Thursday, February 28, 2013

ABR 2013 - Day 5 race due to weather today.

A little disappointed but with snow up heigh it was decided to not have the race go today. It was pretty rainy at around start time as well, though with Erik's shower cap trick and clothing choices I think Jon and I were pretty ready for the day. Rather then undress Jon and I took a short spin, rode the course until it started climbing too much. It was a little wet ground, enough to need another bike wash. Headed to town and had a good lunch and cleaned bikes. Now resting up for the last day tomorrow. No update yet from organizer what the course will be like. The plan is a 45 km time trial. Hopefully the body doesn't go into "done racing" mode after today, but the short spin and massage should help.

Not totally the weather I had hoped for when traveling for a race but that is always a risk. Can't always luck out with dry warm Spain. Signed up for NIMBY 50 today to make up for a day lost here.

Happy Riding!

ABR 2013 - Day 4

... Suppose to be the biggest day of the 6, but due to weather 500m of climbing was off the course. Not that the 2500m over 64 or so km wouldn't be enough.
The day started with a bus ride to a town about 50 min out. It was super windy and with early arrival we jammed in to a bar and enjoyed a coffee. My cloths and bag still smell like smoke....

It felt like a big day. The start was quickly spread out as it went right down and out of town and then up a hill. This made for more room which was good. We climbed some really steep gravel and it spread it even more. From there and up the first major climb we rode with the Wales team. They set a pretty good pace. It went up to snow and mud and more mud. The winter rides are paying off. At feed two we stop to grab our bottle and lost track of them after leaving them on the partly icy decent. We assumed they were still behind. After this some more steady (seemed down or flat) climbing, felt very slow. We eventually were rewarded with some great single track in the trees, didn't last too long but enough to make me smile and forget how frozen my feet were.

We got to the end and started a road climb up, learned quickly that the last 5 included one more big climb. Ouch. Got to Finish and see the Wales team, they had snuck by quietly and took third. Second team only a few before them and us a couple minutes back. Should be possible to beat but both teams riding very strong.

Shawn's partner dropped at feed 1 so a quick ride with Shawn as he rode up and out of the little town, didnt see him until the finish. Cindy and Erik had lots of photos and still smiling.

Quick bus ride back to hotel. Two more stages, both in Jaen.

Happy Riding!

ABR 2013 - Day 3

... Felt like lots of roads today. First a drive to Priego de Cordoba. Very nice drive. We parked on a small street and when race ended we had a beemer right in our Butt.....

Most of the climbing were done on double track dirt or asphalt road, with a few pretty cool descents that unfortunately were congested with most of the fit guys passing on the climbs but lacked the skills to go down. We rode a few minutes with Shawn who's partner is having some trouble with hurting ribs. Shawn claimed to still have dry feet. Won the sprint finish against a former world champion, slow motion sprint. After just loosing the last decent to the team from Wales. Great riders, and fun to ride with. One more flat today and Jon is now on UST.

Loaded bikes in dirty and tried to make it to Jaen before the rush....few navigation issues but found hotel eventually, after quick bike wash and just in time for massage, dinner and bed.

Tomorrow its off with bus to start of stage 4.

Happy Riding !

Monday, February 25, 2013

ABR 2013 - Day 2

...looked much like last years day 3. Next to no road and some more single track.

Great trails but with almost 700 riders it was a very slow go to start and even into the day. We road everything from dirt, gravel, boulders, mud and even a little slick rock. If it wasn't so congested it would have been a wicked day of riding, but ended up hiking parts. Great to see family out again after the first climb of the day. Smiles and cheers go a long way :)

We did ok though, strong mixed teams and got to race to the finish with a team from wales. We lost it but happy with the effort. Looking at the split times for today we seem to be the furthest back team and them move up slowly through the day. Might need to take more risk and be more aggressive in the neutral part of the race.

Better massage today but legs are sore, forgot how much we climb and we have only warmed up. Tomorrow we drive to the start and do a loop of 66km and a bit over 2000m and then off to Jaen.

The others; Cindy and Erik are having a good time (minus stitches), they even so a slide show over dinner, smiles in every shot. Shawn's partner crashed and hurt some ribs so hopefully it's not a game stopper for tomorrow and on.

