Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spin Class Rant

I went to a local bike shop last year about two times a week - partly for fitness, partly for motivation to train (easier in a group). They advertised a training program based over a set number of weeks, gradually building from base to anaerobic intervals. The thing is, every class was pretty much the same - everyone ended up redlining, sweating up a storm and panting like a dog. I was doing my own training program and used the classes as a break from the longer, base training I was doing at home. Ce la vie.

I had some left over classes from last year, so I thought I'd go and finish them up - intervals would be some good training for the upcoming road trip down south. I knew what I was getting myself into, I knew how the classes are run.

What's frustrating was the instructor said at the beginning of class that it was a "base" class and we'd be spinning in Zone 1 and a little in 2. The first five or ten minutes after warming up were in fact in those zones, then a five minute standing climb. What the f*ck? What's more is that the instructor was yelling out that we should me "maxing out" our cadence and "going hard". Again, what the f*ck? Base class my ass.

I don't mind the work, I enjoy sweating profusely, barely being able to breath and working til my legs feel like they're going to fall off. But, there were alot of people not use to spinning or even cycling . . . . what kind of message does that send? If you're going to advertise a base class, run a base class. It's misleading to newbies and might turn people off the sport. I could rant on . . .

Monday, February 25, 2008


I was looking for a piece of paper work tonight. Went through my old ammo box that I store all my bike & bike related receipts in. The above pile is just about half of it, and that pile sits pretty high. I haven't thrown out one receipt since getting 'heavy' into the riding scene. I was tempted to add up all the totals. What a daunting task that would be and I'd need to take at least a day off work just to tabulate it all up. It be scary to think of what I've spent since 2000 on bike stuff. So I shredded them before Chris could see them all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Usual Sunday Morning Trainer Session

A good turn out this week. Seven riders. It went by fast.

First hour was at endurance base pace, followed by an hour at high tempo, and finished off with another hour of base. Peter brought along his copy of the Summer Solstice course video - the whole race course from start to finish video taped. I used this to pace/motivate me to ride at tempo during the second hour. I really enjoyed training to it and it made the otherwise monotonous ride enjoyable. Thanks for bringing that Pete!

I used the uphill sections of the course to gear down and stand - working on strength and power. On the flats, I also geared down to work on powerful pedaling. With the warmer weather and getting closer to Spring, I'm chomping at the bit to get outside and start racing and seeing some results from all this hard work.

Afternoon ski

Yesterday afternoon Chris and I drove up to Lac Phillipe for a little ski, just to loosen up for our night snowshoe that we were doing with Siobhan, Mark and their friends from England (sorry, no pics of the snowshoe).

Trails were in great shape yesterday, despite the rain we had last weekend. The sun warmed the trails , so soft wax was the flavour of the day (ended up using Swix special purple).

Chris does her best Holywood pose.
Never skied this trail over near Lac Phillipe.
Easy loop around a big knoll from the P19 parking lot. Lots of animal tracks everywhere:
deer, rabbit, coyote and fox, lynx or bobcat, and I even think I
found a wolf track (could have been a wild dog).

We had to stop by Stef & Hannah's to pick up some snowshoes for Dave & Corena and saw this weird sign on their road:

Despite living in Canada, and despite even living in Ottawa where there is a tonne of French, I can hardly speak a word. I can read a little . . . . but I was left at a loss over the translation. So I checked in on Babel Fish Translation and here's what I got:

"attention has our children it is perhaps it yours"

Whacked! I don't get it. Yeah, I get the gist of it, but it's the picture! Man, that's disturbing. Poor kid only has one shoe and ripped clothing, a bad hair cut,
is obviously drunk and sleeping in the street. Sign should read: "Neglectful parents".
Crazy Quebecois !

Saturday, February 23, 2008


My good friend, the Goat, is slowly going through the self-evolution process of Neanderthal man into racer-boy look for Spring. I, on the other hand, am regressing into a dirt-bag. Just have to work on the protruding forehead.

If I had a million dollars . . .

I got up early this morning and decided to let Chrissie sleep in a bit before our usual Saturday morning walk with Jackie Boy out at Bruce Pit with coffee in hand. So I got on the web and was trying to catch up with all the bikes presented at the handmade bike show. There were so many incredible builders and bikes there, it was hard to choose my favourite. Lots of categories to have a favourite in too: best xc mtn bike (26' & 29" & 650!), best track bike, best city fixie, best road, best townie, commuter, etc.

But I would have to say the builder that most caught my attention was Darrell McCulloch of Llewellyn Bikes in Australia. This guy know how to build a beautiful bike. Check out his site if you get a chance - he's got lots of photos of his shop, the process of carving out incredibly detailed lugs, bikes he's built and so on. One of the hardest decisions, if I owned one of his incredible bikes, would be to ride it or hang it on the wall.

If I had a million dollars I know what I'd be doing with it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Flying Scotsman

I took a day off for recovery Monday after the long trainer session on Sunday. I would have gotten outside for a slow ski or snowshoe, but the crap weather yesterday and last night have changed the snow into a sloppy, soft mess. Lots of rain and warm temperatures.

So I took advantage and rented a movie that I've been wanting to see for a little while now, The Flying Scotsman - it's the true story of Graham Obree.

I have to say, I really liked this movie. It wasn't your regular action packed, over-Holywood produced movie. At times I got felt a little 'choked up' and found myself cheering for Obree's character. Besides the incredible story of this guy building his own bike, out of washing machine parts, there is a darker side to Obree, which comes out in the story as well.

