Monday, March 30, 2009

cold in vegas...

Woke up to a pretty brisk morning, which felt kind of good on the legs. The ride today was in a different area than previous rides, so very exited to see something new. We arrived in this little town with a bike shop that is only open on Wen., very neat place, totally relaxed.
The ride once again was great, I could feel my legs when trying to put in some power on short little hills, but after a while they felt better. The groups stayed together (go/wait style) today with exception of two extra loops added to the our little group, my self and the two way too fast guys. Which I've until now characterized as "ex Olympian" and "wanna be Olympian", which both intended as great compliments. The "ex" has such great experience and so much knowledge that I am very fortunate to be able to grab part of it the last couple of days. The "wanna be" has the commitment and determination and the skills that in my riding life I have not seen much of, and that gives me the motivation and inspiration to push harder this week to stay with them. But to clarify, nothing to do with the Olympics, that was rather meant as a characteristic of someone who has the drive and love for the sport they do and does it for that reason. For those who have been following the Olympics for years (yes guess I’m getting old) knows what it used to stand for. So onward…
At the beginning of the ride today a fellow on a huge bike and sandals joined in to chat with ex Olympian, so I thought, great now it'll be a nice and easy climb! but don't let your self be fooled by a guy on big bike and sandals, he climbed and chatted like it was a walk in the park, which it was not for me. I got a good hard warm-up to get my legs going very quickly! The riding was very similar to the other rides, amazing landscapes and some great downhill after every climb.
During the 2nd extra loop at the end we got to see some wild "mules" or "donkeys", which over dinner some put the proper name on, Burro? Pretty cool anyway, but no camera as my head cam died 5 min into the ride pretty much (so sorry, no photos yet, but I believe camera man will lend me some shots after camp). Just before the top of the second extra loop’s climb my tire starting loosing air, so not only do I slow the boys down because I'm slower (lost sight of the boys quiet a it today), now my hardware is failing too! not good! but good old Stans did it's job again and sealed the small rip in the sidewall. From here it was some fun downhill back town. And by following the two guys and watching their handling on the downhills, I get to improve on my own skills, so not all bad being slow! The second ride, coffee ride of the day, got ditched as time ran out, everyone seem not so sad about that deal, me included.
Bike is now ready for another ride tomorrow thanks to the wanna be, for both doing the work and supplying the tire! New location is on the agenda, Hurricane UT, which leaves us with an hour less, so the roumer is we might loose our nap time.... but definitely some good riding will not be jeopardized!
21 with a few clouds tomorrow!

Happy Riding,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boot camp day 2.....

So from winter and basically no riding to lots...
Today we rode the same area as yesterday. After about 30 min spin on the road up to the trails we split up in two groups.... faster and slower and since I don't fit either I had to choose and ended up jumping right into and joined the faster group of ex Olympian and Olympian wanna be no longer hung over!! The ride was awesome, the trails are great fun and I hung on pretty good though HR way above anything I've seen in a long long time. After a fun loop we met up with slower group and did a bit of cornering session, which I actually learned quiet a bit from. I've never like loose gravel/sand cornering in high speed but today I really started to catch on and feeling much more at easy going in with good speed and coming out with out loosing too much.
After the session we split again and some crazier HR to record in my books..... but tons of fun, the descents are just flowy, fast and filled with adrenaline, so who cares if I blow my legs the second day of my three week trip.
When the ride was all done with we had 46 km and 2h50min in and some big smiles!
After a good lunch we had "nap time", I didn't think that would something I'd enjoy, but I loved it!! legs up, head down and relax, it was great! After nap time we'd scheduled a "coffee ride" to the Hoover dam, which is about 300 or so meter down from here (down as in elevation down), and 30 km. I thought great, I can spin these legs out and feel good for tomorrow! It started out really great, we cruised down hills, stopped and took some photos and it felt really nice. Then something changed. We had to turn a little bit before the dam as it was getting darker, and as we turned the wind just hit us in the face, and I guess for those fast people that means ride harder!?? Anyway, my so nice coffee ride turned in to an hour of steady climbing trying to stay on the fast boys butt to avoid the wind with HR higher than the morning ride at times!! We actually had to stop at one point to let one of the "slower group" guys have a sharkie break! What? a break on a coffee ride? now that should be a clue in it self... Anyway, what better way to push your self, and I'll keep pushing as long as I can...... looking forward to more boot camp tomorrow..

Clear sky and 19 tomorrow... (apparently cold day they say)

Happy riding,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Road trips started....

