Friday, December 31, 2010

Pink Eye, Last Skate Ski, Happy New Years

Did someone fart on my pillow?
Over Christmas it seems I was given the gift that keeps on giving - Pink Eye.  On Boxing Day I noticed one of my little nephews rubbing his eye and it was very red.  His mom figured he bumped his eye or something.  A day and a half later The Peanut has the same thing.  Fugg.

If a virus, bug, mysterious bacterial infection is out there, floating around, I manage to always pick it up.  Lucky me for having a shit immune system.  Red, watery, mucusy and stingy.  Sucks ass.

Was going to let a little Pink Eye get me down.  Got out for my first bit of exercise in the last week or so (I did play hockey for about two hours on Boxing Day) Thursday.  Was my last skate ski of 2010.  Weather is turning to shit today/tonight/tomorrow.  Highs of plus seven (that's 44.6 Fahrenheit for you 'Mericans) for tomorrow.  If it's not raining, like is predicted, I hope to get out for a New Years Day road ride - good way to start the New Year off I imagine. 

Vegan Vagabond making strides up a l-o-n-g  hill.

Icy waterfall.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Was over on Cycling Tips reading about professional cyclist superstitions and secrets which got me thinking about my own superstitions and secrets.  I'm not sure if they are superstitions or obsessive compulsive traits AND I don't know if you want to follow any of my 'secrets' considering the huge successes I've had racing.


OBR on Superstitions:
  • left foot in shoe first - always! Same with socks;
  • left glove on first, but always have to adjust my wedding ring before putting my hand in - if I forget to do so I have to take the glove off and start over;
  • if I carry one bottle on my road bike it has to go in the down tube cage, never the seat tube cage.  If I carry two water bottles, the down tube gets finished first then moved over to the seat tube and the full one gets moved to the down tube;
  • anytime I look at my blog followers I say to myself, "Fuck you Dicky" (in hindsight this may be more of a jinx to my slowly growing number of 'Followers');
  • when shaving (my face, not my legs - I don't shave my legs) I always start at the right side burn.  What does this have to do with riding?  Nothing.  Go pound rocks.
  • if I've had a particularly good ride with a certain jersey on, I will not wash it, save it and wear it again on a ride/race that I want to do well at.  If it's grossly filthy I will give it a good shake.  But washing it totally removes all outstanding'ness that will help me soar the next time I wear it.
  • if my bike is not clean at the start of a ride/race I will not ride well, I will not ride fast (my standards, not yours);

OBR's Secrets:
  • if you're carrying a camera to take photos of your ride - carry it in a plastic bag to prevent sweat from getting on and in it;
  • waxing your bike not only makes it look fantabulous and protects the finish, it also helps to keep the mud from building up and makes post ride cleaning much easier (Note: if you ride a bike with Faberge like decals waxing and cleaning on a regular basis will gradually peel them off - bug the lazy ass manufacture to clear coat his frames);

  • citrus hand cleaner does a great job at cleaning your grip tape on your road or CX bike.  It'll make old white tape look new again;
  • chamois cream should be used on all rides at the beginning of the season until your under-carriage caluses get built back up again OR anytime you are doing a long ride OR riding in wet conditions;
  • put about a tablespoon full of ground pepper in each tire before adding Stan's sealant for a tubeless set-up - the pepper particles help create 'chunks' which seal any small holes;
  • if you're cycling shoes get soaked during a ride crumple up newspaper and jam your shoes full - the newspaper will help absorb most of the water - don't leave them in too long because they won't finish drying out.

Okay, that's it, that's all.  Can't go telling you all my secrets cause pretty soon everyone will be as awesome as I am.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Secret Somewhat Sarcastic Santa

I got home from a long day at work and in my mail box was an early Christmas present.

"Secret Somewhat Sarcastic Santa"
Are you freak'in kidding me!?!  This is awesome!
Lord Save Me!  It's JEBUS!
I don't know what I did to deserve this from my Secret Somewhat Sarcastic Santa?  BUT it is uber greatly appreciated.  I have no idea who would have sent it.  
Usually if a package arrives at my doorstep for me it's a flamming bag of doggie doo-doo.
In the three plus years since I've started the blog-o this has got to be one of the coolest thing to happen.

As coincidence would have it, more decals arrived today too - let me know if you want one!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saturday Skate Ski

Curvy Butt and I got out for our first ski together this season, but the third ski of the season for each of us.  We are perfectly matched for out-of-shape'ness  -  seems we needed to rest at exactly the same times during our hour an a half skate ski. 

We stopped only four times on our way up to the top of the Fortune Parkway - yes, I said 'only' four times.  I can't talk for Curvy, but that is a record for me at this early in the ski season.  I can only credit the new skis, cause my fitness certainly isn't there yet.  

