Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunny, -6°C with a "real feel" of -12°C

Cold and windy... YUCK... Houston we have winter. But there is no snow, and the sun is always nice coming through the window. Winter on the bike is best dealt with in the Pain Chamber. Unless your Chris and Heather Shearer, they were out on cross bikes riding and Peter "there's no bad weather, just bad clothing" Schouten, though he's seemed to have this excuse that he has home renovations and can't get out, Hmm...

Me I'm from Texas and the fact that I rode up the Gateneau in 6°C is pretty darn amazing in of it's self. Plus before you think I'm a wimp my sun room is not heated... it's always a few degrees above the temperature outside, then after I've been in it riding for an hour I can raise it several more degrees.

The secret to winter training is:
1.) have a plan
2.) have video
3.) have music

At this time in the season I am not onto the off-season yet, so I just want to ride and burn a bit of fat before I put on fat a the Christmas parties coming up. This gives me choices I could ride an epic ride of Texas one has good music one does not, I could do one of the spring classics from this year which I saw in real life and have downloaded the videos and I plan to play along with Cadence Revolution music mixes, OR I could do a Sufferfest... Which even though I plan on taking easy I always seem to get into the video.

Not being too bright I decided to a Sufferfest video "easy" I picked the Hunted, and set up the computer and began my training on rollers. Now with rollers you have about one foot of "road" that you have to stay on and you have to say balanced, I've been doing rollers for so many years this is mostly second nature. BUT the Sufferfest has sprints, and I was into the video and forgot I was on rollers and began sprinting out of the saddle which was not too hard but when I began to go anaerobic I ran off the rollers and "lost" the sprint, UGH! next there was a climb and on the attack I got out of the saddle and began climbing, hitting it hard and after a few minutes I began bouncing on the rollers and rode off the front of the rollers...

The point with Sufferfest and rollers, I think, is not to get too involved and remember your in a small room on a device that you can come off of. I also have a trainer which I use latter in the off-season when I begin hitting it hard. Till then I'm going to have to play it safe and be a little less involved in the race. NOT that I am competitive at all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three weeks off the bike

It seems that absence does make the heart fonder... Or does it just make the gut bigger?

I went back to Ottawa for two more weeks getting the IKEA ready for their opening yesterday December 7, 2011. I did not take my bike as I was traveling via VIA train, which I'm quite disappointed with. First in this modern era, VIA does not have an app, nor does their website have a mobile format, and finally with a packed train of 20-30 year old's their WiFi did not have enough bandwidth for me to use it.

With my weekend's free from cycling I had to do something so the first weekend I went to Hull, Quebec and visited the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the second weekend was spent working at IKEA, the crunch was on, all our materials showed up late and I've NEVER missed a deadline (nor has Robert). We did not have to use an infamous IKEA tool but I've spent five of the last seven weeks in the Ikea 2 meter ceiling grid.

Robert Brehn and I arrived home Monday morning about 1:00 a.m. so I just made Monday an off day. Tuesday I visited customers and have set up the next few weeks worth of work and did some books, but still tired...

SO then it's already Wednesday! I did finish early and I switched the road bike over to be a winter trainer, set up my rollers in the sun-room and put on The Sufferfest HHNF, and got in my riding... which I'll need because my gut's sticking out from my pants and I've not been to any Christmas parties yet! After the ride I took a shower then harnessed up the three dogs and took them out for a long walk, which I don't think they've been on one for a while... Whew! Then off to bed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunny and Cold but no ridding

Yes, it's single digits and I usually don't ride in it but there was a big group out today doing cross bikes... I got my bike all ready Thursday night and all I needed was a water bottle cage and air in the tires. Yesterday I was finishing up a drywall job and starting a suspended ceiling, I could not for the life of me get the screws in the wall angle. It was one of those easy things I've done a hundred of times but for some reason I just could not make a go of it. Then I came around an outside corner and the screw jumped and I jabbed myself in the palm of my right hand/wrist with the previous piece which was screwed up very well.

This was at about 2:00 p.m. my customer Brad Cotton is a police officer and quite handy at first-aid, which is good because I was in a wee bit of shock and it was a nasty cut, patched me up and got me to the hospital. Trying to amuse myself for four (4) hours was all supplied by my phone which only has so much battery life, and then I was bored, like really board.

The nurses and doctor did a great job of stitching me back up. I found out I can't shave with my left hand so I've got some whiskers on my bandage, and the cut's right in the spot where my hands rest on the hoods, so ugh no ride. I got out the notebook to set up the Pain Chamber and I had forgotten that I finally got Drop-Box set up, and it's still updating all my King's Woodwright files... so no trainer till this evening if I feel like riding in the evening. If I do ride I think I'm going to do my Epic Texas Ride with the Cadence Revolution sound track. The epicTV is good for scenery and looking at something, I prefer The Sufferfest for my HIT (High Intensity Training), but this combination or a YouTube play list of cross or my tv broadcasts of Pairs-Roubaix with the Cadence Revolution are good for time on the trainer, and working on technique when winter training starts...

