Monday, June 30, 2008

Stage Three

Distance: approx 80km
Start Time: 8am
Start Line: Port Alberni Multiplex
Aid Station 1 Distance: approx 31km
Aid Station 2 Distance: approx 62km
Finish Line: Village Park, Cumberland
Base Camp: Village Park @ 6th St and Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland

Route: Port Alberni - Cumberland

Today's route kicks off with a pace lap around the track at the Port Alberni Multiplex. Then, leave the Multiplex with the impressive Mount Arrowsmith in the background and cycle through the streets of Port Alberni with police escort before hooking into the first taste of singletrack.

Be prepared for a low elevation summit up and out of Port Alberni on a mix of trail and old road with beautiful views looking back over the Alberni Inlet.

Cruising on toward Horne Lake you will be riding over some of the most beautiful caves on Vancouver Island - if you have a support team be sure to let them know about this worthy underground scenic adventure.

Riding up a gradual grade alongside the Qualilcum River you will be surrounded by beautiful second growth Douglas Fir. As you reach the headwaters of this River you will be at your highest elevation for the day. From here you descend down alongside Rosewall Creek which you turn and cross over. Expect wet feet with this crossing! Once you break out of the trees from this crossing be sure to look back up the impressive valley you just traveled. It’s at this point in the day you will pick up views of the beautiful Johnston Strait which separates Vancouver Island from the Mainland. Dotted along the Strait are the Gulf Islands - Chrome, Denman, Hornby and Texada. The backdrop to all this scenery is the mainland with the impressive jagged peaks of the coastal range.

Taking a bridged crossing over the mighty Tsable River, you will make a short climb before again traversing through mixed aged stands of forest and before long you will be riding through another River crossing, this time the Trent River after which you will make a brief climb that sets you up for the famed singletrack of Cumberland. Make sure you have saved some energy from the past few days because it’s singletrack all the way to the finish line.

To start you will be on an old grade used to haul logs out by a steam donkey. In fact you will be riding right over history as we have utilized 2 old bridges dating back to the 1930’s. In opening this area up we also found telegraph line and porcelain insulators. The next section of trail is aptly named Tea Pot – we found it whilst grubbing the trail – look for it on an old log near the start. Climb this up and hook onto the trail 'Steam Donkey.’ You guessed it, there are parts of an old steam donkey out there – keep your eyes open. This trail puts you down at Allen Lake which is part of the Cumberland watershed. Be sure to treat it with respect as you will be drinking it later!

The next serving of singletrack is Short and Curly which offers up some good challenging singletrack with a couple of nice cedar bridges. Next up - Bronco’s Perseverance named after our once Mayor, Bronco Montcrief, the longest running mayor in all of British Columbia!

Next comes trails like Momma Bears and another new treat, Entrails, before getting on last year’s favourites Soggy Biscuit, Matt's Trail, Black Hole and Space Nugget. This string of trails will no doubt be the highlight of the day as they offer some fast and fun downhill sections interspersed with old-school singletrack and technical challenges that will leave you wanting more as you roll out onto the paved streets of Cumberland for the finish of Day 3.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stage Two

Distance: approx 125km
Start Time: 9am
Start Line: Lake Cowichan
Aid Station 1 Distance: approx 49km
Aid Station 2 Distance: approx 95km
Finish Line: Port Alberni Multiplex
Base Camp: Port Alberni Multiplex @ 3737 Roger St

Route: Cowichan Lake District - Port Alberni

They always said, “Read the fine print,” and here’s one of those cases. Some of you may have noticed that little asterisk at the bottom of the route descriptions that says “*Stage and Route details subject to change.” Well this is one of those cases. Day 2 has seen some significant changes and it’s kind of a "good news - bad news" story. The bad news is that the stage is longer, yup longer at over 125 km. The good news is the massive 700m climb in the second half of the stage is gone. Trail access issues have forced us to reroute the stage. New description below.

Hopefully you'll wake up well rested without too many aches or pains from the first day and perhaps your introduction to multi-day stage racing. This is the longest day of the week, boasting a 125km ride from Lake Cowichan to Port Alberni. Use the controlled start of about 11km to spin out the legs from yesterday's riding.

