Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are you faster than Oprah?

Are you faster than Oprah on a honey glazed ham?

If so, you may want to take part in this.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Drained. That's how I feel.
I'm sick. I'm tired.
Hit by a cold.
That's all for now.

Friday, September 26, 2008

B4H Bike Prep Complete

I'm not sure if I've ever seen this many bikes in one place at one time.
More photos here.

420+ bikes ready to be shipped.


Can't wait to put on my one piece skin suit.

It's been a crazy busy week. Wednesday night I had my first taste of what cyclocross is all about. I've always kind of admired and at the same time wondered about this strange 'cross' over (pun intended) sport. If roadies wanted to play in the mud and dirt, why not jump on some big fat mtn bikes? But who am I are to argue with fast, little skinny dudes who like to shave their legs?

The clinic was at Britannia Park and put on by the Ride With Rendal crew of riders. Many of the riders coaching us through varying aspects of CX have a ton of experience and knowledge, many have ridden overseas and in international CX events. Needless to say, I paid close attention (for a change) when they were speaking and demonstrating.

It seems to me that CX'ing is all about subtle techniques (and of course being able to go full out, 100%, for an hour) - how to set up a corner, staying off the brakes, proper mounting and dismounting of the bike and so on. I never gave roadies very much credit for being technical riders and I'm glad to have the chance to have my eyes opened. These guys know how to pick a line and carry a ton of speed through it.

Prior to attending the clinic I really didn't think that I'd like it that much. BUT, it was very cool and I am very excited to try my first race. Cyclocross has gotten HUGE here in Ottawa with attendance up to between 200 - 250 riders per race each weekend! Holy cow!

I did use the Jabberwocky and will probably have to use it for a while - I'm hoping for the new Vassago Fisticuff to show up on my door. It got a few looks from the 50 or so riders in attendance (mostly roadies), and most loved the bike and were asking all sorts of questions about it. I was only happy to oblige and spill the goods of the virtues of riding a 29'er, a single speed and a quality Vassago frame . . . . . and yes, I am now brown nosing . . . . it may help get me that Fisticuff sooner ; )

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

B.B. King

Whoooooops. No, not that B.B. King.

Chris King has thrown in their version of the outboard bottom bracket
- as seen at Interbike in Vegas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bacon, Kitty

On the way to the race this past weekend I drove on a road that I don't normally take while heading to Jeannie Beannie's place. As soon as I saw the sign I immediately hit the brakes. "Bacon Road"
Could such a place exist?
Just seeing the word 'bacon' makes my mouth begin to water like Pavlov's dog.

I rolled down the windows of the car expecting it to fill with the succulent aroma of bacon cooking, coming from a house made of bacon, sitting at the end of a street paved with bacon.
It reminded me of the Simpson's episode of Homer dreaming of himself in a town entirely made of chocolate. Yes, I really, really like bacon.

Alas, to my chagrin, it was only a name.
With my spirit crushed and drool on my chin, we slowly drove way.

On another note, I think that I have found a worthy substitute headbadge for my bike, for the time-being?

The Jabberwocky felt a little naked without one. Now normally I'm as comfortable as a pig in shit with stuff being naked. However, it just felt wrong going into the last mtn bike race of the season without a headbadge. "Here Kitty Kitty" did the job nicely and I give her 100% of the credit for me having a good race on Saturday. Meow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Paul's Dirty Enduro '08 Race Report

I got an e-mail from Curvy Butt the other day stating his race tactics for the 100km - go out hard right from start and see how long he could hold it, then go into damage control and get through the rest of the race. I e-mailed him back basically saying that he's fugging crazy - just because that's not my race style. I tend to start slow and gradually build and hope for the best. Pretty sophisticated race tactics eh!?

I thought about Curvy Butt's race strategy on my drive from Ottawa to Jeannie Beannies (my wonderful mother-in-law) and my own race strategy and experiences. I have never attempted to go out from the shoot with guns blazing and legs pumping. It's totally uncharacteristic of me as I like to ease into a race and put off going into the hurt locker until I have to (or not at all). I'm not a hammerhead racer and honestly, never thought that I had it in me.

