Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday saddle time

Sunday I was riding up the gates in the park to meet up with some of the Tall Tree fellas for a long'ish ride in the park. On the way up I picked up a Cyclery rider, Jay (I think that was his name?), who decided to join us. Five us headed out, making our way up to Chelsea via the fifteen. Matt lead out and set a pace that is more like my race pace. It was only 9 am'ish and I was already sweating buckets on this humid, hot day. I was burning too many matched too early. Visions of cramps danced in my head.

Once at Chelsea, we hooked up with the Vegan Vagabond and Paul to go ride some trails in Chelsea - rooty, rocky technical trails with some nice flow. Had the opportunity to ride some new trails that I hadn't ridden before, which were a lot of fun.

I was so tired, sweaty and hot when I took this picture . . . . it accurately portrays the blurred vision I was having at the time.

Double culverts under the highway leading us to some undisclosed trails.

Rode from O'Brien down to the Meech Lake boat launch to dip our legs and heads into the refreshing water. Might have been a bad idea for Thom . . . . see below.

As we started our long climb up the forty a doe and her fawn crossed in front of us on the trail.


On the number one heading towards Champlain

Thom fought a good battle trying to hold off the cramps . . . they eventually got him.

All said and done, from my place and return I got in 90 km'ish. I had planned to get in a much longer ride (for the August sufferfest that is looming around the bend) . . . . well, 'planned' . . . . poor choice of words. Cause if I had 'planned' it, I probably would have done it. Leaving the house with one cliff bar, five cliff block cubes, no money and 2.5 litres of water and trying to fit in 120-140 kms . . . . that's not very good planning. Stoopid.

Monday, June 29, 2009


This past Saturday was the Bicycles For Humanity loading day for the container that is being shipped over to Namibia. I arrived at the B4H warehouse at 9 am and got to work prep'ing the last bunch of bikes to be loaded on.

At 10 am the truck arrived with the sea container.

And loading began.

The Vegan Vagabond . . . . and the bike that began it all. It's totally made with zero animal by-products.

Feats of strength

I was bent over all day wrenching on bikes - removing pedals, dropping seats and bars, zip tying pedals to the frame, removing kick-stands, and turning bars (all to make for easier and more compact loading and unloading). Every time I got through a bunch of bikes, more would show up to be prepared. I was so busy that I didn't even lift one bike into the truck. Toughest part of the day was removing the steel pedals from aluminum cranks - some sort corrosive welding between the two metals going on. I was shagged by the time I got home - all tired and stiff - body was a bit achy for Sunday's ride (that report tomorrow).

VV & Giles - West Side Posse

I mean . . . Li'l Possers.

Almost full

Boxes of bike parts, tools, soccer cleats, balls and jerseys all sent over. Tubes and tires were crammed into every nook and cranny.

An empty warehouse

332 bikes loaded

I was so happy to have the container loaded I got down and did the B4H shuffle.

Enthusiastic and energetic bunch of volunteers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hot turtles cookie landspeed record

Dr. Peter (he's not like a real doctor, you know the kind that stick their finger in your bum - but Peter would like to) wanted to get some long'ish miles in yesterday, so I couldn't let him go at it alone. I had second thoughts (been having a lot of second thoughts lately) on riding after work due to the high temperature (+40 Celsius with the humidex - that's + 104 Farenhiet), but caved and decided to go and see what happened. I took two bottles on the bike and one in my jersey, some Zone Caps, and two bucks.

Peter wanted to get in around 100 km, so I suggested this ride. I wasn't sure if we were bitting off more than we could chew, so to speak, due to the ubber hot day. No sense going into the hurt locker and get all dehydrated - I got a big mtn bike ride this weekend!

Peter found someone/some reptile faster than me to draft off of.

Covered bridge in Wakefield.

We stopped to top up the bottles and grab a snacky at the bakery. My two bucks bought me a big ass oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie, which are the cat's meow.