Racing starts when the pavement ends just outside Honeymoon Bay. There's a short 120m climb out of town but it's generally a fast, mostly downhill run to Aid Station 1. Strategy may suggest passing this station by since you're upon it so quickly, but remember to check in with staff to confirm your positioning.

Continue descending after Aid Staion 1 to the lowest point of the day along the Nitnat River. You'll be riding the main route out to the Carmanah Walbran Park, described as one of the most remarkable wild places on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately we won’t be visiting the park today but plan to come back and you won’t be disappointed. After the Nitnat River spend the next 20km generally climbing, but gradually so. The profile looks jagged but close attention to the elevation profile will reveal this is a mostly flat day. Turn right on to the Bamfield Main route bypassing the tiny community of Bamfield. Bamfield, nestled on the south shore of Barkley Sound, is the closest community to the North end of the world famous West Coast Trail.

Rolling terrain leads to Aid Station 2. You may encounter the occasional vehicle so caution is suggested when going around blind corners and we recommend you stay on the right hand side of the road.

Continue north until a three way intersection feeds you onto the same tail end as last year. You’ll climb slightly and then descend into singletrack in the Roger’s Creek Trail system.

The final 2km will feature some great singletrack—icing on the cake after eating up all the day's gravel roads.

Check out how Curvy Butt and I did on today's stage (clicky, clicky)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stage One

Distance: approx 89km
Start Time: 9am
Start Line: Shawnigan Lake School
Aid Station 1 Distance: approx 25km
Aid Station 2 Distance: approx 47km
Finish Line: Town of Lake Cowichan
Base Camp: Cowichan Lake Recreation Centre 309 South Shore Road, Cowichan Lake

Route: Shawnigan Lake - Cowichan Lake District

Assembled in front of Shawnigan Lake School’s Marion Hall, racers will surely be anticipating the days ahead as they gaze through the start line and eagerly await the first starter pistol fire of BCBR 2008.

With the crack of the pistol, racers will have to jockey for position through two loops of narrow road and double track on the school’s 300 acre campus, before heading west through the Field of Dreams and onto some of the campus’ sweet singletrack. This gently climbing trail opens onto a gravel service road. A short steep climb is followed by a singletrack descent. This magical trail winds back and forth through a thick fern forest. You will hear the hoots and hollers of fellow racers as you catch glimpses of them winding through the switchbacks below you.

After a few kilometres on a narrow doubletrack trail and a climb through an old clear cut, you will emerge onto a fantastic rocky lookout with the Koksilah River far below you. From here a maze of singletrack trails meander closer to the river until you are at the Kinsol Trestle and the Trans Canada Trail, one of the Cowichan Valley’s prominent land marks.

A quick shunt down a secondary gravel road takes you into the Burnt Bridge mountain bike area.

Burnt Bridge crosses the Koksilah River, a beautiful meandering stream. You turn left and drop into the green riverside trails of the Burnt Bridge Classic race course, steadily working your way up the Koksilah Valley. Rejoining the logging road, a short climb is rewarded by a blazing rip down a flowing ridgeline of singletrack, once used as part of the Burnt Bridge downhill course. This brings you back to Burnt Bridge itself, and you head left for yet another classic singletrack, the Can-Am trail. The Can-Am takes you east along the banks of the Koksilah.

Shortly after leaving the Can-Am trail, an old logging road takes you up the side of the mountain for the biggest climb of the day. The climb summits near Lois Lake and is followed by a logging road descent into the Deerholme area west of Duncan. You'll join up again with the Trans Canada Trail and have about 20km of flat trail to hammer on your way to the finish line in the beautiful village of Lake Cowichan. At the end of the day reward your feet with a soak in this amazing lake. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The BC Bike Race - blog reports

So, here I sit one week away from the start of The BC Bike Race, at my computer typing this and anticipating this yet to be experienced race. I am able to pre-schedule the next week's worth of daily blogs so that you can read each stage/day's race description - I wouldn't want you to miss me! I won't have time or most likely a place to blog from while out west, so they'll be loaded up automatically. At the end of each post there is a link to the race's home page where you can find results and photos from the day's stage and check on Curvy Butt & my progress. These will be most likely posted later in the day, so check back.

