Thursday, December 30, 2010

beer and chocolate

Been a while since I've givin the blog some love. I have been keeping busy though, mtbing a ton, a hike here and there and some great core workouts. The trails have been in the best shape possible (for winter) for some time now and I have been out on them for 2+ hr rides the last 6 days in a row. Tech skills are improving daily and I am getting a little too fit for this time of year. Ill fix that problem over the next few days by celebrating new years at Blue Mountain then hanging around for some snowboarding fun. weather looks like shit, so purchasing a lift ticket might not be worth it. We'll see how she goes.

So 2010 wraps up tomorrow night. I was going to write a season review, but I got to lazy. I will call it a success though and leave it at that. Sure I had some crap races, but solid results that surprised me made the lows easy to forget.

Hopefully the thaw passes quick, and the trails get some new snow. Road riding is not an option for me!

Thanks SHCC for the new trails that keep popping up. Loving them!

Happy new year everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow is Here!!!

So its been a little while, I know, but I have been busy. School is done now, except for 4 exams, that I should do a little studying for to maintain my decent average.

I have been training quite a bit lately, both on and off the bike. I have done 3 laps of lunges around my block with 15lbs in each hand, and the third time I felt very strong. Lap four is tomorrow after classes, and I would step up to the 25lb dumbbells, but with a lot of riding planned for the weekend I figure I will crush another lap with 15's.

I mtb'd in the Hood last weekend. It was awesome riding with the ground finally freezing, but it got better on Monday with the 10cm of snow we got. It took me about 1/2 hour to get used to the snow, and start to bring speed through turns, but once I started to feel it I was having a blast. The trails were even better today, with some trials bikes going through and packing down a nice line. Unfortunately part of the furthest north trail (before Mud Lake) is destroyed because of some clear cutting around the hydro poles. As long as they do a good cleanup, the trail will survive, but not be nearly as cool with the forest gone.

I plan to go back Friday morning, and probably one day on the weekend too. I'm taking full advantage of the conditions because our winters are so unpredictable, and it could easily thaw and or rain any day. Just wish I lived closer, but I am bringing my bike with me to school, and then heading there right after, as its only 20mins further.

Going to keep this routine of intense strength 2 days a week, with riding or hiking/running on the 5 other days going till the end of the holidays. Short strength sessions get mixed in whenever I feel like it, but are mainly just core. Soon some snowboarding will get mixed in there. Can't wait to get out again!!

I got some got training in last night at Henri's big 19th.......some beer pong! The two of us as a team were unbeatable, but I started to fade later on and could not support my new partner well enough to succeed. Last time I played was almost a year ago, so the lack of endurance was expected. It was a great time though. Happy bday son!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"So at the end of the night, like other people who work 9-5, when I take my shoes off, the only reason my socks smell like shit is because I've been kicking ass all day"

Friend recommended I watch this, I recommend you watch this...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recent Adventures

2 week rest period is now over, and I feel ready to get back on a training schedule. My schedule will be very loose though, something along the lines of ride as much as I can, with weekends dedicated to the longer rides, and short rides thrown in through the week when the weather is favorable (snow, or frozen ground), or I simply feel like it. Starting tomorrow I will be doing some type of strength exercise every day. Some days simply a few sets of push-ups, and others 2+ hours at the gym (which I have not been to since last February). lunging around the block might go down on Monday, with no weights. 25lbs in each hand by Christmas.

So the past couple weeks I actually got quite a few things done. I did MTB once, because I am addicted and had to get my fix. It was fun, and my MTB felt like a monster truck after only riding the CX rig since the Squeezer.

last week, with the help of some friends, we turned 42lbs of pork into over 100 sausages, with 5 different types of spice mixes, including Frank's and Sharp Cheddar cheese. Original Italian turned out the best, but I think with more, better quality cheese, the Franks one could be a huge hit. I think they will have to be hand packed though with big chunks of cheese rather than the cheese being ground into the pork. Lots of work but I think will be well worth it.

On Friday I drove to Montreal after school, getting there just after 1am. Got to drive my friends BMW, a nice change. Saturday we hiked Mont Royal, and explored the downtown area, then after a quick nap it was time for some pubing. We started the night of at a pub that sold beer in giant test tube like contraptions that had a wood stand with a tap at the bottom to poor. That was 8 pints between the 3 of us, then we pressed on pub to pub, trying different local brews at each of them. Hit maybe 6 or so meeting up with more peeps along the way, then it was time for the dance club. Not much of a dancer, but it didn't matter.

Woke up Sunday with no sign of a hangover, and then hit the city again to go for brunch with a friend going to Concordia. Then some more visiting, and a fine dinner before going back to get the pubs we missed. The is something for everyone there, the variety is amazing. Hope to go back in the spring for a similar trip.

This week I went for a couple hikes in Shorthills. I like to run down hills and up hills, because I find walking them boring and more tiring. So I cover ground pretty quickly, getting trails that they say are 3hr hikes done in less than an hour. I hope to do this once a week through the winter because its excellent cross training and very relaxing mentally.

Can't wait for the snow to fall! So much fun to MTB through.

All for now, until next time enjoy this one

Monday, November 8, 2010

CX Nationals

I find it kinda funny how the only nationals I took part in this season was CX, which is my weakest discipline. Well I guess I only did it because it was only an hour drive away.

So I think I did alright. I beat 10 guys, which was exactly how many I thought I could if I were to have an alright day. I was hopping to feel some more power, but I didn't at all. I had to suffer to to keep the pace above tempo, and any attempts at attacking would leave me completely gassed for several minutes. Seems to be the same story for every cross race I did this season.

I'm starting to think that I might be the kind of person who can only be fast once a year. I don't mean one weekend, I mean fast for 2 or 3 months. Or I am likely just burnt out from my first full season of racing, and made it worse by tackling the marathons and the squeezer through September (although they are my favorite events of the year that I never want to miss) when some rest wouldn't have hurt.

I never wanted to take cross serious before the season started, but have learned from it that I am a much more competitive person than I thought. Going into a race "for fun" is really no fun at all. If you are not prepared, you will be dying to hold on to a wheel of someone that you could have crushed a month ago, and before you know it you are getting lapped and won't even be completing the full race. I'm still glad I did the races I did because I learned a lot and it kept me on the ball the past couple months.

I have started to think a lot about next season, and have a good idea about when to do what. Unfortunately I will have to miss a couple races to fit in the rest periods that I neglected to take this season. I plan to start my intensity sooner for a better early season, then after a break in July I will build for a peak in August/September. I want to do the GMSR as a cat 1, So I will need some serious power early September, and than taking a 2 week break after that should have me feeling a little fresher for some CX action.

It looks like the next couple weeks are going to be very restful for me. I am just going to focus on charging the batteries before strength training season.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Parma Cross

Finally a solid cross race.

I took way to long to get locked into my left pedal, resulting in a poor start, but it was fun passing a bunch of guys on the tight and sketchy forested gravel section. I made may way up to Mr. holeshot Henri before the first lap was over, and went by going a little faster than he could handle after a week of 1hr of training.

Soon after I was in the 4th,5th,6th train and was going solid. They had short barriers out, which myself, Henri and Mcgyver29r were hoppin, and gaining a couple seconds on the rest of the field each lap because of it.

About half way through I was in 4th or 5th with a small gap, and had a fluke crash behind the stair run-up. I was getting ready to dismount, and my pedal ejected me while I was standing on it on the left side. The ground was super bumpy here, so maybe that made my foot turn or something, but anyway I got up fairly quick after rolling down the trail for a bit. My bike was on the other side of the trail, and as I started to run over to it the 5th place guy came by yelling watch out! I failed to regain contact with him after that.

I forget now If I caught a guy, or he caught me, but I was around him for several laps, going back and forth. Late in the race we both came into the barriers at the same time, with me hoppin and him running. I was on the right, and landed hop 1, pointed a bit left, and he was running on the left, drifting right to the center. We came together between the barriers, and next thing I know I am flipping through the air over barrier 2. I slammed down hard, and had the wind knocked out of me pretty good. Right side/ribs hurt, but not to bad. I got rolling again, just soon enough to hold off the chaser in 7th. I couldn't catch the guy in 5th after that, but rolled in for 6th with a solid gap, and got a nice $25 pay out for that.

It felt good to actually go fast when I hammered. Still not much punch, or explosive power, but if I train and rest well, I think I can get some for next Saturday.

Thanks mom/dad for the drive, and recovery meal after!

Eyedea aka Micheal Larson R.I.P.. Thanks for being real and motivating me along. E&A all day!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting fit again

Finally starting to feel strong on the bike again. Today was the first ride that I felt good sensations while hammering since the Squeezer.

I went over to hydro hill, and climbed it 10 times. Didn't race up it, just went steady, and made sure to get my heart-rate above 170 each time. 42x28 seemed to be the perfect gear, with the occasional double up shift before standing. After the reps I cruised through some singletrack in the Decew Falls area, then enjoyed a nice push from the wind all the way home. Total ride time was 1h50mins. Wanted to do more trails, but I figured I should go home and eat/rest for tomorrows race in the US. I am doing the NY state champs down in the Rochester area. Hillbilly Hustle looked like fun too, but its a far drive for a 1hr race.

This week I chose to do most of my training on foot. Running is not fun, but for some reason I am more motivated to run, than to do intervals on the bike; at this time of year. Maybe its because I suck at running and know that I can easily improve at it, which I have. Tues and Thurs were both 10km runs with 10reps up the stairs at lock 2. Did different agility drills that Morka introduced to me. After Tuesday my legs felt completely torn apart. I could barely walk, and going down stairs was very painful. After an easy spin on Wed I was ready for it again Thurs and got'r done feeling much better.

