Monday, May 31, 2010

50-50 Medical

*Note: keep in mind the first part (pink) of this post was typed up Thursday before my physiotherapy appointment, the latter (regular font) is afterwards.

Big hairy drumstick. Ice knee four/five times a day and Advil every four hours.

It could be worse. I could need surgery, but it doesn't look like I do
(though that could change with an MRI scheduled in the not so distant future). Dislocated knee cap and trauma to the underlying connective tissues have left it swollen and sore. Physiotherapy had commenced Tuesday - assessing, planning, measuring, poking, prodding, stretching, electric stimulation, ultra sound, icing . . . good times.

On a positive note, I was allowed to ride for 20 minutes yesterday and slightly longer today. Whoot! When she said 20 minutes, I took it as a guideline. Meh. Forty aren't going to make that much difference, will they? Knee felt great while riding - tracking properly, strength was adequate, no aches or pains . . . until I tried to unclip. Turning motion is a beeatch. Two weeks of 'aggressive' physio is hopefully going to get me on the healing track.

Lungs: since my last doctor's appointment I've been taking a 24 hr allergy suppressant on the recommendation of my doctor. And it's helped! Mucus in my lungs and sinus cavities are dramatically lessened, breathing has improved, energy levels are returning. Apparently it's never too late to get allergies and that's especially true in the Ottawa Valley, which must me some sort of "Bermuda Triangle" of developing allergies. So, hopefully that's *all* my breathing/energy levels were. Going to an allergy doctor in September for testing.

* a day later . . . . from bad to worse . . . .

After my initial assessment with my sports physiotherapist, she had second thoughts on my injury and began to dig a little deeper. By the end of our second session, more poking and prodding revealed a very possible Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear, or ACL. When the words left her mouth my face must have looked like someone burned down my house with all my bikes in it. Anyone who has spent time playing/watching sports most likely knows that an ACL is one of the worst knee injuries that you can get. She was quick to say that she can't confirm it until after an MRI scan. I got the feeling that she was trying to spare me some grief and was doing some damage control and trying to remain positive.

Meh. What's a guy to do?! We'll see what happens, we'll see what the MRI reveals. Despite having a free health care system up here in Canada, you end up waiting a long time for specialty services (such as MRI's) and surgeries. Gwad knows how long I'm going to have to wait to get in for imaging, let alone see an orthopedic surgeon if I do need to go under the knife - but a guess-timate puts me in surgery sometime between December and February.

Upside (yes, there is an upside!) . . . I'm allowed back on the bike. Whoot! There's not really much more that I can do to damage the ligament. I've been told that it's probably a good idea that I avoid running, but I don't like running anyway. So, it's back on the bike for me.

Now some much needed recovery and shape building needs to begin once again this season. I've been down and out since the last week or two in April. Phatness, or rather fitness isn't going to happen over night. Hopefully the knee will cooperate and get me on the road to physical and mental re-shape'ness.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Too lazy to post today . . . medical update to follow in the next couple of days.

Until then . . . .

Buy My Stuff

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pink Retail Therapy

I was feeling down and out over the weekend, thinking about how fat I am, how I can't ride the bike, my lung infection/mystery illness, my fucking dislocated knee . . . my mood was like a big terd swirling down the crapper. . . brown & down. In the past number of years, this is the lowest I've felt.

Trying not to focus on it all, trying to remain positive, trying to keep busy.
Been selling off a lot of my bike stuff over the past couple of months that I no longer use or want. Proceeds were to go paying for races and bike related events. However, due to the lack of riding/racing and the fact that I've had to pull out of a few races, have I've left that extra money burning a hole in my pocket. Alas, during a moment of weakness while surfing on-line, I ended up buying a set of pink Chris King single speed hubs and a bunch of other stuff that I *probably* don't need . . . but want.
Don't be fooled - I am not at all a rich man. I've been selling off bike parts left, right and centre in order to afford these.
Any extra money left over may go towards one of these, if I don't win this first.

Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . I know what I said about Industry Nine hubs being my next wheelset a while back, but the price for the hubs alone is what I paid for Kings, rims, Stan's valves, and two tires. Until I9 come to their senses and offer me sponsorship, they're out of my price range for the time being.

Yes, I did order pink ss hubs. I've had some people tell me that I'm trying to be like 'a certain rider'. I'm sure I'll get it again with the new wheelset too. However, the reason I had a pink bike built up, with pink bits on it and now even more pink bits is for my daughter, The Peanut. Ever since she was born, I've been gravitating towards pink stuff: clothes (perhaps some day a pink jersey), bike parts, nick-nacks, etc. When I see the colour pink it reminds me of her, and that makes me smile. So fuck you.