For now I've got to let my hand heal, so I can work and make money...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Sunday in November

It was windy "mild" and very sunny today. So I got out for a couple of hours on the bike, then came home and took the dogs out for a walk on the trail.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cold but I layered and layered and went out

I don't like riding in single digits, and the only time I do is on New Years day because that's a tradition. But there's not much to do around here and I do have my bike with me. My two house mates went out yesterday in cold, windy and overcast weather... I went down to the market and picked up nice vegetables, and walked around a bit... There were more people out around the avenue that the MEC is on than in By-town market. Ah it did get me out of the house.

Today though it was sunny and both the guys went out at about 6°, I waited till it was 8° which is still cold but no trainer and I needed to get out on the bike. Last weekend was the last time cars were allowed in the park till spring, so once over in the park the climbing was very safe on closed roads, the only "scary" bit was a guy doing his cross-country roller skis and his poles were all over the place... shiksabob Tex was not on the menu fortunately but came close. At the top I got a younger person who understood a camera phone and got him to snap a photo at the Champlain lookout, YEA! I then made a quick decent (but not too quick or I'd freeze), and now at home making a pork roast for dinner.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Colder than all get up.. by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

OK so we worked late last night and it was clear today... We took off a bit early for a ride at 4°C WHAT!!!??? I rode for a little bit, Rob has headed for the hills and Jeff's off in town... it's 7:00 dark and cold. I may live in Canada but I certainly like being warm in this weather unlike those two Canuks, I mean not just this but here in Canada for my American friends, when it gets below freezing we would start a fire and have hot chocolate or hot butter rum, not Canadians NO they head indoors to Hockey rinks and Curling rinks where it's cold and play all winter indoors in the COLD! I'm NOT lying it's true!

For me if it gets up a few more degrees here in Ottawa I'll ride but I'm pretty sure it's time for rollers and Sufferfest till longer and warmer days show up... EXCEPT New years day!

Colder than all get up.. by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mr. Tuttle goes to Parlement.

We have had very productive days and today we had sun, with lots of wind. When we got back to the house two of us went out on our separate ways. I went down the river trail to see the Parliament buildings. It was a nice evening and quite a few people were out on the trail exercising or coming home from work.

Downtown I did not know Ottawa had the BiXi bike rentals. These bikes are rented right there and you can ride them around town and return them to another docking station. Montreal, Paris, and London to name a few have these bike rental sites. Cool.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Out for another ride in the Gatineau Park

Today I went out solo. The other two had taken a ride downtown on the bike trail. On the bridge to Quebec I met a girl name Emily from London, who is attending school here, she's a track racer and is learning how to climb. My friend Heather's headed to Ottawa next week for 6 months and hopefully the two of them can connect.

I was hoping to ride around Meach lake today but I got far enough to take this picture, the roads were very narrow and were in VERY bad shape, so I turned around and went up and did the same climb I did yesterday. Towards the top a young guy flew past me while I tried to take a phone call, and gave me a "look" so I went after him... I sat on his wheel as he tried to pull away, and as he started to sway and wear out I put the hammer down and dropped him like a lead weight... So much for that brand new Trek Madone... Looks good but the motor is what makes the machine... NOT that I'm a real aggressive rider but I was just looking for someone to play with.

I don't know if we will get out much this week given that its dark by about 6:00 p.m. and we're working... UGH fall's such a bummer.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

IKEA: Ottawa

I'm in Ottawa working at another Ikea store and we have the Gatineau Park and a lot of nice riding in front of us. But it's October in Canada further north of Brantford. Today started rainy... but then it stopped, grey with a few sprinkles, so we Rob and I went out at noon. It was an easy day of a few climbs and just enjoying being on the bike. Fall up here is supposed to be fantastic about a week ago. We did see a young 30 year-old Quebecois cyclist and there was a need to catch him and make him ride the hills a little harder than he had planed on doing. It took a couple of the climbs to catch him, but once together he was happy to share the pulls and had a good little ride together in the park.

Next year I plan on traveling in a different cycling kit.

Now I need to teach Rob how to get my camera to take photos... I have photos of him, but the "picture" he took of me is not there. We will get out again tomorrow in the sun.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Single digit weather (Celsius), 34 km/hr winds with gust up to 75 km/hr and rain... not fun. I could have and I have ridden in such weather but I'm off to Ottawa tomorrow and I have stuff to do to get ready, and there would not be time to clean the bike.

So today I set up my winter torchure chamber and did the new Sufferfest Video "A Very Dark Place". It seems to only take a few minutes into any of David's videos to "remember" why they are called The Sufferfest, you suffer and leave a nice puddle of sweat on the floor and on the bike, in just a mere one hour workout! I needed to have a high intensity workout so I'll be ready for the Gatineau's over the next three weeks, even if I do ride them at a "fall" pace.

