Friday, August 31, 2007

No J & J for BR

I had scheduled the J & J 8 Hr race earlier this season. I'm passing on this for two reasons
  1. I hated the course last year: it's rooted to all fuck, it's a very short course - so you get bored very easily
  2. I've been away from home over the past few weekends and will be away again next weekend. Chris ain't going to divorce me if I go - but I'd rather spend time with her.
There you have it. Those racing - best of luck & have fun.

* Naked bike review on Tuesday morning - mark that in your freaky date books!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Fat is beautiful.

So I'm starting to feel like on the mend & upswing out of the depressed state of affairs that my head has kept me in the past few days. Funny how a little race and my less than stellar results of the race this weekend can have such a profound affect on my mental well-being.

I think I learned a whole lot from this race. And thank you to everyone who posted supporting comments and sent e-mails (all unnecessary, but appreciated) trying to cheer me up. Chris has had to put up with me moping around the house the past few days - thanks Chrissie for you support and love.

I'm still fat.

But that's okay . . . . for now. My lumpy body is a little under-toned, so a little saggy maybe?! It's hard to keep up on core body strength exercises during the race season. And honestly, I lost motivation - too many other things have gotten in the way - you know, stuffing my face, sitting on the couch in front of the jumping box, napping the summer away, etc.

Time to move on. Who's in for some more naked bike gear reviews?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A. R. T.

Nope, not Arthur Carlson (in real life he's known as Gordon Jump) . . . . WKRP fame. He was also the May Tag repair man guide.

Hey Goat! Anyone ever call you Art?

Anywho . . . .

. . . . . A.R.T. is an acronym for Active Release Technique. Saw a sports medicince doctor yesterday to suss out my knee issues. Basically comes down to I have a muscle imbalance which causes my knee to push inward. Coupled with a lot of cartilage build up and a floating knee cap, no wonder I get pain. The doctor also said the I have tight hip flexors and quads. She thinks that this therapy might help, along with strength training exercises.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I can't understand what happened at the race.

Well . . . . that's bullshit really. I quit and gave up when I started to hit a wall. I never really gave it a chance to sort itself out and get back out there to ride.

I was in such good spirits during the race, I felt great, I had energy, I wanted to ride, I was having fun on the course. Feeling good in the first quarter of the race.

During my 5th lap I started to experience some bad cramping. It made me panic a bit, considering during Solstice I cramped hardly at all. But I was only 5 laps in. It scared me that the rest of the race was going to go bad. I focused on drinking as much as I could. I stopped at the water station and even filled my bottle on the 5th and 6th lap.

I barely got out of the timing tent on my 6th when my legs wouldn't respond to the pace I tried to pedal. Twinges of pain were taking over my muscles - quads, hamstrings, calves, toes, fingers, back and neck. What the hell was going wrong? I walked nearly every hill that lap. I had to get off the bike once to go down a hill because I was cramping in my legs trying to keep the bike steady. I even walked a flat section because it hurt too much to pedal.

I got back to our pit area 3/4 of the way through my sixth (around 7:40pm) and called it quits. It hurt and I didn't want any more of it. I hit a wall and couldn't get around it or over it.

Once off the bike I lost all motivation to go back out. Got cold, sat down, got tired, went to bed. I was able to squeeze two and a bit more laps out in the morning before I had to stop because my body was shutting down and cramping again.

Today my body hurts more (and only after nine laps) than it did after June's solo. Every tendon and muscle in my body feels like it was pulled off my skeleton like giant rubber band and snapped back into place. It hurts to stretch today.

Hindsight . . . . doesn't do me any good now. Should went to see Madame Fortune Teller before the race. It wasn't really a competitive solo field like Solstice was - so this was the race that I really could have done well in. If I had put out 16 laps like I had in June, I would have placed in 6th position.

Wasn't a complete loss. Here's what I learned:
  • no matter how many 24 hr solo races I do, I will invariably hit a wall (or two or three) during a race. I need to remember not to give up. Go back out and walk the course until you feel better, if you have to. Just don't give up.
  • Magnesium, calcium and vitamin D tablets need to begin to be loaded into the body more than one week before (remember kids: magnesium helps the muscles absorb and retain water).
  • don't give up
  • mentally I wasn't prepared for this race. My head wasn't into it - Solstice was a huge build up. HAN wasn't. Especially so after the knee issues that I was having in July. I needed to have a steadfast goal in mind, instead of having a "we'll see how it goes" attitude.
  • don't give up
  • you don't need a tonne of calories to ride consistently and you don't need to eat on every lap - I was getting upset stomach from trying to eat a little on each lap
  • don't give up
  • all your laps don't have to be fast
  • don't give up
  • obviously drink more fluids, during the race, if you're starting a race in really humid temperatures (like they were on Saturday)
  • don't give up
  • you never know how things are going to pan out. Other racers may throw in the towel, race course conditions may change in your favour, etc. - keep riding.
  • don't give up

Still . . . . . I feel like a failure and am deflated. I don't say that so that you'll try and make me feel better - just an out pouring of thoughts.

