Thursday, May 31, 2007


Went down to the shop tonight, Tall Tree Cycles, that is.

I couldn't wait to start the build on my new monster truck and was able to finally start it tonight.Will with a sandwich as big as his head.
Thom getting in on the mellon sized sandwich too.
Almost done, a few more things to do and it'll be ready to roll for a l-o-n-g ride Saturday morning.

Almost Famous?

Hey hey . . . check this out.

That actually makes me look like I know what I am doing, a contender, someone important . . . . oh, if they only knew. Better be careful, my helmet might not fit with my ego getting all ballooned up.

Actually the boys at Wingnutgear have been super to deal with. Looking forward to getting that new pack Adam. This one is for you !

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Just wanted to put a plug out there to a few of my great sponsors who have been helping me out so far this season.

Kenda Tires kept me moving faaaast all throughout the race. I love my Small Block Eights. For the types of courses that I've been racing on so far this season, there is nothing faster. There were some sandy sections . . . . more like beach-like sections at the bottom of two big run-outs at Mansfield. The SB8's handled them without twitching. Very impressed with these tires and love them more and more.

Progold Lubricants kept me drive train running smoothly and without noise. Saw lots of riders stopping to lube their chains in the dry, dusty conditions. I didn't have to touch my chain once.

OmegaWhey provided me with the protein to fuel and repair my tired muscles after the race. Nothing like a granolla bar and a shake with OmegaWhey to help you recover with. The next day my legs felt great, even after riding a single speed for 8 hrs!

Many thanks to Will & Thom at Tall Tree Cycles for trying to get my Niner built the week before Mansfield, but to no fault of there own, were held up by suppliers and the mail. Looking forward to sporting the new jerseys and bike at the upcoming races and representing TTC.

** Lots of good things to say about my other FANTABULOUS sponsors** Stay tunned!

Monday, May 28, 2007

8 Hr Race Report

Drove down to Matt's Friday afternoon.Managed to shake off the 'death nods' to stay awake during the five hour drive to Midland. Two consecutive restless nights in Ottawa in the heat made me bagged. Once at Matt's we wasted little time stuffing pizza into our faces, then it was off to sleep for as much rest as I could get.

Woke early to head out for the race. Arrived at Mansfield Outdoor Centre around 8:30am Saturday morning to pick up our race packages and prep for 8 hours in the saddle. As the sun was coming out in the morning, it felt like it might get too hot, but turned out to be the perfect temperature for riding.Brandon, Kari, me and Matt in the pits before the race.

We were surprised to find out that we were starting 5 minutes after the rest of the main field started. This changed my game plan - originally I wanted to bust out of the gates on the heels of the fast guys and get past the slower riders. Turned out to work out not too badly, by the solos caught them, they were pretty much spread out and would just step aside to let the long train pass.

The course was made up of fast and winding single track, with a few short sections of double track mixed in. Only two significant climbs: the first right out of the shoot, was long and steady. Riding the ss, it was tough to stay seated, so I had to stand and climb most of it - while the geared riders spun away. The second climb (called Oxygen Debt)had a l-o-n-g gradual climb, then a very steep section, followed by a down then a series of tight switch backs to the top. I rode the first part, but ran the shorter and switch back part of the climb. I saved more time and energy doing this than trying to mash my way to the top. Sometimes racing isn't about pedaling all the time, it's about making smart decisions and saving energy for later in the race.

Luckily after each significant climb there was lots of single track to recover on. The climbs started to take their tole on me around the 7th or 8th lap. Had some dark moments where I just wanted to stop and give up. I thought about why the hell had I even signed up for another 24 hr solo, when I was suffering a little over half way through an 8 hr race.

I was able to divide the course into two sections, both about 5km apart. The start line was one reward - everyone cheering you on, and the other being the solo pit area where I could refuel, get a new bottle and a pat on the back.
Coming into the pit for a much needed coke from Doug.

