Monday, October 3, 2011

Tour de King

Its been a while since I've left a race with a check that had my name on it. Thanks to a solid performance on a trusty set-up, I made it into the money at the first ever Tour de King.

so this race was supposed to be very similar to the Paris to Ancaster, but with a bit more singletrack. That's what I was expecting anyway, so using the cross-bike with a tubeless set-up was a no brainer. The field looked split about 50/50 between cross and MTB. I was surprised to see quite a few people bring both bikes to the start, and make the decision just before. Bad idea in my need to be confident and ready to shred your set-up days before a race.

So the race start was neutralized for a about a km, then we hit a bit of trail and some doubletrack. as soon as we hit the singletrack Derek and Tyson took off on their MTB's as I expected. I was with Anton who was also on a cross bike, and we tried to go quick through the trails but it wasn't really happening. I thought they would be short lived, and we would come out on the road soon, but they kept going and going. Fun trails, but very difficult on a cx bike. I lost Anton after he crashed and was alone in 3rd for a while. I saw him coming when we where finally on the road again, but he never caught up till I stopped at a confusing turn on the trail. We figured it out, and were going again through another long section of trail. Once out on the road again we shared pulls and were humming along at a solid pace, but the next trail come too quickly. This section is where Anton flatted, leaving me alone for the rest of the race.

From there on, I just hammered the road sections and kept it smooth and steady on the trails. I had a flat on one trail, a puncture in my rear tires sidewall that the Stans could not seal while moving, so I stopped, filled it with co2, and played with the wheel for a while till the Stans plugged it up. Luckily it held, and no one caught me. I went a little harder to rebuild my gap, but I was hurting bad! The cross bike really beats you up on those trails..

Seeing the finish was a big relief cause I'm not sure I could've gone much longer. Third was secured, and all that was left to do was eat a great bbq and drink free beer!

It was a great event, of course, being run by Chico, and for a first time, with awful weather the turnout was impressive. Will do this one again for sure, probably on an mtb though.

Big thanks to Miss Dundas for driving me back to my car at the start, and my mom for waking me up in the morning after sleeping through my alarm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guelph Cross

First attempt at cross this season didn't go as smooth as I'd hoped for. It wasn't too bad, I felt better than I remembered ever feeling in a cross race last season (I sucked at all of them) and certainly had some fun.

The issue that cost me a great race was a chain drop that went horribly wrong about 1km into the race. I tried to shift it back on to maintain my position at the front, but it never went, and instead jammed up between the rings and frame. I got off and started yanking on it, but it was stuck good. Next thing I know the master 1 field is flying past and I'm still not moving. Is my race over? No....thanks to a hero spectator who was willing to step in and help me out. He used his calm spectator state to asses the issue, and get the chain out using very little force. I was now rolling again, about 2mins later. Pretty sure outside assistance is banned and I should have been dq'ed, or fined heavily, but they never caught me : ) .

So things are all good now, I will catch up in no time! No, actually my chain was soo bent that it would jump on my cassette every time passing through making it impossible to find a rhythm. I was close to abandoning, the fact that I was now on lap 2 and was yet to catch a master made it hard to keep going. Then, my chain improved a bit and I finally started to pass some guys.

I started to ride stronger and enjoy the race, but it was too late to make anything happen. A bit of work later and a couple slide outs in turns later and I was finished.

Never got a case of beer like the fast guys, but I did get to drink one of Anton's. Thanks buddy and congrats on 2nd!

Tour de King this weekend anyone?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MTB Provincials / Paul's Dirty Enduro

MTB provincials was a fairly successful race. Finished up 13th, after an exciting battle for 12th.

The course up at Highlands Nordic was sweet, just like everyone said after the early pre-ride. Nice flow, some tricky rock lines and a tolerable amount of climbing. Conditions were also perfect, with everything being dry aside from the creek crossing and a bit of moisture left from the morning dew.

My start was great....hard to mess up when you get called up to the front! Mixed it up with the leaders till about mid way up the climb, when I realized I was near blow-up territory. Settled down a bit, let some faster guys by, then just rode hard and as smooth as I could manage. I found myself with Anton for quite a while and we were working together a bit. Managed to pass/drop a couple guys up the climb the second or third time.

Had a nice bail lap 2 I think where I flipped over the bars. Not to sure what I did, but it was a shocking surprise. My bike flew a good distance while performing aerials for Anton's amusement, and landed softly upside-down on the saddle, resulting in some severely bent rails.

For the rest of the race I would have to get used to my saddle being up steeper than those BMX'ers would point theirs. Did not help the lower back!

So I survived and still rode strong until the next incident. A flat. Wasn't an instant one, and I tried to ride it out, but it got to the point where my rim was smashing all the rocks, and I was risking it folding off in a corner. So, I stopped, grabbed the CO2 I borrowed for Teammate Megan, loaded it, threaded it on......and........crap how to you fire this one? Who would have thought that you have to back the cartridge out to release the air? Meg probably told me to do this, but I guess I can be pretty stupid when adrenaline is pumping.

So I stood off to the side asking each rider for a pump as the flew past. Jon Slaughter hooked me a CO2 cartridge, thanks buddy, but I had that. A bit later a rider with a broken derailleur hanger came by and got me rollin again. I chased hard, and made up a lot of ground in little time, but wore myself out a bit entering the last lap. Never quite caught Anton, but I did get Caught by Tyson who had crashed bad/bonked earlier. We came to the base of the first hill close together an I held him off till I pulled out of my pedal at the top of the hill. I was mad, but it wasn't that big a deal. I'll get him another time.

The 13th place finish gave me the points I needed to not only hold on to 10th in the series, but to move into 9th! Stoked to rep #9 next season and try and beat it! 9th is not a true reflection of my provincial ranking, as the top 5-10 guys don't get the opportunity to race the full series. I do feel like a consistent top 20er now though..

So on to Paul's now. Could write soo much about this race cause its soo looong, and this year was soo exciting, but I'll try to keep it brief.

So race started at 8am temp hovering around 5c, and the sun barely up. I took the hole-shot, and rode hard in the lead. Not because I thought I could hold that pace the whole race, but because I wanted to bring out my competitors, and get them excited. This lead to the formation of a lead group of 4. Me, Jerome, Neil and Imad. I wanted to ease off a bit, but the 2 Kunstadt guys were relentless and set a pace hard for even a 80km race. I hung in there confident with my endurance, sure they would crack before me, or if not that I would have that edge in the end.

Maybe 10km in, our group took a wrong turn, as a dirt biker was blocking the trail we were supposed to enter. We were now riding the last bit of the first 40km, and actually made it back to the start before realizing what happened. We turned back and rode hard to get back to the course quickly. Once back to the site of the mistake, other 100km riders where passing through properly, so we joined them and started to work our way back through the field. I was forced to let the 2 Kunstadt riders ride away, as I was stuck behind traffic, and didn't want to be overly aggressive with passes. Besides whats the rush? there was still over 80km to go! So I stuck with Jerome for a bit, and we talked some strategy. The plan was really just to settle in, and let the course kill everyone else. "they have no idea whats coming in the last 60km"-Jerome

So I settled in, and took my time working back to the leaders. It took till after the 40km mark to catch single speed phenom Zak wheeler, who was the "never got lost" leader. There were still 3 up though as the Kunstadt guys where joined by Rob Parniak, who apparently also did a little off course extra mileage. I was starting to catch glimpses of these guys as the trail doubled back, and it felt good. I held back from riding too hard and catching them too soon.

I caught and passed Imad quickly as he had hit a tree and was too injured to finish. The other 2 took until after the mid way point. The three of us rode together until my first attack was thrown down. Did this on the big climb I remembered dropping Benno on 2 years ago (65ishkm in?). It was a good one that popped Rob, but I couldn't give it what I wanted as my lats cramped bad from riding hard standing. Did I mention I 1x9'ed it with a 40t? not a smart idea, but I was too lazy/cheap to install/buy a new front derailleur.

So it was down to me and Neil now. He seemed quite strong still and I was wondering what I was gonna do about it. First sign of weakness was when he offered to lead the single-track to "allow me to rest my mind". Could he really be that nice? or did he want to ride slower? I think slower.....

Second sign was when he did lead, and rode really slow. So slow that I was tempted to attack, but I felt it was too soon and I had my place planned.

Final sign was him asking if I was a good sprinter. This just proved he had no idea what was coming. With about 20km to go, 80 in the legs, 3 monster climbs to come and some tricky single-track he really thought nothing left would break us up? I answered " don't want it coming down to that".

So my place of escape was the steep gravel road, that pops up like a wall after a left bend. You know, just after the big gravel road dip? This was the place because I knew I could recover on the long decent just after, taking me to the base of the never ending climb, and that I could build a gap up there, to seal the deal.

So we hit this climb, and I ride up beside him, and start to pass. He matches me, so I ease off. He does too, then I surge hard and hold it, and he cannot match. I look back and see him struggling. I'm free!!! Finally free. Man was I excited. I smiled the whole way up the never ending climb, and finished feeling strong enough to do it all again.

5:42 would be the time, in much slower conditions than last year (dry sand), and with an extra 5-10km. For sure it was another record breaking time, but the detour will said otherwise.

Brought home the grand prize - a spin bike! and another awesome crown made of spokes.

Another unforgettable day on the bike in the Ganny!

Now its time to mess around on a cross bike. Guelph on Sunday?

Friday, September 9, 2011


Green mountain was soooo much fun. Best road race I've ever a long shot.

Traveled there with team Ontario, making the trip a bit more interesting as I would get to know some new faces, and interact with those I've really only seen in the pack. Everyone was chill and it made for a smooth trip.