I *may* even have a pink t-shirt made in my honor (or shame - depends upon how you look at it). Want one? Go to the Dark pages and plead for them to be made.

Pffftt . . . Dicky's got his own t-shirt . . . now so do I?
Order your "the barlow" today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

110% Super Happy Fun Time and Good Friends Sale

Mohican 100 mile mtn bike race entry SOLD

Kenda Nevegal 29'er, 2.2, two available, never ridden SOLD

Easton Monkey Lite XC Lo-Rise carbon bar, uncut, 31.8 mm clamping

Thomson Elite X4 stem 0 degrees x 100 mm x 31.8 mm SOLD

2009 Vassago Bandersnatch 18" frame SOLD
- 12-15 rides, immaculate condition, salsa collar & spare derailleur hanger included

2008 White Brothers Magic 29'er fork 100 mm SOLD

Specialized mtn bike shoes $25 0.b.o.
size 44 UK or 10.5 US

$5 per bar

Louis Garrneau sleeveless jersey, large $10

Vassago Team Issued jersey, worn twice $20


large $15

MEC riding shorts, no chamois, no rips or tears, excellent condition, 36" SOLD

26" mtn/hybrid fenders, with mounting hardware, excellent condition $15

MEC hydration pack with reservoir $10
Blackburn hydration pack with reservoir $5

Velocity Deep V disc 29'er rims, no dings or dents, used one season, excellent shape

WTB Rocket V saddle, ti rails $35

Truvative ISIS Drive bottom bracket 113 mm x 68/73 mm $15

Race Face SRX bottom bracket 113 mm x 68/73 mm $20

SRAM Powerglide II cassette 34-11T $15

Truvative Team Stylo ISIS Drive crank arms 175 mm $15

See something you like?
E-mail me (clicky clicky under my profile dealie-o -------> )

Monday, May 24, 2010

I think I'm going to Ralph

2.4 Racing Ralph
For the last three seasons I've been very lucky to have rider support with Kenda and have been a loyal user in that time. I'd recommend them to anyone. They've got three tires for 29'ers and for varying conditions: Nevegal, Small Block 8, and Karma. The only improvements that I could see that Kenda could make are perhaps add another line of 29'er tire and offer a higher volume/fatter version of each.
Those of us who ride fully rigid hardtails need a big fat front tire, or at least that's what I'm leaning makes for a smoother ride.
So, I've been searching around for a high volume, nice big fat front tire that's not too heavy, got excellent grip and rolls . . . and I think I found it. Fritz put me on to this tire - he's been goo-goo-for-gaa-gaa over them for a while now, and I see why.

Schwalbe 2.4 Racing Ralph weighs in at a claimed 640 grams is a big fat weight weenie's dream compared to the 2.2 Neveal at 827 grams or even the well rounded 2.1 Karma at 779 grams.

I borrow this tire from Fritz, who had previously run it tubeless a handful of times. Mounting it on the Stan's ZTR Arch rims was a piece of cake and actually went on easier and faster than any Kenda tire I've been using. Left it over night, and not a psi down in the morning - probably helped that it had been previously mounted and sealed up with Stans.

I've played around with the air pressure - first ride started out around 23-24 psi and found it good, but after dropping it down to about 20-21 psi it took even more sting out of some nasty rooty, rocky single track.

Can't get enough of a good thing? If lowering made it better, why not try lowering it more? Well, you can only go so far. On a ride last Wednesday I had too little air in it (probably around 18-19 psi) and burped it off a rock, later took a corner and it rolled sideways on me and then could feel the rim want to bottom out on some smaller bumps. Pumped it back up to 21 psi and it seemed to be the perfect pressure.

The 29'er 2.4 Racing Ralph is more like a 2.55" - outside knob to outside knob. Nice and fat, biting side lugs, grippy and fast centre. With a wider rim (such as a Flow or the new Crest), these would given even more spread on the trail.

In technical trails I usually will run Nevegals - front and rear. It's a shame that Kenda doesn't make a larger volume Nevegal for 29'ers, the 2.2 is the largest it comes in. A 2.5 would be ideal - perfect for snotty, wet rooty/rocky trails . . . but terribly slow rolling. The Ralphs on the other hand accelerate super fast and roll, roll, roll. No sliding or washing out on hard braking.