I had a moment during the race where I thought that I might not finish due to a mechanical. I had started my 9th lap, climbing the long gradual climb and couldn't get clipped in after coming through the timing tent. I stopped and had a look at my cleat and it was loose and moving around. I managed to get clipped in and hoped that it wouldn't come any more loose until I was able to get back to the solo area (didn't carry a multi tool . . . yeah, bright!). I focused on trying not to move my foot around on the pedal too much for fear of losing the cleat or a screw (I hadn't a spare of either). I had just put locktite and new cleats on two nights before too. Managed to get back to the pit and quickly got them tightened up and back on my way.

The next few laps went by fairly uneventful and I was feeling good that the race was coming to a close. I was coming up to the cut off time of 6pm to get in my last lap. Part of me really wanted to call it a day and pack it in after my 12th. I even had thoughts of hanging out in the woods pretending to have a flat or something, just to kill the time and put me in on my last lap after 6pm so I wouldn't have to go back out.

I put it out of my head quickly. I came to Mansifield to race and train. Mental training is as important. The biggest part of endurance racing is mental toughness. Mind over matter and the body is so huge. I decided to suck it up and keep hammering and push on for a 13th. I came through the timing tent at about 5:50pm. I got a big cheer from the Chico boys, "BIG RING!" That gave me enough UMPA LOOMPA to get moving and feeling good that this was indeed my last lap.

Funny enough, on that climb out of the start, who do I catch up with? Kari spinning up that hill on her 12th lap. Man, what a machine! I decided to ride with Kari at her pace and enjoy the last lap chatting about the race and keeping each other company. It made it go by faster and it was a lot of fun. We both came into the solo pit area together at 6:20pm to find out the cut off time was 6:40pm. SHITE! I panicked and took off. We were only about 5km out, but being fatigued, who knew how long it would take?

Kari yelled to me not to wait . . . I felt a little bad, but I really didn't want to miss the cut off time, so I pushed on as hard as I could. Got over the last climb and found a steady rhythm to keep me moving. Before I knew it I was passing the "1km To Go" sign and was able to relax with about ten minutes left. Finished the last little bit of single track which dumped me out at the timing area, rolled through and finished.

13 laps, 133.9km, 8hrs.26min.8sec. Good enough for 9th out of 44 solo riders.

Was a very dusty course. Man do I looked baked.

Kari took 3rd place in all the solo women riders (17 in total). At the start of the race she said that she wanted to place in the top three. What a great start to your season Kari!
Matt finished 6th place with 13 laps in 8hr 10min 39 sec. Big effort and awesome race for him. If his handlebars hadn't come loose during the race, he'd probably have moved up a spot.

Many thanks to Brandon's folks Irene and Doug who helped out in the pits with Brent (a junior from the Tri club that Matt trains with). Very happy with my results. Training is right on track, still another month before I peak. Whoot!
Arrived back home Sunday afternoon. My biggest fan and supporter had this cake waiting for me. You're the best Chrissie! ("We're" meaning my wife, dog Jacks and cat Pibbs! Too funny!)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mansfield 8 Hr Race

Matt, Kari and I on the start line. Solo's started 5 minutes after the main field.

I had plate # 13. Unlucky??

End of race . . . face.

Want to know more? Can't wait? Race report tomorrow. Cheers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heat, bats, packing

It's late, it's stinking hot . . . . I just got all my shite together so that I can leave tomorrow for the race. I'm crashing at Matt's place tomorrow night then we're getting up early to head to the race. Looks like I got all my stuff in order.

I'm beat. Long day. Got a ride in tonight with Mark over in the Gats. Kind of fun doing a night ride on the road bike. Lots of bbbbbugs! Holy cow lots of bugs. Coming back along the river bats flew on either side of me as I rode along the bike path - pretty cool.

Anywho . . . .I'm off tomorrow. Wish me luck. Will be pedaling the single speed for 8 hrs on Saturday. If I get back early enough Sunday I'll try to post some results of the race.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I've been praying to the bike Gods that my 29'er will fall into place by the weekend. My prayers have fallen on deaf ears - the Gods must be out riding.

As of yesterday, still missing shifter, bottom bracket, cranks, hubs, bar, etc. looks like I'll be riding the single speed at the Mansfield 8 hr race. Not over the moon excited about the notion. My longest training ride on the SS was this weekend and it was pretty much only a 3 hr ride. T'was a good ride and I felt strong and fine - even considering the hills in the Gats that we climbed. Oh well, it's a race and lots of experience to be had from it: new trail to me, meet new people, see some old friends, get a wicked good training ride in (lots of mileage), work out my nutrition stuff. Lots of "PROS" and only one "CON" - it's going to hurt!!!