Self Loathing

Wasn't home more than a half hour 'til I got around to checking my e-mail. Bunch of stuff in my in-box, bunch of crap, couple good things . . . . . and then there was *this:
Man, I am a fat fucker.

I don't know when this happened . . . somewhere in between waking up every night at 3am to go eat a couple peanut butter sandwiches and daily living with the attitude, "I'm riding 'a lot', so I can eat whatever I want!"

Everytime I looked into a mirror, I just figured it was lying or that it was warped or hung funny or something. Fuck me! What a fat fucker I've become. I've got tits for God's sake.

Maybe I've always been one and am just realizing it!?!?

Please, don't comment on this post, things like . . . "You look great!" "You're not fat, you're just big boned." "What you lack in physical attributes, you make up for in your cheery disposition!"

. . . I won't have any of it. Don't waste your time typing. Time to face the truth, I am a fat fucker.
(the dirt bag, handle-bar mustache doesn't help with the look either)

What's worse is, despite seeing myself like this, I probably won't change a thing. If I do, it'll last a week or two at the most, then I'll fall back into old habits - I'll be up in the wee hours of the night rummaging through the house trying to find where Christine has hidden the ** cookies & treats on me.

It's too hard to lose the weight and stop eating yummy things.

How heavy do you have to be to race the Clydesdale category??

*Thanks for the pic Mario.
** we don't keep cookies and treats in the house, because I end up eating them all before Chris gets a chance to have any. But for the purpose of this post, it made for the most humor to add this in.

Hot August Nights '07

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed with how I did at HAN. At the time when I threw in the towel, it felt like the right decision. The excruiating pain from the cramping that I was experiencing was horrendous, not just in my legs, but also in my back, arms, neck, hands and feet. My legs today feel as if someone took all of my tendons and stretched them completely away from my body with fish hooks.

Not even Jebus could save me.

In hindsight, I'm very disappointed in my performance and how I did. I'll leave it at that for now.

I didn't get many photos this weekend. Here are two for now . . .

Tanya and Peter before the start of the race. Fresh and smiley faced.
Peter was supposed to do this race as a tag team, however at the last minute he did it solo when his riding partner had to back out.

Here they are after. Not so fresh looking (or smelling), but still smiley faced.

Congratulations to:
  • Tanya finished in 2nd with 15 laps, female solo.
  • Peter finished in 9th with 13 laps, male solo.
  • Rick and Matt placing 3rd in the men's tag.
  • Machine Head Racing who placed 2nd in the mixed 5 person 175 plus age group.
  • Joey, Steve, Scott, Lenny and Peter (what was your name?)

Monday, August 20, 2007

FYI: Polls Not Working

I've noticed that the numbers on the new poll haven't changed the past few days.
The poll option on Blogger is a relatively new addition, and apparently hasn't had all the bugs worked out of it.
I can't even remove the page element from my blog as they are working on finding a fix.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Off Air

Off Air - stay tuned!

While I'm away, amuse yourself by looking at this nice pair of khaki slacks.
Mmmmmm, nice trousers.

**Will be back on-line after the race next weekend.

North Side Polo Invitational

The North Side Polo Invitational is coming up on us fast.

For those of you who have never seen bike polo before come out and watch some of the finest players in the world duke it out.

The winning team will be taking home sets of 48h Steelwool Polo wheelsets.

August 31-September 3.

The Polo courts is located at 10 Beech St., Ottawa, Ontario. Thats on the corner of Beech and Champagne 1 block west of Preston St.


I'm tapering . . . . . I'm sitting on my ass doing nothing.
A necessary evil I suppose. It's a nice day and I could be out riding. I've got a lot to do to prep for the race: packing and planning and shit - but I don't feel like it.

Last big race of the year. Still not sure how I feel about it. What will be will be.