Riding out of Wakefield towards Ottawa along the Gatineau River was much cooler than being out on the open road.

Peter climbing up River Road.

I finished off just a teeny tiny bit under 100 km - not bad for an after work ride. I also set my new all time land speed record on the hill at Mt Cascade = 88.51 km/hr. Not one cramp while riding - and just a tickle of one while stretching after the ride. I ended up drinking eight tell bottles in the three plus hour ride. I should have Salt Loaded before the ride, but didn't have time or chips, so I'm going to replace what I lost while I sit in front of the jumping box.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tall Tree Wednesday Nights

Rolled out from the gate with five other riders in +32 degree Celsius heat (that's +89.6 Fahrenheit) last night for a loop of the park. It wasn't painful as other Wednesday nights, the kind where you bleed out your eyes, but it still hurt. I suck ass in the heat, thankfully it wasn't humid cause I suck even worse . . . like smelly ass.

On top of Champlain everyone regrouped - Wednesday nights are generally a "no drop" ride. Faster riders who get to the top often head back down the hill and keep slower riders company until they reach the top. Which is always nice for slower climbers like me - some fast, little skinny guy comes down with a big grin on his face and wants to talk to you while you try to summit the crest of a hill while your lungs are hanging out of your nose.

Speaking of noses, while riding along Matt wiped a big booger on the side of my jersey. "According" to him, there was a deer fly on me. Then he said he really wanted my Big Ring Racing jersey. I guess he thought he deserved it cause he was in his big ring the entire ride. Show off.
I'm going to have to explain to him the irony of the name big ring . . . . like calling a fat guy Tiny.

Kent launched an all-out sprint assault the last 300 meters or so which left him in a wrecked heap by the time he got to the water fountain. The guy has the uncanny ability to put himself automatically into the recovery position (as history would have it) just in case he passes out.
Stop, drop and roll.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking for excuses

On my birthday, you might recall (my birthday in fact was not on the 27th, that's when I posted - my birthday is in fact on the 30th. Those of you deadbeat friends and onlookers who have not yet submitted a present may, no - MUST, do so now. Money or bike related presents muchly appreciated), that I treated myself by registering for a few races early in the year. One, I was giving myself a present, two, I was forcing myself to suit up and show up to race. Three months later and I am having second thoughts on one of the races - the Wilderness 101.

The reasons for the second thoughts are not the obvious ones being overweight, under trained and not all that smart. It's funny with the timing really. I was over on The Soiled Chamois blog reading his Lumberjack race report and the same feelings that he was having before that race are similar to the ones I am having.

My reasons:
  • One - it's a long ass drive all by my lonesome - 8 hours each way from Ottawa! I don't mind being by myself, anyone who does endurance events better get used to their own company. Maybe some of the slower riders really like themselves and the faster ones can't stand themselves - more or less time alone - you choose. Me on the other hand, being slow, am forced to spend that time all by myself.

  • Two - the race takes place August 1st in Pennsylvania. It's bound to be stinking hot. If it's hot, anything around 100km (that's 62.137 miles folks!) and my legs start to get all stabby and crampy. 8 hours is a long way to go to DNF. I'm sussing out the finer details of my cramping issues, but there are no guarantees. And in all likelihood, I will be cramping and badly.

  • Three - there's a shit load of climbing involved. Apparently a shit load. Now that doesn't normally bother me, I kind of like settling into the groove and grinding away . . . but 160kms worth . . . . fugg me. What gearing do I run?? WTF!

  • Four - if it isn't already apparent, I am lacking some confidence going into this sufferfest. Up in these here Canerda parts, we don't have races that long. That being said, I've ridden about 300 km or so in a couple solo 24 hour races, and around 130-140km in some 8 hrs - but this one big ass loop down in PA seems a little different to me. Can't get my head around it and the suffering it will take to complete it. This will be my longest one day race on the s.s. Guess it's got to happen sometime.