Took yesterday and today off the bike to get things preped, food sorted out, gear packed, etc. Will get out for a short ride tomorrow, maybe a loop of the park with a few hard, short efforts thrown in to keep me honest and the legs loose. Who's in?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bike for Pho

Tonight Chris and I biked down to Chinatown for some pho.After dinner we rode to the Ottawa River and took the bike paths home.
Move that bootie!
Came across some new Cdn goslings. Honk honk.
Representing with the new Crank Bros hoodie.
Fun date night. What's better than eating out and going for a ride?


No callers to win Supertramp's, "Breakfast in America" in the "name that poo" contest.

For those of you who are not scatologists or are not into the study of scatology, the picture above is one of black bear poop. Some may have been confused at determining the size of the poo without anything to scale it. You may have thought that I came across a chipmunk with a severe gastrointestinal disorder and took advantage of it's suffering. Alas, there was no trickery and in hindsight I should have used something for scale - perhaps my foot beside it.

If I had indeed done that, you would have see that bear poo is about a foot across.
That's one large kaa-kaa!

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. No one wrote in with an answer - what's wrong with you people anyway? Supertramp?!?! What's not to love?

I was just sitting here this morning drinking my coffee and thinking about (don't ask me why) how many piles of bear shite we rode past yesterday in the park. Lot of poo sightings, but no bear sightings.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

2:1 Ride

2 geared riders to 1 single speeder (2:1 get it? AND, also reference made to my gear ratio . . . man, am I good or what?!)

Nice ride today. Mark, Lenny and myself (later Peter would catch up on our way out) did the O'Brien-Wakefield-Lac Phillipe loop. I was surprised that the legs felt as good as they did considering yesterday I hauled a 28.5 lb bike up to the fire tower and back. On a much lighter bike and carrying far less gear and water helped. Rain held off, thankfully. Started out pretty cold, but we got warmed up climbing pretty quickly.

Riding in the Gats you are either going up or going down. So lots of climbing. It was more of a muscular workout for me - climbing those hills really pushed my legs. Very happy with how they responded. Feeling good five weeks out of Solstice (my first 24 hr solo race of the season).

Mark and Lenny catching some air time coming off a water bar while bombing down one of the many hills today.

My poor attempt at action photography. Blurry! Is it art if that's what I was attempting to do?

Hmmm . . . . post ride recovery at La Cigale in Chelsea after a 3 hr loop.
A banana split has got everything you need for recovery: ice cream - protein, some fat and carbs; bananas - carbs; nuts - protein; chocolate sauce - carbs;
whipped cream - ummmmm.....??

New name, same management

I've got a few friends who like to joke around and call me "big ring". Came from a trip to North Carolina last year. I was climbing this never ending grade and it seemed pretty tough, looked down and noticed that I was in my big ring. I mentioned it to the guys at the top and I guess they took it as something I was bragging about . . . . what can I say . . . I WAS leading the group up the climb, I WAS pretty far ahead of them . . . .

. . . . . in all modesty and fairness, I was just making an observation. I am by no means what-so-ever a climber. I'm by far to fat and slow to be considered a climber. I digress from my story . . . .

I thought that the blog needed a little change, something catchy? Is doing a self imposed nick name an act of desperation? "Hey guys, look at me!" Kind of like when George Costanza from Seinfeld was trying to get his co-workers to call him "T-bone" and they ended up calling him "Coco the Monkey".

In high school I was sometimes called Sasquatch and not because I was cute and cuddly. More because I acted like a complete animal on the weekends! So, "big ring" ain't so bad.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Solo Suffer-fest . . . where's the love?

Left the house this morning just before 10am.
Plan was to ride to the fire tower and back, from the house. Couldn't find a soul interested in doing it - too bad, because it was a beautiful day.