The Vegan Princess brought her bike over last night so that we could throw a lighter set of wheels on it to make her 24 hrs of loneliness effort a tad bit easier. Well, I got the bike lighter for her . . . . took about a pound of dirt off of it. Am I the only person I know who cleans their bikes? Anyway . . . . Tanya will be all set, after a bushing change, to kick some butt at HAN. I'd wish you luck, but you don't need it - you're going to be flying out there!
** Thanks a tonne for the prezzie for working on your bike Tanya - completely not necessary but very appreciated indeed!

Will get out this week for a few easy spins. Had my last hard'ish type ride with Mark on Friday - a Gats road loop. Made use of all the lovely hills over there - attacked on all the climbs, speed, power, laddy dah, laddy dah, laddy dady dady dah.

Friday, August 17, 2007

B & W

Whoa - I thought I was a feak!

No sooner did I put up my last post on cleaning a chain, then did I stumble across this link on the Surly Blog who in turn linked Sheldon Brown's page.

It is well-known that proper chain cleaning is the most vital and important aspect of cycling. There are zillions of doo-dads and gimmicks out there intended to make this task easier for spoiled, lazy cyclists.

Unfortunately, there's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance, and all of these existing systems are fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges.

The only proper way to clean a bicycle chain is to disassemble it, otherwise there is no way to be sure you've thoroughly cleaned and properly lubricated the critical internal parts where chain wear occurs.

Similarly, there's no way to apply correct lubrication to an assembled chain, since the rollers have different lubrication needs than the link articulation pins do!

Two Chains Are Better Than One

I get some razzing for keeping my bikes so clean.
Part of it is my obsessive compulsive nature.
Part, and probably more important, is a clean bike is a happy bike.

I run two chains on all my bikes.
(except my road bike - which doesn't see a lot of dirt)
I'll use a chain for two or three rides and off it comes
- unless it gets really wet & dirty.
I have a plastic peanut butter container filled with bio-degreaser which I put it in.
Once in, I give it a good shake and let it sit.
I'll give it another couple of shakes over the course the time between rotations.

While that one is cleaning, the other is on the bike.
When it's time to rotate, pull the chain out of the degreaser.
Rinse it off.
Pull through a dry rag a few times.
Let air dry.
Put on the bike.
Lube with Progold.
Ready to go.

Now you can be a freak like me.

*Before you put it back on the drive train, be sure to give the cassette and rings a good scrub with a coarse brush to get all the shit off of it.*

Thursday, August 16, 2007

24 Hrs of HAN

Chico Racing - Hot August Nights 24 Hour Race
Saturday/Sunday - August 25th & 26th, 2007
Albion Hills Conservation Area

This will be my second solo effort this season. Solstice was the race that I trained for and wanted to do well in. I'm not feeling as motivated for this race and my training has shown it. A knee injury flare up a week after Solstice didn't help. My longest distance ride on the bike was about 100km and longest time on the bike has been just over 4 hrs. Doesn't add up to a lot of training for an endurance event. Hopefully I'll have enough base-miles in me to get me through.

Much less pressure on myself for this race too. I just want to go out, enjoy it, represent my sponsors, have fun and see what happens. Besides not having enough training miles in, my second limiter would have to be my knee issue. Been using a strap under the bottom of my knee cap to help alleviate the patella tendinitis that I've been having - seems to have worked for the most part, as long as I keep using it. Unknown what will happen after some longer hours in the saddle.

The regulars will be there in the Fishing Hole - looking forward to some good times and laughs.

Back & Snobbery

Baby got back . . . big ol' back.

Maybe that's why my back has been sore the past few weeks - cause I'm fat. Can't seem to get rid of it (the pain, not the fat!) either. Been working at strengthening my core, doing heaps of stretching, etc. Doesn't seem to bother me too much on the bike . . . . though yesterday's loop of the park did hurt a bit.

Speaking of the park . . . . what's up with roadies?

I don't consider myself a roadie, but I do train a lot on the road and really love road riding. I guess if you didn't know me you might think I was a roadie - I dress like one when I go for rides, I've got a nice bike, I "appear" to know what I am doing. Maybe a couple things set me apart from a roadie: I'm fat, I'm slow and I always try to wave/nod to other riders that I pass.

Yesterday I passed a lot of roadies in the park. Out of all the people I went by, and there were many, I got two waves or a nod. That's it.

I can understand that you can't always acknowledge everyone you pass (often at the top of a climbI can barely keep myself upright let alone wave at someone due to the lack of oxygen I'm getting). But I was consistently ignored or just "stared" at as I passed by.

