Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Ride for Refugees

I am planing on doing The Ride for Refugees next weekend October 3rd, and currently I'm looking for sponsors! This raises money for International Teams which in turn supports and helps relocate refugees around the world. I have participated in this the last two years and have enjoyed the ability to use something I love to raise funds for something so important that makes such a profound effect on people's lives.

I have raced the last two weekends and will be doing a write up on those later this week but with time and days short, I've got to get out and service and clean my cross bike tonight.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cross Season starts WHEN!!???

Well, this season crept up on me quickly! I have ridden my cross bike twice since the Paris to Ancaster (back in April), and both times have had problems with the rear derailleur, it was problematic in the P2A. So Saturday last week I took off the barcon and put on a 105 9-speed (if anyone has a 9-speed Dura-Ace or Ultregra, let me know) One week and counting. Monday I applied a fresh coat of Latex to my Grifo sew-ups made sure the glue was good FOUR Days to go.

The shifting was good on Saturday but I never adjusted the limits on the derailleur so on Tuesday night before I hoped to ride I worked on the bike and it was dark by the time it seemed OK THREE days to test ride left. Wednesday I went to Pairs Lions park and rode the "cross" course to practice turns and descents (my weakness). Shifting was jumping, so a friend let me barrow his XT rear TWO Days to test ride left. Thursday I put on the less used (never been in a cross race) XT rear and the shifting was nearly perfect, off to Paris Lions Park with tools in the car. Got the shifting smooth as silk. And I was going up the hill quite nicely and beginning to go much faster down the crappy sandy hill. ONE Day to clean and find all my cross paraphernalia (I have a big mean cow bell to be loud!). Friday night everything at the door, directions on the PDA to the More Cowbells Race, which is one of the few true Euro cross style races in Southern Ontario..

Saturday, up and coffee, run the dogs with the bike, back home have a protein shake, pack and leave by 9:00 a.m. ON the road the PDA has a Fatal error (2003-ish Palm) and I had to turn around turn on the computer and print out the directions...

I get to the race, go register, get my numbers, head back to the car pin on three number plates, change inflate tires to 40 psi (seemed a good starting place). and off to the course, rode around about half of it and then off the start line as I see everyone already there! (No real warm up).

Get a poor start, and figure OK I can get warmed up and catch back up and at least get through most the field... First 180 corner I roll my rear tire... snap it back on, the guy in front of me wipes out and I squeak past him. Next corner is 180 so I don't pile around, and of course everyone's been MTB Racing so I'm off the back again. Catch up and another 180, caution again because of rear off goes the pack... OK I'll catch everyone on the strait a ways get ahead and then drop down a bit in the zig-zags... I do pretty good on the technical bit but I'm not warmed up and I don't even feel like I'm racing. I can pull right up to the pack pretty easly but the motor just in warm up mode. This goes through the end of the first lap on through the second lap. Right after the lap mark is a double barricade, and on the third lap I remounted and bounced back on the saddle, and rolled the rear tire completely off... OK I'm not going to get into the pack and take out anyone just take out stragglers. I'm now on a training ride. Lap 3, 4, 5 I'm riding around and on lap six I felt the motor kick in and then I was getting upset I could not hit the corners hard but I flew on the strait a ways. I had no intention of being Lapped if I felt this good, rear tire rolling or not. I ended up not getting lapped 17/20 (w/ one DNF). After the race I felt like I was just ready to start (with fresh wheels of course!). ARGH!!!

I got home and took the Tires off, and cleaned the rims, with lacquer thinner, and went to bed with a headache! Monday I'm buying a can of Victoria glue tomorrow and I do believe I'm going to be doing Tubular Gluing the Belgian Way.

Next week I'm headed for the podium... at the Valley Park Cross Race. I like this race but they seem to put out barricades everywhere, I think every club member makes one and they use them. It won't be easy seems a lot of M1's are racing M2 this year, but that did not seem to stop me last year.

Just a note on Tubular glue, its not what it used to be. I had a pair of wheels in the basement which I took off 25 year old tires about 5 years ago and I had a hard time, my other cross wheels which I glued up two years ago and inadvertently left a home, the tires came off like they weren't even glued on. SO Note to self, next year reglue tires, before first cross race!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The First Annual End of Summer Brantford Century

Have you ever tried to organize a group of human beings? Fathers, spouses, shift-workers, and on and on... (we at this time only have one woman that rides with us). We finally chose a date, of August 29th, with no rain date as I was the organizer and I want to race cross and it's coming up on the 12th of September!

Back to the Century. Our group has developed quite the spectrum of riders who are in shape and fast to those who are not, so we have been riding to Roberts Rules of Riding... Robert is one of the riders who has been cycling as long as I have been but been constantly racing, he lives by the bike almost. RRR states that the first forty-five to hour is to stay together and then "fast guys" can take off. We have discovered Map my Ride and now people are mapping rides with a longer and often more challenging ride, and a shorter version which often cuts off at around the hour mark, for the Saturday and Sunday rides. Everyone's been happy. So I mapped two rides out one was the almost Metric Century which in reality had some pretty good hills on it, oops. and the Imperial Century or for the pure Canadians in my group a plain ol' 162 km ride.

Day before the ride, Thunderstorms! all night long, that morning at 8:00 gray and questionable... what the hell, it's taken all summer to plan this and darn if I'm letting the opportunity slide and if does rain, we can bail. Everyone showed up... but only four w/ bikes and a ready to ride, one of them was on his cross w/road wheels and going to cut off a the shorter version... So out we went in the rain with possibility of thunderstorms, what were we thinking? On the hills we went strong and Robert (of RRR fame) spoke to all that not to get near your LT! around in the wet we went all feeling great, it was nice and cool and little wind, with light rain, no real sign of thunderstorms. We dropped off Andrew on the"almost metric" and the sun just creeped out, Jacques phones and says he is going to meet us on the road, which after more than a few phone calls and Jacques zig zagging trying to get us we connected in a town called Harley (we always end up there for some reason), I missed a turn and we ended up riding this route instead. By then the sun was out and it turned out to be a FANTASTIC day.

The only thing of this ride is of the three of us who did the full century, Robert bonked or got sick and was one sad kitten and had to be pulled in... Now he's had been out for the last two years with a major break in his leg with an on going saga of infections etc. So for the fact he is able to ride and is back racing all is good. Despite this we hit kilometer 162 (which is 100 miles) at 4:58, and that was one of the desires was to do this in 5 hours. We could have done it in about 4:35/4:40 if all had gone well. I ended up with 180kms. under my belt and felt I could have kept going, as could have Randy the other one of the three, last night Jacques was kicking himself because for his 110km jaunt around he felt fantastic and wished he had just faced the rain and rode.

What did I do for fuel? Well, last year I had a couple bottles of Hammer Heed and a 6 hour bottle of Perpetuem, but for some reason Hammer Nutrition is not being that well distributed up here and I was not going to make a special trip to the one bike shop I knew had the product. So I took and mixed 1-1/2 scoop of whey protein, six E-Load electrolyte "portions" (Just and aside E-Load is now a sponsor of my friend who is a very fast and good marathoner), and about a teaspoonish of Glutamine (Graeme suggested it for winter training to keep the mind clear in the 1hr spin classes)... It did not taste too good but I felt great and I felt like I was well fueled. I also had my Hammer Gel as needed.

It turned out to be a great day and it is always great to get a goal accomplished!