Thursday, September 08, 2011

Second and third ...

... day of awesome Calgary weather for a perfect long weekend! And as of today it looks like a chance of a dry awesome Bow80ish weekend...crossing my fingers.

Had a pretty slow Sunday with the intent to ride but started a five minute bike fix (chain swap) and that quickly turned into a full day thing....i road around town thinking it was Saturday and wondering why all bike shops were closed! So the city bike ride was all i got in and now the Superfly is on pause until i can track down a small chainring! Not easy! Butter hey no big deal, i do have my red machine!

So Monday i met up with Mani and Graham with my red bike and had an awesome ride of the Bow race course (minus part of canyon creek and down raceofspades)...another beautiful day out and bike did a good job. Happy day!
Until yesterday ... A quick ride with Toby up Pnuma was the plan ...i got almost up to the first lookout and i was climbing a small steep section and a root I thought id hit and role over instantly stopped me..well the bike...i kept flying (if that is the right word when barely moving) over the handlebars ... When i opened the eyes i just  hoped all my fingers lined up...they hurt but phew ..all good! Now pretty embaraced but alone i picked up bike to continue on ...front looked ok so got on but rear felt funny....oh no...wheel taco !... Still not sure how the rear could have hit that hard when coming down...i was climbing very slow!...either last bike is now also on pause!...turned around and carefully road back down the way i came up...

Mission today is to get wheel rebuilt or buy a complete crankset as a chain ring is not anywhere to be found before next weekend...or even better if i also had a bike for Saturday Calgary corporate challenge at COP ...going for gold!

Happy riding!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Ride 1...

...September long weekend.

After a very long and slow week with no attempts of riding i was looking forward to a long weekend of riding. I started out with a quick warm up ride with Toby last night. We almost made it to the car before hail and thunder but not quiet, ouch and ouch and by the time we got down we were both wet and cold...

Today i started out with a regular "traditional" at Cadence and with Alana, Michelle, Andrew and Mani show ul as well it was to be a great day.
Cool morning so dressing up has to be re-learned. You'd think we would know by now.....i left knee warmers but glad o brought west and arms...
We road to MooseMtn rd, climbed up pnuma to the top, down pnuma were i had my slow motion wipe out on the rocks trying to balance my bike to avoid big dog and then realizing support was required and leaning on to the nearest tree rather than stepping out of pedals seemed like a good option until i learned that tree did not wanna support me....down i went...
Now down at start of Moosepackers, thouh we turned right, climbed back up and eventually on to Shaft, still fun but a bit wet from the last rain and hail and snow... On to elbow something, up sulphur and back to truck!... Oh i love fall riding! Blue, sunny sky, great trails, and refreshing air!

Now at vet with my bud Toby. Second time with infected jaw, poor guy...think tooth will have to go and no more bones!...but as always he's a trooper!

Happy fall riding!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The true...

...champ this weekend was definitely the only one i could convince to ride along to Hinton. I obviously would not have had the races i had or actually raced at all this weekend if it wasn't for him. He is such a trooper, never complains and escorted both Gabor and i safely through the pre-ride. He carefully watched the truck during both the short and long course for bears or other creatures that snuck around. So i had no choice but to dedicate one of the jerseys and the medal to my very best buddy on and off the trail, Toby!

Great but a hard weekend of racing. Hardcore had a great crew out and Cory did a fine job putting on a challenging course both days.
Back in Calgary with a perfect feeling of beat!

Happy Riding!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hinton weekend...

...with Toby and the bike.
Alberta provincial seem to maybe be a bit late as it seems like most people who would normally show to events are staying home. Though thought id get out if town and try something different.
Toby, Gabor and i pre-road last night the short course for today and it got approved by TToby ....nice single track that was soft on the paws !
Today we race short and tomorrow is marathon ....should be fun...beautiful blue sky and dry as can be!

Fueled up with some mcdonalds so should be all set ..

Happy Riding!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday ride... Canmore on a hot summer day!
Met up with the boys at a coffeshop in Canmore and it was already 18 degrees at ten am. Had a quick mocha and apple strudle..yammy ..and headed up to the nordic centre. We decided to ride the Highland trail  which I have never done, so i was happy. It started off down of the dogpark and quickly went from not so steep to really steep loose switch backs. Nice hard climb then it all turned into some awesome fun twisty, up, down, rockie and all you can think of ...just plain old fun mountain bike trail. On the way back Gabor and i took one wrong turn at the end and got rewarded with some more fun fast downhill rather than coming down the loose switchbacks we came up ..more smiles !
We estimated about three hours but it wasnt even two, so got in a nice little ride at the nordic center to end the day.
Thinking of Hinton double header next maybe a few shorter rides this week.

Happy Riding !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday ride...

...with Toby and Keith. Not a big group today, but still a great ride. Started with a quick coffee pick up and brrrr was it cold out! Fall is coming quickly. Met Keith in canmore and we decided to head out to try Prospector in exshaw. 
Good call, my first ride over there this year. I forgot how much fun this little loop is, even thouh short. Toby came on the first lap. He got to have a break on the second. Think Keith quiet enjoyed this loop that has a fairly nice climb up with a huge reward of flowy single track including almost all terrain you can. After the second lap i put the bike back on the truck but realized it wasnt even lunch time, so decided to go out for one last. Toby got to come and by the end of it he was very much done.
Think tomorrow will be a few more folks and a little longer outing somwhere around Canmore again.

