Wednesday, September 29, 2010

and another one bites the dust

Looks like the Spaniard is going down, now here is the choice keep your mouth shut take the two years and come back to win a couple more tours, or blow the whistle Landis style. I'm thinking the previous, if he was older I could see him trying to take the big man down with him but I think he'll take his licks and keep quiet.

I know I sound like I think everyone is on drugs, well ever since Chris Sheppard was busted I think anyone "could" be on drugs. Don't get me wrong out of all the old boys he was the friendliest most helpful and the only guy to even acknowledge my existence at my first worlds in 2003. Even offering me some sweet chocolate cereal. But it was a wake up call, you don't need to be a star to be juiced up.

Back to what I was originally going to write about, the last couple days of Matt P and my Ontario adventure. Post squeezer we headed to Niagara falls for the afternoon to get some good bromance shots of us overlooking the falls, and a couple more interviews.

One last dinner with Josh and Neil having some sweet Indian on St Paul street. We headed to Joyride 150 for one last day of filming, it wasn't for the same episode but we were glad to help fill the xc role at joyride, they had some great bmx'ers come in that will be the highlight of that segment for sure.

One last night out in Barrie and I arrived home this morning, got guilt tripped into racing tonight at hardwood, really wanted a day away from a bike, but I caved.

It was a great night for a race warm and sunny, the course was great similar to last years, lots of sandy corners, took me a bit to get used to the new bike and geometry, I was buzzing my toes like crazy trying to pedal on tight corners, need to get used to that bike again.

Was riding with Jacob until he crashed, and there I was by myself, again....at least this time I was on a short course and got to ride past Elizabeth, Tammy and Matt who had lots of colourful commentary.

Oh and Matt P busted his collarbone last Thursday at hardwood crashing on skid rock, raced the squeezer, rode joyride, yeah thats Chuck Norris tough.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weezer

Back in the room after a great homemade meal at chez Morka, good living exactly what I needed after a week of dining out breakfast lunch and dinner.

yesterday we rolled up and got registered at liberty bikes, and got a tour of the some of the spots for the guys to shoot. Walked around st paul street, a bit sketchy not going to lie, to top it off some wasted guys wanted to pick a fight with us outside liberty as we were picking up the cars.

Headed to the course early to catch the other waves head out. Then it was the big show, the super elite race.

Start was good, then started to get boxed in a bit, once I saw an opening after a few minutes I got an opening through the one puddle on the course and found myself in the lead for a bit, don’t remember exactly when but Pete and De Cal came by. Struggled in 3rd wheel thinking I was going to blow and need to pull off. Luckily I got all messed up through some narrow trees when off the trail and found myself at the back of the group anyway. Yup two bars next year 620’s for Ontario, 660’s for the rest of the world.

Hit the first road climb and gaver to see if I could catch back on, I couldn’t. And again I found myself in no mans land. By myself, just cranking along, and that’s how she stayed until the end. The course was cool, very fast, the full squish was awesome, I was able to just sit and pin it though anything. The last road climb wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Thanks to Liberty bikes for hosting the race, the Ontario riding trip is coming to a close, almost time to head home.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 3 CTS plus the past couple

As promised i am ready to deliver my stage 3 report, now that many days have past and im in a pretty non race mode at the moment, it will be brief,

Started at sir sams wicked trails best ridding of the weekend it was over to quickly. Had made up my mind to let the teams have their battle and have a "me" stage. Set up some riding partners from the previous days chase groups. That plan fell apart on the first downhill with Jamie Wagler blowing a tire off the rim and crashing, awesome.

When we hit the road the gap to the leaders was substantial. I settled into the group that formed with Andrew M, Mike D, Preston and the 8 foot tall 3 rox rider. And others of course.

When we hit the hydrocut hills I got that urge to start turning the screws not sure why, Maybe knowing it was a shortish stage and I really remember enjoying haliburton forest.

Found the trek boys at aid 1, Pete was putting his wheel back on after a flat, I thought cool maybe i can ride with them now, got rolling then never saw them again must, turns out they had some more issues. So there I was alone cranking the shield solo again.

Long story short rolled into the finish line grabbed my crank the shield hat mowed down some chips and cola, and ate some wicked BBQ to finish of the weekend. Glad to have won the solo cat to go alone with the two man team win in 08. Next up for 2012 solo singlespeed trying for the trifecta. Guess a mixed team is also an option. Any ladies out there want to go for a win??