Now as far as Torchure Chambers go, mine is just in the sun room which gets pretty cool in the winter but I seem to be able to heat up the place by the end of the ride, and it's far better than the laundry room. The Sufferfest website sells all sorts of "stuff" to let people know your a Sufferlandrian, and some folks have or want to put up a flag in their chamber, and I've taken a quote in full from the website from a letter sent in last Febuary... Scary part I know this guy! I was over in France with him for Paris-Roubaix and he would have waved the flag if they were available then.

"Hello fellow Sufferlandrian,

I am just toiling in my fields on sore legs after my latest training ride through the harsh and unforgiving Sufferland countryside. I am very fortunate to have been assigned to a work party that will be dispatched to Northern France this spring. During my time there I’ll be allowed to be at the side of th…e road for Flanders, Roubaix, and Amstel Gold. I would be extremely proud to wave the Sufferland flag for the moving picture cameras, so our glorious Nation could be recognize around the world in Newsreel viewings everywhere. But alas, I have no flag. It was lost during the peasant uprising of 1962. If there was a way for you to send me one, I would be more than proud to fly it high, with a tear in my eye, during my time abroad.
Humbly Your Servant,
Peter Schouten"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Day (the Canadian one) ride

I had looked up a ride that would have been nice to do but at 90 kms it was too far for the amount of time some had planed for the ride. So we headed up Harrisburg to Maple Manor, Footbridge Road, Greenfield to Ayr and back.

Our ride started off and going up from Harrisburg Dermot got a flat and five of us were "off the Front" and by the time we got to our turn we thought they had just turned off to leave us to our vices (we need a race radio to keep the group informed). Our group then went on to complete the ride, the others sounds like they went through St. George and back home. Our ride was just at the 80 km mark and they were at the 60 km mark.

Our group was the faster folk and I ride with them I rarely get a gap where I can turn around and get a photo so I got one of the infamous Andrew and Rob, I almost had everyone but then a car came along and I had to go back to the bars and missed a great photo with everyone in line and the autumn trees... a well, next time.

We arrived back at our Tim Horton's haunt on Paris Road and our compatriots were there and that's when we learned they were yelling at us that they had a flat... Sorry guys.

Now I would like some feed back from others. I like Map My Ride to share rides and to post (no metrics just a nice map). But for my data I'm really liking the downloading from Training Peaks, but the Garmin site is nice but slower... What are you type A people using?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Second Ride of the Thanksgiving Weekend

Canadian Thanksgiving's here and we could not have nicer weather even if we custom ordered it!

Not one single cloud in the sky, cool mornings and this afternoon got pretty warm... I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt.

I got out yesterday with with Jacques, at 11:00 a.m. (sorry forgot my phone takes good photos), for about 65 kms. Work did not go as planed and with this weather I put no effort into filling a Friday of a long weekend with a lot of work. (I could use the work but sometimes taking off and riding is the best deal).

This morning we went down to Port Dover which is a metric Century (100 Kms). With this weather everyone was in a great mood. On our way down we had about three people who cut the ride short, one being Bob Drinkwater who is 80 years old, and is only 6 months younger than my father. During the ride he came up to the front, paced me then came back and put his arm around me and gave me a threat.... He's headed off to Portugal for the winter in 6 -1/2 weeks and when he gets back next spring I better watch out as he's going to teach me a lesson. Oh I want to be 80 and riding and "threatening" guys 30 years younger!

We continued on to Port Dover rode around the end of the pier (that's the photos of us all), and then headed home. What a fantastic day and to spend it with friends makes it all the better.

I finished off my day buy shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner with my daughter, walking the dawgs for about 3.5 kms and then supper! now its time for Dr. Who!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Improvements Physically and Spiritually

First, the physical; I have a hilly loop that is a bit difficult but I enjoy riding it. I head over to St. George and do Cheese Factory Road, the cut across Maple Manor. The hill there by itself is easy but cumulative of Cheese Factory it burns a bit. Then over to Footbridge Road to Greenfield over to Ayr, down Paris Road which is now paved nicely most the way and makes for a nice head down hammer fest. Finish up through Paris and back home on Powerline (which is also a hammer fest road.)

I rode it on July 26th by myself and then again last night, August 13th. Comparing the two last nights ride was 1.4 km/hr average speed faster over 62 kms which cut 4:48 minutes off the overall time. Now what would be impressive if I could cut another 4:48 off in three more weeks... we'll see.

Now for anyone reading to give input and for me to RANT (so you've been warned). My bike computer is a Garmin, they have a Cloud training log at Garmin Connect, Which I've used for the links on the dates because if your truly interested you can see my metrics from the ride. I use Map My Ride for most postings as it shows the route, elevation and no metrics because most the time it's about the ride not how I rode. It also lets us plot out and share courses in our riding group. Finally I've been using Training Peaks because "its free" and all the cool kids use it. My rant is why does Training Peaks take less than a minute to download my training file and Garmin took last night 5 minutes? When in Denver with a bad internet connection it would not even take it. What do any of you use, if you use at all? This would be between Garmin and TPeaks as downloading everything twice is silly. OK there that complaint is off of my chest.