Happy Riding!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday... ride started out at Cadence again. I had a less than great breakfast, just didn't have it for food this morning. But coffee was good as it always is. During breakfast it was a bit of discussion where to ride, everywhere from Canmore to Bragg, what trails in Bragg etc. In the end we ended up with a plan to do a Tour of the Moose Mountain. And as usual I don't really pay too much attention as I don't know the trails well enough to really follow all the discussions and I'm just looking to ride, and with these guys, Craig, Keith, Craig (second), Gabor and Jon, I'm rested assure that it'll be a great outing.

Though after all this discussion I almost missed my ride, as on the highway I was heading to Canmore, head just not there today! Made it to Station Flat and found a parking spot (not easy, it was packed!) and we started our ride.
Moose Mountain in the back, a great switch back climb!
We climbed up little bit of Sulphur (backwards) then on the highway for a few hundred meters to get to Moose Mt. Road. We rode up Pnuma and had a quick bottle drop off halfway up. Continued up to the top of Pnuma which then rewards you (depending on who you are) with a super fun, rockie downhill section. Rather than going down Moose Packers we continued on and decided to have get a peak of Moose Mountain in. I climbed this once before, and knowing it would not include a scree hike I was more than happy to ride up, and hoped to clean it this second time up. I stepped down once! It was very upsetting, I really wanted to clean this climb, next time! On the way down we did a "follow Jon" approach, so no switch backs, just shortest route down. Fun times, though as we came close to the bottom Jon had pulled over with a flat front tire. This turned out to a much longer stop than anyone had thought, and maybe next time someone will carry a hammer and a chisel, or maybe at least a Leatherman....
Everyone but I (not sure why I never did try...) had at least one individual try at getting the valve out of Jon's rim, some lost a bit of skin off their fingers trying.

Then several team efforts went in to the project, various tools from the surroundings (rocks mostly) were tried.

After all failed attempt, the idea of putting the tube in, get some air and stuff the valve in the tire came up. On the second try this worked great, enough air to maybe find a hiker with a leatherman, or make it all the way down to Moose Mountain parking lot with all the downhill folks parked, that probably would have tools.

Plan worked out, found some "dirt addicted" guys below that had any tool you can imagine (well at least one that we could use) and the valve came out. Only one more flat after this! Not bad for a day on tubes!
So with Jon's bike back up and running, we continued on with the ride plan. We rode from here over to SHAFT (SuperHappyAwesomeFunTrail, I think), and that was all the words plus some that shouldn't be said! So much fun! With one handle foamy loose, I had a couple of near-death experiences when hand would slip off on the steepest parts, added some extra adrenaline, and hence, more fun!
To get out we took some "connector" trail over to a road (I forget what road, but IngsMine maybe), and at the bottom of the road we climb back up to Sulphur, then some more Sulphur climb backwards, a little down and we were back at bottle drop, and good thing, as all the guys were out by this time. Climbed back up Pnuma to the start of SpecialK and ended the day with some fun descending once again. Little bit of Ridgeback and out to parking lot, nice and tired. Very happy with ride today, paced well so climbing felt better than last weekend, cleaning things I didn't before. Food was up next!

Happy Riding!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Midweek riding....

... has been pretty great, with Calgary summer at its best. Tuesday I did my regular Sulphur spring with the dogs, we come out early enough to avoid any traffic on the trails so the only big trouble is cows and cowdudies... which Toby is good at finding.
Great ride, the two four legged does great on the climb and not too bad going down, but the lack of water on the trails makes it tough. They love the creek in the end.
By the time we get back the the parking lot it is full!

Wednesday a second JP/Cox ride was planned. Keith really wanted to head out with his new tires. Great plan. Though as I drove home from work it didn't look to promising. Quickly went home, got dogs out, picked up some supper at Subway and went to the dirt lot. Gabor, Mani, Craig and Keith showed up as did the rain. The clouds to the west looked even darker. So after a bit back and forth and nobody wanting to totally pull out (though inside my head I sort of was ready to head home), we ended up driving out to Dawson, but planned at heading up Lusk rather than the full loop.

Little cooler at the top!
Great choice! The ride was as good as it can get, some rain on the road, and as we climbed up a little moist, but made for perfect trails and temperature to be out riding! It was hard, the last little bit of Lusk I just bit my teeth together and tried not to cry as I desperately tried to turn the pedals, walking is just not an option, even though I'm sure at that point it would have been faster. Up ahead, Craig and Gabor (on his single speed) had already peaked!! Well, the first climb. Cox was in great shape as well, didn't clear as much as last time I rode it but great ride all together and great company! The down I don't even need to mention as everyone who knows this trail, it is always heaven! Though today I must admit it was "awesomer" then ever!! The little bit of moist made it a little tacky, maybe slick, all which I prefer over the super dry, and I was just so happy that the 29er, hardtail, rode like it did, so much fun, what can I say!

When you only get two rides in, I'd say, the two I got was the best!

Happy riding!

Walk... the park.

