Friday 31 October 2014


TCR's fall spin classes are packaged with a V02 analysis, and the photo above is pre-high drool and sweat production.  He stated up front didn't actually need to be maximal, it was more to get the lower zone metabolic info to properly design their winter program for each person's zones. But Cory and I know each other well, I'm in the thick of 'cross season, and we agreed there was no reason not to push it to the max (perhaps save for that flu shot this morning)...

Some of the guys in the shopped joked at the suffering to come, to which I quipped back this would be the best part of my day. I wasn't joking. I'll push myself happily on a bike; and today seemed both hectic and with commanding negative sentiment on the work and client front. I stuck to my story after, running the engine up to max hurt for say the last 90 seconds, then for a minute after, but I feel so liberatingly refreshed and clear after. Yes, I don't fear that effort at all, and would take that over work anytime!

Suffice to say, my volume of oxygen uptake hasn't changed much since my 20's, which is good. My ultimate ratio has declined as today I'm heavier than nearly 10 years ago, and I'm certainly off return from Nepal weights. And you could actually see in the curve, which I thought was neat, the flatter aerobic end and a buildout on the top end that you wouldn't guess from extrapolating the aerobic line. That's good. That's what 'cross season will do to you - build out that high end!

Sunday 26 October 2014

Manitoba Grand Prix of Cyclocross

Cindy and I ate and went to bed early on Saturday, tired and she was a superfan all day who needed rest.  We did the lazy thing and got room service breakfast, the went out for a nice breakfast at Cibo with Shawn, Ashley, Peter Lawrence and Ian Auld.  They didn't say anything, but I could see in their eyes the "dude why"/ the slow poke here?" ) ;

Cibo patio looking south towards The Forks.  Beautiful restored/repurposed industrial space. The places along the river are either derelict or beautifully redone. I hope the continue to be able to reinvigorate the area as it's beautiful. Lovely trails along the river for running or 'cross. As long as you are adept at getting past the drunks with whiskey bottles. Bit sad. 

I just had tea as I was already full from hotel breakfast. It was good, but my only complaint is the Fairmont, a Canadian brand, in the middle of the prairie and our agrarian center had really weak bacon.  After that it was change and warmup time to see Ashley's race. I knew from a brief warmup that I felt better than yesterday. Good but bad, it's better to feel good on they're important day. Today was a 30+ category 1/2 so Andre Sutton, Ian Auld and Jeff were in the field too.  They were all faster than our group yesterday I think.

I had a decent position off the start, and sat in while guys were going harder than I could. Markus Henry was having a powerful day too. Eventually guys started fading and I could pick them off. Couple guys were surprisingly defensive elbows up riders, one was wedging me towards the stone building at the side of the course. Really? Once in front I hope he saw that when The next rider passed both he and I, how I just let him safely. Legs and lungs do passes, that stuff doesn't belong, esp when I was going off preferred line to pass. 

Riding for human rights, or something like that. New human rights museum in background. 

Straightaway ends to a right handed right after finish line. 

Fun riding the course again a second day and emptying the tank. By last lap I was behind Markus, he fumbled on that off camber slope by the announcer a couple seconds off Jeff with one guy in between and that's how it finished.  Too bad, Markus you were on fire to that point.  Results links at the bottom of this page.

I finished safe, Cindy said some others sprint finished and somehow wrapped one or two of themselves around a tree and barriers. Ouch. 

Superfan #1

It was a really good weekend all in. I felt fast enough to enjoy riding. I felt great to be Canadian. When there's dipshits in the world and our country who don't agree with such a fundamentally sound and joyous set of freedoms, opportunities, equalities and values in a beautiful country, I revel in the experience it brings. We need to maintain that and take a strong stance. The lady who's not a citizen but who's suing the country cause she can't wear a burka in her oath should simply be told to pound sand.  The retards who think opening fire in public areas on unarmed officers is a good idea need to burn in hell. Look around you and get a clue as to how good we all have it, and embrace that. 

Saturday 25 October 2014

Winnipeg Cyclocross Nationals 2014

I'm excited for this. First time I can go as I'm officially Canadian now for about a year, so I have finally a Canadian UCI license. 

After an off site strategy session for work, I rush packed and returned. Dropped everything at noon to fly out to Winnipeg for my first time there. Winnipeg airport was great in Cindy's view. We saw. 
We did. 
Check in was smooth for hotel and race. Great venue. Everything close and nice. Pre ride of course was awesome, flat course that flowed, had some tricky bits. Long sand, high barriers, one steep run up, one set of stairs, just a great mix. 

Woke up with breakfast to room 3.5 hours before race with this day looking great. 
We watched Ashley's race and cheered like crazy which pulled in a 7th. Alana Heise won with a command performance and Shawna Donaldson looked best of season elegant under strain for 2nd.  and the 50+ men where Peter Lawrence stomped it. Cindy didn't end up racing due to a soccer issue. 
We cheered the 40+ men where Andre Sutton led out hard, with Ian Auld in tow. They ended up 2nd and 3rd. 

My race went well. Mild glitch clipping in off start, usually I nail those, so 7th into first corner. Markus Henry led out some fast laps that put the pressure on. I felt so so, couldn't ramp it up. 3 laps in I stated rolling forward and didn't stop. Caught 3rd on the last lap then we both wiped out on an off camber right in front of the announcer. Neither of us had issues there all race. Shoot. He got up sooner, 5th passed me, so the next while was full gas. I got back to 4th and held it. Mental mote: the better thing to do when 3rd falls in front is to ride around elegantly and take the spot ; )

Wooded section. 


had a great soigneur with Cindy, great cheering section, and 100% good race read and advice from Bunnin: ie 4th was fading go get it this lap, third is fading go get it this lap. He was right on all accounts, just a little oops out there. 