Before i forget the the young Scottish chap that I'm with for the week took some grat shots of crank up at here on facebook also some of blue mountain and some more of the weeks adventures to follow.

Monday after a morning of laundry and packing up some more diverse riding gear I headed to Blue mountain to meet up for the first of three days there, pretty mellow first day did some village shots of Matt and I strolling.

Tuesday did some lift access runs with Mike Towers leading the way. Had a blast, wall rides, jumps, berms, skinnies, its like joyride 150 but on the side of a hill ingenious idea.

Wednesday we got rained out, so we headed to scenic caves to do some shooting in there, the guys were skeptical but got pretty pumped once we got in there.

Past couple days had "two local rippers" show us around hardwood, Matt Bailed huge, had a run in with the OPP on the 5th line, it was pretty eventful day for sure.

St kitts tomorrow after filming the start of the 8 hour.

The squeezer thing Sunday, Niagara falls Monday, and just got the word Joyride 150 Tuesday to finish off this Ontario riding adventure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The rundown

K, have to keep this as brief as im packing to head up to Blue for a few more days of filming with the ride guide.

Day one, woke up at 5:30 to get some grub in me, and headed off to Haliburton forest.
2 hrs and an angry phone call later I arrived no thanks to google directions. Signed in and got my bike all fitted up, did a short pre race interview with the ride guide which i guarantee won't make the cut. Start, 3 rox was playing some team tactics and sent Hancock and Wagler2 out front, Preston missed the first turn even though there were 25 people and arrows yelling go right.

Was in a train with 3rox(A) and the trek boys. With Tyson's first hanger replacement I found myself alone with Peter and Eric. Had a nice crash early on, broke my bottle cage and lost my bottle so I was down to just my back pocket. Very tricky in singletrack taking a drink. Pete was killing it for the first 1 hr of singletrack, Dropping Eric and myself multiple times.

Got out of Haliburton, and onto some atv trail, yup it was crank the shield mud bogs and rocks, found myself really getting into it. Haven't felt that good on a bike since Bromont(first 99.5%) The duo were riding well, but I still found myself riding ahead on my own. Then it happened my 2010 bear hunt came to an end, a small black bear which I could have easily taken ran across a cottage road in front of me, I was a happy camper after that.

Got to hwy 35, starting to feel a bit tapped, they said 6km on the road, I knew where I was, got aero for a bit and thought f-it if i get caught oh well i'm going to be comfortable and settled in for a long drag, into camp kandalore. Never looked back, 1.78km from the finish just before turning into the camp Pete came by me out of the saddle, something about kelso 09 was said and I was left in their dust. Rode in and before long the 3 rox boys came in.

Day 2: yeah, gotta get going, ill get back to this, hopefully they have some interweb at blue.....k packing is going well

Day 2: ummm, neutral ride to the start nice morning not to chilly. Strategy for the day was to ride with the teams and not by myself. The plan held for about 45 minutes when Pete and I were having a big ring competition and he snapped his chain. So it was the 3 rox boys and myself, plowing through the B trail, seemed pretty similar to 08, Derek took a header into a pond, and knocked his rear wheel off. Tyson and I took a nature break and we continued on. I was thinking how nice it was to be riding with some people and knew there was a lot of road once we got out of Hell sorry the B trail.

Sure enough a rock pops up and smokes Tysons rear d and hanger again. I think that was at about 1.5 hours in (ish) So there I was on my own again in the wilds of the Canadian shield, day two is somewhat unique in its remoteness the other two days your always crossing roads or other trails, the B trail however is never ending. Got to the hunting camp and was pleased to see Rob there, and I knew I was getting somewhat remotely close to the road. Hit the hydro cut and really just wanted to get out of the woods. At 2.5 hours I was out on the road, out of food and water, and feeling a little drained, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

After a few Km's I could see the two teams with a little gap charging hard, 3rox where the first to arrive, Thought for about 2 seconds about jumping on but did not have the juice for that. Hit a tough climbed and knew I was in a bit of trouble.

The trek boys came up, asking where the feed zone was, I gave a simple "I don't know" hand gesture and they continued on their chase, with Eric leading and it looked like Pete hanging on for dear life.

Luckily it wasn't far, I pulled in behind them, but took some more time there, had some coke(cola) and as much food as I could stuff down. Headed out knowing it was mostly climbing on roads for the last 20-25km.

I was feeling pretty blown out, no top end, but was able to get into a nice groove, Kept looking back expecting a train of guys to come up, but never did and finished off the day pretty spent, not as spent as Peter though I was able to think and talk coherently. And remember events in their proper order.