I have yet to ride them in wet or muddy conditions (no, the two don't always go hand-in-hand). I did get them muddy in a few holes, but noticed no lack of ability to cling to the trail or rock.

The only 'con' of this tire, which if you've read any reviews of it you'll find a common theme, is the price. Having the Kenda Rider Support program, tires were very reasonably priced, so having to pay full price on a premium tire is a hard pill to swallow, but well worth it for such a good tire.

Will post some thoughts up on them after giving them a spin in wet conditions. Also have a couple new front tire coming: Panaracer Rampage 2.35 which I'll post some sort of half-assed (cause my whole ass is too big) review later on down the road.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No Autographs Please

Made it big time in the local community rag.

Maybe I should have smiled more?
I'm a star. Ignore the title of my post, if you want an autographed copy, send me your mailing address . . . I've got like a million copies of it to give away.

The result of Saturday's bike drive . . .

44 bikes collected in about four hours just at our location (four others across the city) - not bad for a Victoria Day Long Weekend.
That's 366 short of B4H's goal of 400 for a June load-in date.

shameless sponsorship plug

Friday, May 21, 2010

Don't Forget

TOMORROW: Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 9am - 12pm.
More info
(clicky clicky)

What to Bring:

  1. ADULT sized MOUNTAIN BIKES in working condition (24” and 26” wheels with frames sizes of 15” and up)

  2. Bike tools, repair & patch kits, inner tubes

  3. Gently used backpacks

  4. Canadian Tire money

  5. Cash donations to help with transport costs of bikes are appreciated

  6. PLEASE READ here:

  7. What we collect

  8. What we DO NOT collect

Where: (Only on May 22nd, between 9am and 12 noon)

  1. KANATA: Myers Chevrolet Buick GMC, 200-2500 Palladium Drive

  2. BARRHAVEN: Jack May Chevrolet Buick GMC, 3788 Prince of Wales

  3. NEPEAN: Myers Cadillac Chevrolet, 1200 Baseline Road

  4. OTTAWA: Belisle Chevrolet Cadillac, 444 Montreal Road

  5. OTTAWA SOUTH: Jim Tubman, 1770 Bank Street

*I'll be at the Nepean location - come visit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Adding injury to insult

Hits include: "I've Got a Fugging Lung Infection", "No Fuggin Energy, No Way Baby", "The Doctor's Don't Know What's Fuggin Wrong", "Another Fugging Blood Test?!?" and the new smash hit, "My Fucking Knee is Fucked".

When it rains, it pours. I'm not going to bitch about this . . . it just sucks.
Lung infection, lack of energy, fatigue and no ability to recover is bad enough. Then . . .
. . . last night, an hour into my shift I get into a skirmish and get injured,
dislocating my left knee.
Off my feet, off work, and off the bike for a few days then reassessed.
Fugg me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Highs & Lows

This past week or so I've had some highs and lows . . . mostly all related to the health issues that I'm struggling through. Trying to remain positive has been difficult as every ride I attempt leaves me feeling disappointed and frustrated . . . and of course, more and more tired. Meh.

* Finally got out to Kanata Lakes for my first ride there this season. Was very nice to be back out in my old stomping grounds. The trails out there every year seem to get more and more choppy - the growing popularity of the trails and lack of single track in the Ottawa are draws large numbers of riders, hence some trail erosion and wear and tear - all apart of the process.
I did try out a new front tire that my good friend Fritz loaned me (thanks Fritz!) - which rode awesomely amazing - report to follow soon.

* Have been getting The Peanut out for rides in her chariot - which she is loving.

* Coming back from an 'attempted' road ride on Monday afternoon I spot this dude near the Ottawa River walking his two miniature Doberman pincher's. WTF is up with the speedo? Is he Quebecois? A little disturbing that this is in my 'highs' list? Made me laugh, something I've been having a hard time doing lately.

* Been catching up on the Giro since my riding has been fading off. Really enjoyed the dirt sections of the Giro this year. Personally, I'd rather watch this race than The Tour - harder stages, prettier scenery, a more exciting race. Aussies showing their stuff, terrible weather conditions and Canadian - Michael Barry showing his legs in Monday's stage have been highlights. Evans is making Vino work for the win. Though I find Evans a bit of a whiner and I'm not a follower, I'd rather see him take the Giro (watch it here) over the doper who's got no class.