Paul's was going to be my last mtn bike race of the year (CX is still to come and will be my first experience with that . . . . hoping that a nice new CX bike arrives on my door step soon *hint*hint*nudge*nudge*wink*wink), so I thought, "Fugg it - what do I got to loose?" Pride? Yes. A long walk out of the forest after blowing up? Yes. A bad last race to a great season that would leave a terrible taste in my mouth all winter? Yep.

Alas, that's what I did. I lined up early Saturday morning at the the Ganaraska Forest Center with about 30-35 other riders opting to do the 100km race. After a brief race prep talk from KT (one of the organizers of this awesome event) about the course marking and warnings of "weapon grade poison ivy", we were off. So, with an Iron Maiden tune pumping in my ear, I pinned it.

That's me right next to KT on the chair
- her fly was down the whole time that she was up there speaking to the riders.

And that was my race. I stayed with the top ten riders from the get-go and was back-and-forth in that group for the day. It was pretty uneventful for me - no nutrition or stomach issues, no mechanicals, the course was much firmer packed than last year, and only one crash (right in the last kilometer; got hooked by a tree branch on the entrance to a piece of single track). I did suffer from some cramping despite my best efforts at hydrating - which came mostly in my lats and forearms while reefing on the bars to get up the many steep, but short, climbs. Towards the end of the race I was getting some cramping in my inner quads and right hammie that I was able to walk off on a couple select climbs.

It was a very different race for me this year than last. I found myself riding alone quite a bit, with only occasionally hooking up with riders, whom I would play cat-and-mouse throughout the race. The toughest part of the race was the 15 - 40km section while in the western part of the forest, which only the 100km riders did. This part of the Ganny allows dirt bikes on the trails, and as a result, many sections were really chewed up, loose and rutted. It was a hard slog and the longest 25 km of the day.

I had forgotten how much climbing there was in the Ganaraska forest and how much unrelenting, never ending single track that there was. This was wicked and fun as hell, but at the same time, ass kicking. Getting nutrition in was tough to do in the twisty, roller coaster like single track. Any of the road crossings/sections were very sandy and difficult to pedal through and needed both hands on the bars. You had to be selective when you were reaching for a bottle or trying to stuff your face or you'd pay for it with a crash.

I am pleased with my result: top ten finish and my 6hr 59min time is a big improvement on last year's race. I am continually blown away by the Jabberwocky's handling on the tight and twisty and technical stuff, which it ate up all day. I ran a 32 x 18 gearing - which made some of 7011 ft (according to Joey's GPS) of climbing tough, but doable. Kenda Small Block 8s were a perfect choice for the course - great float in the loose stuff, very fast on the hard packed.

*I didn't have time to take pictures before and didn't think to take them after, so all photos posted are stolen from Matt's blog without permission or consent - Thanks Matt!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Dan couldn't wait for the race result . . . . so here you go:

8th overall out of 51 riders, *second single speed (but no ss division - phooey).

But you will have to wait until Monday for the report, too tired to type tonight - off to eat pizza and drink loads of water.

* late edit: didn't realize there was one ahead of me until Sunday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

100 kms of Paul's Dirty Enduro

Recognize that plant wrapped around the wheel of the tire? It's poison ivy. The Ganaraska forest is covered in it. Glad that there's a poison ivy wash station at the end of the race!

Saturday I'll be lining up with a bunch of other folks at 8am to race 100kms in the Ganaraska forest for a good cause. Weather is looking perfect, race is run very well, great prizes, good people . . . it should be a blast. Report to follow Monday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wax on, Wax off

Grasshopper, learn the clean bike way.

I got a phone call the other day from a buddy who asked me what I was doing. I replied waxing my bike. He laughed. I don't think he believed me. But, it's true. I wax my bikes on a regular basis. I'm of the mind, "A clean bike is a happy bike." Am I obsessive compulsive and anal retentive? Yes.

I hardly ever, ever use a hose to blast off the dirt from my bike. I don't like the thought of water being forced into all the little nooks and cranny of the bike. So, I let the dirt dry and then bush it off. Once it's off, I use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Usually a rag with some bio clean.

