Sunday, September 21, 2008

08 AGM Cross

This past weekend was the AGM cross – the first Cyclocross race of the year, always held on the Saturday before the Sask Cycling Association’s Annual General Meeting (Which this year happened to be in Saskatoon!).

This year the race was a fundraiser for the CIBC Run For The Cure for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (the weather was nice and the course was easy so in reality there wasn’t that much “RUNNING”… but, whatever…). There were prizes for best costumes and the bike/Rider with the most pink on them.

I wasn’t feeling much like riding so I hauled the kids across the city to watch and cheer on Amanda! I don’t have piles of good pics because I was mostly shooting video… and I filled my damn card n the first 10 minutes of the race and then had to figure out how to delete stuff!?

One of these days I’ll figure out how to knit the clips together and add text and a soundtrack… bt for now here’s a few of the pics I took

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Riders marshalling… in the wrong area… Look at all that PINK!?

The women waiting to start. Amanda’s hiding in the back.

I don’t know who this was but she had a crazy, crazy dress on… earlier I had seen her riding around in some white… I don’t know… Go-go boots? Which would have been cool if she raced in them… but she apparently decided to ditch them before the race started…

Kevin “the machine” Williams. Damn that guy is FAST!

Kevin again. Not sure what the hurry is everyone else is miles behind…

Not sure who that is in the Bike Doctor jersey… they all look the same… but I think that’s Susan Clark in the background. She’s a speedy one too!

Amanda approaching a barricade. (Don’t worry she’s not about to crash into it, she’s going quite slow at this point…)


This guys rocks my world! I met him a couple weeks ago, and I totally forgot his name. Sorry, dude. Anyway, that’s a pretty wicked singlespeed he’s riding! YEAH-BABY!!

Can’t be suffering that bad… She’s smiling! Ah well, that’s what it’s all about right? Having “fun”?

Mr. Stephen Cooley. Another damn fast rider. I can honestly say, however, that in the last cyclocross race I rode in I beat Stephen to take the gold medal at provincials in 2005 … in, uh, Cat 5… the, uh, first year he was racing… and, um, well, really, it was only because he broke his chain and there was no one else riding in Cat 5…. But a VICTORY IS A VICTORY!!!

Erica Musyj in her dollar store tutu.

Amanda on her second last lap.

Amanda recovering post race with part of her cheering section. Amanda was Dead Last - but she won a Run For the Cure Umbrella for being so very, very PINK! (which was handy because she lost her only umbrella at the movie theatre earlier this summer....) YAY AMANDA!

I dunno… I suppose I should probably show up for a few races this year… since I went and bought this silly racing license thing and all… Guess I’ll have to get out and practice a bit…

Last Month Or So…

So… what HAVE I been doing for the last month or so…!?

Not so much riding, to tell you the truth…

You might remember back in early July I was off the bike with a nasty infection that required some emergency day surgery that was decidedly un-fun! Well… it came back… Two weeks before XC8 - which I had really been looking forward to all year…. This caused me much distress as I had visions of another trip to the emergency OR and being completely unable to go.

On the plus side I actually got into see my doctor right away (a miracle in itself) and sort of nipped it in the bud before it got out of control and needed another trip to the emergency room. The downside is that it’s probably going to be a recurring pain in the arse (literally). I saw the surgeon again a couple weeks later and he confirmed that I will probably need to go under the knife again – and this time the procedure will be a little more… well… “Invasive”?

Anyway the whole episode just took the wind right out of my sails. That, coupled with an intensely busy fall schedule for the whole family and rapidly shortening daylight hours, has made it hard for me to get motivated and back in the saddle again.

As it turns out, I did, however, make it to XC8.

More on that in a moment...

Amanda at the Park Again

Over the week I actually got out to see Amanda riding in the Skate Park for the first time in months. When she goes out there I usually stay home with the kids. Can’t really take the kids over there because they just want to run all-over and get in the way of everyone… Well Amanda’s mum was visiting and so I had an opportunity to get over there kid free to take some pics and see what she’s been working on.

I have to report she is MUCH IMPROVED!!! Just goes to show a little practice can go a long way. As does having some good coaching – she has had a fair amount of encouragement and advice from “Coach G”! Thanks G!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

It’s funny, she’s had this bike for a couple years now, and a least once a year, when we’re over there together, she would stand on the edge of the bowl and say “I would NEVER go in there…”

Now, not only can she go in….

…but she can get back out too!