I'm looking for excuses to bail, but can't seem to find any . . . . other than . . . . it's going to hurt . . . alot. Anyone want to drive down with and suffer alongside (or uphead of me)?

* my apologies for yesterday's lameness . . . though I see Dicky enjoyed it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I got nothing

Blah blah blah go to hell blah blah blah.

That's about all I feel like writing. No motivation, feeling lazy, had a terrible ride this afternoon after work, blah, blah, blah.

The school year is winding down in three days, I'm going to have two months off to do what I please and I feel b-l-a-h. Go figure. I can't explain it.

Yes, this is a lame excuse for a post. Not even a photo or nothin'.
Go pound rocks.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday Country Ride

concession roads

haunted houses

gravel roads

highland cattle

country charm

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beat up

The body and bike took a beating this past weekend. Wednesday's commute home had me riding with one hand on the bike. My left wrist had a sharp pain in it while trying to hold onto the hoods. If I moved it one way it was fine, the other and it hurt real bad. I didn't notice it on the ride in and it didn't hurt on any of the other days. I had two crashes during the race, but I don't recall falling on my wrist.

Yesterday I felt the exact pain EXCEPT it was the right wrist. And the left felt okay. Freakshow. 78.5 km on a rigid, with only one other ride under my belt (which my belly hangs over), may be the culprit. Could also be my new music player too.

And what's more is my knee started to flare up today. Bugger me.

The bike didn't escape it's share of punishment either. Check out the two cracks in my aluminum King cog - cracked all the way through.

Clicky clicky to make larger to see the cracks. They are at 10 and 5 o'clock.
Cracking rear cogs . . . . might be a sign that you're a powerhouse or lard-ass.

Does anyone give a fork? Stef took his back from me so that he could give it a try (finally after sitting in a box in his basement for two years) at Chico Racing's 24 Hours of Summer Solstice this weekend. So looks like I'll be needing a rigid fork.

Speaking of the Summer Solstice race this weekend, which interestingly enough is North America's largest 24 hr race (did all you 'Mericans know that?), will be my second year in a row that I've missed it. Last year it took place the weekend before the BC Bike Race, so I opted out of racing to save myself for the seven days of riding (which probably made the difference of coming in 43rd instead of 44th in the BC race). This year I have a family commitment that I have to attend.

I really dig the atmosphere of Solstice and it seems everyone who rides a mountain bike in Ontario shows up for festival like race. I would very much have liked to make this weekends race my fourth solo attempt - and if I could have made the race, I would have done it on the single speed. Peter, Tanya, and Matt are going to need some company out there. Good luck to all participating and hopes for the rain to hold off.

Depending on the dates of it next year, I may end up missing it again as I have officially started a savings fund for either of these two races: 6 days or 7 days which I've vowed to do on the single speed. Yes, let it be proclaimed and documented that I've thrown my hat into the ring for the ultimate of self-torture.

Self-torture . . . a nice segue . . . . the Race Across America (RAAM) kicked off yesterday. My nephew, who is a member of Iron Stride running/triatholon club in Kingston, sent me a link to the Canadian Forces RAAM team, and more specifically LCol Tony O'Keefe's second attempt at the RAAM.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A night at the B4H warehouse

This past Monday night I (and a bunch of other happy-go-lucky volunteers) spent two and a half hours at the Bicycles For Humanity warehouse over in Hull prep'ing bikes to be sent over to Namibia later this month.

Need a kickstand? I can get you one.

We remove these because they get all tangled up when the bikes are being removed from the container upon delivery. We also take off the pedals (they get zipped tied to the bike), turn and drop the handle bars, lower the seat if need be, and take off any large cumbersome racks or anything that will make loading/unloading a hassle. The bikes don't need to be in perfect working condition - the people using them in the community will be educated on how to repair and maintain them. How's that expression go? Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

Found the perfect saddle for Curvy Butt.

Some old bikes come in to the warehouse in pristine condition. No rust on this old Raleigh.