I know alot of people who say that the biodegradable cleaners don't work very well. I think that's a lot of phoooey. If you're the type that only cleans your bike once it's not working properly or forget what colour it is, then not many cleaners are going to work for you. I never have a problem cleaning anything with some bio cleaner. The idea is to clean regularly and you won't need a strong cleaner. Bio clean is also safer and more eco-friendly.

Wax on

Wax off
oooooooooo, so shiny!
*Misty, note the lack of head badge. What ever shall I do?!?

Chain goes into an old peanut butter container with some bio clean to soak after a little shaking. I use SRAM chains with quick links on all my bikes, so they're easy to put on and take off. I actually run two chains on all my bikes - while one soaks in the cleaner, the other one is on the bike. Keeps the wear and tear down on the drive train too.
Once clean, a wash it off in the old sink and pull through an old rag a half dozen times or so, then let air dry a little while.

Old tooth brushes, Progold Chain Lube and Progold EPX Cycle Grease help keep things clean and running smoothly.

So kids, say after me, "A clean bike is a happy bike."
Next week I'll show you short cuts to waxing your spokes.
A waxed spoke makes a 2% faster wheel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does this blog make my ass look big?

This guy looks how I feel: a big fattie wanna-be trying to fit into a "pro" race it.

Maybe it's me and my sensitive nature, but it seems like people aren't visiting and commenting much lately on my blog. Has it been something I said? Is it the God-awful nudies of myself? Cause I can change.

. . . . No . . . . I can't! I mustn't. You need me the way I am. If not, why would you bother (though infrequently as of late - thanks you bastards) visiting my blog?!

So I blame you for these feelings of inadequacy, desperateness, and need to feel loved and wanted. This post is your doing. Shame on you all.

I think if bloggers looked deep inside of themselves and were entirely honest, they would have to admit that they blog because they want people to read what they've written; they want people to visit their site; they want people to confirm what they've written, posted and think is either funny or smart. Why would bloggers blog if this wasn't true? Who doesn't want to feel LOVED?!

I am sure that there are those few bloggers who blog for sake of "therapy" or "It's good for me" or a source of "inner counseling". Perhaps a they're psychiatrist suggested it would be a good exercise. Nope me . . . . not me, I've had my share of "therapy time" and I know for a fact that I am fugged. If anything, all of this blogging is probably messing me up even more. Why bother to change what's unchangeable!? Does that make me more loveable?

To be truthful, I have 'blog envy'. Let me go through a list of bloggers that I read and what they've got that I wish mine had.

In no particular order:

Dicky: this skinny little man makes me laugh with his cycling exploits and witty humor
Drunk Cyclist: big johnny and crew - in your face, "fuck you" posting politics and bike humor
Jeff Kerkove: lifestyles of the sponsored, bike industry, and training tips and diary
Pinch Flat News: funny rants with smart, witty writing
Squirrel: lots of photos, saying it like it is, cycling lifestyle, tattoos galore
Misty: sideshow freak, Vassago manager, no holds barred - God love her!
Duckman: Vassago rider who does lots of races & gets results
Tom: ditto for Tom, Vassago team rider
Jerome: prairie flat fixie and gear junkie
Gwadzilla: photos, photos, photos, unique style of writing
Keep It Street Level: admire the lifestyle and the simple "just ride your bike" attitude
Big Ring Racing: that's my teammates - whoot!
Vegan Vagabond: no animal by products used in her blogging
Dan Frayer: coolio photos, funny guy, signs each of his posts with "Love Dan" - that's nice
Dejay: lifestyles of a pro racer with lots o'facial hair and all round good guy
FuzzyJohn: if you read Dejays, you may as well read FuzzyJohns and has just as much wiskers
Sager: Canondale team rider who goes to lots of races, racer lifestyle
TwentyNine Inches: insider reports on 29'er products
Guitar Ted: if you read 29inches, you may as well read G-Ted, it's mostly written by him. This guy must get a ton of free 29'er shit to test and report on
Mari: True North team rider and 29" single speeder
Surly: who doesn't like Surly bikes?
Epic Writing: epic bike writing, epic photos, family guy who rides a bunch of far out places
Joao: my blogging, mtn biking friend from Portugal
32 Sixteen: cycle blogging across the pond - international is always better than "here:

So there you have it. They've got what I want and don't have.