With black clouds sort of floating around i decided to stay local and hikecop with the dogs. It didn't look too bad, only one big one and it lookedlike it was heading downtown. But i couldn't have been more wrong !
It poured down so hard i was soaked through every piece of clothingbut it wasn't cold so i quiet enjoyed the walk ....untill all of a sudden igot hit in the head by something hard, then again and again...ouch ..even the dogs started looking for shelters. 

Both Toby and sQ quickly hid under some bush and it didn't take longbefore i had to join them. The hail came harder and bigger. I snapped  acouple of pictures of the dogs, they were not impressed at all. But itstopped and by the time i got home it was already drying up on mydeck. Guess it was just bad timing. My phone wasn't as lucky. Totally  dead! So quick trip to Bell and out with a new moreblackberry storm !

Happy Riding !

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Nice riding ....

...and a hike.
Stared out Saturday with a breaky and coffee at Cadence before heading out to Station Flat. Plan was a 5 hour ride. We ended up doing 2/3 of the Bow 80ish course, skipping JP and some of the road. High pace and lots of climbing! September will come soon and it'll be a hard race event with weather nice as today. The trails were in great shape, Gabor rode up all the climbs on his single speed like a  mad-man, there was no way to hang on. Craig on his geared bike hang on though, so for most of the ups we didn't see those two boys. In the end we descended SpecialK down and by Craig's suggestion we did part of Ridgeback, "all down" Craig said, but by now I should know better. Still fun, Gabor rode a bit more humanly (he had bonked). Thanks boys for a great ride!

Still time left in the day, so another crit to watch. Dogs got to come and they quiet enjoyed the race (or maybe the squirrel on the other side of the road). Toby was able to find something nice and smelly to bring home, to add another hour of cleaning up before ending Saturday outings.

Sunday  I wanted to treat the dogs to a good ride so went out to Barrier Lake with Craig, only to find it was closed due to grizzly with cubs. So ride turned into a hike up Bawldy. Dogs loved it, and my legs said thanks as well, nice to switch it up. When we got back we decided to get a little coffee ride in. Rode over to Cadence for some food and of course when out for a ride with Craig it'll be and adventure, even when on a coffee ride. We road downtown along the river, a little bit of trail but mostly amongst walkers and weekend riders on the paths. In to Kensington, second coffee stop. The a stop at a park trying to figure out the game of cricket (or something like that). I'm guessing coffee would be a good thing as match drink as it would be along quiet outing for some of those players. All this while African drums were playing a bit of culture discovery in this city I thought had none.

 Great weekend.

Happy Riding!
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Friday, August 05, 2011

Who knew...

...a midweek ride after work could be an epic outing!

After arriving home a bit later than I'd hoped I was close to calling off going to a group ride I wasn't even sure was still on. But after a quick walk to the river with the dogs and still ten minutes to meeting time I figured I might as well...hard to get going but when on the trail I always love it...
I drove over to the "dirt lot" they usually call Invisible Esso, but quickly started thinking about what original message read yesterday...oh...dirt lot by COP...quickly speed over there. Craig and Keith were getting ready and that ended up being our group.

We biked up the road (felt long and slow on my "big" bike) to the access to Jumping Pound ridge climb, beginning of climb felt hard and I was a bit worried I'd be left in the dust (it was dry). But made it up, and felt better as time went on. What a great ride that is! We paused for a minute at Cox hill so Keith could look for a bear (didn't find it) and now to some of the best descending in the region! :) big smiles all the way...until unfortunately Keith had his first flat of the evening, Craig offered his tube as mine was a super light ...but after a few more minutes he needed mine as well, so now the next stop would have been patches! But we made it to he car with no more bike issues. Happy I took my big one out, haven't had such a great fun in a long time, descending back down!
Took us about 240 so daylight was no issue....

Happy Riding!
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sunday rest and ...

.... Monday ride...

So after a long Saturday outing I decided to spend the day getting the house cleaned a bit and get the dogs out for a few good walks/hikes. Calgary weather has been so great the last little bit, house cleaning is not easy, and of course that plan didn't come through today either. But dogs got out, we walked over and watched all the Tubers go down the river... I need to get out and try one day before summer ends! Anyone?

Though reading the news today I guess not all made it down the river in the tube, or without a ticket!

Got my bikes cleaned so not completely wasted day. The 29er got a new band aid as yesterday's was sort of a quick fix. So now it's good to go for a bit, one extra zippy tie on this fix!

Monday was a day off so the plan was to go for a semi epic ride with Craig, but another group ride was forming with Alana, Jeff, Lisa and Ryan, a little shorter ride. So when I met Craig at Cadence I suggested maybe we should join them, this might allow for some spectating of the Bowness Crit they were just starting to set up for on the main street. So we did!

We met the group at Station Flats and had a great fun ride with only minor delays. Craig and Jeff had to take a different route to catch Lisa who we lost about 1km in... Alana, Ryan and I, climbed up Sulfur (sort of backward from what I'm used to) then hooked on to Pnuma and met Jeff and Craig at the intersection of the start of Sulfur (the normal way) and Pnuma, but no Lisa there either. We continued up Pnuma and caught her just before the start of the upper section. She must have hammered up those hills. We also saw the TR marking guys, getting ready for next weeks event!
From there we climbed up the upper sections of Pnuma, and eventually hooked on to Moose Packers down to Ridgeback and so on.... not sure of the name of the trail that takes us out (new tom snow?). It was all about fun today! Great ride with great company!
And we still had time to make it back to Bowness for the men's elite crit race! My first ever! It was so exciting to see my little "town" so alive (Bowness that is). And the race was really neat, I like the concept and will spectate more of them now that I know, still unsure I'll do any of them though. And Steve didn't help convince me it is all fun either! But glad he is OK, and you really should check out his facebook picture sequence of the crash. Funny enough, Craig and I spoke earlier that they should almost hire some stunt folks to make sure there is at least one crash... you know... spectators always love crazy crashes... Steve gave them all of it!