Stage 1 was the uphill TT. Also my first TT (excluding the Elliot lake hill-climb chain-drop fest) so it was going to be a learning experience. In the morning we all rode the course together as a team. Being the latest starter, 11ish, and being saddled up at 8am for the pre-ride, I took it easy and let everyone hammer past. I felt like crap, heart-rate shot up to threshold as the team blew by (girls too) leaving me a little worried. After that a had a few hours to get my shit together....three cups of green mountain coffee and more oatmeal loaded with Vermont maple syrup seemed to set me straight. On the bike again I felt much better, and my warmup went smooth.

I think I started a little too hard cause I felt solid the first 3km, caught my 30 second man at the top of the hill, then when I hit the headwind I felt soo weak. He passed me back on the flats, and then the guy behind me blew past with 2km to go. Held off the next guy, finishing with nothing in the tank. Time was good enough to beat about 25 guys, yay! Reason for not winning - no skin suit, no shoe covers, no cone helmet, no disc wheel, non aero frame.........

Stage 2 was much more fun. we did 2 50km laps, with a long climb out, and long decent back each time. Pace was nice and quick but the only time I was in difficulty was leading up to the second KOM. I suffered for a few km, but held my ground, not allowing myself to slip back. Decent was easy, and everything came back together, for a nice bunch kick. 1 man was allowed to escape and solo for the win, then the rest of us battled. I was fighting some cramps coming in, and decided to stay seated to the line. Got lucky with an opening on the left and motored by a bunch of guys to snag 22nd. Could have been a lot better, could have been worse.

Stage 3 was the queen stage with the epic mountain top finish on App Gap. Up until the base of this beast, racing was a blast. Full gas, attack attack attack, and I was riding the front end comfortably through all of this. I was making the splits/selections, but things were not breaking up too much. A break of 12 went clear mid raceish and held on till the end. I was off the front a couple times in small moves that hovered behind the break, but never took the risk and jumped for it. we where 20sec back at one point and I'm sure I could have made it, but chose to race conservatively instead. This was smart cause my legs shat the bed on me just before the App Gap began, choosing to cramp badd! Did my own thing from there, but still my quads locked and pulsed and twitched. I had to stop and stretch them. After this pit stop I got going quite well, caught and passed everyone who was around me pre-stopping, and even passed some new faces on the final steeeep pitch.

Stage 4 was cancelled due to heavy rain. My emotions were mixed towards the cancellation, as I love racing crits, and this course looked sweet, but at the same time my legs hurt from the cramping and I could have been dropped. I will never know what could have happened.

So once again I was F'ed by cramps. Yes I do drink a lot, and I do eat during the race. Not sure I could fit anymore salty sugary crap in me without puking it all over myself. Maybe there is something wrong with me were my muscles are not absorbing water or something. Maybe I need to take salt pills like those triathlon guys do. Maybe my muscles need rest? No idea. Season is just about done anyway. MTB provincials is Sunday, and I'm feeling good about it. Might be getting sick though...hope not. Goal is to be in, or near the top 10, depending on who's there. Would be nice to hang onto 10th in the series!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Niagara Classic

(Thanks for snapin some flicks Rob W.)

Niagara classic was another solid race. Legs decided they wanted to cramp up again so I couldn't do as much as I was capable of.

Ignored the first couple moves, cause I knew I would not survive off the front the whole race. Everything was being chased fairly hard anyways, so it would be wasted energy. There wasn't too much interest in catching the first move of 2, and I found myself on the front riding easy and still no one would come around.

Closer to mid race, with a portion of the winning break up the road, still in sight, I went for the bridge. Max had the same idea, as did Bayden and a Dark-horse rider. We got a bit of a gap, working hard, but were brought back fairly quick. Max and Bayden kept going as the pack latched on, and this lead to Bayden making contact with the leaders. Nice work! I regret not continuing on, but I was positive that move was shut down. So from then on, I just sat in and followed moves that looked like they would stick.

Forget when but a big group went clear, and I missed out. Already feeling cramps, I knew my chance of a high placing was over, so I helped chase a little. We kept this group close for a while, then our group ran out of steam/cooperation and slowed a bit.

Some of us worked, others sat in, one guy from London rode off the front for a lap or two, then Anton went and soloed the last lap putting huge time into us, and snagging 10th. Each time up the hill my legs felt more and more messed up. Muscled were locking, pulsing and twitching like crazy. Last time up all I could do was keep the cranks turning. No way I was contesting the sprint!

So I have some researching to do to find a cure for cramps. I did drink a ton through the race, HEED in most bottles, and I got 4 gels down, as well as a powerbar sport (used to help my cramping during marathons). All this seemed to do nothing but bloat my stomach and make me feel like pulling over to puke. Managed top hold it down but it wasn't fun. I did take some magnesium too, the stuff that everyone says stops their cramps.

So next race (excluding 12 miles) is Green Mountain. Hoping to race with team Ontario, just waiting to hear back from Mike G. GMSR is just under 3 weeks away, so I have planned a light week, a big week, and taper week to prepare for it. Then its back to school for a week before MTB provincials.

Still a lot of excitement to come!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kelso O-cup

O-cup #6 was another solid race for me. Might have been better if it wasn't so hot/humid, but then everyone would just be that much faster. The conditions were great on the course, wet spots, but no mud, much better than dust!

So here are the race highlights:
- got called up for first time ever in elite, thanks to my 10th place in the series.
- Led for a second after nailing the pedal entry.
- Was able to save energy and slip back, rather than bust my ass to move up on the first climb.
- Crashing in a rock garden after slipping on a root.
- Getting stung by a hornet on the lip. Didn't swell much, but it still hurt!
- Drinking a ton, and still cramping as early as the 3rd lap.
- Having to spin for a while, to get the cramps out, and watch 3 guys ride away.
- Securing 9th spot and riding only as fast as I had to to stay there the last 1/2 lap.

Happy with the race as a whole, but I know I could have gone a lot faster. Fitness feels great, just need to up the electrolyte intake.

Congrats to Megan Fleury for crushing the cadet race, winning by 5mins. Other team results included Justin finishing it up and just missing the points, and Schmidt snapping a chain in the jr.x race. Too much power!!

Hope the weather improves in time for the 12mile race tomorrow! If not, the Niagara classic is next up, which I chose over marathon champs. Sad to miss it, but I want to support my club, and rep my sponsor close to home.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Canal Days MTB Race

The Short Hills Cycling club once again pulled off a great event at the Canal Days festival. The course going through the "Hood" was very similar to last years, but reverse direction. Rides just as well either way.

A dump of rain in the morning made some rocks and roots quite slick, but there was no mud to be found, and by mid race it was all dry.

Race starts, and I pin it to take the lead. On the fist trail I built a small gap, but just kept going steady as this race is fairly long, and takes a fair bit of energy to ride smooth. Looked back on the canal path, and saw some chasers maybe 30 seconds back. After that I started to work on building the gap, and got it to maybe a minute after the fist lap. Lap 2 was the same deal. Just kept it smooth and steady and really enjoyed the trails. Saw teammate Schmidt riding in second not too far back, and thought that was great, but unfortunately his front derailleur died on him and he fell to 3rd after a 3km run. Still a great result.

So it was Steve Deboer claiming second, and Justin came in 4th, very solid considering the working to riding time ratio being way off this summer. JC cut his tire open forcing a dnf, very unfortunate for the podium contender.

On the woman's side, Kaitlyn Dundas took the title, Nice job!

Post race I met some friends at the Smokin Budda for a quick bite and beer, then made it back to the after party with plenty of time to drink more beer before the podium.

Thanks SHCC for a great event. Looking forward to next year already!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road Provincials

I had a great day at the provincial road race last Sunday, taking place just outside Waterloo. I enjoyed the course quite a bit. Lots of rolling hills, but nothing long or steep enough to be selective. The wind was minimal also, so it was an easy course to just hang in the pack.

Half way through the first lap a rider went clear, and I cruised off the front of the slow moving pack to join him. We built a little gap without working too hard, and then were joined by a Garneau rider, Evan Mundy after a lap. We got 1:15 up on the pack, only to be almost caught on the finish stretch, and then proceeded to rebuild the gap to 1:20 as the chasers slowed. We went along nice and steady, hoping a rider or 2 would come up and help us out. At the end of lap 3, Ivey came up to us, but being a big threat, the pack was right there chasing hard. The fun was over.

I sat in for a while, watching the counter attack go, and be caught. Then another one go and and be chased down. Then I started to follow some, which went no where. Mid race the winning break went clear, and I missed out. There wasn't too much interest in chasing and the pace slowed down to a crawl as no teams got organized. Some big surges strung us out and almost caused a split starting the last lap, but we slowed again just after keeping it all together.

It would be a sprint for 4th now, or second for U23. Came into the sprint in a perfect spot, went strong the first half of the climb, right at the front, then died about 20m from the line, and lost 5-10 spots. Uphill sprints are tough after 145km of racing!

Hope to race this course again, seemed to suit me well.
Thanks ma and pa for the feeding and driving!

Tomorrow is 5th 12mile race, then Sunday is the Canal days MTB race. Gonna be a fun weekend!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Knee update

Since Buckwallow, my knee has improved a lot, but the sharp pains still come and go.

Anything serious has been ruled out by multiple tests, leaving plica syndrome the only real possibility. The plica is a remnant of the fetal stage of development, from when the knee was divided into three compartments. Once irritated (multiple MTB crashes) it can catch on the femur, or be pinched between the femur and patella (kneecap). The catch/release causes the patella to pop every time I bend my knee, when its acting up. This is not always painful, but if I move it the wrong way it kills.

It has been affecting my sleeps as my knee locks up from not being moved, and when it does bend, the first few times can be extremely painful.

So what have I been doing to fix this?
All I can really do is keep the surrounding muscles as loose as possible, and ice it often. Heat seems to help also, especially just prior to riding. My chiropractor has been providing some relief with micro-current, which blocks pain, and speeds up healing by clearing inflammation. It's no bs, I can really feel improvements. Only problem is its temporary. She has also been keeping it loose for me and working on my spine a little when there's time.

