Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What to ride this am.....

I decided on the singlespeed 29er over the fixie because this is one of the beautiful sites along the way from home to my office. I see the office over the pond.

Not much more to say right now...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beer, Bacon, and egggman - #bikeschool


Summer holidays are many things. They are amazing and anti-stressing. They are a time to enjoy the things life has to offer. Family, Friends, a getaway to the cottage or camping etc. They can be an excuse to break from the normal. Unfortunately they can also be an excuse to eat/drink heartily and ignore your training regime.

For me that meant a juggling of my usual diet of 2 parts vegi and one part meat to a rough 3 part meat 2 parts beer. Also my usual run/ride schedule was decreased to only a few rides and running back and forth from beach to cottage for supplies etc. I added in canoeing and swimming to make me feel better. Generous portions of steak, ribs, and sausages nightly were a wonderful treat. I am definitely not complaining about this but trying to learn to train better through the holidays.Returning home from this leaves me feeling a little soft and slow. Actually I seem to come back faster in short sprints but slower over the long haul. A little of the additional weight probably also being due to muscle healing but the cardio relaxation seems to be a hinderence overall. I'm sure the daily Muskoka beers on the beach, by the bbq, and in the evening by the fire did not help. I did however truly enjoy the Hefe-Weissbier and the Dark-Ale.

Anyways back to the real world yesterday I rode the fixie and ran feeling a little sluggish. Today I felt great back on the 29er in the morning and on lunch but got a little winded a couple times and did not have the same speed as usual on climbs. A great lunch hour ride with the usual mix of single/double track and 3 climbs up the back of a 4X course for climbing training and decending back down the course for fun.

Another #bikeschool lesson came through me deciding to reward myself for making all the climbs fairly strong after holidays with a relaxing totter ride. I may have learnt this lesson before but a rigid singlespeed 29er works just fine on a 4X course and even a teeter-totter. Maybe the park kids may look at us a little funny but it works. Enjoy your bike whatever it may be in the way you want to use it. Only caveat to this being if you dont have a strong bike dont break it doing something it cant handle.

Paul was kind enough to take a couple snaps of me on the teeter-totter with his blackberry. He could convince himself to ride it though but will get it next time.

That's it for now... I'm out...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

#bikeschool egggy edition #2... healthy cycle...

Well, I am about to step back in time a few years get ready....
Talking to a new co-worker about cycling (mountain biking to be exact) and how we both had ridden a local trail quite a bit but not in the past few years. "We gotta get out sometime" was the topic of many conversations. These conversations stretched out across approximately 3 years. Yeah we had been off the bike for too long. The both of us had.

One crazy day I contacted my friend, a cycle store owner and asked what kind of deal he could give me if I was going to get back into biking. He hooked me up with a 15% off plus tax free deal for me on a Kona Blast although he made many free alterations for me. I asked about a friend and he said if I had 2 purchases same day he would honor the same deal. So from there i played it this way, hey Paul you are getting a new bike, here is the deal!!! He was in but one upped me with a Kona Caldera. History was made. Wednesday rides starting/finishing my place 10k to the trails 22km-27km of trails then back was official.

At this point I had one young daughter and I had quit baseball for cycling and 1 night vs 3 looked great to my wife. Anyways this is not the real #bikeschool story. More of just a lead in. I was a pretty tame mountain bike enthusiast just getting back into the game.

one day I decided to do the whole ride with no stop/chat's and just ride it hard. I did it i cranked and cranked out there, across the whole trail Paul and I switching up the lead position as we saw fit. Riding back my 210lb body said no-more. I rode it out but was in a beyond bonk position. Home was a great place to be to think about where I was and what I needed to get into better riding shape. The #bikeschool lesson this time was that in order to be able to continue with my passions of hockey and cycling I may need to take care of myself a little better.

Health is important as learnt via #bikeschool...

Ouch, this post is off topic as it has to do only with geared cycling... More about my evolution in future sessions... I'm out...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#bikeschool

A little while ago I caught onto what started as a joke between @Bikerly and @LovingTheBike on twitter. They were talking about #secretevilplan, I was curious and threw in some fun anecdotes. From there it turned into jokes about water bottle concoctions etc... Then we joked a little less and started to think about where we could go with a #secretevilplan event even though we are geographically diverse. I was not successful in coming up with a plan but @bikerly came up with a great one. And we move forward.

Was called up by a close riding friend Chris who I had not ridden with in years and another old friend's younger brother was to come along. We tossed the idea of meeting at a new location for two to three of us as I was not sure if Ryan had ridden there before. I knew my buddy Mike had ridden there before and we had only ever raced together and regularly near missed group rides together. An unlikely group of riders all different speeds and styles showed up at the lot.