Some nice Mexican on the street to end the long weekend!

Happy Riding!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Epic and some more... of riding!

It all started with a great idea, then the idea grew a bit to lets ride from Moose Mt. Road to Top of Norquay ski hill in Banff, connecting all our favorite trails somehow! The Idea was never really research in much debt from my side, but I'm big fan of point to point epic rides, so I trusted it would be a day of awesome riding, and epic it was!

The ride was sent out to a few folks but it ended up being Jon, Craig and my self. They stopped by the house around 7AM to start early, we had some food and a few little bike fixes to do. I still figured we had plenty of time do all the logistics around car drop etc and riding before the end of the day. I ended up changing my mind about the big bike vs the broken 29er in the last minute, chose the 29 with a bit of a dummy fix (getting good at this fix), and it would be a great choice! We got on the road just after 8AM so lots of time left in the day. First stop Banff to drop of my truck. Then we ventured back towards Calgary, and to Moose Mt. Rd to get started with the day. On the way we stopped at Barrier Lake to do a drop off of some drinks and snack for later. This would be approximately half way of our day we figured. I thought Id heard a six or so hour day, so I left a can of orange pop, that should be a good addition to the two bottles I had with me, and get me to the Husky on Highway for some more supply.
Jon and Craig and my self finally ready to get going. We started out with Pnuma, climbed up the lower section, then the upper part which I don't think I've done before. It was technical and steep in parts and I felt we were going at a pace I wasn't sure I'd be able to sustain for the day, but tried to keep up. We came out somewhere on Moose Mt, and from there on I'm not sure I'll use the right names of trails we did as it was mostly new stuff for me. We descended something I have done before (double track down to Moose Packers).
We then started climbing up Moose mt, my favorite (well I think, as far as I recall) part of the day. Under Jon's hand in the picture there some awesome switchbacks and behind there an awesome hike-a-bike section up to the summit! Truly Epic! And I was in heaven!
 We made it to the "Helli pad" and a little bit further before the first hike-a-bike started. Not a very long section up to the Summit, a few hikes, and a couple of guys on bike was coming down, but probably did an in an out, and maybe that is a smart thing to do.
A quick call and a breather to discuss options on where to go next. In my head I had no clue, looking around it seemed like the only way was back out the way we came. But Nope! Craig knew there was a route across the scree slope, as he did this 9 years ago (which all along I thought was 1 year ago! Not only did he remember that, he also remembers there is a trail from the gas plant up to Jumping pound. And according to Jon, since he had done the topo research, it should be mostly downhill!! Ha ha..
So we ventured out on the scree! We planned on not loosing too much elevation as far in the distance and some closer too, we saw some cliffs and would like to come from the top rather than have to be stuck under. I think that planned worked out pretty good. It took me a good 30 min to an hour just to get used to the height and steepness of the slope. I now see the benefit of getting used to pushing your bike on both side of your body. As all the way across (1 hour 30 min total) I had to push and cary bike on the up slope, there was just no way the left side could do it. I know will practise for next epic!
Early on I lagged behind a bit so Jon kindly came back and took my bike down for a little bit. After this I sort of pulled my self together and forgot about the height and potential fall to death scenario!
This is very close to the end, and Craig had taken a lower line, while Jon and I was up high, above the cliffs I mentioned earlier. Jon went down to look around the corner to see if maybe we could get around as just above us it looked steeper and hard to get up. It felt like he took forever as I sat and "enjoyed" the view, and got my self thinking too much again about the height, to the point I felt it took so long I worried he wasn't coming back! ha ha.. your mind is a crazy organ.. or at least mine is. But thank goodness he came back and the verdict was no go around corner, so up the hill it was. And it wasn't as hard as it seemed. But we were a bit concerned about Craig who were down below and had to make it up the cliffs. When I saw Jon get on his bike a few meters up from me I smiled inside, very big smile! We road down some a sketchy slope full of rocks down to Husky plant and waited for Craig, well before I got on my bike I ensured I saw him cresting as well.
Might not seem so bad and long, but this slope is looking back at what we just did, pointing out you can't see the full path as it is a couple of gully's. I think next time we should maybe try the ridge it self? or maybe there is another way around.
Everyone were still smiling, so all was good, so now, 3 1/2 hour in or so it should be easy breezy, get on Craig's trails to Jumping Pound ridge! Guess nothing came easy today. I now learned it wasn't a year since Craig did this ride, it was 9 years, hence the memory a bit lacking, can't blame him for that. We road down the Husky road looking for the trail head, climbed back up and came up with the plan on staying on top of ridges (open, so we can see where we go). Our other option were to turn back, get Jon's truck, drive to Banff, get my ride and never speak of this again! We chose to continue of course. Jon's GPS wasn't really our friend either, but we had a good guess on what ridge in the far view was Jumping Pound and aimed to hit it. So we bushed whacked a bit, got to a open ridge. From here it looked like we had to peak two tops before topping Jumping Pound. We went down and up the first, we road around some trees for a bit, and by chance we just happened to run into a trail. All of Craig's memory now came back, this was the trail! We still had to do some hike-a-bike, but the ride or hike was still amazing and epic as can be. A little bit more confusion on the second peak, but we peaked Jumping 5 hours into the ride and 27km in distance!! We now only had, according to original plan, Down JP to Lusk, over to Barrier to climb Jewels, up to Razors Edge, down to highway, on TR. Canada trail to Canmore, then Rundle mountain to Banff and up to the ski hill!! hmm and about 5 hours of daylight. A bit of revision of plans. We made it down to the Powderface road, and had a quick chat with a local couple, and also got some much needed water as the two bottles we each brought were long gone! We took Lusk, which was beat up pretty bad, when we arrived at Barrier Lake I was so happy to get my little orange drink! But the boys came out of the bush with no drink for me?? First I thought Jon was pulling a joke, but someone seriously had stolen my drink, and also Jon's power bars!! I was so disappointed, well for two minutes or three.. Jon offered his red drink which almost made up for my loss, and then Craig gave me one of his two bottles as well, so all of a sudden I had two bottles of drink (for those who know me, that's a lot of drink for kate), but didn't think much of it. After the the ride I know I should have....
We rode over to Jewels and climbed, it felt really good actually, to be back on the bike, riding some real trails. We had a quick stop at the waterfall, both boys had a quick shower. At the top of the climb we waited a little bit for Craig, I asked him how he was doing and he had got a cramp and stopped for a bit, but I still didn't clue in on the fact that he only had one bottle as he gave one to me, and I didn't know he was on empty, felt really bad after. Though, we got down and on the highway both the guys seemed to have got some second wind, or maybe I just lost all mine! We flew away and I could barley hang on. Our new plan, stay on the highway to Banff, with one stop at Husky. I made a quick call to my friend Vlad, to kindly have a check on my house and dogs who I'd left at home, a can of coke and a yogurt (the only "food" that was appealing at the time) and on the road again.
Craig and Jon was nice enough to slow down the pace on the road a little bit for me. We estimated an hour to Banff from the gas station and they were pretty much bang on!! ha ha... for once..
When we got to Canmore we jumped on the bike path, super nice I'd say, the picture was pretty much my view for the most part on the road, thanks guy for dragging me in. As the sun were setting we got into Banff, but of course hardcore plans don't end with a car parked in town. In my head I'd decided that there was no way I could climb up, I'd be at least an hour and it was late already, close to 930PM! So I suggested we plan what to do for food, Jon thought we'd just pedal hard and plan food when pace was slower while climbing up to the truck, that didn't help my plan on not riding the hill.... so I sold them on the idea of "time management" basically.. I'll bike into town, order some food, and it'll be ready for when they come back down! I didn't have to sell to hard, they didn't seem to mind that I bailed out of the last climb. I rode into town, stopped at the place that had the word Pizza in it. And by luck, as it was 10 min to ten and kitchen was closing at 10 so I just got the order in on time.
Jon and Craig came down closer to 11, we all huddled in the truck in our bike gear and stinky bodies  as you know by now, we are still learning the tricks to an epic day and point to point... none of us left anything in the drop off car! We drove to Bragg Creek, dropped Jon off and I got back to my house passed midnight..... EPIC DAY!!! and no complaints! Thanks Jon and Craig for being such great ride buddies!

