Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brought to you by the word copious.

Got in a good ride this morning, but before I go into detail about it, I'm gonna see how much sympathy I can drum up by talking about how busy my weekend has been (and I'm sure I'll probably get about ZERO sympathy, but it was worth a try anyway). Here's what the last 3 days looked like:

-got home and went for a ride (an hour and a half of tempo intervals)
-cooked dinner
-did a little painting in the nursery

-did a lot of taping with painter's tape in the nursery
-painted the first coat of "skier's trail" (otherwise known as light blue)
-did a load of laundry
-bottled beer (I make my own homebrew, which I'll post about one of these days)
-painted the second coat of paint
-cooked dinner

-got out for a ride (see below)
-did another load of laundry
-painted a third coat of paint
-cooked dinner
-washed my road bike

OK, it may not actually look like much, but trust me, I didn't seem to have much free time this weekend (well, other than riding).

Today's ride was a double loop of the park. I was meeting The Autochthonous Colossal Circular Object and The Plant-Eating Nomad (thesaurus skills IN EFFECT!!) at 11:30 at the gate, so I headed out early and put in a reverse loop of the park. I managed to do the whole loop in my large ring (I do ride a compact double, so I'm not sure if that's cheating) with the exception of the Black's climb. Halfway through the loop, I stopped at the oft neglected Huron Lookout for a pic and a brief moment of seclusion (more thesaurus skills) to snap a pic.

Made it back to the gate to hook up with Craig and Tanya for another loop, this time going the "usual" way around. Managed to stay in the large ring again, except for the Pink lake climb. Part way through the ride, we got caught in a copious (you got it, thesaurus again!) downpour. I was about to wuss out under a bridge, but Craig pushed on, which meant Tanya and I had to as well (damn you Craig!). Of course, it didn't take long before the rain cleared up and we were greeted again by the sun. It was enough to dry me off, except for my feet, which were inundated (uh huh!) with water the whole way home. By the time I got home, I had ridden wonder I feel a little wiped...and hungry! Now I'm gonna gormandize another bowl of cereal and then it's off to bed. I hope that today's post was elucidative and didactic.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blinded by the Sun

As the days get shorter, I've started to run into a problem on my daily commute. It's a combination of:

1) My commute, to and from work, forces me to ride into the sun. The brightness of the sun and the resulting glare, especially after sunrise, makes it pretty tough to see where the hell I'm going. (You're thinking, "Put on some sunglasses you shmuck", but read point #2).

2) Being genetically pre-disposed to have eyesight that basically sucks, I wear eyeglasses most of the time, and prescription sunglasses cost some mad $$$$$$.

The only way I can wear non-prescription sunglasses is if I wear my contact lenses, but I'm gonna be whiney and whine about how I don't like wearing my contacts all day long.

One option is an "optical adapter". These are made by Rudy Project, and can be fitted with a prescription lens. The adapter can then be clipped into any Rudy Project sunglasses that are made to accept the adapter. Approximate cost is $100-$120. Hmmm, a little expensive. Lets ponder a bit while we look at some pictures.

So this is what my commute looks like:

This pic is looking west, before the intersection of Baseline and Prince of Wales. Taken around 6:30 pm

I stopped and turned around to get this pic of the experimental farm.

However, the morning commute is the real bee-yatch.

Looking east, Baseline and Prince of Wales, approx 6:50am.

Looking east down Kilborn, approx 7:05 am.

Wait a sec, I've got it! A pair of clip on sunglasses from the drugstore. $14.99 baby! AND THEY'RE POLARIZED!!!!!! They've GOTTA be good!!!

Who's that sexy mofo with the clip on glasses?

Awwwwwww shit! They even flip up! Who's the mack now?!?!?!

My new found fashion sense puts this guy to shame:

So now, I can ride to work in comfort (no more squinting) AND style!!! Booya!! My eyes are happy, and I'm the envy of my friends and co-workers. Life couldn't be better, *sigh*.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Adult Entertainment

Now, the title of today's post IS relevant, and if you keep reading, you'll see why. Don't worry, no freaky pics or videos (although I know that's what you're hoping for...).