Spiritual training: I have been receiving the Blog from the Desiring God website and have used that as a point of prayer and challenge in my life, it is also a fantastic resource for reading and devotional material. I have read through Matthew and now I'm in the middle of John. Matthew because, the pastor at my church has been working through the book and the life of Jesus, and John because it's the most "intuitive" of the four books and the ideas of Christ's teachings come across more than the facts; thus providing me with a contrast of Christ's life.

Then on the Team FCA Endurance "The Body" website under forms the topic of fasting has come up. I've been participating in that discussion which has lead me to get the book from John Piper A Hunger for Desiring God and I have read through that, not as quickly as I would like as the Notbook's screen is a bit small, and then at the Desktop I've got the distraction of work duties. Fasting is a way to seek God and reminder to our body and soul that our true food is spiritual as Jesus said in John 4:32 "I have a kind of food you know nothing about."

So my physical training is going well, and I'm thinking it might be a good year to go out and race cyclo-cross, and my spiritual training is going quite well to, and the fruits of that are harder to qualify. But I still visualize my "life verse" 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, as I study and as I'm riding. There has to be a greater purpose in it all, and The Eternal Prize is worth it all.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Canada's Civic Long Weekend

You have to love long weekends! This one has been fantastic, warm sunny and good for riding, with some rain at night so our plants don't die.

Three day weekend means three days of riding, right? Yep!

Saturday's ride was a good turn out at the coffee shop, with an age span from 80 to thirty-something. Which is pretty amazing. Bob was out with is new Cérvelo S3 SL, which he got from his son for his 80th, very sweet bike. Unfortunately we headed off to a bit hillier lands and he was off a bit at the beginning, then when I went to help him back up, he said go on without me, I always feel bad leaving him cause when he's good he's good.

Sunday was church and Andy was back with a good sermon, for those of you interested. We then took Céline out to Circle Square Ranch where she is working in the kitchen for the week, child labour is a good thing in my opinion! Back home the dawgs were waiting for their chance to go out for a walk/run on the trail, we often get out for an hour to an hour and half and with some heat they just are pooped. Home and a few beers (its a Canadian long weekend, and its a requirement). Then I get the brilliant idea that it's a beautiful evening and I should take out the cross bike and let it stretch its wheels on some single track. It was a loop that I learned years ago, going around behind Bell homestead's not so bad, but it's cutting through the trail system after Mohawk park that I still don't know the best way through, but I did make it through. I am not great off-road, and less great off-road with a few beers, but I took it slow and other than burs on my socks it was a great ride.

Today was back at the coffee shop with the "crew" and Bob was back with his bike, and we were off to flatter lands. We headed up a hill and into Mt. Pleasant a little quick, Bob was having a bit of trouble but there were several folks making sure he got through the hilly bit, once he was reconnected with the group and on the flat lands, he was fine. We put in some good efforts and had a good time of visiting. Then headed up to Harley, Craig and I turned up the speed a bit and no one was with us, at Harley we realized that if we headed home it was just going to be 60 km ride and we wanted further, so we turned left and headed West with plans to end up in Drumbro. In Brantford, most of the stores were open so we aimed to get water along the way. Well, out in the country a day off is a day off, we finally found a store that was open and met a nice lady sportif rider from Kitchener and she was stopping at the store too. So we had a nice visit, refueled and headed on our ride once again.

Summer Long weekends are good, summer's too short here and it's nice to be able to enjoy an extra day every now and then. Off to clean my two bikes so they'll be ready for the next ride.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sometimes not ridings good too!

My friend is headed out on holidays in one more day, and last night we were going to try to get in a trail ride on our cross bikes. By the time it was all said and done I wanted to give him back his 11-25 cassette and he wanted me to measure a drawer to order some good slides in his kitchen. Instead of a nice trail ride we sat out on his back deck had some Well's IPA and cleaned out his fridge. It was a great evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No one wanted to ride with me today

I called a few friends but no one wanted to go OR had time to go... So I went by myself. I wanted to ride one of my favorite courses, it's sort of hard. Or it's hard if you ride it very fast. There are a few rollers on this and two good up bits, so it's a good workout. The weather's cooled off and it was not humid and nary a cloud in the sky it was a fantastic evening workout.

I use a Garmin to get my metrics and when it works I really like the unit, but when it does not work I get upset. HOW wet does the contact have to be on the HRM for this thing to work out of the gate? I can only get a few seconds out of 186 BPM, so I know that anything over that is wrong. Comon' Garmin I paid for this to work well, and the FAQ tells me nothing. So I rely upon my spit as I have for every HRM I've ever owned. Ugh!

For those interested here is where I went:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Home and Saturday's Ride

Home again and riding in Southern Ontario. This Blog has the Map-My-Ride and photos. I've blogged a fair bit of racing and my travels but our group rides are what is the mainstay of my cycling. Today's ride was not very popular, Canadians seem to have an aversion to summer heat. It was hot but moving on the bike and drinking Hammer Heed you really don't notice. Plus once in Burlington there were A LOT of cyclist on the road, which was great to see, I like seeing other riders on the road.

