Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So thats it hay is in the barn.

Early week was spent getting some running around done before the first racing trip of the year. But did manage to get on the MTB for one more shakedown ride making sure everything was tip top. Choose to ride down Ingram for its roughness to see if I could shake anything loose. Then took a quick right hander into copeland. Doubletrack was a workout but rideable, but the singletrack was either sheer ice of too soft to ride. Jerk move of me to take a picture of the only piece of dry singletrack I could find.

While washing the bike, I hate to say it but Kev missed something else in the general crankset area. But he has a lot on his plate so ill let it go. Tuesday was fully off, just getting in travel mode. I usually like to have the majority of my packing done two days out so I can just chill/ride the day before leaving and in case I need to run into town for anything......that didn't happen, got suckered into watching legends of the fall at K.B's instead. Good flick.

Today was the day though get packed then head out in the afternoon in the peak heat. I'm talking a balmy sweltering +(yes plus) 6 degrees.

Again a few morning visitors and I was off schedule again, looking more like an evening ride, Maytag repair man stopped by and twisted my arm to get out for a ride around Big Chute. OK, it was a good call, got a more solid ride in than I would have by myself. Survived the sketchy sand corners and made it back home in good time to pack.

So thats it, all the work is done now its just time to get down to Columbia, and not think about the fact the race is at 8660 feet. Leaving the computer behind going low tech for a few days.

And in case your wondering, I do know how lucky I am to be traveling to these amazing countries,

Sunday, March 27, 2011


That's how I'm feeling now, tough week of training, made tougher by the persistent sub zero temperatures. I think the only thing that saved me from curling up into a ball on the side of the road was the sun which did a great job of making things seem warmer than they were.

Had a bike building party at Norco with Kev, where we salivated over all the new gear. Phaser is in but the focus was on the hardtail. I hope to get an "inside the semi-pro's bike" up soon. but the frame has some nice refinements over last years, and the new XTR is sick. May have outsmarted Kev on a shifting issue we had, but he'd never admit to it so ill leave it at that.

Friday was back on the road, for some start simulations. Headed back out to Cassell after a long warmup, MTB on gravel would have been nice, but the powertap came in handy for the efforts. And to be more specific these were world cup start efforts, 20 hard pedal strokes, haul on brakes come to stop, repeat 3 times then straight into some longer efforts. some reps of that and an easy spin home feeling cooked.

Yesterday was a straight 3 hour road ride, hitting all the good climbs in medonte, basically Jamie's hilly ride but without Jamie. Bumped into a few people heading out for a MTB ride and I got super jealous, I got asked what I was doing riding on the road, I couldn't come up with an answer.  Rolled in after a couple weeks of freezing cold road rides decided to park the crr and get the new bike out on the trails today.

Headed down to mecca of Bradford MTBing Coulson hill to check it out. The parking lot was muddy but once you got in the trails they were in great shape. Hardpacked with a little snow cover, the new bike is awesome, rides similar to last years no surprise there, but close to 2lbs lighter. And 6 lbs lighter than the bike I had in California, climbed so effortlessly. New XTR brakes are crazy, I couldn't imagine what the "trail" versions are like. The new 2x10 is going to take a little getting used to. 

AWI jerseys are looking awesome, can't wait to get my hands on one, big thanks to Elizabeth for all the work that went into them and getting them ordered.

Watched skyline, horrible, Watched Due Date, not bad,

Quote of the day in Video form

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

hey, whats up ?

Two solid days in the books, well I don't write anything down, but two solid days in my computers hard drive and in the legs.

Headed out on the CRR yesterday good warmup and then into some 3 minute efforts, on newly discovered Cassel drive. Standing starts from the same spot, 3 minutes increasing the wattage each time until failure, sounds like a ramp test? Feels kinda like one too.

Today was a little longer 3-4 hours with 40 minutes of tempo on the plan. With the impending snowstorm I wasn't sure how much of it I'd get in outside. But I headed out anyway on the winter bike, sure enough the snow never did get this far, but the passing cars had snow and ice on them so it probably wasn't far. Three and half hours with 2 - 20 minute tempo's mixed in. One was out in Flos into the wind, averaged 22kph for it. The other one was with a tailwind coming up 93, it was good livin. Apparently I anger some using that term, which in its own is good livin.

Making a trip to Woodbridge tomorrow to pick up the new machine, gonna be sawweeeaaattt.

Oh game night happened Monday night, good times, in true Monday night fashion Liz kicked our asses.

