Sunday, May 31, 2009

The "Green Machine"

Second day in Fernie I road the old regulars with Bernie, the locals had done a great job with those trails also, in very good shape. I hope to make it down again later this summer for some more rides. Took it pretty easy though, as my legs are feeling the high intensity of the riding lately. I headed out to my old home town, Elkford in the afternoon for a quick visit with SJ and Paul but decided not to ride but relax. My legs were happy with that. I then drove in to Blairmore, figured I'd missed out on the group ride Christine was putting on so I decided to find some food. As I pulled in the the restaurant I saw a few bike riders across the street, and sure enough, it was Christine and her friends. Of course I had to join in. Blairmore has some fun trail as well so happy I saw them. I stayed with Troy and Christine and it was nice to catch up. I visited with Jackie and her 6 month old cute little girl, Peter, the daddy, was working so hopefully we can catch up on a ride later this year!
I left thinking "what a great spot! lets see how I can work my way back to the valley". Maybe one day.

Made it to Edmonton, and very exited to go pick up my new ride for the year! Titus X, the Green Machine!

I took it out on a test ride and it's a great ride!! We rode the Canada Cup race course and at the end of the ride after a little bit of shifting issues, I realized I had more than a shifting issues. The bold on the rear triangle that hold the chain stay was gone! Not good, lots of flex and just luck I was climbing not coming down and hitting hard. Slightly disappointed I took the bike in the next day and luckily there were a spare to take parts of and now it's good as can be again. Rode today in Fort McMurray as racing 8 hrs didn't seem like a good idea. Legs feel tired and I need to get a few weeks of good training in, and recovering from 8hr race takes a few days. Back to the Green Machine though, it felt great!! Very happy, a few little tweaks in fitting still required but I love it, I'm even getting used to the Green. Can't wait to put it through more testing soon!

Happy Riding!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in the Elk Valley!

The day after the 6hr in Salmon Arm I took it pretty easy. I got a massage, relaxed and got on the road and headed for Revelstoke. I booked my self in a little motel off the highway and cleaned up my mtb and went for a little cruise around the town and along the river, it was quiet nice. Had a nice supper at the burger shop by the hotel (it was actually much better than it sounds). I got in touch with Dani (Chads sister, a local to Revelstoke) and hoped to take advantage of the local knowledge the next day! And it worked out great! She took me out on some great fun trails, nice climbs and super fun downhills! Weather was great for riding too, with some drops of rain here and there... After the ride she suggested a spot for lunch and I had the best crepes with whipped cream and chocolate! the day can't get much better :) Thanks Dani... who is know headed into 10 days of craziness!! we can't wait to hear back from her time spent at the "silent retreat".

Then on the road again, this time to Fernie. I got in pretty late and with rain so there was no go on camping again, so far my plan on saving some money on camping hasn't worked out so good, and I lost my pillow too (left in Revelstoke), so camping would be that much harder now. Though the sleeping pads makes for good padding between the bikes when packed in the truck, so not completely wasted luggage.
Now I'm quiet happy at the SnowValley Motel in a real bed.

Today I got up and headed over to my old chiropractor, Paul. He did a little bit of cracking and invited me out for a ride later on. I hung out with Bernie and his dog Kyna (another collie who chases bike wheels and runs backwards, welcome to the club of Molly) for most day. We had a good healthy lunch at the Blue Tuk, before I had to put in my one hour of work for the week (conference call - rough life I say). We then did a great ride up old Roots, Hyper Ventilation, Castle rock!! They had done a lot of work on these trails since last I rode here and they were in great shape. I did an extra little bit of climb up to Castle Mountain, and got up to a pretty exposed area, and the Moab feeling came back! so I skipped the last switchback and headed back down to find Bernie. In the picture to the left I pretty much go the front of the big rock face in the background, should have got on top of it but oh well, there is always next time!
Bernie rode strong as ever, he always amaze me with his strength and attitude! He is a great inspiration to me.

An hour or so later I met up with Paul, another big inspiration for me in my world of training and testing my limits. He is an endurance athlete and more, he has pushed him self to the outermost limits, I couldn't even imagine spending almost 80 days in a boat rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, alone! so when I train or things get hard during a 7 day event, I just look back at some of the things that is humanly possible (proven by people like Paul and Bernie) and my little struggles at the moment is nothing to worry about. And of top of being an inspiration to me and so many others, Paul also fixes me up sometimes! If you are ever in the area and look for a chiropractor he is the highly recomended!
Tonight I got to ride with him, and sure enough, he took me on the same climb I'd done with Bernie! I thought I was tired but this time I cleaned the climbed better, got of in one spot only and messed up on another so it felt pretty good. We took the a different way back down so I got to ride the old roots hyper extension and extension and had a blast!

Not sure exactly what tomorrow will bring, but one thing is sure, it will involve some rides! Just not sure how many yet...been too long since I've been back so too little time!

Now I wish I had a spoon so I could eat my yogurt!

Happy Riding,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Short version of road trip..

I left as planned Friday morning, but with no Darko, he had way too much on his plate to make a trip this time. Not very far into the trip though I felt like I hit the wall! Almost pulled out a few times, first in Golden, then Revelstoke, so when I finally made it to Salmon Arm just after lunch I decided to listen to the body and stop. I got a room in town, and as the weather was nice I thought I'd try to sweat the bug out of my body by going up to Sunday's Salty Dog race course. At this point I knew I wasn't gona make it to Vancouver! The race course was super fun, but I had the hardest time I've had in a long time on a fairly short ride. It felt like it was all climbing and it took forever, I was just empty! Back at the hotel I couldn't figure out if I was gona be cold or hot! So rested up and hoped to feel better the next day.

