Friday, February 28, 2014

China for ...

...two hours; does not allow for much more than a airport visit. So far we've seen and felt the smog and humidity, visited smoking area  (basically in the washroom). Had a good adventures snack, menu with pictures my favorite. Coke chips and mocha tasted good.
Next flight in another hour will take us to Kathmandu! So cool ....

China for ...

...two hours; does not allow for much more than a airport visit. So far we've seen and felt the smog and humidity, visited smoking area  (basically in the washroom). Had a good adventures snack, menu with pictures my favorite. Coke chips and mocha tasted good.
Next flight in another hour will take us to Kathmandu! So cool ....

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Off to ...

...the races!

After a little delay in Calgary and rollercoaster ride to gate Vancouver we are finally seated and soon off the Canadian ground.

Expedia cheated Jeff for a trick upgrade but they southern China made up for it by a tripple row to our self. Behind a so far sleeping baby. I soon eyed the three empty behind us and they didn't think twice about letting me steel it. I now starting to think i know why, some poor baby not have enjoyed the flight here.

We got lots of snack and pillows and crossing fingers the next 13 or so hour will fly by!

Happy Traveling!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 days ...

... and I'll be on the flight to far away. Whatever I haven't done, or gear I didn't bring, will be what it is. I think this weekend was a good run through for the legs. With a few minor tweaks to the body and gear and I should be ready set and go...
From here and in, I'll do a little bit more riding, but mostly focus on recovery and rest.
Saturday started at Cadence as usual, but on mountain bikes. We had a good big group and it was nice to see Craig out, and also Ryan from work who is getting ready for the Breck Epic this year. The route ended up being off road, and lots of train tracks, great since we were on mountain bikes, not so great with some upset ribs.
Tuscany was in prime conditions, from there we went through the park down to the river and train tracks. The Glenbow path was too snowy to make any headway so we decided to continue the train tracks. On a hard tail the key is to pedal a few gears heavier than you normally would like, keeps the bum up a bit, but it's hard push on the legs. Eventually we made to the section that is cleared and though some icy patches it is always good. Made it to Cochrane though, and after some good soup we decided to stick to gravel roads on the way back. The guys set a hard pace right off the bat, and I died quickly. By the time we got back to Calgary going the south route, I had my hardest (in terms of feeling it) ride of the year! I had nothing left in the legs and breathing was only done because you sort of have to....
Got the bike cleaned and after that it was all about rest, got served a "salad" (I mean a salad of all salads - thanks Sarah, sorry Chad), some stretches and that is all you get in when the tank is empty.
Today I felt ok getting ready, but planned on making sure I didn't push the breathing. A good group again, nice to see Pat and Alana out. We decided on north roads to Cochrane. As we moved on the wind was probably the heaviest I've ever experienced, when on the side it would push the bike to sliding on the gravel or snow/ice, sketchy. Alana left us into the ride, the wind on a just over 100 lber can not be easy...Then Erik had a mail function not too long after and had no choice but to call for pickup, and shortly after that Pat left us too. So it was Shawn, Jeff and I. I was a little concerned that would mean me alone in the wind; but thankfully they maintained a nice pace and allow me to sit in. Jeff was so happy, he was either singing or yelling of joy riding a route he had never done (and I get it, it's by far one of my favorite) when a second after he all of a sudden was on the grown with dollar bills flying. He went down pretty hard in front of me and by the time I got off my bike to check on him, Shawn was in the farmers field chasing flying money!! It was hard not to laugh, but Jeff was not, at least not at that point. He should have stuck to the coins from yesterday. Though by the end of it Shawn saved $60 and I saved $10.... What kind of lunch were you planning Jeff?? He ended up being ok, the shorts not so much, thank goodness this close to our trip, and the shorts I'm sure Alana can fix, it'll match the rest of your gear! We never did ride to Cochrane, decided on roads back to Calgary.
For about 90% (or maybe more) we had headwind or side wind.... so it was so nice when we finally turned back East! That lasted for about 4 min (a little less for Shawn)....
Good day out, the wind just makes us stronger.... or maybe not if you sit in the whole time...thanks guys.
Happy Riding!

Some fast guys up the ravines Saturday
As close as we get to Nepal training I guess...
It's steep!

Only a train in between us and the soup!