I think next week will look very similar to this one. I will shorten the runs and make Thursday easier to have a tapper effect for Nationals.

I have also started to do some strength training; to my upper body anyway. Pumped out 120 push-ups this week, 2+x that in sit-ups. Also a bit of curls, shoulder and tricep work. You don't realize how valuable this training is until you're riding at your limit, and start to fade because your arms and core are to weak to keep your bike stable; or when you enter a technical bit of singletrack and you have to slow down because you've got nothing in your body to maneuver your bike around.

Hopefully I feel good tomorrow, and even better next Saturday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun times in the mud

Super fun cross race today. I got the mud I was hoping for, and got to expedience cross as I had envisioned it.

I feel that I rode pretty solid. Not quite as strong as I was day 2 at TO, but aside from the climbs I was able to keep a respectable pace. Those road climbs had me feeling really out-of-shape, and I was counting down how many more times I had to drag myself up them.

Aside from the suffering, I had a blast nailing turns, and trying new lines each lap. I'm sure I could have brought a little more speed into some turns, but I kept it safe and stayed upright. Its obvious that I have some work to do on my fitness before I have better results, so I am going to do some intervals this week and next and see what I can do at nationals.

Solid ride again Henri, and huge props to Chown for killing it today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pre-reg Only. Oops

Missed out on the CX provincials action that went down at Kelso today. Totally my fault, I forgot to sign up early, and never bothered to read the tech guide that clearly said pre-reg only. Didn't find out till last night, and I had already planned to go up with Henri, so I went and tried to get a favor out of the oca to get me in.

No luck. The Commissionaire had to be a dick and stick to the rules. Even for one of their best customers an exception could not be made.

Didn't get get mad because I knew I could have a riot just watching. I pre rode two or so laps to get a little workout, then cruised around the course to various points to watch/cheer. I was having fun trying to motivate Henri. It helped him, and he moved up to a podium spot for U23. He was inspiring me, and making me wish I was racing so much. He was in a good battle with Marco Li, and Preston Wagler, and was able to drop them something fierce by the end. Stafford fell way back with a broken derailleur but was still able to come back and and steal the last U23 podium spot. He is a hero, and I think would have finished 2nd overall had he avoided the mechanical. Watson would have had someone to keep him working.

Gonna race there tomorrow. Hoping for mud and decent strength. I have rested a lot this week, so I should be fresh. I think I am rested enough to start doing a little intensity before the end of cross season, so I can be fitter for some November races. I get started on strength training after nationals and and hopefully get my lunge form back quickly for laps around my block.


Monday, October 18, 2010

T.O. UCI Cross report

Day 1

Going into day 1, I had it in my head that the reason I was soo slow at Turkey cross was because I went out to hard, and blew myself up before the race was even half over. So, I figured I would have more success if I started steady, and ramped it up through the race. I planed to always have a wheel to suck in the wind, and only attack guys before the twisties, or when they messed up.

I liked the course a lot during the pre ride. It was well designed in a way that you didn't have to use your brakes much. Not too much climbing either....

When the race started I settled into a pace that I could likely hold for 2 hours. I got on Guy's wheel and he pulled me through the headwind section at a good pace. This brought me up to Henri, and a couple other handlebar guys that I stuck with till I was pulled. I thought I was doing alright, and was just starting to ramp it up to my red lined pace. I guess I lost to much ground in the first quarter, so it didn't matter that I had some gas left. Frattini was coming.

Before heading home I hit up the snowboard show with my buddy who came along for the race. Checked out a lot of decks but nothing in the u300 dollar cat jumped out at me, so I left empty handed. We got stuck in traffic for an hour after, and I never got any decent food in me till 7pm. I made up for that by feasting on steak, potatoes, salad and cheesecake when I got home.

Day 2

New plan for day 2. Race at a 40 minute pace, and make it to the last lap so I could finish on the same one as the leaders. This course was a bit longer than Saturdays (time wise) because it had more turns, so I was confident I could avoid the pull.

I started a bit slow, but made up some spots quickly and was riding really well. I was riding in a train of ride with Rendall guys, and was able to draft them for a while. Most of those guys had more power than I did, but they were slowing me down in the turns a little. If I attacked I figure I would have blown trying to tackle the stiff headwind, so I sat on and only past them when they fell or really missed the line.

The last lap was an exciting battle for 23rd spot with 2 others. They both tried attacks early, but we stayed together all the way to the sandpit. I tried to attack before the drop, because I was riding the off camber turns and climb really well, but I just never had the power to get ahead on the climb. I tried to ride the sandpit, but failed horibly, and the other two gaped me by running it quickly. That was it for me, but it was good enough for 25th, and a $25 pay out.

I had a lot of fun though, and am starting to get this cross thing. I plan to do a few more this season including Provincials this weekend.

all for now

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turkey Cross

What a gorgeous day it was to spend an hour suffering in a maze of cation tape. I had some new motivation and confidence for this race, with my Dura Ace C-Fities mounted with some Dugast Rhinos. I figured that would be the most effective way to get faster, as intensity training at this point in the year is not happening for me.

I felt the a cold coming on yesterday, and went to bed with plugged nostrils, tossing and turning for a couple hours before passing out. Accidentally set my alarm for 7, but fell back asleep for another hour after that went off. Not a good a great start to the day; I usually jump out of bed around 7 on a race day. Okay so that's all the excuses I have for my mediocre performance.

During the warm-up laps I felt surprisingly amazing. My bike was rolling so smooth and and the new tubies where gripping so well. I was passing people like crazy just so I could bring speed more speed into the turns. I was loving the course and would say it was my favorite yet; to ride, but racing was another story. The twisties were soo fun, but the run-up and climbs were killing me. I suck at running, especially if its up a hill. Something I will work in in the winter.

I had a great start, settling in around 10th in a stacked field. I was going strong for the first few laps but blew up after about 4 laps. From then on I just tried to keep'r rollin, and have fun on the none up-hill parts of the course. I managed to crash on the only damp part of the course which was a twisting down hill. Not sure how I managed that, probably just got overly confident on the Dugasts. I was fine, but took a bit to get going again. While I never did get going again, but you know what I mean. I wanted so badly to stick with riders that came by, and battle it out with them, but I had no power left so they would slowly ride away.

Not sure of the result yet, but I finished a lap down after 4 leaders lapped me with 2 - go.

I still had fun though and am looking forward to the big races this weekend. I'm just going to take'r easy this week to get over this cold, and hopefully find some power come Saturday.

That is all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cross Attempt #2

Yesterday I made a last minute decision to hit up the Octoberfest CX race in TO. I Hadn't trained all week, other than some slow adventurous rides, and I drank a lot of beer Friday, so I was unsure how she'd go.

I enjoyed the course quite a bit during my warm up laps, and figured it would suit a MTBer like me. It was hilly, with some fast dh's and some tricky technical features. They had a long sand pit, a big log followed by a sand pit, some barriers and lots of off camber sections.

I had a good start, getting just inside the top 10, and felt like I could move up if I wanted to. I wanted to try and ride everything, so when we came to the log I hopped up, but washed out in the sand on the other side. Somewhere in the process of falling I smacked my derailleur off something and bent the hanger pretty good. I rolled along for a bit trying to find a gear that worked, but none of them really did. Justin was right in front of me coming up to the steep big climb, and some how his rear tubular rolled off while he was riding straight. He's lucky it happend there and not on a fast turn, but unfortunately it cost him big time.

I ran up the hill, then cruised down to the pit area to try and fix my shifting. All I could do was pull on my derailleur to bent the hanger as straightish as possible. I got it looking decent, and then got rolling again behind a train of masters that just went by. I tried to shift to a smaller cog, but for some reason my shifter would not release. I was stuck in the 25, so all I could do was shift between 48,39 with a 25t cog in the back. It worked alright, but was far from ideal. The train of masters was gone, but I managed to catch a couple other guys while chasing. After 2 or 3 laps of riding the 2 speed, the shifter started to release, and I could use about half my cassette. It still wasn't right, and my chain went in the spokes more than once, but I made the best of it. Later on I caught a few more guys, and just just tried to enjoy the course as much as possible. Stafford came by me just before the finish of my second last lap, so I was forced to finish 1 lap down. Oh well, it was fun.

I'm thinking about training a little and doing the race in TO next weekend to get a bit faster for the UCI race. My goal there would be to not get lapped, which will be very tough with a bunch of pros there. Hopefully the laps are long. haha


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Squeezer

Man what a day of racing. Yesterday was my first crack at the elite field in the Liberty Bicycles squeezer. I had a goal to make the top 5, but nearly every elite racer in Ontario decided to come out, so I would have been happy with anything in the top 10. Lining up against Ontario's finest in my home town was a very cool feeling.

I got my first ever call up; for being the fastest local, and started beside Etzie who is the fastest young local.

