Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why bother?

Even your pet can take full advantage of a hypoic tent if it has to compete at soaring altitudes.

What's in a title? My title to this post could sum up a lot of what's been going through my head as of late - alas, like I said in an earlier post last week, more to come on that later.

Why bother? Why bother training, preparing for my trip to Colorado (which I leave early Wednesday morning for) and the very high country and altitude in which I will be riding at when everything I've read, heard and been told tells me that I am going to suffer regardless of my efforts?

"Altifuckingtude. Pillow to the face." - Dieter from Misfit Psycles@ Brek Epic

"I got winded brushing my teeth today. And running up the stairs...forget about it, I end up doubled-over at the top, feeling like I'm trying to suck a fish eye tapioca ball out of my mango bubble tea with a regular size straw; not one of those bubble tea specific, gigantic diameter straws." - Thom Parsons @ Brek Epic

Whatever I do I am fucked. No spinnerval gear ratio, no amount of Ginkgo Biloba, no sleeping in a hypoic tent (can you imagin farting in one of those?) is going to save me at this point....so why bother.

From now on, until my flight leaves the safe and oxygen rich altitude of sea level, I will be exercising less and frequenting the refrigerator more.

I checked the altitude of Ottawa compared to that of Denver (probably the lowest elevation that we will ride in my week long stay there):

Ottawa = 74 m/246 ft above sea level.
Denver = 1600 m/5280 ft above sea level.

Fuck me.
Should I be worried?
From some things I've read . . . "No. For some people altitude change does not affect them. For some it's a mental thing." Pfffffttt. I get winded and lightheaded climbing the basement stairs to the ground floor of my house. 10 ft of altitude change occurring almost at sea level and I get winded.
I'm fucked.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A weekend of riding

Saturday Fritz stuck it to me on the climbs in the park. I had a good paced long ride on Tuesday, must not have recovered as well as I thought cause I suffered like a dog trying to keep up to him. About a week and a half ago Curvy Butt and I did a short ride into the park and I was able to hold onto his wheel 3/4 of the way up Pink's holding 22km/hr....then he kicked it up to 24km/hr and I was launched off his backside like a pair of pretty pink panties on prom night (yes, Curvy Butt wore pretty pink panties to his prom).

So, I can go faster than I had rode on Sautrday, but you wouldn't know it. Averaging 11-12 km/hr up most of the bigger hills was kind of pathetic. Meh. It was still a good ride and fun to get out with Fritz who was super laid back about hauling my fat arse around the park.

Sunday morning was all about family time. Ms. Original Big Ring, The Peanut and myself hit the Ottawa River Parkway to take advantage of Alcatel Sunday Bikedays (every Sunday, from May 23rd to Sept. 5th one direction of the parkways are closed down to motor vehicle traffic and opened up to cyclist and roller bladers).
Balanced rock sculptures along the river.

Rode on down to the Canadian War Museum, back along the river, up through some quiet neighborhoods, back to the river, to Westboro beach, to the coffee shop for a snack and some java, then home.

Then early in the afternoon I hooked up with Lenny and the Vegan Vagabond for a ride in the South March Highlands (they really aren't high though).

Leonard - all smiles.

Haven't seen or ridden with these guys in a long time. Funny how this weekend I didn't ride alone not once. The majority of my season has been spent pedaling alone for the most part - either nobody is around to ride or I feel too guilty joining a ride cause I know I'll slow everyone down. The phone doesn't ring, nor do the e-mails fill my inbox for invites to ride like they once use to.

It was great to ride with a couple of people. Super casual, laid back pace with lots of stops to chat and catch up. I think we rode so slow and stopped so much that it took us over an hour to get through Outback.

VV - riding a rigid diSSent single speed in the SMH, just like me, but mine is pinker.

Who said you needed a full suspension geared bike to ride technical trails? What's Lenny's excuse you ask? He's just old.

Notice how the trail ends. It once continued to flow, now taken over by road construction meant to meet the demand of urban sprawl.

Why can't people just live downtown so that we don't have to ruin the trails?! Stupid sprawling sub-urbanites.

Me fall down, go boom.

Half way through the ride Lenny asked if I had 'dabbed' at all. I hadn't. No sooner does he mention about dabbing and I begin to dab a few times. Not only did I dab once or twice, I went down hard on a rocky technical up. Ka-plooey.

