Saturday, April 30, 2011

TP Day 1

I was gona cheat and say see Eriks blog, but since I got a few minutes with my legs on the wall I'll do a quick overview of my day, though the day was all but quick.
Had a great breakfast and felt pretty rested, I did steal a bun with cheese after much back and forth in my head. Some other boys was already in trouble with the very strict server. I only took one small bun and felt bad for about one minute, and great at halfway point when I had my little treat.
Women under 40 and some older men had start time at 811am. I got my bag down and as I was walking I hear my cleat screw bouncing. It came off at the perfect time, easy fix. Got my bike and road the parking lot in a little bit of rain until the start. Only my self and one other girl showed up, I guess the other decided to go with the masses.
Start felt good, did my own pace and the first hill felt good. Only 132 km left! To short it up the body felt good, hills feel a bit heavier with the 29er, just don't have the spin gear so I'd push them a bit harder but try to pace my self. The weather was on the cooler side with some light to superheavy shower on and off which should suit me better than the 30s and sun! I was a bit concerned about my gps and my phone which both can lead to penalties if not used right. The phone I didn't turn on until I was just started and then it asked for pin, so it was on but I didn't have the pin for this pay as you go Portuguese phone but the rule was to have it on and that it was. Secondly we have to use record the track as we go but I didn't see that happening, so I could have ridden 142 km and got it counted for nothing. But it turns out my color was the same as the track so all good. Both those issues was quickly forgotten around 25 km. 4 big locally bread hurding dogs came running and barking at me, and one of them got my leg pretty good. I road as fast as I could to get away and when they gave up I had a look at the damage. It didn't seem too bad, not much blood. Checked in once in a while and it change a few colors but seemed ok to ride the race. We road through some amazing places, all sorts of terrain, we had all sorts of weather, I had a dead gps at cp1 (fixed with spare batteries), a few meters from lighting strike, roman cobble climbs, nice cafe stop for juice and pee break in one of the many old towns, lubed my chain 3 times, I think we agreed that there was indeed less poop puddles than AB, so all in all a lot of experience for the bucks! I truly enjoyed the day, could have done without the hospital visit and four stitches but that's part of the game sometimes. I will try agIn tomorrow but it'll be hard to top this one, after a quick check in with the race doc.
Craig, Jon and Erik all seemed to have enjoyed today's ride with some good stories to share as well.

110 km
2892 m elevation
group start 10am
My start not sure yet, but around 920 they say

Time to get some sleep! Oh Eriks blog...

Happy racing!

kate aardal
Sent from my iPad

Friday, April 29, 2011

TP getting to day 0..

...was little bit less than great, after a long bus ride we arrived in the Northern part of Portugal and again its passed midnight before we get to bed. But happy to be here and to get going with the race tomorrow.
Today we started at 815 and I just finishes getting ready almost 2200. Long day with no stop, from meals to bike build and various orientations. We managed to get a quick spin through the town we are in, the only time the sun didn't shine and it actually showered pretty good. Cute little town though, we did a quick ride up to a castle and then the very first (tiny first) part of the course. The cobble stone riding takes a bit getting used to, specially when raining and probably will see some of it as we pedal through the small towns. Tomorrow include some Roman cobble stone marked technical in our race briefing.

My Start 811am
Main group start 900am
Distance 142 km
Climbing 3842 m

Big day! And us girls are sent out as bait so we will see how long it takes before the big group eats us up!
Oh the girls also have to carry a gps tracking device so some of us will be tractable live on their website. There is a link on the right side of my blog.

Happy racing!

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Love the cobble stone...

...but the sandals had to go..
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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

First impressions...

