Monday, 29 September 2008

Cyclists charting their paths, Dallas is a true machine

I love the cycling community as much as I love cycling itself. Given a society where we could all drift along in comfort, there's a subset that seeks to define itself by pushing the bounds of what each and every one of us can do. Watching my friends makes me so happy in this regard... it's the inspiration I "take" from them.

Craig can climb singletrack like he's still on a 500cc two stroke. Jon threads the needle on the downhills making them look easy. Shawn lives for 'cross season, and dishes out the punishment in a very refined looking manner, riding the tightest off camber course twists with grace. Dolye takes away all but one gear and doesn't let anything slow him down. Tori suffers it out with with nothing but good spirits and knows how to bring fun wherever she goes. Cyrus has begun really dishing it out in some road races.

Which leaves Dallas...

He's always been a powerhouse. Large amounts of power for long periods of time are his thing. So much so, that he signed up for the Texas Time Trials with the confidence to take on the shortest category time for the 500 miler... based around his preferred sleep/ride schedule rather than prior experience with the event.

The end result? Showing up not to ride it, but to win it outright. A machine amongst machines. Congrats Dallas, awesome ride.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Highlight of My Day

OK, I knew I was in the right on my flow-through and interest deduction charges for the year, but it's nice to have this sorted out finally so I can get my tax return!

Canada Revenue Agency, Preassessment Review Section

Dear Sir:

Re: Income Tax and Benefit Return for 2007

We have completed our review. Based on the documentation submitted, we have allowed the claim(s) under review.

[blah blah other stuff, keep these documents for the future, call us if you have any questions]

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Preassessment Review Section

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Midweek Mayhem Cyclocross Sept 16

Bakke and Bunnin sprint finish... and Bunnin makes it to the line first!

OK, there's a lot more to the race than that, but it sure felt good to write. Shawn and I were 6th and 7th; Chris McNeil was actually the one who laid down the smack tonight. That's the last time I'll see Shawn on the same lap finish of a 'cross race this year I bet.

Great weather, great times. Good to see a lot of the faces I haven't been seeing quite as much this year with my sparse attendance on the road circuit.

Am I even allowed to say I didn't feel much lactic burn? I think between the Bow 80, my first run of the year today (with my Ironman buddy for an entire hour, who I pleaded to take it easy on me), the fact is my body just wouldn't even go anaerobic even if I wanted it to. The end result was that today's race was just high threshold pace (not that I'm implying I'll go faster later).

Back at the office, I hope I can peel out before 10pm. Holy cow is this a wild time to be working in finance... the American financial landscape is being re-written before our eyes. Institutions that have been around for almost 200 years are going "poof" with surprising frequency... and through my Reuters screen it's a perfect almost-front-row seat.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Bow 80

The Bow 80 is 75% legendary course, and 25%... uhhh... challenging stuff once again. Tom Snow trail isn't prime recreational material at the best of times...
Good showing by all the deadgoats, and a fun day overall with the great organization, good weather, and cool prizes.

As it turns out, lounging by a pool in Las Vegas is only mediocre as a prep day for the Bow 80 (surprise, surprise). In fact, it's probably not all that bad, but the three hours without moving my legs on the plane probably wasn't helpful. My bike needs to go in for rehab more than I do, wasn't really able to leave all my energy out there on the course.

One of these year's I want to feel like I nailed that race!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Bow 80 prep

In preparation for the Bow 80, I spent 6 hours today in 95F sunshine under the mist nozzles in a lounge chair at the Wynn's "euro" pool, broken up only with a 90 minute massage and a trip to the BBQ for some fish tacos.

I have no idea what it did to my riding legs, but what it did for my eyes was phenomenal!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Lotus Elise driving, Parhump, Nevada

Ahh, the joys of victory. Being a bunch of ibankers, we can't have a retreat without head to head competition (and requisite trash talk).

I think the skiing and bike racing skills helped a little, knowing lines and keeping your eyes up.

First place of 16 in the group, plus took the winners pot... $weet.