Don't take pitty on me mother fuggers. I don't need pity. I need to lose some weight, get some money, buy some more bikes, quit my job, grow a funny looking beard, ride everyday, travel around the world, get wise and full of love, become funny & witty, lean, mean and good looking, save the world, stop eating meat, wear organic clothing, drive an electric car, podium at races, get sponsored up the ying-yang, tell you what to buy, swear more, get political, publish my work, become well read and smrt (that's smart), and more tattooed.

Or I could just continue doing naked reviews and accept who I am. Cause . . . .

*I may have missed one or two in this list that I frequent. Apologies if I did. There are lots and lots of other great blogs and bloggers out there that have stuff that I don't have and need and want . . . . e-mail them to me to make me feel even more insufficient and I'd be happy to post them up.*

Monday, September 15, 2008

King was King for the day

I had a craptastic day riding Saturday. Two reasons: first, wrong tire selection and two, slippery, snotty trails. I couldn't find any momentum or flow.
In saying that, it was way better and way more fun than sitting in front of the TV with my finger up my nose (cause that's how I watch TV).

King, on the other hand, was riding well and loving the single track in La Belle Provence, on the other side of the river.

King ripping it up somewhere in Cheleasa.

I, on the other hand, was riding more like this snapping turtle that we came across who was trying to go from one pond to another.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

However, if you're going to ride like King rides, you're going to have to pay for it once in a while. This was a fulgy crash. I had to double back because King wasn't behind me. I found him laying in this position near the bottom of a rooty, rocky descent. Luckily he wasn't hurt and must have taken a lesson on how to fall out of Curvy Butt's book of crashes.

Or twice in a while. Note the impaler that just missed his head!

I ran Kenda Karmas today. I never liked the Karmas when it's wet. In the dry, they are super fast and hook up real well. Not so today. In fact, I took a slice in the side-wall and the Stans couldn't seal it. Second ride on the No Tubes. D'oh!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Terry Fox

I took this photo of a statue of Terry Fox a couple of days before the BC Bike Race, while out in Victoria, back in June. For anyone not from Canada . . . .

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.

While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.

After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

It was a journey that Canadians never forgot.

However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at age 22.

The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

This weekend is the Terry Fox Run. If you can't run it, throw some money at it. We've all been affected by cancer in one way or another.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ride and go seek

I got this e-mail yesterday from my buddy Charles of Team Go Banana, you may recognize him from and is better known for his "Crash That Was Heard Around the World" during the BC Bike Race.

I see from your blog that you were out in KL lakes last night.

I did an outback loop (starting from Klondike) after work and it turns out I was slow or went in too late as it was pitch black as I was hitting the ridge. With no lights the ridge is even more fun. I had to walk a few sections.

There were 3 packs of riders that I came across working my way out and I was wondering if you were one of the groups. Were you in that area around 8:30?

I actually hid in the trees so I would not have to explain how stupid I am to all of the HID and other light rich people who were all going in the other direction ... kinda funny hunched in the bush hiding as people bike by . . . .

. . . . It was so dark I did not know if I was on the trail at times .... riding by sound ;-)

It is a weird feeling lying in the brush hoping they do not turn to look sideways ... would be embarrassing but funny I guess. It was also kinda cool to be on the ridge and listening to the pack as they banter. I was glad to know the trails so well to get out. I contemplated riding the trail out but the cut to Klondike is not one I take much so I took the pansy route.
Made me think of that scene in one of the Rambo movies (and who doesn't like Rambo movies? some excellent, excellent acting in them) where Johnny Rambo is hiding in a wall of mud. You don't know he's there until he opens his eyes and you see the whites of them. Hence, the inspiration for some photoshop fun:
So kids, be careful of the man lurking in the woods at night in SMH.
It's no ordinary weirdo, it's just Charles playing "hide (or ride) and go seek".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where have you been all my life?

Barney Gumble, speaking to a beer: "Where have you been all my life?"

That's how I felt about two new additions to the Jabberwocky. Tonight I was able to get out for a rip in the woods testing out two new products: Stans No Tubes with Arch rims and Ergon GX2 grips. Both worthy of a Naked Gear Review. Don't get too excited . . . . I'd like some more ride time using these two products before I drop my drawers. After tonights ride I was VERY impressed with both, so expect something in the next month or so.