I took a bit of video the couple times I was there. I just have to figure out how to piece them all together and throw some cool tunes in the background and then I’ll get those up here somehow…

Monday, August 25, 2008


Well at least there’s some pics with the “training diary” this week…

Date: Monday, 18 August 2008
Time: 1:13:53
Distance: 17.75km
Temp: 30°C
Conditions: Sunny but getting dark
Notes: An evening ‘cross ride with Ryan, Seth, Fraser and Steven. It a tiring ride after a long, hot, tiring day. Not sure how I benefited… other than burning a few calories… Which, considering the state of me, is reason enough, I guess…

Lacking energy to ride I played “cameraman” (Oh, I got a new camera…)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Stephen and Ryan heading into “the sand pit”.

Sad that this is the only sand around that we have to practice in…. Stephen is powering through… Ryan is losing it. Screw it, I'd just run it!


Fraser powering through.

Ryan again. It was dark. They were going fast…

Stephen going really fast.

Seth is the man.

The dude.

I had set the alarm to get up and ride in the morning but was so hurting from the night before I just couldn’t get up… Considering the forcast for the week (HOT!), morning rides might be the way to go. I will have to find the motivation…

Date: Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Time: 41:26
Distance: 8.94 km
Average Speed: 12.94kph
Temp: 18°C
Wind: SE 8kph (not that it matters in the deep dark bush)
Conditions: Sunny (not that it matters in the deep dark bush)
Notes: Sunrise was at 5:57, I left the house a couple minutes later for an early morning trail ride. I rode the singletrack down by the water on the east bank of the river, starting at the Broadway Bridge and carrying on a bit past the University Bridge.

I was hurting when I got up but ibuprophen helped me get through the morning.

I saw a porcupine up in a bush munching on the foliage… or the sticks… or something… He’s in there, I swear – take a really close look.

I also saw some Beavers. This one scared the dickens out of me when he jumped off the bank and slapped his tail! This picturesque scene was just when he came back up.

He didn’t think too much of me still being there so he dove back down with another big slap of the tail!

Later in the morning I rode out, hauling the kids behind me, to visit with Simone and Claire and Evelyn. I came back in the early afternoon stopping at Safeway and Steep Hill. ~20km. It was 36°C….

Date: Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Ride #1 Morning Trail Ride
Time: 39:35
Distance: 8.51km
Average Speed: 12.89kph
Temp: 19°C
Wind: What wind?
Conditions: some clouds
Notes: Short but sweet (if sweet=painful). At least I’m getting up and getting out… I did a few more climbs today and rode over one thing I had to bail on yesterday… so that’s improvement, right?

30 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups. ow.

Did some errands with the kids in the afternoon. Enede up having to go all the way to Stupidstore on 8th… ~17km. it was 30°C when I got home… oi…

Evening ‘Cross Ride
Time: 1:14:23
Distance: 18.34km
Average Speed: 15.49?kph
Temp: hot to cool (maybe 27°C to start, 20-ish by the time we got back)
Wind: There was a breeze…
Conditions: cloudy
Notes: I really wasn’t looking forward to this ride. By the time I got to Diefenbaker I was beat. But after a little tooling around I sort of perked up a bit. It got nice and cool (compared to the heat of the afternoon) and even started to rain a bit just as we finished up and I felt pretty good by the time I got home. Tired, but good. We didn’t do any dismounts – because I’ve seriously pulled some muscle(s) in my groin and it is painful to attempt a high-speed re-mount. Mostly tight cornering, zig-zagging through trees and sprints across bumpy grassy fields and tearing around, up the hill a couple times and tearing around on a loose sometimes gravel – sometimes woodchip path… Good fun in the end.

Amanda, still not so keen on the steep descents on the ‘cross bike chose to walk this one.

Ryan again, and his cool Karate Monkey. Karate Monkey. I just love typing "Karate Monkey". Karate Monkey.

Amanda again.

Date: Thursday, 21 August 2008
Time: 36:19
Distance: 8.48km
Average Speed:
Temp: 14°C
Wind: huh?
Conditions: some clouds, mostly sunny.
Notes: This could have been a “rest day”… I begged Amanda to go out to the Skatepark this morning – but it turns out she was even lazier than I. So I eventually drgged my ass out of bed and went for a morning trail ride and it turned out to be just fine. I just got to get my ass out of bed and on the bike…

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

No other riding today. I did wa’l downtown with the kids for Story Time at the library. It’s been a while. I really had to take back the heaps of overdue books - it's really bad, they're sending us letters.... This is what happens in the summer when the regular routine gets so disrupted... ugh....

