Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And a new season is upon us

Sunday night was the start of this years hockey season for me. Or should I say the ultimate test of this years cardio training. And it was a success. Although I felt extremely overheated. probably due to all the equipment. Anyways it was a fun time and within a couple weeks I should have my skating leggs back. Mondays 5K run seemed to go on forever after hockey though.

And Monday of last week I began training again for my last race of the year. The winter WOW. I have raced it the past 2 years and it has been a blast both times. Last year it came with a blast of snow that slowed us all down and made us all appreciate the post-race chili feed. It is a 40K single loop threw Mansfield outdoor center and Dufferin Forest trails. It is held by the they put on a great event and then afterwards we all sit down for Chili and Brownies in the Mansfield lodge. After a hard race we bitch about the cold and snow and talk about how excited we are to do it all again next year. Still waiting for the details this year as no update is posted on their site yet. Race set to go on November 22.

Cant wait!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I read a book called Newton by Rory Tyger to my kids regularly as a bedtime story. It features a bear who gets scared of noises specifically CREAK, CREAK, CRE-E-AK!!! I have often wondered if this book would lead them to being scared of such noises. Over time I have realized that it is me who has become scared of the CREAK, CREAK, CRE-E-AK!!!

During my first lap of Hot August Nights I heard the noise, only once when pushing over the top of a hill. I was nervous of it and tried to reproduce the sound back at camp. Nothing so I put it away as a one time odd noise. As mentioned in my 6 Hour Blog entry the creak came back and all in all ended up being my first ever broken chain. I put in a quick link and all was well. I noted to self that now is the time to replace my chain and since I am running Singlespeed and there is play in my 18 year old bottom bracket I might as well replace that while I am at it.

I am a professional-crastinator so I have not yet got around to this 2 weeks later and continue to ride the bike. I was beginning to think I could just forget the repair and ride the way I have been when my lunch hour ride today back came CREAK, CREAK, CRE-E-AK!!! I guess it is time to kick my own butt and go out and get a chain and bottom bracket before the inevitable.
Other than the nightmare the lunch hour ride was a nice mix of doubletrack, singletrack, climbs and descents that stretched out to 11K today. I felt refreshed afterwards and felt it time to release my words...

Well that's todays fun...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shameless Plug - Singlespeed and Fixie Wear

I created a line of clothing a while back to catch the humorous side of cycling. Particularly to allow Singlespeeders and Fixie's to poke a bit of harmless fun at your geared friends.

I know there are many other designs that do this but was just fiddling around with The Gimp one night and liked how it turned out. Figured I would see if anyone else like it too. What do you think?

Back to normal blogging tomorrow. Im out...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eating for an Endurance Event

I have read many, maybe too many articles on fueling the body for a race or Epic adventure. I have put together my basics over time and they seemed to keep me in good shape through the 6 hour this past weekend.

I start my altered eating plan 2 days prior to an event. I like to have Liver and onions for dinner this night to increase Iron, and vitamins. The day before the race I try to get some Cod Liver from the local European market ever since my Father in law gave it to me one night before a race and I did well. And for evening the night before the race I have Liver and onions with spaghetti and Tomato sauce fried in the pan also. Covers the Iron, Vitamins, and Additional Carbs needed for the race.

These things I figure are all just done to get inside my head and make me feel prepared. May not actually do anything on the day of the race but they make me feel prepared. I think convincing myself I am ready is half the battle.

On the day of the race I like to start my day out with a heavy breakfast consisting of cereal, fruit, and yogurt. Just get enough easily absorbed calories into myself before I switch to a race diet just prior to the event.

30 minuites before start I like to have a piece of fruit and some Hammer Gel. As the event progress's I fuel myself between laps with Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, My Mother In-Laws peanut butter granola bars (My wife makes these now), and fruit. This past weekend I was stopping every 2-3 laps and having half a bar, a shot of gel, some fruit and washing it down with heed. I drink water alone on the course.

This mixture of foods seems to keep me going well without feeling hunger and without bonking.

Maybe this post will add to some other guy like me who likes to mix all the things he hears into his training/eating regime.