T'was a fun weekend of fun riding. Some burning climbs to prep the legs and lungs, and some techy trails to prep the flow, coordination & balance for this next week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bobcaygeon-Haliburton-Tory Hill

Rode from Bobcaygeon up into the Haliburton Highlands Tuesday afternoon. Traffic on the country roads was very light - made for a beauty day to ride. My first two hours or so I was averaging a nice pace of about 28.5 kms/hr. Once in the Highlands it dropped a bit with the increasing rolling hills. All said and done I put in 115 kms and felt good throughout the entire ride, even turning into a slight headwind the last 30 or so km. Wifey & The Peanut picked me up in Tory Hill and we made our way back to Ottawa and was treated to a big chicken Shawarma platter for dinner to replace the fuel I burned on my ride.

Was pleasantly surprised how many "Share The Road" signs there were out in the country. Drivers, for the most part, heeded the road side labels and gave plenty of room to pass.

You know that you're in cottage country when you see a float plane on almost every lake you pass. This one was on lake just in and around the village of Haliburton.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wallowing in Buckwallow

Made the hour and a half country road commute from my mother-in-laws place to Buckwallow one day after a long gravel road ride. Well worth the trip in my books. I always love riding here. There's not a lot of trail, but what is there is plenty O'buckets of fun.

I was very happy to be back on the mtn bike for only my second ride on it since tweaking my ankle real good a month and a half ago. The first bit of dirt, rocks, mud and roots under the diSSent's wheels and without a doubt it rode indubitably well. After a heavy rain the day before, the trails proved to be a bit damp in a few spots, but overall were in excellent shape. After riding the CX and road bike so much over the past month I had begun to forget how smooth a ride it is for a rigid steel single speed.......pffffffft, full suspension geared bikes.

The trails are full of rocks and roots - one of my favourites, West D'nile, is 85% rock.

Some nice log features which I accidentally found myself riding on a couple of times - luckily I had my weakened ankle braced to the nine in case of any log related mishaps.

There is some trail erosion. Meh, I say it adds to the charm.

Grumpy old man......
I originally rode Buckwallow back in 2001 or 2002 a year or so after they first opened. It cost only $2 to ride it back then, now the price is up to $10 (thank Mr Harper for the recent HST increase). With only about 25 km of trail you can pretty much cover everything in about an hour or so. I rode it all twice, once in the direction posted and once in the opposite - and a few trails twice in both directions. Ended up with about 2.5 hrs in total riding.

One of my favourite technical tires, the Nevegal, is a trusty go to roots and rock tire which proved to be excellent in the rear. . . . not my rear, the rear of the bike, which I rode and the tire was on the ground.

Finally got around to testing out the Rampage in some wet, muddy conditions (with some sandy bits thrown in to boot) and was impressed with how well it rode. This is one all around wicked tire - not as heavy as the Nevegal and rolls much smoother. It will be accompanying me in the hills of Colorado next week for sure.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stormy Country Ride

Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, this blog is still ticking over....barely. Changes are coming, but that's another post.
Been away the past week or so and away from the computer - a bit of a blog-cation if you will. But have been getting some good rides in preparation for my bike trip in high country next week.

Most of my rides have been on gravel country roads on the CX bike. Endless rolling gravel country roads with Chinese punk cover song of a John Denver lick stuck in your head might be much for some, but I like it.

Lock at Buckhorn on the Trent Severn Waterway.

I spent most of my country road rides around the Bobcaygeon (yes, like the Hip song - one of my favourite Hip songs by the way) and Peterborough area. Very little traffic during the day in the middle of the week - stay off them during the weekends though....it's a madhouse people vacating the cities and towns heading north to their cottages.

Keep an eye on the sky.

The winds kicked and really began to blow - check out the dust flying even after the first few heavy drops of rain fell.

I was 95 km into a long ride when the sky turned dark and the wind began to howl. It was a tough day on the bike with winds gusting up to 40 km/hr, seemingly mostly straight at me. When the skies blackened and the winds let loose I thought I was going to be in the middle of a hurricane. Managed to claw my way to a gas station for shelter.