Had to take some bike paths. Then crossed Champlain Bridge over the Ottawa River into Quebec.
Once into the park, I was on more bike paths until the base of Pink. Finally got some dirt under the wheels. After Pink's and MacKenzie, I jumped onto Number 1 at Kingsmere. This is Shilly Shally, one of many huts in the park where you can take shelter. These are great in the winter while out xc or skate skiing. Great place to warm up and get a bite of food into you. All huts are equipped with a wood stove and wood to burn.
The first caller to indentify this critter's poo, that I foudnd on the trail, will receive an autographed copy of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America".
**Hint: it's not mine!**

Wolf Trailhead - was very tempted to ride this . . . but I was a good boy!
Next stop, the MacInstry Fire Tower.On the way back from the Fire Tower, I cruised on over to Champlain Lookoff for a look-see. Beautiful day!
To see my return trip, just scroll up.

Just a teensy bit over 5 hours in the saddle and just under a 100km. Great training ride. Too bad so many of you chumps missed it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Saturday Suffer-fest

Saturday suffer-fest in the park. Who's in?

My place to the Fire Tower. Fun fun fun!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Great Big 29" Wall

My last (I promise Christine!) Kenda tire order arrived today. I was actually all set for the year before the 29'er deal came through. BUT, since I'll be riding some Magic Carpet Ride, I need some rubber.

Great big wall of 29" lovin! Got the Karma in there (2.2 & 1.9) - great for racing and an all around tire, got the Small Block 8 in there too - super fast tire for racing!

The tenth caller who can tell me how many Kenda big loving tires there are in the first picture will receive an autographed copy of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America".

Rides and anticipating

BIG weekend of riding planned. Not only is it a long weekend (Victoria Day next Monday), but it's the last weekend of long training rides before the 8hr at Mansfield. The park opened this past week, so I will be hitting it for back to back days on Saturday and Sunday - long, well paced rides.
The new 29'er isn't here yet, so one day will be on the SS and the other I'll probably lighten up the Titus and take it for some geared fun. Who wants to come along and suffer beside be for 5-6 hours each day? Fun Fun Fun!
Was hoping that I'd have the Magic Carpet Ride for at least one weekend of training before the race. Hopefully I'll have it for the race - what a way to do a shake down ride - 8 hrs of racing! Whoot!


What's with this weather? Have we taken a step back? They're calling for a high of eight degrees today with showers. Brrrrr . . . . sounds like good hypothermia-riding weather.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Got nothing

Today I got nothing. Sorry . . . nothing. Sad.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Can't sleep

I fell asleep early tonight, but woke up around 12:30am - my knee was bothering me. Seems the hard hill intervals on Thursday took their toll. I could feel my left knee on Friday a bit, but today's afternoon interval type ride it hurt more.

I had trouble with it at the beginning of last season and ended up taking some time off the bike before getting a proper bike fit and seeing a sports medicine doctor. Both Dr. Smythe and my physiotherapist told me, that with my knee problem history, that I should be spinning my pedals - not mashing. Funny how pain makes you remember these things. Probably shouldn't do those hard force workouts anymore. Going to listen to the body and (probably) take tomorrow and maybe Monday off to let the swelling go down. I've had a hard week on the bike, so the rest will do me good.

Today I got up at 6am and got Jacks to Bruce Pit for our usual Saturday morning walk. Got home, fueled up and was on the bike by 8:20am. Headed to the park for two complete loops. As I passed the main gate, I ran into Forsythe who was also out for a long training ride. So we ended up doing our first loop together at a tempo pace.

Once we completed the first loop and were back at the Champlain/Parkway intersection, Scott turned back to do it in reverse. I carried on back to the start to refill my bottles and do it all over again. Good loop, consistent speed.
Distance - 103km
Avg Speed - 26.7km/hr
Avg Heart Rate 157bpm

Got home and had enough time to refuel, stretch, change and get my stuff together for my afternoon SMH rip with Mark (another 1 3/4 hrs on the bike). Couldn't take the ss today, as it is at the shop having the rear hub bearings replaced - so I ended up taking the Titus. What a beast compared to the Surly and my road bike! This afternoon's ride was more like intervals - it's such a technically challenging place to ride that at times you're going all out to clean sections or get up a rooty, rocky section. Heart rate spikes a lot. This also hurt my knee, can't spin smoothly up it all - sometime you have to stomp on the pedals to get over stuff. Ouch! Iced my knee and popped some ibprophin when I got home . . . . it appears to have worn off.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gold was in the box

I received a notice in the mail for a parcel to be picked up - was expecting something for our bathroom reno, but instead got this. Nice surprise!
A dozen gold ones.
I had been in touch with the fine folks at Progold Lubricants back in February and we had been playing e-mail tag for a while. I hadn't heard anything from them and figured that they gave up on me. When out of the blue this box arrives! Thank so very much Van - much appreciated!