Morka pulled everyone along down Ontario St, and over the St. Paul bridge, and I sat near 5th. I got boxed a little on the bridge, but moved up to second wheel before the left turn. Hughes lead the first part of the gravel path, with myself on his wheel, then I lead up the small hill, putting in a good dig. I was off the front now with Mark Batty on my wheel. I pulled for a bit then slowed for him to pull through, but he didn't till we where almost caught. Glassford took over the front and I grabbed his wheel, holding second spot almost all the way to Decew road. I was feeling fantastic, a little uncomfortable on the climbs, but holding his wheel through the single track felt effortless. Going through the last bit of Marv's new trail, I clipped a small tree with my pinkie, and it steered me off the trail a bit. I came to a stop, and let the rest of the train go by to avoid slowing them down. Zandstra, Hughes, Batty and Wagler went by, and I slowly got up to speed with them still in sight. I caught back up, but was now red lined, hanging onto Zacks wheel for dear life. They slipped away a little before the road climb, and I hammered up that hill like a mad man knowing how important it would be to have a group to work with on top. I could not catch them. I felt like I was dying at the top, and took forever to get moving on the flats. I was gasping for air and my whole body felt like jello. Still though, no-one was in sight behind me. Before the first turn, I saw someone coming, it was Watson. I tried to recover a bit before he caught me, so I could grab his wheel and try to work with him. No luck. He came by at Mach 2 and I was closer to being blown over by his wind disturbance rather than tucking into it. So their I was, all by myself, truckin along, trying to hold off the strong men chasing.

I was alone all the way till I came out to Decew again for the long climb. Anton caught me there and helped me get up the hill quickly. I led through the singletrack, then he pulled me down Wiley Rd. He also pulled me along the reservoir trail, and I owe him a huge thanks for that. I was still trying to recover from earlier and was lacking power big time. Through the new bypass trail I washed out on some sticks, and Anton got a gap on me. I never went down, but my chain fell off, so it took a few seconds to get rolling again. I caught him at the end of Suzanne trail, and Morka caught me at the exact time. We each did some work, but the pace was not insane in the last km. Anton pulled to the hill, and Morka started to sprint there. I felt bad for Anton because he came out of his pedal going up the hill, taking him out of the sprint that he would have won, and deserved to much more than I did; but thats racing. I hung onto Morka's wheel and tried to come around him in the last few meters, but was only able to tie him. I think our photo is still under review, so I may be bumped up to 7th.

It was an exciting finish, and and we got the crowd really fired up. I was actually hoping to be in a sprint, because I had some friends watching, so it worked out perfect.

Can't wait for next year. A big thanks goes to Kurt @ Liberty, the volunteers and Marv/SHCC for the trail work. I'm stoked to have some new singletrack!!

Thats a wrap

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paul's Dirty Enduro

Paul's 100km enduro has came and gone, and I won! I had too after that last post, or I would have looked like a fool.

The race started while the sun was still rising at 8am. Justin and I got there with just enough time to get ready for the start. I think we pulled in at 7:35. I dropped some bottles to go out to the feed zones, something I forgot to do last year that cost some time.

We started faster than last year, with a group of about 5 pulling away. Matt from Tall Tree was ahead solo, but we didn't worry about him and just kept it steady. He was caught about 10km in. Our group shrunk to myself, Benno, Matt and Zach (singlespeed) by feed one. Shortly after that Benno got away by powering up a tough climb, that the rest of us jogged. I upped my pace to catch him, leaving the others behind. When I caught him about 5km later, he slowed and our group came back together.

After feed 2 (40km) I picked it up a bit on the doubletrack to see who I could shed. Benno and Matt hung on, which I was fine with because 60km alone would be boring. The three of us stayed together until Matt crashed on a sketchy downhill, and could not catch us.

Benno and myself stuck together all the way to the 80km mark. I was not sensing any weakness in him, and was starting to think it could be a sprint finish, or an epic battle up the never ending climb. After the 20 to go feed, he started to slow down, and just when I was thinking about passing, he said he was done. Yeah there was a stick in his brake caliper creating added drag, but that was no excuse.

After I left him behind I upped my pace to build a gap. I was using my big ring for everything and getting out of the saddle a lot to make larger watts. I was feeling good, and took some gels to Keep that feeling. When I thought there was about 5km to go, I arrived at another feed, and they said 20ish to go. I was thinking no way, they are wrong. I had to be closer than that! Turns out that there was just over 10km left, but lots of climbing in there. We still had the overgrown thorny trail to climb and descend. Kinda cool until a thorny bush grabs your bicep and try to tear it off. From there on is a blur. I would have gone faster in the final km's had I known I was so close to the course record. 16 seconds!!! An old goal of mine was to set a new record, but I scratched it when I hear that the best time was set when there was far less singletrack. Now I know it is possible.

I am the new king of this race, and will keep going back to defend my crown. The crown was very creatively made from spokes, spring and presta valve nuts. Very cool. I also got a sweet new Catlike helmet, which will be perfect for hat summer rides. Loads of vents. They also gave me a tile/trophy, a messenger bag and a cool bottle with the TV sucks label on it.

I would have to say that this was the best race of the year thus far. Best value, with your money going to a good cause. Best singletrack, and it just never ends. I forgot how wicked fun the dirtbike trails are that are part of the first 40km. Soo many pump rollers, and banked turns that just keep coming. The rain improved the course from last year, making the sand a bit harder, and keeping the dust down. There was a bit of mud, bit it was mostly avoidable.

I hope more people realize what a special race this is and come out for it next year. Spread the word!

So yesterday I watched the Queens Park QP in TO. It was so exciting and I was so happy I went. Seeing Hesjedal and Barry in person was kinda surreal, and just watching them ride by got my heartrate up. Everyone put on a great show. Hesjedal left it all out there, doing a ton of work in the break. He seemed to be on the front every time they went by, and still finished third, behind 2 sprinters.

Roth launched an impressive attack on the break with ~8 laps to go and got about 10 seconds ahead. He was caught with 3 or 4 to go, and still held on to the lead group.

Fry had a great day getting in an early break with Roth (I think), did some work on the front, and still won the field sprint.

In the end it was Schiller getting another well deserved win. He always seems to be so strong in the end.

Next stop: The squeezer. See ya there!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marathon Champs

Another victory! Yee Ha!

Todays race went perfectly for me. Aside from going off course for 5ish minutes with Tyson, and being joined buy by Tim and a couple others on the way back to the vandalized arrow turn, there were no issues. About 5 riders got ahead of us at this point, but myself and Tyson pulled ahead again and caught them quickly. We worked together well, with him pushing me a bit on the singletrack, and me pushing him a bit on the doubletrack. Unfortunately for him, his lower gears were not working, so he was forced to grind up all the climbs, and it was hurting him. He admitted to being nearly cracked just after the last feed zone, so I upped the pace there, and held it till the end. I did loose my gap at another point later on when I arrived at a split in the doubletrack with no arrows in sight. The arrows just prior were a different color, and I did not want to ride further off track, so I rode back up a long climb, then waited for a bit till the train of riders came, and told them what was up. We determined that down the hill was the only way to go, and I checked out where the left turn went. I rode up a hill, them bam! an arrow appeared and I was back on track. The others got going again, but I quickly gapped them, feeling quite strong. I avoided any major cramps, and was able to ride every climb (excluding the one near the start that everyone ran).

My plan going in to this race was to start slowish, and save a lot for the last 20km where I wanted to really tear some legs off. I felt great at the start though, so I used my strength, stuck with Tyson, and just waited to see what would happen. Having a good history with these types of races really boosts my confidence, so the mental battle is easy to win.

Well I think Benno is in trouble at Paul's. The 100km battle is coming soon!

As long as I don't do anything stupid this week, like stay up all night, or get wasted, I should have the same form next weekend. My only training ride this week will be the power test Wednesday morning, and maybe 5hrs of fun cross rides to fill in the rest of the week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Sometines she goes, sometimes she doesn't. Thats just the way she goes boys"

She didn't go for me today. Well not until the last lap anyway. I had a bad start, slipping off my pedal and ending up close to the back. I made one good effort to move up about 5 spots, but after that I lost my motivation, and just tried to find a rhythm. I was alone for a long time with Nicholas from the hub a few seconds back. He was going faster on the straights, but I was going faster through the turns. He caught me on a long straight, and I was fine with grabbing his wheel for some drafting. I sat there for about 2 laps, and then attacked on the last lap, knowing that the next train was less than a minute up. I felt strong at this point, but that strength came to way to late to make up significant ground.

So the moral of the story is that if you enter a race without the will to suffer, you will not do well. Ya, it was a fun race, and I did enjoy the course. Once my road rash heals on my right hip I will push it in the turns more, and that will make it more fun.

I think I will enjoy technical cross races, this one was fast, and had very little tight stuff. Mud, sand, snow and hills will up the fun factor.

I could not believe the money some guys put into their cross gear. Some pit bikes where easily worth 3 or 4 times as much as my new Tricross. Crazyness. Getting on some tubulars is tempting, but I will not put more money into cross gear unless I commit to training for it and racing it seriously. Maybe next year?

So I failed one of my goals by dismounting for the barriers. They were just too close together to make the second hop possible. I'll get em one day.....

Nice work Justin, showing some good strength today. I'm sure it will stick around for the rest of the season for you. Hopkins won the battle in the junior field, and Sara finished second in her first cross race ever! Siiiick.

Now its time to get my MTB ready for tomorrow. Can't wait!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

College and stuff

First week of college has come and gone, without problems. This terms math course is the equivalent to grade 9 academic, which I found easy to pass while I was in grade 8, so I am likely going to write an exemption test to free up 4 hours a week for more cycling time. The only down side is that they charge you $144 bucks to write the test, and you get nothing back from your tuition. Bullshit, I know.

The only course that I know I will not enjoy is English. First class we had to write an essay, then the teacher drilled us with a grammar lesson. I am bad at grammar (as you already no (lol)) and don't think I will ever be good at it, nor do I care if I am good at. I only need to make enough sense to sound deep. Some lucky students may get exempt if they wrote a superb essay; I highly doubt that mine was any good, but I'm sure doing this blogging for the past year helped.....

Everything else will be fun, as it is new to me. Drafting will be a lot of work, AutoCAD will be tough, but very rewarding to learn. We also get a basic computer knowledge course that will be a breeze for the younger guys, but very challenging for the 30+ year old students.