Date: Friday, 22 August 2008
Time: 1:02:52
Distance: 14.26km
Average Speed: ~14kph
Temp: 9°C
Wind: N 35kph
Conditions: Cloudy, dark and cool
Notes: I met Ryan at the Broadway Roastery and went for a morning trail ride out Gabriel Dumont/Diefenbaker way. After a week of 30°C+ temperatures 9°C and a 35kph wind out of the north seemed damn cold. It was hard getting out of bed!

It’s been a while since I rode the trails in those parks so it took some exploring to find them. Some are quite overgrown, some to the point of being unridable. Most of them are very steep so we mostly pushed up through bush and then rode back down…

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups. They were harder to day. I will lay off on them over the weekend when I’m doing some longer road rides. I need to stretch more.

Out to the zoo with the kids (~20km). Met up with Dean and Issac, and Simone and Claire and Evelyn.

On the way home we rode by the scene of a nasty crash. The black SUV on the back of the tow truck t-boned the grey car still sitting in the intersection. The other side of the grey car was totally crumpled…

Date: Saturday, 23 August 2008
Time: 2:28:50
Distance: 61.60km
Average Speed: 24.8kph
Temp: 11-17°C
Wind: SW 13kph – WNW 8kph
Conditions: Sunny
Notes: So tired. The first 20km or so I felt like I was asleep at the wheel. Like I could just fall over into the ditch fast asleep at any minute.

What is WITH this intersection? EVERY time I go by there’s a train, or, as in this case, if there isn’t, the barrier comes down and lights light up and bells ring anyway… just to spite me… seriously, as I came around the comrner on to Dundonald Avenue the bells started clanging and the arms went down and I said to myself some foul things along with “You’ve got to be kidding…” Apparently it was. As I approached the crossing I could see no train in either direction and by the time I got there the arms lifted up.

I did just miss a train on the way back though…

Some cows out on Highway 762

Too soon after I got back I had to haul the kids over to a birthday party for one of Amanda’s co-workers. +10km

Date: Sunday, 24 August 2008
Time: 2:46:14
Distance: 69.17km
Average Speed: 24.97kph
Temp: 9°C – 18°C
Wind: ESE 11kph – SE 24kph
Conditions: Clear
Notes: On teh way out I jsut cleared the crossing before a train came through. On the way back I just missed a very long train as there were at least two dozen cars and trucks lined up on either side of teh crossing that were just getting going as I arrived...

Here's where I go riding. I love it. Of course, I just love riding....

I am a hurting unit. There have been no rest days at all this week. I’ll definitely have to take one tomorrow.

Still I hauled the kids over to Kinsmen Park to play at the kiddie pool. Then over to Grandma’s for her Birthday party (part 2: the sequel). +8km

My backside is aching and I’m worried it might be infected again. Of course EVERYTHING is aching… so maybe it’s nothing more than general aching from over-work…? Gosh, I hope so. It would suck to have to go into emergency for a little more slicing and dicing just before THE BIG RACE. Actually, if it came to that, there’s no way I could do the enduro. Which would suck, because I’ve been pretty pumped about it for pretty much most of the summer. I could give ‘cross season a total miss, but I’d really like to do the enduro…

So looking forward to a rest day…

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Wow… This blog is getting pretty boring, eh? I’ll try and get something up this week beyond the “Online Training Diary”

Date: Monday, 11 August 2008
“Rest Day” if you call hauling Finnegan to music “camp” on campus, riding over to Preston Crossing back to Broadway and then back to campus to pick up the boy and sprint home to make supper restful… well… ~20+km

Date: Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Once again, a “Rest Day”, which, once again, involved hauling Finnegan to campus, over to Preston Crossing (forgot to get batteries, but it turned out they didn’t’ have them anyway…) and back over to London Drugs on 8th (they DID have batteries). Back to Campus, over to Broadway, and back home. ~20km.

Date: Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Time: 45 minutes on trainer
20 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups (hey haven’t done any for weeks…)

This was okay. I think I could get into this through the fall and winter every morning for a bit. Get out for some longer rides on the weekend or in the occasional evening… in addition to the general getting about by biking or hiking…

I watched Bootleg Sessions V.2 (borrowed from Ryan, THANKS!) Wow… Imagine a BMX video… flatland, park riding, whatever… now imagine it all done by skinny dudes in tight jeans on fixed-gear road machines… narrow flat bars, no brakes… It was insane.