Tomorrow, Saturday June 28th we begin - wish us luck.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Days Away

Picture this... one epic journey... two dedicated athletes working together and creating a bond that will last forever... three scenic ferry sailings... four mountain bike tires spinning toward a common goal... five mental breakdowns on your quest to the finish... six nights to meet new friends from across the globe... seven days of spectacular west coast mountain biking... and countless incredible tales of your legendary adventure that will keep you pumped for weeks to come!

With an epic route designed and endorsed by super endurance mountain bike racer, Andreas Hestler, BC Bike Race is in a class of its own. The lure of riding the best of BC's world-class mountain bike trails has already attracted a broad range of BC Bike Race competitors, from hardcore weekend warriors to some of the world's finest mountain bike stage racers.

So, grab a partner and join us...with the best singletrack in the world, and 96%+ racer completion rate, this is an experience you won't want to miss! It is the ultimate singletrack experience!

* Stolen from The BC Bike Race home page.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


That's it. One more sleep 'til I take off for out west and the BC Bike Race. I'm beat and tired, so I am looking forward to hitting the hay a little early tonight. There's absolutely nothing else that I can do to prepare for this race (or is there?!). I'm looking forward to getting on the plane and just relaxing and waiting for it all to unfold so that I can soak it all in and enjoy every minute of it. It's been almost an entire year of anticipation and now it's upon me. Hard to believe!

I just want to thank, most importantly Chrissie, and family and friends who have wished me 'good luck' and support in the race - it's meant a lot and very much appreciated.

Stay tunned, I've got some pre-written blogs that will automatically post each day that I am gone. There will be a link at the bottom of each post to the BC Race home page which will have a daily stage report and photos.

See you after the race! Whoot!

Just a little something to remember me by while I'm gone. Hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Just about ready to go. Getting the bike to fit in the bike box wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Was a little worried because it's a 29'er, but it fit no problem. Just up to the airlines now not to crush it.

Notice the two saddles and two seat posts? Yep, one is Curvy Butt's who left his at home.

I had to make sure that everything I am taking fit into one bag and weighed less than 50lbs. Not an easy task. All the cycling clothing, nutrition, bike maintenance & back up parts, camp gear, toiletry stuff and civilian clothing to get me through seven days of racing.

Two pictures. Two differences.

Can you spot the two differences in the articles I am taking?

Winner will receive this as a prize. Hurry with your answers!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday words

Rainy Sunday morning here in the nation's capital. It is supposed to clear up later today and I will hopefully jump on the road bike for a loop of the park. Got out yesterday. Legs didn't want to work for me at first, took a long time to get them moving. After about an hour, things came good. This tapering business leaves me wondering if it's right for me. I seem to ride stronger when I am riding lots and lots. If that's the case, I'll be fine after the first couple days while out in BC.

Good luck to all those racing at Albion Hills this weekend - Chico's 24 Hr Summer Solstice should be a good one this year (especially so if you're solo'ing). Rumor had it that there wasn't so much climbing this year, that they've added in some new trail and made it a little more technical. All the boys on the team should be flying. I checked the weather this morning for that area of Ontario and looks like they got some rain last night. Looking forward to hear the race reports from everyone who participated.

Finally got word directly from Niner who have given me the nod to ride the MCR, despite the crack. They figure it'll be fine (if it's not I'll be pissed!!) . Steel has a long fatigue life and should hold. They figure the crack was there either when it was built (that's some fine fabrication for you!) or that the seat tube collar was closed without the seat post being in. They're sending up a replacement frame in the meantime . . . . and told me it couldn't get here on time?! Ever hear of an overnight express delivery? Guess I am not that important! * SIGH*

Big THANK YOU to Misty and Vassago Cycles who were trying to hook me up with a Bandersnatch frame as a replacement (which they couldn't get to me as a shipment was running late, cause everyone is buying them up cause they're wicked bikes!). Which, by the way, may *possibly* become my long distance ride in the future . . . . more on that. (* some juggling of a new MCR Niner frame will have to take place first!) . I'd really like to be riding a blood red Bander as Vassago have been ubber cool with me and the geometry is bang on that of my Jabberwocky . . . making the transition to and from each bike easy peasy.