I often get the impression or sense of attitude that says, "I'm better than you. I'm faster than you. I've got a nicer bike. I am wearing a pro cycling team kit. You suck."

I'm not saying that all roadies are like this, cause they're not.
Maybe I'm reading a little more into this? Nah, when you pass as many riders as I did yesterday and get the same reaction, there's no denying a common theme of rider snobbery.

Well, I'm going to keep on waving.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kingdom Trails V.1

It's a great weekend away when you ride 4-5 hours a day and still come back home heavier than when you went away. Man . . . I have to diet this week.

Super fun trip. Made the 4.5 hr trip to East Burke, Vermont with Mark and Tanya Friday morning and met up with Tobin, Pierre, Katrina, Gilles, Melissa and Amilee. Set up camp and went riding. Trails can be slipperier than a chickens snot, but we were blessed with perfect weather and pristine trail conditions.

Blood - Pierre took a header on the second day. We weren't sure if he was going to loose a couple of chicklets or not.

Bikes at Bailey's in East Burke - lunch break.

Princess Tanya gets a ride near 'Old Webs'.

J-Bar is a smok'in fast trail. My hands hurt at the bottom from gripping so hard.
(left to right) Pierre, Tobin, Tanya, Gilles and Mark - Burke Mtn in the background

Video of Tanya and I ripping down 'Sidewinder'.

Listen to the video . . . . Tobin, who's Carol???

'Sidewinder' is a trail cut in a ravine. The trail rises and falls between the two ridges - imagine a natural half pipe. Fun as hell! We rode this three times while there - well worth the climb back up to the top.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Just got home a little while ago. Fantabulous road trip to Kingdom Trails, Vermont. Weather was perfect, trails were in pristine shape, fantastic riding partners, all around good time. More to come tomorrow . . . pictures included.

P.s. The people have spoken. More nudies of me to come.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

24 Solo

Finally got my hands on a copy of this (thanks Matty!)

- if you've never been to a 24 hr race, let alone race in one, you probably wouldn't get this movie. If you've ever solo'd one, you'd even appreciate it more. It's entirely humbling and motivating all at the same time. You got to see this.

Mark Hendershot is in this film. He raced at Solstice this year and won - and won by a huge margin. He placed 3rd or 4th in the world's last year (Oct.'06). Apparently he is a very down to earth guy, quiet and very nice. We don't often get to ride with names like that.

Skim-irr-rinky-dink . . . Ink

Latest ink put down on me . . .

Jacks is my six and a half year old Bernese Mountain Dog. My best buddy ever. Best dog ever. Everyone loves him . . . . how could you not?

Most people don't know why he is called Jacks. He is named after two guys, both named Jack, who influenced me profoundly in my fourth year of uni.

The tattoo is actually his paw print. Had him step into some paint, then had Julie work it out. Now he goes everywhere with me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Yesterday's Gat Loop

Yesterday's Gat loop started off with my 108 lb lap dog on top of me. Jacks doesn't know his own size.

Tanya "happily" working through some intervals.

Peter en-route to his longest road ride to-date. Way to go Pete!

Met up with Mark on his way back from Wakefield.
*missing in action is Lenny. Sorry Lenny, didn't get a shot of you yesterday.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Name That Poo

It's time once again for another installment of . . . . "Name That Poo!".

What creature made this poo?

First correct answer recieves a copy of Debbie Gibson's album, Electric Youth.

No, it's not dog shit. Do you really think that I am going to put a picture of regular, old dog shit on my blog? Get real man. Why would I waste my time?

I really should have taken a side-view shot, because that shit was pilled real high.

Did a real nice three or so hour ride this afternoon with Peter and Tanya, via O'Brien - Wakefield - Lac Phillipe. Got a few photos of the ride, but the one above was the only one that turned out (yes, it's a bit blurry). Sorry guys - was hoping to put up a nice shot of the ride.

Rode the SS for the first time since getting the 29'er. Took a little while to get used to it again. Felt weird to be on it, so small compared to the 29'er.

If I had any doubt of the merits of a 29'er before today, they are forever extinguished. I am completely sold on the advantages of a 29'er.

Name That Poo!

Group Ride

Was able to get out yesterday on a group ride. Started out with me and Lenny, showing Matt and Rick around SMH. Matt's never been and Rick hasn't ridden the newer stuff out there. Happy to show the boys around, nice easy ride - lots of laughs along the way. Picked up Ryan and Steve as we met them along the trails.