Happy Riding Always!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Under the rainbow...

...I got to drive!
Home from Bragg Creek last night. I was lucky and had a nice ride with the dogs and barely got mud on the bike.

Happy riding!
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lost for words...

... and still in a bit of disbelief. I spoke with my dad shortly after the first attack, even that seemed unreal, he had left Oslo as they shut down the city. Little did we know what was coming.

I left worked early as didn't really get anything done, spoke to my brother, spoke to my mother who was with my sisters family, I watched the news, prepared for Edmonton, watched some more news and struggled with what to think, things like this just doesn't happen back home. Listened to the news on the drive up to Edmonton, registered and skipped pre-ride, it was wet! Watched the news on the TV at the hotel. Didn't sleep much. Got up and watched some more news, and it just kept getting worse. How could it get so big? how could one person? These are just kids, living in what we thought was the safest place to be!

I tried to focus on the race I came up to do. I wanted to do this Canada Cup after a bad event in Canmore. I went down to the course early to pre-ride as my start wasn't until 230pm. But when I got down to the venue I saw some pretty muddy bikes come back from riding the course, so I decided to keep my bike clean for the main ride. When back to the hotel for some breakfast and back to the TV. Not the best prep, but the race wasn't really important at this point. Though, I came to race, and needed to ride to get my mind on something else. I had an ok warm-up, not long, but got my heart rate up a bit and felt ok. The start was fast as usual and I was the last person in the field and struggled to get up with the really fast girls. As we got to the single track I thought I was in an ok position until one girls pretty much pushed herself in front of me, and another followed! OK! guess that's how it works in short intense xc races, but there should be a rule that if you push your self in front you better keep going and stay with the rest! But we didn't, we quickly lost contact with the lead girls, the fast girls and there was no spot to pass. I got in a comfortable pace and eventually got by two, then a little bit later I picked up another, and then I lost count, might have been another here and there. It was very muddy and slippery, specially second half of course, which first lap was pretty much a run a bike (or walk a bike). I ended up riding most of the race on my own, so got stuck in a comfy pace for a bit and had to kick myself in the butt to remind me that it was a race, but all and all I had a good day on the bike. The body responded properly to hard effort and did what it should when I slowed down, so I was happy. Cathrine Vipond won the day, two girls on pink bikes I think and then Mical fourth, some other girl, and then me. Alana won the single speed category, and did the elite race on the same muddy bike after! Nice work!