My class is a good mix of ages, and maturities. I have received some good tips from "second try" classmates about how important making the right friendships is. It makes sense to hang with guys that will help you out, rather than drag you down. Only 20 students graduated this course last spring, out of the 60 that started it 3 years ago. I have heard that the "weeding out" will start after the "10 ten day full refund" period, because teachers need to get paid. They will go really easy on us till we're locked in, then hammer us for a couple weeks to try and shrink their class sizes/workload. I see it coming....

I think I will be fine in this course as I have always had a passion for construction and design. It will take a little to adjust my training to this new schedule, but with the help of lights I will be fine. My appreciation for my bikes has already started to rise this week. Its just that when you're trapped sitting on your ass in a cinder-block cave for 5 hours, getting on your bike after for a spin feels that much better. I will look forward to riding more than ever, and enjoy the long weekend rides very much. Worst case Ontario I will drop a course or two if the workload makes my training suffer; but this is more of a second year issue. I might take a night class through the summer to lighten the load for next year.

Man am I ever pumped for some racing this weekend. My first cross race is tomorrow, where I will be jumping the cheeseburger at Burgoyne Woods. My goal is to not put a foot down, and have some fun. I have been practicing my barrier hopping skills, and hope to use them tomorrow. Sunday is the marathon champs at Mansfeild. These races are super fun, and have an adventure feel that I enjoy. I want to do well, but really don't care anymore as I have surpassed my goals, and am transitioning into beer consumption season. Paul's 100km is next weekend, and this marathon will prepare me to dethrone King Benno. Its more cross after that, than racing will end in November. Cross will be perfect to keep me focused, and allow me to not train at all without getting fat. Just race on the weekend, then focus on school all week.

There is one more workout that I want to do this fall; and that is a VO2 max power test. This will be one 5 minute full out effort on the power tap. My VO2 max intervals in the spring will be based on the average wattage I get, and I will be able to track improvements by doing this test often next season. I just need to get it done soon, while I'm still fit. Next Wednesday maybe? Can't wait!!!!

Race reports coming soon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tour Di Via Italia

Tour di Via Italia was a special race. It was the first race I have done where hundreds of spectators line the streets and scream with excitement as the peloton goes flying buy. The field turned out to be much more stacked than I expected with some complete American teams, as well as the usual Garneau, Jetfuel, and La Bicicletta teams. My goal was of a top 15 was going to be very hard to accomplish.

I had a brutal start being the last one to line up. During the junior race they said that they were behind schedule and that the elite race would be starting at 5:30, so I went by that and warmed up on my trainer till 5:15. Just after I got off, my dad came running over to tell me that they were lining up, so I scrambled to get my DA wheel in, get my bottles, put my helmet on and then hammer over to the start. I got there 5 seconds before it started.

My poor start didn't really matter, because I was feeling strong, and was able to move to about mid pack by lap 2. On the second turn of lap two, I crashed pretty hard. I was wide on the left, making the right turn, then something happened on the right causing guys to to turn left, including me to avoid it. Next thing I know I'm headed straight for the curb going quite fast. I turned sharp to try and make the turn, but my front tire let go and I wound up sliding on my hip into the curb. I guess I could have stayed upright by jumping up the curb, but I could have killed some spectators in the process. Others were down too, I think from the crash on the right, but I never looked back I just jumped on my bike and hammered like a madman determined to catch back on. My saddle had turned to the left and tilted down and my bar tape was ripped and peeling off on he right, but everything else seemed fine. The pack was maybe 100m ahead of me, and I was able to get within 50m maybe, then I started to fade. Just as I lost hope of making the catch, I remembered the rule about a free lap if you crash. After about 3km of chasing, I pulled into the pit and told them what happened. I was relieved that I didn't ruin my free lap by trying to chase. They were fine with that, and even adjusted my saddle for me. I peeled off my ripped bar tape, had a drink, than I was off to rejoin the race. I got in to a mid pack spot, and hovered around there for the rest of the race. The crash had me feeling a bit shaky in the turns, and I was not being nearly as aggressive as I wanted to be. There was another crash about 10 laps in, but only two guys went down thankfully.

The pace was very fast, but I was not finding it tough to keep up. It was very tough to hold my ground though and I felt like I was getting cut off a lot, and forced off my line. About mid race they called out a prime, and feeling good I decided to go for it. Two guys attacked, but were reeled in before the last turn, and I got third wheel in the counter attack. Two Panther guys pulled me to the final straight. The first guy pulled off, then I started my sprint around the second guy with 100m to go. I went for the shift into my 12t, and the shift was delayed then skipped around when it got on the 12t. Because I had to back off, I lost the sprint to a guy coming up on the left. Shit! Why did I not check my shifting while I was in the pit? It was obvious that I had bashed my rear derailleur when I fell on my right. My hanger was slightly bent, just enough to to delay shifts into the 13t and 12t. There was nothing I could do about it now, just be aware of it.

The second half of the race was a lot of moving up, then falling back over and over. With 2 laps to go I got into the perfect spot. I was about 10th wheel on the left side. Turn 2 on the last lap I lost my good position when a close call occurred just ahead of me. The Jetfuel guy ahead of me had to hop up the curb to avoid crashing, but luckily I was able to stay on the road. The downside was that I had to brake hard, and watch a large swarm of riders fly by on the right. This ruined my chance of a top 15, because I was closer to 30th, maybe further back now. The pace was nuts the rest of the lap, as teams had guys drilling it on the front to prevent an attack. I moved up a few spots before the final turn, got around clean and then past a few more guys as I sprinted out of the turn. All I could do from there was hold my spot which happened to be 24th.

Without the bad luck I could have done better for sure, but am still happy with how I felt, and how I was able to get off the front for a prime sprint, even though I didn't get it. I did end up with a silver medal in the U23 Ontario cat, so I am happy about that.

I would like to do this race again, but I may do the GMSR in Vermont instead next year. Etzl did amazing this year finishing 9th in GC, beating some of Canada's top Juniors. Perry was just behind him too, so congrats boys.

I laced my Powertap up to a Mavic CXP 33 Saturday morning, so that I could try it out. Liberty did not have the right length spokes in stock, so I cut and threaded some myself being to impatient to wait and order some. It worked out, and my Garmin read it without issues. I took it out for a test in the wind Saturday Aft, and did a couple sprint to get ready for TDVI. I hit 1400 watts in a good sprint, not full out though, and averaged 230watts for the whole ride. I also used this wheel for my warm up yesterday, and found it very helpful to gauge my effort. I think the powertap will really motivate me to do intervals, and make my sprint workouts exciting as I will always be trying to squeeze out bigger numbers.

Well Its back to school for me tomorrow. Its been 2 years since high school, so it may feel weird, but I'm sure it will be fun. It means no more working at Liberty, which I will miss, but likely return to in the summer. I am taking Construction Engineering at Niagara college, what I hear is there best, but toughest course.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Records are made to be broken

Since Provincials, I've really only done 2 solid rides. I was tired after the race, and felt that the week after would be a good time to recharge a bit before approaching the September races. I only did short rides until Friday, when I did a long MTB ride with Justin. Had to have been around 80km for me, and more for him coming from Welland. It was fun, and we went fairly quick.

On Saturday I made my way down the Canal path to Port Colborne into a good headwind. When I got there my average speed was 31.3km/h, so I decided to continue on and do the whole circle route rather than enjoying the easy tailwind back to St. Catharines. I kept my speed above 36km/h along the friendship trail with the help of the side/tailwind. By the time I got to Fort Erie, the winds had changed and I would have to face a side/headwind all the way to NOTL. I was hurting for long periods of time, but was determined to beat my record time for this route (3:58, 34.1km/h). I got my average speed up to 34.4km/h before NOTL, and then turned into a stiff headwind back to St. Catharines. This stretch was quite painful, and I had to completely empty the tank just to keep my speed above 33km/h. I got home in a time of 3:53, with an average speed of 34.2. I was very pleased with my effort, because I beat my record on a much windier day. Next season I will try to up that.

So that's it for endurance training for me. I don't think it can improve at this point in the season, so there's no use in doing anything over 4 hrs. My strength for the marathon championships, and Paul's will come from everything I did this season, not what I do in the next two weeks.

I am looking forward to the provincial crit this weekend, in Windsor. The course seems favorable to the sprinters, being a non technical, 4 corner square. My race will be 80km, starting at 5:15pm. The plan is simple; stay up front, and avoid being on the wrong side of a split. There are two $G's on the line, so I'm sure some big names will be out. Not sure what to expect, so I'm saying my goal is top 15. Good enough to get paid.

On another note, I made a couple purchases. I bought a new cross bike, a 2010 Spz Tricross Expert. Jake the Snake was getting on the small side, and has taken on the challenge of delivering Sara Byers to cyclocross victories. I will race a handful of cross, just for fun. I am not going to train for it, just go off my current fitness until it's gone. My first cross race will be the Jump the Cheeseburger race, because its in St. Kitts. It's the Saturday before Marathon Champs, so I will likely not push myself too hard.

Also I finally bought a power meter. I went with a Power Tap, although I initially wanted a Quarq. Having a power meter wheel seems to be more practical though because I can use it on my cross bike in the off season. Its also a fair bit cheaper than a Quarq. This thing will take my interval training to a whole notha level.

Peace out

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ontario MTB Champs

Woodnewton was pretty cool. The course grew on me during Saturdays pre-ride, and I kind of wanted to do a fourth lap, after a very fun third one. There was a lot of not so fun grassy doubletrack climbing, but the downhill singletrack following was all very fun. Nothing was very technical, but there were a lot of dips and loose turns. The berm'd downhill section was very very fun. We noticed that there was almost no singletrack climbing, and that passing on the ST would be tough. This meant that you had to go hard on the climbs to make your passes, and not be slowed by lapped traffic.