This pain has caused me to reduce my training a little, allowing more beach trips, which is a fair trade I guess. I should be well rested for road provincials this weekend though!

On today's ride my knee was great, yesterday I just wanted to get home. What will tomorrow bring? It will be hot, that's for sure, and I bet Le Tour will be an exciting one!

All for now

Monday, July 11, 2011


The Buckwallow o-cup once again made for a great weekend up in Muskoka.

I was up there on Tuesday, with Schmidt along for the ride and Henri already there to meet for some laps. We got 6 in, with no issues other than some slow leaks for myself and Schmidt, in our rear tires. Oh, and I bent up my front rim jumping of a roller and landing funny on flat ground. Didn't wreck it, but it was bad enough that it needed to be replaced, with a lighter rim, a podium MMX. Thanks Derek @ Liberty! for doing that last min for me.

The course was really nice, very similar to last year, maybe tougher with West D'nile in it. That trail was supper tough, almost all on rock, and uphill most of the way. some tricky lines in there that made a dab-free run difficult. I got my lines down, but would still mess up the steep uphill rock now and then.

On Thursday I did a tough interval workout, feeling good and finishing strong. Pushing the big watts must have done some damage to my right knee, which was injured before Albion. Friday it was its worst yet, every pedal stroke on my way to work caused a sharp stab like pain as I came over then top. I was a bit worried about the race, but tried to forget about it as I knew that the race adrenalin would numb it come Sunday.

Headed back up to pre-ride again Saturday, after sitting in some awful traffic for hours. Made it up around 1:30, then hit the course for 3 laps. Knee was poopy, and all was was thinking about. sucked up a lot of pain and enjoyed the riding the best I could getting lines dialed. The evening after was spent swimming and chilling by the fire, basically just soaking in the cottage life with the Henri's and Schmidt.

Race day morning my knee had made no improvements and made for an awful warm-up. Didn't think racing was a good idea, but I was there, and am not one to quit before I start.

Race starts and bam! No pain!. Adrenalin is a hell of a drug. I started second row, in a great spot, but was not mentally prepared to go, and let myself slip back. I was so hot, and with a long tough race, I Knew I would have to hold back to survive.

The field was not nearly as thin as last year, so making a podium spot was going to be very tough, even with very good power. I did feel alright, and was able to move up a bit, but my arms started to cramp, then my legs, and then all I could do was hold my spot. Last 2 laps were painful and I was tired and dehydrated, even with the great feeding from Mr. Henri.

Not the great ride I had at Buckwallow last year, but not a bad result either, coming in 11th, with one or 2 Americans rolling in ahead.

Now I need to sort this knee issue out, maybe get an MRI or something. Hope it doesn't force a long period off the bike.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Nationals

First attempt at racing road nats was a fail, but looking at the final results, you'll notice that 128 other guys were also awarded big fat DNF's.

The road race started out stupid fast, like a crit, making it very tough to move up at all from my starting spot in the back 50. Going down Bell school line the first lap was terrifying. Not that bad a road, just tonnes of people ridding stupid to try and move up. At the bottom there was a crash, but lucky for me the only guys that went down were behind me. I had both wheels locked trying to slow down, and skidded around a bunch of guys to stay upright.

Got back up to speed fine, and found myself to be at the back of the main bunch. I hung on up the climb, feeling good, then slipped back at the top and struggled for a bit. Then with the help of 2 H&R Block riders and Schiller, we got back in by the bottom of the hill. Once again I went up the hill fine, only to get dropped at the top. This time it was over, and I would be picked up by a group of 1o other dropped riders. We all worked together to pick up more guys each lap, but we would also lose some.

I wound up finishing 9 of the 14 laps, the last 2 alone after letting the group go to shake out some cramps. I'll get em next year!!


The next day I took a crack at the national crit in Georgetown. Had to start way back again, and on a narrow course, there was little opportunity to move up each lap. Made a little ground, only to be on the wrong side of a split, and have our group pulled about 25mins into the race. The pace was ridiculous, and the climb was actually quite tough, shrinking the field each lap. I think that only 12 finished. Ouch!

Definitely not my favorite crit course, but it was great for spectating which I got to do plenty of.

Looking forward to the 12 mile race tonight!
See ya

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Last Lake to Lake

Lake to Lake was a big success for team Liberty! this year. The four of us all made it onto the boxes, no top steps, but close enough.

After being involved in the awful crash last year, I decided that if I did this race again I would use my cyclocross bike to reduce the chance of being boxed into a fast moving pack of sketchy MTBer's. Having an elite wave helped a lot, and as far as I know everyone made it down Elm St. safely.

With a trusty tubeless set-up, I was confident that I could handle the trails fine, and go real fast on the gravel and pavement. My MTB only has a 40 tooth big ring, a bit small for a flat race, that typically has a tail wind most of the way. Not this year though! It was quite gusty, seemingly in our face the whole way.
The start of the race went great. Took the lead immediately and drilled it into the headwind. Looked back to see Chown towing the rest of the field up to me, so I slowed a bit. Hit the gas a few more times before the first trail to try and hurt some MTBers, and get to the first gravel trail in the lead. Made it through there successfully, and made it to the quad trails in the top 5. No problems there, came out on the service road with Souter and Wagler, and we closed a small gap on Chown and Anton who accidentally took a short-cut. These gravel sections seemed to cause the selection that formed the lead group.

In a section near the golf course, I nearly flatted by getting tangled in a nasty rut, hidden by long grass. Front tire burped a bunch of air, but hung in there for a bit. I hung on to Antons wheel for dear life as he brought the group back together, then I had to stop and shoot some CO2 into my tire before mosquito ally. Trying to make up time in there on a cx bike was a bad idea, as I wound up having a little crash on a log. Kept cool, and was confident I could get back up to the leaders on the long gravel section to come. Had them in sight for soo long, but didn't have the power to close it down. Started to hurt pretty bad before Brock, and figured I would not see the leaders again. Catching Chown just before the decent gave me hope, but the others were long gone. Thought I had lost Chown on the singletrack, but he was still close and sprinted ahead of me before Suzanne and rode it sooo slow. I couldn't tell if he was hurting, sucking at riding singletrack, or just being a dick and blocking me. Think it was all of the above.

So this was good for Justin, who caught us just after that trail, although he wouldn't stand a chance against two cross bikes on the road. Before the last singletrack bit, Chown sprinted to it first to block us, and slowed us down once again. Coming out on the gravel, Chown wouldn't pull through, so I wouldn't either, and it made for some very slow racing with only Justin seeing any wind.

In the final Km, I attacked hard from the back of the group, only to be caught by Chown and sit up. We made the final turn, the finish hill in sight, and I was waiting to attack again. I saw Chown just off my wheel, and went. Sprinted hard for the hill, then grabbed the brakes to make my way down safely. Chown never gave up though, and came around me with way too much speed on a bad line, taking himself and me down on the top of the hill. He got up fast and robbed me of fourth, not cool man!

Huge congrats to Anton for taking the win. Figured this course would suit him well, and his form is definitely good going into nationals.

See ya all there!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

12 Mile #2

Round 2 of the Liberty! 12Mile series went down last night, under great weather and on some perfect singletrack.

Took this one on with my cross bike, as I will be using it for the L-L this Sunday. Figured if I could keep up on a true MTB course, the L-L would be a breeze, as its got more gravel and pavement than anything.

So before the race I did a lap of the course, knee was driving me nuts and slowing me down a lot, but other than that my bike was working great, and I was riding well.

Got to the start with lots of time, should have kept riding but instead I stood around and shot the shit for 1/2hr. The race starts with 100ish meter run, which I lead after jumping the gun a little I will admit. Thought I blew a hip flexor along the way, but it never seemed to bother me on the bike. I had my bike laying in the front row before the start, but I guess a bunch of people thought it would be fine to add another row on top, making it very difficult for me to find mine. No biggie, grabbed it, hopped over some bikes, then I was off and up with the leaders in no-time.

On the starting gravel, I wasn't feeling too strong, just angry legs from standing around to long before the start I think. So no attacks from me, just chilled near the front.

I took a poor line on the turn to go under the bridge, and my lead-out-man Justin gapped me a bit, so I throttled it to get on his wheel (also on a cx bike) as the trail turned to singletrack. At that moment things were looking great for team Liberty! to take it in a thrilling bunch kick. Then.....disaster struck! well not really, but I did slide out on the hard dusty trail, gracefully removing myself from the trail on my belly. Crash would have been nothing, if my chain woulda stayed on. Fixing that lost me a ton of spots as everyone was still tight together that early on.

When I got going, I made passes everywhere could, without being aggressive. This course is very tough to pass on, and the traffic was holding me up a ton. On the "Santa Hat" trail I managed to blow a bunch of air out my front tire by not clearing a drainage ditch. Didn't go flat but I had to stop and shoot some co2 in there and give up a few spots again. This was the first issue I had with my new Stan's CX set-up. But, I did hit that knuckle really hard, hard enough to turn my bars down a few degrees. And believe me, my bars were not loose at all. I also had very low pressure in there, 28 maybe, so there wasn't much holding the bead in.

So after getting that shit show of a start over with, everything went flawlessly. I felt really strong, but was forced to slow down in traffic a few times. Felt awesome on the twisty trails, making my way into 3rd by the end, about 1 min down from J.C. and a bit more to Etzl who killed it once again. Justin flatted out, and will have to inject some Stan's in his tubular before the L-L. Bummer for him cause he seemed super strong at the start. Congrats to Megan for crushing the woman's race!

As soon as the adrenalin from the race wore off (likely the Advil too) me knee started to hurt again. Its a weird injury, the harder I go the less it hurts. Today I have an appointment to get some electrical current therapy on it, that's supposed to help it heal, and mask the pain. The appointment is with Kyle-from Liberty!'s wife, who is a chiropractor. She is also going to fix my back, leading to a pain free L-L and road nationals.

