Thursday, 30 September 2010


El Presidente and I picked up the rental car from the VIP lot and headed north to Scottsdale for a stay in one of those Exclusive Resorts vacation property pool type things. Very nice. Built our ti S&S coupled bikes, hit a bike shop, had a great dinner, and solved ours/the worlds problems over a few glasses of wine/pale ales. Life is pretty good lately. At times it's good enough that you wonder how it all happened that way.

An interesting suggestion came up, one I had never thought of before... that I should move to Canmore and just keep a one bedroom in Calgary. The 5 minute spiel made a lot of sense - biking, skiing, mountains - it's so Bakke... and clearly the commute from Canmore is better than the commute from Whistler.  Hmm...

Thursday morning we woke to a beautiful house.

Nice view.

Breakfast on the patio from a great yuppie grocery store where everything in the store was already pre-selected to appeal to our demographic.

15lb Seven and a 25lb Dean ready for a 100k ride.  Had to get skewers last night as mine are on my toolbox.  Also we had to share bottle cages and use pockets as there was a packing slip up there.  All's well that ends well.

On the way out to Bartlett Dam.  No cars, just 25C and smooth pavement.  We started at 7am.

Bartlett Dam lake, cool and refreshing. 

OK, so by the time the 4.5 hours was up (few rest stops, probably 4h riding), it was 98F at the house.  Drank a lot during the ride, carried three bottles and did a fill stop, but we were still cooked.  I felt like death, reminiscent of TransPortugal and La Ruta heat.  Holy cow.  Got into the shower with my clothes on, could taste the salt rinsing off my face.  Recovered, did some internet, going for lunch and have massages booked.  4h nonstop smooth road ride pedalling is exactly what I need more of, a week of that might make me feel like a bike rider.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Blowing through a milestone

Kaboom - reached and blew right through a milestone today. Love it.

Who knows what it all means, maybe it doesn't mean much, but it sure helps.

Celebratory lunch stayed dry with Tuesday night 'cross on the radar, but was shared with my esteemed colleague Mr. Ha.

Monday, 27 September 2010

West Coast Weekend

Shane and I headed west for some fun - bike talk, downhill adventure, dinner at Boneta's in gastown, then the better part of the night/morning at the Lamplighter... which pretty much delayed the remainder of the "real" morning, wow. Super fun all around.

Two days downhilling at Whistler is building up my fluidity... feels less like a new sport now and more comfortable. Great weather both days although rain at night. Really starting to feel comfortable with flat pedals, everything on Freight Train (save one wooden gap up to waterslide style launch off) and A Line is now a warm up appropriate run and don't need to default back to warming up on Crank it Up, although that's a fun one too just to rail. Dirt Merchant had a few jumps that I coaxed into my sphere this time that were worrying last time - it's funny how many times I need to learn that no brakes and just roll it with speed is the right answer.

In honor of the weather at night, killed a few "dark and stormy's" on Saturday night and to wash down a surf and turf extravaganza at the keg with the whole gang. Somehow the night before caught up with everyone, and it was earlier rather than shut down Whistler evening.

We've been away from Calgary for 54 hours, awake for most of those, - it feels like a world away.

Bike Birth - Devin's custom Engin 'cross

Thursday night was a momentus occasion - the birth of Devin's new custom Engin cyclocross bike. Classic beauty was built with random inputs and oddball discussion in my living room with Craig, Shawn, Devin and I bantering all night with tunes on, tools in hand, and a few brews. Fun stuff that yielded a fantastic racing machine.

Cyclocross bikes deserve the attention to detail and euro flare that a few import beers bring to the project.  Devin and self proclaimed "bike nerd" bring oversized lungs and attention to detail to the project.  Note the beers were purchased by actual Belgians, which I'm positive instills some additional karma.

After a few hours, the Engin is together.

A poor photo of the Engin, but a good photo of the team that had a few laughs that night. Note an Ibis awaiting a few extra parts in the foreground for bike build party round 2.