Along with the Progold Chain Lubricant, came a tub of EPX Cycle grease, an awesome pair of mechanics gloves and some temporary tattoos (to hand out at races). I now have more chain lube than I could use in a lifetime. I've got a few creative ways to share the wealth and pass along this fantastic product. Look for me at the races, I'll be the one wearing the Progold Tattoos!

I sought out Progold as a sponsor because I've been using their product for years. I've tried others, but no other chain lube (in my opinion) is better in wet or dry conditions. Progold does what it says, it keeps the chain running clean and smooth. Those who know me, know that I keep all my bikes clean, clean, clean.

Thumbs up doods!

Friday, May 11, 2007

What's in the box?

I wear a bra

What can I say . . . . I've got man boobs.
Just joshin' . . . .picked up this bike bra while down in North Carolina a while back. Bought it in anticipation for all the driving that I do to my mother-in-laws with the road bike on the rack. Driving through the backcounty causes the bike to end up with a thick layer of bug smatterings all over it. My beautiful new bike . . . .not going to happen!

I threw it on the mtn bike the other night before heading down to Limerick for the race. Glad I did cause the bugs are really coming out of the woodwork now. Worked great. I HATE having dirty bikes!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Did hill intervals tonight. They hurt. Basically found some long hills and went up and down them a whole bunch of times until I felt like I was going to throw-up on myself.

There's a few ways to do hills - I threw the bike into the hardest possible gear that I could turn while remaining seated and pedaled my way to the top, turned around and bombed down to the bottom and then do it all over again.

What's crazy is as I started the hills, Iron Maiden "Run To the Hills" comes on my ipod. Freaky. What's more freaky is as I'm pedaling up Pink in the Gats, Nick Drake's song "Pink Moon" comes on (not sure why I had it on there in the first place, everything else was pretty heavy).

Check it out . . . . this is what I'll look like when I get older and start going bald.Got up this morning and it was really warm, I had time before work, so I cut my hair. Was going to go to work like this for a laugh, but my wife didn't think it was such a good idea.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My first car-bike collision

I commuted to work today - probably shouldn't have - not too much rest & recovery going on pushing a 44x15 gearing. But I biked all the same. Only takes me about 40 minutes each way.

So I'm almost at work. I'm coming up to a four-way-stop, a small SUV is just ahead of me slowing down. No indicator lights on, he's stopped and looks like it's going to go straight - doesn't veer to make a turn. I pull up beside it on it's right, made sure the driver would see me. As he starts to take his turn at the four-way-stop, I leave with him, all the while assuming he's going straight.

Out of the blue he makes a hard right hand turn right into me - BANG! He stops immediately and looks around. I get a foot down and prevent myself from falling. My first instinct is to swear profusely at him (I actually only said one naughty word) and I nail his passenger side window with an open left palm - the second BANG.

What pissed me off more than getting hit was that he was sipping his grande moccha latte with skim whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg. F*CK!

The dumb-ass didn't even get out or pull over to see if I was okay. Where's the common courtesy? Unreal.

First Limerick Race

Drove 45 minutes yesterday after work down to Limerick forest for the first race of the Endo Mtn Club race series. Arrived at about 5:30, half an hour before the start of the race to get ready and get pre-ride of the course in. I'm familiar to the course, as I have ridden/raced here in the past. It's a fun, fast, flowy course - not really technical and no climbs to speak of. The race was a 4km loop, repeated four times = 16km.

It wasn't so fast last night though. Conditions have been very dry lately, which made the course slow. Limerick is full of eskers and sandy soil - perfect for wet weather riding - absorbs all the moisture and packs down really well, making it fast.