Saturday yet another nice day out! Blue sky and hot! Had a good sleep and felt much better, but still not sure about the cold and hot thing.... I'm not that old yet!? After picking up race packet at the bike store I did my second attempt on sweating out the bug. This time on my road bike. I stuck to "lake shore drive" as I figured it would follow the lake around at a nice flat grade! But like everything else in Salmon Arm it went up also! I got in a few intervals not planned, but legs really dead still. So went back after just over an hour and worked on my mtn. bike! Bad call, as I figured out the sound in my front wheel was not my break, rather a spoke that kept hitting my break caliper. Since I had the tools I figured I could fix it my self, but a couple of hours later, the wheel was wobbly all around... so I took the wheel to a bike shop here, but I should have known better when the guy didn't have the tools to do it! I lent him my tools and when I came back later he had the wheel done pretty good, but he took the tire off (non tubeless tire with tubeless rim) and he couldn't get air back in! And to make the story short... After explaining the Stans, notube with tube tire etc. I ended up getting it done my self. The guy felt really bad, but the rule is you don't try to seal a stans tube tire the night before an event! but it worked out in the end this time. But to make sure it was sealed I figured I had to take it for a test ride, so third attempt! I went back to the race course in the evening and rode the loop, this time the hill didn't feel as bad at all, and the downhill was just heaven! So now I could get a little bit exited about Sundays race! Had a ice bath, but made sure to keep core and head warm and ate some BP pasta.

Today I woke up really early, so had some breakfast and got organised for the 6 hr Salty Dog here in Salmon Arm. I believe they said it was about 400 racers, about 200 on the course at all times. The start was a little bit late so my attempt to warm up didn't really work as well, as by the time the start went my little warm up was ages ago! I've never been that strong in the start and it didn't feel much different today, hoped my warm up would get me going better. As I'm still in training mode I my goal was to do my own thing, but the start always gets me, I get carried away and try to stick with people, this time Trish and another girl was ahead. On the first long climb I had no change on Trish, my legs yelling at me to slow down, and it was only a few mins into the race!! though pretty normal for me.. so I shut my mind off and let them yell. Stuck with them until the next climb and then tried to pull away and after this I was on my own. I started focusing on eating and drinking as it was hot out (26C). And think I did pretty well, went through 4 bottles which is quiet a bit for me in 6hrs. Food didn't sit to well, but did my best. After the first lap things got better, the last three was just a killer, granny gear all the way up! The descents were big smiles every time!!:) In the end I got 8 laps (80 or so km), in just a couple of min passed 6 hrs which was good enough for a wooden gold medal and an apple pie! Which a family with two kids behind me really wanted bad, so since I couldn't eat this big pie I made two little guys very happy!

(sorry for upside down pict)

Fun event, fun course and overall a great day! Even got my laundry done tonight! so now I can get up and plan the rest of the week in the morning...

In the mean time I get updates from back in McMurray, it looks like my front yard is looking very nice (sorry lost that picture), and the back yard will be looking nice sometime later this summer!! Thanks Meredith and Cody! I'll be back soon to help out!
Next race, Calgary next weekend maybe?

Happy Riding!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's been a while.....

... so there is just no way I'll be able to track back for a very good update, all I can say is that the last few weeks have gone by fast and I have a hard time believing its passed mid May already!!
My continued trip to Moab was great! and I was going to post a few pictures but due to other events the last few weeks I've lost what I had of pictures, but will try to recover some shortly.

Meredith, Jen and Cody with Toby and Sequoia (the dogs) came down. And we all had some great rides and vacation time, and all agreed on our favorite ride being the Porcupine Rim Trail! even with some snow and lost wedding ring!! Though Jen put some ebay magic in works and so no worries! During our week in Moab we also got to enjoy the company of Steve and Karen, and I think I landed my self a great partner for the BC Bike race for sure! Looking forward to their arrival in AB so we can do a few rides!

Back in McMurry a few new events, first the spring event! NO SNOW! So I go to do the first few rides on hgwy 63 from work, though short lasting, as another event the last little bit was me ending my career at Petro-Canada. A lot of things played part of this decision but either way, no more "riding home from work", better even, I can ride whenever I feel like it!! A few hours of work until mid to end of June (that I can do on the road!) and then no work until August is very exiting!

I started my "new life" with the AB cup in Edmonton May long weekend and doubled up with a AB cup xc race on Saturday and the 6hr enduro on Sunday both in Stony Plain. Great event! Fun course and I am very impressed with the utilization of land! That tells me there is hope for trails anywhere! But with 30 min laps 6 hrs was good for me! At this point my main goal is to put in as many hours of quality/intensity so I got what I was looking for. Thanks to Meredith who did a great job at feeding and supporting for the weekend, and of course the dogs who greeted me every time I came around! When back in town everyone was very tired and happy! Something to be said about home!

I had a quick changeover in McMurray, came home Monday night, spent Tuesday resting and repacking and took off Wednesday morning for Edmonton and Calgary. Today I spend a few hours at my old job and got some new tires on my truck, very much needed! Got in my first ride of the week, a pretty low key hour to pick up truck. I'm enjoying some time with Darko and Sophie and their very active little kids, both upcoming Canadian cyclists, watch out! The plan for the weekend is to ride lots. So tomorrow I get on the road with destination North Van for a Marathon on Saturday, then pack up and head to Salmon Arm for a 6hr enduro on Sunday. And hopefully next week I'll get some more midweek rides in as this week was a bit weak! Darko is still working on his assignment so we'll see if he will be up for the road trip in the morning!
more to come...
Happy Riding!