An old CCM.

I've got one of these (actually a 1940 CCM Cleavland Motorbike) in parts in my basement - I found it a few years ago on the side of the road, unwanted. The plan is to restore it back to it's glory days when, if I find the time.

Crazy what people donate.

This trike will be a great bike for someone needing to haul stuff. Really, lots of potential possibilities for it - modified stretcher, delivery truck, school bus, etc. Maybe it will be used to haul beer.

Loads of parts and bits and pieces that will be jammed into every nook and cranny once the bikes are all loaded.

The container is being loaded on Saturday, June 27th. E-mail me or visit the above link for more information and if you can help out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Marathon Challenge Race #2 Report

The five hour drive from Ottawa to Spak's place left me a more tired than I expected. With all the eating and pooping, I was shattered. It must have been a good recipe for decent night's sleep cause I slept like a baby.

I woke up early Sunday morning to find that the door to the room that I was staying in at Matt's house was open. I clearly remembered closing it before hunkering down for the night. Why was it open and who opened it? Beside me on my pillow was a big half eaten sucker and my butt cheeks felt sticky. Ewwwwww! Where had I seen the sucker before?!? Matt! Just before beddy-by-time!

I felt a bit violated, but what's a guy to do when he's a guest in someone's house?! Grin and bear it. Needless to say, I won't be staying at Matt's anytime soon. Tanya and I got packed up and headed out the door for the hour or so drive to Mansfield Outdoor Centre where the second race in the Substance Projects Marathon Challenge was taking place.

* In all seriousness, thanks Matt for letting us crash at your place!*

Started the day with a coffee, not the best tasting, but it did the trick. Even with the black gold in my belly, my arse was firing warning shots that it's war on diarrhea may not be over. It took a long time for my belly to wave the surrender flag and settle down.

The left one I call Smith, the right one I call Wesson.

I knew that before the race one way that I could intimidate Peter was by oiling up my guns and ride around the parking lot in my sleeveless jersey. It seemed to work because a lot of people were looking at me and laughing . . . . out of sheer nervousness no doubt. The other way I intimidated was announcing to everyone that I had a bad case of the poopies. No one was willing to pass.

The Dark One and I made a gentleman's agreement to ride together for the entire race seeing that there was only one other single speeder in our category - we figured that if the guy did get ahead of us we could gang up on him and beat him up so that we'd at least finish one/two. My real plan was to ride with Peter for the entire race and in the last kilometer jam a big stick into his spokes and ride away to victory. Success. Alas, within the first fifteen minutes of the race I was off the bike and behind Peter (and a bunch of other riders) trying to unbraid a sappling that had wrapped itself around my disc/hub. I played catch up, killing myself to get back on his wheel. Being the all around good guy he is (sucker), he slowed up and allowed me to get back on. At this point he jacked up the pace. Gass'ed to the tits from pushing it hard to catch up to him, I found it difficult to hold on. Gradually, and after a crash, I got dropped.

It appeared the Dark Lord was not such a simple, transparent adversary. From the precise planting of the downed sappling, to jacking up the pace, to orchestrating my crash . . . . he was playing his hand perfectly.

Only into the race 30-40 minutes and suffering, I let him go and vowed my revenge. Going full out made my already delicate tummy more upset. I knew that I must settle into my own race pace, let my belly calm down and work my way back. It was going to be no easy task, but being defeated by the Empire again was not an option. For the first two hours I tried to keep a steady pace, yet slower than I planned to go out. At about the 35-40 km mark I started feeling good again and picked up the pace. I began to float effortlessly through the single track, my legs powered through the climbs, but I still complained and sucked ass on the sandy, rutted fire roads.

There were a handful of hike-a-bike climbs. At the steepest and longest (around the 50km mark) I dismounted the bike and looked up at the long ascent I had ahead of me only to see Peter trugging slowly upwards. Success. I still had 28kms to the finish, no sense killing myself running up a hill to catch him, I would reel him in soon enough. About a kilometer or two after the top of the hill I finally caught up with him as he walked his bike up yet another steep, sandy pitch. Victory.