Got showered and fed and hit the Mic with Pete for the first of hopefully many announcing gigs.

Day 3 to come, ok now I really need to get some stuff done.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

solo

tired,

brief, rode a ton by myself, saw a black bear(check) had a ton of fun, was adopted by two wheel express for the weekend.

water crossings weren't as deep as year one, muddier though

Not sure I would do solo again, it sucked out there sometimes. Ill explain later why I was by myself so much, it was mostly cause the other guys bikes were exploding, then they would come back by at mach 3 saying "get on" or "where is the next feed station!!!"

big thanks to the chico crew, amazing event, all the volunteers, Norco bikes for setting me up on a full squish for the weekend.

...more in the coming days.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 more sleeps

Like a kid who wants to open his christmas presents, I really just want to get the show on the road.

After an easy recovery spin, I headed to the big big city to drop off my bike to be re-jigged for the weekend. There are about three different possible set ups which may be used, I won't know which until I get to Haliburton Friday morning.

Also got some Mace baggies for the shoot next week at Blue mountain cause apparently downhilling in spandex is not cool, guess I can fit in at Joyride now too.

not even going to comment on the current state of CTS trash talk,

Also picked up this seasons cross stead, its comfortably resting in the stable, CCX SL with some improvements, steeper head angle and improved crank clearance, Gonna have to wait for a while to put it to the test. Since the CX season, for me, won't start until the UCI races in TO.

In the meantime, there appears to be a "challenge" being put forth by Mountainview, 90km Midland-Horseshoe-Midland, which one source says will be cross bike able, another source talks about swamp and river crossings, so might need a canoe.

Training: 60 mins, <175 watts, high(ish) RPM

Homework: Eat, sleep outside

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Destruction

CTS is fast approaching, registration has been finalized doing with an old training partner he's pretty good, can get kinda wussy when its cold but we'll ride well together. Was trying to get Matt p to do it with me again, defend our title, but contract negotiations broke down at the last minute, he wanted 20 bucks, I said 15 max, and that was all she wrote.

According to the rooming list I'm 29, thats cool. Rooming with a bunch of milk boys, hope they bring enough to share.

Saturday rode midhurst for a bit, couldn't ride in a straight line, decided to opt out of the marathon the next day. Sunday 2 hours on road. Havy called that weak and that I needed to toughen up.

Training Yesterday

4 hours endurance, riding up and down hills of Oro.

Homework: Watch American Flyers for 3 day stage race tactics,

Today
4.5 hours endurance 4 planned but wind shifts and construction extended it, Awenda complete ride with rain, wind, sand pits,(road construction)

Homework: re-read Art of War.

All was on track my battery shipment was coming in with all sorts of new goodies for all my eletronic gizmoes, Really just needed a HR monitor battery at the moment, sure enough they sent each battery but that one. yeah not a happy camper right now.

Lots more to ramble on about, short story few more days till an awesome race starts,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So it begins

Took a little break from this for a few days mostly cause since the end of the race Saturday it has been pretty low key.

Sunday just hung out and watched the DH, Lauren won her race which was wicked, she even remembers my name.

Monday was the long journey home, I barely slept that night, but it was my job to keep the driver awake, so cracked some redbulls and rambled on about anything and everything for the next 10 hours.

Woke up Tuesday am with a sore throat and some nice nasal congestion. I will say that this year I have been pretty lucky with my illness timing.
Laid low for a couple days downing all the herbal supplements that I'm sure do nothing but makes you think your doing something to get better.

Today was the best I've felt for a couple days and looking at the calender thought I should try for a long ride. Loaded up as much food and water I could and headed out on the FFH. No Hr(my monitor needs a Battery) no gps, no ipod, just me and my bike, looking for bears. Ingram to warmup and into Copeland(berms), 5th to sugarbush trails, into the 7th and 8th trails, old barrie to 6th tried to ride wilderness but apparently its being logged, resisted the urge to cross the road and rip a lap of coffee run. some more simcoe county forests to finish off a nice big loop. Longest ride since July and I didn't feel half bad. I mean I felt Awesome I'm going to tear some legs off on duck lake road.

(Mind games are in full swing at the moment)

I think thats about it

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Progress

Back from a nice team dinner, spirits are high it was a great week for the Canadians.

Had some time to digest my race.

The weather was changing by the minute this morning, tire choice was really the only stress the past couple days, Decided on a Karma front and a slant 6 rear, intermediate tires. While I was warming up Kevin sat down and pretty much said this is the show man up. So the Small Block stayed on the rear, Kept the Karma on the front though, I really liked the idea of having the L3R compound up front for the rocky DH.

