Monday, April 27, 2009

Maob Day 1

Well it actually wasn't, Maob, we flew into Denver and drove to Fruita Colorado on our way to Maob. We were very nearly snowed in Denver! Can you believe it, 20 degrees in Ottawa and the highway is closed in Denver

Can you believe this shit?

ET is not happy.....

Thankfully Beezer found the solution

The real solution!

After a bit of a rough drive (it got faster when I took over) we finally made our way to Fruita Colorado. Home of the Fat Tire Festival. With a festival like that, how can you go wrong? Fruita/Garnd Junction has a number of area to ride so we choose Kokopelli Trails. We did Moore Fun and Mary's Trail, a nice combination with technical single track and great views!

Yup, its a terrible place to visit

Nasty, tricky corner, one of many you wouldn't want to miss, turns out to be a bit of a theme on this trip

Just a random shot of what the single track looks like, it's a little dry.

Day one started out looking pretty bad but perseverance and some cautious driving paid off in spades. A great start but I had no idea what was coming during night number 1 (foreshadowing?).

Lakes and Locks

We were up in Kingston on the weekend visiting some friends. I didn't want to miss the good weather on Saturday, so I took the Isaac along.

After having some family time in the morning and lunching on ribs, wings and nachos, I was ready to head for a ride. Our friends live just off Perth Rd, which in on the Rideau Lakes Tour (RLT) route, some of you may be familiar with the road. I got myself organized and headed out on the road with my Ipod for company. Yes, I ride with music when I am alone... Here is a trick for you kids out there, if you can hear your wheels turning with your Ipod on, the volume is Ok, if you can't, its probably too loud.

I headed North on Perth rd towards Westport, there was a nice tail wind blowing, riding over 35kmh was effortless, in fact there were sections where I could hold over 40kmh for more than 2kms at a time. I knew I would have to pay for that freebie on the way back. The traffic was very light and the pavement very smooth for the most part (nothing like the Cantley/Wakefield loop full of holes). For those of you who have done the RLT, you know the Perth rd section is very picturesque, lots of beautiful scenery but some strange sights too. Like the "hillbilly" trailer home which looks like a wrecking yard, I would have taken a picture but they were out on in the front yard BBQ possum, I think. There is also another house with five 1980 something Camaros on the front lawn and other unique sights, like this house...

Looks even more strange in real life... what's with the watch-tower?

And, as I said, there are some beautiful views of the Rideau Lakes, too many of them to name.

One of the many lakes you come across

I made it to my pit stop point in Newboro in just over an hour and stopped for a snack. Not bad, 40kms in 1hr7mins - thanks to a great tail wind!

Crossing the Rideau Canal at Newboro

My mid-ride snack...

Cinnamon bun with delicious cream cheese icing, mmm.....

If you were paying attention, I had veered East. My plan was to go south west instead of having to face the headwind dead-on. I headed towards hwy 15, headed south for 4kms then went south-west through Chaffey's locks (as you know the Rideau Canal goes from Ottawa to Kingston, there are a lot of locks along the way) .

From Chaffey's locks, I connected to Opinicon road which would eventually spit me back out onto Perth Rd. Opinicon Rd is a secondary road; it is paved but not with very smooth asphalt (think of Perth rd as hockey ice and Opinicon, curling ice - you got to be Canadian to understand this!) but the Isaac's carbon frame absorbs the bumps very nicely. Nevertheless, there were no serious ruts nor potholes on Opinicon. It is a very twisty turny road, with lots of short climbs and downhills. I had some stiff cross winds to contend with which slowed things down quite a bit but that section was actually a lot of fun! I would sometimes sprint up the hills just to mix things up a bit. I'd love to ride that road again on a calm day. I met this dude in the middle of the road on a downhill...

Mr. Porcupine made me hit the brakes hard on a downhill...

I love tractors, so I had to stop and take this pic - vintage Ford and a Massey
(Can you tell which is which without enlarging the photo?)

It was nice to ride something different from the usual routes we tend to do and the roads in the Kingston and Rideau Lakes area are so much nices than what we have here.

My total distance was 84 kms according to my computer, google maps says 80kms, close enough I guess. The second half of the trip took me almost twice as long as the first although I did lolgygag a bit chasing animals and tractors. But the biggest factor was the wind. Total ride time was 3 hours. Here is a map of my ride route.

Tired Oily Socks

Thank you Sock Guy for the lovely socks.

Thanks Van and the fine folks at Pro Gold for all the lube. Lube for a lifetime.

And big thanks to Kenda for sending some tires and such our way.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Lenny Show

Friday turned out to indeed be a perfect day to ride. On the way out to Kanata Lakes we figured out that Lenny was the same age as Charlotte's father, a fact that brought out the paternal instinct in Lenny so he put on a riding clinic for his young protege. Fifteen minutes in he demonstrated some trail-building know-how, showing the proper method to pack down protruding rocks by using the "elbow slam" technique:

After that incident he put on a show of some of the more traditional skills of technical riding, which Charlotte soaked up like a sponge:

We were out for a little more than two hours and were better people for it. Charlotte's going to do some racing in this her second season of mountain biking but some pesky Bar Exams in June might eat into her ride time a bit.

The trails are in very good shape. Hope to see you all out there soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An overdue welcome to the 2009 Mountain Biking Season

Time to ditch work.