All of us excited about a ride we got through the "hey how goes it's" etc quickly and got on the bikes. Ryan apparently knew the trails best so he led. I decided to jump in second and we were off. Went through a couple nice tight pine switchbacks and then into a dark spot. Not sure if it was Ryan's yell "mud" that spooked me or just a slippery puddle, I dropped the bike but successfully ran along side somehow. Mike and Chris passed and I rejoined the back of the train. I slid in front of Chris on a loose rocky climb only because I needed to keep the momentum on the singlespeed. We rode through a few more pine switchbacks and stopped for water and a little chat. All was well and we started up in the same order as we stopped. At this point Ryan moved forward followed closely by Mike, Myself and Chris. After a few more tight twists and turns and a little gravel climbing I realized Chris had lost a little pace on us. I took a left and yelled out left for him to follow. Two more climbs and I realized that where there had been four there were now three.

I decided now would be a good time to stop and wait for Chris as this was a group ride with friends and not a race. I also called to the guys ahead but they were on their way down a loose rocky downhill and did not hear me. I watched as they rode off into the distance. Waiting a little longer I turned back expecting a bail or mechanical had occurred. Not only did I not find Chris but another group of riders had not seen him either. I was in a set of 50km of trails that I did not know from Adam, and to that matter I did not remember the way out as I had followed a tire in and not paid attention to which turns were made.

I rode for approximately 15km before finding the carpark. I yelled names every so often and asked other groups if they had seen my group or a stray. There was writing in dust on my van saying Chris had been there 10 mins ago but went back in. The chase was on I sprinted through "all the original singletrack" without the mud bail this time. Realized I was lost again and wound through a real nice technical section of climbs (that likely are mapped as downhills) found the carpark alot quicker this time though after about a 5km loop. Got to the carpark and Mike and Ryan were there, we started talking and Chris showed up. They all started putting their bikes away and we chatted for a while. I said to Mike that I was still feeling great and had heard from Ryan about a nice loop I had missed. He apparently did not realize I was serious and got changed.

The others left and I turned back in, Mike yelled out that he wanted another loop but was already comfortable so he left. I had an amazing 10km loop with no worries about finding the others and packed it up and went home.

How does this story relate to twitter and #secretevilplan? How does this relate to @bikerly or @lovingthebike? These two guys were nowhere near this ride. I did not even chat about this ride with them before or after. I may have tweeted about loosing friends in the trail but that's about it. What did I learn while riding this set of trails? Did I learn about a great new set of trails? of course I did but this is not my point. Did I learn that riding alone is more fun than in groups? Heck no!! Really I may have learned a little about riding but this is not really why I am writing this story.

I am writing this because @Bikerly came up with a great idea for #bikeschool, things learned while riding. Not necessarily things learned about riding. I learned on this ride in particular that I there needs to be a better way of communicating amongst a group when group riding, maybe it should be radio's maybe it should be cellphones? Maybe everyone should stay still when they realize they have been separated and then slowly retrace their steps. Probably does not matter what the method is but communication of a plan before the ride is key. Or maybe communication with friends is the real key.

If you have stories of things you have learned about life through cycling tweet about it using #bikeschool or maybe some more #bikeschool bloging. Now I guess we will have to think up another #secretevilplan.

Be Sure to also checkout these cycle blogs regarding #bikeschool

http://lovingthebike.com/
http://bikerly.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 6, 2010

Taking it in

Although today was a bit of a fail in a couple ways the lunch hour ride was amazing. First, why a fail? All day meeting ran for about 45 minutes (Meeting Fail!!), second my originally planned 4 days of 5km running on lunch turned into 3 days of 5km running and 1 day of 15km riding (Running Motivation Fail!!).

Today's ride was along a familiar route. I have ridden this route regularly for the past 2 years. It is a nice 15km starting and ending at the steps of the hospital that employs me. Even though this ride was the same it was somehow different. I rode hard and pushed myself to do better (Same), but I noticed things, lots of things (Different).

I noticed lots of people on their bikes, Kids on their BMX's pedaling along and talking. People in work cloths commuting. People with large packs secured to themselves and bikes obviously on an adventure of some kind. Cyclists on trails, roads, sidewalks. People with helmets and people without. The cycling culture in the city is obviously growing, or I am just finally opening my eyes.

I also noticed other things, vehicles, pedestrians, road workers and summer patio dwellers. I may have to partake in the patio part at some point also. In the summer the city is alive especially late in the week over the lunch hour I assume.

Why are my eyes open? Why am I finally noticing my surroundings? Why am I taking it in? Watch here as well as @bikerly and @lovingthebike for more info coming in the next little while.

Perhaps I should have ridden with a camera. I'm out...

egggman's Zazzle