Once again, out and about in the afternoon. This time I hauled both over to the new apartment where my folks are staying right downtown and dropped off Keira. Hauled Finnegan across to Campus for Music Camp. Rode over to McNally-Robinson in the rain. Rode around to a couple more stores down 8th Street (Tramps, Teachers Trunk, Wesgate Books, Safeway), Then back to pick up Finnegan and then Keira and then home… ~20km?

Evening Ride
Time: 1:20:52
Distance: 18.95km
Average Speed: 14.95kph
Temp: cool
Wind: not bad
Conditions: overcast and rainy from time to time.
Notes: I went out for a CX ride with Ryan and Amanda in the evening (grandma and grandpa came over to put the kiddies to bed). I met Ryan over at the Broadway Roastery. Made our way to Diefenbaker park, set up a little circuit, did some mounting/dismounting drills, came home in the dark.

Date: Thursday, 14 August 2008
Wow… I set my alarm to get up and either get on the trainer again or head out to the park to practices mounts and dismount on the cross bike for an hour. I really, really need to work on the mounting… but I was so damn stiff and tired (oh so tired…) I just couldn’t get up…

More hauling kids around and running errands…. ~15km

Date: Friday, 15 August 2008
We’ll call this a “Rest Week”…

More hauling kids around and running errands…. ~15km

Date: Saturday, 16 August 2008
Time: 3:54:42
Distance: 100.96km
Average Speed: 25.8kph
Temp: 23°C
Wind: SSW 24kph
Conditions: Sunny!
Notes: Into the wind on the way out, tail wind on the way back. Nothing to complain about..

Rolled over to Broadway to pick up some groceries. +5km…

Date: Sunday, 17 August 2008

Ride #1 Morning Road Ride
Time: 70.14km
Distance: 2:58:05
Average Speed: 23.6kph
Temp: 22°C
Wind: NE 22kph
Conditions: SUNNY!
Notes: The opposite of yesterday. Coasted (such as one can on a fixed gear…) on the way out, suffered on the way back. I cut the ride short to get back in time for Amanda to go out to the Skate Park before it got too busy. There was a lot of runners out on the road!? Something I haven’t really seen out that way before. Nine on Valley road, and one on the Pike Lake road (with a friend riding along beside her on a bike…) I got a flat! After I finally got it sorted out I rolled down the road another kilometer or two and stopped to take a picture with my new camera. Someone stopped to see if I was okay. Yeah, dozens of cars pass me while I’m crouched at the side of the road with my bike apart

Ride #2 Evening Trail Ride
Time: 14.22km
Distance: 1:04:12
Average Speed: 13.2kph
Temp: 21°C
Wind: E 11kph – not that it mattered down in the bush…
Conditions: SUNNY! In-your-eyes sunny…. The lighting conditions on the trail were terrible. I’ll try clear lens next time I ride in the evening just before sundown.
Notes: So the other day I actually fixed my mountain bike - the 1FG? – It’s been out of service for a year…. The last time I rode it was for Bike Polo. It’s probably been two or three years since I’ve ridden it on the trails… Wow… The skillz have faded… It’s a good thing I went out tonight – it was and eye opener and will serve as motivation to get out EVERY DAY for the next three weeks (you know… before XC8!? The 8-hour endurance, mountain bike race I’ve signed up to do solo….). I know what you’re thinking… “this guys either HARD CORE… or a dumbass…” – and let me tell you it’s a fine, fine line…

It was just an hour out to the end of G2… I could probably do this in the mornings before Amanda gets up to go to work…. I have to sort out some sort of plan for the week…

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Having been inspired by Heft On Wheels by Mike Magnuson, I thought all I got to do is start cycling like a maniac and… uh… Well he started, he started cycling like a mad bastard and quit smoking and drinking and I seem to recall he lost his first 30 pounds in a month or two… Of course I think he was riding a couple hours a day, six days a week… Anyway, I’m ahead of the game I’m not nearly as huge as he was to start with, smoking and drinking? Never done it… What are my vices…? Licorice and root beer (I am the most boring person you will ever meet in your life). That’s it, all I have to do is cut back on the licorice and root beer and ride lots and the pounds will just come FLYING off!

Well it hasn’t quite worked out that way… Oh I have been losing a bit of weight – about a pound a week. I stopped standing on the scale a couple weeks ago because I was getting a little depressed about it. I tried to cheer myself with the delusion that I’m simple building muscle faster than I’m loosing fat… or something like that.