Friday 24 April 2009. The plan is for me and Lenny and the HFT to hit the trails for the first time this season. I am totally stoked.

Anyone feeling confident about their bike handling skills? Apparently there are still levels to aspire to. There may be people out there better than you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday Sun Day!!

As the title says Sunday was a bright sunny day which means everything else gets put on hold because it's business time. You know what I mean... Bike Riding Business Time!!!

Here we are at the beginning of the ride just waiting for Gilles to arrive. Big Ring is saying "Lenny, don't I look schexy? Did I mention I was on the podium earlier this season? Check out my pecs... Oh I do look fabulous! No..!?? You're right Lenny, I look better than fabulous!! No wonder I like riding with you... I could stand here all day and wave at the cars as they go by. They're all honking at me, I'm so schexy! Hey, is that Gilles?"

And here is Gilles as we were about to head out for a spin dans La Belle Provence de QUÉBEC. He's looking great in that Big Ring jersey!

It was a great day to be out on the bike. We rode from Champlain Bridge up through Chelsea to Wakefield, Cantley and then back to the bridge on our way home. We hit some snow in the park but it's almost gone. It felt really weird to be back up there and not on skis. I've never felt like that before. I guess that's because I skied a lot more this year then I did last year and last year was my first year of xc skiing. Here is some of that snow that we had to walk through...

And here is a shot of Gilles going around the snow. Notice how the gear whore is wearing his knee warmer. He told me later it's a KNEE warmer Lenny, not a 'knee and thigh' warmer. I still have so much to learn!

I thought they were supposed to be worn like this! ( Notice that I was at least wearing the same socks as Gilles was). They're the Abominable Snowman version from our great sponsor Sock Guy; an appropriate choice given the snow hike!

All in all it was a great day for a ride. The sun felt amazing and it was a day that was full of the promise of a great riding season to come - YAY! Thanks to Craig, Zamboni and Gilles for the tour. I ended up with about 105 km but felt like I could have kept going. I'm glad I didn't though as I was starving when I got home and what better way to end a ride then a great big plate of food.? Well I got home and had to cook for myself, can you imagine!?! Here's an image of my wife just lounging around while I was out working on the bike! Crazy... Oh well, I got her in the kitchen shortly after this. ;-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patent Pending

Check out my soon-to-be-patented "side mounted" baby seat, test-ridden on Tuesday morning:

The optional tray attachment makes feeding your infant a breeze during your commute to work. I am so going to make millions on this!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My two new babies

I love this one the best!

Elsa - she spits up on me.

LinkFisticuff - it makes me spit up.

Superhero comes to the rescue!!!

Saturday was shaping up like it was going to be a nice day for a change! Check out the bright sunlight! It was cold and damp all week so this was a very nice change! Notice the superhero in this shot, he wears that jersey for a reson!

There was a fairly strong breeze but we had a good sized group to share the workload. Mike J (of Joe Mamma fame) joined us today for the ride. He's riding solo at SS this year so he's putting on the miles. Today would be a good ride for him as he was planning around 120km door to door, I was looking at a little over 100.

We took the bike path along the river to get to Gilles' place. This is where we met up with the rest of the group. Check out the kit on these pretenders! From left to right are Mike, Me, Gilles, Spidey and Tanya... Guess what, we all wave at roadies in their full kit!!!

We started out heading South. This was great because there was a North wind so this meant it was fast and warm while we were heading in this direction. We were taking turns pulling as we headed out but it really didn't matter because there was no real draft effect due to the strong tailwind. Everything was going well and then all of a sudden CHAOS! There was some last second pointing and jockeying and by the time I noticed anything I was riding through this!

FRACK!!! I didn't see it until it was too late, I was in it! I have no idea how I got that close to the edge of the road but no big deal... pick up the water bottles and go right? NOT! As I rode back to get my water bottles I heard a what I thought was a broken spoke. Hmm, must have hit pretty hard. As it turned out only one of my bottles survived, the other one was torn apart. Oh well, who needs fluids anyway!?! As I took a closer look I realize that my tire is rubbing on the frame. I made sure the wheel was seated properly etc. but no luck... my ride was over.

I tried calling my wife for a ride but no answer at all 3 numbers. Oh-oh, now what? After a couple more phone calls Spidey's wife and the next generation of super-hero are on their way. All I have to do is wait for a while and snag a ride home - SWEET! I had ridden 45km from home and was probably about 30km if I walked, not good!

Here's a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Anita and Finn for taking good care of me! They saved me from 30km of walking with crocodile tears in my eyes! Oh woes me!!!! For the rest of you mortals who have never seen a real life superhero before this is what they look like when they are wearing their human disguise so cute!

And as for the bike, well my hoop is hooped! It's hard to see but there is a nasty flat spot right by the 'C' in RACE. Turns out the spokes are all fine, one is just a little longer then it needs to be now.

In honor of the greatest superhero of them all, here are some lyrics for you!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies.
Look out! Here comes the Spiderman.

Is he strong? Listen bud—
He's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead.
Hey there! There goes the Spiderman.

In the chill of the night,
At the scene of the crime,
Like a streak of light,
He arrives just in time!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Friendly neighborhood Spiderman.
Wealth and fame, he's ignored—
Action is his reward.
To him,
Life is a great big bang-up—
Wherever there's a hang-up,
You'll find the Spiderman!