The knee injury reduced my training volume a fair bit, so I'm quite rested right now. Maybe could have pushed my fitness a little more, but being fresh is just as important, and I think I can have a great ride at Nationals.

See ya at the L-L!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Albion O-cup

Hard to believe that the o-cup season is closer to the conclusion than the beginning already. Still tonnes of exciting racing to come though, including the lake to lake this Sunday and Road Nationals the following weekend.

Albion went very well for me. The only thing holing me back from going faster was my legs, which felt good compared to back pain. Back still got tight, but was not a factor in my performance.

A lot of the heavy hitters were absent, so it was a great opportunity to get in the top 10 and steal some points for the series. I managed to grab 8th, only 2 spots from the money and podium.

The race wasn't too exciting, from my position anyway. Highlight was riding through the finish rather than lap after lap 1. Lost me ~30 secs and a few spots that I did make up eventually. Keep your heads up! The last lap was good cause I was battling with Jon Slaughter, motivating us both to go fast. Made a move on a roller, and kept goin hard till the end to hold him off. He seems to be getting stronger every race.

Before the race I was a little concerned about my knee. I must have bashed it during the 12 mile last Wednesday, and it was just starting to hurt enough to bug me during my warm-up. Took an Advil, and it seemed to do nothing, but as soon as the race started I forgot about it. This tells me its nothing serious, but it did hurt during my spin yesterday. I could take an Advil, stick on some Spider tech, and hammer today, but I'm thinking that taking it easy to speed up the recovery is a little smarter.

12 mile #2 is going down tomorrow night (if the rain holds) and I hope for a strong knee, and good power to test out my Lake-to-lake set-up.

Peace out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Albion Pre-pre-ride/ 12 Mile race #1

Got up to Albion yesterday for some MTB training with Justin, and it was a great day on the bike. Took us a little while to get on the o-cup course, just because its very different from last year. No green monster, and there seems to be less doubletrack.

I was loving the new Pine-comb express trail, which will be the first singletrack section. It had some cool rock features and some good flow. I found something to look forward to in every section, but that new one stood out for sure.

Looks like the finish will have a fun downhill before doing some cyclocross turns on the grass field.

Should be very fast, and fun!

So tonight was the first of the Liberty 12Mile series, which turned out to be a crash-fest for me. I had some solid legs under me, and felt good enough to lead the first quarter, but crash number one handed it over to Etzl. This crash was me hitting a tree stump after sliding out of a mud bog onto a poor line. I got back up to Etzl by the top of the new for 2011 climb, him likely waiting. Followed him for a while getting away from the rest of the field before sliding out just before a bridge, that I fell onto, then off of. Got going quick, feeling fine, but when I stood up to pedal, a branch grabbed my helmet, ripped it back and pulled me off the back of my bike. That was a ridiculous crash for sure.

Justin caught me, but I rode away still determined to catch Etzie. Went good for a while before crash #4, where I rounded a corner only to collide head on with a racer lost, and going the wrong way. Just messed up my left brake lever and shifter, leaving me stuck in the little ring, trying to fix it before the final trail - Suzanne. By then, I dunno what it was, the heat, hitting my head or just me sucking but I couldn't ride my bike. I felt like I was in another world, dizzy and spaced out. I was riding the trail slower than I have done it in the winter with fresh snow, and I still managed to crash on it. What happened exactly is unknown to me....but I ended up hittin a tree pretty hard with my left shoulder. Justin and JC went by while I took my time getting running again. Almost quit racing cause I felt like I was going to faint, but chose to just cruise in and try and cool down.

Seems like an awful time, but it I can still say that it was great for my legs, and I should be going good for Albion. Learned a lot about crash recovery, that I hope not to use again, but its there. Shoulder will be sore tomorrow, and my right wrist is stiff, but I have 3 days to recover for Albion, should be more than enough.

Looking forward to seeking revenge on this course next Wednesday, and through the rest of the series.

I definitely need more time to adapt to the heat. Spending 2hrs this morning puttin up the 12mile signs was probably a heat overdose on its own, and riding the course for a warm up was maybe a bit much. Looks like it'll be cool this weekend though. Hope they're right!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Hardwood Canada Cup

My feeling towards my performance at Hardwood are neutral. I'm happy that I finished and had solid legs most of the race, but I'm a bit angry at how it all started.

Right of the line, the Quebec rider directly in front of me missed his pedal, and fell down. This shot me from a mid pack start to the very back before I even got to cross the start line. I made up a good 10 or so spots on the climb up, but I had to work hard to do it. I felt good at the top, ready for the trail, to find a massive bottleneck with about 20 riders stopped and waiting to enter. I waited unlike some guys who thought they were smart running bumping riders out of the way with their bikes. Once the traffic subsided, the pace ramped up and and I was feeling good, ready to make some passes. On an easy section I slipped on a root taking my front wheel out forcing me to give up a few spots. Bar was turned, I got it straight, but not perfect. Oh well.

Shorty after that crash we made our way down the bone shaker. Took the line I knew well and passed a guy. I came up behind another guy, who stopped completely. I didn't want to wait for him to decide on a line, so I went for a pass on the right not seeing a big pointy rock that I hit with my chainring and went over the bars. I was fine, but frustrated and again lost a few spots.

I had one other crash lap one where my left hand slipped off the bars and I steered into a tree. Bumped it with my shoulder, got passed, then continued on.

This complete shit show of a lap had me way back in about 55th spot by the end. It only got better from there. I was making up some ground each time going up the start climb. Some laps I would ride past groups of 5. I rode much better after that, feeling comfortable on all the technical features.

By the end of lap 5 I had ridden into to top 40, and felt solid. Then, my inner thighs started to cramp and lock up. I drank a lot, got some gel in me and watched about 5 riders go past. Shook the cramps out and carried on, getting back up to the train that had just gone by. I made one effort to pass them back, but only got by 3 or so. Wanted to take one or two more in the sprint, but they got a gap during some passes on lapped elite females, and I couldn't shut it down.

Finished up in 42nd. I know I can be close to, or in the top 30. Like everyone says "the start can make or brake your race". It definitely screwed mine, but that's racing.

All in all it was a great weekend. The accommodations at the Kings in in Orillia were great, and the $25 pasta dish at a steakhouse in casino Rama was incredible. It consisted of pappardelle noodles, with baby fennel, sun dried tomatoes, seared beef tips, fresh ground Parmesan, with arugula pesto sauce. Probably missing something to, but it was amazingly good.

Feeling good about Albion this coming weekend. Goal is to crack the top 10, but of course that depends who comes out. Trails should be nice in Niagara now, 12 mile series should go this wednesday.

All for now

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toronto Crit

Had a great day in Toronto on Sunday.

It was my first time ever racing the TO crit. I had heard a lot about though........."its very fast". "Its super sketchy". "The fencing around the course will grate you up like cheese if you go into them". - Sounds like a good time to me.

The race seemed to have lost a bit of its prestige from previous years as it was now a morning race, with less prize money and fewer "pro" racers. It was still run quite well though, crowds came out to watch and seemed excited, everything was on time, the only negative I can think of was unclear instructions. When they said 4 to go, 4 to go! I thought there was four laps to go. Seemed way to soon, but hey they said it. Turns out it was for a prime.

My race went well. I made one critical error, lining up too late. Had to start from the back and use the first couple laps just to get to the front half of the pack. By then, the winning break of 6 had gone clear. Shit! I new they were gonna lap us. 6 strong guys, one or two from each team there. Who was gonna chase them? It was left to the independents. When I felt good I went to the front and drilled it. Ended up spending a few laps hovering off the front as I would gap the field on some corners. I was riding well and feeling very confident in the tight corners.

Once we were lapped things slowed down a bit as the teams tried to protect there riders from the lead group. A bunch of primes were called, and made for some fast laps, but I never went for any. They separated the leaders from us to have the field sprint, which I got 6th in, thanks to Justin getting me close to the front on the backstretch. The lead group did another lap before there sprint which was taken by Kyle Fry. Congrats Kyle and the Garneau team on a great victory!

Post race Toronto stuff was just as thrilling as the race. Started off with some beer and a burger, then migrated to the Kensington market (spelling?) to explore. Saw some interesting things/people, got more beer then made our way home.

For sure a race I'd do again, I know I can do better than 12th. Sprint could use some work, but its time to focus on the MTB now, Hardwood is just around the corner.

Going to race the Liberty! 12mile tomorrow night. Should be fun!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Nith Rver Road Race

Yesterdays race was a real tough one. Not a very tough course, with no hard climbs, but it was up and down along the whole route and very windy. The wind, combined with a lot of strong guys coming out made it quite challenging.

The race started nice and calm with some neutralization, but picked up as soon as we hit the cross winds. In the toughest cross wind section, the selection was made that would form the lead group. Was it still the first lap or the second? I can't remember. when this happened we were all single file drilling it along the edge of the road to try and get a little shelter. I was maybe 12th wheel, right behind Anton, fighting for my life to stay there. I looked back unsure if if the pack had even split. I was surprised to see no one behind me, with 100m or more gap already. I was suffering to stay on the back of this group, in the worst position. They started to use the full lane, so the first 9 or 10 had shelter, Anton being the last one, then me, on the very edge of the road.

I was happy to make the selection, but if my position didn't improve or the pace didn't slow a bit I was going to pop. I fought hard, then the pace ramped up, and I was gone. Pretty much blew myself up, but I knew I would be fine by the time the remainder of the pack swept me up.

A group of 3 or 4 were trying to bridge up to the break, and I could have jumped in there, but figured they wouldn't make it, and that I needed to recover so I let them by and waited to jump in the pack. When I got there I was a bit pissed, cause I knew those 10 guys would only get further and further away, but my legs came around and from then on my goal was just to make the best of the excellent fitness I was experiencing.