Justin's parents got us a good deal at a B&B in Port Perry. We had the whole house to ourselves, with a fully stocked kitchen to cook ourselves a pre-race feast.

We cooked some eggs and pancakes, and also ate bagels, cereal, bread and fruit. I think I ate a bit too much, maybe one bagel too many, because I felt full during the whole race, and my stomach was a bit upset from lap 3 to the end.

My start was good, and I made up some spots on the opening climb. I was about 15th after lap 1, with a bunch of guys just ahead. I caught up to Anton, and worked with him for a while. We caught Kyle D together and worked with him for a while. Together we caught and passed Souter, Then I got gaped a little by those 2, but closed it down. I was starting to hurt on lap 4, and when Anton hammered the early part of lap 5, he was gone. I had a weak last lap, and all I could do was hold my spot. I had some gas left, but with a lot of tension in my lower back, and an unpleasant feeling in my tummy, a fast lap was not going to happen.

I was soo close to the top 10, and set myself up for it early in the race, but couldn't finish the job in the end. Oh well, I am very pleased with 13th, considering that almost all the big guns were there. For that reason, I feel that it was a slight improvement on my Kelso result. Also, I never gained spots because of other racers mechanicals, or off days. It was all me.

Congrats to Justin who had a great race, finishing second in Senior Expert. That tops my best result last year, and he is still working on the farm. Also Etzl, who won the Cadet race, in what I heard was a very thrilling sprint. way to go man. And, Meg won the cadet/junior sport race, another great result for her.

Next stop: Windsor for the provincial crit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elliot Lake Report

Man am I ever happy that I made the trip up to the middle of nowhere for a weekend of racing. Even if there was no racing this weekend would have been great, because we did things right and stayed up at the Wilderness Lodge, 45mins north of Elliot lake.

The drive up went quite smooth, except for a long delay on the 400, because a lane was closed, for no reason. No big deal, I just had to go a bit faster to make the lost time up. We stopped in P-sound for an hour long ride, and our attempts to find a road near water turned into Le Tour de Dead Ends. The highlight of this ride was taking the road machine onto the Canadian Shield and tearing up some rock lines through the forest. Justin has some pics of that.

We made it to Elliot Lake around 7, then drove the road course, but kept going about 20mins past the turn around to arrive at thee Wilderness lodge. This place was beautiful. Its on the tip of a big lake, with a small beach, and nothing but Wilderness to see in the distance. Just big hills with cliffs and thick forest. The cabins are old, and a kinda run down, but it was clean and had everything we needed. Full kitchen, BBQ, table, couch, beads, deck, you name it. We put a lasagna in the oven then went for a swim. It was a little cool, but perfect once you got in. After mow'n down a large amount of everything, we fished for a bit, but had no luck. Shortly after the sun went down, the bats came out. These things freak me out a bit, cause they seem to like flying full speed straight at my face and then dodging me at the last second. It happened three times... Justin assured me that they were simply flying all wacky to catch bugs.

Saturday we woke up to rain, but I was fine with that. It would make the crit more interesting. We fueled up on oats, pancakes, eggs, bagels and bananas and got to the crit early enough to chill, watch the juniors, cheer on Noah, walk the course, and warm up. Warming up in the rain is no fun, but at least your ready for it when the race starts. We lined up, and as soon it started the pack stretched out very long and I found myself way too far back for comfort. I worked hard to move up, but when I got close to the front, the winning move was already clear. Guys were slipping and sliding all over the course, and I saw about 4 crashes unfold right in front of me. Nothing bad, just slide outs. I hung out in the chase group, and did a bit of work to prevent us from being lapped by the 5 leaders. We were going good, but some guys were taking the turns way to slow, and I think that was where we lost our time. In the end we almost caught the leaders, bringing the gap down to 5 seconds with 2 laps to go. There was some confusion in our group as some thought they were a dropped group, so our chase was disrupted, and they pulled away to a 11 second gap. Coming into the sprint I was near the back of our group, and had to start my sprint at the bottom of the hill. At the top I was leading and held off the others to take 7th. I was happy with that, but if we caught the leaders, that would have been a great finish.

Of course the sun came out after the crit finished, and it turned into a nice afternoon. I had 4 hours to kill before my start of the hill climb. We hung out around the crit start, cleaned our bikes, talked to other racers, ate and rested. We drove over to the hill and I did a 45 minute warm up. I felt like shit when I first started pedaling, but after the warm up I was ready to go. I was third last to start, with Ed Veal and Darko Ficko to chase me down. My TT started well. My plan was to get my heart rate up to 170 right away, and hold it there, with spikes to 180 on the steep parts and at the end. I was closing in on my minute man, pushing the big ring up the first pitch. When it got steeper, I decided to drop to the 39t to avoid grinding, and then disaster struck. I dropped my chain. I tried the shift into the big ring to get it on, and that failed. I ran out of momentum and had dismount. When pedaling and shifting it would not go on. I flipped my bike over and got my hands dirty manually re installing my chain. By the time it was on. Veal had gone by, but I was determined to pass him back. I caught back up to him, and followed him for a bit, then he put in a big dig and I could barely hold on. I was no longer in my mental zone knowing that I lost a minute+, and that even if I had the ride of my life, my time would still suck. I let Veal go, and I didn't pour everything into my effort. My anger was all that kept me moving along. On a slight downhill I put it back into the big ring, and my chain obviously dropped again when I shifted back down. This time I turned around to used the downhill for momentum while I shifted back to the big ring. I turned back up than cruised the last 200m to the top. I'm just going to forget about that one. It was totally my fault. I never fine tuned my front derailleur when I installed my new crank, because it seemed fine. With the Oval rings, it has to be perfect to work properly. Also, I was not shifting properly, as I was in big ring and big cog both times before the shift that caused the chain drop. Big big should be avoided, but with a double crank, the chainline is acceptable. I am going to put a chain catch on all my bikes. They look dorky, but after this disaster I realized how valuable they can be. 1/8th of a turn on the low limit had my shifting fixed for the next days road race.

After the hill climb we had to go to the meeting to discuss the road race course. Some questions were answered and Max's parents were recruited as our feeders. Then, it was back to the Wilderness lodge. About half way there I realized that I had forgotten to get gas. I would make it to the lodge for sure, but would I make it back to Elliot lake?

I got the BBQ fired up and threw some burgers on and Justin cooked some pasta. After we ate to the point of being completely stuffed, we went for a swim. Then, I caught a decent fish, apparently a large mouth Bass. It was my first cast with this certain bait, and I was unsure how to use it. I asked Justin, "how fast do I real this in?" "Fairly fast" he said, so I sped up a bit, then bam, and that's how you catch the big one kids!

After a mediocre sleep I woke to some shady weather on Sunday. I fried up some pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and ate them with a lot more syrup than the average person would. It was the good stuff though, from Niagara Maples. This enhanced my mood and good me ready to go. We left a little early in case the the other races would delay us, and to get some much needed gas. Doing the 45min drive on empty was exciting; I guess not knowing if we would make it got our adrenaline pumping. We made it, with 1L of gas to spare and we were early enough to watch the Cadet podiums, which St. Catharines dominated. I warmed a little, watched the Juniors finish, then after a brief downpour, our race began.

The pace at the start was fairly chill, other than some surges. Nothing to crazy happened before the first feed, which was a fail for most racers. We came into this feed zone with way to much speed. Why would they put it on a downhill like that? I actually lost fluids in this feed because I tossed a 1/4 bottle to make room for a full one.

Shortly after the feed zone, the big hills began, but the pace remained steady. I was out of water before the turn around, but I kept positive and thought about how much lighter my bike was with no fluids on it. The climb up to the turn around was the biggest in the race, about the size of two escarpments. This is where the winning move formed. I don't recall any insane surges, it was more like we were all climbing at our limit, and the strongest guys pulled away. The peloton was shattered from this selection, but came back together quickly. We kept the pace high heading back to Elliot lake, but the gap to the leaders seemed to be slightly increasing. Making it to feed 2 was a huge relief. I'm not sure I've ever been that thirsty before. Good thing I was able to get two bottles this time.

I don't remember any excitement going down until feed 3. I got one bottle here, 2 would have been better, because I was on course to run out shortly after the turn around. It was during this feed that Bayden took a little slam when his feed bag caught on something or another. Huge props to him for getting right back into the race, that looked like it hurt!

Guys kept attacking, and some went clear for a while. La Bicicletta boys did a lot of work to chase them down, and I mixed it up in the pace line for a bit. We caught them all around the last feed, and then the pace went way down, as the lead group of 5 had 8 minutes on us. I was thankfull that the pace was so slow because I was cramping pretty bad, and was very dehydrated.

We cruised along till the final 2ish km, where the pace ramped up and lead-outs formed for the sprint. I knew I had tones of kick left for the sprint, but was unsure if my legs would seize up or not on they way in. It was very tough to hold my good spot in the pack, because swarms of riders kept coming up the sides, and I would slip back. Before I could do anything about my poor positioning, the finish was in sight and the drag race had begun. All I could do was close in on the leaders. There was not enough road to catch them. Oh well, I was just happy to finish with the peloton, considering that I only lasted 2 of 12 laps at provincials last year.

Unfortunately, Justin broke a spoke and could only do one lap. Big bummer because he was very strong in the first quarter of the race. Max lost the pack before the first turn around when he dropped his chain (it sucks eh buddy), and could not close the gap. It is very respectable that he still finished the whole race with only one other guy to work with.

