Monday, May 30, 2011


The Fortune Parkway climb shrouded in a mist.  Quiet and green.  My favourite climb in the Park. Visibility was lacking which to me made the climbs seem easier as you couldn't see to the top of them.
Weekend off of work and of course it rains.  The Worst. Spring. Ever. continues.  Alas, there was a break in the late morning/early afternoon and I got out determined to get in a loop of the park regardless if it was going to rain or not.  I am so glad I went because it was one of my best rides of the season.

Nary a car to be seen and very few cyclists Saturday morning.  It felt like I had the place all to myself.  It was one of my best rides of the season not because I produced high watts or climbed exceptionally fast, but rather it was an escape from the stressful & hectic past few weeks, it loosened the phlegmy gunk in my lungs & sinuses, it felt amazing to be outside on a windless, misty morning, all alone.  With only a handful of rides this month I was surprised at how good I felt.  More mental than physical.

Despite the North Loop of the park being closed for almost this entire cycling season, there is a glimmer of good news.  Charles reported over on GuideGatineau that Saturday Short Loops begin this Saturday . . .
This means that beginning at 6am on Saturdays the section of Gatineau Parkway  starting where the Champlain Parkway branches off (known as “Mica” to some) will be closed to cars until 11am. This section nominally extends to include the “north loop” (or “Doldrums”), ending at the foot of the Fortune Parkway (at Meech Lake Road).                                                                                                                                    In the press release this second section was said to be closed to cars until 1pm. This of course is a vestige of the template text the NCC communications people are using year after year for this announcement since in actual fact the north loop is entirely closed to cars for the duration of the summer based on the culvert collapse near P8 (which also effectively cuts the “short loop” into two even shorter loops.
Yellow route will be shut down to motor vehicle traffic on Saturdays from 6am-11am to Saturday, September 24. (*photo poached from GatineauGuide without permission - yikes!  Hope that's okay Charles!)
Quebecois style cobble stone on Meech Lake Road.
My route took me from home, up into the Park, past the Champlain turn off to P8.  There you are forced to ride Meech Lake Rd to the Fortune Parkway.  I was passed by only a few cars and saw only one other cyclist.  Not one car passed me up Fortune.  I spoke to another cyclist who remarked that motor vehicle traffic on Fortune was noticeably lighter this season, probably due to the North Loop being closed. 

It's presently raining (Sunday morning).  I think it's rained everyday in May.  Thankfully it's muggy and warm outside - which means I'll be back on the bike again, on the road, this afternoon searching for my pre-season fitness and legs that I had begun to develop back in April.  If you find them first please let me know. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

B4H Bike Drop Off - All Week Long

Bike Drive: May 30th - June 4th  **ALL WEEK LONG**

Donate your bike to improve access to health care, education, food, water & employment in Africa.
May 30th to June 4th, 2011 
Bring your donation to one of
9 convenient locations across Ottawa / Gatineau

What to Bring:

‣ADULT sized MOUNTAIN BIKES in working condition (24” and 26” wheels with frames sizes of 15” and up)
‣Please - no small children’s bikes
‣Bike tools, repair & patch kits, inner tubes
‣Gently used backpacks
‣PLEASE READ here for what we do and DO NOT collect

Where & When: ALL WEEK LONG during Bike Collection Week May 30th - June 4th
                                    Drop off your donation at the following car dealers during their business hours

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Not much to report here. The week is winding down and I cannot wait for it to be over. The month of May has been a kick in the cubes for sure: terrible gwad-awful weather, a hell'ish trip to hell, crazy busy'ness at work (Monday was an 18.5 hour day for me), the original big ring world headquarters went up on the market Tuesday with showings this weekend with hopes it'll go quickly solely based on the fact that I live(d) here, and to top off that hoof to the family jewels . . . I now have a wicked sinus infection (my second this year) after battling a nasty flu/cold bug the last two weeks. Fugg me. Needless to say, this is my worst Spring ever for being on the bike. I can count on one hand, that lost it's thumb in a gruesome table-saw accident, how many times I've been on the bike this month.Worst Spring Ever.

The past week not so bad. . .

Saturday I rode up and met Curvy Butt and Curvy Butt Jr. at the Gatineau races.  Took in most of the women's elite race.  These ladies were faaaaast.
Tu-tu, leg warmers, Teady Bear and Bike Helmet - at least she has my fashion sense.  Sunday had me spending time with just one little lady, The Peanut.  Pulled her around on the Ottawa River Parkway and Alcatel Sundays and the neighbourhood, doing some intervals even, playing at the playground and chasing some Canada geese who finally returned home to 'slightly warmer' temperatures.
I even got out for a short ride yesterday with four hours of sleep after working nights the past two.  Slow and short ride, but it was soooo nice to be outside on a beautiful day with two wheels under my pudgey bum.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Catch-up. Ketchup. Cats'up.

