Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tap . . . .

. . . . as in Power Tap.

I'm a sucker for trends in cycling. I'll admit it. I've got nothing to hide. I'm a chump. I'm a bandwagon lover. So be it.
  • 29'ers came out . . . . I had to have one.
  • 24 Hr solos were all the rage . . . . I had to do them.
  • Single speeding became cool . . . . I had to do it.
  • EPO was the drug of choice . . . . I had to get me some. (that's not true, of course)
And I've gone and done it again. Training with power. "EVERYONE" is doing it. So I jumped on the expensive power tap bandwagon and bought me one. Call me a sucker, call me a fool.

Alas, I have had two friends over the past two seasons who have used them and made H-U-G-E gains. Hard to debate it when you see it first hand. There's also a ton of literature, which I've been reading over the past year, about the pros (and very few cons) of training with a power meter. All the pros use them too, and if the pros use something you know it's got to be good for you. Take EPO for example, but I digress.

If I have to sit in my basement this winter and spin, I may as well have a new toy to keep me occupied. Personally I'd rather be outside, but what's a guy to do when the city you live in gets 12 feet of snow over the course of four months?! I'm pretty excited and looking forward to taking advantage of every time I jump on the trainer and get quality training. Training based on heart rate alone is so 90's. I'm going to look so cool with a power tap under me!

Each year I've stepped up my riding and racing. It seemed to me only logical to go the next step. Maybe in another season I'll have quit my day job, got
ten a full time coach, masseuse and dietitian to follow me around trying to make me a better rider. Man, they'd earn their money trying!

As for being a trend following whore-bag . . . . well, that's sort of true. I don't think it's a bad thing. All of those things listed above I still do (except for the EPO . . . but if you know a source, please e-mail me some info), enjoy and see myself continuing to do. Does that make me a poser, wanna-be, trend follower? Meh. Think what you want, I could give a rat's ass. If I hadn't of tried them I would never of found out how awesome they all are. Give me status quo and I'll give you a mouth full of bloody chiclets.

Now I got to go iron my acid wash bell bottom jeans so that I can go hula-hooping later.

*anyone not knowing who the above trio is??

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Snowy October 29th

We got hit early this year. It was slippery biking to work this morning. I haven't had a chance to put my studded tires on. I just added fenders, which kept me dry on my commute home - most of the snow had melted from the streets and roads. They're grooming in the Gats and yes, people are skiing already after just the first snow fall.

I'm guessing and hoping that this will all melt away over the next day or so. Despite my lack of motivation lately (another post), I still hope to get another loop or two of the park before I put the bike away for the winter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Freak'n Mother Nature is putting the boots to Ottawa early this year. 15-20cm of snow!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday CX

I wasn't up to racing or even riding the bike this weekend.
Instead, 'the wife' (she hates it when I call her that) and I went to Mooney's Bay to watch the OBC senior and masters men's race at 11am.

Nope, that's not a life preserver Chris is wearing. It's her down vest stretched to it's breaking point. That baby in there is getting big!

Just missed seeing Joey in action during his race earlier in the day. Joey is always smiling, ear-to-ear grin, even after an hour of riding the vomit comet.

Warren taking a corner through a huge puddle. We got dumped on yesterday, so the course was a little slick in spots. When I left, Warren was sitting in second place. Results can be found here.

Greg navigating the same puddle. Last time I was near Greg and a large body of water, we got his Ford Explorer stuck in it. He managed to peddle his way through this with no problem.

Matt. You might remember him as the winner from the Big Ring Racing Invitational Mock Grand Prix (or as I like to call it Super Excellent Bike Driving 100% Happy Time Event).

Mike B. - shouldering the bike

Long slog up hill

And congestion at the top - for at least the first lap.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vassago Lov'in

Yesterday I got home from work and went straight to bed feeling ill and achy. When I woke up it was dark out and I didn't feel any better. I stumbled downstairs to find a box sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me. I was expecting an envelope or something from Misty with a t-shirt for the winner of last week's prize give away, but this seemed to big for that.

Sure enough, it was from Vassago! I cut it open to find this:

Glass? I didn't order a glass.

But damn, I'll keep it! Beauty!
And inside the glass was this:

Whuuuuuuoooooo Baaaaaby!
Is that a purdy headbadge or what?!?!?! Much nicer than my kitty-cat on the Jabber (which will now be replaced!). Misty mentioned something a while back about sending one my way, but I thought that she had forgotten or was joking with me. No joke!