Last minute preparations are taking their toll on my sanity. I've got a million lists laying around the house of things to do and get before I head west. I don't want to forget anything . . . . like my race partner, Curvy Butt, who is already out west and sent me this e-mail this morning:

Yeah you're stupid (he's referring to my f*ck up with my airline reservation with Air Canada) but I've got you beat by miles. I arrived a few hours ago and built up my bike. Packing job worked awesome. Rotors are true, no damage, nice.

I did however leave my seat and seatpost clamped securely in my work stand at home!!!

Can you pick it up and bring it with you? I'm going to borrow one (or something) to get a ride in but really need my seat so I'm not bleeding from my balls at the end of day one.

Too much! This trip has already gotten interesting. I'll feel a whole lot better once I'm on that plane, cause after that, there's not much more I can do and hope that some of the stress I've been carrying will drop off like an old scab (there's some nice imagery for you!).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I came for big bums, but stayed for big ring

I got to find some humor in this cracked frame fiasco. So, this is all I got . . . more crack.

Do you know the number one thing on my blog that receives the most hits?
This image:

From my stats counter I can find out things, like where people come from, when, what page directed them, what search engines they used, how many people visited in one day, etc. - basic stats. And from all of those stats, this image gets the most hits.

I really don't know.

I thought people came to my site for my cheery disposition, insight on life and biking, some daily reflection and wisdom, and my atrocious writing. Hell, this photo gets more hits than my naked reviews! You mean to tell me people want to see two huge over weight fat chicks in g-strings? (actually they're probably size XXL regular full back bathing suit bottoms)
I don't get it.
Serenity now!

T-minus eight days and counting . . . . and no word on my bike.
I knew a year ago at this point I would be under pressure getting prep'd for BC, just the logistics of it all is pretty huge: nutrition, travel, lodging before and after, gear lists, clothing options and so on. Add on top of all of that the STRESS of not knowing if I'm going to have to ride a cracked frame for a seven day stage race is almost too much.

Would you ride a cracked frame in a seven day stage race, that you've trained and invested time and money in, taking a chance on a year's worth of preparation only to have your bike possibly fail on you?

I didn't think so!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bad Timing, Real Bad

Cleaning the Niner last night, getting it all prep'ed for BC - putting a new shifter cable on (it's 1x9 so I only need one), giving it a good clean and waxing (yep, I wax my bikes - helps keep the dirt off and makes it easier to clean later. Don't believe me - try it yourself). To my surprise I found this crack forming on the back side of the seat tube. It wasn't there the other day. How long will it take for 3mm to become an out of control crack? I don't know and don 't want to find out after I'm out in BC.

Hard to see the crack, but trust me - it's there!

A strange place to crack. If I had one race, one which I could bring a back up bike, I'd probably ride the Niner and deal with a warranty afterwards. Racing for seven stages, with huge mileage . . . . hmmmm, probably not a good idea. I've seen enough cracks in bikes to know how fast they can grow into huge problems.

I'd love to take the Jabberwocky, and even considered it. But it is totally unrealistic to ride single speed for seven days straight. I'd have to have a slew of rear cogs to match each stage, I know myself and I am a whimp - riding a geared 1x9 is going to be hard enough. It also wouldn't be fair to Curvy Butt who'd be waiting for me at the top of each climb as I hike-a-bike.

I'm hoping the boys at Tall Trees can sort this out with Niner and get me a replacement frame ASAP. It's too late in the game to be borrowing a bike (I fly out in 9 nine days!) , and most likely a 26'er (blah, phoooey, yuck) from someone. I want to ride what's comfortable and familiar - I wish I had a Bandersnatch (especially the new 'blood red' - beauty!) - it's the exact same geometry as the Jabber.