Our group was small, we met at 8:00 and it consisted of my die-hard cycling buddy Greg Niemialkowski, urban legend the "Randy Brown", and my newest cycling buddy Heather Shearer with her husband Chris. We headed out of the Paris Road Tim Horton's on our ride. Heather will be riding the provincial road race tomorrow so Chris and her were out for the first 30 kms., which included Weirs Road... OK, there are a lot of climbs in Southern Ontario I like but Weirs Road has broken me in the past, and it's not the first choice I'd make for I'll go up Weirs and turn around, I'd go to Weirs and turn around before going up... it's short but Max grade is 16%!!! So with that I took photos of Chris and Heather coming up Weirs Road, they then head home.

This now left the infamous "Randy Brown", Greg and myself, and we're off to Sydenham Hill, which I personally enjoy, we then ride the ridge and at one of the houses a dog comes flying in the road, Greg and I swerve and Randy's 3-4 meters behind and the dog stops and takes out Randy... Randy's beat up and wants to continue, the dog... Well sadly I'm not sure if she made it. Her shoulder was dislocated or broken and she had blood in her eye. Sad. Randy had road rash, but back at the Tim's his hip was swollen and he was using his floor pump as a crutch, this guy gets in more accidents... He's been run over by a Cement truck, pick-up truck, ran into a tree on a race and rode the next day... Hence, the Urban Legend... there are few people like Randy and you will always remember these guys, yet everyone thinks you're making up stories about guys like him...

Back on the bike and through the old Guelph Road, onto Burlington and Snake Road, up and around then back York Road where Randy's running a little slow (but not too slow) and Greg and I have pushed hard riding past all the cyclist in Snake Road. We decide just to come back via Crook's Hollow rather than Old Ancaster, we then cut down to the store to get liquids and come home via Old 99. Arriving back at the Tim Horten's haunt. It turned out to be a 4 hour ride and it was about 33-34°C, and a great day in saddle. Greg and I went over to his house had a beer and discussed the ride, the Legend of Randy Brown and le Tour. What a Fantastic way to spend your Saturday!!!

All the photos from this Ride are HERE! All in All we do live in a nice place for good rides...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back home again

I was working in Dundas yesterday and I just hated to pass up climbing Sydenham. It was 43°C = 109°F (or at least according to my truck temp gauge). When I came home last time it was from 20°C and sunny (where I was) to -1°C and wet (in Brantford), this time I left 35 ish and came to 43! Whew... what will happen next time I leave? Can Southern Ontario not survive without me?
The climb is O.K. and the decent is less than exciting compared to roads that you've never ridden. Its go down for 2 minutes at about 65 km/hr or go down for 25 minutes at 80+ km/hr... Never mind the heat, what's up with that? Three Climbs and a bottle and half of water. Now I had been working outside all day so I was catching up.

3x Hill Repeats by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Epic Ride to Finish off Denver

This was one of those weekends of riding I thought I would never do because of the climbing. On Friday Robert and I did the Deer Creek Canyon clockwise from the parking lot at the Canyon. Saturday Craig and I rode from the hotel and rode the Deer Creek Canyon counter-clockwise. These two rides in of themselves make for a good weekend of riding. I have an album of all the rides at Picasa here This is amazing country, and we've seen people out riding every-time we've been out.

Then comes Sunday and we wanted to plan a ride, so I went on Map-my-Ride and found one that looked good and left from Golden, ya have to go and see some of these towns. Twenty-Twenty hindsight I've got to get on the Garmin connect as I think there are more serious riders there. Map-my-Ride has a lot of "junk" you have to sort through.

Our ride was to be a loop but we could not get it all plotted with our poor internet connection so when we got to the road we were to turn on we were told it would have a lot of climbing, we did through the day 2,564 meters of climbing we did not want to make a mountain pass again therefore we ended up with an out and back. We climbed up to the Golden Gate State Park where you are just into the mountains and the views were stunning! It was a scorcher of a day temps started at 86 and went up to 101, at least in the mountains it was cooler but thank goodness for water stops. Our first water stop was at the park office where they had a hiking trail and a pond full of trout, and many of the lakes (for my fisherman friends) had "no limits" fishing! The water here out of the tap was cool clear and tasted fantastic, we also splashed our faces, Craig poured some over his head, and Robert took a bath in it! We left the washroom a little messy... Oops.

