Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winnie the poo day two.

The plans for this coming Friday were to do another Gats loop as per my last post.  ..a "gettem' while you can" kinda thing, but I'm thinking now maybe I'll do it a bit different.
I read up on the Tall Trees Rides Double Cross thingy that went down this past Sunday and while I was a bit envious, I was making a totally bitchin' Thomas the Train three level track system (!!) with the wee man so it was a day very well spent.   I don't have a cross bike anyway, and am slow as shit these days, haven't been getting out much and feel I need to hammer when I do, which I can't cause my fitness isn't there, and consequently don't pace myself and flame out too soon, so it's probably just as well I was otherwise engaged.
That said, a good chunk of that route I still consider as 'old stompin' grounds for me so while I was happy where I was, a part of me longed for the easy chat it up social ride that that route lends itself to as I've only done that loop once this season.  once.   Those aren't that isn't good numbers ..   That speaks volumes about my season.  One Wakefield loop.  :shakes head:  oh well, never too early & never too late to start riding.

so, this Friday I'm thinking me and meine kleine Klein are going to do the Wakefield Phillipe loop for what might be one last time this season.  ..maybe there'll be more opportunities (perhaps even Sat or Sun?)  but I'm not about to count on it and let this one get away.  I'm figuring on a solo affair (must remember the ipod) as its pretty long odds that anyone will be up for playing hooky to go for a 3.5hr ride in 2 degrees and rain weather**.  That said, if any of you Big Ringers, known, or unknown associates are itchin for some chilly wet pedal turns to earn Friday evening beers, i'll be launching from the O'Brien lot sometime around 10:00am.  Bring warm footwear. (I'm reminding myself here)
seriously, if anyone wants to join, drop me a line.

** It's typically a couple degrees cooler in the park.  so, 2 degrees and rain.  that's one bad crash or mechanical away from hypothermia.  Thats why I'll be chuffin along slow like.  ..nothing to do with fitness.  No sir.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Recovery ride - Winnie the poo day.

As the title suggests, on this blustery, rainy, cold day between meetings and such I found a window to ride. yay!
..is that silence because nobody cares or you're all just floored that soft-guy finally started his season?

Ostensibly this was a recovery ride from last weekends Del-shoes 'anti-race' but I suppose it's pushing it to call a six-day-later-ride a "recovery" ride. Still, if it's not recovery from the Anti-race, it's recovery from something..I had rather intended to mount the trainer sometime this past week, for those purposes but things being things, that didn't happen. So, with a busy schedule the only available window was Friday. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so super hot. Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be quite nice, but today was generally yechy.
no matter, it is what it is, and one has to take advantage of the opportunities presented as they present themselves.

Things started out quite well. Weather was cooperating with the rain holding off and it stayed
that way for 20min or so until I was behind the Parliment Bldgs. So, donning rain coat I continued on, as did the rain.Managed to get the clothing mostly right so while I was a little warm early on, the temps dropped up in the parc and I was pretty good. ..'cept for the feet.
I'd neglected to put on my goretex socks or booties so once the rain & spray had completely soaked my feet & ankles It got a bit chilly down there. My ankles felt like they had ice cream headaches!

Still, all was well and the park was understandably deserted. Only two cars in Gamelin lot with a pair of cyclist suiting up, and throughout the ride I saw one jogger, three small groups of walker/hikers and three cyclists besides myself.

Everyone was cheerful and offered smiles or waves. nice!
Noteably; two of the three cyclists offered purposeful and clearly discernible waves..
THAT my friend is 66% of roadies offering acknowledgment of a fellow cyclist on ONE ride!!
It just doesn't get better than that. ..granted three is a small n but I'm not going to get hung up on conditional considerations that dilute the importance of that stat.

66% of roadies waved. Now, if you want to get freaky and include me,(i waved also) that already impressive stat launches up to a stratospheric 75%!! But that might be greedy so even without me the 66% is positively massive.

I personally am going to consider that one item a positive harbinger of upcoming wonderfulness. ..two of three riders willing to remove a hand from the bars to acknowledge a fellow rider and spread some cheer on a blustery, wet, cold day.

I propose to you good people that those kind souls are spearheading the revolution. yep. Remember, you read it here first.