I hid out under an overhang outside the country gas station a little disappointed in not finishing the 125 kms or so that I had set out to do, but more so in the closed chip truck(same chip truck that Stu pigged out last year in July).

It got cold, and I got scared.....not because the of the progressively sour turning atmospheric conditions, but because of the closed up chip truck that I starred at while waiting for the cavalry to arrive and give me a lift home.

Then it poured and thundered & lightening. Meh, could have come at a worse time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tested out the new stoppers. They say 'race' on them, but I haven't been racing this year.

Meech Lake.

Hydrated so well that I had to take a leak while riding - that's a very good sign for me, I never pee. I'm sure Mr. Toad here also appreciated me not giving him a golden shower as well.

Fields near Cross Loop Rd.

Allergy suffers beware. Had to walk through a tall field of golden rod (i think that's what it is).

My first mtn bike ride in a month, since my accident. Five hours in the saddle, wearing an ankle brace....blisters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

*put your own captions in - i'm too tired and don't really feel like doing this blog thing. And in case you haven't pieced it together yet Einstein, I got new brakes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CX, Prime Minister and Games

Etienne-Brule Look-off

Bombed down number two, but stopped to look at the big spiky purple flowers.

Continued on down the forty - fun as hell on a CX bike. Whoopty Whoot!

Down to the end of Meech Lake Rd. I believe that this is the entrance to the Prime Minister's cottage - check out the security cameras and RCMP car behind the fence.

Can any slack-jaw yocals confirm if this is the Governor's General summer home?

Quebec Summer Games taking place this past week. The mountain bike venue is at Camp Fortune. Took a spin up and it was all a hustle and bustle of pop-up tents and young folk racing.

It was my first trip to Fortune this year. Shameful. I usually ride Fortune a few times a month. Meh.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tour De Goat

September 1st - 8th

My season thus far, as far as 'racing' or 'events' go, has been a real bust of Dolly Parton proportions. I'm surprised that you keep coming back to my dribble-like blog. Perhaps I can redeem myself with a week long epic adventure in Colorado. Perhaps?

I am less than one month out from my first trip to the high country, my first real adventure of the season. It's a stage 'event' of sorts. No race fees, no race promotions, no aid stations, no t-shirt or medal for completing it. Just riding for five days in the mountains, sleeping on a buddies couch, mooching off his kindness and hospitality.

This trip has developed over taunting, name calling and pink envy between me and the Goat that began way down south in North Carolina some three years ago. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on the way you look at it, I met a sadistic rider who loves to explore and suffer, enjoys making all around him suffer in the search of pushing the limits and taking in the trail and all it's glorious surroundings. He's also has terrible fashion sense.

Tentative Schedule which is subject to Goats sick and twisted sense of humour based on how much I will be suffering pushing my single speed up mountain passes all the while battling adapting to altitude:
  • Sept 2nd and ride Kenosha>Georgia>Jefferson Creek>Kenosha and drive into Salida
  • Sept 3rd Monarch Crest
  • Sept 4th-5th Crested Butte
  • Sept 6th Two Elks
More to follow over the next month or so leading up to my BIGGEST and BESTEST mountain bike trip of the year.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Without Wilderness but still in the wilderness of sorts, which I really mean the country

Friday was a travel day and yesterday a holiday - meh, no post.

This weekend I was suppose to race the Wilderness 101 and as you probably already have guessed it from my extra-ordinary title . . . I didn't. However, if you'd like to read about the 101 head on over to Big Bikes - he's got video - oooo, laa laa.
I did get out for a longish (considering my state of affairs this season, it was 'longish') ride Saturday while visiting with at Jeannie Beanie's place (my mother-in-law's). All said and done I got in just a tad over a metric century at an easy comfortable pace. If I lived in the states I might have done an Imperial Century . . . pffffft, I live in Canada so I am sticking to the metric system - it's easier.

Back road country dirt roads that I rode my bike that I ride on dirt roads.
Most of the dirt roads were in better shape than the country paved roads. Despite it being a holiday weekend I didn't get mowed over by any slackjaw yocals hauling seadoos or four wheelers.

Haunted houses.

Old lumber mills.

Rail trail.

The Peanut post ride with my wet salty stinky helmet. What can I say, "Father of the Year Award" moment.