Sunday, 30 November 2014

Skiing animals

Two days of skiing this weekend brought my animal sightings for the season up. First weekend was a moose, second was deer on the run under the chair. Saturday a squirrel was bolting across the run, I cut left, and it ran into my ankle.  It was fine and kept going for the woods. Saturday afternoon was a majestic ram on the cliffs at the side of the road. Today was a tiger. Sort of. 
Marvin likes Tiger Malt. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Cold Nakiska

Lots of snow and -25. Machines packed many of the runs, so next snow after this should open a handful of run now that a base is established. Had to melt the face cover from my bead for quite a while with the bathroom hand dryer. 
Beauty day. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

And then there was 1

Bike parkade attendance correlates well to temperatures in Cowtown. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Nakiska part deux

Interesting day... took me a while to find my wallet this morning, which is unlike me, but it made the drive out a little sunnier.

Watched some of team Canada, Alberta, Quebec warmup and do gates.  Smooth and powerful.

I did several runs, 4 or 5, before figuring out my little lunch pack had my Garmin in it, so I put it the lanyard around my wrist, inside my jacket for the remainder of the day.  I should maybe make a little velcro strap, I guess it depends how interesting this is.  So the captured data is just short of 40km, so I skied half that and did the lift half that, plus a little more from the runs.  It's interesting to have those stats, how far one skis in a day.  Max speed was 62, but that was on the one crowded run.  Wait till we open it up a little (plus my max on tele just isn't as fast as alpine gear).

I also tried out the DPS Wailers.  Nice, they cut through choppy snow well.  But on Nakiska steep icy hardpack, I just can't say they grip like a set of Volkl Race Tiger GS skis.  I appreciated the Canadian distributor hook up at the end of last season to get a couple pairs without the alpine binding plates mounted so I could add NTN telemark bindings.

With the warmer temps the crowds were out that took advantage of the cheap season passes.  Kids bailing into the side fences, some fat old Russian speaking f-ck littering off the lifts, and all speeds on one run.  Give it another week or so to get more runs open so everyone can dissipate.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Haute Route Alps 2015

Due to some terrific peer pressure among cycling friends, this is the first event booked for 2015!


It's like déjà u all over again... Long time since I've ripped high speed turns at Nakiska.  Very light traffic early, got my 20 runs in and came home early for a nap. First moose sighting of the year too, the cars ahead were all slowing down for it to cross so I had time to pull out the camera.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Velocicross 2

There are days when everything goes right. This one was pretty darn close. Denny's breakfast. Then get busy with life?  Not today. Just nap and lounge. Show up to bike race.  Almost register, but they just look up and say Erik we've got you, ready to go. They have food ready:

Change après race in 5 minutes, Cindy has road trip dinner ready for the drive home. Make it to the minute to the Epcor Center parkade. Warren Miller ski season kick off movie "No Turning Back". Couldn't punt bike season for ski season any more firmly than that. No rest for the legs.

Cindy liked this.  Hope our kitties weren't like this when we got home after a weekend alone.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Velocicross 1

Velocicross weekend. Why?  Because. It's still 'cross season. We'll call today an "emphasis on skills". 
Looks like there's nobody out there, but 4 of us finished within 10 seconds I think
I didn't even feel the ice out there. 
Ahhh Edmonton.  Some hotels don't like bikes in them. I'm guessing I won't hear anything about having my bike in this hotel.  The guy who went up the elevator literally rolled a KTM 350 in ahead of us. 

mrkt modern indoor picnic for dinner. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Deadgoat Blow Street 'cross 2014

We had dinner last night at our friends house who became new cross racers this year, and among many topics covered, it was the classic "I can't even remember life before 'cross racing".  I was served some Romanian fireball type liquor but apparently it's not banned for glycol content like real fireball.

I actually had to churn about 90 minutes of work this morning in which each time i walked to kitchen I realized how sorey legs were from awkward slip running. 

Packed up warm boots and beverages for all the racers, then when I was bike checking I noticed my front brake wasn't slowing me down at all. That explains some challenge yesterday. I thought it was just the conditions, but I had worn the pad to metal. Quick stop by Bow to get new pads and a thorough brake adjust and tune. 

The Blow Street 'cross moved venues but was awesome. Most of the photos aren't mine, so I can't take credit. 130 racers out. We had a premium for first to the start of the highway to hell, a long off camber section that was make or break if you could ride it with slick conditions. It was like tightrope walking. Snow barrier with an optional ramp up by then 2' drop in the other side. 

MC Deadgoat.  


Making the highway to hell even possible. 

Main checkin area. 

Start premium. 

Tim and Kyke making some noise for me.  Really slowed down last two laps, fatigue caught up, I lost 30 seconds on those two alone.  I had my best race of the year to finish 5th.  



Cindy made burritos and we watched a Superprestige after. That's recovery. 

Beans 'n Barley 2014

First taste of real 'cross weather - I rode over to warm up and found the course covered in snow. It was tricky to maintain traction, but generally I like those days. Grass, leaves, snow and mud would pack up bikes, making it even harder to pedal. I knew from lap one I had a few too many psi in my tires but didn't stop to fix it. Had to chuck my fogging glasses too at one point. Lots of unrideable off camber to run, slip, run. My legs haven't done much stability training, so I definitely felt it the next day. Helped pull three armloads of stakes before I was frozen, then basically everything I wore needed to go in laundry for a super wash, as did the bike. I was 8th which was my best result yet in open this year. The conditions hid the lower power and prior day flu shot/VO2 test. Up until departing to ride over I was sleeping on the couch!