Ergon GX2 Magnesium grips
these grips make me want to join the Happy Hands Club

Happy Hands

Stans No Tubes ZTR Arch 29er
extra suspension and grip-chun to boot - these we un-freakin'-be-lievable!

At the intersection of Pete's Wicked and Outback, out in the South March Highlands, there is an inukshuk marking the two trails. It has seemed to become more of a shrine of un-needed bicycle parts. Whether the reflectors, pump attachments, fenders, and other crap placed on it was meant to be a form of worship/sacrifice to the mtn bike Gods, or merely a place where newbie riders realized that all that shit they've been carrying on their bike is pretty freak'in useless for trail riding. Perhaps a combination of the two.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On and off

I've started a new teaching position at a different school this year. Bonus for me is it's really close to home - I can either walk or bike (which I do) each day - which means no driving in traffic. I hate traffic. Also, my day is shorter this year, so I can get home and out on the road bike right after work a whole lot sooner - meaning I have that much longer to get a road loop in before it gets dark.

Despite the crappy, wet weather yesterday, I was able to get a good ride in. I did get rained on & off about a half a dozen times while in the park, but nothing that lasted so long to soak me to the bone. A good thing too, cause it was chilly yesterday, nearly perfect temperature (with wind chill) to get hypothermia.

Second time in the park over the past few days, and the second time seeing some wildlife. This momma deer and her young one along the road at the base of Pinks.

brrrrr, chilly ride yesterday . . . . first time since the Spring that I've had to don arm warmers

Since returning from France I've felt like I've been struggling to find my legs. Sunday's long ride must have shaken loose some cob webs. I bettered my best time by nearly 3.5 minutes on the Gat loop and upped my average speed by nearly 2km/hr. Whoot!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby got beat

I felt pretty good yesterday putting in a long day on the single speed, however my body is telling me it's tired today. How do I know my body is tired? One, my legs don't like going up or down stairs, and two, I eat anything and everything that gets in my way.

So instead of going for a ride today, listening to myself pant and wheeze while climbing hills, I got to listen to this instead.

It was our first listen to the heart beat of our itty-bitty baby. The little guy (we don't know if it's a boy or girl, just using 'guy' in a generic sense) must be spinning his/her legs cause the heart beat was at 150 beats per minute. Whoot!

15 weeks and ready to roll

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cool September Gatineau Park Ride

Today's goal was to get a good long single speed ride in so to get the legs ready for 100 km at Paul's Dirty Enduro, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. I was able to recruit a few fellow riders to keep me company for some of the ride.

Mystery rider. Haven't seen this guy's ugly mug since the beginning of July.
Anyone know who this might be?

Play nice Richard
both of these two clowns bailed just after we turned down the 50 an headed towards Wakefield

Steve-O, stuck around and did the full loop with me

On our return trip back to Kingsmere, I was making the comment to Steve about how we hadn't seen any wildlife all day (which is pretty unusual in Gatineau Park), and not five minutes later we come across four deer. Then . . . .

. . . on our climb up to Camp Fortune Ski Hill, we were rounding a corner in the road when we looked up and saw a big one of these standing in the middle of the road staring at us.

and only one Bigfoot sighting (and a hitch hiking seed pod) - courtesy of Sock Guy

On my way home, I stopped and took this photo looking across the Ottawa River over to Quebec. Fall is on it's way - colours are changing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


It wasn't a wasted day today despite the rain here in Ottawa. I was able to spend a couple hours at the Bicycles for Humanity warehouse getting about 50-60 bikes prepped to be sent over to Namibia later this month.

we whipped through about 50-60 bikes this morning, getting them prepped for the container

Tobin had some time to donate and came along to help out Rob and myself to remove pedals, turn handlebars and do whatever else prepping that needed to be done before the 300+ bikes are going to be put in a transport container. There is still opportunity to donate money, drop off bikes and/or soccer equipment, and volunteer some time to load bikes on the transport. (clicky clicky for more info.)

All work and no fun makes Tobin a dull boy.
Someone donated a tandem this morning and they weren't even out the warehouse before Tobin was all over it.
Late edition: Thanks Seb for sending the photo
Rob, me and Tobin & lots & lots of bikes