Las Vegas

I've been tired and getting burnt out, this whole fitting 30 races into a year and working my job isn't easy to fit into the routine. Coming to Vegas tired seems like a recipe for disaster, but I napped on way down (when hot dentist chick in seat next to me wasn't asking Vegas questions... by the way, it feels so unlike me to actually be informed on Las Vegas of all tourism places, like what have I become?), and planned a relaxing afternoon.

On arrival I managed to get in 2.5 hours in gym, almost 2 on bike, about half an hour on treadmill on max incline with weights, plus stretching and core. After that it was poolside in the sun, which had the benefit of a few more bikinis than a day in the office. Unfortinately the "euro-style" pool was populated more by overweight 50 year olds.

After that it was room service and nap for a few hours. I uncharacteristically drank a Red Bull upon my groggy wakeup so I wasn't a downer all night. Then the big group dinner... great food, wine and entertainment. Gambling updates for the first 6 hours ranged from down $8k to up $1k amongst the gang, I guess that makes my $25 gym entry and $34 room service salad (it's amazing what delivery charge, automatic gratuity and state tax add to the cost of food) feel well spent on a relative basis.

I'm looking forward to the Lotus cars tomorrow, those are bets I'm willing to take (having control of a skill driven outcome is easier for me to grasp than games of chance).

Sunday, 7 September 2008

XC8 finale

If I didn't mention enough before, this course is awesome. I'd say the only "funner" course I rode this year was BC Bike Race - and considering the natural geography the two races are set in, that's pretty good for XC8. What I did like last year was a little more time on that gravel road at the top of the hill, about a kilometer rather than a couple hundred meters... made it easier to stay fueled during the race, as the rest needs both hands on the bar. I like all the tight singletrack, but for an 8 hour, a few less tight spots on the trail aptly named "duck" would have been ok too.

Shawn basically caught up to Craig, but Craig held him off in the sprint (Craig also had 2 min time bonus). Jeff Neilson was third. Dallas dropped out for a nap after doing same number of laps as me, but he was done sooner.

Mical, Trish and Alana were the podium of the women's, with the Bee in 5th. The Bee was tired and bonking, but she sure makes me proud.

Pat was second for single speeding. I should equip him with a hemlet cam so he can film my next bike mishap, as he saw both of mine at this race.

I'm glad some ibuprofen found its way to me. That was the hardest knock I've ever taken on a bike or skis... but that's not really saying much as I've skipped hard wipeouts in both the snowsport and biking careers thus far.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

XC8 mid race update

Craig is leading solo riders by about 15 minutes. Jeff Neilson second, Shawn Bunnin third as far as I can tell. Didn't see Dallas.

The Bee says "I'm tired" but looks pretty good. Pat (I rode with Pat for 3 laps), Trish look solid. I think Gerry is taking a breather as I see his bike in the feed zone. Linda looks solid too. I rode back with Mical after sitting down a while and she seemed to having a really good time.

The course is awesome, longer and harder than last year. Easy to ride slow, technical if ridden fast.

I'm not doing so good, about to head back to B&B to shower. Hit my head and shoulder on a tree that didn't give at all, so I got ejected to other side of trail. It was just leaning in a little from the left. Totally avoidable, not on a hard part of trail, and obviously I made it past just fine on my first 4 laps. Neck burning inside, head light and headachy. Someone gave me some ibuprofen. That was second fall of lap, more than several seasons worth. I did have a few "kinetic dismounts" this year, but those are more of the ditch the bike and land on feet thing. These were falling like a potato sack. I'm guessing mobility might not be that hot tomorrow, but we'll see.

Why? I'm guessing it might have something to do with my physical two days ago. Among other things, I did push ups, sit ups and back extensions to failure to see how many I could do. It left me a little sore. My handling has been off all day, and my reactions are slow. Feel clumsy.

The headache and the liklihood that I'm not going to get any more coordinated throughout the day make stopping seem smarter. Got 4.5 hours in.

Oh deer

On the way to XC8 we missed a deer jumping across the highway by 6-8 feet at 100mph. Sort of tested my video game reflexes for braking and steering. Tori said it was "thrilling".