Monday, November 29, 2010

Out-of-work porn star

Movember has almost drawn to a close. I've had almost thirty days of out-of-work 70's porn star facial hair. Mustache success!

Growing this caterpillar on my upper lip has been like a vacation from myself, and cheaper than a real vacation! The soup strainer has grown on me, no pun intended. Now I have to decide whether or not to shave it off or keep it. I am on the fence leaning more towards the "Let's see how far along we can let this thing go".

More important than improving/unproving my appearance is that I raised funds for prostate research. My prostate, and millions more, thank you!

Vote today (over there dummy) -------->

Friday, November 26, 2010

Good on Google

Cycling enthusiasts across Canada will soon be able to turn to Google for help with their next urban bike expedition.

The online information giant announced Monday that it is introducing a Bike Directions feature to its popular Google Maps site, allowing users to highlight bike-friendly trails and roads across most major Canadian cities.

Google spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk said the feature will be available countrywide, but more detailed route info will be available for nine major cities that shared their bike trail data with the company.

The cities are Ottawa, Gatineau, Que., Toronto, Waterloo, Ont. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C..

Users in those cities will be able to flag designated bike trails and select roads that feature bike-only lanes, while Canadians elsewhere will only be shown routes with lighter traffic volumes.

The Bike Directions feature will be officially launched later this week, Rozeluk said.

Bike Directions, which has been available in the United States since March, uses colour coding to flag routes that are safe for cyclists.

A dark green line indicates a bike-only trail, while a light green line represents a dedicated bike lane along a road, Google said. Roads that are not designated biking areas but tend to be suitable for cycling are highlighted with a dotted green line, the company added.

Users also have the option of customizing routes to their preferences, such as finding short cuts or selecting routes that avoid hills.

Google encouraged users to take advantage of its reporting tool to suggest bike routes that should be included in the maps database.

The Association of Commuter Transportation of Canada praised Google for creating a tool that will promote green travel in Canadian urban centres.

"Easy access to information is a powerful resource for supporting and encouraging the choice of sustainable travel options," association chairman Lorenzo Mele said in a statement.

"The introduction of Google Bike routing in Canada will put cycling at the forefront of people's thoughts as they search out the optimum way to get to their destination."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1967 Gatineau Park Ski Map

Sign the petition (you can do it online) to revive Gatineau Park Trail Names - numbers are so boring! And while you're at it, why not buy a reprint of the 1967 Ski Map.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carbide Mustache Freeze My Ass Off

Yes, a blog post.
No, I did not pull the plug on the blog yet.
Quick "Thanks" again to everyone with their supportive comments and e-mails I've received. Much appreciated that some of you appreciate the blog. Time will tell.
For now . . .

Stopped feeling sorry for myself long enough this weekend to get my ass out-of-doors. Curvy Butt and I got out for a three plus hour hike over in the park. Did a recon of some possible trails - some I've ridden in the past, some hopefully next Spring.

Carbide Wilson Mill - clicky clicky photo to make biggie.

In 1911, Wilson began experimenting with the condensation of phosphoric acid in the manufacture of fertilizers at a mill on Meech Creek within the park.

Trails, for the most part after the snow, freeze and thaw that we've been having, were way too soupy to be riding on.

Beauty new-to-me single track to keep me inspired and motivated for next season (Sssshhhh, ignore the signage in the tree). Any locals know this trail? Unofficial name? It dumps out/starts at Cowden Rd near P16. Anyone got GPS maps they can send me of the trails in and around O'Brien?

Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful sunny days. Major difference was the temperature. Saturday was like +5, Sunday was - 5 without the windchill. I knew that I had to get out despite the cold, had to get out in order to keep some sanity. Phoned Curvy Butt around 9:30 AM:
Me: Hey, you want to ride today or what?

C.B.: I'm sitting in my underwear drinking tea and I'm half asleep. It looks cold out. What did you have in mind? Road or mountain?

Me: Nah, not mtn. My arm is still fucked. Road. Loop of the park?

C.B.: Aaaaaa . . . Jesus, that's going to expose a lot of lost fitness.

Me: Pfffft, fitness. We'll go slow. That's the only speed I have right now.

C.B.: Okay. Gameline at 1pm?

Me: On.
Five minutes later . . . . another phone call to Curvy Butt after went outside to the compost bin:
Me: Dude! It's fucking cold out!!

C.B.: You bailing?

Me: Fucking right! I'm not freezing my nads off in that. The couch is nice and warm and there are some cartoons on this afternoon.

C.B.: Aaaaaa . . . it can't be that bad. I think I'll go anyway.

Me: Fuck!

C.B.: . . . .

Me: Fuck!

C.B.: . . . . . .

Me: Fuck! Okay. I'll go. Fuck.

And that's how it works. Left on my own I will always take the easier, softer way out. I need someone to get me going or guilt me into riding when it isn't fair weather. Thank gwad for Curvy Butt.

So cold Sunday. Had some emergency bootie repair to do before I set off to meet up with Curvy Butt. Dental floss - not just for flossing once or twice a year. It's super strong too!
Time for new booties. What are your favourites?