Conditions were near perfect for this time of year and the amount of snow we've had.  -4 degrees, fast snow, new skis = wicked.

View from Champlain Look-off.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blogspot Light: XXCMAG.COM

** Double X's aren't just for pant sizes . . . fellow blogger, The Soiled Chamois, started up a freakin' awesome online (and paper version) magazine that I think you should seriously check out:

What does a very below average mid pack endurance mountain bike racer do, when he loves the sport, has a background it print & design media, and a wife that doesn't mind bringing home the bacon to support the family? Start an eMag and print mag dedicated to the sport of endurance mountain bike racing and all day adventures in the dirt called XXC Magazine.

XXC Magazine is not about the latest high tech gadgets, in depth product reviews, same old, same old training tips, and little blurbs about the epic races we love. What XXC Magazine IS about is showing the spirit, love and emotion of endurance mountain bike racing and riding with photos, race reports, tales of epic adventures and interviews from contributors that range from Pro racers to mid pack shleps all over the world.

You can preview (AKA read the mag for free) on the eMag page of XXCMAG.COM, or you can download your own eMag version right to your hard drive for $2.25 and help to support the mag and keep it going. If you want an old school, hands on mag that you can take in the can with you, you can get issues 5 through 9 at at varying costs depending on page counts.

The cost of "on demand" printing is not real cheap, but it is printed on heavy stock and has a great magazine "feel" to it. Except for issue #7 that has a bit lighter paper due to exceeding the page limit for the heavier stock (DOH!). eMag back issues of XXC Magazine are available on the Archives page of XXCMAG.COM for prices that range from FREE to $1.25.

Speaking of the XXC web site. XXCMAG.COM is in no way trying to be VeloNews or You're not going to see the results of every race, or anything like that. The site is mostly dedicated to hosting the eMag. A new feature on the web site is a growing Events page that list endurance races from around the world. Currently there is well over 100 races on the site with more being posted every day. The blog does have some pretty cool videos and posts from various endurance races and the occasional race update or preview.

Dang! Have to get me one of these in pink! Some styling other goodies as well - check it out!

While you're on the site check out the the Merch page! There you will find stickers, Ts, and until January 10th the ability to pre order some damn swank XXC Magazine jerseys, shorts and caps. Because while Mrs. XXC doesn't mind bringing home that bacon for now, it is NOT known how long she will put up with Mr. XXC not bringing home ANY of it!

XXC Magazine is published up to 5 times a year, and is run by one person with an iMac. And of course writers and contributors world wide.

2011 looks to be bigger for XXC with lots of stuff in development, including more issues available for iPad, and the hope to get the cost of the print mag down (without sacrificing quality) and into actual bike shops and stores for folks to see.

For more information check out XXCMAG.COM

** stay tunned in the next while for a XXCMAG.COM related prize give away only on my blawg.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Ski of the Season

I finally got out for my first ski of the season after the little dump of powder that we got over Monday night/Tuesday morning. It was 'possible' to ski up in the park prior to this decent snow fall, but you probably would have needed rock skis - something I don't have.

I started my ski from P10. First ski of the year and right out of the gate I'm climbing. By the top my hip flexors were a little angry with me for not giving them a proper warm up.

The parkway had not been groomed, but there were still tracks set from previous grooming a day or two before. It wasn't bad skiing at all - actually quite nice. I met a groomer just a little past Lac Fortune making it's first pass on the Fortune Parkway.

Despite getting compacted and groomed, it was still pretty soft skiing. I figured it would have been a bit slow for skating, so I opted to classic. After seeing some skate skiers slogging their way through the ungroomed/groomed sections I knew I made the right choice.

I made a left at the top of Fortune Parkway and skied a little way in the newly groomed tracks towards Blacks (where I stopped to take the above photo). I actually found the skiing better before the groomer went by - after the grooming you'd occasionally ski on icy sections.

Groomers hadn't even made it up near Champlain by 3 PM. WTF?

Coming down from Champlain - no grooming (in either lanes) and no one had been skiing in the track set - must have been coming back down on the skied left hand side or coming back on Ridge Rd which looked to be in good shape.

Heading back out today for a skate ski on my new Salomon Equipe 8's. Will stick to the North Loop in the park focusing on my technique (or lack thereof) and getting a feel for my new planks before I tackle my first good skate, which I hope to get out for on the weekend. One thing I am gradually learning is to take things 'easy' at the beginning of season. Yesterday for example, I only went out for about 1.5 hrs - if I had gone longer I probably would have had to been pushed out of bed this morning and crawled downstairs on my hands and knees backwards. A big ski yesterday, the first of the year, would have screwed today's ski. I little stretching and I feel fine today.

FYI: Stumbled across a new Cross Country Ski Trail Conditions web page. I also visit Joanne's daily photo blog (which, by the way, has a new look), Charles web page, and of course the NCC Ski Conditions page.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jebus does really love you . . .