Happy Riding!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

ABR 2013 - Day 1

...was definitely harder than last year. The course was similar to day 2 or 3 but very wet.

The prologue through the city was as crazy and longer it felt; some narrow streets, some side walks, big streets and obstacles here and there and 670 riders it was pretty fun. Made it from dead last (mix got the honour of start gate 7) to a pretty ok position by the time the race was official but most important than position we did it safely. Saw Shawn and Scott for a short bit until they blew by us on the road climb.
It felt pretty good and I think Jon and I had a pretty good position with only the world champ team which I have yet to even have seen in front of us. After the first major climb we got back down to the river after some hike a bike down a river ravine, from there we hung on some big Norwegian guy and a group that held great pace. Though with a group it's not always easy to pick your line and as we flew through a puddle a rock pinched Jon's front and off the train we were. We obviously didn't have a huge lead as it was early in race so several team flew buy. Got a tube in and on our way. Hard to see people in front you worked so hard climbing to stay ahead and now you gotta do the same over again.
Went through feed 1 with no needs. Got some great cheers as we started climbing again; family been waiting for a while. Thanks for cheering, cleaning of bikes and some photos to share.

From there to feed 2 there is a lot of up and down and great trail. It felt long to feed to where we would need to stock up on drink and some tubes and co2. My garmin I forgot to turn on and so it was no good, just had to ride until it showed up. We stopped reloaded and after this it went a bit tougher. We made it to the finish with no mixed teams passing and no more flats so that's a bonus and 4th is totally ok with a very strong field. 335 total time and not to far to second or third. First spot is a bit of a class difference :)

Tomorrow similar day; bit longer and bit more elevation.

Happy Riding!

ABR 2013 - Day 0

... and start of Day 1.

Registration and prep went smooth. Met up with the rest of the Calgary folks including Jon. After registration Jon and I did a spin up the hill, backwards up our last decent for today. Little road ride and came back down again. Dinner with family and everyone at a busy Italian place.
This morning; last minute bike prep and gear box fill.
67 km and not too much elevation. Start as last year down in town. Chilly morning but sunny, high of around 10 or so today. Should be good for us.

Happy Riding!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Race food...

...done right ...

Malaga 2013...

... visit with family.

So a bit late I arrived in La Calla de Mijas. Full house with dad, sister and brother including significant others and kids.

Weather was so so but we still had a chance to enjoy some sunshine. Great hike up to an old quarry one day; believe we hike right up a downhill mtb trail so we got to watch a few riders come down. Andre, Erik and I got to explore the same area on bikes one day as we joined a guided ride up the mountains. Great ride but 2 hr ride time turned into a 5 hr outing after a few flats and a lunch. Tire shopping required.
Had a longer adventure getting home in the dark one day, and easy around the area ride another; so a few good rides before heading back into the country and Cordoba. Few last minute errands and relax today and departure in morning.

Happy Riding!

Madrid visit...

...before the drive to the coast.

Thanks to Ignacio and Isabel! Great tour of Madrid and a quick bike build and spin the next morning through Madrid rush hour.

Next it was off to Malaga.

Happy Riding!

Monday, February 18, 2013


... KLM got right...

My kit to Amsterdam included a few essentials and yes; those are slip free compression socks....i think they get me ... Inprinted in their cups are what they know best and even with all delays and issues it made me smile... And to top it off; as the wheels touched down on the runway i look out and see a group that probably, just a few moments earlier, met at their favorite coffee shop, ah and now they have  the whole day of an adventure (minus the ice). And a few strange looks while taking a photo of a plastic cup; though the guys riding along the airport rode would probably get it.

Happy Riding!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Second try...

... on a great vacation slash race trip.

Beautiful view of Calgary after 3 hrs getting to the gate. Got a seat at least to Amsterdam  :)

Second day of vacation got me part of a group ride, possible one last ride across the bearspaw dam.

Boarding time...

Happy riding.....anywhere

Friday, February 15, 2013

The start...

...of 2013 Feb vacation and race combo....