After the race it was back in the car and drive home. Saturday I went in to Canmore to see the finish of the 24 event, can't say I miss riding at night, but it's something about these events that makes them attractive. Meredith and Angela took Toby for a ride, while I walk around the course for a bit.
Headed up to cougar creek for a nice hike with SQ, and that was the weekend pretty much.

Now, a few days since the horrible situation Friday, it's been some time to think, but there are still no words really. I'm sad but also proud to see how the nation is coming together.

I'd like to share a quote from AUF member Helle Gannestad;

"When one man could cause so much evil - think about how much love we can create together"

My thoughts goes out to those who lost loved once, family members and friends. It seems everyone is touched in one way or another, and it is truly admiring to see how Norway have chosen to fight hate with respect, togetherness and love!


Monday, July 18, 2011

A couple of weeks...

...go by like that!
The week after Fernie was very low key. Caught up on a few things around the house and worked and very little riding. Made it out for a midweek ride with the dogs, Meredith and Angela which was nice. We road up Pnuma starting at the Moose Mtn Road, which I had never done. Got to the top and there was a local midweek downhill race. We turned and went back the same way, on a very busy trail at this point, with people climbing up. The rest of the week was pretty mellow with some leisurely hikes at COP.

SQ enjoining the view from top of JP
The following weekend was pretty relaxing as well, with a road ride downtown Friday. Got Sequoia all tagged up for a summer in Calgary! Though crossing fingers that the tag never have to be used. So far so good, though she would love to figure out a escape route into our neighbors yard for some delicious orange cats on a leash!

Saturday we hiked up JP which was great, would have been nice on a bike as well, but I was pretty happy to be on foot going up. Coming down my little toe wasn't too happy with being pressed against the front of the shoe so the bike would have been a good option. Happy to see the snow gone, and both JP and Cox looks like a great ride. One weekend soon it will be on the to-do-list. A few more pictures in the end as well.
Sunday we played for a little bit at the Nordic Centre before meeting up with Steve for some dinner. He came down from Edmonton after just finishing, and qualifying for New Zealand might I add, in triathlon. So China this year, then New Zealand next year! I can only hope I'm close to as fit when I'm ready to retire! So happy for him.
So on to another work week, and even less riding. I made it out to Bragg Creek for one ride Tuesday, which I enjoyed, worked hard going up, then took it easy down and let dogs enjoy the ride. Got out early enough to avoid any traffic jams on the trail. Skipped Thursday COP ride with lack of energy and with some weird car sick feeling (when I'm the driver... sort of weird eh?). Met up with Lisa in Canmore Friday as I was picking up my registration pack for the race on Saturday. We did one lap of pre-ride, and quiet enjoyed the course. Fun, short and no sections to get bored on at all! Saturday I got up, had my regular breakfast, took dogs for a hike at COP and headed out to Canmore once again. The Canadian National Championships! wow.. big names and very serious, so obviously I got a bit nervous as this is not my cup of tea..had a very quick and low key warm-up, which could have been the reason for what to come!? The start was as quiet as a start I've ever attended, you could hear a needle drop in the grass!! it was very strange, there was a few people watching and you couldn't even hear them. Olympic spot in the view for some of them maybe? or maybe every race at this level is like this... not sure, it felt pretty intense though, and in my head I was smiling a bit, and this picture totally eliminated any nerves I had. The start goes, and the dust is flying (probably should have kept my glasses on for the first lap eh..) and in about a few seconds in I feel like crap, again, very strange feeling as this year the start (though this might have been harder than any of the others I've done) hasn't been my issue, I could handle the pain, hang on hard for about 20 min and settle in to a pace. But not today, I hung on, but there was no response in my body, I could go as hard as I could but no peak in heart rate, I slowed down, and not quick return of heart rate, I just plain old sucked. Sort of what I'm used to from other years, but not this year. While I'm riding, and feeling terrible sorry for my self, I'm analyzing everything I've done the last couple of weeks, sleep, rides, how I've felt, what did I do etc... the engineer in me is already looking for the root cause of failure!! But one lap in, I haven't figured it out, though at least I'm keeping my mind busy, still in pain and once in a while the thought of quiting come around trying to knock me out, but with people along the course cheering you on (people you know and people you don't know) it is not an option to quit, and I'm not a quitter. All I wished for was to not see a Luna come up from behind!! And then, through the feed zone half way through, I see a blue shirt over my left shoulder and I thought that was it, gees was I ever slow. Thank goodness, she was going through the feed zone on the other side! phuu! that was close....
Danelle Kabush had a great race, both of them rode really strong, I knew I had to ride hard and top of my game to stick with them, I tried but didn't have it in me. Pendrel  took home the win, and another Canadian Championships, she is a amazing rider. And the rest of the girls strong as well, there is no shortage in strong Canadian female riders.
Trish enjoying a cool down!
So after a terrible day on the bike there is only one thing to do the next day! Find the fun again! Went out with Gerry and Trish and road up Prairie View and down Jewels, then up again, and down Hector!! oh yeah!! what can I say, the best day in a long time! Though if you asked Trish and Gerry, who had a bit of a longer Canadian Championships experience than my self, they might have a different view on the day. Though impressive ride by the two with a couple of hours of sleep :)
The dip after was probably the highlight, or maybe the nap later on?? not sure...