Soup couch!
The salad of all salads!!
Hmmm.... ??
Yeah, that's not right.....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gear and .....

and better weather!
Friday was EDO, now that I'm in Calgary I don't get every Friday off but every now and then there are Fridays off, today is one! And I'll take that with week nights at home over my previous schedule.
Got my last rabbis shot (jay!) then picked up my custom made bike bags. These are no strangers amongst our group of riders. Craig used these super light weight bags during the tour divide and even though they feel like waxed paper, the held up just fine. Great craftsmanship by Scott and Porcelain Rocket. Having the ability to ride with nothing on your back is in my view a great advantage on longer days and now that I have the light weight version, and a few variations I should be set for anything. Test ride tomorrow, a little overkill but empty jersey pockets! Dropped my bike off at Ridleys for a break fix (rear this time! - gone). Got some awesome GORE helmet cover, shorts and pants and it just made my day! Thanks Ridley's! 
Finally found some 3M protector film so frame is now all "protected" where needed.
Cesar had a change to get out for a ride today, great! With all the running around I was late for our planned ride, but we still got in a 3 and half our ride out to Cochrane on the south side of the highway, jumping pound road and back road into town, quick coffee and soup and then north roads back. Besides  a little trouble breathing it was great to be out again, the weekend look equally nice.
Picked mtb up at Ridleys again, SRAM what's up with your breaks?? Thanks for the quick turnover and at least the bike is ready for the weekend, but looks like they need some replacement before leaving. Cutting it a bit close but I'm sure it'll work out, it always seems to :) 
Tomorrow the plan is a mtb (on roads?? boys would like to test their rigs, I'm of a "choose the right tool for the job", so lets do trails if mtb and cross if all over the place....I lost the vote, so mtb it is)
Sunday, I've suggested ride then hike, see how that voting goes later.....ride is a given.
12 days to departure!
Happy Riding!

Larger one of the three bags, might not be used in Nepal, but would easily fit
puffy jackets and pants and extra clothing if required. Such nice craftsmanship!!
This one is the smallest, and will be on the bike permanently. It fits nicely a real tube,
my super tube (not so real), tools, patch/plug kit, lube, zippy ties, extra hanger and quick link. 
The medium bag, this one would also fit my puffy jacket/pants, and some food. Tomorrow it'll be extra gloves, some food, phone and a credit card!
Perfect conditions today!

Forgot my coffee stop shot, so here is my dinner shot instead! my own recipe -
"bike" pasta, fried egg and tenderloin - recipe develop while looking in my fridge
cooking is so easy when options are limited :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cold, very cold...

... so what to do?

Spend the last couple weeks trying to find things to do to keep legs going. Temperatures in the minus 15-20 makes it hard, but not impossible, just little less and little different.

Watched this screen a couple of times, trainer indoors is not my favorite but now that I seem to have worked most of the bugs out of the software and the hardware is fixed it's ok for an hour or two once in a while.


Did some hikes at COP and Bowmont (and some guy was out a few times making a skating rink in the river, see him?).

Toby got more hikes than normal so he was super happy about the cold.

It was refreshing getting back out on the feet a few times.

Bundled up and road a few times, both COP and Tuscany trails were in great shape but as soon as sun went down or go down for any amount of time, I quickly got cold.

Stuck with my indoor strength program (well can't take credit for being good at the lower body workout as my first attempt resulted in a 3 day of unable to walk! - combined it with Shawns little trainer session, probably not a good plan). The upper body I took probably one step too far, and now trying to heal some really tight pecs and ribs that are not too happy with me! Learning the hard way. But got to hurt a little bit before it gets better and maybe the ability to not fully fill my lungs with air is a good simulation to the higher altitude riding??  But happy to say I've found a quick, fun and effective way of getting strength training in my program.

So it's what I've done the last two three weeks and hopefully it'll be good enough to feel ok in 2 weeks when we take off for 9 days of racing in Nepal. Weather looks up so still a time to test the fitness, gear and to get ready.

Happy Riding!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How small ...

... and light can it get?

Well I'm not usually one to care too much about clothing weight and packability but I think this might make sense. Thanks Erik for the tips....

Just a little larger than my can if drink....
About 346 grams (two punches included).. 

And bet you didn't think it was a complete party outfit!!!

Down filled comfort!

Happy packing (soon)!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

KOM conditions ...

And he did it - here prepping his mind for a KOM chase :)
... put Shawn in race mode going down Tuscany today! With zip zero front break it made my ride rather interesting and some good adrenaline flowing. Flew off the trail so fast I'm was only saved by the fact its winter - snow is as good as an airbag sometimes!

