Friday, March 30, 2012

Less riding and...

... more time for shopping!

So another week and still not much progress on the rib issue. Tried a short ride but it seem counter productive if I am gona have a shot at Watervalley this weekend. So with more time on my hand I cought up on some bike part shopping.
So if I don't ride good at least ill look good, the bike that is. Thanks Craig for showing me the fancies. Starting off with some blue/white theme of small items. Super lightweight too. And new drive train on the way; found a 24/38 kit and crossing fingers it'll work. This will have my Superfly ready in case new rig from Ridley's don't make it in time for Portugal.

Well; from no riding to Watervalley! Ride report to follow; looks like the boys are more excited about the beers at the lunch stop than the ride. Should be a  good turnout.

Happy Riding!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks... Pedrag and I have my coffee maker running again...better than new:)

Happy mocha drinking makes for happy rides...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A lot of eggs..

...some sweet potato fries, spinach and strawberries this this week and weekend. When I find something that I like, and if you've followed this you'll see this meal, with variation of the hot part....

So it shouldn't come as surprise to me but I did get less riding in this weekend, though the week wasn't too bad. I rode to work and put Toby through a couple of rides to get him tuned up for spring and summer! He is loving it of course. Wednesday I went out with Katy and Craig and did our regular type of path loop, around Glenmore reservoir and back up to the city. It wasn't bad, but for some reason the ribs felt very agitated through the ride. Maybe the little ride with Toby in Beaumont single track the night before was a bit hard on it. Either way that it for riding. I figured I'd take a few days off, and Saturday planned a hike with Alana as rib recovery day in hope of a good ride Sunday.

We had a bit of a hard time thinking of a good hike, but ended up doing Exshaw, to see how far off it was from being ridable. It was worse than I thought, we had a hard time making it up as it was pure ice under a bit of snow. I had poles, so my plan of rib recovery was out the window. We poled our self up and coming down we crawled cautiously down. Great little hike though, and hopefully with some good warm weather it'll be ready soon. Part of the lower trail just had the fresh snow, but pure dusty dirt underneath :)

From there we drove in to Canmore, grabbed a refill on our coffin load and headed up to attempt Grotto Canyon, as it was south facing and looked pretty clear. It was definitely better than Exshaw, but also much steeper, and not to grippy, as it was actually muddy and slick in sections. But with the pack back at the car it felt easier on the ribs, so that was a bonus. The views were awesome and Toby was in dogie heaven, getting two hikes in a short period of time. We hiked back down and met up with Suzanne at the Silvertip Golf course were the next few hours were spent, mostly figuring out the bill... oh not us, but the server. He did figure it out in the end. All in all a great day! no work got done, two great hikes, great friends and food...

Sunday I didn't feel so rested, sort of like through the week, if I could figure out a way to sleep standing up it would be great. Guessing I need to have a bit more down time and let the rib heal. So I made a difficult decision to not go ride today. Gabor posted a photo from the ride and obviously missed out on another great group ride :(
I did meet them at Cadence for a coffee though, since my Super Automatic Crazy Machine does NOT work! Alana wasn't too happy to see me in no riding gear, but I hope she forgives me and after the face is very happy she went. They did the "rib crash" loop from last weekend so I know she would have enjoyed it.
In the mean time I got a few things done around the house. So not a wasted day. Toby was out with a lot of girls and girl dogs for a ski so he was happy.

Now plan the next few weeks leading up to Portugal to make sure I can get as ready as possible both training and work. Hopefully back on the bike this week, and I think big things are in the plan for next weekend :)

Happy Riding!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

4 days and....

... 3 pretty good rides, first wipe out of the year and the beginning of my barista future ...
Last day in Canmore was done early enough to get in touch with Craig and get in a city loop on the bike. We road the paths down to Fish Creek and back up along the river. Done this loop a few times and each time im equally impressed and happy to have this in the city i live. After about 80km of riding we decided to visit cafe Rosso...been a while...but as we walked in with huge smiles and with great coffee on our minds the guy tells us its closing :(...attempt 2...purple perks on 4th...pot roast and mashed potatoes sounds great...but nope...they do not have's just a menu teaser ....thouh coke in a real bottle made up for that :)

Friday was running around day. Finally got my bike un wrapped from Spain and dropped off at Ridleys for an awesome tune up...felt a bit wrong not to ride as the weather was so great, but also good to get a few things done.