Still working on the root cause analysis and will update if I every figure it out, the science of my body and it's response to effort under different circumstances.....

Happy riding all!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Rest day at...

... Rona, lifting 30 by 24 slabs. 3 more to go.
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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

F3 Day 3 - some more...

...sweet single track and brutal climbs with exhilarating downs!
One of the noticeable differences this race year is the high end output I'm able to pull out in the start of a race and yet settle in my own pace and last ok to the end. This was the case day one, two and today. Though with the slightly more crowded trail after only a short time to split riders up, the climb up hyperventilation was a little more reasonable then earlier starts. With a questionable bike my plan was to avoid front shifting to much and ride safe, try to crest first climb in front as I thought it would be it for hard climbing of the day....I stuck with the plan though I was wrong on the only 1 hard climb! We came out roots and started climbing, not too bad, superfast road decent and then got turned on to Eriks trail up! Not too long but steep in the end. After this we road up kids stuff and from there on all new stuff to me. Eventually we started another climb that seem to last forever! Before we popped out on the road and got the pleasure of going down broken derailure and sidewinder to the finish. Such a fun day! A couple of near misses to remind me not to try to be a super woman on the downs, safe it in! Bike held up, zippy ties did the job. Margie Smith had a great day and came in shortly after me with a local Fernie girl and Marg Fedyna riding strong right behind.
Overall Margie got hold of second and Danelle third. Happy to be racing in a field of some very strong riders.
After a quick packing up, some good food and awards it was on the road back to Calgary. Not sure what's next besides some riding locally and enjoy the summer!

Happy riding!

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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Bike fix for dummies...

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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

F3-day 2 a bit of...

...everything both in riding, interesting events and so on...
Day started an hour early today and it was noticeable cooler out, but I lived a bit on the edge and left arm and knee warmers behind :)...good call, it wasn't long before I hit the red zone again and heat naturally produced kept me toasty warm to hot for the rest of the ride. Very similar start to yesterday, hard pace to stay with the lead group, first climb in the top end for most of it and about an hour in I finally started feeling ok. At that point I had left the girls but knowing they are never far behind so no time to get too comfy. The field was stretched out much quicker today and found my self riding solo or with a couple of guys for most of it. It is nice as u can set your own pace and line going down but also tricky with very limited course markings. I found my self stopped many times looking for markers and hoping for people to show to verify I wasn't lost. But lesson learned from other races made me look twice even when riding in group. At one point we lost one guy flying down missing a right turn (which from the sound of it many missed), we tried to call him back but no luck. He missed some sweet single track! Two additional major climbs and of course rewarded with some fun down hill trails made for an all around good day. Ended up flying down the last road to a stopped train and only to be sent back up again. I missed a turn, so after being ready to be done I wasn't to happy a out that. I did the extra little bit only to see people flying down the road just like me and not getting sent up again...oh well, it is what it is and still love riding:) I quickly got over my little burst of negative energy and hope it'll be a better marked and marshaled course tomorrow.
So then bike cleaning. I always spend a little time cleaning bike after a race, makes for a clean bike and gives me the chance to ensure it is all good. Well today I didn't get that assurment I was looking for!
Crack around front deraillure mount and its pretty big. Not too much I can do bout it, but figured a couple of zippie ties will at least make me feel better about it, will see tomorrow....
On the more positive note, ended the day with a nice spin with Mer and dogs to the icecream shop and it was Good!

Happy riding!
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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Day 1 - start and finish

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F3 day 1 - Toby or...

...I? Not sure who is more tired.

40 km should be easy breezy, but I've always found the shorter the harder! Start wad ok until we started climbing, road climb to spread the field before single track, plan worked, I tried hard to be first girl in to single track with took me in redzones I've not been yet this year and yet I had to see Marg fly by with no effort! 40 min in the max didn't seem like a good plan, but when we finally hooked on to the Coal discovery trail the pace slowed down. It quickly became a group as different levels of descending skills. Not easy to pass, but after a bit things spread out. I felt like in Portugal, I knew the girls were right on the tail chasing me down. After coal discovery we climbed up sidewinder (a fun trail to come down). I figured the girls (at least three very strong climbers behind me), would close the gap, I worked hard again to try to crest the climb first into next single track section and earn a little gap again (splitting bears)...only to learn next single track was out. Instead high speed descend on road! So no putting gap on the girls on this, so Hyperventilation had to hurt too, crested it and still not caught and for the first time I thought maybe I can get this stage! it home. And I did, paying for it as we speak but hopefully I wasn't the only one who went full the looks of it Toby went full out also, hanging out by the track watching the start and finish.
No result postings yet, but a couple of minutes on Danelle Kabush, and I think Marg Fedyna third, didn't see Margie but I'm sure she was right there as well.
Tomorrow over to the ski hill side to play in the mud!

