Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Melty snow and hills

Headed across the river this afternoon after work to do some hill work in La belle province. On the way over I decided to check out the bike paths beside the river. Only three or four spots on my way to Champlain Bridge - none very long.

As far as I got on the Gat Parkway - don't despair, it's melting fast.

I also rode back up into the park to check the road conditions after a warm then very wet Sunday and Monday. If you remember on Saturday Curvy Butt and I checked it out but you couldn't get very far. Today you could get to the top of the slight climb after the Boulevard St Raymond overpass on the Gatineau Parkway from the Gameline entrance.

Along the Parkway . . . . someone didn't have a very good ski.

Skyridge is a short but steep'ish little climb. No traffic makes it great for those fast, short & explosive hill
climb intervals . . . if you're into that sort of thing.

Rode along Chemin De la Montagne (and almost got taken out by some dick-wad in a jeep - thanks fugger!) to do some hill work on/up/over Notch Rd. On my way over I stopped and did five or six (I say five or six because I got dizzy and nearly passed out, let-alone remembering how many intervals I actually did) short, hard intervals up Rue Skyridge.

After finishing up on Notch I ran up the path beside the Notch Road overpass to check further along on the Gatineau Parkway. Still quite a bit of snow, but it will go fast.

Looking the opposite direction.

You can check out what the north end of the park looks like here.

Coming home along the Ottawa River - chunky, lumpy, icy bits float by.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wakefield - Cantley Loop

Hooked up with Curvy Butt yesterday, which had to be the nicest day of the year so far. Beauty day, fifteen degrees, sunny, and calm. Perfect for a long, slow ride. I chose to ride the rolling hills on the Quebec side to get some climbing in - it's flatlands in and around Ottawa.

We rolled up to Gameline just to check on the state of the entrance to the park. Looking good, but still a ways to go before we can get anywhere into the Gats.

But on a positive note, Demsis is ceasing grooming for the season. Yay! This will help the snow go faster.

Curvy Butt had to bail about 35 kms into the ride as he had a function to get to in the late afternoon. I continued on by my lonesome . . . . one is the loneliest number.

Climbing to the top of Chemin De la Riviere a sign told me to stop and practice my Kar-ate moves.

So I did.
At the drop of a hat I can open a can of kar-ate whoop-ass.

Covered bridge in Wakefield.
Fun to jump off this in the summer and go swimming in the current.

Still lots of snow at Edelweiss. Not too many skiing/boarding - conditions didn't look that good.

Crossing over the river in Gatineau and climbing back up to the 105 that would put me into Chelsea, I heard a "TWANG". Snapped a spoke. Phooey. Had a wobbly front wheel for the rest of the ride home.

Much harder while riding outside on the road to keep the power fluctuations evenly distributed, as compared to on the trainer,
while using the PowerTap.

Perhaps it was my first long'ish ride with significant amount of hills, or I haven't finished fighting through being run down this past week . . . . either way, I did not feel very strong at all today. I managed to keep an average power wattage in the middle to top of my endurance range despite not 'feeling' spunky. Still, what a fantastic ride!

Wakefield - Cantley Loop = 100km.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Purple bell on a purple bike

My ride to work Wednesday was a little damp.
It beats driving in a car.

The beater has really taken a beating this winter. The end is now insight . . . maybe both for winter and the bike.

Friday, March 27, 2009

An Evening of Race Registration

I spent a little while Friday evening narrowing down the race schedule (I got a little over ambitious, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, I bit off more than I can chew . . . . you get the idea) as it was slightly lofty and was going to cost a lot to do (travel expense, race registration expense and time away from my little family expense). So I feel better about the schedule taking shape; it seems to be morphing weekly and will probably change again and again.

I was excited to be registering for some of these races and had someone to share in the excitement. The Peanut kept me company while mommy got some much needed sleep.

Elsa wasn't nearly as excited. She ended up falling asleep.

I did finally get my arse registered for some. It's my birthday in a wee bit (e-mail me for a mailing address for presents, e-mail address is over there ---------->, please send me lots of stuff, bike related would be useful, monetary gifts would also gladly be accepted, don't be shy, tell your friends!), so this was my present(s) to myself. Kind of sick really . . . . I'm giving myself some future suffering. I don't really need anything or want anything material, so this is what I'm splurging on . . . . . suffering. Lovely. I don't even need to wrap them.

So far races paid for and positively scheduled in:

- more to come.

In a van down by the river

Yesterday evening something finally arrived from Vassago. I was so excited that I pulled it out of the box, rushed to Phat Moose (best bike shop in town!) to pick up my parts and get the headset pressed in and hurry home to start building it. I was so happy because I've got the Ice Breaker (have to add it to my list of races - it kind of just fell into place in scheduling and visitingin family) coming up on April 5th which I was going race on it. Once at home I stuck it in the bike stand to begin work on it when I noticed something a bit odd about it . . . .

. . . . whatever could have been wrong?
Stay tunned.

While at The Moose, I ran into my old buddy (he's not so old though) Greg Z. - who knows a few things or two about bakeries, let me tell you. He was there too getting his flashy new stealth bomber ready for the season.