...of Portugal.
Arrived at the airport on time and with it being one hour earlier I felt good that it wasn't passed midnight yet. Got my luggage after a long while and then tried to find my pickup. No sight of TP officials so I went to Torisimo counter, but they only seemed annoyed with tourists and their questions about big cabs for bikes. Told me to see the Police, so I did, a little hesitant since the group of three all had guns and didn't look too happy about working nightshift. But after a bit of language confusion we agreed that I go in the Taxi line up, a very long one. I parked the bikebox at the "finish line" which was not in agreement with the older cart man, so out of the line, get the box and wiggle it in through to the back of the line again. When it finally was my turn after 30 min or so, the younger policeman came over. We moved the box back to were I had left it, to the annoyance of the cart man, and waited for a large enough taxi. The police guy told me he rode with the guy in charge of TP and wanted to the race next year. Just as he for me a large cab the TP official showed up..ha ha now I'd annoyed the tourist guy, the cart man and a cab driver, thankfully the guy with a gun was smiling and wished me luck.
We drove to the hotel and my luck continued, no rooms and my name not on any reservations..hmm well after a long Portuguese conversation I did not understand I all off a sudden was on the list and had a bed to sleep in. It was now way passed midnight, I wasn't sure how time went by so quick.
Today I got up, figured I'd shower quick before breakfast. Took me about 15 min to figure the shower out and when done I had a been "hit" by the flying showerhead and flooded the floor. Maybe I should have pulled the line from the ceiling marked SOS. Good thing I fuel on these kinda of experiences :)
Today I'm trying to cover Lisboa, so what better way than the subway system. I got a map and walked my way to the subway, I then learned why time went so quick. It was one hour earlier than my watch. Guess I didn't complete pushing the buttons when I set it at the airport last night. Well it felt like I earned yet another hour, great, I should use this trick more often.
I took the subway to the far end on the blue line to have a walk at the waterfront, though the map didn't say it was covered in construction work and fences and barricades block the water view. Or mention. That u get offered sunglasses and small bags of green herbs as u exit the subway! 1 hour walk along and still just fences. I'll walk a bit further in the hope of some water and then subway to next stop and see what it brings.
Beautiful day, 24 and sunny!

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Up and away.. turning back!

Have to update on Norway trip later, but sadly ended today. And the airport security took my hotdog stick:(
that was my race advantage for food! Oh well..
Kids and family were great, hope it will be shorter between visits..

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

Destination Trysil...

...and family time. Bike built and time to relax with some card games..
No snow so a ride tomorrow looks promising..
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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

The one important stop..

...and amazingly I manage to come out with only that..Solo and Polse I Brod...after a few years away from home I saw lots of goodies I need to catch up on but prior to a 9 day race I probably should think twice....ok so next stop Trysil..
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Home again...

...almost there..found car and keys and had to repack a bit but soon on my way to Trysil..well one stop..
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Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ready, set....

...Fly!... First part of trip started.. London next..for some food and body stretch..
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lots of city paths,

Soon I'll be able to ride in my blind to and from work, as every ride I'm doing these days seem to at least include those paths!
Toby and Sequoia enjoying the snow!
Saturday I had a bit of a late start as I couldn't decide on a big hike and no ride, or a short hike and a ride...
I ended up going with the second option and took the dogs to Bragg Creek for a snowshoe loop hike. It was perfect, the dogs did great and got a good run in and shouldn't be too upset with me leaving them for a ride.
I didn't mentioned it snowed the whole time, and still when I got home, seem to be the norm.

Back home I'd hope to find someone to ride with but team Portugal seem to have other plans this weekend. Craig was working, John wanted to go hard but not sure if he went out, and Erik is getting older this weekend so had to watch his health and opted for massage :) (gratulerer med dagen gamle man!). So I was on my own again, and it took me until 2pm before I got my mind in the right place and got my bike gear on. I decided to do similar ride from last Saturday but only city part of it, using my GPS as a guide and for practise to Portugal.
My missing pump!
I rode through Bowness and when going under Bowness under path I heard this weird sound from the rear wheel, but I also had my music playing so didn't really know what it was and didn't really care since the bike seem to work fine. Got to downtown and since I didn't really eat lunch, I was hungry already, I got in my back pocket and NO! my Favorite pump is gone! Oh, the sound, right on, now I just had to hope that it would still be there when I go back home.
Navigation didn't really start until I had to get off the Little Elbow path, but from there I got some good practise and starting to figure out this GPS on the bike deal. Though I also got some local help, when some dude rode up from behind, and it was Ryan! Great, another group ride, beats riding by your self any day. Ryan rode with me down to Fish Creek entry and through Fish Creek to Macloud and from there I basically remembered the trail, so the navigation training was so so. Thought I'd stop for coffee at Rosso, but when I looked at the time it was too late, and my plan was also to get a massage in!! I stopped downtown for a quick call to ensure that would still work out, nice! And look, my lucky day, a few hours later and nobody took it, snow is good for some things, like hiding my pump!

