Thursday, 31 January 2013

Juggler pt 2

This is a part of cycling that I'm not well versed in!


Well, here's the limitation of a phone camera... But try to see in front of the yellow car - a guy rode his bike into the intersection, dismounted, spun the front wheel for some gyroscopic help, balanced the bike on his forehead by the back wheel, and started juggling!

Carrera 9, 11

I wasn't quick enough on the draw to photograph the actual Carerra 911 at this intersection, and that was the only 911 I've seen in Bogota thus far.


I couldn't tell what the dish of this stuff was by looking at it. I was advised it was banana marmelade/spread.

This off color goo has more flavour than all the bananas I've eaten in the last decade combined. It's mind blowing.


Colombians have a lot of fruits and fruit juices. They're all good. I used to ask what they were out of curiosity, until I got probably the best answer: that one doesn't really have an english word because you don't have jungles like Colombia.

Good point. Man they're so good.


So sunny and nice!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

BBC - happy place

Despite a night on a plane, we did a decent gym effort this morning (I even made a treadmill display "maximum duration reached"), a good client lunch, and a solid 3h office session with a client this afternoon, followed by dinner with them. We couldn't resist this when we walked home either - there's something about the vibe of the BBC that's just right. Their beer is great. The crowd is a mix of suits and ties, or ties that were loosened 5 beers ago, to lesbians rubbing each others ears, to a bunch of people really getting the most out of iPhone cameras with their friends. Its unpretentious, relaxed, nice music and fun. It's a happy place that's always worked for me.

I think I'm now in Houston Friday at a board meeting, fresh off another redeye, instead of going home. That's good, in a painful way!

Beautiful Bogota afternoon

Had a good lunch meeting, some downtime for a patio coffee at Juan Valdez, 15 mins of shuteye, and some time in my favourite office now before dinner.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Guilt free

We ate $5 adult sized pizza pockets of little nutritional value at the only food place still open, in about 6 minutes with the janitors working next to us, while trying to hurry to our connection in Houston. Star Alliance lounge in Frankfurt, I miss your comparative euro civility!

Here's why I feel absolutely zero guilt about using upgrade points to get first class lie down beds on Christmas personal vacation flights - they're earned by redeye flights with zero legroom from 11pm to 5am 3 rows from the lavatory during the working year. The seat feels like a special "dual concave" design created to maximize chiropractic revenue. So much for stretching the legs. Ugh.

Airplanes and health

I'm doing 2 redeye flights this week. Coincidentally that's exactly the three days that are forecast to be -23C. Ha!

But it cuts back exercise, sleep and nutrition. It cuts back fresh air and comfort. I'm not trying to be a health Nazi - it's more that I'm having so much fun on weekends riding that I don't want to come home feeling like total garbage and suffer the opportunity cost of lost fun. Work travel has benefits too, like having a pay cheque, and seeing new places of course, but it isn't always easy.

Airline food has gotten better. Or maybe I'm less price sensitive. For $7 I could have had something that resembles pizza, but is really white flour, awful salami, and some tomato sauce in a budget rendition that doesn't do justice to Italy.

I picked the $9 tapas option, which was heavily packaged, but interesting to read the labels. It perhaps didn't do honor to the tapas culture fully, but it was a decent effort for being 35,000 feet up. It comprised:
- a little baggie of unsalted, ungreased, totally plain almonds
- two different cracker packages, 2 crackers each
- an actual tomato based bruschetta with respectable allowance of spices in a mini dish
- an actual real cheese peppercorn parmesan mini container
- a mini bag of about a dozen green olives with basil and garlic, no pits
- pita chips
- hummus that actually was just chick peas, sesame oil, lemon juice and salt
- a little baggie of blueberry and acai berries covered in chocolate
- packing and expiry date labels coincided with a general lack of aggressive preservation techniques and chemicals

I'm surprised that this food option existed. It contained edible things that existed on earth before airplanes, which is kind of a good test. I'm the only one in my row who didn't get a can of coke, although I was tempted. And the guy on my other side is saying the "steak and potatoes" share a common rubbery texture. Mine was all fine at room temperature. His gravy is bubbling and his steak is refrigerated. Mmmm...

Andalucia team

We're going to smile, that's for certain. Above that, all I know is that my favourite partner has been doing some big rides, big hills, and had a super strong finish at spin class the other day on the last kilometer of a climb on a CompuTrainer course!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

American Classic 29er Race Wheels

When I bought some American Classic CR420's like 6-7 years ago, a few people asked if I thought it was wise to ride regularly on lightweight racing wheels... recall then, carbon wasn't anywhere near as prevalent in commercial wheels - high budget teams were spending their money on doping and Lightweight wheels, and there were a few carbon options available, but not nearly what 2013 takes for granted.