First (MTB) race of the year is only 11 days away, can't wait its been far to long,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roads? where were going we don't need roads

After mapping out both a pretty river route and Awenda, I decided why go where I have already been, after moving to Craighurst I haven't really explored some of the roads that are now closer and within a 75km radius now. So I threw a dart at the map and it landed on Port Stanton. (i actually just looked at it) Some of those roads that are north of Orillia I don't know very well. The roads were there but what they were like is a mystery. Laid out a route and printed it off and headed out northeast over mt st louis and continued on in that direction. Sure enough hit some gravel which was fine, but then that gravel turned into a clay/sharp gravel/muddy mess of a road. Abort Abort. Made it about 2/3rds of the way there. I will readjust my route and try again but, after that I turned north to upper big chute road. And sure enough passed two riders on cervelos, they were friendly and gave me a nice tyrannosaurus rex wave. That road is just a hotbed of tri group riders.

Rode through Coldwater and up Vasey where I hear if your lucky you might see a Spak training in its natural habitat. Zig zagged through medonte to hit as many hills as possible and then turned down a road that I always thought dead ended,  turns out to be an awesome quiet road that dumps out onto another road I thought dead ended. Funny what you learn by looking at a map. Though to be honest some roads on maps around here don't actually exist.

A hair over four hours, forgot that my average speed on my road bike is about 2-3kph faster than my winter bike so it was a little shorter than expected but solid wattage throughout. Which is also nice to know now.

Post workout sushi feast at Diamond, I probably but that place into the red the nights I'm there. Then over to see Paul, awesome total nerd flick though as most of the lines are actually ripped off BSG, Star trek/wars and other sci fi greats.

Chill day today, hard stuff tomorrow,

there were rumors of an actual board game night tonight but I guess those rumors were false.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Excuse me, my friend didn't go to the olympics." "Oh and why not." "Because I won 50 dollars in a bowling tournament and lost my amateur status"

That title has nothing to do with anything I just wanted to use it before it got jacked.

Can't sum up today better than to say it was good livin. Especially compared to yesterday when I headed over to horseshoe for a ski on their open ski trails, which turned out to be a mix of ice and mud. I wasn't to upset but some folks who had driven from the city weren't to impressed.

Last night was rough, pretty much didn't sleep, not sure why. Just couldn't turn the old brain off. At about 2:30 I said f my bed and went and slept downstairs. Not sure why but it worked and I was able to get some shut eye.

Alarm had me up at 7 to get some eats and get dressed. Apparently Brandon and Tristan weren't as keen as I was. Rolled into Hardwood, got signed in and handed the bibs for the team. Quick meeting, I don't think Jack was to amped on our outfits. Tristan arrived with I think 10 minutes till his start. He rode a solid bike portion coming in not to long after the leaders. Brandon destroyed the snowshoe, and then tagged off to me, I had a good gap and didn't want to let the team down so I killed it the entire 5 km. I could tell my technique is worse than a couple weeks ago. But I was able to hold on for the W, with one very close call coming down Vertigo, not sure why I was tucking but that left hand corner was sketch at whatever speed I was going into it at.

But Sean Ruppel came storming in not long after, which after some conversions and time credits for actually having to transition I think he won the day.

Bite to eat, played with Musky, I hate to say it but shitzu's are pretty cute.

Home and on the road bike, like sub 18 pound carbon road bike, ahhhh so nice to be on it again, I love my winter bike but a bike thats 5+ ish pounds lighter and way more forgiving was a nice change. 2 hours, with some decent climbing, sunny, warmish. Roads were dryer than the sahara, just as sandy, but dry. Even Ingram and Bass lake which I thought would be snow covered till may.

Tomorrow is looking nice for the long ride on the schedy. Just trying to choose between Pretty River road or Awenda. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Thats what Saturday is looking like for the PP And P, low of -5 overnight  so hopefully they will be able to groom. Just finished prepping my skis for a little trial run tomorrow morning. And then the big show Saturday morning, 9 am, Hardwood hills. I've been tapering to this for the past two weeks.

So thats the plan, ski in the morning tomorrow, ride in the afternoon. And get my MTB ready for the bike swap at Hardwood on Sunday. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

7 and the sun is still shining in my eyes

First I'd like to say how much I am in favour of daylight savings time, days like today when nothing goes to plan and can't ride until 4:30 it makes it so much nicer to know you don't need to worry about finishing in the dark.

Today included multiple trips into Barrie to jump through hoops, while missing out on what appeared to be an adventurous ride, which if I had been on wouldn't have gone down ingram road from 93, cause that's just kinda crazy. And Jacob and Tristan wouldn't have crashed. So really I will take responsibility for the crash.