We started out with Tuscany today, good way to warm up as it felt a little cool starting off. It only took through Bowness and gloves had to come off! My super duper over sized poggies sure does the trick! Moderate tempo up Tuscany but could see KOM coming out of Shawns brain as he was eyeing out the lines for the return trip. And the return was fast! I lost sight of him after I flew off the trail on a corner with no breaks, scrambling up hill again and he was gone. Made it down and it sure was fun and tempting a second visit after a break fix (never did, but maybe a midweek cold night). We rode through Stoney Trail bridge trails (well rode what was possible) and over to Bow cycle for a pair of new pads, it helped but by the end of the ride I'm back to zero. Good thing I'm getting out on the race bike sorting out a few minor issues before in a remote area of Nepal. After Bow we ventured over to COP, the trails are in prime conditions (if you stay off the very low sections), everything is ridable! Great ride and so nice to be on the mtb. I sort of tend to think I need a break from it over the winter and stick to cross for volume, but when trails are this great, I can ride mtb all day!! Getting in about 3 hrs of ride time in around -10C is good. The sun helps warm you up so during this coming week I'll have to come up with a plan to get some miles in - going into a deep freeze.

Quick stop at home for a lunch, then back out for the 20 lb'er hike. Not always easy to find folks to join in on hikes but the one loyal guy always is Toby. But today he was total fail too!! He had a totally different agenda than mine. Of almost 2 hours out, I spend 1 and a half moving (mostly solo), and of the moving I probably spent another 10 min, moving while searching of the trail. My threats of leaving him there did not seem to bother him, I tried "no dinner for you", but at one point I found him eating more than one meal of something!! so I guess he didn't care.... I guess he probably were thinking "well you leave me all morning while having fun on the trails, now its my turn" and I guess he's right. Hope he had fun. And he still qualify as my most loyal hiking buddy :)
Stay warm this week!
Happy Riding!
Toby got to visit the flag but wasn't too interested....
View while waiting for Tobster - Calgary city, pretty awesome place! He is in the trees there somewhere - the one area that says "Private Property" and "absolutely no dogs allowed" - great! He obviously didn't read the sign....
Wasn't to interested in any photoups either!! forced down - I wanted to display our matching jacket :)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

A bit...

.... of variety today.

another cold week....
Trying to get ready for an event in end of February and living in Calgary has the last few years not seemed to be a big deal. I feel we have always been able to get lots of base miles in on weekends. This years feels different and looking back on my tracking it is probably right. Colder and definitely more snow. But not a big deal, it is winter after all; so we adapt somehow or just accept a little slow start on the season fitness.

Started off in the -20's C this morning, but had indoor plans to start the day so not a big deal. With a little bit more (or some at all I should probably say) focus on core and strength in trying to deal with many years of pain during long day events, I've spend the last month or so working a little bit on this. I know... not really my thing; I do believe that there are ways to maintain a good balance with variety of outdoors activity and doing the things you enjoy, but when I've been lacking on that as well, I think a bit of focus will be a better way of quickly get some balance back and doing things right again. So we will see, not expecting results over night, but hopefully this season I'll see some progress in the right direction. Visited Mount Royal and wow, I'm not a gym person, but that was impressive, probably could enjoy quiet mornings in a facility like that.  The gym at Dal has a bit to go! Got a program set up and now it's just up to me to commit - in a little less impressive home gym.

Off to ride - seems to be the ritual lately that I'm late, rushed to get there on time, but as usual, my late is not as late as someone else's late - Shawn! But at least I have one person to ride with even when it's cold as today. First time seeing Shawn in a dome helmet :) so it must have been cold.
Planned to ride COP and Edworthy - the trails at COP was awesome, and besides my crazy over sized poggies and also way too hot, it was a perfect day for a ride. Unfortunately it ended with too much fun going down hill and Shawn gutsy rode a skinny with ice on it and popped a wheel. After a little longer stop it was a bit harder to warm up, but I got I a little more riding, including a view of some more colorful Buddhist flags ! It must mean something... or nothing.. but I can't wait to see the real thing while taking deep breaths of no air in a few more weeks!

Home for a quick change and went back up to COP for a 20lb'er hike. No issues staying warm hiking and nice for Tobster. Mountains would have been nice, but seemed silly to drive today when it was so nice up at COP. 

So not a bad day of adapting to the weather - of course I'd much rather do a 4-5 hour steady ride with a coffee stop and good lunch but at least I got out and soaked in some sunshine!

Happy Winter Riding!
Overkill - wrongly order but at least today I got to try them out.... north pole riding probably more suitable with this gear
Yeah it must be cold out - or maybe it's the new cool look... definitely not good on the shawn hair doo....
This was the end of Shawns ride - besides a pump we both left with no tools and tubes... maybe should rethink that..
The view of todays ride......
Nice day for everyone to get out...
So since there are no awesome lunch stops... I have to cook at home.... I like it simple and quick ...put a bunch of stuff in a bowl (today - spinach, strawberries, mango, fried egg, beef, hemp seeds, nuts, a little cheese)...
add a little honey, oil, balsamic vinegar, lid on and shake.... enjoy!