Sweetness on two wheels!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Life Cycles

Interesting phrase.  We talk market cycles and commodity cycles daily.  I'm at a low cycle on most other things right now.  But my copy of Life Cycles has been ordered, cause bikes have never shied away from giving me the fix I need.

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Ibis Tranny - good things to come...

I sense many good things to come from this project.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Carpe Diem

Shawn blurted out carpe diem as narrative to a conversation while commuting home from biking yesterday... and that translated through to today. It was raining and 5C most of the day... but from the moment I woke up I was so pumped to get outside and ride I could hardly describe it. Craig and I met for a little fun and a bunch of socializing with bike friends, then a little more rain riding at the end to wash it all down for the day. I love feeling super excited about riding, it just makes me so happy. Just like these two 'cross bikes are happy being tracked across whatever we can dream up.

Superfantastic Surface

Craig engineered a group of 6 superfantastic riders out to do TransCanada Trail, up the north side of Skogan Pass, Touch of Class down, then back on the TransCanada Trail. That's a lotta lotta techy riding. Craig x 2, Shawn, Jon, Pat, Chris made the 6, and I tagged along in nowhere near their league, but at least made the loop. If the techy riding wasn't enough, especially the steep, off camber, new Touch of Class - it had a few inches of snow on it just to grease things up extra well - taking it from techy to superfantastic technically challenging surface conditions. We did what we could on the elegance side, and had a blast doing it. It was very picturesque, but nobody toted a camera along. Oh well.

Great ride, great times.

Friday, 17 September 2010

ipod touch

Yaay, it's about time. Last one went to fund a bum's drinking via a trip to the pawn shop after my car was broken into.

Thursday, 16 September 2010


I sold a bike... a rare event. Only sold it cause it went to a good home, and might turn someone into a lifelong mountain biker. Turner Flux, deliver your awesome ride and get your new owner hooked!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

New Car, French Driving

I’ve finally fixed the wheels situation and ended up with something that hopefully doesn’t cause headaches for years to come – essentially the same model of SUV I drove before, but 13 years of change too.  It’s weird not having the ability to transport yourself at will for a while – wand when I say “weird”, I probably mean it feels like a royal pain in the ass.

It’s close but not quite the color pictured here in some promo photograph where no SUV outside a photo shoot has ever been driven, nor likely ever will be.  I liked the first M class SUV, so thought it’d fit the bill decently well again just to repeat the experience.  After a day or so, I can easily say it’s the nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned, which probably doesn’t say too much, but it’s still true.  It does car things well enough – going, stopping, feeling not like a piece of junk, etc.  It does modern things well – folding side mirrors in to wedge into my parking spot, doing music well (ipods, Sirius, normal radio), navigation stuff, phone calls hands free, all that.  It does pampering decently well with buttons that make cold parts hot in the winter, headlights that actually let me see pretty far ahead, wipers with a funny travel path that actually work to clear the entire window, and all kinds of other temperature magic.

I had intended to get a lightly used leaseback, say 2008 or so.  The liquidity on them isn’t super high in Calgary, and Canada wide there’s plenty that crop up, but delivery times range across the country.  Blowing up the M Coupe didn’t really facilitate having the time to take this task on, and I didn’t desire to over-stay my welcome on the little Acura RSX loaner… so I ended up with a 2011 model that just got delivered to Calgary and was sitting on the lot – available for pickup at my convenience.  Sometimes path of least resistance wins and frugalism takes a hit.

Most importantly, new bike rack is being picked up this weekend!

Below is an entirely awesome use of petrol, in France no less.  Relative to me, this proves:

a) There are people more likely to catastrophically blow an engine sooner/faster.
b) There are people Tori would be even less amused handing over the keys to her French rental car to.
c) There are people who can shorten the life of expensive tire sets faster!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Freight Train, Dirt Merchant, Surgeon General's warning

Freight train has steeps, big rock face roll ins, a freight train cargo container up gap plus ride off, curved wall rides, and the ability to make me perma grin. New features helped build the skill base... just having such a good time.