Such a great start; checked in last night and was offered a 80% discounted upgrade! Thank u KLM.
Then checking luggage; no need to weigh it so no fee (i weighed it at home...saved my upgrade fee right there)... Such luck... But cant last forever...

Next a broken down security scanner, now a failed Hydraulic pump of the plane at gate 44, my flight and next to a smell that Ive been fighting the last hour. I think Im caving in, but how to choose between 10 sorts?

Guess its good to get all technical issues off my plate early and how can I be bothered by anything at this point; all i have to do for the next two weeks is ride my bike, hang out with family and friends then race.

Next update 45 min...

Think ill get a little mixture of the 12.....

Happy Riding....Madrid next I hope.

Last ride...

... on Canadian soil (concrete).

Jamming in a "Shawn quintessential compu session" before heading to airport. Not sure how I got it all in today. But so far morning Toby walk, packing, visit to Bow (thanks bob for helping out), house cleaning and now trainer a few minutes behind schedule after bolt on trainer came off (again)... Quick massage (thanks Heather) and off i am to join Jon in Spain. Leaving work and life behind :) that if airline dont mind my overload. Little adjustment to bag after checking weather.

Happy Riding!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Last weekend ...

.... before departure to Spain.

Since work had me in Calgary this week, i was able to get a week ride in as well. Took the big bike and Toby up Tuscany ravines. Felt big bike! Who thought I'd miss my cross bike on single track and ice.

Saturday we ended up doing a similar ride to previous weekend. Shawn was clear in his wants; no less than 4 hrs and lots of pedaling. I was hoping for hard but shorter. In the end we got a pretty good long ride. Going through the valley after our awesome lunch stop was a great choice. With the blue sky and the little bit of snow cover. Beautiful. I love this route.
Legs had a great hard effort and little got done after ride.

Sunday I started thinking I should solo ride it to get a short ride and time to pack bike and get it ready for race. But too hard to turn down group ride. Warmed up with Craig down to south ride coffee shop. Didn't have to ask for my mocha this time! They knew...

Ride started as always through glenmore, skipped most of single track as we had the biggest group so far and hikers are not always to happy or impressed with out skinny bikes on their trials. Most of the ride until this point had my mind is to getting race bike ready and packing. When we got to Fishcreek I made the hard call of going east. Watched the group cruise down the road onwards to a great south ride. Mark and Andrea joined for part of fish creek and then it was solo back to the city along the river. Great day again but it was nice to get home in time to do some bike work.

Bike is now packed and next is spare parts, tools, some food and a few things to wear. On track for Friday. Fitness will be what it is; couple of weeks and we will know how weekend cramming works in the fitness world. And really; don't make much of a difference as I couldn't or wouldn't have done it much different, the weekend rides are so much more than getting fit, it's about the adventure and joy of sharing common interests or passions. And Spain will just be an extended group ride; the rides will be experienced through the daily stories about the adventure we all had, and told by the best story tellers, with no interruptions of work or other life commitments :)

Happy riding!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The perfect...

... first weekend of February.

With two great rides in the legs already I was today was going to hurt. But there is something about riding with two of my favorite riding buddies that ease the pain; actually turns it into something so awesome that a picture wouldn't really capture it only the experience.
Erik capture some of it here..

Warmest ride of the year. Another 5 hr before coffee stop. Before this we had some visitors rides at various parts. New lunch stop was Brag Creek. And i really needed the stop after barley hanging on when Erik and Craig would both pull some crazy efforts. After lunch and some bottle refill they continued their efforts into the wind and not much I could do to match this so tried my best to find the sweet spot and hang on. Ended with some great single track before sun setting over Bowness again.

Ended day with a great pasta and massage :)

Life is good; no flying north this week.

Happy riding!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Awesome Feb...

... day and perfect for a large group ride.

Last week have been filled with numbers; numbers I don't really get but now get more. So today I stayed on the path of maybe getting my numbers, or at least those Ive learned this last week, up. A little fun with numbers cant hurt anyone; only my legs. They hurt. Besides that it was plenty of hours of socializing and enjoying the better side of February. 5 hrs to Cochrane must be record; thats 5 hrs before my coffee refill!

Great group and some great efforts from all!

Happy Riding ! From sunrise to sunset...