7 years later, after countless miles on snow, gravel, gravel, roots, rocks and 'cross courses, extreme temperature changes (parkade to Calgary winter in daily commuting), oh and did I say snow, gravel, roots and rocks? ... only rim brake surface failed at the weld, and one set is going strong. To be clear, each set had bearings replaced a time or two, but that's cheap and to be expected. But also to be clear, neither set had a single spoke so much as see a spoke wrench over that time. True and straight, with intense use as they have seen, amazes me. The one that failed still lasted 80+km home that day.

Post that failure, I called American Classic to talk about options with the failed rim. They said they could do a discount rim replacement, but that it wouldn't look the same since they've changed graphics. Alternately they offered a "loyalty discount" on a new set if I sent mine in (at my cost), which I took them up on. I believe they have third world charitable use for the old ones.

Side note: I've had issues with my "legendary" Chris King hubs cracking, which they say is related to drastic temperature changes and salt corrosion on the aluminum. The reality that the American Classic ones had higher spoke tension, more exposure to temperature change and corrosive substance through more use, and people question their reliability vs. supposed "legendary" King ones that have had two crack in two months... I'll tell you which ones I think are more durable.

Anyway, I couldn't decide on which replacement model I wanted, and my King ones were dropping like flies, so I did the classic comprimise: two!  I ordered a single speed and a geared set on their deal.

Initial pre-ride impressions: they're light, the tubeless tape looks awesome, the tubeless valve is awesome (how does a simple valve look awesome? check theirs out in detail...) the tension seems great, the hub feels good, their 9/10mm through axles look good, the white spokes instantly steer your eyes to the valves, the width of the rim is nice.

I'm pumped to get these things rolling for the Whiskey 50 in Prescott on a bike that's getting a facelift...


Putting yourself back together after a 5h ride isn't easy, but I recovered somewhat respectably. I didn't have Cindy's added effort of indoor soccer later Saturday night which wiped her out completely. I made a big breakfast for us, then got dressed up for a closer meeting spot at Kawa... Craig and Kate were there, and the Spanish barista took an interest in discussing riding - turns out he's from Spain, and was intrigued that we were headed there in a month. Kate had new windproof pants and was ready to go.

Then Shawn showed up, followed by Jon. Jay dropped in for coffee on the way to work, and shared his shoulder assessment... then we spotted a man in all black riding by, then looping back after spotting the coffee shop. Pat Dodge!

Suffice to say, once we got rolling, this was the fastest ride I've been on this year...

Did as many hills as we could before Priddis, of which I spectated fast hill riding on all of them from the back bench.

Priddis always delivers great mid ride food - then it was Shawn and I taking the direct route home so I could get to the post office before it closed. After riding yesterday I worked on bikes for 3h, and stripped down the Strong to go back for a few tweaks, including disc brake tabs. Exciting!

That's a tiring two days. We rode home at "reasonable" instead of fast pace - but today was still hard.

Blacksheep v2.0, awesome Saturday ride with friends

It's hard to beat a Saturday morning Cadence Coffee rendevouz. Cindy, Andrea, Shawn and I rode together to meet Kate, Craig, Cesar, Sam and Jay. Cool start to the day, but we had reason to believe it was going to warm up. Tuscany Ravine was primo, the roads out to Cochrane were great, and as usual, the soup stop was second to none. We split groups and went back "fast" and "long" ways home, but in the end Cindy and I got home 10 minutes apart, both with stories.

We headed west, perhaps onto lands with differing legal rights based on who lived their first. At our furthest spot from home, a chain reaction occurred that led to one shoulder dislocation and one bloody leg. Fortunately it went back in within a minute and was "rideable", and the leg scratches were manageable. Jay and Kate would both survive the ride home! Close. And not the kind of epic we were looking for.

Made good time rest of way back, till Shawn and I found it necessary to hike a bike down Paskapoo slopes. After making it out we did a few errands at Bow, then home.

Cindy, Andrea and Cesar went home the Glenbow park way, and then suffered navigation issues in the city to get home late.

All that's a bit of a preamble to Blacksheep 2.0's maiden voyage. I loved the frame before. I had a smile on my face for 5h just feeling the pleasure of riding a machine of such artistry. The Dura-ace 9000 stuff is such a pleasure it's hard to describe. The switch to disc brakes is amazing, I can't believe how long I held out (plus the fender and wheel mounting is so clean). Lastly, the carbon wheels are stiff, wide and comfy. Entirely happy rider here! I'm biased, but I think it's beauty as well as incredibly functional.