Waking up this morning was almost a repeat of yesterday, but today, a compromise was reached with the alarm clock...hit the snooze button a bunch of times and then roll out of bed. After the usual morning routine, I got out on the road bike, and MAN did my legs ever feel tired and sluggish. But then again, what do you expect after a week of no riding (except for my daily commute, but that doesn't really count). I rode the Cyclelogik loop to Carp, with a few exceptions. First I had to make a little detour, as evidenced here.

4 weeks ago, this little bit of road was COMPLETELY under water.

Second, after Carp, I came back along Old Carp road, which is a fun, rolling dirt road section. As I rolled along, waiting for the asphalt to turn to dirt, I was greeted by the worst ever attempt at paving a road. The dirt had been paved over, but by asphalt that was seriously rougher than the previously existing dirt road (minus the potholes, of course). I felt robbed of my opportunity to sample a tiny little dirt stretch, and instead, was wishing for 30c tires and a steel frame to smooth out the poor excuse of a paving job. Tax dollars hard at work, oh well.

By the time I got home, I had ridden 68 km at an average of 30.6. Hmmmm, so much for feeling tired and sluggish.

The pic below is the reason for today's post. I know, you're gonna be disapointed, but at least I didn't take a picture like this.

Does an adult lifestyle include adult entertainment, adult movies and adult toys? If so, sign me up! *Sigh*, juvenile humour.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No riding for you!!

No riding for me today, (and too hot for soup). I set the alarm last night with good intentions, I swear. The plan was to get up, grab a quick bite, head out to do the Cyclelogik loop, get back home and have plenty of time to do some painting. But as a lay there this morning, with my alarm clock buzzin' at me, I asked myself :"Do I want to go for a ride, or sleep some more?". Hmmmm, dumb question, really. Sleep always wins. Slam the "off" button and go back to sleep.

Once I was up, and cursing the sunshine and warm weather beckoning, teeeeeeasing me to go out for a ride, I split my time between painting, and entertaining the in-laws, who had dropped by for coffee. Now, I'm not gonna make any cracks or jokes about in-laws, 'cause you never know if they may stumble across this, so I'll just move on with my ranting. So, the painting. The painting I keep referring to is the painting of the nursery...we're 6 weeks away from our due date, and Sonia doesn't think I'll have the nursery done in time. Well, I'll show her! It's about half done now, and I'm gonna work on it some more tomorrow. I decided not to document the progress cause a half painted room just looks bad. (And I mean bad as in bad, not bad as in good.)

Evidence of painting

Hellooooooo?!?!? Can you hear me in there?!?!?

Tomorrow, I should be able to get a ride in. The forecast is calling for cloudy with showers, mostly in the late morning and then all afternoon. That means an early ride. I just have to convince myself while in a dazed state of consciousness that I should get up and go for a ride rather than sleep in on my day off. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Got this video from Andy. Some seriously crazy shit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

J&J 8 Hour

Yesterday morning, I got up early (not bright and early because the sun wasn't even up yet), and made the short drive to Kingston for the J&J 8 hour. Thinking about the day of racing ahead of me, my thoughts were occupied with the heat (mid thirties with the humidex), the tight twisty singletrack, the heat, the unrelenting bumpy roots on the course, and of course......the heat.

Earrrrrrrrrrrly morning. Would have been nice to sleep in!

This was the first time this year I've headed to a race on my driving companions. The nice thing was, I could talk to myself, yell at other drivers, sing aloud, play music REALLY loud, dance in my seat as I was driving, etc... Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for you, I didn't take any video of my self busting out to tunes while driving. Next time.....

When I arrived at the race venue, I noticed that the transition area wasn't inside the barn, which was a shame. That's one of the things that sets this race apart from get to RIDE THROUGH A BARN!!!!! How cool is that?!?!?!?! (Actually, the novelty wears off after the first lap, but it's still kinda cool.)
Transition area, in front of the barn.

There didn't seem to be a huge number of riders at the start, but it was announced after the race that there were 75 racers in all. When I did this race last year, one things that stood out was the grass-roots feel of the event, and that definitely carried through to this year.