Anyway, there’s NO WAY I was going to live on three protein shakes a day like mike did to shave off the next thirty or forty pounds. I was loath to even have to start counting calories or weight watchers points. I did have a look at what I eat this past week and I have to admit I eat HUGE breakfasts. Like a massive bowl of cold cereal with soy milk – it’s usually some sort of Organic Nature’s Path whole cereal… but as often as not I also mix in some Nature’s Path organic kiddies cereals (Koala Krip – crispy rice with cocoa and sugar… or Leaping Lemur’s – chocolate and peanut butter flavoured organic corn puffs…) or if we’re out of cereal or milk I’ll have, like, four to six pieces of toast with heaps of peanut butter and jam…. Breakfast: it’s the most important meal of the day, right? Oh and from time to time I make a big batch of pancakes sure it’s all organic and I mix in tofu – but let’s face it pancakes are just a vehicle for the consumption of maple syrup… lots and lots of maple syrup…

So I replaced the traditional massive breakfast with two apples and a banana and tried to cut back on the between meal snacking…. And bippity-bam, at the end of a week, Tim’s under 200lbs! BOO-YAH!

I’m not sure about what to do next week. I’ve been having a hard time getting up earlier in the morning with it staying darker later and I really need to work some mountain biking into the “training schedule”. Some “specificity”. Say that five times, fast!

Here’s how the week went:

Date: Monday, 4 August 2008
“Rest Day”. Really, I don’t think I went anywhere today…. Might have been working on Der Übersandbox…

Date: Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Another “Rest Day” – spent most of the day waiting around for sand to arrive. Then I spent the evening shifting 10cubic yards of wet sand from my back lane into the yard… I did nip out in the morning up to Long and McQuade and bought a violin…. ~20km?

Date: Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Yet another “Rest Day”. I did roll over to Broadway and haul $500 worth of groceries home… 5km

Date: Thursday, 7 August 2008
Yet another “Rest Day” – I did take the kids out to the zoo and then rode over and bought another violin for Finnegan, then rode to the Safeway at the “Centre at Circle and 8th”, then to broadway to pick up some laundry soap I had left behind… probably 30+km hauling kids, groceries, etc…

Date: Friday, 8 August 2008
Time: 2:31:12
Distance: 61.29km
Average Speed: 24.32kph
Temp: 31°C
Wind: SE 22kph, gusting to 33kph
Conditions: blazing sun
Notes: A ride in the late morning/early afternoon. Damn it was hot.

I fixed the 1FG today (which has been out of commission for a year now… sad…).

Date: Saturday, 9 August 2008
Time: 2:53:20
Distance: 71.78km
Average Speed: 24.84kph
Temp: 20°C
Wind: SE15kph
Conditions: Cloudy – Light rain
The forecast, when I woke up, of “A few showers with thunderstorms ending this morning then clearing. Wind becoming southeast 30 km/h early this morning…” concerned me a little… But it turned out to be a great ride. I only got lightly sprinkled on as I reentered the city and saw no signs of thunderstorms in any direction (with their un-fun lightening and hail…).

I also rode out to Sutherland to do a presentation on bicycle maintenance and safety to the Sierra Youth Coalitions’ “Youth Action Gathering”. Another ~20km.

Date: Sunday, 10 August 2008
Time: 3:59:07
Distance: 100.73km
Average Speed: 25.27kph
Temp: 17°C
Wind: SE 13kph
Conditions: cloudy - sunny
Notes: Once again when I got up the Environment Canada conditions and forecast read:
Thunderstorm with Rain!!? (that’s what said when I got up…) Cloudy with sunny periods. 30 percent chance of showers early this morning and 70 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 28. UV index 6 or high.

When I got outside it didn’t look like it had rained at all, and while it was a bit cloudy directly overhead when I started, it was clear skies to the southwest… by about an hour into the ride the sun was out and I had clear skies overhead the rest of the trip. Not one drop of rain…

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Date: Monday, 28 July 2008
“Rest Day”… during which I took Finnegan to gymnastics (10km) and then hauled both kids over to Broadway (~5km).

Date: Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Time: ~1.5 hours
Distance: ~15km
Notes: I organized a little evening ‘Cross get together to start practicing some “mad ‘cross skillz”… well maybe it’s not approaching THAT fast… but when you’re as out of shape and out as practice you need all the help you can get! I also set it up to teach Amanda and a couple of friends some ‘cross basics. This evening Ryan and Amanda showed up and we practiced some mounts and dismounts, bike carrying and run-ups in Rotary Park.