LinkDug a little deeper in the box and found two of these wicked t-shirts! One for me and one for the grand prize winner of my little prize give away last week.

I'm only a supported rider for Vassago Cycles, but get treated like I'm their star rider. Not everyone can be a fully sponsored rider, or even a supported rider, but everyone can be treated like one - and that's how Vassago rolls. I feel that I do my best to represent Vassago to the best of my ability . . . . but it's easy when you're riding the best damn 29" bikes out there.

Someone else is realizing what I've been telling all
you this whole time . . . . that I am in fact awesome, thank you very much.

No! Thank you Misty & Vassago for being so awesome!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Slooooooooowing dowwwwwwwwn

Like putting molassess in the fridge, the cool seasonal change to the Fall is having the same effect on me. Slow, low tempo. Motivation is lacking.
Must find something to inspire. Riding is slowing down due to the colder, shorter days and tempermental weather- yet, I'm still getting three or four days in most weeks. Next season seems so far away - training is not even on the radar.
I'm eating more, even though my body doesn't need the extra calories. Maybe it's nature's way of preparing my body for winter. Ottawa is supposed to get another repeat of the dumping of snow that we got last winter (approximately 11 ft of snow!) - so it will be a long winter. I'm looking forward to xc and skate skiing, but I can wait for it. This is the first year that I'm still wanting heaps more riding time. Usually by this time of the year I am feeling the need for a break from the bike. Not so this year.
I just re-read what I typed and it seems some what of a contradiction. I'm feeling lazy, but still want to ride. Meh. It is what it is and 'tis the season.

Car Free

I managed to get home a wee bit early yesterday, so I decided to bail on the night ride that was planned to take advantage of some warmish (+8 celcius, 46 fahrenheit) temperatures and a sunny sky and hit the road. Rumors were true, and the parkway in the Gats were closed. The climbs were fine, but the downs were down right cold.

The Gats are now car free. Rejoice brothers and sisters.

Quebce side, along the Ottawa River.

Shiree and Kari. Caught them at the top of Pink and we ended up riding the rest of the loop together.

No 'leafers' at the top of Champlain. Actually no one at the top of Champlain.

Sunset along the river.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keep an eye on your mail box

I just sent out a huge pile of prizes this evening to all the readers who played my prize give away last week. I had winners from five different countries - pretty cool! There were so many winners that I had to thin out the schwag that I sent along. Sorry.

But like I said, everyone who played got something. Those of you didn't are suckas and better luck next time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One is the lonliest number

Couldn't find anyone to go for a ride yesterday. It was a beautiful Fall Saturday afternoon.
What's up with that?!

These trails were just raked last weekend. Now completely covered over.
Even Jebus on couldn't part the leaves.

Big wide bars on the Jabber. They bit me hooking a tree and threw me down
faster than Jimmy Snuka superflying you.

Got up, dusted myself off and realized I had a flat. Went to change it and I broke the top off my spare while filling it up. D'oh! Had to patch up the flat.

Got that straightened out and ten minutes later my cleat tore away from the bottom of my shoe. D'oh! The part that you screw the cleat into rusted out. Luckily I was able to use the other two holes.

I don't think that I've had that many mechanicals and trouble in the last two months of riding. No matter. It was a beautiful day to get mechanicals and I was grinning ear to ear all ride.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Game Over

Phew! Game over. Man, I don't know who is sicker: me for having autographed photos of myself or all of you requesting them. Pretty overwhelming (in a good way) the number of responses. But I've got to shut the prize give away down or I'll be broke from buying stamps. Don't worry, you're all getting something!

Keep an eye on the mail - prizes shipped out this week.

**By the way, the only reason I have photos of myself is that I had some printed to go in the thank you cards that I sent around to all of my sponsors last year - so that they could put a face to the name. Won't be doing it this year . . . . I think I scared some off!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prize Give Away Update - Keep'em coming!

I'm getting tonnes of e-mails with answers. Wicked. I've got lots of loot, so keep them coming. Joao - how come you haven't played?! I've got an international postal stamp with your name on it! Same for you my friend from Belgium?