The jumps are all sized so perfect that you just don't brake on the trail and you're fine approaching new jumps blind - feels very fun, launching into the unknown and seeing the outcome only as you clear the lip. Did a creek gap too!

I'm not sure the apres diet of beer and nachos would work well if an entire summer was spent downhilling, but it's fun for a short burst. Made it back to one of the two rental houses for a hot tub session, saw a bear walk by 30' away. Wow. I'll still walk up the hill after the night life, but don't want to get lost in the bushes.

The Kona Stinky is "just a cheap rental bike" but until I know otherwise, it sure hasn't held me back... we're all riding the same ones, it's just what you do with them. It's nice being able to roll it into the shop, say the entire real wheel detensioned and it's flopping around, and they just give you another one to roll out with.

We did a sushi dinner at 9:30pm, where somehow 6 sake margaritas per person was the take. After that it was Buffalo Bills, which included top 40 dance floor try hard efforts, 80's originals and remixes, buck hunter, pool, and 8 Jager bombs between 11:30pm and 2am. Surgeon General does not recommend copious sake margaritas and Jager bombs in one night; but Surgeon General also doesn't opine on goofball fun quotient. Leaves you feeling more awake than at noon on a Tuesday. Literally bumped into a Calgary b-ionaire on the dance floor; boss won our 2 on 2 pool game with a baseball swing shot, and miscellaneous other mayhem was cropping up all night.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Red Bull


Jager Bombs

Bachelor and 'bombs.


Holy mother of god, why didn't I start this love trio of an 8" Kona Stinky, A-Line at Whistler and I earlier in life?!

Every mountain bike skill I've tried to acquire for years took all of a run or two to transfer to this 45lb chunk of Kona on a few runs of Angry Pirate, Crank it Up, Karate Monkey, Crabapple Hits and Ninja Cougar - we felt good and were having a blast. We went straight over to A-Line to frolick all afternoon. The intro ramp on A-Line just says if you can't ride this hit you shouldn't do the rest of this run. Second run on A-Line I could take enough speed to clear all the tables, just cranking through the hairpins and feeling the g force on the suspension. Heavenly. Rolled up and did the middle GLC drop twice, then said screw it, you only live once, so took the first left and tried the bigger one. Sure, it's not huge, but it felt so damn good rolling off that rock ledge. I don't get heart in the throat enough in life.

8 of us here for the bachelor party, and no crashes yet. Two more days of downhill. This stuff is so addictive it's awesome. I wish so bad all my biking buddies could be here too, next BCBR we so seriously need some downhill time it isn't even funny.

This is the most fun I've had biking since... well... the first Tuesday night 'cross which was the last time I was biking. Love it!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Midweek Mayhem 'cross #1

Lap 1 - pure euphoria, feel the burn, everything I thought mattered in life is muted to irrelevance by max heart rate and lung exertion
Lap 2 - good god this hurts, I'm tired from riding all weekend. Wait a second, that's lame, look at Stappy and keith up there, holy cow
Lap 3 - mother of god Katy Curtis just dropped me like I'm standing still, super impressive, not just a slide by and ride off pass, a stomp past and fu-gett-about-it pass
Lap 4 - so tired, I need to taste death on these corners so I can coast 2 extra pedal strokes. Keith thanks for setting up bomber downhills with big sweeping left handers, this is like a test course for two wheel drift in the drops and the integrity of schwalbe side knobs
Lap 5 - the fraction of a second wind kicks in. Run this hill hard, make it hurt as much as you can take, you've faded all the places, just hang in.
Lap 6 - gonna make it, pin those last climbs. Who cares if it doesn't matter, it matters to me this very second. I want my lungs to burn for two days.

to borrow some pure chart pop, our collective cyclocross hearts got lit up like they were dynamite...

I love this stuff, and super great to see Cindy and Jan on their guest Polish visit, as well as the rest of the gang!

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Whole Enchilada

Craig had a big ride in mind, despite the variable weather. I just said "in" and wanted to know where to meet. Why aim for a small ride when you can go for the whole enchilada?

COP meeting zone ended up being just the two of us, so we drove out to Barrier Lake and were on trail by 10am. Idea was for a 3 pass day.