 But once I got home and got some good eats in me after fasting for 14 hours I was ready to head out. Rode out into new flanders for some pancake flat riding. mmmm pancakes..... 2 hours sun was shining strong and snowbanks that had been white yesterday were now brown with all the dirt and sand coming through as the snow melts away. Legs felt like crap early on but I slowly came around by the end.

Yesterday was super solid, chilly in the morning but by afternoon the temperature was good livin and I was able to get a great 3.5 hour ride in, starting out on the rolling hills along bass lake and 15/16 before turning north to Mt St Louis and Moonstone, climbed both before heading back home via Hillsdale/old 2nd.

Monday, I don't even want to talk about monday, other than to say I went over to Liz and Jacobs for a board game night, which I was stoked for and even got Krista my imaginary friend to come to prove she isn't imaginary. And sure enough no games were played. weak.

But AWI RACING now has a president (Tristan Spurr) Vice-president/Owner (Andrew Watson) Treasurer/clothing manager (Elizabeth Ross). Stay tuned for the team website launch. A 400km 2 day charity ride is in the works as well as a full schedule of racing bikes.

Tomorrow should be a solid day for a good ride, Road bike??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

last I left you

Not much has changed, snow continues to fall daily, it feels like fall, that smell of winter in the air. The deer continue to wander around in the back yard, I'm running low on hand and feet warmers. In other words global warming is BS.

But in the spirit of lemonade I got kitted up yesterday for a long tempo workout. I headed down to ridge road, tempo heaven really, slightly rolling with some bends to keep from falling asleep. Saying its in rough shape is an understatement. I will be avoiding that road for the next few weeks until the frost is gone. Both in car and on bike. On the plus side my wheelie drops on my cross bike were honed. Legs were nicely toasted by the end.

Looking back on the week and utilizing the stair test, legs said chill out, so I just took Starbuck for an hour snowshoe today. Some fresh snow and a firm base underneath made it good livin.

The relay order has been finalized thanks to the 8 ball, Tristan "yes definitely" is starting things off on the bike. Brandon is our glue in the middle with the snowshoe/run, After those two I plan on being able to cruise through the ski with little effort.

Tomorrow, have to get down to Bradford at some point so we'll see how that works out, with below freezing temps all day, I think Ill take the mtb with me and hit up Coulson and or Midhurst on the way back and see what there like. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

This week has been a box of chocolates as far as the weather is concerned.

Tuesday was hard work on the bike, warmed up and then did a bunch of intervals up Mapleton....sorry Bidwell. Actually I wish I was still close to Mapleton, Bidwell will make me soft. shorter and not as steep. Intervals hurt but hey no pain no gain. Rode my winter bike so just by hr and feel.

Wednesday I needed to use power so it was on the rollers for some 3 minute efforts. Felt like intensity so pretty much the same as Tuesday. Then into the big city for the newest Philip K. Dick film adaptation, The Adjustment Bureau, from the short story the Adjustment Team. Bureau does sound better not going to lie. Great film, Damon and Blunt have tons of good chemistry. Acting is excellent with Dick's signature themes of reality and fate coming through strongly. If you still find yourself wondering if androids dream of electric sheep you'll enjoy this film, AWI stamp of approval.

Yesterday was a big day, not training wise just did a nice easy classic ski with Starbuck in the Copeland, and an easy spin inside, call it a recovery day after two hard days. The ski was pretty good, it rained a ton but there's still lots of snow to soak it all up. Skiing in the rain is becoming a new favorite activity.

I have now crossed over to the dark side and a smart phone showed up at my door, but then I found out its actually not a smart phone as it doesn't use data, it uses mobile browsing, whatever that means. I already miss my flip phone.

Hung out at a local bike shop chatting about the club and taking memberships for the year, I guess I seem trustworthy as people were giving me cash like it was going out of style. Some new members signed up which is always nice. I'd like to thank the nameless local shop that hosted us for the night.

I registered "team awesome" today for the pole pedal and pound next Saturday, I challenge all of you to come out and try to take down Tristan, Brandon and myself. Order to be finalized but I'm thinking ill be the anchor on the skis.

Jacob and Matt are doing the whole Triathlon solo, making them by definition triathletes. We all make choices.

Over to the 5th line for a snowshoe with the dog, and then home on the rollers to bust out some hard 1 minute efforts. Got a few in before realizing the quality just isn't there inside tried both the rollers and trainer but its just not the same as doing those outside which I usually do. I switched it up to some Matt P inspired 20 pedal stroke power starts. Which went much better.

Another day of sketchy weather, then some sun for a few days. I have a longish Tempo workout this weekend, which will probably be Sunday but if the weather is decent ill bust that out Tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

....... ummm.......huuuuu..