. . . and yes, I do really love you too.
(well, maybe not love - it's a strong word, but I've been known to say lots of things to attract 'followers')

But apparently no one really believes me or cares. I'm guessing the latter. The response was less than overwhelming. I thought that the 37,000 stickers that I had printed would have crammed the post box fuller than Christmas letters to Santa and that half of Ottawa would be at my doorstep asking for one.

Lamer than lame.
Count 'em. Eight.

I believe that all but one were unsolicited mailings of stickers. Perhaps readers thought the sticker was a lark. Rest assured, it is not.

Okay, I didn't actually print 37,000 stickers. But the first batch is almost gone - yup, eight mailings nearly took them all - that's how popular I really expected them to be. Alas, a second printing is in the works.
(clicky clicky on the image to take you to the sticker web site for all of you wanting to copy me and make your own custom sticker)

I did however manage to procure two new faceless followers. Smashing the number of Dicky's 'followers' at this rate should put me at some time around when hell freezes over or maybe when pigs fly. Meh.

He does exist.
You only have to believe and send me your mailing address.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jebus Loves You

. . . and so do I.

Four years of sponsorship and not one custom decal was ever made in my honor. Yes, I know . . . shocking. My father use to say, "If you don't toot your own horn, nobody else will." I guess that could mean a lot of different things . . . . I always took it as, "If you don't let the world know how great you are no one will do it for you." Well, I've never been one to brag, and I'm not about to start now.

So for lack of a better segway, "If you don't make your own custom decal in your honor, no one will do it for you." Drum roll please . . .


Ta daaa . . .

Okay, let me explain a little bit before all you religious zealots raise your pitchforks, organize yourselves together into an angry mob and go on the hunt for me. This all came about accidentally. Late one night, couldn't sleep, surfing the interweb, saw somewhere a link to a Canadian company with a website that you could make your own stickers fairly cheaply and easily. Wasn't really interested in doing so cause having your own sticker when you are not affiliated with a company or nothing . . . well that just smells of complete and utter egotism and self-absorption (wait, did I mention that I have a blog?!).

Boredom and insomnia led to the creation.

Really, when you make your own sticker, put Jebus' face on it and your name. . . well, that's right up there with Oasis's claim that they were bigger than The Beatles, who incidentally said that they were bigger than Jesus, thus making the former larger than the bearded Christian Deity (for the record I hate Oasis and Liam & Nolel Gallagher, who in my opinion are a couple of silly, self absorbed wankers).

However, pomposity is the furthest thing from the truth . . . where in actual fact it's more of a humbling thing for me. Ride. Your. Bike. Dumbass. was more of a message to myself. I need to ride my bike more, and I am a dumbass. Simple, dimple, pimple. It started out as a sticker that I was going to make for myself for shits and giggles, then turned into something bigger than Jesus (there I go again tooting my own horn). Who knew.

The whole Jebus thing? Well, can you imagine Jebus calling you a 'dumbass'? No!?! I can. I mean I can imagine him calling me one. But, he still loves me. And I got to remember to love myself too.

So here's how it's going to work if you want one:

Firstly, send me a self addressed, stamped envelope OR if you're a local get a hold of me to arrange a pick-up. Sorry, no deliveries.
* you can find my e-mail address (over there dummy ------->) to get in contact and I will send you my snail mail address.

Secondly, you must either join my "Followers" (which I have re-instated for the holiday season) or, if you are already a follower, find someone else to join, or make up a false identity and join. I don't really care . . . . what matters here people are numbers, large numbers to make me feel better about myself. I don't belong to Crackbook so I can't go trolling any other way for ways of gaining false numbers of true friends. And this is where the creation of the sticker really took on a form of it's own - it is meant as a 'thank you' for all of you have been reading for the past few years. And a means to bribe others to follow the blog. Meh. Whatever it takes.
* you must prove to me that someone has joined my list of follower or no Jebus love for you.

Thirdly, if you don't want to join my list of followers and don't want to recruit someone to join, nor want to falsify an identity AND still want a sticker - it will cost you $14.95, plus shipping, handling and duty.

It troubles me so much that the little man from down south can have so many followers and offers them so little. It use to be a goal of mine to get 1/3 of Richard's following.
Pfffft, now I intend to crush him under the weight of my slowly shrinking mass and my increasingly growing blog following. If I must bribe people, so be it. Not like he isn't doing the same with promising (yet hardly produces . . . and that makes him a tease) schexy photos of Sonya Looney.
I have 37, 000 stickers to give away - start the movement, start the 'following'.