And to top it all off, the coffers are pretty much empty. This race and preparation for it has been more expensive than I could have imagined. To be honest, I'll be be scrapping by if I have to even pay for shipping of a new frame.

I've got hair to sell . . . .maybe that'll pay for it?!

Monday, June 16, 2008


My helmet is a little looser now that the 'fro is gone.
Believe it or not, the new aerodynamic haircut has made me 7% faster.
Photo from yesterday's ride - report here (clicky, clicky)


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Ever hear the expression, "The higher the hair, the closer to God"?
If that's true, I may nearly be a saint.

My hair has been on my mind lately (get it?? . . . .on my mind?! on my head!?! Oh man, I slay myself sometimes!). I've been growing it for over a year now, the longest I've ever grown it. And I've had a lot of fun with it. Another expression, have you heard it? "Where there's hair, there's fun!"

I've thought of perhaps using my new doo to help me break into the public broadcast service (PBS) painting circuit. I hear there's a lot of money to be made whipping out oil paintings of country scenes. Only problem is I don't have a soothing voice, patience to paint or the skills. Though I am a damn fine finger painter (a prerequisite to be a teacher!).

I hear this guy is a real ladies man!

Speaking of 'ladies man' . . . . every woman loves a big, thick, healthy mustache, right?!
I could grow a stash. The one above is courtesy of my dog Jacks. He had to be brushed and I had to have some fun. It was a win/win situation.
I think I'm a much more handsome version than Tom Selleck.

Yes, I'd agree, he's got a much more square jaw - but I make up for that with my squeezable pudginess.

barber shop doo? . . . . OR . . . . "Hi, I'm here to take your daughter to the prom."

side view - wicked aerodynamics

Flock of Seaguls? Depressed? Depressed because I look like a member of Flock of Seagulls?

Jacks digs my hair

I got to do something with this mop on top. The thought of racing out in BC for seven days with this thing on my head is way too much. I could always ask Curvy Butt to brush it out every night in the tent as we recount the previous days stage. Weeeee, that sounds like a fun time! Is it me or is this race starting to sound more like "Brokeback Mountain"?

Mark: "I missed you"
Craig: "I missed you too. Could you brush my hair for me?"
Mark: "Love to!"

*If that didn't send a shudder down your spine, I don't know what will.*

Take your last gander kids at my lovely locks, cause it's coming off. Send your e-mail requests ladies (and gentle men too, if that's your thing) and I'll envelope a small handful of hair and send it out to you, forever yours to smell and touch. Lucky you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

More on the Fortune race

May as well been riding this gear ratio.

It's my blog and I'll write whatever the G-d damn I want to write . . . you've got the control there in your hands buddy. If you don't like clicky, clicky away.

Tad aggressive? Sorry, sorry. I guess that I am still reeling in the hurt and shame of that race and haven't gotten it out of my system yet. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him ? (That guy is a total tool by the way - wouldn't let him come 50 metres of me with his slackjaw advice).

I think I finished third last out of 15 riders. Phooey! Glad that I had King with me pretty much for the entire race and it was fun to suffer together . . . but I'm thinking that I suffered more - no matter he says!

There were times during the race when I thought I was going to snap the bars right off from the stem because I was pulling and pushing so hard. There were times when I came to almost a dead stop in my forward motion because I didn't have enough momentum and strength in the legs to turn over the 32:18 and power myself over some of the steep, technical sections. No places to recover, sharp, steep uphill climbs with all kinds of rocky, rooty terrain just beat me down.

32:18 (for those of you saying to yourself, "That's not even a 2:1 ratio. What's he bellyaching about?" - listen dipshit, 32:18 on a 29'er is pretty much bang on 32:16 on a 26". And besides, gear ratio ain't 'where it's at!' Gear inches are a more accurate measure. Click, clicky for the Vassago gear inch calculator.