Steve on the "A Frame".

Lenny, easily climbing up one of the more technical climbs in SMH.

Matt's attempt at the same climb. Got to keep that front tire down if you're going to make it to the top.

Ryan, just cruising along.

Blurry . . . . take off. Rick's landing wasn't much better - but apparently that was my fault.
Word to the wise kids . . . . don't brake just as you come up to the lip of a jump!

Rick was all about "getting air" yesterday. Huge air off this A frame bridge!!!

Thoughts on making the ride more enjoyable for Rick and Matt next time they visit SMH:
  • point out all the rocks on the trails . . . . so they can avoid them
  • let them, especially Rick, know when there is a tree coming
  • go slow . . . . though, in my defense, I was going slow

In all fairness, the boys did great. I was expecting yard sales, broken bones and general chaos. If they rode this stuff a couple times a week, they'd be flying out there! That's some tough trails out in SMH - in my opinion, you won't find more technically challenging trails anywhere else in Ontario.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Thursday it was a scorcher here in Ottawa. One of the hottest days of the year. I planned it as a rest day.

So to beat the heat, Chris and I strolled down to the new Canadian War Museum. Thursdays it's free to go between 4 - 9pm.

The museum is something to be taken in by all. I won't even try to put into words the emotions and thoughts that the displays invoked inside of me. I was blown away and astonished. Go see for yourself.

Came across this British Paratrooper's folding bicycle. Very cool.
I guess the idea was to jump out of a plane with your bike, land, unfold it and then ride into battle.

BSA - Birmingham Small Arms Company
Checkout the frame wingnut that would be tightened after the frame was unfolded and locked into place.

Photographic evidence shows that a few of these bicycles were carried by Commandos on raids.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, each Commando unit appears to have had a bicycle platoon though the bicycles seem to have been discarded within a few days.
Ironically the greatest use of the BSA airborne bicycle in action was by British and Canadian infantry on the invasion Normandy, France (D-Day 1944 June 6) in the second wave. Some had been used on the invasion of Sicily in 1943 by Canadian infantry (Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment "Hasty Pees" re: Farley Mowat).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Naked Bike Gear Review #1

In response to my last online poll, most of you who voted wanted to see more "nudies" of me. In attempt to keep everyone happy, from time to time I'll be adding some nudies of me doing bicycle gear reviews, action shots, etc. Here's my first . . . .


  • Tire: Kenda Karma
  • Size: 29 x 2.2 (folding bead)
  • Weight: 780 =/- 40g
  • PSI: 35 - 80
  • not recommended for tubeless conversion
"It's fat. It's light. It's dynomite. Not recommended for slimy stuff and slippery rocks and logs, but fast as can be elsewhere, the Karma is a nice way to lighten up your 29er quick and easy."
I've been running these tires (front and rear) for a little over a month now on my Niner. I'm about 193lbs + gear and have been riding these tires mostly on rugged terrain (roots & rocks).

The tire's width measures a little over Kenda's given numbers - it appears to be closer to a 2.35 than a 2.2. I'm not use to running large/high volume tires, but I'm becoming a big fan since using the Karmas.

Everything that I have read about 29" bikes being able to run lower pressures is true - I was a bit skeptical at first. I've been experimenting running different air pressures. Started out at 40 psi in the rear/35 psi in the front - not far off what I usually run on any of my 26" bikes. Due to the increased size/width of the tire I'm able to run a much lower pressure than I am used to. Presently, I've gotten the rear down to 30 psi and the front down to 25 psi. I feel that this is the sweet spot for me with these tires. I have not yet flatted on them, which makes me wonder how much lower I can go. The lower air pressure gives me additional plushness while riding over harsh terrrain on the hard tail, while at the same time giving me tonnes of traction . . . . when it's dry.

I've been really loving these tires. They hook up so well . . . when it's dry.

When you pick up any slimmy, snotty mud or if it's wet, forgetaboutit ! I would not recommend riding these tires in the rain, after a rain, or if a rocky/rooty trail is holding much moisture. You'd get away with riding them on some fast, bluegroove type trails that may be wet - but beware of roots/rocks - you'll go down like a bag of hammers.

They are a light tire for a 29'er. I feel very confident while riding these tires at low and high speed, they haven't felt squirrelly at all (when it's dry). I would not hesitate racing on these tires - may folk do. But I ask why, when you can run a Kenda Small Block 8 ?