Back on the road we had reached an elevation that was much cooler but the climbing had not stopped, but we were in the mountains on the peak to peak road, the same road from last weekend just further south. The views were unbelievable and the point and shoot camera on the web does not do it justice. There is a point when the climbing for those who don't live around the mountains becomes "old" we climbed and we descended and we climbed, all three of us began to slow some even Mr. Brehn (Robert) though he did not slow much. Craig and I can beat each other up on the Deer Creek climb this one was tough, but only half of what the pro's are doing on the climbing days at the Tour! Finally we got to descend and this time I did it without brakes and made a much quicker decent, but on this decent there are still climbs, and what felt like full out effort to pound the snot out of your buddies was not that hard because we were all lactic acid loaded legs by this time, then at the top of these little climbs descents again which are like a reward and a time of recovery, Craig and Robert are better than I am, and I hit 80 km/hr, I could have done better but my back was stiff and I could not tuck as low as I wanted. Finally, we arrive back in town and to the car and 104 F! A great way to finish off the weekend.

Now for a rest day of work at Ikea, anyone of the Brantford Boys and Girls want to do Sydenham on Wednesday?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back to Back climbing

Friday afternoon was taken off early Karen, Robert and I loaded up two bikes and went out to the Ken Caryl Canyon which is really Deer Creek Canyon, oops. Karen went off for a hike in on the hiking trails, unfortunately for her it was a bit hot at the lower elevation. Robert and I made the assent up the "harder" side stopped and grabbed a water at the break area at the top and made our decent pulled into the parking lot packed up and headed back to the hotel and picked up goodies for a pool party for the Ikea crew who were leaving on Saturday. That now leaves a few "officials" the locals and Robert's ALS team to finish up the store.

Saturday morning Craig and I plan to go for a ride, but after the Tour! I get outside waiting and realize my rear tire is worn out, threads showing! Ugh! So we had to detour to the bike shop, and wait for 20 minutes for them to open so I could buy a new tire. On our ride we once again got to ride through the southern end of Denver, oh boy city traffic. As we enterterd the canyon I finally remembered my camera, and it is a worthwhile view, and you can see Craig's lovely cyclist tan! Getting photos on a climb did not happen. The decent I took one photo but the best shot was on the stepper part and we are flying. This time we did the climb the easy way around with at a lower effort. We saw a steady stream of cyclist coming down from the climb, everyone was out riding! Pretty darn cool, and as you can see from the rest stop there were quite a few. Then Craig and I made the decent, he is still much faster than I but we schooled a lot of locals on the decent. I do know that there are a lot of locals who could school us on the climbing and descending so it's tong-in-cheek. Riding through town we had to pull in to allow an afternoon shower to pass overhead.

Today, we are off to climb the Golden Gate and ride on the peak to peak road. Three days of climbing, for someone who's not a climber! Not to mention some reason I've lost some weight over the last two weeks! HA!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mid-Week Climb

This is kind of cool that mid week you can ride across town and do a Cat 1 climb. Riding across town in a major U.S. city at rush hour was NOT cool nor was it fun, but it was the method for the madness, so to speak.

The ride across town had Robert and Craig flying across and Cam and I were a bit behind. I want to point out that last night was the Ikea "family" party and Craig did not go and Robert left early and I kept up on the dance floor with the twenty-somethings till late and THAT's not the best preparation to a long day of work and then a hard ride, when your an old guy who goes to bed usually at 9:30 p.m. I hit a level of cool "old-guy" on Tuesday night that I never have had! Part of that was I stayed with the water as the drink of choice for the night so everyone made it home safe.

With that as the precursor, I did have trouble riding out to the valley and climb but when I got there I did very well, I kept Robert and Craig in my sights the whole time (and as I've said before climbing is not my specialty). We got to the top and turned around and Cam who is just getting into riding was not that far down the road and that was impressive because he was not drinking water last night. I posted the Map-My-Ride because I love seeing the gray area that and the little emblem that says CAT 1.

Coming home through town was "interesting" a thundershower was just in front of us, and the roads were soaking wet with the drains fighting to clear the water, so when I got in I was a wet as if I had been in the storm.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I love my 11-28 cassett!

Yesterday Craig and I went for out for another ride. This one did not have the 16%'s that Magnolia did on Saturday it was a 25 km climb and on average the grade was about 6% (just guessing) there were a few 8% and one little 10% that did hurt. On a climb like this I was able to ride in my 39-28 with a cadence of 80 rpms and my heart rate in my zone 3 most of the climb, at that effort level I could have climbed all day given plenty of liquids. Which I would like to thank the people who support this climb and supply water, gatorade (which I DON'T use) and home made cookies at the top of the climb where there's a historic school house (sorry no photos).

Craig plotted out a course from our hotel which is an hour's ride from the Ken Caryl Canyon, so we had some "rolling" city riding out and back. I forgot my camera but Craig sent the photos of the entrance into the canyon, views like this just "minutes" from the city of Denver!

This climb was not without events, we were passed by a group of bikers which travel in packs and of course have no mufflers and run their mixture to rich (not a fan of bikers), on one of the switch backs it appeared one of them crossed the yellow line and was plowed into by a pick-up, a few minutes later I could hear sirens so it looked bad but I did not see the bike just the bent bumper of the truck. I was climbing a steep section, dodging 5 cars parked and the horde of bikers all over the road so no sight seeing there.