Friday, 11 January 2013


It seems I only curl about once a decade, but it's fun when I can get out. It'd actually be fun to get good at it for a while - it's neat when a whole office goes to see who has an innate feel for ice buried within them. I think the authentic curling sweater helped!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Awesome weekend of riding

This weekend was amazing, just what weekends are supposed to be.

Saturday a half dozen of us got out for some riding, and some adventure.  Jon and I had to scale this wall, essentially to avoid wet feet.  And cause core strength training should be part of riding.  It was a tenuous moment when his hand hold gave way, I was holding two bikes, and I tried to reach up to support him but my feet slipped on the ice.  We almost became a two dude, two bent bike pile of mess in ice cold water, but fortunately disaster was averted.  There's something about riding with Jon that always yields extra little bits of fun.

This ice was no match for us.  Craig (behind me) and I made it just fine.  It's not so much about traction between rubber and ice, as it is about focus with relaxation.  "Use the force, Luke" comes to mind.  Studded tires just add weight... who needs those things anyway when 35mm of rubber will do?

Sunday after sufficient caffeination, we headed west into a strong headwind after a loop around Glenmore park.  Shawn, Craig, Gary, Jay and I hammered it out to Coal Mine Road at probably 9.2km/h, then did the big climbs and were finally rewarded with some speed on the way home.  But beauty day, and talk about quality tempo intervals all day.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bakke's Blends: Shakes and smoothies

This is time saving part 2. A blender. We had one that came apart in 7 pieces to clean, this one is sealed and cleans easy, therefore it's more usable. And I admit this shows the limits of my culinary skill (or time devoted to such things). But cyclonic smashing is fun!

Spud brings me non processed foods. This blender contains a kiwi, an apple, a banana (only the banana needs peeling) some kale, a chunk of ginger, some drinks, a couple little tomatoes, some peanut butter, hemp heart seeds, plus a couple of my secret flavour ingredients. That takes two minutes. The ginger is really a key one for a nice flavour that lifts it out of the "blah" zone. I just top up water through the hole in the lid to get a sensible consistency.

My other staples are Red River, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, yogurt, oranges, pomegranates, carrots, a few bike potions, chunks of chocolate, green tea, broccoli, coffee grounds, and once some Kahlua snuck its way in.

On my to-do list are celery, garlic, onion, colored peppers, "mexican" flavoured ones that are taco flavoured/inspired.

Cindy asserts that in no way does she feel nutritionally deficient after consuming one of these concoctions, however she also advises that not all natural flavour combos are blender-able and has warned me off my "wine and cheese in one" idea. Beer and wings might be too fizzy.

There's no need to peel stuff when there's 1500 Watts of cyclic power. A minute later I can have all the servings of fruits and vegetables I need. Bam! I've been advised not to forgo chewing all together though.

And 30 seconds later that jar is clean and ready for a reload. Amazing!

Friday, 4 January 2013


One of Cindy's Christmas presents was credits for, which delivers groceries. So it's like Christmas every week.

In the past, I ate solely at work. I mostly still do, so from my perspective, a fridge with mustard, beer, and some powdered milk in the cupboard is functional. For Cindy, this ain't cool. She wants food in the fridge, not just Stagg chili cans in the pantry.

As a side note to this, our 3 block away Safeway is pretty poor considering the areas it serves and relative to other grocery stores. Limited stuff, and we found lately that produce all spoiled fast, which is telling me something about duration in inventory.

I like saving time, and since I try to opitimize time spent at races, I thought I'd bring it to my home life. This takes at most 10 minutes of clicking, and delivers to our neighbourhood each Thursday. That's a win.

Free delivery over a certain (reasonable) amount. Prices don't seem off to me for items.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Well, it's not really cold out, but I'm cold cause its comparatively cold out from the last week for me.

Cindy and I rode to meet Craig and Kate. Cindy turned around in Bowness park as she wasn't feeling good. We rode frozen reservoir, frozen river, frozen path, frozen cow patties to Cochrane, then rode to Big Hill Springs park. After that we rode frozen gravel road, frozen northwest community Tuscany which bears such little semblance to its namesake that it's laughable, and now I'm frozen and lying on Kate's floor trying to warm up.

You'd think I'd have learned after all these years, but I need to be reminded - bring lights when riding with Craig and Kate.