So everyone is going to get something cool, but what's even better is Misty from the best damn 29'er company on the planet (they run a neck & neck for best in the universe with another shop on Nebulous 3, but that's another post), has generously provided me (it's on it's way) with this wicked Vassago t-shirt to give away to the reader of my choice:

Big props to Misty for doing this. I didn't ask, didn't expect it . . . . how's that for a company treating it's rider?! Just freak'in wicked.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the original big ring Prize Give Away

I've accumulated a bunch of schwag, stickers, sponsorship products, etc over the course of the season which I'd like to give away to you, my loyal readers. You should be rewarded for your lack of taste, your proscrastination, your inability to find something better to do, your search for naked reviews . . . . reasons you come to my blog.

So, your task is to tell me three stickers I have on my work bench. One must NOT be bike related, for example a 'place' sticker. Think of when you've seen photos of my work bench in the background while searching the blog entries for photos.

Click on my profile dealie on the right there --------------------------->
and send me an e-mail. Include your mailing address and I'll send you something neat-o. Everyone who plays wins - EXCEPT Big Ring Racing team members. Sorry dudes.

The fewer the people play, the better the loot you'll win. Some lucky readers may even win this:

Yes, right you are! An original, autographed photo of the original big ring (from last year).
Is this for the first person who answers or the last? Is the glass half empty or half full? All in your perspective!
That big ass bumper sticker in the background is also up for grabs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do you want something for nothing?

. . . . and your chicks for free?

Can't help you with your lady problems, but I can give you something for nothing.

Want to win something? I got a little give-away quiz tomorrow (Thursday). All you have to do is answer a question based on my blog and I'll send you something in the mail - I'll even pay the postage anywhere in the world!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Windy Autumn Road Ride

It's been nutty, to say the least, at work the past two weeks. It's only October and I already feel burnt out from teaching. Not a good sign. It's been a struggle lately. Like summer turning to fall (awwww, isn't that nice!), it's time for a change . . . . and change I must!

So today, I skipped out of work as soon as the nutbars left. Spun my legs like a mad man, on my beater commuter bike, to get home so I could get ready to go out on my road bike to spin my legs like a mad man. Was out the door and on my way into the Gats, which I am blessed to have so close to home - only a 20 minute bike ride and I'm in the woods.

I usually take the foot path into the park, avoiding the road. It was completely covered by leaves and it seemed more like a mine field - sticks, acorns, pine and spruce cones lay hidden waiting to throw you from the bike.

beauty parkway

the wind was absolutely crazy blowing today - wind gusts up to 40km/hr
it swirled and twirled all around me, it would be a wicked headwind one second, the next it was behind me

view from Champlain look off

view from below along the parkway
notice the sexy bare legs? it was beautiful out today, 22 degrees in October!

Ottawa skyline as seen on the last little descent coming into Gameline

Sunday, October 12, 2008

O.P.R.A.H. Race Report

Oprah gave the 'thumbs up' for this weekends O.P.R.A.H. Turkey Time Trial.

I ate too much turkey tonight and am feeling too lazy to do a separate blog post than what I've already put up on the team blog. So clicky clicky here for race report, photos and results.

And more jibber jabber here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Going along with my one line, few words blog posts from last week, I am swamped right now.
If I had more time I would have photoshoped the swamp thing up there carrying Oprah, his job, a preggo wife, yard work, a bike, sponsorship thank yous and requests, a fence that needs building, and a half a dozen or so other nickel and dime errands that need to get done.
I would have . . . ., but then again, I am swamped.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kingdom Trails/Waterbury Road Trip Report Day #1

doggie poo on my tire

Despite Lenny riding my bike through a big pile of dog shit at the start of the road trip down south, it was not an indictation of how the rest of the trip was going to go. It turned out to be a lot of fun.

mmmmm, bacon . . . . a recurring theme in all my road trips

don't let the good looks fool you - our condo, at the base of Burke Mtn Ski Hill, was a gaseous filled war zone - way too much farting going on.
I was woken up three times Saturday night by someone's fart that came knocking on my nose.

fall colours

Lyndonville, just down the road from the Kingdom Trails, is home of Bag Balm
- my personal favourite undercarriage protection

we found the Lyndonville town pig
mmmmm, I love bacon

Oooo, yuck. Do something about those nose hairs you freak.

Lenny had a nose for MILPS this weekend. That's right . . . MILPS.
Not MILFS . . . . MILPS.
Mums I'd Like to Plant
Everywhere we went all Lenny could talk about was how nice the fall mums were.

which then caused a lot of 'rapid gaz'
road trips + grown men = farting and gay love talk

*My lack of trail shots is totally Lenny's fault because he wouldn't carry my camera on the ride. Just waiting to steal some photos from Pappa Giles and Dr. Kim.