Not bad, almost 100 km or cleaned (for the most part) paths! Made it home for a quick cleanup, stop at Subway for dinner and off for a massage.

No better Mocha!
Today started like the last few mornings, a bit slow. Dogs were not as lucky today, but had a good dog park visit instead. We ran some errands and hopefully I have all I need for Portugal, still looking for a good seat pouch but duck tape will fix my old one. Managed to get motivated by 1pm today, got on my cross bike, still covered in dirt and ice from yesterday. I rode the well known city paths again! down to Cafe Rosso, for the best Mocha in Calgary! Rode in a easy pace back home...worked on the house and my bike. Got some new tires put on, sealed and all, looks brand new again after it's dirty venture on Friday!

Pretty much ready!

So all in all the weekend turned out pretty good, I've learned that the weather only makes it hard to get out, but as soon as you're out the ride is as good as any, well any other path ride...and mountains will be ready sooner or later.
Steve sent me some Portuguese words that will be good to know, I got some last supplies, have three more days to ride a little, pack up for trip, then a few days in Norway to tune the bike and play with family and rest up the shoulder/back.... I think I'm as ready as I can be this time a year.

Happy riding!

Friday, April 15, 2011

From good week to ...

... shitty! I got a great first training week after rest week, then this week I hoped I'd do another good effort. But it got cool and my shoulder/back was in bad shape. Though I had to try my new ride, so Wednesday I took him to work with me! Spoiled I'd say. Different feel to it, would be nice to get a mtb ride in to really try it, but with the snow and less than optimum body it just didn't seem to be happening this week.... until today, well an attempt. After work I felt I really hadn't done any riding this week, and Portugal is coming up soon. I eventually managed to get out of the couch and on the bike. Took a chance on the Bowness trails to try some short steep climbs to test the bike. Hmmm now I really mucked it up! It was messy, so ended up back down on the path with a very dirty bike :( On the Bowriver path I see this geeky looking rider, with some flashy pants on, though the helmet looked familiar? It was Scott on his bike ripping in an hour before heading on vacation tomorrow. So I had a partner for a city ride, nice, hadn't seen him all winter so good to catch up, Nina and him are traveling two weeks in Italy, good timing!   The bike and are starting to feel it, but this weekend I'll put on some different tires as the stock once feel a bit knobby. I also left the fork way too soft so need to play with it a bit, still need to get a mtb ride in, the paths just doesn't give the right feel.
Forecast is snow flurries all weekend, and group rides seem to be non-existent, so need to build my own motivation and get out.... planing on path ride tomorrow again after dog duties.

happy riding!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The tool for Portugal..

....not quiet set up right yet, but here it is. The machine I'll bring to Portugal that hopefully will become my new best friend very quickly.
Thanks to Hardcore Bikes for helping me out and getting it built so quickly.
Didn't get out on a ride yet, beside one loop around the block with Toby, who is a wild dog after! Think he was more into it than me today, ready for more. It definitly rides different but will get to test more when I'm ridable again. Today I drove around trying to find a massage therapist, without luck. Jen, my regular is away and it is a bad time to be away. My shoulder and back area is doing something funky, which is nothing new after longer rides, but I don't have much time to let it rest so a little extra help is required. I have 1 and a half week to get in the last effort of training and fitness before I fly off to see family and hopefully rest up a bit, then 9 days in the saddle exploring all through Portugal.

happy riding.... :)

Sunday Water Valley ride....

...2011, and here is a link from 2009 which I didn't ride but Erik is better at referencing places, for me it's all the same, road, another road, some farms and some more road.....
Here is a shot of the ride, we rolled for 8hrs and 29 minutes.

