Sunday, November 21, 2010


I remember the first cross race I ever did...I think it was in 2000 or '01. It was at Britannia park,  I rode my mountain bike (a hardtail Devinci), and it was damn hot out for the end of September. I didn't fare very well, but what I remember the most was leading up to the race, asking my buddy Al (MacEachen) if he wanted to join me, and he said, I kid you not, "I'd rather get kicked in the nuts with a pair of frozen mukluks!" I find that cross creates pain in just about the whole body EXCEPT for the nuts (unless you mess up a remount), and I don't think getting kicked in the nuts would actually be more tolerable, but a funny story nonetheless. I just wanted to share that doesn't have much to do with the post or provide a segueway into anything, but it's funny as hell.

As the title of this post would imply, no more cross for me this year. I kind of already knew last week that I was done for the year. I skipped out this weekend because I need to study...I have a practical exam coming up in a week for the Canadian Pedorthic Association (to get my certification as a pedorthist), so that takes priority over getting muddy on my bike. Next week is out due to a family commitment, so there ya go, no more cross...and to be honest, I'm quite happy with that. I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with cross this year. The courses are fun, technical and demanding, and it's a hell of a workout. However, because it is a race, a bit of my competitive nature comes out, and then I get frustrated with myself in terms of results. There is a long list of reasons why I haven't met my expectations this cross season (which I won't bore you with), but this was really my first "cross season". Before this year, I had done a total of 6 cross races (including that one from almost a decade ago). I did just as many this year alone, so I have learnt quite a bit and know what I need to do to ride better next year. The only goal that I have set for myself for next year, with regards to any biking, is to "do better at cross races". I haven't decided yet what that involves, exactly, but I have a lot of time to think about it. For now, other thoughts of what I want to accomplish next year are on hold while I practice doing plaster casts of Sonia's feet.

Time to pack these up.


Of course, between studying, I have time for "breaks", which means more beer reviews. First up is a seasonal offering from Mill Street, Schleimhammer Roggenbier (don't EVEN ask what that means). A bit of mystery shrouds this beer, as it's not featured on their website. After a bit of research, I found out that it's brewed in the style of a traditional German rye beer, using a mix of rye, wheat and barley malt. The aroma of this beer is really nice...a sweet rye smell combined with toasted malts and a hint of fruitiness. The complex aroma leads you to believe that this will be a full flavoured beer, and unfortunately, it disappoints. The flavour and the finish are faint, and left me wanting more. Probably wouldn't buy this one again.


Another seasonal Ontario offering is the Smoked Oatmeal Stout from Trafalgar Ales and Meads. This beer has all the hallmarks of a stout; hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and coffee in the aroma. The initial flavour when it hits the tongue is quite nice, but is quickly taken over by a bitter aftertaste. This beer also has a very light body...almost watery; very uncharacteristic for a stout. Unfortunately, another disappointing beer. This one makes this post 0 for 2, and only 1 for 3 with respect to Trafalgar brewing.


  1. Stu,
    I'm sure you know of it but just in case:
    The grocery store at this address in Hull has an INCREDIBLE/OVERWHELMING selection of QC microbrew:
    50, rue Bégin, Gatineau, QC J9A 1C6, Canada

    It's only a 5 minute ride from the QC end of the Champlain bridge.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Pascal. I didn't know about their selection, even I ride by this store often enough.

    Thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks Mike!!!