Saturday was ride one for weekend. Craig, Erik, Shawn and Gary came out. We started a bit earlier which i like; thouh struggled with getting dressed; not used to cold weather. Frosty morning and probably only reached 5; bit i still managed to over dress. First jacket off before we even hit the trails. Road the single track out to the start of paved path to Chocrane. With the cold the trails were pretty perfect, no mud and only a few spots of ice; which Gary seemed to find them all :) The path was clear most of the way besides the overflowed section that will need aomething time to clear. This is were i decided to do my first real wipe out. Managed to find a good soft spot in the snow/ice and bike did an instant stop; not so much me, i kept on going and flew over the bars with all sorts of thoughts flying throuh my head....all ended well after i spent a few min getting my breath back. Pain didnt really show up until the first little hill and I got off the seat to climb, and from there on it gradually appeared little by little. And the amount of bumpy trail we did, going north to big spring didnt help to much. But I figured today will be less sore than tomorrow so might as well get it all in! As we hit the asphalt heading back east to Calgary I felt the pace; either i was tired or the boys were racing up the hills. Had to let them go on the longer one; Craig was nice enough to drop off with me; the wind that was called for from the East was apparent now. Got back in the group and the pace eventually became more manageable and I made it home in one. Great day and ended it with a great lunch at Cadence.

Sunday ride was in the air after a bit of a long night trying to figure out sleep without moving. But as i got up and on two legs moving around things felt better, took Toby for a quick spin to test it all out and figured id be good for a smooth path ride. Craig, Cesar, Devon and I did a repeat of Thursday. But to top it off; Coffee Rosso was open! Great ride again and as impressed with the path system as always.

Also did a second visit to Rosso to pick up my new bed time reading....still working out my barista skills and now there is no stopping me. Had ny first behind the counter class with the real thing and soon ill be making birds and other fine art in my mochas !

Perfect weekend!

Happy Riding!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Work sessions.... Canmore this week. Due to the great snow fall the dog sled ride team building event got canceled as road up was closed. Well that left a couple of hours open before dinner as no one seem to like bowling on this crew. Lucky to get bike out, limited options of ride so did the road i know; up passed nordic centre to the top.....the road that was closed earlier. Totally cleaned and perfect for a climb up, little sketchy down. Stopped at the bike shop and secured some ccc coffee supply.

Two great evenings witb great people, but im happy to throw in the towel tonight a bit earlier. I must be one of the youngest here so pondering on this; how come i cant keep up? They even beat me to breakfast. Well alarm set and no excuses tomorrow.

One more day and long weekend on the off work agenda!

Happy riding ....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

First ride...

...since returning from Spain! This week went by very quick with a bit of a scare early on with a good snow storm (sort of)....but with one day of wind and heat it all left us and today was prime conditions for a group ride.
The biggest turn out yet this year! No drop ride was the plan and that does bring out more people which is great. I didnt count but 15 +- im sure. We had a little social before starting with stories from Spain. And one reflection from the trip was how laid back the people are and so respectful to everyone that is out. As a lost tourist in trafic circles or a rider on a narrow road; they just take their time and give you space, seems to not even face that someone made a mistake or are in their way.
Here in Calgary on the other it only took a little bit onto our ride and we are honked at for riding our bikes; not the friendly kind of honk. And later driving downtown folks are so busy and rushed and they all think they are the only once with an agenda so everyone else better get out of their much angry unnecessary energy; why is that driven into our culture? We live once and spend so much of our time worry and upset about others action. I try to just smile and go on with a happy day!
And our ride; despite a few honks were just that; happy ride! We rode to chocrane as a group but today i had broken my rule of scheduling things in too soon after a ride and had to leave them there and ride home without a real lunch stop. Thouh i did get a nice Mocha in first:)
Cesar and I rode a bit of the Glenbow park then up and out and finished on the highway.

Well in summary; great March Saturday ride with great turnout and hopefully many more to come!

Happy riding!

Back home.... this!
The coffee maker arrived and it works good; me not so good yet but im learning and now that the good bean has arrived (real CCC beans) I have very high expectations to the next cup!

Good coffee required for Happy Riding!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Stage 5 ...

...and the last day! Shorter but not easy. Most of us are now juat getting through on lots of adrenaline.