Is some guy selling these things out of the a back of a van or something?! If you remember correctly, Coach also has one. It's no coincidence as him and Greg are riding for the same team this year.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Win a Big Ass Prize

Thanks Jason, of Team Go Banana #2 (famous for "the crash that was heard around the world") who has brought to my attention that I'm famous . . . . again. Last time was here. This time it's here.

The fine folks at the BC Bike Race and Ride Guide put together a 22 minute video of this past year's race. You can find me in it three (from my count) times. Jason is also in it and he had a very long speaking role, which he should win an Oscar for.

Most Oscar winners take their roles very seriously, and Jason is no exception. He played the part of a mountain biker racing in a seven day stage race. Rumor has it that in the build up to his scene, he even sat on a bike and pedaled it around in a parking lot just to "get the feel of what it must be like to be a cyclist." His costume was convincing as well - he had on a helmet and cycling shirt. The strange thing was neither was dirty or sweaty. He was also not breathing heavily. There were also no other cyclist around him.

Contest - Win a Big Ass Prize:
Find me in the video the three times, e-mail me (my address is over there -----> in my profile) what I am doing the three times and win a prize. It may be this, or this, or maybe even this.

Seriously, I will send you something.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roll'n, roll'n, roll'n . . . .

I've been sick since Sunday - just plain worn down and tuckered out. Having a full-time poop machine and fart knocker enter our lives has really thrown me for a loop. The long stay at the hospital, irregular sleeps, new stress, change of schedule and super duties (also including Super Dooties) have cracked me.

What I'm learning is that I have to better manage my time. So, just because I'm sick doesn't mean that I can't do anything. While mommy fed Elsa I kept them company by stretching and rolling out my legs.

My two new favourite tools for helping me feel better are a six foot piece of rope and my massage roller. Recently, while dealing with a sensitive hamstring issue, an A.R.T. therapist showed me some really excellent active stretching techniques for my legs. He also suggested using a foam roller after workouts and stretching to help flush out and lengthen the muscles. I've been doing both for a few weeks now and my legs do feel much better and more flexible. What I notice most about the roller is how well it helps with recovery after a ride.

My roller is bad ass black - muscles are more scared of a black roller cause it looks so evil and bad and naughty.

**After writing this up I realized that I could have done this as a naked review!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stan's Booger

I was working on the bikes Sunday and decided to swap out my dry Fall tires for a wet'ish Spring single track tire on my Stan Arches. I carefully pulled off the tires that I was running in the Fall, half expecting that the sealant would be semi dried up - however, it was not at all. And the tires were still sealed and holding pretty much the same pressure I had been running in them last - impressive!

So I go about cleaning the tires out, I pour out the old sealant and I find this stuck on
the bottom of the inside of the tire . . . .

It looks like a tiny piece of coral from a reef . . . . or a big white booger.

Booger I say.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm not convinced . . . .

. . . . that I can put this away yet.

Despite the outside riding, warmer temperatures and melting snow we always get a big dump of snow in March. I did see my first robin sitting on my fence on Sunday though . . . . fingers crossed for an early Spring.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Poopies, sleepies, Leafies and wrenchies

With having a baby everything you say and do must for now and forever be all cutsie wootsie. So from here on out all my blog post titles will end in "ies".

Was supposed to head out on this ride today, however, lack of sleep and on-the-go'ness has caught up to me and I am starting to get sick from being run down. I opted to listen to the body and take today off to rest and do some baby duty.

Baby dooty indeed!

My rear tire went KAAAA-PLOOOOO-EEEEEE during Saturday's ride. This morning Elsa's bum did the same thing. Results are very different.

Best sleep ever - nappy while at the hospital. This should win me some "SNAG" and chick points (don't tell my wife).

Again, I never thought I'd be so tired. Babies are A LOT of work and I'm finding all my leisure time (blogging, reading blogs, working in the workshop, procrastinating, sending hate mail, plotting my eventual overthrow of the world, training for the Tour, learning new karate moves, and so on) disappearing. I shouldn't complain cause I've got a beauty of a baby and I'm still fitting the rides in and finding a few moments to blog-o-blog.

What's not to love?!

While Elsa dozed I slipped on these:

- which I believe was the reason why the Leafs beat Montreal last night, much to the chagrin of Lenny. Though out of the play-offs (sigh . . . . again . . . . sigh), it's fun to watch them spoil the Habs chances of moving on.

With riding outside so much lately I'm getting antsy to hit the trails. It'll be a couple weeks still I imagine before we're ready to roll on them. So, today I'm getting the Jabber ready for the season. The legs will be ready to spin the King 18T by then.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kaaa-plooo-eeee curvy road ride

About 30 minutes into today's ride I flatted. Ran through a crack in the pavement the size of the Grand Canyon and KAA-PLOOO-EEEEEE! Tore right through the side wall. Didn't have a boot to patch it up, so I had to use a wee bit of electric tape (see below) that I had wrapped around my air cartridge.

Curvy Butt sitting on my wheel drafting. To draft off me is like sitting behind a barn door - I'm so big and fat.

Country side jaunt.