During the OMBA ride I did last night, I ran 32:22T (which is pretty near damn perfect for anything and everything out in KL), I got to wondering if that would have been a wiser gear choice to race at Fortune. And I think it would have been. I would definitely have been spit right out the back at the start of the race while on the flats and would have had to spin like a mad man each lap in that particular section. But, then I would have been way, way more efficient in every other section of the course and wouldn't have wasted so much energy heaving and ho'ing on the bars & pedals.

I can't make the next Fortune race, which is the day before I leave for the BC Bike Race, so will have to wait until mid-July to test my hypothesis.

Bicycles for Humanity

This weekend is Westfest and I'll be heading down to it around 2pm to volunteer some time at the Bicycles for Humanity tent. I found out about Bicycles for Humanity a while back and this has been the first chance that I've had to get involved.

For those of you who haven't heard about Bicycles for Humanity, here you go . . .

Bicycles for Humanity is a grassroots organization and it is growing globally in many wild and wonderful ways. Individuals and community groups everywhere are establishing bike collections and sending containers to Africa to support health workers, women and entire communities with mobility.
If you've got some time this weekend, head down to Westfest to enjoy some fine eats and good music, and take a minute to check out what Bicycles for Humanity is all about.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fortune Sunset Series Race #2

Three words describe my race . . . . I SUCKED ASS.

Don't know what I was thinking taking the single speed. Well, that's not fair. There was nothing wrong with the single speed - it was more 'operator error' or 'operator inability to operate'.

Here's where I figure I went wrong:
  1. decided to get out of bed yesterday
  2. decided to race the SS
  3. mounted the Nevegals, figuring it was going to be wet and slick
  4. ran way too steep of a gear 32:18
  5. went out too hard in my warm up

I fought with the gearing for the entire race (four laps). I just couldn't seem to get on top of the gear in the technical tight stuff. It was a constant push and pull on the bars and mashing the pedals with all my might just to keep it going. No flow, no mo. When I wasn't in the single track I was climbing. The only place to recover was at the bottom at the start/finish, which is pretty flat - however, I had to spin like crazy not to lose too much time.

A tough workout was scheduled for mid-week, and boy-o-boy did I get one. I really wish that I had my heart rate monitor on for that one. Ahh well, you live and learn, and despite doing very poorly, I still had fun.


I show up to the Fortune race last night (more on that later today or tomorrow - small glimpse: it was a sufferfest and I am very stoooopid - Fortune is not single speed friendly!) and I'm standing in line to register and I see the Vegan Vagabond. Tanya is always in a good mood and cheerful - last night she looked downright depressed and in a foul mood.
Apparently she had an "rack-cident" with her new bike.

Yep, I said "rack-cident". Put two and two together kids: rack + accident. D'uh.

Apparently Einstein, while visiting her local library, drove into a low overhanging dealie. Now I've heard of people of doing the very same thing, and I am not naming names here, but what I've always heard happening is the bike tray getting wrecked.

Unfortunately, her bike tray was either very strong or her fork was very weak. End result, she managed to sheer off her dropouts off the fork. D'oh! Did I forget to mention that it's her new fork, attached to her new bike (less than a month old)!?! D'oh!

Tanya, feeling a little blue, holding on to her two new pieces of fork.

And the moral of this story . . . . actually there are two . . . . .

One, don't ever go to the library. Reading is for suckers.

Two, dummy should have read the warning sign saying that there was a low overhang.

Upside for Tanya yesterday: she kicked ass in her race and smoked everyone. Whoot!

Note to make Tanya and every other stupid idiot who has had a 'rack-cident': I've done the same thing too! And I still stand by never going to the library.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The above ad can be found in the Spring issue of Outdoors Ottawa Magazine (clicky, clicky for the electronic version). Inside you'll find this ad of Axis Gear, who is a sponsor of Big Ring Racing. Curvy Butt spent a tonne of time working on them, and if I do say so myself, they look awesome. However, we still has not received our jerseys and we've already had some races and events that we've done anonymous. 24 Hrs of Summer Solstice is just around the corner and The BC Bike Race is in seventeen days - I hope that they are here in time!