* Finally discovered what others have been talking about out in KL - loss of land to construction and urban sprawl. A new road going in right beside what used to be wilderness. Fugg me.

* In two attempted road loops of the park I failed miserably both times. Just Monday I had to stop and get off the bike and lay down in the grass for 5-10 minutes. No energy, headspins and my lungs were on fire . . . worst part about it, I was on a gentle climb. My other attempt had me turn around after 15 km and pedal slowly home. Fugg.

* At my doctor's appointment last week she thought that I may have a case of mononucleosis - which would explain the loss of energy and some of my symptoms. More blood work this week to confirm. Also being sent to an environmental allergist to be tested for allergies. Lung x-rays to follow next week. No answers are making it difficult to see an end or solution to what's going on with my body. It sucks ass knowing that there is definitely something wrong. Fugg.

* I posted last week about getting out to volunteer at The Ride of the Damned, however over-nights shift and an unexpected 'over time' occurrence had me going to bed at 10:30 am after putting in 13.5 hrs of work. Just couldn't haul myself out of bed to go bbq hotdogs for a bunch of hungry riders. I felt pretty guilty for not showing up, but with my body trying to recover with whatever is going on . . . well, the sleep was much needed. Looks like I missed a hell of a ride - check it out here.

* And, speaking of sleep . . . . rather lack thereof . . . in 48 hrs I had a grand total of 7.5 hrs of sawing Zzzzz's. Fugg.

P.s. found this out in KL the other day - looks to be an adjustment knob from a fork. If you think it's your's give me a shout.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bicycles For Humanity Bike Drive

Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 9am - 12pm.
More info
(clicky clicky)

What to Bring:

  1. ADULT sized MOUNTAIN BIKES in working condition (24” and 26” wheels with frames sizes of 15” and up)

  2. Bike tools, repair & patch kits, inner tubes

  3. Gently used backpacks

  4. Canadian Tire money

  5. Cash donations to help with transport costs of bikes are appreciated

  6. PLEASE READ here:

  7. What we collect

  8. What we DO NOT collect

Where: (Only on May 22nd, between 9am and 12 noon)

  1. KANATA: Myers Chevrolet Buick GMC, 200-2500 Palladium Drive

  2. BARRHAVEN: Jack May Chevrolet Buick GMC, 3788 Prince of Wales

  3. NEPEAN: Myers Cadillac Chevrolet, 1200 Baseline Road

  4. OTTAWA: Belisle Chevrolet Cadillac, 444 Montreal Road

  5. OTTAWA SOUTH: Jim Tubman, 1770 Bank Street

*I'll be at the Nepean location - come visit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Damn Wieners

Ride of the Damned
In an attempt to stop talking about my 'issues' click over here and plan to do this ride this weekend. For obvious reasons that I've gone on about for far too long, I won't be riding. I'm also on night shift all weekend and will be asleep (hopefully) as this event begins. However, I will be volunteering later in the day cooking wieners for the finishers.

My riding has been reduced to bbq'ing hotdogs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The season is off to a flying start and going down the crapper.

Later today I have my third doctor's appointment in two and a half weeks. I thought a round of antibiotics would set me straight and I'd be feeling better, but I've only been feeling worse. I got out for a ride yesterday, which turned out to be a very short ride. It ended in more frustration, disappointment and my motivation spiraling down the crapper. Being unable to shake whatever bug, illness, or infection that my body is fighting is starting to be too much. I'm tired all the time, I have no energy or power on the bike, even the slightest moderate output has feeling spent.

So I've made the decision to pull the plug on the Mohican 100. It's quickly approaching and I am no where near prepared for it. I'll be selling off my entry, so if you're interested e-mail me (find it over there----> under my profile dealie) and I'll give you a good deal.

Here's hoping for some good news soon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Death march indeed

I've been sick the past few days, trying to fight through this lung infection. I attempted to ride Tuesday - epic failure. I rode Wednesday, about 80 km, uber slow, but I did it, totally slagged by the end of it. Thursday off. Friday an attempt at a long ride with Curvy Butt. Within the first 20 km I had to get off the bike twice and sit on the shoulder of the road ready to give up - couldn't breath, couldn't get the legs moving, head spins. Blah.

Curvy Butt, being the good friend he is and with my safety and health at the forefront, poked and prodded me until I got up off the side of the road and got my ass back on the bike and stopped being a sissy. I hung off the back the entire ride unable to take a pull at the lead and by the end of it, we managed to squeeze a slow 100km+ ride.

