whats up, turns out they changed things up and added a new section early on and took out a big chunk out of the climb.

Big dinner out which i think will the end of our server, never seen someone get so frazzled over separate bills. Came back and i think everyone passed out in their clothes on the beds.

Oh and we have some pretty decent internet here,

Headed back to the course to get comfortable on it, Right off the bat I was having some issues with a steap set of turns, as everyone else started to nail it I kept sliding into the well placed fence. Pulled the plug on it and rode the rest of the lap. Everything else was good. Came back to it, again fence time, Kyle came up and told me to stop riding over the roots and take the smooth line. huh who'd a thunk it. The new line worked,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

any day now

About to go downhilling with Jay Hoots, on the new Phaser xc bike, should be fun. Get to try some new 10 speed shimano stuff.

Back to other things,

Before I get to my own race, just want to say how awesome the o-team did yesterday, with Evan taking the win in the junior race and Stafford topping the u-23 mens podium, also Noble and Marc Antoine's 2nd's....you know what they all did wicked.

After a relaxing morning a few pep talks I headed up to the venue in the Malibu, 100,000 km on it and the thing is done, I will never buy an American car ever.

Good warmup, legs felt light and airy, got lined up, start 10 hard pedal strokes then realized I didn't get the memo re:coasting the start loop, Race started after we crossed the start line a 2nd time with the Jette going to the front and a single file line was established, Got in behind DZ, starting to hit some of the rollers around the stadium area, and the old legs just weren't digging it. Breathing was up there too, I'd like to say the altitude...but its never affected me before here so no excuses it was just me.

Fell back aways trying not to impeded anyone else, got to the top and was wondering if i was going to be able to finish the 5 laps. Focused on my breathing on the way down and kept it smooth on the next climb.

By the time I started the 2nd lap my legs started to come around, I was able to make some ground back up, by the top my lungs were a hurting still, felt like i was having a heart attack on the way down, sharp pains in my chest everytime i hit a bump. I took off my HR strap and felt better for the 2nd dh on the course. Again focused on deep controlled breaths and by the 3rd lap, I finally felt like i was ready to go.

The last three laps were really good, Still not pushing some gears i would have liked but I was in a nice zone I new i could hold onto till the finish.

I was able to make up some good spots and finished stronger than I started in 6th.

Happy that I did everything I could have done out there.

Seeing Jarred win made my day, felt a lot better after that.

Lunch is ready, Switzerland tomorrow,

Friday, July 16, 2010

uncreative title

Its go time...almost 23 hours till start tomorrow. That once a year opportunity to line up bar to bar with all the boys.

All is good, bike is running like new thanks to Kevin, legs are twitchy after some good rest this week. Norco brought out some new 2011 stuff, a couple new fazer's and even a bike with the new XTR pretty sharp.

I like the course its hard, not sure what all the talk is about. Not sure about laps yet, 6 would be long(and possibly good) 5 would make sense(so it will probably be 6).

Roel Paulissen got busted today, I think that was a long time coming.

I'd be lying if I said there was a large vibe at the venue, should be better tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

lucky for you

Its Tuesday, the race was a couple days ago and becoming a distant memory. So this will be on the shorter side.

Travel was all good, very smooth, great accommodation at the university in Edmonton. Pre-ride was wicked, actually i have never had to walk so much, my front wheel wasn't even able to turn. Decided against doing another lap and figured i'd go off last years memories of the course.

Race went well, started in the front group wasn't sure I'd be able to hold onto the pace so i reverted back to the old steady pace. Kept the pressure on and moved my way back up to finish 2nd, with some pretty bang on lap times. Actually that's as exciting as it got, no bear attacks, no sticks flying into my wheel, pretty uneventful on my end just a 2hour TT.

Kept the leaders jersey, will be down to Bromont to see who gets it myself or Raph, trying to remember where i packed my nevegals and rain gear????

made it here to canmore in good time yesterday for a spin up to the course and a little hot tubing, apparently some european ladies thought it would be nice to use the hot tub sauna area as their own private naked area, slightly awkward not going to lie. I think Jarred Stafford is scared for life.

Rode the course today, not bad, lots o climbing as usual, nothing gnarly descent wise, will be a fitness course for sure. Hope I can climb come Saturday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

could be good could be bad

Heading out tomorrow morning, flight is at 1 so nice and sensible departure time, I hate those 5 am airport runs, full rest/travel day.

