Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cleats

When it comes to spare bike parts, pieces, bits, do-dads, memmorbialia, stuff, things, tid-bits, accessories, etc. I have a hard time getting rid of them. Besides sometimes not being able to find what I'm looking for or can't remember where I put something, it's generally not an issue.

Only a few pair of old egg beater cleats that I have laying around the workshop.

However, somethings are probably useless and a hindrance. Take for example old cleats. If I've taken them off a pair of shoes, it probably means they suck ass at keeping me held into the pedals. I don't know why I've kept them. Maybe in the back of my head I had plans to make a life like mosaic of myself with all the spare parts.

My last mountain bike ride, when I crashed, I was unclipping horribly - not that that was the reason for the crash. But it was time to replace the cleats. Finally got around to it yesterday. BUT, I did not have a new set to replace them with. So I go digging in the tickle trunk to find a suitable pair.

Pffft . . . good luck finding a pair that are any better. How the hell do you tell?

Crank Brother Egg Beater pedals - in my experience people either love them or hate them - I heart them. However, my one beef with egg beaters is that the cleats wear out way too quickly. Soft brass is no match for steel or ti spindles or hard rock. I usually end up replacing my cleats two or three times a season.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sexy Italian

"I'll be bringing something sexy and Italian on the ride tonight."

"Okay, whatever. Just meet me at Gameline and be on-time." Pffft, stupid Curvy Butt . . . never on time.

Sexy Italian? What's he bringing? I couldn't help to wonder. . .
If I had said that it probably would have meant I had remnants of a meatball sub left on my shirt.

As I rode from my house to Gameline I had images of Curvy Butt wearing sexy Italian underwear for some reason.

Vaaa Vaaa Vaaa Voooom! Even these black I-talian bloomers couldn't hide Curvy Butt's bodacious taataa.

To my dismay and disappointment he didn't show up wearing sexy I-talian under wear. Instead, he rode up on this sexy machine. Light headed and lacking oxygen while riding for ten days in the Italian and Swiss Alps a few weeks ago seems that he made an impulse purchase.

Personally, I would have stuck to the pizza, espressos and gelatos . . . however, after his Casati factory tour he threw down some bones for a new ride and I can't blame him one bit.
It's dead sexy.

Glad to have seen Curvy Butt leave me behind as he climbs away from me on his new Casati.

And it can move. I don't care who you are, you are probably never going to ride faster than the first ride on your new machine. The excitement and joy and beauty of a new ride under you seems to totally block out any pain and suffering that you may be feeling.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Toilet Paper On The Road

I got out for a couple loops of the park last week. Nice to be on the road bike (any bike for that matter with my gimpy ankle being so gimpy and all) in weather that's not sweltering hot.

I remember seeing, not sure if it was last year or the year before, what looked like to be toilet paper all over the road in the park. Well, it's there again. I met a road crew out digging up old cracks and refilling them with their sticky tar like epoxy filler. And, yes, it was toilet paper they were layering over top the freshly sealed cracks. I stopped and asked one of the workers what it was for to which he replied, it's to prevent the black sealer from sticking to tires until it has a chance to set and dry. The toilet paper eventually peels away and gets blown off.
I recall it being strewn all over the place. I know it's only toilet paper and will eventually break down, but what a mess it makes. AND, despite the toilet paper on the cracks, I still managed to get my tires all gummed up. Meh, at least no toilet paper stuck to the bike.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another country ride

Managed to get in two or three country rides on my gimpy ankle last week.
Saw this sign a few different times on a few different roads and had no idea what it meant.

Bovine . . . . mmmmmmm, hamburger.




Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cottage Century


During out little family vacation to a cottage that we rented up near Barry's Bay last week, I managed to get out for long road/gravel ride in Renfrew County. It's hilly country up that way, especially in and around the Foymount. Prior to spraining my ankle I had been getting lots of riding in, no real distance riding, but riding nonetheless. This was my first 100 kms (despite what the map above says I did managed a little over 100 km) in a while and I was surprised how good I felt throughout.

Long country roads

Country signs

Country views - highest populated point in all of Ontario.

Country community.
Foymount is the highest populated point in all of Ontario. During the Cold War it was an RAF base established to keep a watchful eye out for Russian nuclear bombers. It's also home of the Seirra Design Outlet Store . . . be advised, it will be closing soon and not re-opening - so if you want some nice cheap outdoor clothing and gear you'd better start riding your bike there.

Wolverines! Who needs an RAF base when you've got the Wolverines.
I didn't see any Wolverines or Reds in Foymount.

Country climbs - this just kept going and going.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Been away the past few days on a family holiday. Spent our time at a cottage in cottage-country.

Despite still bruised and swollen I dragged the bike along to get the first road/cx ride in since hurting my ankle.

Quiet hilly country roads.

Got one good ride in on some dirt roads with some nice climbs.

Some farmers and landowners have been mad at the government and let their feelings be known. All of the signs I saw read: "Back off government...." I'm guessing that this guy was particularly angry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Off line

Can't blog . . . cleaning the pool (no, I don't actually have a pool, so don't ask to come over and swim and eat my popsicles), but I have a bunch of stuff that will take me away from the blog-o-sphere for a few days.
While I'm gone, go buy one of these.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wilderness 101 Race Entry For Sale

For obvious reasons I won't be attending the 101 this year. So, I need to get some money back from my already purchased entry. Clicky clicky under my profile dealie over there-----> for my e-mail if you're interested in buying my spot. I will cover the cost of the transfer fee.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ankle ice cream recovery plan

I had an x-ray on Friday - the doctor I saw was pretty sure it was broken. Luckily the images showed no indication of a break. Whoot! In your face doc!
Or maybe not so lucky, as sprains and strains often take longer to mend than broken bones. Only an MRI will reveal a tear.