Couldn't think of a title, I hope most of you have finished reading my previous novel, I promise this post will be back to the normal few paragraphs.

Woke up yesterday to more snow than anyone called for, Al Gore - 10 points. Got a call from the maytag repair man he said 11:30 copeland Snowshoe. My legs felt like I had done something violent to them so the thought of jumping straight onto the rollers didn't sound to appealing so without much arm twisting I said I was in. And Starbuck was also invited and needed an outing.

Also discovered I was 6th in the Loppet Saturday, basically got beat by all the 15 year olds but managed to hold off the masters skiers. 

Driving along Ingram Matt and Shannon were headed the wrong way, once they turned around and caught back up Shannon said and I quote, "We were looking at a property down the road, we'll need a new place to live if we get married in October"

I think we had about 8 dogs with us, I lost count just kept an eye on my own. Good outing in the woods on snow.

Had a physical this morning as well as got my forms for some blood work for the UCI, loves my jumping through hoops.

Home and on the rollers for some coordination, fast pedals and one legged stuff. Roads were in good shape but didn't feel like spending 30 minutes getting dressed to ride for an hour.

Also I'm looking for a team to do the pole pedal and pound on the 19th. Ill do either the ski or bike portion, I think a dream team would be Tristan on the bike, Jacob(or Liz.....actually Liz) on Snowshoes, and myself on skis. But hey that's just what I think.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

24 hours of good livin

Warning this will most likely be a long post, pace yourself

The good livin started with a trip to see my travel doctor to tell me what to fear in Columbia. He was very concerned with the altitude and gave me a prescription for meds to help and said double check that you can take these.

While in Midland I also wanted to go check out the local Norco dealer Total Sports which is under new ownership, shop looks great and Mark is super enthusiastic about heading into the bike business.

Jetted home to await my ride down to the bike show with the Spaks, after being properly introduced to "she" ill just call her Shannon we were off to TO, driving much faster than I would be driving. I got right to point and asked what the deal was, they kinda giggled and smiled and didn't really answer the question. So I'd say 50/50 there getting married in October. Place you bets now.  

After walking about 8 km to get into the show and only be able to pay by cash which is actually kinda sketchy I thought we got in the doors. Didn't take long to realize Matt was a real Social Butterfly, its true about the social aspect of the show cause you do see a lot of people down there. One person I bumped into was Aarif from Bike Depot   in Thornhill, who was aside from my parents was my first big supporter. Aarif always worked hard with companies to get us bikes to ride for the year, and then sell at the end. At the time they were one of the only shops willing to take that on. It was pretty neat to be able to thank him for that so many years later.

Another stop was my local Norco dealer Bikeland, mainly to give them a hard time about selling Norco carbon bikes for ridiculously low prices while I'm trying to sell mine from last year

I never did find a new cycling cap to replace my Schwinn one. I didn't look crazy hard but I also didn't want to fight through more congested stores.

Anywho, got out of there, grabbed a wicked Burrito from a place Shannon recommended, and then it happened, Matt put a DVD into his dashboard and magically a screen appeared and I was in Top Gear heaven. I think it was so I would be quiet and settle down in the back. Rolled into Joyride at 730, tired and not feeling all that pumped about riding really just wanted to sit in the car.(which i will never dis again)

All was good though I jumped on a dirtjumper well not A dirt jumper Mark's dirt jumper. I think Mark gave it to me so I would be more careful about crashing his bike(and my body) over a rental bike. It worked and I kept it fun, staying off the bigger jump lines. Rode the skinnies a lot. Tried to give Matt advice about not starring two inches infront of his wheel, he didn't take it. Shannon on the other hand is kicking ass and will probably be putting the hurt on Matt sometime soon.

Home, a few pages of my book to get me in the mindset of racing in the rain and bed.

Part 2, go get a drink, snack...........k k.

Woke up to some nice rain at 7 am, really it just seemed like any other race day for the past 2 years. Cold and wet. California was good prep. Challenge one the parking lot was literally a skating rink, hardwood could have hosted a long track speed skating world cup today. Got the car parked ok, but walking the 15 feet to the snow was dicey.

Picked up my number plate (which they call a bib) warmed up, on the start loop a few times, some of these dudes looked serious, like spandex and stuff. The atmosphere was much closer to a road race than a MTB race ill put it that way. Most of the serious guys were in the 40k, the 20k were some younger skiers and masters and me alone in the 20-29 category.

Watched the 40km start at 9, looked pretty simple when they say go, just giver. But double pole to start till the red line. A couple laps around the flats dropped off my rain jacket and lined up.