I sat on for a few mins, then I was up at the front working with 5 or so other guys in an echelon. We brought back the other guys, then a counter attack went clear that contained Bayden and 3 others. Would have liked to go with them, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and recovering from a pull. 5 or so of us continued to work together, with a few others doing the odd pull.

We kept Bayden's group in sight for a while, but we we not closing in, and not many guys would help. My group, the remainder of the peleton was shrinking rapidly with guys dropping out each lap. We soon became what I would call the scraps of the race. The lead group was long gone, and now split up, with the other group floating between them and us. I was trying to convince everyone to pull through, really just to have us come in 10 mins behind the winners, rather than 20, but Jetfuel and Garneau guys would not do a thing saying "I have teammates up the road". I was thinking no shit......half the guys in the race are on your team. We were not going to catch any of them. Now its a training have nothing to lose.

Near the end of the 5th lap (of 8) Kyle Fry did some silly attack where he sprinted from our group only to stop and coast for a bit after. Must have been dick'n around with sign sprints. Anyway I jumped on his wheel and he slung shot me off the front to what would be a 50km solo ride for me. I was planning to attack around that point anyway, so it was perfect. Why would I want to pull the group around to have them sprint me in the end?

The first lap I surprised myself, hodling threshold the whole time, and closing in on Bayden's group. No one was in sight behind me. Second lap (alone) hurt, and I was slowing down, but kept it going alright. Group ahead had about a minute on me. Last lap I sucked. Still had good power and energy, but I was cramping up pretty bad and the usual back pain made hammering in an aero position no fun.

Turns out that in the end there was only 3 guys left in the peloton. The guys on the big teams did no work only to quit the race? Wow guys, how are you ever going to win a race if you can't finish with the back half.

So 14th would be the result for the day. Doesn't seem like much, but it was probably my best performance in S1/2. I made the selection, a first for me, although it didn't work out and I popped. Also I was strong start to finish, taking on more wind than ever before in a road race.

I'm happy, and motivated to keep improving. Next up it the TO crit, and maybe the Dandelion GP the day before.

Congrats to Sara Byers for taking the woman's race, and Etzie for another junior win.

All for now.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Woodnewton weekend was success, despite the all the rain, and cool temps.

Justin scored the same b&b that we got last year, in Port Perry, and we were joined by teammate Alex Schmidt this time around.

Pre-ride on Saturday was awesome. Trails were in fantastic shape, and I was enjoying the man-made rock features and some new singletrack. The burmed downhill is always a blast. I felt better on my MTB, the trip to Hardwood must have been an effective refresher.

Post-pre-ride we hit up Subway, then got some good stuff to cook a pre-race feast. Made some meat/veggie sauce pasta that was nutritious and delicious. The we had a bunch of time to moss before bedtime. Caught some Louis C.K. on Comedy Network before hittin the sheets.

Woke up feeling pumped, and started the day off with a bowl of granola to get the metabolism fired up. Then, started cookin up a french toast feast. We ate till we almost felt sick, then relaxed for a couple hours to let it all settle. Found the Giro live on the Satellite there, and got to watch Contador crush it before heading to the venue.

Got there to watch the 11:45 starts. In Cadet expert Meg looked very solid finishing lap one, made a sick pass utilizing the tough rock garden to take the victory. Congrats Meg!

After a solid warm-up It was time to line up, and I got my best starting position yet getting in the second row. Stayed calm and just held my spot up the start climb. Managed to move up a few spots, but also lost a spot or two in the tough muddy section. I was battling with Zach Winn for a while, then he fell back, and I saw a couple Lapierre guys not far back. I worked hard to maintain a gap on them, and held it for a while. Souter caught me on a muddy trail while I was being held up by lapped traffic. I never gave him a chance to pass by keeping a high pace on all the doubletrack. I saw I was closing in on Ryan Atkins, so I made an effort to catch him, rested in his draft for a few seconds, then made the pass an never looked back. I was alone for a while again, but got caught and passed by Kinsie on the 4th lap. I kept with him, and attacked a climb to try and get away. It worked and I came into the 5th lap 11th place with a comfy gap. Just before starting the 5th lap I had a nice crash while passing a lapped rider. I took a less than ideal line and clipped my right hand off a fence pole, and went down in the mud. Recovered quick, but of course my chain was off, so I lost 10 or so seconds. Still had my gap though and felt good. Thought I might be able to catch another guy. When I got to the tough muddy trail, there was a ton of lapped traffic holding me way back. Most guys were good, but some would not move over. I told one guy I needed to pass like 6 times, and he kept saying "ya ya", then fell infront of me, taking me down. Of course Kinsie was now right there and rode around us both. I got back up to Kinsie quickly, and tried to attach on the climb I had lost him before, but I never had the legs and he stayed with me. Let him lead for a while, planning to attack again on the longer climb. He had the some plans I guess cause he drilled it up there faster than I could, and I had to let him go. All I could do now was roll in for 12th.

"The Rock Garden" - photo credit - Ryan Jakob

Still very happy with this result. Felt way better than Mansfield. Back is stronger, and only a little sore.

Nice job Justin, getting into the points, and Schmidt for making his way up to a solid 6th place finish in junior expert.

Next two races are on the road, so I'm not too sad that our trails are flooded again.

All for now

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mansfield -> Now

Just finished up a big week of training, top off with 3hrs at Hardwood Hills yesterday.

After Mansfield my body was pretty beat-up. My lower back was the worst, painful enough to make the rest of my body feel great. A short hike to loosen things up Monday revealed that just about everything would be needing rest.

Lots of time was spent with my body in a horizontal position during the day Tuesday, and if it wasn't for the cancellation of the ZM crit, I would have just done an easy spin - to speed up recovery, but now the SCCC Tuesday night'r was on the schedule. It was cold and rainy, but a decent sized group showed, and we hammered some shortened Niagara classic laps for about an hour. Most people left early, but myself and Dan Dakin toughed it out.

My back was tight, but didn't hurt to much to ride hard.

Wednesday was going to be an easy 2hrs. 170-190 watts average. I started decent, then started to hurt at an easy pace, then I dropped my power to 150, and just kept the cranks turning to get home in 2:15. Bad day, as I expected after digging deep Tuesday without being recovered from Sunday.

Thursday was a lot better, but with a bit of tension still in my back, I decided to scrap my planned intervals, and just ride steady. I felt better and better as I went along, then I saw a bright yellow jersey coming straight at me. It was teammate Alex Schmidt, warming up for some intervals. I turned around and joined him. He had a bunch of 1min efforts to do, and I said I would sit in his draft during them if he didn't mind. Decided to do some 5-10 second sprints around him as he finished the efforts. This was fun, kinda like motor pacing I guess. The only problem was that I would get a big gap after sprinting as he spun it out, then he would start his next go 30 sec later and I would have to surge hard to get back into his draft, where he would be half way through the minute. Still fun, and a great way to keep each other motivated.

My sprints were not my best, but the 12 I did were all over 1200 watts, with my best one being the 12th, hitting 1426. Not to bad.

Friday turned out to be a great 4hr ride with Justin. Saw Port Colbourne, and Port Dalhousie in the same day, and it was not the lake to lake. Nice weather again, and I felt stronger than I expected to.

Saturday I met up with Justin again, to do laps of the classic. Rode laps steady, and pinned it up the hill each time. Had 5 solid climbs up the Eff, feeling great each time, puttin down over 500 watts on the way up.

Yesterday was a road trip to Hardwood, to get a little time on some singletrack. Trails around here are still sloppy, so I felt the trip was necessary, also the trails there are soo much fun. Rode every trail, except Radical which was closed due to a bunch of down trees. Did cranked and fun again to get 3hrs in. Great day on the bike, and I felt like I shed most of the rust from my technical skills.

Feeling confident for Woodnewton this weekend. Going to have a restful week to prepare for it, and hopefully be in or close to the top 10.

Now time to watch the Giro!!! The universal sports coverage seems totally worth the 20bucks, thanks Dad!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mansfield Ocup

First Ocup of the season went alright. It was a big improvement on last years result there, and the field was very similar, with the Quebec team and a Nova Scotian present.

I lined up 1 second to late, and had to start near the back, but it wasn't a big deal with such a wide/long opening climb. I moved up to about 18th by mid lap one, and was feeling solid, then I started to hurt a bit, and wasn't riding my best. Laps 2 and 3 were painful. I felt a little off my game, not riding very smooth. Held my ground though, only losing a spot or two each lap.

I had a fluky crash just as the lead train of juniors was catching me. I was turning right on doubletrack from singletrack, and stood to hammer, winding up flipping over the bars somehow. Did a stick go into my front wheel? Just rear wheel slipping? No happened so fast.

I was fine though, just mad that bars turned, and brake levers had moved. Lost 30 seconds maybe. I was able to make back the spots I lost, but the 4 juniors were never seen again.

Lap 5 I started to come around. I made up 2 spots and my legs were strong. Too bad my back was hurtin me, just totally killing any buzzes I encountered. No matter how strong my core is, the first ocup always seems to totally wreck my lower back. Just happy to get that over with, so it can recover and get stronger for the next race.

Congrats to teammate Megan Fleury for a solid 2nd place finish in cadet expert, and Alex Schmidt for 10th (7th On) in junior expert.

Justin Henri had a great ride too finishing only a few spot behind me in his first elite race. Nice job man!

Not sure whats next for me, ZM crit is supposed to be next Sunday, but I don't see anywhere to register for it. If that's not happening then Woodnewton is next up. 2 weeks to get ready for it.....hopefully the trails will dry up before then, I need to MTB more!

All for now....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Epic Weather

Has it ever been an epic spring for crazy weather. Actually enjoying it quite a bit; it would be nice to pick up on tanning where I left of in South Carolina, but that can wait.

Yesterday was the best day yet! Wind guests of over 100km/h are quite fun to hammer straight into.