During my pre-ride it felt like I was riding on a beach. Some sections stopped you dead if you turned the wheel slightly. The only way to get through some of the loose stuff was to keep the speed up and point the wheel straight. I have to say I didn't enjoy my pre-ride. I even considered bailing . . . . got to stay mentally tough. Hard to do when you're a mental midget.

Race started with a good crowd (maybe 30-40 folks) - lots of kids (high school kids getting ready for the upcoming high school race being held there by some of the Endo/Brockville guys). Usual suspects were there: Peter, Fritz, young Mark and Rob. My goal at the start of the race was to hang on to the lead group on the first 400m or so down the road before you hit the long fire road stretch. Riding the single speed you get gobbled up and passed by everyone with gears on the road because you spin out; maxing out on cadence. Happened to me every race there last year. This race I was able to stay behind the first four guys.

Sat on Rob's wheel the first 3/4 of the first lap when he washed in a corner and I was able to pass him. Needed him to pace me at the start to get the legs moving. After I got by him my goal was to stay in front of him and put distance on him. Finished my first lap just over 13 minutes. The rest of the race I basically rode by myself to the end - lapped a few people on my last lap - but more or less alone. Couldn't catch Mark, Peter and Fritz (which turns out was their order of finish).

I came in fourth. Not a huge field with lots of fast guys. It was fun though and a good training session for me.
Stats: 46 min in 172-185bpm, 6 min above that, only 3 minutes below 172.
Total time: 55 min 23 sec
Will post link to the results when they come up. Cheers.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Not much to say about today . . . . nothing exciting happened. Got on the bike around ten to nine and headed towards Manotick. Looped back into town and swung by Mark's place to try and entice him out for a ride but he wasn't home. I decided to go home and fill the bottles and grab a bite to eat before heading over to the Gats for a loop. Idea was to put in about 120km today.

Got home. Started shooting the shit with Rick (working on my bathroom) - had a bite to eat and filled my bottles, then got the JAMS - Just Ate Must Sleep. So, that's what I did . . . . really lacked any mental toughness to head back out to do some more miles. No excuses, t'was a beautiful day - I just felt like having a nap.

Got up after a while, went to Home Depot with Rick to pick up some more supplies. Don't fool yourself in thinking if you ever start a renovation that "I've got everything" at the start . . . . you don't. Got back, ate some and then headed out for my second ride - over to the Gats this time.

Final mileage was 127km for the day - average heart rate around 156bpm.

Tomorrow is the first race at Limerick this season, put on by the Endo Mtn Bike Club from Brockville. I'm going to head down and "hide behind my single speed". If I was smarter and took my training seriously I'd take a pass and recover from two days on the bike to prep the body for a couple days of hard interval sessions. BUT, I'm doing this for fun (it's supposed to be fun!) and I want to support the boys from Limerick.

Race report tomorrow. Cheers.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


SMH SS Rip? South March Highlands single speed rip . . . . that's where and what I rode this morning. Got to Home Depot at 7am to pick up a few things, then headed off for a ride out in Kanata. It was my first time on a mountain bike since Uxbridge. My first time back on the technical, rocky trails since I broke my arm there last October.

I felt like a tossed salad the first part of the ride. Bounced and thrown about. Trying to find my legs, my timing, my technical skills - none of them seemed to be with me. I rode so badly that I ended up pinch flatting.Once I got going again, I was chased by a Falcipennis canadensis . For the past two years, at this time of the season, I've been chased by one on different rides. They become quite aggressive and protective of their nests and young.

Further along on my rideWasn't breaking any land speed records, just wanted to ride steady working on the technical skills that I've neglected over the past number of months.

Was riding along, in the middle of Outback (way out in the middle of nowhere) when I came across this:What the f*ck?!?!

So I stop. Pick it up. Put it down and have a look around. Then I notice this
I'm not sure if this is someone's idea of a joke or what. I can't imagine someone biking all that way and just leaving their bike and saying, "Screw it!"
Though. . . . Outback is a challenging trail . . . .and has seen it's number of victims.
I had a look for a grave, but found none.

Finished up my ride just under two hours. Later today I'll be heading out for a road ride - it's really blustery today. Nothing worse than riding in the wind. So I'm keeping low until later this evening.