And to make the climb more eventful our decent was in rain, and that is when you really have to trust your bike, cause we were hitting 67 km/hr... which could have been faster if no rain and chance of the bike going out from under on slick road!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sufferning on Magnolia Drive

It was hot and Magnolia Drive goes UP! It is a Category 1 climb and I am not known to be a climber, and never mind that I've lost some of my conditioning. Oh, yea there's not oxygen up here! The climb took over an hour, everyone needed to have breaks and wait for me. I was a hot day and we did the climb without our helmets and I wish I did not have my undershirt on. UGH, I'm not used to being the last one! I also had to get off and walk to get some feeling back in my arms, which had turned into noodles. The last part of the climb was a dirt road, and it was more like "rollers" where I was able to recover. We arrived in Nederland and the little coffee shop had water and I washed down a bottle of water and reloaded my bottles for the rest of the ride. It is so dry up here you can feel your body losing water but there is no sweat, so you HAVE to be careful. We then rode the Peak to Peak road, and got in a Cat 2 climb, which was easy! All things are relative.

The decent was and always be the best part! we flew down along the canyon at 77 kms/hr. Then Roberts rear tire went flat and we stopped to change the tire and I took this video of the water coming down the canyon, the water is at it's highest in twenty years and several people have gone white water rafting and it's a lot of 4 & 5 ratings on the water.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Flash Floods!

Well, we tried to go out for a ride after work but... clouds were BLACK... and we rode around for an hour trying to miss them. We get back to the hotel and it's raining, lightly. At supper time we see that there has been floods where the clouds were black and since there has been numerous flash flood warnings for us.

So, no real rides yet.... stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the road again

This time I'm in the Mile High City in the US. The U.S. Ikea stores have a unique system for wiring their lighting which is an over kill, but coming to Denver is the only way I can see it and become familiar with it.

We are here with our bikes so we have and will be riding. Not sure how many photos and how often I'll be blogging as the internet system is good for 2003! but way overloaded and I could not even get to my email last night. Rumors are there is an upgrade in the works and may happen as early as the end of this week!?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Recovery Week

You know it's time to recover when...
This time it was a long even "roller" and my friends Greg and Robert took off on me and I could not stay with them my legs felt like I was climbing one of the steeper climbs around here with a heart rate of 170+ But my heart rate was only 156. That was Thursday.

Saturday's ride with the boys was an even recovery ride over flat roads for about 90 kms. It felt good, and today I did a real easy 40 km ride with my bike computer acting up... Oh big time love hate with technology!

On another note I've been using Logos Bible Software to do my morning quite-time. I started to use it when in France because I only packed the computer and did not pack my Bible (big and bulky).

It has drivers on the computer but the studies are cloud or synced via a cloud, so whatever computer I'm on I can get my marked versus and notes. I does tons more stuff, but I got it loaded and just now really started to make use of it. We shall see where it takes me.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's Ride

Our weather's not been too great so this morning, even though it was cold it did warm up, some. It was still quite windy which added a wind chill. All that to say to find two guys to go out and ride some good hard hills was a bit difficult, I did get two. I could have joined some triathlon friends at 7:00 but is was 0°C, sunny though but too cold. We left at 9:00 with a few more degrees on the thermometer, and pounded some hills, and decided that the wind was NOT at 5 km/hr it was more a 25 km/hr so we cut our 100k short, but still ended up with a good 80k. This one will count in a couple of weeks and others will hurt. I rode my Major Jake set up for road one last time as I could not get the Tarmac finished this morning. BUT after I got home and warmed up, cleaned up and had my "breakfast" I was back out on the Tarmac, between loads of laundry and feeding the dogs and family. New bottom bracket bearings, new rear wheel bearings, both sets were a pain to get but there in now. Then I changed out the look of the bike with new cables, tape and an aluminum handle bar... at 180 lbs I just don't think carbon is made for big strong riders. It's blingged and ready to go! Next ride's a wrench ride, where you take your multi-tool to make sure everything's right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Riding in Shortsleves and Sun!

Wow two posts in one day. The weatherman was WRONG! The sun came out and I went out. I needed to get back onto my training, it's pretty hard to get motivated in cold and wet... not to mention what it does to the bikes, now the cross bike is creaking. I really like this ride as its has some good rollers and the road is pretty quiet. Though I did see my friend Heather out on her bike "hi, Heather", sorry I did not stop but I had dad taxi responsibilities that required me to stick to the schedule. BTW Heather if you look at the map this the Cheese Factory-Maple Manor you asked about... First one up Maple Manor wins...

Interval Training 2x10' z4 by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

Down and Out

Well, my Tarmac is... The Bottom bracket bearing on the left side is trashed. It is an Enduro ceramic bearings but the races are steel and I'm assuming that road dirt over a couple of rainy days was pulled in. Enduro's moving their warehouse and trying to get someone on the phone is not easy. I've e-mailed back and forth but no definitive answers on the correct part, and I don't want to order something like this twice. I have to send money to PayPal and that takes time then ordering takes time.