I laid on the couch all weekend with my foot up and an ice pack strapped to it. That's it, that's all I did. I did watch every stage of the Tour though.

Photo not too long after icing it on Sunday.
Still big and fat. . . and my ankle is pretty swollen too (Haaaaa, I slay me).

The bruising is beginning to show towards the bottom of the foot/ankle.

I've been keeping up with the rest, elevation and icing. I've even been attempting to ice it from the inside by eating Blizzards - anything for the sake of recovering faster. The ice cream is also keeping up my energy levels while I press the buttons on the remote while watching the jumping box all weekend.


Here's hoping for a speedy recovery and to be back on the bike soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wet Snotty Injury

Hooked up with Fritz and a few of his buddies and did a nicely paced, technical ride of the trails at the north end of the park last night.

As the group rounded the corner and the top of the climb the skies opened up and let loose on us with a heavy downpour which soaked us to the bone. +42 degree humid weather - the rain was most welcome despite making the trails wet and slippery.

Grey, dark skies opened up on us off and on throughout the ride. Getting higher up we had the lightening CLAP very close to us a few times.

Broken chain.

Ted on a gnarly rooty, rocky wet down.

Another injury to add to my injury/illness prone season.
Towards the end of the ride my front end washed out on a slippery, greasy root. Got my left foot out and tweaked my ankle pretty badly.

Had a real tough time sleeping last night. Swollen and sore.
Having a hard time walking on it. Off to the hospital for an x-ray.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So hot you could cook an egg on the pavement

It was 46 degrees today with the humidex. 46 frick'n degrees (that's 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit for all you Yanks still not living with the metric system along with the rest of the free world . . . and some communist countries). I don't remember the last time I rode in that kind of heat. My legs, energy and enthusiasm melt like butter in hot conditions.

Watch out of those cracks in the pavement. Don't let the black-filler-gunk fool you thinking you can ride into/on them. Get a wheel caught in one of them canyon like cracks in the road and you're done for. May as well be cookie dough filling the cracks . . . . mmmmm, cookie dough.

In the ten km's from my house to the start of a Gat loop I drank one full bottle in about 21 minutes.

By the time I got to the top of Pink (another 6-7 km further up the road) my bottle was empty again. With only one bottle left for another 30-35 kms I made the decision to pull the plug and head for home. Getting heat stroke or heat exhaustion is totally not worth a loop of the park.

Stopped in the shade and snacked on a few wild raspberries on the way home.
Heat wave still in affect and no signs of letting up. Hopefully the Thursday night ride will be cooler.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mt St Marie - Part II

clicky clicky to go to an interactive map of what's been cut up at Mt St Marie

Ted and Fritz climbing up Radar Rd. 4 km climb up a ski access road.

a couple loose, rocky sections on a pitch sucked the life out of my legs - part of single speeding is knowing when to pick your battles (it's steeper than it looks).

anyone who knows Fritz knows he's follically challenged, so what's up with the hairnet?
- keeps the deer flies out




Fritz shot this a little while back, the trail now looks better and rides faster

views

Mario, Fritz, Derek and Ted - guys who on Fritz's lead have found some serious enthusiasm for building trails and riding bikes.

After our morning loop we rode directly to the beach and dove in. 11 am in the morning and it was already + 33 degrees

on my way back to Ottawa I stopped at a little French take-out joint and ordered me up some poutine . . . .mmmmm, poutine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mt St Marie - Part I

Headed to Mt St Marie this past weekend to visit with my good buddy Fritz and help put some big fat original man hours into some trail work. Fritz has been working on establishing trails up that way for some time now and I was only too happy to lend a hand. My favourite things other than riding and eating are working on the bike and building trails.

Fritz's enthusiasm for the trail system he single-handedly started at the hill has caused much enthusiasm from the locals and cottage dwellers. No shortage of folk keen on lending a hand. Today, however, it was just Fritz, Mario and myself.

no photos please

Beauty drive up to Mt St Marie which is only about an hour and twenty minutes from Ottawa in La Belle de Province.

beauty landscape

Fritz's cottage/ski chalet - built in 1860. Very comfortable and cozy, set amid pine trees which keeps the property cool even in the plus thirty one degree sun.

4x4'ing up Mt St Marie ski hill to access the trails with all the tools
- couldn't get up the entire way as it pitched up to steeply towards the end

time for some new trail building gloves- these have seen their share of moving rocks, dirt, logs, trees and leaves over the years.

Lookoff out the backside of the hill - not a house or road in site. Reminds me a little of being in Psigah.

Fritz and Mario took the sucker way down to the jeep - they walked. I was going to take the lift, but they said that I'd have to wait until December. We made our way down to the lake for a swim to scrub off the dirt from trail building.

We did just a wee bit over three hours of work on the trail before calling it a day. The heat and deer flies were too much. Back down the hill, a swim in the lake, a bite to eat then it was off for a ride to try out our handy work.
Coming off two weeks of night shift with not much sleep, some tough trail work in hot & humid conditions, then the long four kilometer climb to the top wore me down. I managed to ride the trail, but I felt pretty near shattered the whole time. Sunday would be an improvement . . . but that will have to wait until tomorrow's post.