Here's a quick overview of how the race went for me:

-Having an extra water bottle in my jersey pocket for the sole purpose of dumping water on my head during my laps helped A LOT. It was soooooo refreshing in the heat.
-Jelly Belly sport beans and Gu Chomps, quickly becoming some of my favourite race food.
-I was riding un-supported, and a kind girl by the name of Deanna offered to run support for me while she supported another rider. A HUGE help!
-Stomach problems that went away (see below).
-Riding through a corn field. Felt like I was whipping along REAL FAST.
-Not riding the full 8 hours. I had built up enough of a lead that I was done after 6 hours and 40 minutes. More time to re-hydrate and eat!
-My first ever mountain bike win!

-Stomach issues after about 4 hours. I think this had to do with eating too much. It felt like there was a party going on in my stomach....the kind with un-invited guests. The cure was simple: keep drinking, but hold off the extra calories for a bit. Problem solved!
-A bridge that almost swallowed my front wheel. Turns out a few riders bit it really hard on the same bridge. On my next lap, the gap had been covered with some plywood.
-My rear derailleur started to give me grief...again! (See back to the Ganaraska Marathon race.) However, knowing what the problem was, a quick on trail tune solved the problem.
-Riding through a corn field. Being whacked on the arms by corn stalk leaves hurts!

-of course, the heat.

Post race carnage.

Dr. Peter with recovery drink

Getting my first place medal from the cutest, and possibly smallest awards presenter ever.

Recovery meal!!

Today, my back is sore (to be expected), and I've got some other general aches and pains, but nothing major. I went for an easy spin on my road bike, had a few beers, and now I'm looking forward to taking it easy this week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I said I wouldn't....

....race solo in the J&J 8 hour this year, but alas, I'm a sucker for punishment. I did this race last year on a mixed tag team with Sonia, and I remember saying I wouldn't race solo 'cause the course is sooooo rooty that your body takes a serious beating. Couple that with tight, twisty singletrack that kills all momentum, and hardly any double track for eating/drinking, you end up with a pretty punishing race. Oh, and the forecast for this weekend is just down right nasty (in terms of the heat). Hopefully I'll survive to write about it on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Black Sistah!!!

No joke. That is the name of a beer I picked up last weekend in Bromont (actually, it's called the Black Nun, but Black Sistah!!! has a much cooler ring to it). This beer is a stout, hence the inspiration for the name, I suppose. Not sure how p-c the name is, but whatever, it's Quebec, and they don't really give a flying "merde" about being politically correct. It's brewed by a microbrewery called Le Grimoire, and has a nice initial flavour (hints of coffee and dark chocolate, typicle of a stout), but to be honest, there's a lingering aftertaste that doesn't do too much to make my tastebuds jump up and down and yell "This beer rocks!".

Black Sistah!!!!

Next up, Boreale Noire, another stout. If this beer had to battle it out with "The Sistah!!", and in the ring was a polar bear (for Boreale) and a black nun (for the Sistah!!, I love saying that...."Sistah!!"), the polar bear would kick some serious ass. The flavours are more pronounced in this beer, there's a slight bitterness, and most importantly, a clean finish that doesn't linger. On the bottle, it says to serve it at 12 degrees (like I'm actually gonna do that), but as the beer warmed up, it did release more flavour. A nice beer indeed.

Boreal Noire, Grrrrrr

Last up, is Griffon extra pale ale, from McAuslan Brewing (brewers of the St. Ambroise line of beers). This beer is represented by the ever elusive Griffon, which may or may not hang out with polar bears and black SISTAHS!!! This beer has very subtle flavours, but the flavour is there, and it took on more character the more I drank (usually the more I drink, the less I taste). It has a slight bitter finish, and overall I would call it a nice, refreshing summer beer.

Griffon Extra Pale Ale

So there you have it, a few Quebec beers to give a go....I know the LCBO and the Beer Store carry some of the McAuslan beers, and I'm sure a quick hop over to a depanneur in Hull would result in some other good finds.

The SISTAH!!! is watching you......

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Attack of the Killer Mosquitoes!!!!!