Some last minute stuff, I know i've had a while to prepare for this but sometimes things need to happen in order and just don't go as planned.

All packed, I'm getting good at packing pretty light, used to be a struggle to be under the 50lbs, now im sitting pretty at 42, carry on only is on the horizon I think.

Talked Tristan into the Time trial tonight, figured he'd have some frustration after last night. With thunderstorm warnings I opted to burn some dino fuel and drive over. Nice 45 minute warmup, Powertap was working this time around, numbers were good, weather was good, I even kinda mentally prepared for it, picturing the course the climbs the smoothest lines of pavement. I think I'm ready to get back into this whole racing business.

Tristan rolled in at 6:55, Mike staged us nicely I had some people to chase and Tristan by request behind me. Rolled out 5th, 3 behind me. I kept my wattage in check for the first 15 seconds, Allowed myself to get up to speed gradually. Settled in and before long was catching some riders, Looked back seemed like Muffin man wasn't really closer in or losing ground on the way out. Turned around passed my minute man. Got a look over at T-dog he was holding around a minute i think. The return i felt really strong and the more time ticked by the more confident I got I would be able to hold that output. The last couple minutes I was able to just keep upping it.

Set a new personal record, this time a PB 21:30. To be fair I think all but one person set a new PB tonight the wind was perfect tonight. Its nice knowing I have some form back even if its just over the course of 15 km. Tristan had a good ride especially considering a 3 minute warmup. 22:08(I think)

I guess thats that, as always travel interweb is dodgy but ill do my best to keep ya'll updated.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I can't run against these guys. Spurr, Matheson there going to hand me my head

Last night headed out at 5 ish to ride into town, I was a little chilly so I stopped in the store to warm up a bit. I was promptly told where to go to warm up.

Good ride with the club headed out to Carthew bay, I signed off the ride at the 14th and headed up to 15/16 to rode home. I'm still trying to get a feel for how long it takes from certain places. I wanted to chill but i kept having this urge that i needed to get a move on to beat the sun down. Passed a nice guy heading the other way, thought he looked familiar. Coming up to the 5th I saw two riders turn up in ahead of me. Now at this point the twins would have gunned it. I held back for a long while, until I really started to get worried about the daylight. I found I was riding in a real dead zone, So I hit my interval button on the powertap and bumped it up to Tempo. Didn't take long to catch the Duo, helped that they coasted down the hills, cooked by with a little wave, would have made the twins proud.

Turned up Bidwell, took off my glasses and realized I was wearing my dark shades and really I had probably at least 30 more minutes of daylight left.

Got to show Kevin around copeland this afternoon, again the goal was to see a Bear, cause apparently I am the only person in Simcoe county who hasn't seen one yet. No bears but a wicked ride, hit all the good stuff, Berms, other berms, and the 5th line espresso run, like coffee run but a bit steeper. By the end of the ride the heat was getting to me, after 4 or 5 days of it i'm finally conceding to I'm glad i have ac and a pool.

Getting long sorry, go get a bevy.......


One more thing on the agenda for today, Another round at Hardwood, I was hoping to give Gnarly another go but I also wanted to race with a group. Brendo, Spurr, Spak and myself all signed on for serious. I thought it would be a chill pace until the end. Nope, Tristan pulled a KD and said Im going hard off the start, he did, probably made it to the snow fence climb 20 seconds faster than the canada cup. He did ease off a bit once we hit the singletrail. Once the group formed Tristan unleashed a race strategy that may need to be deployed at nationals. Keep a nice speed through the singletrail, but come out and absolutely demolish the double-track sections so no one can get by. Felt like a short track from years past. I held on, Matt was popping on and off, Brendo was loving it. The plan was working until Tristan took a corner a bit wide rolled his tire and flatted. It was down to Brendo and Myself, He reversed the previous pace to spin the doubletrack (he was on a singlespeed) and destroy my heart and soul in the singletrack. Worked, and the last left hander coming into the finish I totally missed and that was that.

One more workout tomorrow trying to better my previous TT time. Looks like there could be some rain, might be nice(yeah i just said that)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

now that was a bike race

ill get to today but before that a little recap of the best day of the week for an athlete, Monday.