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sunday 19 October 2014

Shawntoberfest, medical system Sunday

Warmup Tubby Dogs. 

Most of group at Tubby Dog:


Cindy and I weren't the last ones standing. We departed from Ducky's karaoke since it was so close to home, and my eyes were so tried.

So come morning time, they were t just tired, I had pink eye. So I went to Sheldon Chumir. While I waited I installed a chain keeper on my 'cross bike, then just chilled in the waiting room with, among others, a homeless dude whom also rode his bike in, and two young strippers, one of whom had no bra with her outfit and the other whose bra was the outfit.  They almost left their leopard print high heels then came back for them. I mostly read news, got bored with Facebook, and finally got in. I did creep one photo of the wait room's characters.  The waits there are always interesting.  Gives me a positive feeling on life choices along the way.  Staff is always excellent.  The young nurse was happy to be on a day shift not a night shift, the intern was pretty johnny on the spot with his whole routine and demeanor, even the security staff seemed like they were very thoughtful (and they're busy there, every few minutes they're tending to something or helping with someone).

I got my eye stuff from the pharmacy and went home to observe Marvin walking around with one eye half closed and some goop in his eye and nose. So now it's vet time for us.  Went to a weekend emergency one that's open near us.  Again, I was surprised at how young the vet was (shoot, must be a sign of aging).  Marvin was good for the first while, rubbing on legs and being happy.  Eventually he decided poking and prodding wasn't for him, so he got the sedated.  Too bad animals don't have enough cause and effect rationale to understand cooperation.  Unlike my morning experience, we had to pay for this one - and I don't doubt the woman who helped us was happy to make part of her vet school bills or car payment by working Sunday, as the reserved spot right out front had a pretty shiny BMW X5 in it... 

Marvin has some eye drops now for his sore eye and some vet billing time.  You're worth it buddy.  You were so quiet in the car both ways.  We're the guys with the wonky left eyes today!

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Thanksgiving - Minnewanka to Forestry Trunk Road

Cindy and I have been eyeing up this ride for a couple of years. There's only certain times of year it works with park closures. This is one of this times. Plus we have fitness and nice weather. We started by dropping a car near our finish, which involved, inadvertently, us going on a progressively muddier and rougher off road trail through the Indian reserve than I planned.  Oops. My mom loves that kind of adventure - nothing beats mud bogging and trespassing in her books. We transferred our gear over and drove back the easier way, and other than a highway incident with my bike, make it to Minnewanka parking lot at 1. So here we set off relatively late in the day, 1 bottle only each after some were lost, to make it back.  We had an iPhone map that was low resolution and one screen covered about 60km, some typed notes from Craig, and about 7 hours of sunlight. Or 7 hours of sun and twilight. Off we went. 

Animals right off the start. They didn't listen to logic when I asked them to move left off the trial, so we had to follow them a while. They seemed pretty placid. 

Happy. But we soon learned the 'cross double header got the best of Cindy's legs and she felt drained today. 

Little bridge to cross. 

Action single track. 

That far lump on the right is one half of the devil's gap where we were headed. 

Beauty fall day.  Bunch of deer up above us at this stop. 

Left and right of the Devil's gap more clearly shown. 

So after Minnewanka and the next small lake, Criag's notes were perfect. It went to scree and rubble, the cairns were hard to see to follow the trial to the south side of the third lake, you might end up bushwhacking. Well, we did. First hour we did 10km. Second 10km took 90 minutes. Third 10km took two hours. We did a pep talk that digging in deep to make pace was better on the body, even if hard, than bushwhacking blindly on trails we couldn't find after the sun went down. We got on the scree and rolled, knowing trial was south, and made it to the dry lake. That was an easy marker and we could easily see the trail so joined it. 

The dry lake. 

This is more conducive to speed. 

Eventually popped out of Banff park. 

We took a slight detour south here after not seeing the climb out of the Ghost River valley Craig referred to, then knew we were off so came back to find the climb. Wasted only 5 mins out, 5 back. Climb was described perfectly, it's just hidden a bit. 

Top of climb looking back west.  Essentially from here we have 17km left, net down and on roads. 

Happy to be making pace for a bit. 

Nearing trunk road. 

Within striking distance of done. 

Overall this was a great ride. Mixed terrain, beautiful scenery. Could work with a Banff drop and a Cochrane pickup. Terrain surprised you, it gets exponentially slower as you go given the trail conditions, so at one point you think you're almost 4h deep for half way, and the extrapolation doesn't feel so good with a chill in the air and sun setting and zero people around. But it gets better just after that. 

Sunday 12 October 2014

Pumphouse 'cross

The Synergy folks put on an awesome race at the Pumphouse Cross this weekend - tight little course using every bit of available space, it was so fun.  I was having my best race of the year, and for a few laps where I even felt relaxed, I had worked my way up where next man up was Ian Auld... who's a perennial top 5.  Then on the stair climb I didn't lift my front wheel high enough one lap, and it bumped a stair.  Oddly enough that was enough to rotate my wheel/stem alignment, so I had to fix that at least close enough to ride.  Then my rear tire started going flat, which is odd as it has a tube, and usually it's binary, it's flat or not.  I lost several spots on the lap where I noticed it was mushing out in corners as all of a sudden I was going waay slower, then fell once when it mushed out, then had to push my left brake back in line, then got a pump and lost most of the rest of the spots.  Right-o... upper half of the field glory still eludes ; )

Cindy had a great race in her first women's open since being upgraded and was 9th!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Drie Zussen Superprestige Cyclocross Probincials Canmore

Beauty day for racing and cheering after the morning rain shower passed through!  RMCC hosted a great event.

Chocolate ancillary medals are a great idea!