Thats all I have to say about that....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

EPIC 6 Hour Race

Amazing day yesterday. Started out nice and cool but sunny. Sun stayed up thru the whole day. Mike and Heidi found us a great spot to setup for our solo race just before the timing tent under a couple of trees overlooking the lake. We showed up a little late after peeling ourselves and kids out of bed after my daughters cheerleading party the night before.
Got setup re-lubed the chain, met another singlespeeder that took an interest in my old Nishiki. Then it was time for the pre-race meeting and all the minor formalities. And then off to the bottom of the hill to start out a day of fun times.

The horn went and we were off up the hill. This being my first ever solo event I was on a mission to find the right pace to keep going for 6 hours. To many endurance riders who do 8's and 24's this may seem laughable but for now it was my mission. Then into the singletrack and of course the group tightend up and we all rode the same pace. Then I took a wrong turn and went into the tape. It was heckling by Mike that made me loose the Slow and Steady win's the race philosophy and it was time to hammer. Passed a few riders before deciding I was going to kill myself and settled in between 2 other solo riders that were keeping a really nice pace. We rode like that for the first 2 laps and then one went in for food.

Lap 3 part way thru the other guy and I ended up modifiing our pace slightly and I was off on my own for a while. Seemed like a good time for a first pit-stop. Stopped fueled and off. 2 more laps passed with some nice quiet riding and started to hear some nasty noise in my chain. Started quick degrease with Baby Wipes and relube at every 2 laps during pit stops. Seemed to help things out.

A couple laps later I was passed on one of the hardest climbs of which there were not many by a guy sporting a Misfit Psycle who was just flying. I think those things have motors :)

As the race wore on my pace was slowing slightly and I was trying to decide if I should drop it a bit to keep from bonking. I passed the timing tent and for the first time checked how I was doing. Turned out I was in 2nd place and only approx 2 hours remained. Any previous plans of slowing pace vanished. I went back out and hammered. 3/4 thru the lap I passed Mike and he started to joke with me but I had to let him know I was stoked to place and moved on. Climbing the final hill of the lap I dropped my chain. Been riding this bike with no major changes since last August and never dropped a chain before. Popped it back on and 2 more pedals and it snapped. Bugger all, picked up the chain and ran the bike and chain in.

Distraught I went to camp and not exactly sure what happened there but Paul who had stopped by to cheer for a bit had gotten me a quick-link for a 9 speed chain from another rider. We forced it onto my 7 speed chain and popped it in using pedal and wheel leverage. And I was off again. All hopes of placing crushed. I started the lap out in 3rd place.

Last couple laps were kind of a blur but when I came in at the end they told me that there was someone who made it out for another lap before 3:30pm and that I had completed back in 2nd.

Amazing race held by GORBA. Thank you for letting myself and Mike join the club last minute in-order to compete in this club race.

Afterwards they had a great BBQ and Krista gave me a Beer. Mike turned down a beer I assume because he is doing a run today. Madman played Hockey Friday, 6hour Saturday and Terry Fox Run today. Not sure I could do all that.

He experienced some nasty mechanical on course also as his freewheel jammed and had to ride his geared/suspended toy basically as a fixie thru all of his later laps. Good on ya madman. Just check photo enclosed you will see the crazy in his eyes :) ...

Thanks Heidi for keeping our bottles topped up and thanks Krista for all the great pics you took. Another great day on 2 wheels.

I think that's it for now... I'm out...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A new country loop!!! Great ride!!!

Well, as you can guess from the pic today's lunch hour ride I chose a loop thru the country. After looking at my previous loop and zooming out I found an alternate route that looked fun. So instead of a ride just shy of 18K this time it was a ride just shy of 25K. Altho my previous post stated that I would be thinking 26 vs 29 on this ride that was not in my mind at all. Not long before I left Phaty tweeted this. Now my mind was racing why would a bent top tube be a bad thing. I am not sure why but I am sure there are well founded reasons.

Is it weaker? Harder to fit the cycle to the rider? Too noodly? Or esthetically not pleasing to certain cyclists? Does it rob the cyclists of pedal power in some way? If you can shed some light on this subject please let me know.

The other thing I kept thinking about was the Blackberry in my jersey pocket. Should I take pictures of the shoddy road repairs. Nah I don't want to stop. Do I take pix of the country side, maybe in a bit.... Then eventually I stopped.

All in all a great 25K. I will probably just do a short 6K ride to the office tomorrow and a walk on lunch to round out my training for Saturday's 6 hour solo race... If I have not mentioned this is my firs solo endurance race so i am starting small with a 6 hour. Ride report to come after race...