I know that some will say they take credit cards. In 2009 the economy took a dive and so did my finances and business. Knowing something had to change I took a class offered by our church called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, many of you might have heard him on the radio. It was time for me to do something different and to date I now no longer own any credit cards, and deal mostly with cash. I hardly even use my debit card which has cut my business' monthly bank fee down by $30.

In October I did find out my rear wheel bearings were all trashed out, so later today I'm going to check my front wheel bearings. The headset was replaced a year-ago.

This is why I love bikes and HATE cars, I can tear down a bike all by myself and I know how to put it back together. Cars... half the stuff I can't even find...

Spring will show up soon, weather finally got warmer and if it will stop raining tonight I want to get out and do a good ride.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back home and Riding

I am back home and riding my regular haunts and with my regular "crew".
My university friend John B. has gotten a Specialized Roubaix and a Garmin 500 and has been posting on Facebook via Garmin Connect which is a "cloud" training log. I have now set up an account there and I've just loaded my spring riding on. Too bad I did not know before I cleaned the memory out of the bike computer. I could have loaded all my rides on there, and had a complete log. Other than the older rides I am saying good by to Training Peaks which is also a good cloud log, and if you are really serious has some pay-per-use stuff on it (I have no experience with)

I've loaded everything up and have posted two links here more for me to see how it transfer... I still will use Map my Ride because they have mapping abilities. I have had to use an on line "converter" to get the files to the right format for the bike computer. It's nice to share courses with others.

Training Ride with Greg by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

Dundas-Burlington hills with Rob and Anja. by texastutt at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home again

We got up at the usual time this morning and Peter and I were dropped off at the train station by 7:45 a.m. I was off to the airport and he was off to Holland to see family. We had pastries and coffee waiting for our trains. Mine showed up and I headed off to board. The TGV is a great way to travel, and I was landed in Charles de Gaul, where I zipped to my ticket booth #2A, and the circus began. Waiting in this line then, no we want you to wait in this line where the ticket agents are having a chit-chat. Then to security for a posted 7 minute wait... It was more like 57 minutes! Needless to say when I arrived at the gate I was 5 minutes late, and this old ugly gate keeper started in on me, I had enough of CdG hospitality and told her so, in plane English. The other gate keeper was much nicer and I got on to the plane for the long marathon of "pond hopping"

Back in Brantford now. Heather managed to rearrange her schedule to pick me up. First thing was get all the stuff out of the truck, second was take the dogs for a good long walk, they were all very happy to see me. Saw two of my riding buddies out, Egon and Jimmy, headed to pick up another rider.

I then unpacked the bike and cleaned it, and cleaned it some more... then did a bit of mechanical on it... all in all three weeks on cobbles, dirt, and one rain storm ride it was really not all that too bad.

Then picked up Céline from dance and now home just planing the rest of the week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last day in France

Today we worked on lights and finished early. Came home and went for a ride to connect with the local group ride. It was quite cool and I bowed out, maybe should not have but I did go back to our house and take some photos of our town before I left. And surprise I found more cobbles right next to our house and as rode down the road it had been pulled up and I saw cobbles off to the side... if weight was not an issue it'd be a cool souvenir. I came home and then packed up the bike and stuff.

Tonight was a bit eventful, first Peter got hit by a car and bruised himself in the nether regions and Robert hit a pot-hole (there here too) on the group ride and ended up with a double flat. He hitch hiked and was picked up and with little to no effort got two people to bring him straight back to the house.

Peter went off to the Emergency room, socialized medicine and he was seen, X-Rayed and back home within 45 minutes... Wow the system can work. The guy who hit him is aware and did stop...

Three total car issues in three weeks. One some guy in a BMW who was just typical "North American" type, one guy on Saturday with Robert and I where he pulled out and we had to slam on our breaks and we yelled at him, then as he was looking in his rear view mirror he hit the road furniture in the middle and flatted his front tire, that was sweet justice. Then Peter which sounds like an honest mistake and other than Pete being in some pain it'll turn out O.K.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shopping in France

OK. for those who enjoy shopping it would be fantastic...
BUT I went on a Monday evening and spent 1:45 minutes in a traffic jam (I can do that any night on the QEW) that should have taken at most 2o minutes! I've been driving on these roads for two weeks and so the pain in the @__ was not highway system which is actually very good but just sitting in a 110 km/hr zone at 10 km/hr!

I then managed to walk around and then into the shopping section 10 minutes after everything closed. NOW that's not to say that if you love to shop... You could spend the day here shopping and probably a whole lot of money. I just hate shopping at the best of times.

The square's under construction but this is just not the stuff you see in North America. I really wish I had not arrived under duress. I would have taken more time, one and two I would have stopped and at least had a beer at one of the café's, but I knew I needed to move on and get over to the mall. Ah well there's always Montreal...

I went back out and there was still some traffic but not as much and got to the mall and got my gifts in less than a "romantic" setting but I'm not a shopper... so everyone has what I was looking for and should be more than happy. (hint, hint ;)).