Don't know what I am going to do about the end of the month yet, can barely finish a 100 km road ride without feeling trashed . . . let alone 160 km on a single speed.

I had the camera on me the entire time but didn't feel like pulling out until just after Curvy Butt and I parted ways towards the end of the ride. Saw the above image spray painted on the pavement and was rather fitting of how I was feeling on the ride. . . . death.

Speaking of death . . .
Have you ordered your Team Dicky Death March t-shirt yet?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Slow as a Turtle

Heads up on the Gatineau Parkways - the turtles are looking to get their Spring funk on and are crossing roads to find some action. Be kind - if you see one on the road hang around long enough to encourage our reptile friends across the road to avoid getting schmucked by vehicular traffic.

I had no business being on a bike today. No strength, no energy, no nuth'in. Figuring I started taking antibiotics on Sunday I reckoned that I should be cured by today . . . failure. Got just a wee ways into the park and turned around to limp home and go to bed. Fight another day.
Getting a bit anxious about the Mohican 100 coming up and not enough miles in the legs. Five weeks or so and only two of those weekends I am not working. Two weekends of some big miles, and the rest will have to come on my days off.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fatty McFat

The Ayatollah of Rok'n'Rolla is fat. Yes, those are indeed man-boobs. Yes, that also is a spare-tire strapped around my waist.
Fugg Curvy Butt's camera takes a lousy picture.

A few months ago I threw in the proverbial grease covered dieting towel and gave up on trying to lose weight and laugh in the blogging faces of suckas. At that point in time I was content to let things slide and go head first into a quickly approaching cycling season completely unprepared from a weight perspective. The Clydesdale category was looking pretty good. In the back of my mind I had 'figured' that the weight would quickly drop off as riding picked up. My first outside ride was Febuary 28th, so again, I 'figured' that I had ample time to drop to an acceptable riding weight.

Here we are, it's the very end of April, the season is in full swing, I have my first big race in a month and I am still hovering at the 200lb mark (14lbs fatter than back in 2008 ready to roll for the BC Bike Race). Fugg.

So, why am I talking about this now? A couple things have changed. First, since my recent trip down south, I've become starkly aware of how unattractive I've become. Curvy Butt sent along some photos of our recent trip down to NC and it struck me how hideously fat I've become. Manboobs. Sparetire. Double chin. Lovely.

Second, I've really noticed a lack of climbing ability and power output - I really feel much slower this year. A little bit of extra weight can make a big difference. Try losing five pounds off your bike and go climb a hill . . . tell me you don't notice a difference. I could definitely spare to lose a few more than just five pounds.

I am in fact pushing my stomach out . . . er, honest.

Yes, I can hear cycling & fitness geeks everywhere saying that you're not supposed to lose weight during the riding/racing season. Sucks to you I say. It's either come off now or you'll have to listen to me bitch, bitch, bitch for the remainder of the season. Ahhhh, that shut you up didn't it!?!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Snappy legs and nose nuggets

According to my doctor I have a respiratory infection. And apparently I've had it since February. Might explain why I've felt like crap on the bike so far this season - at least that's the excuse I'll be using until a better one comes along.

I got sick back in February with what I thought was just a common cold. I got over it pretty quickly, however nose gobblins have been leaving me reminders of it ever since - nasty hard mucus nuggets seemingly on a constant basis in my nose. I could have shot someone's eye out while doing a snot rocket if I wasn't careful. Lethal, deadly, hard as rock snots that blocked my breathing. Doc' figures it was a minor infection that I just couldn't shake and when I got ill with this bug the whole mess exploded over the past week, the latter being the worse. Started antibiotics the other day and just waiting to feel them kick in . . . no luck yet.

Despite feeling pretty miserable, I did get out road riding with Curvy Butt on Friday and Saturday. Though I couldn't breath my legs felt pretty snappy and wanted to move. The fuel to drive them wasn't there. Getting up out of the saddle on a climb was like doing squats while holding your breath - sooner or later things aren't going to work. I was able to clear a bunch of crap that was in my lungs - green and white infection goodness.

Mucus puke'us wasn't the only thing green and white - the trilliums are in full bloom in the park.

Managed to get to Champlain Look-off (barely) on both days.

I was anticipating a shift change at work for Sunday which would of caused me to miss the Mufferaw Joe event, however I ended up calling in sick and staying in bed all day. May 3rd and I am one month out from the Mohican 100 . . . . shudder.