Hey Coco & Curvy Butt . . . . how about lighting a fire under someone?!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Paul's Enduro IMBA Epic Weekend

The Peterborough Cycling Club and the Bloomfield Bicycle Club and the International Mountain Bike Association and the Ganaraska Forest invite you to join us for a most excellent mountain bike Celebration of the Paul's Dirty course being named an IMBA EPIC.

Important points you need to know ...
  • it's FREE
  • it's FUN
  • there's camping for ALL
  • it's the kickin'est singletrack in these here parts!

Drop us an R.S.V.P if you have a mind to join us (so we can figure out what kind of project we're gonna attempt on the WORK portion of the day) and we'll look forward to seeing you all on July 12 & 13, 2008, at the Ganaraska Forest Centre!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flying Naked Ladies With Bikes

I've been meaning to put some photos of my newest tattoo since April, when I got it for my birthday (I will accept belated cards, presents or sums of money from any of you wanting to send me something for my birthday as it was back in March).
My tattoo is an image from a famous poster that French artist G. Massias painted in 1895 to publicize a new bicycle -- the Cycle Gladiator. Started in Paris in 1891 by Alexandre Darracq (an eccentric, who would later become famous for manufacturing automobiles), Gladiator was one of the dozens of bicycle companies that saturated the market when the cycling craze boomed. The Golden Age of cycling reached its pinnacle in 1895—and that same year printer G. Massias unveiled one of the great Parisian advertising posters. Only four of these original posters exist today.
All of the work that I have on me, up until this last piece, has had significant and important personal meaning. I wanted something a little more fun and something that I wanted just because I liked it.

Originally, the poster was designed to entice people to buy Gladiators bikes - sex sells! I also choose the image, not because I too am sexy, but it reminded me of a nymph or angel. And on my back, maybe she'll help me go faster when I ride and keep an eye out for me. Corny? Maybe, but it's my tatoo and my back . . . . so go pound rocks.

Julie's work can be seen here at New Moon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sat Gat Ride

Chrissie and Jacks dropped me off at P7 Saturday morning and headed off for a walk in the woods while I got ready to roll with Tanya and Kari.
Plan was a ride up to the fire tower, a repeat of the 40, over to Fortune for a lap or two, then to Gameline.
It was hot and muggy yesterday. Ottawa has such extreme temperatures - super duper cold in the winter and stifling, hot and humid in the summer.

The ride yesterday was great up until the first hour, when I flatted coming down a rocky section. I've been playing around with the air pressure in my rear tire - guess I went too low. Got the tube changed out, only to find a hole in it. D'oh! Patched the original tube, tried filling it with my air cartridge - pssssssssssst! Lost all the air, didn't seal at the adapter. Stupid adapter. Luckily Tanya had a pump. D'oh! Wouldn't work for me.

While I was swearing and trying to get the flat changed and wiggling my bum so that the mosquitoes wouldn't bite me, Tanya snapped this wicked shot of a really cool beetle.
Anyone know what kind it is?

To the rescue . . . Hannah came around the corner, just as I was about to toss everything into the woods and start walking home. Luckily she had a pump and I was able to get the bike moving again. Thanks again Hannah!

Curvy Bum was out of town this weekend doing the Rideau Lakes Tour. So I got to ride with two curvier bums instead.

Fire Tower

Met this fella and his buddy walking up the 40 looking to get some gnarly air on their dirt surfers. I don't think he was into it for the fitness - check out the smoke in his hand.
He was a pretty nice guy though and told us to check out this site.

Nice bog. Slimmy green'ness.
Scientists and biologists are saying that this is an ideal year for blackflies and mosquitoes. You don't have to stop long on the trail to find that out!

Besides having three flats, it was a good ride. Almost a great ride, up until I flatted just before getting to the Champlain Bridge, which I had to walk the whole way home from. Crippity crap.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Do as I say!

I meant to get this up Thursday night after the ride . . . . however, what I do lately is not dictated by me. I'd much rather dictate what I do. I would like to be a dictator. Not a mean one wielding potatoes or anything like that, cause that's just not me.