Happy Riding!
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

A week of not so much riding..

... and a weekend of a little bit of riding...

Calgary is not disappointing on the watery side! It keeps on raining and I keep cutting the grass (with my push machine I might add).... we got it all down to two times a week, my dream is zero... next year I hope to make it a nice urban rock garden!

So the week after Canmore racing ended up being pretty relaxed. Road to work and home a couple of times and that was it. Another weekend planned for Fernie canceled and Friday I figured I'd had enough of the rain, and went on a road trip to Edmonton, dropped off my bike for some tlc, and drove back.

Saturday happiness came back, with Jon's birthday ride! Jon, Erik, Shawn, Devin and Toby joined in for a day of play around Barrier Lake. The trails was in great shape compared to Chad's visit ride with much hiking in snow. And only a tiny bit of rain in the end, if I was Jon, I'd be very happy with the birthday ride!
Today I woke up not motivated for a day on the road in overcast and possible rain, so I canceled my plan after a mocha and dog park visit, called up Vlad (woke up Vlad also), and headed down to Bragg Creek for some play on the mountain bike again. Heather joined us as well on a last minute call. Toby thought the dog park was a sign of a day in the yard so he was over him self happy to get to jump in the truck once again.
Arrived at Station Flats and some kids race was happening, great to see  kids out on the bikes having a good time. We struggled through some mud to start, some of us more than struggled and tried to swim a bit, quickly realized it didn't work, so a quick stop at the creek to wash up before continuing on my regular little loop of Sulphur spring. Short but awesome to be out on the mountain bike, remembering the fun of riding, forgetting all the rain we've had and just enjoying the fact that we got a ride in with out much of a a drizzle. A quick stop for coffee and back home for some work waiting :(... decided to skip work and go get some food for the week, then got really drenched in the rain, oh well, no big deal. Home for some work, got a little bit in before Vlad and family stopped by for a BBQ. Nothing like two little "tornados" running around :)

Week is looking great for Calgary :) and also for Fernie, so next weekend last call before Furious3.

Happy Riding! (oh gratulerer med kanadisk farsdag!!!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Canmore Race Weekend,

Saturday didn't start until 2:30 so I had plenty of time to get ready and goof around. Katy had suggested we leave at 11:30 to get a pre-ride in, I sort of laughed, but thought sure why not. Though as we woke up to pouring rain and it wasn't about to stop, we decided to push departure and skip pre-ride, no objection from my part.
The rain stopped though as we arrived Canmore, and I don't think it rained at all during the race. It was four laps of some pretty fun trails, though muddy, and some sections got pretty bad into the race. The start didn't feel like last year, but still pretty hard pace off the start, with Catherine Vipond and Pepper ahead of Katy and my self. Pepper on something that looked like a bike, but nothing I'd ever seen before, single speed and caliper breaks and all steel! We lost Pepper when it got to the major climbing and we also lost Catherine though in the other direction. As we started descending I sort of thought maybe pre-ride is a good thing in these short races, as I rode it like a clums and couldn't get any rhythm going. Though besides technically i was riding pretty bad, I felt OK into the 3rd lap, probably finally getting warmed up, pulled in after 4 laps in 2nd place so very happy with that. Katy lost her front break so she fell a little bit behind, but still not far, Trish had a strong day a few minutes behind me and of course Catherine took home the win a few min ahead of me. Good day all in all, and didn't feel too bad after, until I had sad down for supper and trying to get up again!!

Today the weather looked great! After the first lap, on a slightly longer course, including Georgetown climb, my technical ability seem to have come back. I started to trust the bike a bit more and really enjoyed the ride. It took a lap or two for the legs to sort them selves out, but during that time it helped to have Marg Fedyna fly by on the climbs to motivate me to push a bit harder. Somewhere in the beginning of the race, a couple of laps in maybe, a short, but heavy rain fall came through. It made for some pretty slick trail and I lost sight of Marg on the decent. I got comfortable in my own pace, maybe a bit too much so, as out of nowhere came Margie Smith. And she looked strong. This was start of lap five, which in my head I'd decided was my last one, I felt done! So I thought I'd just let her fly up the hill and be happy to be in second. Though, what kind of racer am I? so this other voice in my head took over and said, hang on as long as you can at least! so I did. At the end of the lap I decided to do an attempt on making a small gap to the finish to ensure first in, just in case for some reason we both did not finish a sixth lap. She didn't respond to it, so I crossed first and the clock said 1:11 left, so I had to go out for another. I slowed down and figured I'd be hanging on her wheel again, but I didn't see her coming, and figured I'll just give it what I have (which wasn't much at that point, other than adrenaline from almost being done!). Managed to hold her off and took first, very happy with that, as the few first laps my head was all about quitting, then it was all about 5 laps and that it... so I'm happy I was able to push that extra bit that I haven't been able to do before.

Happy to see lots of people out, and a good representation from the female population! Good weekend put on by the Spin Sisters and CycleMeister (or something like that)....

Now I'm looking forward to a rest day.

Happy Riding!