Went for a ride at Kanata Lakes yesterday (weather was good, hadn't rained in about TWO days!), figured it would be semi dry. Decided on an out-and-back on Outback, as drainage is good on Outback and it doesn't get boggy. About 5 minutes into my ride, I decided to let some air out of my tires, and no joke, within 5 seconds, I was being SWARMED by mosquitoes. I said forgot about the tires, get back on the bike and RIDE! Anytime I did stop, it was the same deal, 5 seconds, and then a cloud of the little buggers. I never ride with bug just sweats off and is full of nasty shit, but this was one of those RARE times when I would have considered using some. Nothing is worse than hearing the high pitched buzz of a mosquitoes around your ears. Even in the parking lot after the ride, they were relentless. Moral of the story...DON'T STOP RIDING!!

As for the riding, Outback was great...just a few muddy patches, but to be expected with all the rain we've had. I'm gonna brave some riding in Gatineau Park tomorrow...I've heard that some sections of trail 1 are covered in water. We'll see what the day has in store.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

World Cup Four Cross and Cross Country at Bromont

7pm Saturday evening was the Four Cross event...another mountain bike discipline that is just plain insanity. Not only do you have the speed, drops, berms and jumps of downhill, you have 3 other riders to duke it out with. With the potential for carnage, this is probably the most popular of all the events.

In the middle of the action.

The last few pumps before the finish line.

This is one of my favourite shots from the whole weekend. The jump is waaaaaaay below the rider.

I like this one, too. Gives you an idea of just how friggin' fast these guys rip through the course.

Sunday was the mens and womens cross country races. Conditions were cloudy, and the forecast called for rain....lots of rain. It was dry for the women's race, and then it started to rain about three-quarters of the way through, making for a slick finish.

Catherine Pendral, 3rd place.

Emily Batty, 1st place, under 23

As the afternoon progressed, the rain came down harder, and so the mens race was dropped to 6 laps instead of 7. This was gonna be interesting, as the conditions were just plain crap.

About 5 minutes before the start, the racers trying to stay dry.

Just before the start gun....

...and then like bats outta hell!!

And up the first climb.

Julien Absalon...he was in first at this point in the race (this was lap 2 or 3), halfway up a killer climb.

Christoph Sauser

I think, this is Andrew Watson.

Geoff Kabush, rolling through for the win!

Race results here.

Overall, it was a fun time watching the pros race, and cheering them on as they rode by (especially in the case of the cross country race). I thought it was funny how I know who most of the pros are, and read about them online and in magazines, the same way most people follow hockey. Yet, most people have absolutely no idea who any of these bike racers are, and what kind of fitness they possess and the punishment they put themselves through. Oh well, I'll just stick to my little world of bike geek-ness.

I'm out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

World Cup Downhill at Bromont

This past weekend, this past loooooong weekend, I did absolutely NO riding, nada, zilch, zero. *GASP* I know, it sounds crazy, but there's a perfectly good reason why...

A long time ago (about a year ago), I had plans to do the Wilderness 101, which went down this past weekend. (Big up to Craig who finished what sounds like one of the toughest mountain bike races around.) I was pretty amped to attempt a hundred off-road century so to speak. However, life has a funny way of making you travel a different road than the one you had originally planned to take, and Sonia and I are expecting our first little one October 2nd. So we decided to take some time out this past weekend for ourselves and get away for a bit. (Better to get that quality time in now!) There was some biking this past weekend, but it didn't involve us. Rather, we spent the weekend at a B&B near Bromont, so we could take in the World Cup downhill, four cross and croos country races that were taking place.

Saturday afternoon was the men's and women's downhill, with four cross going down in the evening. We arrived while the women's finals were taking place, and witnessed some crazy shit going down. What follows is a short photo log of the downhill race.

This is nuts! The speed at which the girls were flying off this gap almost made me crap my shorts!

This pic is from the men's final. This is the Canadian downhill champ, flying off a monster drop.
(Trust me, it was big!)

No write up for this shot...I just like it!

No write up here either, just another pic that I like!

Large crowd lining a technical switchback rock garden.

Steve Peat on his way up to the top. He got a ton of cheers just for taking the chairlift. ROCKSTAR!

Steve Peat on the way down!

Sam Hill.

Not sure who this is, but he bit it hard...

*Just messin' with ya!

If you want to know the results, check here.

Four cross and cross country pics to come tomorrow.