Potato for you?! No potato!

Like I said, when was it? my last post . . . . ? Yes, I took the Jabber (which, I know, have not yet done a proper 'coming out' presentation for - coming out of what?!) to KL Thursday night for the OMBA ride.

Ain't she purdy and all shiny? I had just waxed her before I took this picture - yes, I wax my bikes. Notice, no headbadge! Shocking. I've become anonymous.
I hope someone down in Maryland is seeing this? We need something special for The Burt (for those of you who don't know why I am calling it 'The Burt', be patient little ones . . . . all will be revealed), don't we Kris and Misty? Something firey and gold! Whoot!

Put a big ass 22T Surly cog on and I was ready to go. Those with good eyes will notice the shitty, rusty chain . . . . yep, not like me at all. The chain that I was using for the 18T wouldn't work for the larger cog, so I had to recycle an old chain. Some Progold lube cleaned it right up! In this gear combo I could ride everything with ease. It was nice to be able to spin up things and not have to focus on getting on top of the gear to clear obstacles. I also ran my 29'er Kenda Nevegals with low air pressure, which acted as some nice suspension and hooked up on everything, despite the wet, greasy conditions on the rocks and roots.

The Jabberwocky handled everything I rode incredibly well. It feels very balanced and with a slightly slacker headtube angle than the Niner, it flows over the bumpy stuff with ease. I was impressed with how it handles and as the ride went on, I became more and more comfortable and confident on it. More to come.

John B. coming off Camel Hump . . . . or is it Camel Toe?!
Ewwww . . . that just doesn't sound right.

Mike and Lenny.
I even donned my baggies to fit in with the free riders. If I had worn my race-boy shorts, they might laugh and taunt me, then I would cry. Dictators don't cry.

* big "Hello" to reader(s) in Scotsdale, Arizona looking for the meaning of life!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

OMBA ride

Last night the Vegan Vagabond, Curvy Butt and myself made our way into the Gats for a little hill training. Hit the #40 a few times. Anyone know the 40? It's got a few steep pitches to it. I took the single speed, as my rear wheel on the Niner is being rebuilt by the boys at the Moose. The Jabberwocky climbs real nice (as nice as climbing can be stuck in one gear!) . . . . front wheel did not want to leave the ground. I get a very centered feeling while riding this bike. More on it later.

We then headed over to Fortune to get a lap or so in before getting me back in town on time. Ran into Steve and Joey there, who I bet were training for their tag coming up in a few weeks. It was a wee bit slippery and muddy last night, but still a lot of fun. Too much air pressure in the tires to get a feeling of what technical terrain the Jabber can handle.

I'll get a better idea tonight. I'm going to head out to Kanata and hook up with the OMBA ride. I've only been out to one ride with them over the past year. Large numbers and frequent stops don't gel with the training program. One night won't kill me though and it'll be nice to test out the Vassago on all the rocks and roots with the right air pressure. I also received today a 22T cog to try out. Running a 2:1 gear ratio out in KL is do-able, but ain't purdy! Will post up some pictures later.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mt St. Marie - Part II

Sunday morning started without rain falling on us. It would however, rain on us later in the day. We left Fritz's chalet and began a steep climb right out of the chute to the base of the ski hill. Once there we climbed some more, another steep pitch, which lead us to another climb. And so on.

Fritz got attacked by a gander who was trying to protect his gosling. Fortunately for the goose, he had heard the rumors of how Fritz tears apart hamburgers two at a time and waddled away feeling lucky that he didn't suffer the same consequences.

Top of a climb, early morning. Clouds and mist hung low on the mountains.



Damn it.

Damn from above

We biked so hard and got so dehydrated that we shrank in size to the size of the Keebler Elves.

Two days of stats:
Day 1: 3178 feet, 77.12km, 3:44 actual ride time, 20.6 kph average, max speed of 65kph.
Day 2: 5,338 feet, 77.39 km, 3:29 actual ride time, 22.1 kph average speed, 63.9 kph max speed.

* stolen from Fritz's blog on big ring racing. More stats there (clicky, clicky).