Miss me? 
. . . like a infected splinter . . . ?

Where was I when we last spoke . . . oh, yes . . . Las Vegas. 
My wife and I were there for four days/nights last week for a wedding.  I won't go on at length, but will say this: 


We did manage to escape the city for two days and head out into the desert, which was a saving grace for me because I was this close (fingers about a half an inch apart) from going postal. 

Red Rock Canyon
Know how to spell 'desert'?  "Dessert", as in ice cream, cake and cookies has two S's - cause you'll ALWAYS have seconds.  "Desert", as in Death Valley, only has one cause you only want to be stuck in a desert one time. I don't know about that.....after being there, man - it's beautiful!  You wouldn't think that there is so much diversity and life in a dry, desolate place - but there is.
Hoover Dam
Money shot.  I couldn't hook up a ride in the desert but we found some sweet single track while out hiking.
So, now I am back home and it's been raining ever since.  I've been on the bike only once in the past two weeks (due to the trip, work, blah, blah, blah), but mostly the fucking shitty weather.  It's THE WORST SPRING EVER!  I'm selling the bikes and building an ark.

I did recieve a very nice e-mail on my return from a bloke Down Under.  Seems that Iain is a bit of a baker and a 29" biker.  Check out what he sent me:

Sour dough loaf and a Niner.  Yum!
Breadhead to the rescue,
Iain requested some Jebus stickers (if you want one just clicky clicky the link <---------- ) and I am happy to send him some.  Just wish we could have traded stickers for bread.  Hopefully he'll send me some photos of a Jebus loaf or a sticker on a crock or 'roo.

FYI, the next week or two or so blogging will be spottier than a chicken-pocked three year old.  Life has certainly reared it's busy-head lately on all fronts.  Not only is the weather not cooperating for riding (which one would think would allow for catching up on shit, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way), but new added responsibilities at work, time with my wee family and the upcoming shift of location for the original big ring World Headquarters means nuttiness.  I've had to give up some responsibilities with some volunteer work that I do and cut back on less important things for the next few weeks, i.e. blog-0-sphere'ing, watching the Giro and riding is going to have to take a back seat with sooooo much to do. 

What's worse, I stood out in the pouring cold rain for nearly four hours at work yesterday and today I am sick.  The weekend was looking up for slipping out for a ride, hopefully this cold will blow over by then.  Until the next post, keep the rubber side down and your stick on the ice.  Cheers!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011


I'll explain next week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lumberjack 100 Registration For Sale

If you're looking to do the Lumberjack 100 on June 18th, and weren't lucky enough to get yourself registered in the fourteen minutes it took to sell out . . . I can help you out.  I have a friend with two spots available for sale.  Get in contact with me (e-mail over there -------->  under my profile dealie) and I will put you in touch with her. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My elbow loosened up enough by Tuesday morning that I was able to extend my arm enough to hold onto the hoods.  It was my day off work, weather man was predicting rain before lunch time . . . what else was I going to do?  I was out the door and on the bike by 8:30 AM hoping to miss the rain.  As my luck would have it, no sooner had I gotten on the Champlain Bridge and crossing over into Quebec did I begin to feel the odd drop of rain hit my face.  Tabernac.  

Just near the P8 parking lot on the North Loop - road closure due to a washout.  I had seen it shut down last week, but with only cones, barricades and tape.  I guess people were going around it and getting too close.  If it were up to me I would have just shut down the Northbound lane - that way cyclists could avoid riding on Meech Lake Rd. which can get busy, is fairly narrow and the asphalt is in rough shape.  According to Guide Gatineau's blog, the NCC will have this completely shut down until July/August.
I decided to press on and try my luck for as long as I could hoping not to get too wet.  By the time I was in the park the intermittent rain had ceased.  When I left the house it was only 7 degrees out and I had neglected to take a raincoat.  Thankfully the rain would hold off until my descent down Blacks and I was able to avoid getting caught in the heavier precipitation later in the day, which surely would have resulted in me getting hypothermia.  

Was nice to be on the Fortune Climb - I do believe it's my most favourite road climb in the park.
 It was my third ride in the park in five days.  The first was very disappointing from a fitness, power, ability to climb hills perspective - very humbling to say the least.  The second ride with Curvy was a little better as I had someone to push me a bit and had a wheel to follow.  Tuesday's ride was much better.  My legs felt a noticeable difference on the climbs and my computer confirmed that my pace had quickened since Friday . . . still slower than cold molasses compared to most, but it was still comforting to see an improvement. 