We did Baldy, nice long climb with some snow. Paced sensibly, but there's parts of the snow covered, rooty, rocky trail that Craig climbed like a motorcycle. It was ridiculous.

From there we took the Waasatch Creek trail over toward the Nakiska road, then did about 4k on highway. From there it was up Skogan Pass through some snow and over to a traverse of Pigeon Mountain that was full of super fun technical steeps. Awesome!

Except for my awesome meter died out way before then. The slush at the top froze my feet so I was way less coordinated on the technical down, plus I started bonking.

We came out of the rifle range and into the Husky gas station restaurant where we asked the girl if we could eat and pay with credit card number from memory. The excellent server said sure, then it didn't work so well as my fried mind couldn't regurgitate the number properly and the store manager didn't see it as all ideal, but we got it figured out with promises of good intention, exchange of info, and promise to call it in when we reached the car. Note: carry more cash, ID and credit! Oh well... the 2 cokes, 2 hot chocolates and stack of three pancakes with ham and eggs changed my world. Craig gorged on a similarly delicious quantity of calories and we were off.

TransCanada trail back to Heart Creek then up Quaite Valley was good, except for the 4 times I had to stop and dink around with a tear in my tire. Finally got it rolling, coincidentally about the time the pancakes kicked into high gear, and also coincidentally the same time we started the Quaite Valley gravel climb. Bam! Best energy level of the day, finally felt like a real bike rider, couldn't empty myself if I tried.

We crested Jewel Pass and I had one of the little Belgian gels the guys left me - as far as I could tell it had a mild dose of "A" game in it. Railed the downhill, then powered through the Stony Trail climbs along Barrier Lake like there was no tomorrow - those things usually hand us our asses at the end of a long ride, and today we were having none of it (pancakes flatten hills...).

Sprinted in, jumped in the lake, and realized how awesome 8.5 hours of adventure on two wheels is. With probably 6.5 moving on trail, plus just short of 2 hours of single speed at Nose Hill yesterday, I'm actually feeling like a bike rider... should be about 16 hours in three days.

Also, some totally generous mystery bike magician did some trick upgrades to my bike while I wasn't tuned in - a new rear tire and granny ring that doesn't chain suck endlessly. Life is good (and thanks)!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Bow 80 Pre Ride

Sun, fun, friends, good pace, gravel road, purple clouds, big climb, lightening, thunder, rain, rain, wind, cold, descent, water stop at the Dawson drop, mud, cows, mud, walk, mud, drivetrain pains, cows, mud, pace, pace, patience, home.

7 hours of adventure with Chris, Craig, Dallas, Shawn, Keith and Lockie who made the loop. Lockie and I pulled in roughly a half hour after the other guys by the sounds of it.

Friday, 3 September 2010


One of our summer students from the trading floor is on his last day today. He earned fame and notoriety, and the rest of the firm actually knowing his name, by taking a bet with our trading floor early in his career about eating a flat (33 cookies) of Chunks Ahoy cookies in under some pre set time limit designed to impress. He got to only 32 with the aid of a blender, but went down with pride.

In commemoration of this last day, corporate finance was teeing off on a bet with someone to eat a Mondo Burrito a day for an entire month, with a good book of odds built... when we received an email from the trading floor...

... where simultaneously a "nugget off" was happening. A new-ish guy and a brand new guy were eating as many chicken mcnuggets as possible in 30 minutes for what amounted to be a sizeable prize pot. A desk of nuggets, dip and water were present, as were garbage cans. Throwing up is ejection... err... from the contest of course. It's good this is after market close - but a sprint finish earned someone the pot.

Suffice to say, winning a nugget eating contest by a margin of 42 to 37 does not at all sound like victory 5 minutes afterwards in the washroom... good god.  I think the victory here is new guy taking on the the tough bet and coming out on top... way to mark an entrance to the firm. 

Replacement Vehicle

Here's my loaner car. Friend who trusted that I wouldn't blow another engine lent it to me. It's popular with the 16-21 year old crowd.