There was six of use that left Cadence shortly after 9AM. To my disappointment Erik was not one of the six, my plan B for the day was to join him on the short loop if I had to fall off, as he had some other commitments for the day. So as we left Bowness and headed north I was trying to come up with a new plan B, and the best I could come up with was to finish the full route, the B would just mean alone. On our way out we met Dallas who was joining the ride also, up until that point I enjoyed the fact that the pace was manageable and quiet enjoyable, and it actually stayed that way all the way to Water Valley Saloon, about 3 plus hours in (must add I wasn't the pace setter, but comfortably sitting behind). The pace turned around at the saloon, were the few orders we had took a long long time! We filled up on drinks and headed out again.
A second group ride on bike also had a pit stop.
 At this point Dallas turned to home duties and took short way back, I thought a bit about joining him as my shoulder was in bad shape, but then who am I kidding, hanging on to Dallas on his sprint to make it home in time for cooking duties... hmmm not so much. So long loop it was. Now it ride was just pedal and pedal some more. Just like any long ride it sort of becomes a blur for me. I'm not sure how people remember so many details about places they go, all I remember is quiet time, just me and my bike, with no worries in the world. We did some great climbing up to a point just before hgwy 40, which I do recall as it rewarded us with some fun fun downhill, nice wet soft sections that made it extra fun on the corners. On the bottom we regrouped and then back to pedaling... and it felt like we were going up a lot, so I lost a few of the guys and figured this is looking like plan B. But we regrouped again and everyone seem to be ok with keeping the group together, and that made me happy, I probably would still be out there pedaling if I had to go to plan B.
Besides for the shoulder issue, I hadn't really hit a low point, I just didn't have the power to go any faster up hill than I did, but I was enjoying the ride, then at about 160 or so km, I really thought this is it. I was ready to be done, and was happy when someone had agreed that we were taking the shortest way home, whatever that meant. Then we got to a stop and some discussion around a "wild cat hills" came up. Very timely since I was sure I had zero left in the legs. Craig made the selling point "when will you ever get to do such awesome climb when you're this tired??" and Keith who had suffered the last little while took off, in the direction of the hills! So off we went, and what an awesome hill to ride when you're at your lowest, I thought I had to come off the bike at one point, but manage to use my weight to get the pedal to go down, and somehow managed to get up, and all of a sudden I felt a little more energized, just by the fact that we did the climb, completing the ride the way it should be completed. So thanks Craig! We all appreciated that after the fact.
We stopped in Cochrane for some drinks and fuel, and again I had to let the boys go on the climb out of the town, but made it up and from there its just a breeze. Since I moved to Calgary I've not been so happy to see COP, it looked so great in the distance, still enough snow to ski on.
When I got to my house I felt the best I have in a long time, it reminded me why I love this, it's that feeling.
Looking forward to next year!

happy riding,

The troop, still having fun.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Calgary south... ramping up..

... to Sunday, the Portugal Gang decided to explore the south country of Calgary. We rode some great city path ways all the way down to 22X pretty much. I'm trying to pick up on where we go, but I'm sure I'll have to ride them a few more times before guiding anyone along. Super day for a ride though. Craig and I drove down to Erik's place and had a quick look at his new spot, which looks great, impressed with his interior decorative skills, I should have him over here for some tips.... Two other Dead Goats joined us for the first bit of the ride. I quiet enjoyed the pace, nice and flat and perfect for getting ready for tomorrow. Then we got out of the city and the flat pathways ended, and was replaced with some pretty cool farmers roads. Nice and windy, up and down, and not to forget , Dry! It was a bit more leg work that I had hoped but I did my own thing, while Erik got some kicks of intervals in, don't even think I have the kick if I tried. On our way in to the city we had a short little stop in Fish Creek while Craig fixed the first flat I've experienced on these group rides. Some pedestrians were quiet concerned and felt very bad for us, like it was the end of our happy ride. We ended up at a great sandwich place, but like with the name of anything, I can't remember. It's a hidden little spot not far from my work and it was very tasty.
By the time I got home I must admit I was a little bit concerned about tomorrow.... legs are feeling the riding the last week and tomorrow is the big day, biggest single day in my cycling life.

happy riding....