I also had the fortune to commune with nature for a moment when I came face to face with a young buck on ..wait for it..
woah, get it? see what I did there? oh, yeah I gots wordsmithing all locked up over here.
Heres young Buck himself.
(how do I know he's young? well, I don't. I'm totally clueless actually, but young buck sounds better than old buck to me and I felt I had to pick one.

Unfortunately I noticed while taking the snaps that my momentary comrade-in-climbing has an injured leg.
That saddened me.
Suddenly, trying to get a good snap to show all you good people seemed completely trivial. The consideration being that a deer with a bad leg in late November has some very serious challenges ahead of him.
The fates can be cruel bitches, and I fear that my new acquaintance had Lachesis measure out a shorter string than he deserves. ..bitch.
However, despite Bucks questionable future, it's not my place to interfere with the moira (unwise to tangle with the weird sisters) so I carried on my way wishing him the best and hoping that he stays clear of the predators long enough to heal up.

The actual climbing of fortune was pretty good as the slower pace and harder work managed to warm my feet a tiny bit.

At the top Champlain was totally deserted as would be expected. It was no day to daly about in the blustery cold rain so I snapped my evidence shots and carried on down blacks. Pretty
uneventful ride back. ..I think.

I actually got immersed in thought and when I was rounding the corner to the Raymond overpass I was thinking "have I gone down Pinks
I was honestly oblivious to most of the descent for being immersed in thought. huh. ..hope i didn't miss anything.

Anyway it was all good back to home. I was pretty soaked but felt ok until I got in the shower to warm up and apparently my feet were colder than I thought. The shower felt like red hot pokers raining down! My thighs went beet red and my feet went all purple and blotchy while the nerves spazzed out like ..um, insert witty analogy here, I'm tired.

..but the nerve spaz was short lived and totally worth it.

How to turn a dreary old day into something better than it looks like through the windows.

late breaking news. Just checked the forecast and while it's apparently going to be swell through the early next week, it's calling for rain and snow for Thurs, Fri next week. That should make things interesting for next Fridays ride. ..oh yes. There will be a ride. This year I'm going to ride until I can ski. ..guess I better find those Goretex socks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Date with Ilsa?

Having my lack of fitness exposed (as in exhumed), dusted off, and shoved rudely in my face this past weekend, it has become incredibly apparent that this will not stand!
Changes need be made.
and change is a comin'!

So, facing the off season aka "dead zone" between cycling type weather and ski type weather the need for myself to seek out, plan, partake and effect some positive changes in fitness has been acknowledged, accepted and plans are being hatched.

The challenge is, that fitness for fitness sake is kindof um, ..boring. I'm not a gym type guy, and while I dig the spinning thing my favorite instructor (foreground in red) is doing his classes on Thurday evenings and that doesn't work so well for me.
Thursdays belong to the wee man himself;
and he will not be denied!

so, drastic measures are being employed. Home use of swiss ball, stretching, planks, pushups (!) and crunches are happening in my world for starters. It really is a love / hate thing for me though and I benefit from the motivation that a structured program provides. Holds my feet to the fire so to speak ..but as stated, the spinning program doesn't work for my schedule this season so apart from infrequent drop-ins I'm going to have to look further afield.

After much searching, interviews, (actually not), research (yeah, not really) and wondering what the hell to do about this, (I actually did do this) I've come across what I think will be a perfect solution..


..not to be confused with Elsa who also keeps folks hoppin' but in a very different way

I don't know too much about Ilsa yet, but I've got a good feeling that she'll meet the divergent requirements of being cheap, flexible (with regards schedules) and provide an alterative to the standard mirrors, egos, narcissistic b.s.* that is a typical gym.
*"Puuush it!, It's all you! It's all you!!.."
It would even go so far as to say that a gym to me is like a torture chamber. So, if I'm going to sign up for torture I should at least be in surroundings conducive to torture and this Ilsa has seen to in spades!


All that needs sorting is a quick visit to ensure that the change rooms provide a suitable environment for going from work mode to 'pump me up' mode, some scheduleing and we'll be good to go.