The real Graham Obree.
I did a little research on him on the web and I read somewhere that he was planning another crack at the longest distance cycled in one hour record. That'd be interesting to see.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday Epic Trainer Session at the Gym

Another 3 hr training session in the gym. Tanya joined us this week, fresh back from gallivanting around Africa for a month. You wouldn't know that she hasn't put any time in on the bike for over a month.

I can't see the difference.

Mark's nipple (just one of 'em?!) started to give him some grief. Should of got some of these babies!

Maybe if he practiced better riding form and stopped looking at his arsehole his nipples wouldn't have bothered him. Notice his fan club? Actually it was an attempt at some Big Ring Racing wind tunnel testing.

A little beach ball bike polo after the training session. Should be the next Olympic demonstration sport.

When you can't ride outside, do the next best thing - ride inside.
Ssssshhhhhhh . . . . . don't tell the school care taker!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Packed Saturday

I got out early this morning for a classic ski. Was on the trails at about ten to eight. It was cold, but the trails were immaculately groomed with the Keski starting at about 9am.

Burma was double track set (which it never is) for the classic race. Racers doing the 53km race would pass on this trail.

A little video from Burma this morning.

Shilly Shally in the morning sun.

Kilometer 31 of 53.

The parkways were deserted this morning. Guess most people were racing. I passed only seven skiers in the two plus hours that I was in the park.

Might have been the cold temperatures keeping people away. It was -20 degrees celsius this morning. Frost face.

After my ski, got Jackie Boy out for a good walk.

Later, Chris and I hooked up with Gilles, Melisa and the kids for a skate on the canal. This is the last week of Winterlude and you could tell - it was packed!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One Year Old

My blog is one year old today. The past year has flown by and having this blog has been great to track it all. I've really enjoyed posting what's been going on and I hope people get a kick out of it too. I post some serious stuff from time to time, but for the most part it's all about fun. So thanks for tunning in, keep the comments coming, drop me an e-mail and cheers!

The above map is of where in the world my "hits" came from (this was Monday).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Ink

Went in to see Julie at New Moon Thursday after work for the final work on my half sleeve on my upper left arm. I'm just floored by her work, colouring and designs.

That tight line work is wicked. I love my new orange, fall leaf.

This is some of the work Julie did two years ago on the outside of the arm.

The upper, inside of the arm, up near the armpit is a tender spot to get tattooed. Julie tattoos pretty soft, so it went by real well.

If you asked me two or three years ago if I'd be getting tattoos, to the extent that I have them today, I would have said no. However, when you find someone this good, they become very addictive. Thanks Julie for the awesome tattoo! Will be in again soon.

North American Handmade Bicycle Show

This is the weekend. Man I'd love to be there. All the big names will be there, all the finest bike builders. I'll be watching how my guy, Mike Desalvo, does this weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

100% Good Times, Bargain Basement, Blowout Sale!

Anyone at Vassago reading?
I've stripped the Surly down and put almost everything up for sale. Now I just have to wait for the Jabberwocky to arrive and build a new, better and bigger single speed machine. See anything you like? E-mail me and we can work something out. . . . . cause it's a 100% Good Times, Bargain Basement, Blowout Sale!

18" (med.) '06 Surly 1x1
- with FSA Orbit headset & uncut, unused matching rigid fork

'06 Fox Float R 130mm (presently set at 100mm)
- one of THE best forks I've ever owned

Salsa Flip-off front skewer

SRAM PC 990 9 spd cassette
- obviously not off the ss
- used less than one season

DT Swiss 4.1D rims laced to a White Industries ENO disc SS hub (rear) & Middleburn disc hub (front)
- White Industries SS freewheel (16T)

White Industries SS Crankset (175 mm) with 34T chainring
- White Industries square taper bottom bracket (68 mm x 113 mm)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ice ice baby . . .

"Ice ice baby
Ice ice baby
All right stop collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention . . . ."
(don't ask me how I know the lyrics)

Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Booooooooooy!
That's what I'm talk'in 'bout.
(is that a microphone in his pants or is he just happy to see you?!)

No, seriously. The warm temperatures are melting the snow on my roof. Big old ice-ick-cles everywhere.

I'd normally consider this a sign of spring, but with the whacked out weather we've had this winter I wouldn't bet on it. I can't help but get pangs of excitement though . . . . the thought of sitting on a bike that's actually moving really excites me.

This doesn't excite me.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rest In Peace Sheldon Brown

Sheldon Brown passed away last night.
This was "the guy" who knew everything about bikes. I personally visited his site and Harris Cyclery often when trying to figure out some bike conundrum that I got myself into.
Rest in peace.
Late Edit: Check out Blue Collar Mtn Biking for their report on Sheldon's death. Kind of crazy that he was still doing bike stuff right up to the moment that he died.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Spin Club

The only thing we we're fighting to do today was keep our arses firmly planted on the saddle for three hours of spinning.

The boys thought it'd be a fun idea to have a crit in the gym instead of spinning. I hope the school's care-taker doesn't see this.

Big screen, fans and the '99 tour made the first hour and a half go by pretty quickly. Mark and Lenny climb with the boys on the screen.

I averaged 154 bpm for the three hours of riding. My heart rate is just coming down the last bit (above) while I spun the legs out. Today I was right where I wanted to be - right in the endurance zone for pretty much the entire time. At this time of the year, base is what it's all about.

Riding in a group makes the long spin sessions go by a lot faster. It really didn't feel like three hours today. The gym is booked until mid-March. Who's in?