I loved this course so much. I hope it goes down again next year, but with proper feed zones. That was just retarded.

So post race we did some serious chilling and discussing, while enjoying some beers and mow'n all our leftovers. We got in one last swim, but it was a little to cool out for my likings.

On Monday we took our time heading out, than began the drive home around 11. A big Black bear crossed the road right in front of us only 15 mins into the drive. That was cool. I decided to not stop for a ride along the way as it takes to long to dig the bikes out and get changed. Instead, I made one of the best split decisions of my life. The new plan; go for a hike and swim at Grundy lake Provincial park. I had camped there a few times when I was younger, and remembered the amazing hiking trails, and huge cliffs they have to jump off into Gut Lake. We crushed the Gut lake trail in sub 1hr, despite the map saying it was a 1.5 hr hike. This trail is beautiful, like Buckwallow but not groomed for bikes, so you have to pic your lines carefully.

After the hike we headed over to the cliffs, and before the first jump Justin got attacked by a dog. I was walking ahead of him, and heard him yell "AHH FUCK" I turned about to say chill man there kids around, thinking that he stubbed his toe or something, but saw the parents pulling the dog back. The wound was not to bad, I'm sure it hurt, but no real medical attention was required. We were assured that the dog had its shots, then continued on with our cliff jumps. The big one is known as King Kong, and we did that a couple times before packing it in.

Then it was 5ish more hours of driving back to the armpit of Canada.

That is all
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at MTB provincials this weekend.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kelso O-cup

I succeeded in making the top 10! Thats if you exclude the 3 guys from New Zealand that beat me, so really I was 12th.

Highlights of the race:
- Sticking to my plan at the start and passing a few guys at the top of ascension.
- Crash #1 when Zack Winn ran an uphill in front of me, messed up the remount and swung his bike in my path as I tried to pass causing me to flip over the bars into the long grass.
- Crash #2 when I was passing an elite female on the long downhill. I called right so that I could nail the berm line, But she took the berm right, so I said "never mind, Left" and started to pass, then she swerved left right into my front wheel, and I went down hard. I somehow rode away with only a scraped knee, so it was not so bad. Losing the rider I was with at the time was a bummer.
- Catching that rider on the last climb of the last lap, and riding past him feeling like a million bucks.
- Catching Jamie Wagler on the False flat after that, and leading him to the line.
- Getting to sprint in the end and winning!

I was feeling kinda crappy on my 3rd and 4th laps, likely because I was all alone for them. I lacked motivation to hammer the doubletrack until I was caught by Preston Wagler, and I stuck with him and another guy for a while. I started to feel good on the last lap, and finished very strong, but it was too late to make up significant placings. So this was far from a perfect race, but it was still a huge improvement from my results in the spring. Not sure if I'm getting stronger, of if others are burning out, but I'll take it, and go for another top 10 at Provincials. I'm now tied for 18th in the series, with a solid chance to move up a few.

Next focus: Elliot lake.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

kelso Pre-pre-ride

I used today's work free day wisely and drove up to Kelso for some pre riding. Via Appleby line, the drive is only 45mins for me, and if I took the 407 to avoid the lights, it could be even faster. Not bad.

I did 6 laps with the closest point to the upper parking lot being my start/finish. I found the course to be very similar to last years, but with a different, longer trail after the top climb. You also only go part way down the escarpment later, thus only climbing part way back up. This made for a stupid slow off camber turn to start the climb, which adds a nice technical element. Some other trails seemed a bit different and there may be a new technical rock descent, but nothing crazy.

The big climb at the start seemed shorter to me and I was able to keep it in my 40t the first 4 times. I remember finding it tough to climb in 32/32 last year, so flying up in 40/32 was exciting. The hot muggy air was catching up to me though and I was feeling like poo on the trail up top. I gave into my 27t for the final 2 climbs, just to prevent fainting and so that I could hammer the upper trail. My current plan for the race is to only go as hard as I have to (avoid slipping back) up the opening climb, because there is a long fairly wide trail at the top were I hope to make some passes and then set a really high pace on the long single track section. I figure that if I hammer up the climb, My pace will suffer for about 5 minutes after. If I take that extra 10-20 seconds to get up, then I will recover much quicker and make that time up as well as gain some shortly after the summit.

It took me a couple looks at the rock gardens to figure out my lines. The rocks are not like the flowy ones at Buckwallow, that you can ride like dirt. These are pointy and random. I tried to find some crazy jump this, drop that lines to bring serious speed though, but nothing came of it and I stuck to smooth and safe. Besides a bail on pointy rocks is not worth trying to safe 2 seconds. I will stick to the safer way of saving time by buying the lightest parts for my bike ;)

On the news this evening they said that the air quality was so poor that an hour of out-door exercise was equivalent to smoking a pack of cigs. So that means that if I sat on my couch and smoked 3 packs today, that would have been better for my lungs than the 3:15hr ride I did. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger though, right?

I'm going to go up again Saturday for a few more laps. Its soo close, so why not? Looking forward to this race, and am confident that I can get a top 10, no matter who shows up.

See ya there

Monday, August 2, 2010

Canal Dayz

Yesterday was the Canal Days MTB race, taking place on Port Colborne's amazing HOOD trails. I had been looking forward to this race sine discovering the trails back in February during the Frostbike. I guess these trails are well suited to me as I love riding them and always look forward to the next singletrak section. They have a similar riding style to Buckwallow, where smooth and steady is fast. No long climbs, but loads of short punchy ones. The terrain is unique to Niagara with some cool surfaces to ride on. There is the usual Niagara clay, but a good chunk of the trails have this shale like rock, with lots of exposed roots, and bigger rocks to.

I arrived at the venue with almost 2hrs to get ready, and decided to ride a lap for a warm up. I just took it easy and focused on being smooth. After that I did some efforts on the Canal path so that I would be ready to go right from the gun. I did just that and sprinted down the starting stretch hoping to have a small gap going into the first tail. I saw Etzl had me covered, so I backed off a bit allowed him and Tom to lead. Tom went really slow on the first trail, on purpose I guess so that he could calm the pace down. Etzl and I passed him on the double track, then I took the lead for the next trail, to find that my rear tire was flat. Crap! No idea ho this happened, must have burped some air on the first trail, but I kept calm, grabbed my CO2, then pulled over, shot it in, then I was back up and running only seconds later, and only 5ish spots down. I hammered past those guys very quickly to catch JH by Cliffhanger. It was only Etzl ahead of him, and Justin was able to close the gap for me. Awesome riding!

I passed Etzl on the trail before Mud Lake, and after hammering through there I had a comfy gap. From there I just did my own thing and rode as smooth as possible. Later in the second lap my lower back was getting tense making me a bit little lazy when it came to going hard. I didn't make myself suffer like I would if there were spots to gain, but I prevented my pace from slowing. There were quite a few lapped riders to get by near the end, but they were all great about it, getting right off the trail and cheering me on. Thank You!!

In the end Etzl secured second, and Justin rolled in third. These guys were on their game and riding very well. Congrats on getting on the box with me.

On the woman's side, Tanya Hanham came all the way from Ottawa to take that victory. Congrats on that one!!

The post race patio party at the Funky Monkey was a good time. Food was great and many freebies where being thrown around.

The turnout for the event was very solid, and I'm sure it will continue to grow, and soon be nearly Squeezer sized. Thanks a million to all the Shorthills crew and volunteers who made this event happen. The amount of work that goes into this event really makes it stand out. I look forward to trying to defend my title at the Frostbike and this for years to come.

So its looking like I will be racing at Elliot lake in two weeks. This means three big weekends in a row, with road provincials in an MTB o-cup sandwich. Haven't quite figured out how I will bring my A game to all 3, it will be interesting........

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bike the Bruce

This past weekend was the Bike the Bruce road O-cup up in Wiarton. Headed up there Saturday morning with Justin so we could do our Saturday ride on the course. It felt silly to be pre-riding a road course, and it was really was not necessary, but we got our lines dialed in anyway. Max met us for a lap and I showed him the way around...

I liked the course layout. It seemed to have more climbing than I expected, with a 50m ~10% pitch before the line and 1km climb on the Bruce road stretch. The laps went by fast, so that was a good sign as I was scheduled to hammer out 24 of them Sunday. 132km would be the longest race I have ever done; distance wise and my first crack at an S1/2 road race.

I wanted to make it to Sauble beach Saturday afternoon, but lost my motivation to make the drive with the dark sky and decreasing amount of time to just chill out. I decided to hit up Sauble after the race instead, as it was on the way home anyway and a swim would be the perfect way to clean up and cool down. We did check out Owen Sound's Kelso beach after dinner, but it was weak and only hung around to play fetch with a guys dog for bit.

Sunday we made it to the race on good time. I somehow managed to drive straight past the course for the second time; dummy. We watched the Cadets finish and it was exciting to watch Etzl kill the sprint and Hopkins take 3rd. I set up our cooler in the shade to watch the S3 race, which was very exciting. A break went early with Jug and a few others. They got pulled back, but only close enough to have others bridge up and make them stronger. Max got up, but unfortunately, Justin missed his chance. This move pulled away and In the end Max totally dom'd the sprint with Jug coming in second. Justin cramped in his sprint and had to sit up ....way she goes? Next time I'll get another bottle to ya.