I've got a good feeling about this. yep, Ilsa's gonna make me her bitch and we'll both be better for it!

stay tuned for recon snaps of the changing facilities. giddy with excitement over here!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Anti-race weekend of get the hell outta dodge

The family truckster post Anti-race.
Not the first time OBR and myself have run with the same numbers on our plates, but this is the first time we shared that number with 25 other riders!

This past Friday after errands were run and money was hemmoraghed, yours truly packed the family truckster with one small, and one large hardtail
(one being my own and one belonging to the r-inginal Big Ring himself.) upon completing the packing** we (and by we, I mean me) headed off to Bobcaygeon to meet up with the the r-ignal Big Ring who was headed in from parts quite south of there.
Once clear of the cluster coitus that is traffic around Bank, Heron, Baseline etc, the drive was lovely. Tunes were cranked and karaoke was practiced to Morrisey, Jesus & Mary chain, Sonic youth and Jimmy Buffet among others. It was a textbook example of how to celebrate your own company without need of closed eyes, bitten lower lips and personal lubricant.
..anyway. The rendevous with the OBR went swimmingly and would have made a swiss watch look like a cereal box sundial on account of our timing. The touch-base "where-bouts-are-you?" phone call identifying that with 10min to the evenings destination, and us having started ~700km apart OBR had actually ended up right on my bumper for the last 15min into the evenings destination. ..go team! (infectious catch phrase used with apologies but without permission)

An evening of Bobcaygeon hospitality followed and the morning had us both in the family truckster on route to the Delstalk Anti-race in Collingwood. I do believe that there will be full reports and photos on the wondrous Jager fueled love-in that was Delstalk here & here among others. It was indeed wondrous, there was Jager to lubricate motivation, dull anxieties and generally provide a frivolous Anti-race atmosphere.
(I approved, I imbibed. ..Abide.)

A potentially freakish horror show** was narrowly avoided with the generosity, preparedness and good will of Del himself when I discovered that I'd left my shoes at home. ..(!!!)
I have few personal heroes beyond Winston Churchill, Lux Interior & Vinnie Jones but I can now add Del to the short list of thems' what are worthy.
The ride was awesome, the weather flawless, the company without peer and that first fucking hill drilled a hole in my soul the size of all the worlds problems.

Seriously. That mutherfuker hill made entire solar systems look like styrofoam science fair models. I can't remember sucking so hard for so long anytime in the last several years. Granted, my fitness and especially my cardio is total ass these days but the few rides that I have done this year lulled me into the belief that I could still fake it by employing my inherent willingness to suffer. sortof. Not so much on that climb. Perhaps the worst part (you know apart from ninety million miles of sustained vertical with no reprieve) was that you could see right from bottom to top, arrow straight all the way. That means you can watch the gap(s) widen as you fall off the back while riders tear you off their wheel one by one ..jeezus f'n heartbreak.
Anyway, the hill was climbed and I may or may not have been the only geared rider to dismount and walk part of it. ugh. I'm not a singlespeeder so I'm really not comfortable with the whole walking-bike up steep bits thing. ..I may have to build a singlespeed just to justify that kind of craptasticness.

The rest of the ride was brilliantly, magical, lovelyness though. Smooth flowy single track, a bit of woodsy hike-a-bike, a wee bit of gravel, and some really nice sections that felt like if Dupont Forest and Camp Fortune hooked up and had singletrack babies. Nice, flowy S-track through the woods with the odd bit of technical thrown in to keep things real and test (and illuminate) respective Jager levels.

The apre-ride (thats ski hill speak) was celebrated at Blue Mountains Fire Hall pizza joint. Blue Mountain is Intrawest so if you know what Intrawest is then you know exactly how contrived a reasonably genuine looking "fire hall" can be when you plop it at the bottom of a ski hill in a cookie-cutter pedestrian street village. But hey, they had beer so It's all good if you don't order the hot dog pizza like OBR did.
I approved, I imbibed. Abide.

So, that was my Anti-race. It was truly awesome.
Many thanks to Peter, Del, and the rest of the Misfit Psycles organizers. Good people were met, new friends were made existing friendships cemented.
Tomorrow (or some day soonish) we'll talk about what if anything the hell comes next!

**driving 550Km for a ride only to end up drinking myself legless alone in a bar instead of making badly needed pedal strokes would very probably put me in a truly apocolyptic mood for some time.