 GPS and I are figuring things out... handy to be able to take a few pictures with it....

Friday, April 08, 2011

Weekend warm-up ride,

So this week I actually got some riding in. I started off with easy ride to and from work Monday, and now that the weather is good the other "breed" of cyclist are showing up on the path in the moring, which I've had on my own the few times I rode in over the winter. So easy it's not easy to do when you are being passed by the commuters! Tuesday I road to and from with the plan to do a longer loop home, but I felt tired so road hard in a good pace, and then rested up. Wendsday I rode in and on my way home I joined up with Alana and got my longer loop in. Thursday I rested up for a good weekend of riding.

So today, day after restday I needed to get my legs moving again, so the Porugal Gang set out for a weekend warm-up ride. Craig, John and Erik was meeting at a church in West Hills, so I figured I'll ride there using my GPS to get some practise for Portugal as there will be no course markings so I better know how to follow a map. I used my little mapping tool and drew out a track to get to West Hills, from there I figured there wouldn't be too many churches so I'll find them. But the GPS and I never made friends on this ride. I got sent home and then west and in all directions until I recongniced the spot I had met Alana once and from there I sort of new how to get to West Hills. I was already late, but figured I'll try, but I'll take the road. I got to West Hills, went to the only church I new as it has a big tower on it. But no boys, I figured I missed them so started my own ride, when I saw John and Erik riding down. Sometimes being late pays off!
I thought I had a bad start until John told me his story...he was on borrowed shoes, drink and pedals, and with two right hand gloves...

We ended up finding Craig and had a nice touring ride towards the Bow river. Nice pace until I let the boy play boys up the hill coming back out.

Tomorrow a little bigger ride to ramp up to the big day on Sunday.

Happy riding!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

weekend of celebration..

...of old age and more snow!

But it didn't slow us down too much.

Friday I picked up Mer at the airport and went to the regular red's breakfast place, I'm starting to think I really need to explore different breakfast places around the city, but this one is safe. Made it home in time to join the noon ride that Alana put on. The weather wasn't as great as we expected but we got in two hours, but to Jeff's disappointment we never made it to the coffee shop in Cochrane.
Enjoyed a good movie, and even better ice cream after. The weather had start turning at that point so I figured Saturday ride was probably not in the plan.
And that was the view from my car Saturday morning on our way to Tim's birthday breakfast. So the day was spend running around after a little trip to the dog park. Enjoyed a great dinner and evening at home. Mer made my favorite beef salad and of course some more ice cream. Another movie, but this time not as successfully as Friday.

Sunday was airport drop off then attempt to get some exercise after a lay low week. I was out of luck until I figured I'll see if anyone is doing group ride, sent Erik a message and sure enough, he was on his way out for a solo, and now we all of a sudden had a group ride! Yay, that beats getting gators out to go snow hike the mountains!
Since the focus of my training these days is Portugal, I brought the newly addition to the gear, my Oregon550, the GPS recommended to use for the race. Besides "loosing" the map, and not figuring out how to stop the timer I think I'm getting the hang of it. It's a bit hard to read off when in shade, but there should be some setting on it to fix that. And the symbols for peach trees is of course missing, but according to Erik will be a treat in Portugal. The cool camera feature works well too, I just twist it up and click, and a picture... and not too bad quality I'd say.

Awesome day to be out, mostly clear roads, but a little bit of this.....

A little snack in Cochrane. Erik posing for a little camera test...

Happy it wasn't too much of this, but at least we made it up on first attempt...better drive in our engines than a good old minivan which needed three attempts!!

this is what you get if you forget to twist the GPS unit up....
The ride definitely made my day, as I had pretty much discounted the day and classified as another rest day. And it couldn't have been much better of a day for a ride.

So all in all a great birthday weekend, and now I don't have to worry about getting older for anther year :)
Just dropped a load of cloths, drinks and lunches at work so plan to take advantage of the weather this week and ride to work everyday. I have 3 more weeks to ride my self in the kind of shape that will let me survive 9 days of pedaling through Portugal.

Happy riding!