The forest looked soaked.  No doubt it is considering all the rain we've had so far this Spring.  I don't know what people are thinking going out and riding on such wet trails.  For example,

Poached from the OMBA website under this thread.
I 'get' that people are itching to ride.  I am too.  But for the love of Jebus, stay off the freak'in trails (at least the more sensitive ones) until they have a chance to dry out . . .
Worst. Spring. Ever.
. . . too bad that doesn't look like any time soon though.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


  I broke the radial head on my left arm four or five years ago while riding in the Fall. Was just riding along, went over what looked to be a small drop off a rock ledge into some fallen leaves and my wheel found a deeper hole than was reckoned.  Over the bars I went with out stretched arms.  Snap, crackle and pop.  At first I thought I broke my wrist as it hurt real bad, but it wasn't until after I realized that I couldn't bend my arm did I know that something was wrong.

I eventually healed up and my arm went back to normal.  Fast forward four or five years and I'm having an issue with it.  Could running a rigid fork be a spur in my saddle, so to speak?  Seems that every now and then my left elbow locks (but never while riding) - only for a second or two, but it's really freaky as it's totally locked out.  It's a weird sensation and is pretty painful for a moment.

I went to a sports physician and he was suspicious that it might be a piece of broken bone or ligament or tissue that's floating around as a result of the break that's getting into the elbow joint causing it to momentarily seize up.  So, to suss it out he ordered an arthrogram and CT scan of my elbow. 

Know your joints?  That ain't no elbow.
Basically the doctor stuck a needle in-between the joint and filled it up with a contrast medium that can be picked up by computerized imaging.  What's hoped for is that a foreign body floating around inside will show up in the contrast medium.  If that's the case, doc' cuts you open and yanks out the piece that's causing the problem.  Simple. Dimple. Pimple.

I had the exploratory procedure done yesterday afternoon.  The doctor was kind enough to freeze my elbow first.  Glad she did, because the needle inserted inside the joint to inject the contrast fluid was a big sucker!  Needles don't bug me, but poking them around a joint ......... essssssshhhhhhhhhh!

It was pretty cool though as I got to watch them do it and was able to see the live x-ray imaging used to make sure that the doctor got the needle into the joint.  Once the doctor had the needle inside she injected the fluid - it's the strangest sensation, like someone is blowing up a balloon inside your arm  - the joint gets really tight and it's difficult to bend.  Afterward they sent me off for a CT scan and for the next 24 hours or so my elbow is going to be stiff and swollen as it's filled up with the contrast fluid until it absorbs into the body.   Right now it kind of feels like it's been re-broke, but without the pain. 

Now I just have to wait for the results to see if I am going to need surgery or not.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Update

Friday, May 6th Gatineau Park opens to motor vehicular traffic.  Time to get all of your not-having-to-look-over-your-shoulder-riding in . . . . if Mother Nature will even cooperate.  
Worst.  Spring.  Ever. 

CN Cycle for CHEO
My day off and it's raining.  Was really hoping to get out for a ride today.  This weekend was a brutally mentally and physically . . . worked Friday afternoon and night but managed to squeeze in a short'ish road ride during the day.  Saturday - an early day shift, a quick out and back in the park with Curvy, dinner with the family at friend's house, then home to bed early.  Sunday, up at 4:50 AM and nine hours as the Route Marshall for the CN Cycle for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, then it was off to work until very late last night.  I'm beat and glad the weekend is over.  Was REALLY hoping for an easy, peaceful ride today.  Mother Nature is a real mutha . . . she must hate me.

5 & 2 km walk, 15 km bike, 35 km bike and 70 km bike.
Over the past few weeks I've been volunteering my time helping organize the CN Cycle for CHEO route, liaising with Ottawa Police Service, the City of Ottawa and businesses that were going to be affected by the 70 km route this past Sunday morning.  It was a huge responsibility, lots of headaches, big logistics, but came off nearly without an issue.  Sunday came early as I spent the very early part of the morning setting up the route and  closing down intersections.  Then it was damage control, problem solving, assisting volunteers, and making sure cyclists were safe, happy and having a good time.   
I've seen enough pylons and barricades until next year.
 I don't have a lot of time to spare and give away, and that I do goes to a good cause.  Both charity groups that I volunteer for (CN Cycle for CHEO and Bicycles For Humanity) just so happen to be bicycle related.  If I am going to spend my free time helping out it may as well be around the thing I like to do.