Short neutral today and again pretty easy pace. But as soon as we hit the gravel the race was on. The leader team in our category looked strong so i pretended to look strong too; but was very empty. I could only hope that it was the case for them too. I kept watching the km; 47 was the number but it went by very slow. The first climbs (not major) are sort of a blur; im not even sure i remember if we rode with them that stretch or if we came together later. I think it was shortly after a feed we eventually managed to get a gap. Craig had got a head a little bit to stop and i went right through. And got a bit of a head start on some great single track down hill. I manage to sneak by a bit slower rider and Craig with the leads got stuck behind. Craig wasn't worried as he would catch me after. When we hit the bottom we quickly hit a good climb. The three of them had to work pretty hard to close the gap and Craig was able to catch me just in time to grab my bike and me to run (more like crawl) up. This gave us a gap and we held this gap for a while. Up one of the major climbs; a beautiful vally in the mountains, very steep and with the side slopes so steep i tried to avoid looking down. Neat.
Then some more (shorter sections) of fun down until the last major climb of the day (500m over the next 4, so i knew it would hurt). I looked back as we start but figured we had left them behind for good; though not too far in a womens team we normally don't see pass. And about half way up they are all of a sudden on our wheel. We ride their pace; Craig thought it was like a Sunday group ride, while im giving almost all i have or wait, all i didnt have. I thinking if we can push just a bit harder we can get a gap back and if we can hold it to the top we should be ok. So I dig a bit deeper so Craig can get to race again. She says something to her partner but since I my Spanish is as good as my legs at that moment i just translate it to what i wanna hear "i cant do it". So I don't look back and keep legs moving, we catch up with the swiss girls again. We finally crest the climb and im still alive! The down would have been heavenly but with the rain (oh yeah, it was cooler and bit of rain today), it was very slick so I settled in a safe pace behind two guys and one of the girls. We again got to ride through this amazing towns small street and happy to reach the finish with another stage win!

This week could have started better, but that is stage racing. It is on from the start to the end; things can happen that can change the standing very quickly. We got over our little mishap and raced a great race rest of the week. Craig has been an amazing partner and definitly helped me race to my limits every day.
The Andaluciabikerace in its second year only is definitly one to put on your calendar. Very well organized with some great riders which makes for a very competitive event. The course each day was well put together with a good mix or road and surprisingly good single track! And timing; February racing in the sun!

Thanks to everyone that have followed and sent their support through the week.

Thanks to Ridleys for getting the bike tuned and ready on a very short notice; it survived but be prepared for what is coming back!

Now rest day in Madrid next, then home and back to the real life.

Happy riding!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Stage 4 (day 5) ....

...must have been one of the hardest days on a bike. The double 26-39 is great but when legs are this dead im pushing the shifter in hope that a few gears magically appears....never happend.

Still gate 5 for us but with a bit late arrival our gate riders had moved up to 4 already so we snuck in there . The neutral was not as hard as normal, maybe more legs are tired. We road for about 20km in a pretty good pace and when the first climb came i figured it would slow down but it was a sprint up the mountain. Well at least if felt like it for me as we probably moved in a crawling pace up. The first climb took us 40km into the race and up 1100m. I tried to hang on but eventually had to ask Craig to throw in the towle. It later showed it might have been a good move as for some the pace probably was to hard to sustain. My break was mentally killing me to with its squeaky sound all day. Craig wanted me to forget about it, but i left my airplugs at the hotel so it was hard. Though further into the race the dry chain took over with a louder noice and then it was all good in my head. Every climb was rewarded with some great fun downhill for a little bit and some long. But there was always amother climb on the bottom. Tough but easier on the head when they were nice single track climbs which we had some good once. At 68 km mark we entered the last big climb of 500m over 4 was hard. But totally helped to see the green leaders up front. Put in a little extra effort mostly mental effort bike still went the same steady slow pace up. But it was good enough to pass them and leave them quickly. I didnt look back to much, I was just happy the day wasn't just feeling hard for me. At the top we had some more awesome down. At the bottom we hang on to a guy and we all took a wrong turn, not just wrong but it was like a wall steep climb! Not sure how long but probably a few minutes up a whole bunch of folks came riding down yelling wrong way! Leader women's team as well. So we turned. I wasn't sure if it was enough lost time for mix lead to have passed us but Craig thought no. We road in through the city which was cool; all the streets was closed one way for us, creating a bit of chaos but fun to see. Finally finish line and another stage win, with the leaders just behind! Hard earned!
Had a massage, some food and waiting for dinner. Tomorrow last stage is "only" 59.7 km but with 2151 m of climbing! I look forward to km 47, from there and in it should be all smiles!

Happy riding (even when its hard as h...)