Monday, 28 February 2011

Point and Shoot

It's been interesting lately trying to "get things done". I try to be as direct and "point and shoot" as reasonably practical - the dithering and debating happens inside, then when that phase is over I attempt to make the end result happen.

Yet I realize that execution isn't that easy. Over the years, I've tried to limit "personal transactions", primarily commercial, to no more than two at once, to avoid pile up and confusion to take hold.

There are notable exceptions like furniture from Kilian Design. I have never in my life experienced such superior customer service and overall efficacy as that place. The opposite end of the spectrum was Housebrand who did what's now Tori's house as a renovation - that clause in the contract that said "time is of the essence" has never been a more overlooked piece of boiler plate.

Punchline is that there's a handful of things I'd really like to fall into place, and soon. It's funny what I'm built to tolerate and what not. I just filled up a full tank of gas in minus 24 with bare hands and a suit, and a guy said "aren't you freezing?". I just said I wasn't really thinking about it at the moment, and funny enough the cold didn't really preoccupy me (I did read the car thermometer once I got back in though to put reference to his question). But things that should take 15 minutes that stretch to a month get me to no end.

On the bright side of it all, I know the bullseye and just how it looks with many things coming together. The question isn't IF it'll be hit, maybe it's just more of a when... hopefully not with too much delay.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Single Speed City Ride

Craig, Heather and did 3 hours of single track riding in the city. For two of us, it layered onto thousands of miles of singletrack on snow, and for one it was third ride in. Impressive showing, athletic skill is athletic skill, and it comes through whatever the sport. Fun times, nice weather.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Glutton for Punishment

I met Craig, Shawn, Jon, Kyle, Cyrus and Manni for coffee at Phil and Sebastien's a little later in the morning to allow the ambient temperature to warm up a tad. Once fueled up we were off through the Weaselhead and heading south for a day in the foothills and along Coal Mine Road. The first 90 minutes or so were a blast, until the pace of the speedsters listed above got the best of my ill prep'd week of absurd travel. Shawn, Cyrus and Craig were the machines of the day, I sort of sputtered along. The beautiful views of the rockies kept us going till Priddis.

Priddis had some smiley teenager serve us mass quantities of coffee, bacon and chocolate chip pancakes, with fries on the side. Somehow this smorgasborg for the 6 remaining of us came to just a hair over $50. With that level of famished taking place, that equates to pure value.

We trundled south to warm up, then west onto the always beautiful Coal Mine Road. If I could only go up as third as fast as I go down... hmm. Still felt empty, even after doing some riding Thursday night and Friday morning, it's hard to get the body into the long ride groove after airplanes, time zone changes and fish and chips with Guinness with the boss.

Finally towards the end the engine clicked back on, just in time for the cold headwind home (winds changed during the day to offer us up more thorough and consistent training opportunities). Better late than never I guess. The only real test were some farm dogs that chased me near the city limits.

All in, it was pretty close to 6 hours of tucker us out recipe. The elite rider friends either have sympathy or some mild entertainment value in my accompaniment sufficient to wait for me. I'm like the fat kid that everyone waits for these days.

Continuing the exercise motif of the day, I exercised my minimal domestic (note: not domestique) skills by adding dehydrated minestrone soup packages to boiling water and only let the soup boil over once while the all important chain cleaning and lubing was going on in the living room. Thinking the minestrone seemed too runny, I added another pack. The end result was 3L of extra hardy "spoon stays standing where you place it" salty Italian goodness. In the spirit of high class dining, I ate as much as I could while sitting in the bathtub while defrosting myself, accompanied by a can of flavoured tuna and a water bottle to complete the experience.

Although I may live like a bum, it's fun to at least sort of have an engine that can tour the Alberta foothills for half a day. I think I'll be in bed in 10 minutes.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


It's weird being awake for long periods of time. I left Vancouver Monday morning, slept a tiny bit on a plane, and now it's the wee hours of Wednesday morning at my hotel I just checked into after a jam packed day.


I haven't found anything quite as effective at making me look and feel older as getting 6h of sleep on an overnight flight then shaving, toothbrushing, face washing and such in a poorly lit airplane bathroom; then subsequently putting on a suit in an airport washroom. Those airplane mini bathroom lights just don't really wake one up very well, nor are they very flattering on the wrinkles. Almost funny actually. On the flip side, the Air Canada app makes tracking flights and checking in super easy these days, as does the RBC banking app for keeping the home front organized and the Bloomberg app for keeping in newsflow.

On a side note, I'm glad Tori received her tires and other goodies I sent to Ethiopia last week. Between 3 day shipping and 66% import duty she paid that'll officially be the most expensive set of tires etc. ever!

Monday, 21 February 2011


I love this mountain, especially in weather like this. Talk about a fantastic weekend in more than just the snow and sunshine sense. BikingBakke is no longer homeless! It's amazing what can be accomplished via email these days.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Warm weekend, Valentines day

It's warmer out this weekend, which brought a group of 11 to Cadence on Saturday for a ride. I did a 2h work meeting first just for warmup, then was ready to see the sun. Shawn and I ended up riding most of the way together (and home) due to mutual time interests where stopping as much wasn't working for us.

Sunday was great. Maybe stayed up a little too late on Saturday, but did a ride with a future mountain biker. Some people just have it... and this was one. I'll try to do whatever I can within reason to coax it out as long as the drive is there. From 6" wide bumpy snowpack to glare ice, some people don't feel daunted, even if this is sort of a "first" bike ride.

Valentines day at an investment bank currently consists of turn 14 of a pitchbook started last week, 9 dudes at the office on various projects at 8:30pm as it stands, and our night assistant who gets to listen to banter.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Welcome to Wicked Pummel

Wicked Pummel isn't so much a place as it is an occurrence... an event that has an increased chance of happening when Keith, Craig, Dallas, Chris Hooper, Mani and I go riding.

Talk about a great day... Ok weather, nice roads, good coffee and lunch, and good pace.

I can only speak for myself, but I think I hit the pop point two dozen times (and once for 20 mins after lunch when it didn't want to fuel me right away). Dallas, Chris, Keith and Craig slayed (hey Dallas, why doesn't that 20kph cold north headwind slow you down even a tiny bit?). Some photographer for a Cochrane newspaper thought we were novel enough to take some photos on the back roads. At the end Dallas and Chris rode off into the sunset up Old Banff Coach road, and I just b-lined it home to make it back before my energy got too low for the temperature. I spent less time off the back than prior weeks which feels nice.

That was some serious effort, I love riding with you guys. Refuel for tomorrow!