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!?