That's all that's runnin around in my head with the hamster right now... I'm out...

26 or 29 on my next Singlespeed MTB???

I am lovin' the look of next years Kona Unit but have always read that for short riders 29ers don't fit the bill. In the last couple weeks I have found that there is a new thought on this. I read a decent article that has made me rethink the big wheel - small guy issues "The 26-inch Hard Tail is Dead". I may not agree with the title but the information inside seems to make sense. Was talking to a guy the night before the 24 Hours of Hot August Nights over beers who shared these opinions. He said to me "It is an amazing feeling to coast down a hill passing 26ers who are pedaling". He is the owner of Misfit Psycles so may be a little biased. I am loving the diSSent FE frame and associated build kit but am a little poor to ride a toy like that.

Prior to all of this I was trying to figure out how I would fund raise enough to buy myself a Kona Explosif frame and a decent build kit to go with it next year. All excited that Kona has decided to release the 26er chromo Singlespeed compatible frame again.

Oh well, will probably end up thinking about this far too long and wind up broke next year anyhow. I will live to contemplate another day. In the end I will probably just replace the bottom bracket in the old Nishiki and keep on pounding the pedals on that fun old toy. Maybe I will pour over this topic on my 20K lunch hour ride on the old fixie today....

More next time... I'm out...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fixie Cycling - City Congestion

As mentioned in my last post I figured I should talk about the contrasts of riding the fixie near my house. I look out my front door into a busy overpopulated suburban subdivision with postage stamp lots and cookie cutter homes. I look out the back window and see farmers fields and a gravel pit. Huge contrast. Usually I find myself riding to work and into the urban side of things. As I have to work 5 days a week it just turns out that way. Yesterday working from home I had a great ride out the back. The positives were trees, farmers fields, almost no traffic. The drawbacks are that roads seem to be patched instead of fixed out there.

I did not really notice the difference until riding in this morning and smelling the city. Wow it was nice to smell country air. Think I need to work from home more often so I can get this wonderful air.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A great lunch hour ride in the country - from the city edge...

Well, after a long weekend of sloth... Or at least working in the backyard instead of training... I decided to work from home so that it would make it easier on the wife and kids for first day of school runaround. Well that means no ride to work or home. I decided I needed at very least a decent lunch hour ride. I do have a 6 hour solo mtb race on Saturday and all.. My first solo race.

Well I have started this post all over the place, lets hone in on the ride. It was amazing. Started out on an epic climb and then into the country roads around my place. There were 5 nice climbs and only 2 stop signs and 2 stop lights. 20KM loop of fun.

I took out the fixie as the mtb is at the office right now. Perfect tool for th job. Of course the plans to modify the fixie kept swirling thru my head. Here goes... Winter hits I tear this toy down to its smallest pieces... Remove all unnececary braze-ons. Take it to a place in town and have it media balsted and powder coated... Remove bar tape... polish all chrome... Rebuild brakeless, or new mini front brake lever (Undecided)... Install new grips, not tape... Post new pix... Have fun riding shiny new toy next year..

Yup, thats how the ride went too... Mind completely drifted off and ride was bliss... Until next time, I'm out!!

I think I was going to talk about trees and corn and stuff in the fields and lack of congestion on the streets... Maybe next time...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Oh to have a cycling blog!!!

The uninteresting and mundane life of an avid singlespeed cyclist. Really I am kind of a cop-out... I have 3 bikes with three distinct gear ratios... One Singlespeed MTB at 34/16, one Fixed/Singlespeed roadie at 50/16, and one Fixed MTB at 44/14... So every time I go to the garage I am really choosing a speed/gear ratio and therefore not true singlespeed??? Back to me and my abnormality I call cycling. I talk to many with cool and interesting singlespeed and fixie toys. Mee I have an 18 year old Nishiki Apache for my MTB... That is the newest bike I currently own... My road bike is a single/fixed Sears dept store from early 1980's and the fixed MTB is an old $4 garage sale peugeot convert. I just like to ride and do so with minimal investment. Other than the costs I seem to pour into the Nishiki to keep it race ready! Well am I rambling enough for an introductory note? I think I need to go cut the lawn, then maybe I will go for a ride.... I'm out...

egggman's Zazzle