Good warmup, I noticed a ton of glass in the pit area from the previous night so I opted to warm up on the trainer. Warmup was good, left leg was feeling a little tight, I think I've been compensating a bit the past couple weeks maybe have a bit of an imbalance going on now. Put it out of my mind, my leg is 100 times better than it was and thinking about it wasn't going to help.

Callup was awesome probably the most I have ever been cheered before and all I was doing was heading to the line. A preview of what was to come I guess.

Start was decent off the line, held onto a nice position, moved up a bunch in "the" crash going up the left side.

First climb and singletrack was tough but luckily I am comfortable getting on and off my bike. Hit the rocky DH, it was a bit of a cluster, opted to go where the least amount of people were and run the rocks.

Next climb was again lots of running up the switchbacks which was surprisingly pretty quick but tough on the legs.

Main DH,(about 10 mintues in) pedaling became all messed up, got out to the field looked down and looked like i had a sapling trailing out of my derailleur/hanger/cassette. Not sure where it game from never left the course and bushwacked at all. Luckily the pit was right there pulled in and the Shimano guys helped me get it out. Had to pull the wheel out, chain came off, found another twig in the top of the cassette. Not sure how much time I lost 25 30 seconds, but a ton of spots, went from the high 40's to low 60's.

Right away new the shifting was off, probably a bent hanger, or a bashed rear d. Decided I'll know soon enough if its the ladder and put the rock hammer down. Gears were skipping pretty good, took me a while to figure out what was useful and what was to be avoided. Best bets were middle and top three on the cassette, which was good it wasn't the other way around on the climbs.

Once I got things sorted out it was apparent by the time back I only had another lap or two left.

Just focused on riding everything clean, even found myself having a little fun out there, Rode the rocky DH every lap, which saved huge time and got some good cheers from the crowd. I felt pretty comfortable on it even in the mud, last lap started to chase Sven Nys, I could see him in the distance, after the DH he was out of sight thought he put the hammer down, guess he b'lined it. Got to the 80% with 2 to go and made a graceful exit.

Highlights, not DNF'ing, the cheering was insane on the switchback climb/decent and the rock garden, definitely helped out. Oh and didn't affect my performance but got stung by a fracking Bee halfway through, flew in my jersey, spectators probably thought I was hitting myself out of anger.

Next up, hang out tomorrow, take it easy and head home Monday and get training for CTS.

want to thank all the CCA staff for all their support, Kevin for his wicked pep talks, and everyone back home sending my tweets/facebook messages.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The seconds are in the corners and on the hills, i've wasted a lot of seconds in my life

Bike is primed, I am ready as I will ever be, the weather gods are promising to unleash hell on the big boys(and girls) tomorrow.

Now that I have the course dialed it will probably change a fair bit with the rain. walked the B-line as apparently it is a good option especially on the first lap if there is a line up waiting to hit the rocky DH.

The pre-ride today was solid, couldn't shake this french dude, he had some nice lines so I followed him for a bit anyways, found two I hadn't seen before, and then attacked him good when he dropped his bottle.

I keep thinking I'll be able to chill out after this, but CTS is only 2 weeks off. Might be a good thing to be somewhat prepared for that.

Apparently there will be some CBC coverage of the race starting at 3, may catch a glimpse.

Before I forget sending out some healing vibes to J Staff for a quick recovery.

I know I had more to tell but its getting late,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Senior worlds of the world, the real worlds not tuesday or wednesday night worlds.

Finally after a few bubble years i have arrived at senior mtb worlds. Rolled in Monday evening parked the team truck and got into national team mode.

Nice to see lots of provinces represented even Newfoundland, they must be very proud of Lesperance.

Random but just found out hydro transformers are filled with mineral oil, crazy.

Course is "blown out" never seen it so dry and dusty, reminds me of hardwood. Had a little bail but it was all good cause i landed in 6 inches of powder.

Took me a few laps yesterday and today to feel like a mtb'er again. I'm not nervous but just tense for some reason. But all is good now, the course is getting more and more torn up but my comfort level is higher.

Accommodations are good, Geoff almost kicked me out for using a blade grinder to grind my coffee. Still can't look me in the eye.

Just got back to the place after the relay. good stuff.

Leg is good, had a little work done on it yesterday and it feels great right now.

Some rain in the forecast would be good, keeps getting pushed back so we'll see if we get any.