Here I am in Boulder City after an not so eventful (which is good) drive down. I started Thursday after a little delay while trying to decide dogs or no dogs....But I did eventually make it out of Fort McMurray with no dogs, and headed to Edmonton, first stop, got bikes ready (And Steve, I got your ride), then continued to Calgary with a quick stop at MEC to receive my only ticket so far (P-ticket), then on to Lethbridge for a quick sleep.
Friday was my planned marathon day. I got up and on the road by 6am after quick stop at Tims for a last mocha for a while. The boarder crossing, for those who know my boarder crossing history, went better than ever. The rest of the way to Salt Lake was an easy go. In Salt Lake I ended up in the middle of rush hour, road construction and declined credit card when trying to get some gas (I should have learned by now that PCF really likes if you call them before doing something not fitting your spending pattern). By the time I got out of Salt Lake it was 2 hours later. Vegas was my goal, but by St. George, UT I was done! After being rejected at 4 hotels, and told town was booked up, I ended up 40 mins south and got a room in a Casino place, Eureka Casino and hotel, fancy and above my budget (fancy was just the price, not the actual hotel), but at this point I was tired, so tired I even accepted that all they had was one smoking room, but they "fogged" it, whatever that meant. This morning I know it doesn't really mean anything.
Not sure why the hotels are so busy down here, I thought people are being careful with their money these days!?
Today I got up early again, after smoke inhalation and some rest, a quick McDonalds breakfast I was on the road, getting really exited to get on my bike soon. Got to Las Vegas, and through Las Vegas safe and with all my money still in my pocket! Drove in to this little city called Boulder City where we are staying for 3 nights.
The group I'm with will be 5 other guys and another girl. Today there were 5 off us and we did a "warm-up" ride just up the hills from our nice little sleeping spot. I can't even explain how nice it was to feel dirt under the wheels again, after way too many months with feeling only snow! The warm up heart rate was way too high from adrenaline and heat (ok ok.. maybe some lacking fitness too..), which I was so totally ok with. It is amazing what trails are here and after only one ride I highly recommend this spot for any Canadian looking for a spring getaway on with bikes! Or maybe my expectations are just so low at this point after so many snow rides!? Well I will let you know as the week goes on.
I don’t know the group all that well yet, after our 2+ hour ride today this is what I see….. One ex-Olympian, one hung over wanna be Olympian, one flue recovering Calgarian, one long sleeve in 25 Kelownean and one Norwegian gal, and two more to come. So far so good so should be a fun week in training camp!
They are calling for 27 and clear sky tomorrow!

Happy Riding!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10 - coldrrrrrrrr

-39C (not counting windchill factor!!!) this morning!! what, where is spring?? Interval day and I refuse to get on the trainer.... to continue...

..part 2

...ended up getting dressed to get trails cleaned and prepped for expected warm weather later this week!! Got first section of the Fisheries done with help from Ken, Meredith and dogs of course! I didn't wear my vest today as I my back needed a break while shoveling and I hoped to get most of the trails done in one shot. By the time we were done I felt I hadn't got much of a work in. So as a first this year, I ran the way back! And anyone who knows me, I do not run!! But with no weights holding me down I felt like a feather and it was just a nice way to keep warm. I run to the top of the golf course hill, looked down and couldn't resist a good ride on my shovel. It was a great tiem and now I got one interval in having to run back up again, wohoo.. not a complete waste of a day. Thursday should be great day for ride, by Friday it'll be +5 and too warm (we'll of course believe that when we see it) and time to get on the river for some long skate ski adventures...

I'm slowly starting to count down days to my road trip. I'm scheduled to be in Las Vegas for the 28th of March and will join a bike camp for a week. The camp will ride trails in Nevada and Utah and I'm super exited to be part of it and to get on my bike in shorts! My second week I hope to meet up with two other Hardcore travlers, Steve and Karen, in Fruita or where ever I can find sunshine and good trails. The third and last week is planned with McMurray friends in Moab, UT. If I then still have a job, I must head back to the north and if not....

Happy riding everyone!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March 8th - w/renters add

First just a quick note for those who have seen my room for rent add at or I promised a slide show with some additional photos at this site. So here you go....

So on to the regular... a week gone by! Still no spring in site, but we had a few nice rides this week. It's my first week of building up. Monday I took it easy, Tuesday I took the dogs for a good hike with my 16lbs vest. Wednesday we got a little snowstorm so I figured I'd take the dogs for a short ride on top of Wolverine, with that in my I put on my 16 pounder to get some extra in. As I got out on my bike I just had the time of my life. It was snowing and very windy, but in the bush it was just nice and quiet, my lights on the bike made it all look amazing and the sound from the trees rubbing on each other from the wind was all I could hear. It was cool, my dogs looked like they were let loose for the first time so I decided to go on and do the fisheries. And no regrets! I got in about 2 hours of amazing riding. I have to admin the vest wasn't as comfortable in the end when I was trying to make it up and out to the golf course hill, but we made it home with a big smile! Riding 2 hours in the dark during work week is usually something I don't get to do alot! Thursday I took it pretty easy, Friday Ken and I and dogs did a 3+ hour hike and trail fixing day after the snow, with the 16 pounder! Yesterday we got the added section of the trail in start of another snowstorm! It's still snowing a bit as I type. And looking at the week and with one hour lost today, I'm going to have a hard time getting my 11-14 hours in!! Hoping a hike with the dogs will give me the motivation to get on my trainer later's -23 (-35 with wind). Next week I'm in week 2 building, goal is to add another 3-4 hours and a couple of more pounds to the vest. Watching the forecast of next week, it should warm up by the mid to end of week, so better get out and get the trails ready for some riding by the end of the week.
Happy riding everyone!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March 1st!

Wow, February went by just like that, in Ft. McMurray it can be the month to break you! But I survived, and now spring is just that much closer:)

This week was my "recovery" week but when the weather is nice it's hard to not take advantage of it and get out and go hard! I did well during the week, work sort of forces that on me, but then come weekend I'm free to go! Tried to moderate with a easy ride Friday after a few cold nights the trails couldn't be much better, well so I thought...Saturday I stayed off the bike with the plan of taking it easy, and 3 hours later and another section of single track started, I'm pretty exited to see what comes out of it. Today was just too nice to lay low! Took the Turner out for one of the better days of riding yet!

Tomorrow is back to work and the start of the first of my three weeks of building up. Hoping March will bring on the same great weather as February.

I'm exited about training and this years racing. I'm confirmed for the races listed on my blog now and also stoked about a three week road trip I'll be starting end of March to search for good weather and trails to ride! More on all that to come....

Happy riding everyone!