I took flight out the door with my bike, on a mission to hammer out some 30sx30s type intervals + some 5 sec sprints, no matter what the wind was sayin. Figured I'd cruise out to NOTL with the tailwind, then get all my intervals in on the way back, into the wind. It was crazy when I left home, but not at the point where shingles were taking flight and trees and fences were being pushed over. I think it was the worst right after I crossed the canal and entered some flat vineyards. Wind was hitting me from behind so hard that I coasted up to 70km/h!!! It was nuts, terrifying actually...cause I would get hit by crosswind guests and have to lean way over, while trying to keep it straight. I only went out 5ish km, before I decided to try and take the wind head on. HOLY F&$K it was tough. Put it in my smallest gear, got as aero as I could, then chugged along. My helmet flipped back a couple times, and I got blown in to the ditch 3 times! I didn't actually fall, but I had to unclip and hop the water to keep my feet dry. Definitely felt like I was wasted, but had super sober recovery ability.

So after some good tempo back to the canal, I turned into the crosswind, thinking the canal path would be good to do some work. Decided the actual path was too exposed so I used the road next to it, which is sheltered by the bank of the canal, and small forest on the other side. The road was covered in branched, but it worked well. Got my intervals done going up and down that streach of road several times, then headed home.

On the way back to my house I noticed that trees had been uprooted all around, some were huge ones that pop'd up sections of sidewalk. A few were down on my street, and my neighbors fence was leaning way over, but my house was fine, excluding a few shingles that broke off, which were about to be replaced anyway.

Found out later that the winds were far more ferocious than I knew. A school near my house had its roof blown right off! Traffic lights snapped right off, and their poles spun around. A building downtown lost its roof and of coarse, the power went out. Survived the night without it, keeping myself amused by playing with candle wax.

Feeling relieved right now, as of the completion of my exams and my first year of college. Lots of free time now, gonna be so easy to train!

Heading to Mansfield tomorrow for a pre-ride.....first time I've ever pre-rode that course. Might help a little, especially since the trails around are unreadable swamps.

See ya there!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Don't Cross the Yellow Line"

Interesting Good Friday Race yesterday in Flamborough.

It was way colder than I was expecting, and the winds were intense. My plan was to race conservatively, and keep an eye on they guys I knew would be strong. Figured one or two guys from each of the bigger teams would go clear in a break lap 2 or 3, and never be seen again with no one interested in chasing. A break went early, I didn't think it was the one, and no one seemed to excited about it. They lasted ~1 lap, then not long after there capture, Bryer attacked. He was on my list to watch for sure, but he went alone, cruising away in the tailwind. The surge/bridge after him that I was waiting for never happened.

I don't remember when, but 2 guys attacked and I guess bridged up to him, one guy being a team mate of Bryer. Now the Garneau team was in trouble, and forced to drive the pace. I was watching Riggs and Schiller knowing they would try to get a guy up to them. Schiller tried a few times, but nothing was working out. I bridged to him and Anton, but we only stayed away for a minute, and that was about it.

On the last lap we caught a Jetfuel rider that was dropped from the break, but the other 2 were too far ahead, even with all the Garneau firepower.

I had no luck at all getting into position for the sprint. There was about 5km of cross-wind, then a right hander with ~200m tailwind to the line. I was on the right side of the road, in a nice spot for a while, but swarms were moving up on the left and I kept getting pushed back. Some were very obviously gaining spots by using the full road. I will admit that I crossed the yellow line too, but never to gain a position, and it was really only when the entire pack was, leaving no choice.

So falling back on the right, I moved to the left, and got a bit closer to the front, then found myself stuck there, in the wind with no room to move up because I was on the yellow line. I heard Justin yelling for me to get on his wheel cause he found an opening on the right. Damn it! should have stayed there. I guess the shoulder would have been a better choice.

A surge with about 5 guys went just before the turn, and it took a lot just to get on it, next thing were rounding the corner and I'm way to far back to make anything happen. I moved up a few spots on the left side, but had no kick left after a tough last stretch. Actually finished 11th, but excluding the yellow line violators I got a much more pleasing 6th. I guess they were recording numbers in the follow car, getting guys who did it multiple times, or were just at the back, where their numbers could be seen.

Sounds dumb to DQ 3/4's of the field, but I think the race would have been way better if the rule was actually obeyed. Well I should say tougher, cause with the cross winds, the pack would have been shattered over and over with only the strong staying at the front. Instead, everyone tested the commissionaire, and he won.

I was happy with how I felt, not my strongest day, but I had the power when I needed it, minus the sprint.

So Mansfield is up next. Might do an epic MTB ride tomorrow, as long ass its not too muddy. If not, long road ride, then a busy week full of final exams, and some shorter intervals. Tuesday nighter? most likely.


Monday, April 18, 2011

"Two Wheels is the way I ride"

Great new track by Wax

"I start pedalin
I start smile'n
I'm in the bike lane

Funny shit
Had it stuck in my head all through P2A

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Awesome day of racing today out on the rail trails and mud chutes between Paris and Ancaster. I was very relaxed at the start, pumped fo sho, but calm because I knew I was gonna get to start near the front, unlike last year where I had to move up 200 spots on the first trail. Warm up was all right, nothing structured, but then again I was expecting a relaxed first 10km anyway.

Start went exactly as anticipated. I sat in the top 10, and just stayed as calm as possible waiting for that selective climb to come. When it came I nailed it and got in the lead/chase group with only Mike G, Adam Myerson and I think one other guy up a bit. Our group grew a little along the first road, and the work was shared a little, with Box doing the most.

I was feeling solid till the second dirt/grass section, where I guess you could say I "blew up". For a few minutes I just had nothing. Arms heavy and weak to point where I could barley hold the bars, and no power in the legs either. Wasn't too catastrophic, but bad enough to loss contact with the group containing 2nd through 7th place finishers. A few of them fell back to my new group, and Myerson would be out of contention after getting a flat later on. Till the final 10 km it wasn't to exciting. Just everyone in my group fighting for shelter in the intense cross winds, and only short lived attacks and surges against one another. I was waiting for the mud chutes before I tried any moves.

The first one came quickly, and I was surprised no one surged to be first one in. I just croozed up to the front, and lead down it. Came out with a gap, soloed to the next one, then bombed it nice and smooth to seal the deal. Then....I saw a rider ahead. I could tell I was moving a lot faster he was. Did he have a flat? Nope, just Chown, running on empty. Made the pass halfway up the final climb, then brought it home for 8th.

The final climb

Happy to improve on last year, despite not having my best day. Starting position helped a lot, but that's only the first 1/6th.

Congrats to Mike for an epic victory. Very impressive.

Team mate Alex Schmidt finished strong in 32nd. And Justin was able to move up to 65th after starting in the 300's. Nice job boys!

And Sara Byers for winning Calabogie, also, nice job Hoppner for the junior victory, and Etzie for snagging second.

Parents made a creamin meal post race; gourmet lamb burgers! MMMMM. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Ahhhh, final week of school starts tomorrow, then Good Friday race is here. Think I'm gonna do my first SCCC Tuesday night worlds race this week, and that'll be about it for intensity till Friday.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fitness Gains

I'm thrilled to say that today's intervals were a success! I actually went beyond my expectations pulling off an average wattage of 319 for the first 20mins, and then 312 for the second 20mins.

I used my new Jake the Snake, which is now dialed in thanks to Kurt @ Liberty for transferring all the measurements from my road bike onto it, slightly modified for cross. The comfort was amazing, and with similar handling to my road bike, I kept forgetting I was on a CX bike. It feels very stiff while standing, but I can notice its not as stable as a road bike with the bottom bracket being a bit higher. Its almost 5lbs heavier too, so it takes a bit more power to get up hills.

During the suffering I was thinking about a story Mike G told us at the OCA camp about John Tomac. Apparently there's a video of him climbing a very steep hill, and he says something like "when climbing starts to hurt, just think of the fitness gains". Now that's what I'm thinking every time I'm suffering. And it's true. I'm getting fit! I feel like I may be getting a little too fast a little too soon, so I am going to reduce my intervals for Thursday and, take next week a bit lighter, mainly since Good Friday is of course, that Friday. I plan to get faster and faster till June, maintain till Road Nats, then rest a bit. Must avoid over reaching!

Tomorrow I plan to train in the mud for a little, trying out my secret weapons for P-A. Getting very excited for this weekend, just hope the forecast improves a bit. But whatever, mud is more fun!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Tour of Bronte

Great day of racing at Bronte park yesterday. Turned out to be warm and sunny for the afternoon elite race, which was a nice surprise.

I felt great on the bike right from the warm up. When our race started, a bit delayed, I was excited to get going. Stayed top 5ish for the 9 or so short road laps we did and missed out on the key move that went. I thought it was too soon and was unsure exactly who was in it, other than Zack. Turns out it was Tyson and an M1 up there. After they got away no one in the bunch seemed interested in chasing, except Morka. Seemed like he was the only one doing any work, and when he slowed, no one would take over. I did a bit up there, only when the pace got really slow.

These three would get almost 2 minutes on us before we hit the actual course to do 7 laps. The race got way more fun here, and new guys went to the front to drive the pace. Morka was still doing the majority of the work.

Forget when, maybe on the second full lap, a group of 6 went clear. I must of been at the wrong place at the wrong time, cause I missed this one. I noticed some strong guys were up there, and figured it would stick. I was determined to bridge up to them, but again, no one wanted to chase hard, so they were pulling away quickly. I got a bit frustrated and went to the front to help chase, thinking that if we got them closer I could make the bridge. Shortly after, I was just pulling off to rest so I could attempt to bridge, and then Chown went; perfectly timed and made it up to them fairly quickly. I felt I still had a chance, and after a bit of recovery I went for it. made it about half way across the gap and then had that feeling that if I kept hammering I would be stuck in the gap until I blew up, so I sat up and waited for the pack. The gap was far to big now.