Actually not to exciting got together with Krista and had some lunch and a mini golf tournament, killed it, my short game is really coming along.

Some errands done and checked off the list, and i was headed to midhurst for that thing that happens on monday's. Big group out, but it didn't take long to be down a rider when an un-named attendee decided to hit a drop on an XC bike that shouldn't be ridden on an xc bike, the good news is a new verb has been created and will be in the next websters dictionary.

Great ride in the summer heat, almost rode in just my bibs, loving the weather.

Headed to Woodbridge to drop off the FFH for some lovin, and back home to watch le tour on the pvr. awesome stage, kinda tired of the predictable flat stages and even the mountain stages, but to see that kind of racing is downright exciting. Ryder killed it, I can't believe i'm going to say this but even Lance really impressed me.

Gonna head out soon for some miles before meeting up downtown for the Tuesday nighter.

"does anyone have a pump?"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

its not about the score, the cup, the championships, its about that perfect throw, the perfect play,

(trying to make my titles more Pete Glassford inspired)

I'm fortunate to be able to get out and ride daily through the week but its mostly solo missions. So when the weekends roll around and i can grab people to go and ride with its a treat. Like I have said before I like Charlie great training partner but its nice to talk to a real person for a bit whilst riding.

Yesterday was another ride crossed off the list, headed out to meet Matt at some random road and hwy 12. Took the quiet roads to big chute road via some gravel. Immediately cyclists kept coming at us from the other direction, seemed like every km we'd see another group of people. The ride to the chute was nice, quiet road. Got there just in time to see a nice 50 foot yacht go down. Continued on got tired of waving at people coming the other way. It would have been a crazy workout for the twins to chase all those people down.

Got to the next lock in Port Severn(i think) and sure enough the 50 footer rolled in, we beat it by a nose. Lady walks off with a poodle in her arms and just starts talking bikes for a while.

Great ride, felt strong throughout finished stronger than i started. Starting to feel like i'm getting some form back.

Pool party, BBQ, to cap off the day.

I kept the beverages light and got some good sleep for today, Got up a little earlier to ride into town for the club ride. Left at 8, it was already hot started sweating immediately, again may have mentioned this but im 1/4 kryptonian on my fathers side so the hotter and sunnier the better.

Rolled straight in 93 to find a nice group assembled. Great ride into Innisfil/Alcona met some new members, came into town on veterans and convinced them to stop at Starbucks as i needed my fix. Great to have a nice sit down outside being educated on the finer details of smoking ribs. Did an extra loop out into Oro before finishing off with a ride straight into the pool, well I got off my bike first.

Great week, the hours were up there, legs feel good, a few more days and then outta here Friday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Took the idea right out of my head

Yesterday was another chilly windy day, by summer standards. Kyle Fry is worried about an icefield shrinking out west. Not to worry a glacier has been forming in the Horseshoe valley, the locals are calling it Gores icefall. p.s. Kyle was 10th U23 in the TT nationals, props as the kids would say.

Back to reality, did some hill repeats yesterday on the 10th line south of bass lake. Went ok ish, could have been better but its what i could do, just gotta keep cranking and hope for the best. Finished into the wind, 220watts, flat road 16kph, sideways...strong winds of the glacier.

Mission of the day was to build a computer desk. Staples recommended hiring a guy to do it for 150 bucks, i said i'd do it for 30. Should have hired the guy. Pretty much needed a PhD in mechanical engineering, rickards white and red helped it was Canada day after all. Only screwed up one thing.

A tire change to the slant 6's is all i planned to do before heading out, then on closer inspection I realized my FFH needed some more tender care before riding it. Called Ben he said he was all booked for his race prep pro service. It was up to me. After a full wash, new pads, brake service, rotor buffing, and dislocating my fingers getting the Slants on I was ready to roll.

8th line, not nearly as bad as I've heard rode 75% of the trails and my arms are still intact. Still overgrown to the point you can't see the next corner but it was a good test for the tires. Which are pretty good, super high volume made for a very comfortable ride. The round profile took some getting used it. Its still no SB 8 but i think it could be a nice iffy conditions tire. If i was racing buckwallow i would run it just for the volume.

Plans have been formulated to ride around big chute tomorrow. I'm on a timeline which is good cause ill get my ass moving a little faster in the morning and hopefully beat most of the traffic around.