You'd look this mad too if you had my fat arse to lug up hills.
Like the stash?

Aren't you growing one? Didn't you know it's Movember?!? All to raise awareness and money for Prostate Cancer Research.

It being Movember Thom had a mustache contest going on - I lost. Golden boy won. Go figure. It was rigged. Check it out - my entry took me all of two minutes to do, had the originality of a Britney Spears song and was totally unrealistic . . . really, who could grow a syringe mustache?

Curvy Butt - always ahead on the climbs.

Might be my last time on the bike to the top of Champlain this season. Snows a coming.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to Heal

This has been the toughest year, mentally and physically, that I've had on the bike since getting into riding seriously. I've had numerous injuries and illnesses. Only time and physiotherapy (which I am back at for my most recent injury) have helped heal the physical. The mental side . . . meh. Meh.
I've said "Meh" so much this year.
Sums up my season . . . MEH!

Since I made the decision to 'kind of' put the bike away' I've been trying to heal up, in all aspects of my presently over-sized form. First, my weight . . .

I wish it were this easy.
It is that easy.
It's not that easy.

Fak. I have NO discipline or will power lately.
I've had it in the past. I was down to 186lbs for the BC race in 2008. So I can do it. Motivation is needed . . . I need a big race this year.
I'm working on something, actually a couple of things.

The only thing that is going to help me to lose weight is being held accountable for my actions. The past year I've gained weight, had lower energy levels, battled through some illness, felt lathargic and lazy. A lot I can attribute to a change in career and demanding shift work, the rest is bad choices in food.

I need a change, not a diet plan . . . despite how professional Kim's Troglodyte Diet sounds, I'm not touching any diet that has a name or has been on Oprah.

I've been researching around and have found a nutritionist to work with to help me make some changes. I lined up my appointment for the last week of October . . . and until that appointment rolled around I had decided that I was going to enduldge like it was the end of the world.
My last lunch before my initial appointment was this:

I've been seeing Heather at Ottawa Nutritionist for the past three weeks or so. She's educating me and helping make some better food choices for myself that will revive my energy levels, boost my immune system, heal by muscular and nervous system by using a holistic approach. So far it's been good. She has a realistic approach - not once have I eaten bean sprouts and alfalfa (which I actually don't mind in some things), and it hasn't been a drastic change from what I already what I was eating . . . minus the poutine of course. My weight has begun to come down (was at 211 lbs, now down to 204 lbs) and I'm feeling better. All in time I guess.

I'm back in the gym. I've been working out before or after each shift. Short, intense super-set, circuit like workouts (40-50 minute workouts - who wants to spend lots of time in the gym when they cane be outside?). I put on muscle faster than a pin cushion, steroid using Mr. Universe contestant. So my focus is on muscular endurance to help avoid putting on bulky mass . . . some mass is inevitable of course. Been using many xc skiing dryland strength and explosive power training exercises to help, which will also be useful over the ski season - which I am looking forward to and plan on skiing lots.

Mentally? Shite, where to begin.
Will say this, I've seriously considered killing the blog, stamping it out, putting it out to pasture, euthanizing it. It's been more of a chore to write, partially I haven't been doing lots to write about. But it's partially some other things too . . . another post perhaps.

For now I will leave it. I'll blog when I feel like it. It was a change I was going to make anyway. I don't like being stuck into trying to blog five days a week. I use to blog seven days a week! Fak.
Guess that means getting bumped from Dickie's "Regular Doses" column and moved to "Suffering From Regularity" column. Meh. Maybe in the early Spring I'll get bumped back up to the big leagues.

I've also taken away my "Followers". Too depressing. I think I've had one come on-board in the past six months. Nobody is reading, and I can't blame them. Too much boring, self depreciating drivel.
I'm in a funk. What goes down must come up.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives,
in an effort to alleviate the effects of the...
Anyone? Anyone?
... the Great Depression, passed the...
Anyone? Anyone?
The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act?
Which, anyone?
Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work?
Anyone? Anyone know the effects?
It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class?
Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before?
The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says?
It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980?
Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics.
"Voodoo" economics.

This blog is dying.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Colo-freak'n-rado: Day 2

I've been meaning to get to the rest of my trip from early September down in Colorado. Lack of riding in the off season hasn't necessarily meant 'all kinds of time to blog'. So, here's day two:

Fugg me. Who wears a sweater vest under their riding jersey? A mtn Goat does.
Goat took my last two nipple guards on day two. Fugger.

The fellas must have forgot that they had gears and tried being a single speeder for a bit climbing up Deadman's Gulch. I had an excuse for walking after my first taste the day before at Mt. Everest type height altitudes on Monarch Crest.

Rolling through the aspens on the backside of Deadman's.

Coming down the backside of Deadman's (is it still called Deadman's on the backside?) there's a trail sign for a chapel in the woods
- very worth checking out.

Gianormous deities.

Reno went on, and on, and on, and on.

Thank gwad for the views from near the top of Reno, cause if it weren't for them I would have dug myself an early grave.

This was on Flag - pretty much a full on down. Sean almost rode into a dead cow on the side of the trail.