Good start, fell behind while double poling which i never do on my skate skis. Started skating lady passes me shes moving pretty good thought cool, boom bails right infront of me. Get around her, she must have gotten up fast cause she passed me back 100 meters later. Again bails right infront of me this time taking down a younger female skier.

Lost a ton of spots getting through that, heading down to start the actual course. I got into a nice tuck, and passed a few people who were tucking yet snowplowing at the same time. Not criticizing but I don't get that.

Heading out pine trail passed a few more racers and then the lady passed me again but she was moving so I jumped in behind her and we passed a lot of people. I also noticed they regraded the first climb you hit as your heading out. You know the one with the orange fencing that causes all the mtb races to explode, yeah it will be a lot harder to split things up now. Hello big bottlenecks.

Settled in to a nice pace, just below throwing up pace, and just kept her trucking, the rain was very refreashing and the trails were in great shape, actually probably the est conditions i've skied on this year.

Came through about halfway, Jacob tried to hand me a cup but i realized I had no idea how grab it with a ski pole strapped to my hand? I said im good even though i could have gone for a splash. I think a few folks were starting to crack a bit and I passed two more guys going out onto the west trails. I was looking back and there were three people chasing me hard, Once we were headed back I knew it wasn't too much further but if they had put DVP or the other last loop in  I would have been cooked. Crossed the line and fell over, I didn't need to fall over but that's what you do. 1 hour 12 ish. Had my cold pasta lunch and jetted, other than winning/being last my age group I have no idea how I did, im pretty sure the 12 year devo kids schooled me.

I loved it, it was great to race something again, It felt good to really dig on some of those climbs, I could see myself doing some more of those in the future.                


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kershaw and Harvey who??

Today I finally did it signed up for my first cross country ski race. After riding to hardwood and getting scoffed at by Gareth for riding my bike on a beautiful sunny dry day, Judy took my papers and asked if I knew what time I started, I said 10? she laughed and sounded very dissapointed in my lack of organization and told me 9:15. 

Good ride followed by a trip to the vet, and picked up a copy of MTB Action having no knowledge of what was inside on page 103......

Tomorrow is shaping up to be awesomeness, going to the bike show with Spak and the mrs. and I plan on getting to the bottom of this "rumour" that just keeps going around and refuses to die. I'm planning on wearing a wire.

then the big day saturday,  I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm looking forward to it.

I'm hoping Kevin rolls up with the trailer.....that would be sweet.

"Its like the Chinese national hockey team winning the Stanley cup in Montreal against the Canadians"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh yeah

Good call Tristan,

Nice sub threshold workout today, underestimated my fitness and ended up not pushing enough power units for the first couple intervals, but I sucked it up and upped it for the last few. I should have busted out a 20 min TT to figure out where I was at but with my freshly working meter I was anxious to get to work.

I still haven`t registered for the Loppet, sounds like I`m being challenged via Twitter from Manitoba (I consider Thunder bay to be in our neighboring province)  3 degrees and rain for Saturday...actually sounds better than a road ride.

Club Plug- If your in the Barrie area and want info on the Barrie Cycling Club, there is an open house at the Trek Store next Thursday at 7pm....I think its seven. You can sign up with the club, and see what the club is up to this year.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

done waiting for tristan to post

working backwards, got out for a awesome ride today first time I have headed towards some hills on purpose since being back. Climbed at non snpd sanctioned pace, more like I'm racing in a month and better get in (race) shape pace. Roads were mostly good except for Bass lake which im pretty sure will still be snowy come June.

Got my powermeter back up and running, pretty happy about that keep thinking that one of these days its just going to bite the dust. 

Yesterday was  long, Tristan and I were headed down in the pouring rain to joyride at 430 am. Arrived shortly after 6 thinking we missed the start but sure enough they weren't even there yet. Didn't really ride a whole lot, but did get my 15 seconds on camera, got caught off guard when I was asked what it was like going to the olympics. I think she thought I was Kurt Browning.

Outta there and back, powernap and back into town for a 90 minute visit to Mazda for a steering safety upgrade. Learning- read almost cover to cover an entire Scientific American, learning about quarks, American obesity, homemade satellites, and offshore fish farms.

Then over to Krista's to sit through hearing her sign up for carbon credits being added to her gas bill. I kept waiting for her to clue in that it was really a scam. She never did and I'm a bad friend for letting her sign up before telling her.

Viewing- Kings speech, very good worthy off all its awards the previous night,

Reading- Picked up "the art of racing in the rain" I have a feeling its going to be a mix of Marley and Me and Days of Thunder. Chapter one was rough.

Learning- Bogota is at 8668 feet, and the maximum temperature ever was 24.9 degrees.