For me it would be a sprint for 10th. I positioned myself perfectly for it, and most likely would have won it, but was forced to go around a guy on the grass, losing a lot of speed. Came through second, which I was satisfied with.

Congrats to Chown for taking his second Victory this season, and playing it very smart. I learned a lot from this race and won't be making tactical errors like that again.

Also teammate Alex Schmidt who finished 2nd in the junior cat. He rode smart and made a big move at the end, that unfortunately didn't last, but he was strong enough to finish front half of the pack still. Justin had a very solid ride also, especially considering that he has been very sick and off the bike the past week.

It was for sure excellent training for the P-A next weekend. I took last week much easier than planned as I picked up a little cold. Seems to be gone now so I will be able to resume with some intervals. I did one 20min int. @ 305watts last Tuesday. Going for the 2 @ 310watts tomorrow. Will let you know how that goes!


Monday, April 4, 2011

A new Family Member

Picked up my newest machine today @ Liberty!.

A 2011 Kona Jake the Snake. It looks sweet, and handles amazingly well, feels a lot like my road bike. Not my lightest steed, but with some fast wheels swapped on for P-A, I'm sure it won't let me down on my way to (hopefully) a top 10. Then, in the fall to some mid-pack CX action. It's about the same weight as my MTB @ 20.5ish pounds, which I guess isn't bad for stock, considering my MTB is worth 3x $more.

Put some Q-rings on it, and may need to get a set back post, but other than that I will keep it stock, minus wheel swapping for races. Oh ya, I also swapped the stem, and will likely get a Specialized saddle to.

Bigger head-tubes are better.

Love the paint on this one!

You could have one too for only $1500!!!

Kinda looking forward to some threshold work tomorrow, part of my final preps for Bronte. I don't feel sore from yesterday at all (surprisingly), so I think I'm on track to see improvements.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Homage to Slush

Wow...what a hard race.
I had no idea there could still be so much snow in Mansfeild. Almost the entire course was snow, slush or ice covered. There was some awesome singletrack that was dry, but most of the course was early spring type doubletrack.

Started the day off right, with a cup of Starbucks thanks to J.Henri. Then it was of To Mansfield with an unplanned detour along the way. Drove there soo many times now without and issue, but managed to fudge it up somehow today. Oh well, got there with a full hour to spare anyways.

Warm up was good...felt strong. Climbed Airport road twice to get my legs and lungs working.
(off topic note: show on Discovery says that Jellyfish are taking over the ocean....and lakes around the U.S.. (I say we nuke em)) Start was fast, and I sat in a nice 3rd wheel draft till the first turn, where I took over. I could not believe the snow. It just never ended. When we hit it I thought it was just a patch....but no. It was everywhere!! I was forced to run a fare bit, as the snow was deep, soft and rutted out. I was doing quite well in the ruts though, able to keep balanced, and put power down. Before I ever got frustrated I thought about the people who rode there trainers all winter, and how frustrated they must be. After hammering for a bit I settled into a 50km pace and just rode smart and efficient the rest of the race. Had one small bail on a downhill where my bare legs got covered in snow, but it wasn't to bad. Just cold.

It was an epic day for sure though, very tough, but I enjoy a challenge. Huge thanks goes out to Dan for turning a cross country ski loop into something race-able on bikes. Massive difference from last year..

Congrats to team mate Meg Fleury for winning the 25km. Go team Liberty!!!!
J.C. finished 4th, which is awesome, and Jeff K was not too far back....nice work SHCC. J.Henri is quite sick right now, so its great that he was able to finish. Good technical training at least.

Can't wait to hear the results of the tour of Pelham. Predicting Etzie or Perry took it, but Chown was getting fit in SC, so who knows.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Racing in two days?

Hard to believe that the season kicks of in less that 48hrs. I should be riding strong though, as I'm feeling fully recovered from all my winter/early spring training. I did some intervals this week and they went quite well. First ever 30 min tt/threshold interval I've ever done went down. I was hopping for 300-310 watt average, but I came out just shy at 292. My goal was set based on the 300 I hit racing up Caesars Head, and I thought I could beat it after some rest. Not quite the case...yet....but I'm sure the race adrenaline, and fact that it was up an uninterrupted climb made it a bit easier to keep the power down. Going to do 2x20mins next week, and aim for 310 watts each time.

I definitely need to boost my threshold power. Being able to ride tempo for hours can win me marathons, but will not get me on O-cup podiums.

After hours of salt and erosion removal, my MTB is ready to race again!!

Looks brand new again!

Oh....and here is a pic of my new road bike that I said I would post way back....

This is an amazing machine. I notice the stiffness every time I stand to pedal. Looks soo stealthy too.

So I don't really know what to expect on Sunday in terms of the trail conditions. Mansfield drains fast, but there still may be snow on the trails. Definitely won't be a dust storm like last years edition of the Homage, but I wouldn't be shocked if it was dry. Haven't ridden my MTB since the Frostbike, but am very confident in my skills on it with so many hrs spent on it in the snow this past winter. Going to ride it on the roads/grass tomorrow to fine tune some skills/ make sure I put it back together right. Should be a fun day!

Schools over in 3 weeks, so there will be an increase in posts per month when that comes around. Profs are really piling it on right now, and with the rush to dial my bikes in/get fit, I have not had any time to spare. Look forward to some race reports coming soon though!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Should be doing homework

I'm back home and back to business here in St. Catharines. Endurance camp was a huge success for me, and I feel that I got the most out of my time in South Carolina.

The weather was amazing, with only one cool rainy day, that we opted to spend indoors. Not because we are soft, but because we are smart. 7degC and pouring rain definitely would have weakened us.

So we did all the epic rides over again from last year, minus the Sassafras tt. We did race up Ceasars Head, and I knocked 1.5mins off my time from last season. Very pleased with that, because not only was I slower last year, but I was fitter. So now I'm less fit and faster. Sweet.

Time was 30:41, and 300 watts average. I figure that means my threshold power is 300watts @ 175bpm. Going to work on that a lot, unlike last season where I only did shorter intervals.

This year I went to the camp ready to train, not to perform. I new more about the pace, and routes and feel that I was very well conditioned for it. Now post camp I am fresh, and feel as if I primed my engine to start some structured intensity/intervals. I'm excited for the upcoming breakthrough intervals, were I'm sure I will surpass last seasons peak form during my first build.

At the camp I had some solid roommates. It was a little crowded with 9 guys in a cabin build for maybe 5 max. We made the best of it and split into two cooking groups. I was with Karl Hoppner, Alex Cataford, Jared Stafford and Brian Trafford (wow...just noticed the number of ford ending a last names). Had a pleasant time getting to know them, and trade some on/off bike stories. We almost spent the entire camp together, with no time left to nap, or put our feet up. We all had great energy off the bike, never taking time to nap or anything like that. We even did extra strength stuff using JStaffs TRX (now pronounced terx), and went on some morning jogs with Mike G. Oh and there was an attempt at fishing in the pond, and a couple cool down soaks in the creek.

Always sad to leave, but that's how she goes. Now I'm amongst a mentally draining, but physically restful week, as ride times will be short to fit in some study time.

Thanks Mike and the OCA for another great camp

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Go'n South

Busy week is now over. Bags are packed for South Carolina and bike is dialed. Just have to sit through 8hrs of class today before I'm free for 10 days.

I'm bringing my new CAAD10, which I just had Kurt @Liberty fit me on, on Monday. He is tuned into all the latest fitting technology, and it really helps to make everything super precise. It turns out my legs are 9mm longer than they were last July, and my left leg is still longer by 5mm. Also, a heat activated foot print thing revealed that my feet are a bit different and that I needed a double wedge in my right shoe to balance it out.

I had a chance to get out on this new steed on Tuesday, and it was incredible. It is rock solid stiff, and feels very stable, but in corners it still has that short wheelbase quick steering. I did some sprints on it and hit 50.5km/h going up a mild hill, 3 different reps. Every bit of energy put into the pedals seems to launch me forward. Can't wait to race it.

Had some great rides last week, while I was on break. Tuesday was my best, with 4.5hrs averaging 246watts. I did 6 laps of the Niagara classic, and had a brutal headwind climbing the Eff each time. Took 500watts just to prevent going backwards.

Thursday I rode out to Grimsby and climbed my three favorite roads. Wolverton, Fifty and McNeely. Just once each, and never made myself suffer. Just wanted to get my legs to adapt to the steep grades again. Average wattage came out to be 233.

The rest of the week wasn't to exciting. Time on the trainer, a jog and some hikes brought my training time to 26hrs for the week. Oh ya that's if you count the 3hrs of snowboarding I did at Blue on Friday. Also got in a few games of beer pong at my old house. Fun times.

Off to school

Monday, February 28, 2011

100th post?

Can't believe I've done this 100 times now, and still find it tricky to come up with an opening sentence.

Thought I would know how to type by now too, but no. Still only use 4 fingers and my right thumb.

So I am on my spring break as of Saturday, and have already got 10hrs of pedal time in. Sat and Sun was back to back circle route laps, in far from favorable conditions. Saturday I was joined by Justin and the first couple hours was spend riding through a heavy dump of snow. It let up by the time we got to the Falls, but we never saw dry roads till long after Fort Erie. Justin was not having his best day, and came close to bonking in Fort Erie, but made an epic recovery with the help of some sweets and a coffee. Stopping at Ontario Bakery in Fort Erie is a must during winter rides. Wish they had date squares, but their macaroon squares do just fine.

Ride time Saturday was almost bang on 5 hours for me, but I had to push it a little from Welland to home, after splitting ways with Justin. Average speed was 28.4km/hr. Sunday I did it in 4:50 with only one quick stop at the bakery for a mac square. Felt it in my legs a lot more on Sunday, but was able to finish strong with an average speed of 29.8km/h.