If you're wondering where 'free range beef' comes from, look no further - it's from Colorado. Freak'n cows everywhere. Freak'n cow shit everywhere.

Just after the first third of Doctor's Park Sean sings Goat an epic ballad of love and riding.

Flowy, ultra buff and fast single track on Doctor's Park.

Mr Saftey gets a ride back to the top of Doctor's Park via moto.

After riding Deadman's/Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman's we took a breather and then shuttled up to the top of Doctor's park. After riding Doctor's, at the end of the day and it was getting dark, Goat realized that he left his keys in Sean's truck at the top. Fugg me. We were fugged.

It looked like it was going to be a very long night ride for someone with gears (not me) back to the top. The thought of that, after riding all day, sucked giant moose ass. As luck would have it we ended up talking to this guy at the bottom of Doctor's who had a motor bike who jetted Sean to the top to retrieve his truck and saved the day.

Recovery pizza in Crested Butte. Check out Goat's 'personal pan sized' pizza- what a light weight.
Yes, of course I ate the whole thing.

Day one here.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I know that I said that I was done for the season, but I could not help myself - it was too nice out today. Got out for a ride up into the Gats and almost had the whole place to myself except for a dozen or so roadies. Out of twelve or so riders I passed, I waved/nodded/smiled at all but one. I received one return for my efforts. The one that I didn't wave/nod/smile at . . . well, was the last rider I passed and I had just given up at that point.

Back in July I did a ride in the park while they were fixing the cracks in the road - I assume to get the roads ready for winter. Workers were digging out the old crack filler, brushing it out, heating it up, laying down new epoxy filler and covering it with toilet paper. I'm not sure how good of a job they did though . . . perhaps the recent cold and snow has affected the new repairs? Don't know, but the cracks seem deeper and far worse-off then they did before they were 'fixed'.

Watch your wheels, some of these cracks are wheel eaters.
Remember kids . . .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hike, lunch and peeing in snow

Some things about shift work suck. Other things are fantabulous. Like having the trails all to yourself in the middle of the week. Beauty day on Tuesday, got out early and spent the day in the woods.

View from Skyline.

Pond near where #34 and #22 cross over. We ski over this in the winter. Didn't I just say something the other day about the ponds being frozen? I didn't think it be this quick.

Beavers have been busy (hence the saying, "busy as a beaver") near the pond.

Lunch on trail 17 on some rocks warmed by the sun.

Lots of snow in the woods. We got a few inches on the 30th and 31st. It didn't stick around so much in Ottawa, but up in the Gats . . . well, needless to say it brought the crazies out to go skiing.

Peeing in the snow: A thermos full of coffee still wasn't enough to finish spelling. My 'penmanship' is a little rusty . . . what can you expect, it's the first snow fall.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


With the end of the season, comes the end of having a company to call home. Homeless. Sponsorless. Where ever shall I get free stuff for very little return on my half !?!

Being sponsored definitely had it's perks: some free or cheap bike parts, clothing and schwag, influence, and not to mention international fame and glory. Being sponsored raised me up from being an 'average' Joe-Schmoe rider to that of
'I look down my nose at you dirty pig-dog' status.


Now, I am a nobody.

Don't get me wrong, being a 'nobody' ain't that bad. It's just that I was living on a champagne and caviar, now I'm eating baked beans out of tin can.

"It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend getting a sponsorship."

Sponsorship can be a lot of work - the stress of getting to events, spreading the word about the company(s) you ride for, keeping up appearances, trimming your nose hair, doing reviews, making your rounds on the bike forums, posting on the blog, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sponsorship is usually reserved for 'racers' who get results. I'm amazed that for the past four years that I have been sponsored or received some kind of rider support in one way or another from bike/bike part companies.

Racer!?! Results!?!?

Those two words don't seem synonymous with me. A middle of the pack, sport/expert rider, who is on the hefty side of fat AND slow, who gets virtually no blog traffic . . . looking back I'm amazed. I must have fed some folks in the bike business a shined up, big ol' load of bullshit in order to get some sort of backing.

There must be some way that I can get free stuff for doing practically nothing?!?

Did I mention that I have a blog??

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Less Bike, More Hike

The title is deceiving . . . you might think that I'm riding lots. I'm not. Hardly at all. As of this week, I'm done for the season (barring unseasonably freak'ish warm weather).
"Pfffffft!" you say.
"Not much of a cyclist", you proclaim.
Bite me.
  • One, I need a break from it. Not that I was burnt out, just need some balance and want to do some other activities which I used to a lot. Like hiking.
  • Two, I've got another injury. Crickey! Yes, another one. Started back in the gym again last week, was working on the heavy bag and tweaked a muscle in my forearm and bicep. Nothing serious, just a little pull, but holding the bars only aggravates it.
  • Three, I'm prep'ing the body for ski season. 'Tis the season for cross training.
Despite not being on the bike and wanting to hike, I still kind of wished I was riding when I saw tracks and some flowy lines.

Leaves are nearly all off the trees and pretty soon the lakes and ponds will be frozen.