1:30 came around fast and my race began shortly after that. I warmed up for 30mins, but not as intensely as I would for a shorter race. I felt good at the start, but as soon as the attacks started going I was red-lined. The pace was all over the place. A guy would attack, we would surge to 50, then after the catch we would slow to 30. repeat this what seemed like 100 times, and that was the first half of the race. After a group went clear the pace steadied a bit as a chase formed. This was the fun part, because I was able to settle into a fast tempo and catch a good draft. I was always at the front, and did some work up there when we started to rotate through. Then, more attacks and surges began. God dammit! I hated this style of racing. I was getting sick of sprinting after an attack again and again and so were my legs. They told me to stop by cramping up on me. I started to drink a shitload of fluids, and in the end I had drank 8 bottles. 4 with Heed, 2 Gatorade and 2 with Coke. After some other groups got clear the main pack slowed way down, and shrunk in size every lap. Everyone must have been hurting because we were crawling along, guys were still getting dropped and surprisingly the gap to the leaders was not growing fast. the 10-15 of us that were left in the pack all worked, but not hard. Some would skip pulls, and when I pulled hard I would gap them. If it wasn't for the damn cramping I would have takin off from this group for sure. In our sprint for 17th, Ryan and a Darkhorse guy went early, and I pulled the group chasing after them. I said "pull through" to the guy on my wheel, and he said "no, thats my man up there". So it was all me, and of course Dark Horse #2 rocketed out of my draft to take 17th and I finished just behind Ryan getting past Dark Horse #1. I could not believe that they were using team tactics to beat me in a sprint for 17th. What dicks! Oh well, I was just happy to make it to the line, after fighting cramps for over an hour.

I was very happy with how I performed in this race. I felt like one of the stronger guys there, and always heard guys breathing harder than I was. My muscles will need time to adjust to these longer races because red-lining it at this fitness level, for this long is new to them. That is my only explanation for the cramps. It was not hydration for sure. I don't doubt that I could have finished top 10, because I had to sit up when the key moves went to avoid my legs seizing.

Its sad to say that the road season is nearly over, and I want to do Elliot lake now. It is far though and between the last two MTB o-cups. I will have to decide soon and determine which ones I want to be fast at. I don't think I can be strong 3 weekends in a row.

All for now, peace out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Not much training going down this week. Training is a sign of weakness; I have no weaknesses. I have spent some time practicing victory salutes and going over tactics, but that's about it.

Haha I wish it was that easy. Lots of intensity and low volume has been my formula for the week. I did some intervals today, and Tuesday, now all I have to do is rest till race day. This road race is in Wiarton, which is fairly flat, but open and very close to water, so the wind will make it tough. My goal is to hang out near the front, and watch and learn how things work in S1/2. If I feel incredible, I may go with some moves, but I will race conservatively, 132km is a long one. If it comes down to a field sprint, I will be all over it. I will battle for good position and then launch the missile when the time is right. I would be happy just to have a mid-pack finish, but I will not hold back.

Wish me luck! Peace outs

Saturday, July 17, 2010

BIG week

Today was the end of what was my toughest week of training to date. I managed to get in 24 hours of ride time, with loads of intensity. It started with the Buckwallow O-cup last Sunday, which was followed by a fun 2.5 hour recovery ride Monday, where I felt way too fast for a post race day. I kept calm though knowing what was coming this week, and never let my heart rate exceed 150bpm.

Tuesday was another story. I set a knew PB for the circle route, completing the 136km loop in 3:56. This was a solo effort where I managed to average 34.2km/h. Calm winds helped, but it was the 30/30's I did along the parkway that got my speed way up. I also sprinted out of every street crossing along the friendship trail, after slowing to make sure it was clear. All I ate on this ride was one banana, and I never got hungry surprisingly. Two stops for water was a must though in the humid scorcher of a day it was.

Wednesday I got out for a MTB ride with some co-workers and had a ride time of about 2.5hours. I felt great and made some short efforts. The group was small with other rides at the same time, but if your interested we will be leading road and off road rides every Wednesday, from the shop (weather permitting).

Thursday. haha Thursday was a Suffer fest. I shared and extra large serving of hurt with Henri and Max. We hammered to Smithville, then rolled over to Grimsby where we dragged our asses up the three big climbs 3 times each. I felt good on the climbs, but may have done them faster when I was more rested. It was great training none the less, and I'm sure the other two were enjoying the 20% grades as much as I was. We caught Stan out there, an ex pro, and convinced him to climb 50 road with us. He seems to be quite fit still. We got organized in a pace-line to get home quickly, and shared the work to keep the speed around 40. I made it home with 1/2 hour till I had to get back on my bike and ride to work. That was fun.

Friday I had no gas what so ever. All I could do was spin around for a couple hours. I don't like going slow, but it was my only speed on Friday.

Today, I bounced back and put out a solid 4.5 hour ride. I was a bit tired, but felt very fit. My strength came and went, but I put out 7 solid climbs up Saylors as I did laps of the Classic. It was a windy one out there, and of course the wind was blowing straight down the hill. The rest of the loop was fun though. Got my average speed up to 31.2 by the time I got home, not bad in those conditions.

Tomorrow I want to MTB. Maybe I'll hit up the Hood, but no matter where I go I will be going marathon pace for 3-4 hours. It will be fun.

All for now

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Once Discovered, Never Forgotten"

So I got my first Elite podium at Buckwallow. Finished third and was only 20 seconds off the win. With most of the top guns out west for the Canada Cup and nationals, the field was wide open. My goal was a top ten, but when I saw the field I new a top five was within reach.

I had the course dialed after doing 6 or 7 laps Tuesday, then 3 more Saturday. I was going fast and riding the technical stuff very smooth. I have always loved Buckwallow, since my first time riding it two years ago, when I sucked but still had fun. Buckwallow is not comparable to any trial system near Niagara. It's a different world. Trails like this can only exist on the Canadian Shield, where you can find exposed rocks bigger than your house, and have plenty of car sized ones to link to flowy turns. The course was reverse direction this year, making some lines interesting, but nothing overly tough.

I had my tire pressure way down for this race, with 15psi front and 18psi rear. With big Conti Race Kings set up tubeless you can go this low (depending on your weight), and really benefit from the increased traction and comfort. I also have some new rims now, the Stan's Alpine. They look like the Olympics, but are lighter and have the new wider inside with smaller sidewalls. The beads of my Race Kings seemed to really snap in and sealed up very easily.

So onto the race. I started at the back and was the last guy motoring along the doubletrack start. I got by maybe five guys before the first singletrack, but still had some ground to make up on the top 10. I always felt like I could be going faster than the guys I was following, so when we came out on the doubletrack, I would go faster and bridge to the next group. I was in a train with Anton, his teammate and a Mountain view guy for a lap, and was willing to work with Anton on the doubletrack, but lost him by the first singletrack of lap 3. I was alone for a while, and kept my pace high to hold my position. I was stoked to be in fifth. On lap 5, I caught Tall tree Neil on the big climb, and asked "are you Elite?" He said nothing but started to hammer to hold me off. I guess that's a yes? I held his wheel for a while, and was confident that I would get by him before the finish. While we lapped one of his female teammates, she totaly blocked me. "I said on your left" She drifted left. "ON YOUR LEFT" she moved all the way left till I was off the trail, and as I passed her through the rough, she laughed and said"Ohhh Left" I said "ya do you know which way left is??" I shut the gap down on Tall Tree, and we passed Zack before I passed him. Before the last sinletrack section I caught Souter, and held his wheel through the trail. I disliked his pace, but there was no room to pass, and I figured sprinting for second would be fun. A lapped rider fucked up the big rock big time so we both had to dismount, loosing time on Stu who was in sight. When we came into the feed zone the sprint began. I was gonna go around him on the right side, and as I started to pass he drifted right. I yelled "ON YOUR RIGHT", and he went all the way to the right forcing me to brake and coast across the line to avoid being squeezed into the fence. Weak man. Just weak. The most exciting thing in cycling is the one on one drag race sprint. I love watching these, and being in these, but Souter totally ruined this one. I had a solid chance to beat him, I can sprint, but it would have been close, it would have had all the spectators standing on their toes in excitement.

I did not say anything to him, because, he knows. I will get him back by ending his winning streak at the Lake to Lake.

Thanks for the cheers Jeff, and others. Thanks so much Henri Family for the weekends accommodations, and feeding and such.

Lots of training going down this week with no race this weekend. Will update soon.

Peace out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

CHIN Picnic

So my first race as an S2 went quite well for me. The field was huge with the M1's in there totaling to just under 90 racers. The first half of the crit I was working my ass of just to hold my spot which was about 60th. I was trying to get up front by sprinting out of every turn, and trying to pick the fastest lines, but everyone in this cat was doing the same thing. For a while I felt that no matter what I did I would always end up with the same guys around me.

After about 45mis, I finally started to get closer to the front, and was able to sit comfortably in the top ten for several laps. You can see how my heart rate dropped fair bit 3/4s of the way though.

This is because it is a lot easier to ride at the front, especially on a technical course like CHIN. The reason why is because the top 10 or so can nail the turns without using brakes, and carry a lot more speed into the straights. At the back of the field, especially if its tight you have to slow way down for the turns, then sprint as fast as you can just to prevent the leaders from gaping you. All this sprinting had my legs hurting pretty bad, but they kept on working preventing me from ever slipping back.

When I was at the front, the pace slowed and that was when the winning move went clear. I was right there, and could have grabbed a wheel, but never tried to. I know I could have made it up there, but highly doubt I could have pulled through, and did not want to mess up there pace line. I'm guessing I would have been dropped from this group anyway, so decided to just hold my spot at the front as long as I could instead. I slipped back a little when some groups came up from the sides, but was always in the front half. On the last lap I moved up a little but got boxed in on the straights and could only do so much. The pace was so fast that the group split, and I was happy to finish in the middle of the front group. I could have gained A few more spots in the sprint, but did not want to risk causing a crash by weaving around guys. A crash did happen just in front of me that had me on the brakes in the final meters. Luckily all but two stayed upright.