I'm working on a second batch, specialty decals - scratch and sniff. Scientists are presently working night and day attempting to reproduce my sent. Let the followers line up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stash Results

I don't know what mathematical masterminds work at Blogger, but from my calculations 9 (22%) + 13 (32%) = 22 (54%) AND 19(47%) + 1 (2%) = 20 (49%) . . . . percentages add up to 103 %. I know I give 103 % all of the time, but mathematically it don't make sense.
Also, 22 + 19 = 41 . . . there were 40 votes. ?

Either way, after a very close poll, the "No's" out weighed the "Keep it".

Going . . .

. . . going . . .

. . . gone.

I was surprised at the number of votes. To be honest, I voted once myself, and I can only imagine my wife voted numerous times in the "No" column. I liked the stash and look forward to next Movember.

Friday, December 3, 2010

B4H's 5th Delivery! Whoot!

Bicycles for Humanity's 5th container arrived in Zomba, Malawi in early October 2010.

The bikes are supporting an existing initiative - Africycle's Zomba Bike shop, established in 2007. The Bike shop provides employment for 10 . The proceeds of the shop are used to help Grace Orphanage as well as health-care and micro-financing projects in the area.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kettle Chips and The Negotiator = Fail

I've been doing pretty well with this whole nutrition thing.
Like I've said before, I AM NOT ON A DIET. Diets DO NOT WORK!!

I've never been an unhealthy eater . . . what I mean is I've never regularly bought junk food, eaten large amounts of food with empty calories, had my face up on the wall at the local McDonald's as 'customer of the month', ever bought pop in quantities more than a can at a time, purchased nor received monthly news letters detailing upcoming specials at every burger & pizza joint in Eastern Ontario, and food delivery drivers don't know me by my first name. Like most, I have on occasion eaten unhealthy, but it's not something that I frequently practice. My main problems have been the types of foods and quantities that I put into my body. We buy healthy food, it's just I eat too much of it, at the wrong times and in the wrong proportions - too much of a good thing isn't good for you.
"Oh, look . . . two pounds of dark chocolate covered almonds! I hear that dark chocolate is good for your heart, almonds are natural and healthy - a good source of fiber and nutrients."
. . . micro-seconds of illogical justification and then an hour later I'm laying on the couch in front of the jumping box with an empty two pound bag of dark chocolate covered almonds on my chest in a self induced food coma with my wife standing over me poking me with a stick in disgust and anger (disgust for obvious reasons, anger because I didn't leave her one almond).

My diet plan that I haphazardly formed back in October, like my body, was a little pear shaped. I needed help and help I got with a professional and realistic nutritionist: Heather at Ottawa Nutritionist. Heather is helping by teaching me how to put a little more balance into my diet and take a little bit of curve out of my shape. It's been more of a tweak on my diet than a total and complete overhaul.

I proudly say that I've been doing really well controlling my hunger, decreasing my cravings and increasing my energy levels. It's a funny thing what eating the right things, at the right times, in the right combination's will do for you. However, I can only ask for progress, not perfection.

The other night I got off work at about 3:30 AM and was completely overwhelmed by a wicked salt craving. I had previously eaten well in the evening, but had gotten very busy towards the end of shift and didn't get a snack into me. The missed calories must have thrown me way out of whack because I would have licked the salt stains from my stinky, sweaty sweat pads in my bike helmet if I had it on me. Reason couldn't win out over instinct & sheer gasternal impulses and the car seemed to drive itself to the nearest 24 Hr convenience store on the way home despite my inner pleadings not to go. Highjacked by insatiable cravings that no hostage negotiator could ever convince to come out and let his prisoner go.

Beaten down and humbled I lay down my $3.99 for a large bag of kettle chips, tucked my tail between my legs and made my way home to eat my greasy delight in the quiet and dark solitude of my basement watching info-mericals until 4:30 in the morning.

Can you get much lower ?
Yes, I suppose you can.

However . . .
I'm happy to say that despite indulging in my late night/ear;y morning craving on the way home from work that I did not consume the entire bag of Ms Vickie's Jalapeno & Cheddar Kettle Chips, but left almost nine partial pieces in the bag, which I threw in the garbage. Which are still there. Uneaten. Two days later.

Mmmmmmmmm, rubbish bin partial pieces of jalapeno and cheddar kettle chips . . . .

Still there! Very impressive. Food of this nature laying around in my house, let alone in a garbage can & three days old, in the past would have woken me from deep sleep at 3 AM calling my name to come eat it.

Alas, I have not (yet) dug through the rubbish bin to retrieve them . . . not that the thought hasn't crossed my mind approximately thirty-seven and a half times.

Non-dietary, more of a lifestyle/nutrition tweak SUCCESS.

Pounds lost = 5lbs.
Non-dietary, more of a lifestyle/nutrition tweak setbacks = 1.

Suck it setbacks . . . suck it.

** Don't forget to vote on the mustache. (Over there dummy) ----->