Plan for today is to do a sub 2hr recovery ride, and get some assignments done that aren't due for 3 weeks. Gotta get ahead now if I want to benefit from the OCA camp.

Lots of big rides going down this week. 25hrs of ride-time is the goal. hope roads get clean enough to take my old road bike out, and see what I can do on the powertap. Still waiting for some oval chainrings for my new whip, so it has yet to be pedaled.

all for now

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Legs just wanted to climb

I had on awesome ride on my CX bike yesterday covering 90km. Headed south along a snowy canal path with no planned route. Turned right on a road that looked clean, and happened to be hwy 20, which leads to Fonthill. Climbed up to downtown Fonthill, than actually got an urge to go over to Saylors and climb it. I did just that, and with the help of a tailwind, got over it without working to hard.

One lap of the Niagara Classic later and I was climbing it again. I was not liking the cold wind on the open farm roads, so I headed back south through my favorite route, Hollow Rd to Holland Rd to Cataract Rd.

Took a right on Decew and then after crossing the new bridge jumped on some singletrack to see how it was. Not bad, bumpy for a CX bike, but will be great for MTBs.

With another 1.5hr to kill, I rode over to hydro, and did six reps of it, with some flats added in here and there.

Legs never let me down, but I sure felt the effort by the time I got home.

On Monday, I hiked for 4.5hrs with Justin and his dog Molson. It was very enjoyable, and definitely a great workout. We even stopped to do push-ups a few times to make it a full body workout.

Off to school now

Monday, February 21, 2011


  • 21st U23 @ CX Nationals
  • 6th Elitle @ Parma CX
  • 9th Elite @ Speed River/ Kelso CX
  • 25th Elite @ TO day 2 CX
  • 20th Elite @ Turkey CX
  • 16th Elite @ Octoberfest CX
  • 8th Elite @ Liberty Bicycles Squeezer
  • Victory overall @ Pauls Dirty Enduro 100km
  • Victory overall @ Ontario Marathon Champs, Mansfeild
  • 7th elitle @ JTC/WNMC CX
  • 24th S1/2 (2nd ON U23) @ Provincial Crit, Tour Di Via Italia
  • 13th Elite @ Woodnewton Provincial Champs
  • 12th S1/2 (4th U23) @ Elliot Lake Road Provincials
  • 7th S1/2 Elliot Lake Crit
  • 12th Elite @ Kelso O-cup
  • Victory! @ Canal Days MTB
  • 19th S1/2 @ Bike the Bruce
  • 3rd Elite @ Buckwallow O-cup
  • 18th S1/2 @ CHIN Picnic
  • 4th @ Raccoon Rally XC
  • 6th S1/2 @ Raccoon Rally RR
  • Victory! S3 @ K-W Classic
  • 19th elite @ Mountainview O-cup
  • 2nd S3 @ Niagara Classic
  • 17th elitle @ Albion O-cup
  • 2nd S3 @ Springbank Road Race
  • 32nd elite @ Manfeild O-cup
  • 13 overall @ Paris to Ancaster
  • 5th overalll @ Homage to Ice
  • 2nd S4 @ Good Friday Road Race
  • Victory! @ Winter Frostbike MTB

Sunday, February 20, 2011

frostbike 2011

Awesome day on the bike for me. I was able to defend my Frostbike title for at least another year, holding off a hard chasing JC Roberge.

Team Liberty had great results with Sara defending the woman's title, and Alex coming in 3rd overall while winning the under 30 cat. Justin suffered from an unfortunate flat on lap 1, but like a true hardman he fought through the muddy afternoon course to try and get on the podium. Managed 4th, which was still great considering that 1-3rd set their times when the course was several minutes faster.

I went out for a second lap with JC and Alex, but we bailed after the second piece of singletrack after finding it to be completely thawed out.

In the morning the conditions were near perfect. Some ice patches, but they were avoidable and really just added to the technical factor. Chose to go studless, because I don't own studs anyway, and think it would be ridiculous to buy studded tires for one race.

So may race went like this.
Fast start, with >100m to singletrack. Got moving fast, but JC took the inside line. held his wheel till the first solid place to pass. Hammered up the biggest climb (3million watts) to open a gap, then rode smooth and steady to hold onto it. Lungs burned from the cold air, and legs hurt from the first race effort of the year. It felt good though, and I am happy with where I'm at.

Drank some beers after and enjoyed some chili and a chicken Slovakia pita.
Won a gym membership @ Energy Fitness Studio and Liberty gift card for 50bucks. Sweet!

Huge thanks to the SHCC for working so hard to make this race happen, and everyone who had anything to do with me being able to race. Thank You!!

So this week will be a big on in terms of training time. 16 hrs at least. Then I have reading week where I will do over 20hrs. rest for a week, then the OCA camp.

Too bad its supposed to snow a lot tonight, making the possibility of a tomorrows circle route lap questionable. Might still go down. Snowshoes are always there, and it may be the last chance to get out on them. Either way Ill be out there enjoying a day off school.

Get out and have fun!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

First 100km ride of 2011

Yesterday was warm one. only 5 above, but when your used to -10, 5 feels hot. Wind gusts no longer numbed my face and sent chills through my body, but they did lack the fresh crisp smell that I love about the winter.

I took the cx bike out with the wind to NOTL, than took the parkway through the falls and to somewhere between the Falls and Fort Erie. Turned around at service road 20 where a cool custom home lies. Very rectangular with a overhanging second floor, and a fancy porch cover that looks like a carport. Finding unique homes more and more interesting since beginning my architecture studies.

So I had a nice tailwind most of the way back to NOTL, than faced a ridiculous headwind to get back home. It was tough to keep it above 20km/h. Finished up strong after 3.5hrs, and 105km, averaging 28ishkm/h.

Last week was 15.5hrs training time, and the week before that was 14, so I will rest up this week with sub 10hrs saddle time. should leave me fresh for the Frostbike next Sunday. Hope some snow is left, but it doesn't look good. I'd say 25% of it melted yesterday, and its only going to get warmer and wetter later this week. If it all melts and some fresh stuff falls Saturday, that would be fun. As long as its not a skating ring I'm happy.

I have confirmed my attendance at the OCA camp. Teachers were more supportive of that choice than I imagined they would have been and have agreed to let me write tests before or after the camp, and will create make up assignments for the ones I miss. Going to be busy getting everything done, but it will be so worth it.

My training is all mapped out from now till the camp, and I have some good ideas for the weeks following the camp. Homage to Ice is on the calendar. It will be a great early season course that will truly test my early season form.

Team Liberty had its first meeting Saturday. The full team consists of Justin Henri, Alex Schmidt, Megan Fleury, myself and Sara Byres. Sara will only be doing some local MTB races for us as she will be racing for a different road team. Expect the other racers to get there own blogs fired up, and a cool team page on the Liberty website.

Off to school now,
I'll try and make this more routine again.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Last night I told myself that I would put some time into this thing, if school actually got canceled. The bulk of the snow seems to have missed us, but they still shut everything down, so here it is.

I've been lazy about writing anything here, but its because I've been getting a much larger workload this term than last, and I'm also training more.

So I will go back to the holidays. My trip to Blue was a great time. The weather was awful, but I still boarded twice. I picked up a little cold there, but shook it shortly after getting home by eating straight ginger root and garlic. I kept a solid diet going and continued to train, allowing me to dodge the awful flu that seemed to snipe down everyone around me.

The weekend after that I took off training to visit Montreal again. Took it easy there, only hitting the downtown pubs once. Good times with friends and friends family.

Since then I have really been enjoying my training. I did some awesome trail runs through fresh pow, that seemed to really strengthen my hamstrings. I have been out on my mountain bike almost everyday that the trails have been ride able. Conditions were perfect the last 2 weeks. Challenging with the depth of packed snow, but not frustrating. Unfortunately some of my favorite trails have not been packed yet, so I have been doing reps of the ones in good shape. Strength works have been tossed in here and there, but I don't think that pumping out more than 40 push-ups in a set is necessary.

Also the dreaded trainer has seen some use. I've done 4 2hr rides and a few 1hr spins. Having a power meter makes it much more interesting. So far I have been averaging just over 190watts for the 2hr rides. Seems to be a good fat burning effort that I could likely sustain for 4hrs. I'll step it up to 200watts next time. Today maybe?

I have not been doing anything too intense yet. The Frostbike is coming up quickly, so I will do some efforts up some hills before that. After the Frostbike I will up my millage but keep the efforts similar to now. No need to run myself down in February.

I realize that last season I was on peak form during the OCA camp, then burnt out for the first O-cup. This year I will do things different. Less volume, less intense through Feb/early March, then much more intense and even less volume then I did last March/April.

I got my acceptance into the OCA camp, which I am unsure whether I will be able to attend. It means missing 7 days of college, a guaranteed 5% drop in all classes. I plan to talk to my teachers tomorrow and make sure that I will not be missing mid terms, or major unit tests. If I'm clear there, or will be allowed to write make up unit tests, I will go for sure. The decision needs to be made by Friday.

If I can't go to that I will make a trip to SC during my reading week from Feb 26-March 5th.

So other exciting news is that I bought a new road bike! A Cannondale CAAD10 DA. So excited for the first day of clean roads so I can experience the difference between a 2005 CAAD8, and 2011 CAAD10. I still love my CAAD8, so I can't imagine what I'm in for. Reason for staying on aluminum is because I love the way it rides. The connection to the road, the stiffness, and its lighter than most elite level carbon frames. To get a carbon bike at the same weight would cost at least $1000 more. Pics to come....its still at Liberty until I finish paying for it.

Also I will jump the gun and announce that team Liberty! Bicycles has been created for the 2011 season. Team list and goals to come......
Huge thanks to Kurt for for the amount of support he is throwing at us. Getting very excited for spring to come.

Enjoy the snow!!