CHIN was a great event, and I really enjoyed the course. The turns were so fun, and being surrounded by very experienced racers made them even more fun. I felt very comfortable in this field, but realize the gains I must make before I will be able to stay at the front, or peace out of the pack.

I owe a huge thanks to Kurt @ Liberty! for fitting me to my bike. I found out that my right leg is shorter than my left by 5mm, and that I need a varous wedge and ++ arch support to avoid power loss in my shoes. I bought some Specialized pro road shoes, that fit me properly, and notice a big difference already, without the cleat shims and proper soles even in yet. If you have any fit issues I would highly recommend booking a fit with him. It is a very thorough process that involves many tests of flexibility, and precise measurements. Exciting stuff for sure.

No race this weekend means a loooooong mountain bike ride for me tomorrow, after watching Le Tour of coarse.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Raccoon Rally

This is the Garmin file from the road race. Lots of climbing (4-10k climbs) and lots of time spent with heart rate above 170.

OK.... so the Raccoon Rally was dope. I have ranked the road race the best race I have ever done. It was an amazing course and the the cat 1/2 competition provided the perfect challenge. I went into this race with my only goal being to get some excellent training, and I did just that. I pulled a whole bunch, I bridged gaps, I shut down almost every attack, and I attacked too.

The climbs were not steep, just looooooong with grades 3-10%. I was able to use my big ring for almost the whole race because we were climbing fast. The course was not technical at all with only sweeping turns that could be taken very fast. I think I enjoyed the race so much because I felt that we were all evenly matched. No superstars were around that could go clear easily, and the the teams were not large enough to put the independents at a big disadvantage.

The winning move was made early on the last climb, and the guy built a nice gap by the top that he held on to till the end. I worked hard to help reel him in, putting in so good digs, but when I pulled aside nobody would come by to take over. Near the top a bunch got clear and I bridged, but lost the 3 who went clear when the wheel I was on gaped and I could not close it. We caught those 3 after the decent by sharing the work, and then sprinted for second. It was an uphill finish, and I had no jump left, but managed to muscle my way in for 6th. I was was very pleased with how things went.

So I don't have much to say about the XC race. The course was disappointing, but epic at the same time. The disappointment was the lack of singletrack (less than 1km out of 50), but similarly to the Road Race, the climbs were loooooong. I took the lead at the start and hammered up the first parts of the climb. We climbed up gravel, then, dirt, then more dirt, then grass, then descended a bit, then climbed more grass and that was when I kind of blew up. About 6 guys got by and slowly pulled away and I could not respond. After 30mins plus of straight climbing we finally got to go down. Two guys on CX bikes were with me and I worked with them till the end of the first lap, gaining a couple spots. The second lap was shorter, with only the dirt climb, and I upped my pace shedding the CXers and catching one other guy to roll in for fourth. A solid result for the second day in a row, but the fitness gains are the most important result to me. The XC race was amazing for suffering, but if I do it next year (very likely) I will use a Cross bike to make it more fun, and help with the grass climbs.

Congrats to Chown for the win, and Henri for some solid races; you are starting to get the results you deserve and I'm sure will not be S3 for long.

So Chin is Thursday, can't wait. Going to rest as much as possible till then and do some short intervals tomorrow to keep the engine fired up.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

So how did my Lake to Lake go?

Well the pic says it all. I was involved in the big crash at the start. What I remember was someone going down onto/in front of J.C., who went down in front of me. He was a bit to my left, and went down that way, so I was forced to ride straight into his bike, and I flipped right over it. I got up quickly, and jumped right back on my bike as if nothing had happened, then realized my stem was way crooked. Got of and fixed that, just by cranking on, but it was tight and fidgeting with a multi tool may have been faster. Jumped on again, and then noticed my front tire was nearly flat, but rode it to the first right hand turn where my parents were to tell them what happened. I shot in a Co2 there and watched the last riders of the first wave go by, then I jumped on again and hammered hard passing people like one of those asshole highway drivers who does 150 weaving between lanes. I was running off pure testosterone and adrenaline, and that got me past hundreds of riders before Dain City. Once on the first ATV trails I was feeling great, just flying past others, riding smooth through the unwanted lines to make passes. I knew that even at my pace I was still losing time on the racers I should have been with, but I was determined to make the top 10. Then Kaboom!!! At one part where a bunch of guys were all going walking speed to get around a big hole, I went for the gap, but came up short and my front tire exploded upon impact (found out later that it was actually the yellow tape bursting through a spoke hole). I took a small spill, spent some time looking for my shades, then realized I lost them during the first crash. I walked back to the road to call my parents. During the walk I started to feel my injuries, and figured it was good that I was done for the day; I had some healing to do.

My only real frustration was wasting my great form. I had a great week leading up with some solid intervals and a very fun/fast 3.5 hr MTB ride the added motivation of coming off a win added to that.

So when I got back to Forks Rd, the couple spectating let me use their phone (thanks) and then an ambulance rolled up, perfect! I got all disinfected then my parents arrived and brought me the news on J.C. I was shocked when I heard he was unconscious for a bit, but very releaved to hear he was back, and in the hands of doctors. I wish I had just stayed at the crash sight to help him, but I was for sure not thinking clearly after that impact. Thank God so many good people were around who could help him. Glad to hear he's doing fine.

So it was a shity day. Someone ruined it ruined it for J.C. myself and many others. This guy needs to learn how to ride a bike before he tries racing it at the front of the first wave or any wave for that matter. This race has always been very sketchy at the start, and something needs to be changed about the wave system. Invite only in the first wave (like P-A) would fix this for sure; but what do I know, anyway enough ranting.

I feel like I sensed that crash coming. I was trying to get out of the bunch just before it happened, but kept getting boxed in. There was a lot of tension leading up, with that first decisive turn quickly approaching. It was not a calm bunch.

So I am doing Racoon Rally this weekend, road and XC. I will do the S1/2 race as I will be upgrading prior to Chin. I was not sure about upgrading, but when I saw the road upgrade points list, I found out they decided for me. So I will go from winning, to trying to survive, but if I want to ever win an S1/2 race I better start racing them soon!

So my elbow hurts, my right cav hurts, my left shoulder hurts, and it is impossible to lay or sit comfortably with these oozing wounds all over my body. Yet.... I consider myself very lucky, because nothing is broken, and no-one that I know has anything broken, so we will be given'r again in no time!

Hope you enjoyed the day more than I did Dad. Happy Fathers Day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

K-W Classic

Victory number two came today, and it was a good one. I wanted to get the most out of this race, and feel like I did. I made some moves and followed most of the others.

I created the move that lasted the longest on lap ~7 by by sprinting after the finish and railing turn one at full speed. No brakes and as aero as I could be got me an instant gap. Then I heard a slam and some scraping behind me. Did the front of the field all go down on that turn? If so I had a solid chance. Lucky for them it was only one guy who slid out, and the chase was not disrupted. I got a nice gap, and saw Noble bridging up. He caught me at the climb and we hammered up, then just after the dh two more joined on, but we failed to get organized and were reeled in by the feed zone. I got gassed pretty quickly there and did not feel strong when joined by the other three. The pace slowed a ton after they caught us, so I had plenty of time to recover. This huge failed effort told me that likely nothing would stick, so I decided I would wait for a field sprint. I kept my eyes on the front, and caught on any jumps just to be up there.

On the last lap a couple moves went, Max's lasted a little, but no one seemed too worried. I got into the perfect spot for the sprint sitting about 6th wheel going through the final s-bend. I kept seated until I was in 53x13, then saw Mark P go and swerve left for some reason, opening a gap right through the middle for me. I shifted into the 12t, then stood and put out every watt I could blowing past everyone. My cadence got too high to stand so I sat and spun as fast as I could wishing I had an 11t. I threw the hands up early and it enjoyed the moment.

This was a fast sprint, with the down hill out of the s-bend, and a slight tailwind, we were flying. Everyone went early for sure, but in those circumstances it was possible to last.

The course was a great one for sure, just like everyone said. The dirt and water spray in my eyes was the only unpleasant part, but that's road racing in the rain for ya.

Congrats Justin for showing some solid form today. You seemed to be at or off the front the whole race. Use that strength at the right time and you will be putting the hurt on everyone. Also Noah who chased down everything and looked quite comfortable.

The SCCC dominated cadet again, good stuff. My club was 2 for 2 today with Sara winning the Master A woman's race; awesome work!

Looking forward to seeing the marathon results from the Ganny, sad I missed it again this year, but I am waiting till Sept 19th to tear up that forest.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Feeling better.

I think I am through the worst of this cold now. Mornings still suck because I feel crappy and my nose runs like a tap, but I improve through the day and have been able to train a bit this week. I got some intervals done on Thursday and have done some 2hr rides yesterday and today. Tomorrow is the K-W classic. I have been looking forward to this race for a while because everyone says great things about the course. It is fast, with only two small climbs and some good turns in there too.

I have been thinking about my strategy and decided to just play it by ear. Siting in the whole race and then taking part in the heroic sprint seems like a good idea, but I want to get a workout in this race. I will attack, and I will go with attacks, and hope to get off the front with some strong guys to work with. If I can't get away I know who's wheels to follow for a lead out in the finale. If getting out of sight is easy (twisty sheltered roads), a break will have a chance, and if the course is technical that will increase the advantage. Also the weather is a big factor; wind and rain could help a break.

Looking forward to racing with Justin and Noah. Fun times tomorrow.