From then on we rode to the finish together. We chatted quite a bit and the pace slowed. I get the feeling that we'd be the perfect riding partners on a long race or stage race, like this or this. The longer we rode, the stronger I felt. Another learning experience in my pacing and how I ride. Whoot.

Cramping & nutrition: not an issue. I had noted sometime last week in a post that I take calcium & magnesium supplements which apparently help prevent cramping. I also hydrated with lots and lots of water (more so than normal due to my leaking ass) a couple days before the race. I filled up at every aid station and was very conscious about drinking regularly. Plus, my coconut water experiment (which, by the way, was easy on the belly). Let's not forget Salt Loading. I've also been using E-Discs as an added supplement on the bike - I probably took about a half dozen during the race. During the entire 78.5 km and 4000m of climbing I ate five Cliff Blocks (actual blocks, not packages) and one banana.

Tanya had dared Peter and I to cross the line in a dead tie, holding hands and she would give us twenty bucks each. This was witnessed by the race photographer. So we did. And I'll prove it to you once they get the photos up on the website. We're waiting for our cash Vagabond.

We both took first place in the single speed category for the full marathon 78.5 km, Peter took "Spak First".

The Vegan Vagabond takes third and is the current points leader of the race series in the female division.

She got a big ass cookie for being the points leader! Who wants another crappy t-shirt when you can have a cookie! And the best part was I got to eat it (cause it wasn't all vegan-ated). So I guess that I am truly the women's points leader of the race series . . . . you should have read the fine print Tanya: "The person who eats the big ass cookie then becomes the official points leader of the race series."

Monday, June 15, 2009

You don't want to read another race report.

Marathon Challenge Race #2 Food Report

Friday night I was lazy and did not feel like making supper, so we ordered out. I ate a medium pizza: olives, tomatoes, salami and bacon. Yes, of course I ate the whole thing - it was only a medium . . . . I'm not light weight. I guess that's why I'm a heavy weight.

The next day I had diarrhea ALL DAY LONG. Between the bouts of explosive loose pooh, I managed somehow to get a short ride in Saturday to loosen the legs for Sunday's suffer-fest. Got packed out, threw the bike on the roof with it's skirt on, and headed out of Ottawa with the Vegan Vagabond for a pajama party at Spak's place. I felt like crippity crap the whole way, but knew that I needed to get fluids and food in my system so I'd have the energy to ride/race on Sunday.

I prefer bike "bro" or "manzier" - filled up with bugs and pollen.

Lunch - turkey, tomato, cheese and guacamole.

What's a guy to do? So, I ate . . . . and prayed that the liquid pooh fountain that seemed to gush out my ass would cease.

Some dirty, greasy, spicy Thai chips.
They were the Vegabond's and I only ate a few.
It was a five hour drive . . . . what else you going to do but eat?!

Vagabond swore that they were her secret power food for riding endurance events.

Stopped at the Karwartha Dairy in Bancroft for a small (yes, that's a small - and only for like three bucks! And yes, I ate the whole thing.) butter pecan and mocha almond fudge double scoop. Just the cure for diarrhea.

Bed time snack (yes, I ate the whole thing)

Since I suffer from cramping, I figure it has to do with all the salt I lose from sweating. You've heard of Carb Loading . . . . I call what I do, Salt Loading. It seemed to work too - no cramping on Sunday! I've been experimenting with this lately and I've been getting good results. My blood pressure is through the roof, I'm unable to get an erection, and I've suffered a minor heart attack, but it's really helped with the cramping . . . . well worth it!
I'm not saying it was the cure, to be honest I don't know what I did right - probably a combination of a bunch of things. More on that, and the actual race report tomorrow and the show down with the Dark Lord.

Did you clicky, clicky on the diarrhea links?
Yeah, I knew you would.