Curvy Butt . . . . and you ask me why I call him such a horrible name. See for yourself. Bodacious booty on him. Someone should really talk to him about his panty lines though. I would, but we just don't have that kind of relationship.

This is what my tire looked like after 100km. The electric tape held - looked like an awkward teenagers pimple by the end of it though. Lucky for me it didn't go KAA-PLOOO-EEEEE again.

**Late edit**
Curvy Butt just sent me this . . . . man, am I a keeper or what!?!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Climbing in my sleep

I've got lots of friends with kids. All the Dads warned me about sleep deprivation once I had my own. I've always smiled, felt bad for the suckas, and took their advice (or warning) with a grain of salt. Really, how bad could it be?! I don't sleep well as it is, so getting up through the night shouldn't be such a big deal.

Fugg me! I'm a chump. In the last two and a half days I've slept a grand total of 7 hours during the night. It's not that my new little itty bitty baby isn't sleeping during the night, cause she is - in-between feedings, diaper changes, burps and farts. And to go hand in hand with the expression, "sleeps like a baby", she does! Me on the other hand, takes me quite a while to get back to sleep, and follow the expression, "sleeps like a trucker hopped up on mountain due and pep pills." Also throw in regular visits by the nursing staff to check in on Chris (I'm sleeping at the hospital each night. . . . on a cot that not only folds in half vertically for storage purposes, but folds in half lengthwise while you sleep - it's really quite lovely and comfortable to be squished between to steel bed rails on a plastic coated foam mattress that has no support - really).

I've been able to get a way for a little escape the past few days while Chris' mom does the day shift. I got out for a great ride on Tuesday - high on the whole birthing process, I was flying. Wednesday I crashed and burned, sleeping instead of going for a ride. Today, I forced myself out the door to get some hill work in after a two hour nap.

Rode in a blurr today. Sunny, clear skies for the most part, but windy and much cooler than the past few days.

Notch Road.
High-ho, high-ho. It's off climbing I go.

Passed #15 trail - getting dirty, icy and run down. Still tonnes of snow left in the woods - will be weeks before the trails are ready.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick Pic

Elsa - big, beautiful, healthy baby

Thank you all for your well wishes and congratulatory (is that a word?) messages - very much appreciated. Mom and Ellie are doing great. The peanut is latching on to the boob like a pro and is eating and sleeping very well. Just home from the hospital for a quick nap, a ride, a shower then back with the family.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My little Big Ring

Elsa Jean arrived this morning at 2:05 am via C-section weighing in at a whopping 10lbs - a big, beautiful chubbsie wubbsie baby. She's perfect! Mom and baby are both happy, healthy and doing fine. Daddy is spent and going to sleep. More to come.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kick'n it

Check it out . . . . pretty freaky . . . .

. . . . this baby wants out! What's he/she doing in there??
This little creature is very active in the evening. Chris caught him/her on the camera last night while laying on the couch.

**P.s. Still no baby! It's having too much fun on the trampoline, called Chris' bladder.

P.p.S.s. It's also Chris' BIRTHDAY today - Happy Birthday Chrissie! Love you!

Enduro'ish Race Series

I'm going to have to, yet again, re-evaluate my race plans for the season due to this new race series by Substance Projects:
Each Marathon and Half-Marathon will focus on “one big lap”. Get on your bike and experience an epic adventure through some of Southern Ontario’s best trails systems. All courses will keep you excited, motivated and inspired to ride at your personal best.

Our goal is to mix single track challenges (up and down) and double track/dirt roads to let you recover, pass and regroup for the next technical challenge.

Each Marathon will be approximately 70 km or have a goal time for first place of 3.5 to 4 hours.

Each Half Marathon will be approximately 30km and have a goal time of 2 hours for first place.

The first race of the series will be a little shorter with a goal time of 3 hours for the Marathon and 1 hour 30 minutes for the Half Marathon so that riders can recover from the climbing at Horseshoe Valley.

Doesn't mean less races, but MORE! Whoot! A couple Ontario Cups may get dropped and replaced by these. 70 km is more my kind of race. O-Cups are only about 1.5 hrs . . . . I'm just getting warmed up at 1.5 hrs into a race.

**Late edit: stilllllllllll no baby.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting Surgical

I had an appointment with Mary at Bike2Body last night to re-check my pedal stroke with a new computer program she's using that will accurately analyze and interpret the data she had done on my initial bike fit. It will more precisely measure the knee bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

I put new Crank Bros Quatro Ti pedals on the road bike at the end of the year (after it snowed - damn you snow!) and didn't bother to swap out my cleats and cleat platform. So with my appointment last night, I had to swap the old ones out.

I had to use my dremel on the shoe and cleat platform to make it fit. Not an issue and an easy fix. But in the words of Alonzo Harris . . .

Alonzo Harris: "You KNOW I'm surgical with this bitch."

And I am. Check out this sculpture of a cat I did a couple years ago. Didn't know I had that kind of talent, did you?!
Okay, it looks like a drunk grade three did it.

'member kids . . . when putting in screws into your shoes (ie. cleats) use some threadlock. Don't want your cleats coming out in the middle of a ride.

Ta da.