Ryan had to split so Amanda and I rode out to Diefenbaker Park via the tails along the river, up the hill and them back home. Damn I was hurting! My crotch hurt – not from landing on the junk or anything, just from hyper-stretching groin muscles that aren’t used to be hyper stretched! Ow….

Earlier in the day I hauled both kids over to the apartment where my folks are staying near Broadway. I dropped off Keira and hauled Finnegan over to gymnastics. After gymnastics I took Finnegan back to my folks, then rode all the way up to the north end to drop off the violin I had rented for Finnegan and look at one for myself. Back to the folks to pick up the kiddies and haul them home….(easily 30-40km).

Date: Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Time: 1:14:57
Distance: 18.82km
Notes: Another evening ‘Cross get together. Two others that promised to show up bailed so it was just Amanda, Ryan and I again.

Amanda ate it HARD. We were doing run ups just north of the tennis courts by the Traffic/Victoria bridge and then riding back down from just a bit further up the hill towards the Broadway bridge, circle around and run-up again…. Amanda’s not so used to riding off-road these days, let alone on a drop-bar ‘cross bike, let alone doing steep descents on the drops… she did a spectacular looking arse-over-teakettle tumble down the hill and I had to do some bike-ninja dodging maneuverage to avoid rolling over her head, as I had been right behind her as she want down.

He poor arm is one solid bruise from wrist to her neck and covered in scrapes! OI! So, she rode home but told me and Ryan to carry on without her… so we did…

Ryan and I rode out to Diefenbaker and rode up the hill, then set up a little circuit and rode around it three times then called it a night… It would be fun if we had an even number of people out (greater than four) to do that circuit as a relay – just give’er around the circuit then rest a minute while partner rips around… gosh that’s be almost like “high intensity interval” work-out-type stuff…

Earlier in the day I took Finnegan to gymnastics (10Km)

Date: Thursday, 31 July 2008
Another “Rest Day” which involved me hauling Finnegan to gymnastics (10Km) and then out on a shopping expedition to acquire more storage containers, among other things (15Km).

Date: Friday, 1 August 2008
Another “Rest Day”… sent the morning doing laundry and chasing around after Keira and the puppy while Amanda got to take Finnegan to gymnastics, then spent the afternoon woeking on the übersandbox.

Date: Saturday, 2 August 2008
Another “Rest Day”. I worked on the übersandbox some more then went on another shopping expedition (~10km)… I could have gone for a morning ride but stayed up way too late watching a movie and then my new “Solutions for Cyclocross” DVD…

Date: Sunday, 3 August 2008
Time: 4:17:19
Distance: 100.05 km
Average Speed: 23.33kph
Temp: 13-19°C
Wind: shifty ~W24kph gusting to 41kph
Conditions: Mostly clear and sunny, clouding over in the last hour.
Notes: Nice day for a ride. Not to hot, wind strong enough to evaporate sweat and keep me plenty cool. Unfortunately the wind was strong enough to make cycling into it suck and cycling across it not-so-fun either….

I took a new route today. Instead of turning and heading toward Delisle, I carried a bit further along Highway 60 and turned off onto “O’Mally Road” (I think that’s what it’s called…) heading further south. Nice ride. Minimal traffic. Different scenery. Unfortunately the pavement ends 47km from my house so on the way back I had to turn up highway 672 for a bit (just up and over the hill) to make up the difference. (Because I couldn’t go out for a 100km ride and not ride at least 100km, you know!)

This next week Amanda has off so I should get out for some decent morning rides - while I still have early morning light! - and not have to worry about getting back in time for her to get to work!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well it’s really only about Week Eight… as I had two weeks off in there… Or week Two because I basically feel like I’m starting from scratch again after my little hiatus there…

How am I ever going to be ready for the enduro!? It’s five weeks away… I don’t even have a functioning mountain bike at the moment…. Or a race license for that matter… nor have I even registered… Hopefully I still can.

The plan is to do centuries for the next five Sunday. Hopefully that will get me up to speed. I should also phase in some specific mountain bike and ‘cross rides over the next month during the week…

Date: Monday, 21 July 2008
“Rest Day”

On “Rest Day” I took Keira over to the apartment where my folks are staying near Broadway. Then hauled Finnegan out to the ass-end of Sutherland to look at some violins. The I rode bake to Broadway, had lunch at Amigos, picked up groceries at Steep Hill and hauled them and the kids all back home… ~25Km+ in 30°C + heat… The kids heads were SOAKED when I took their helmets off when we got home and they had just been sitting in the trailer on the ten minute (or so) ride home from Broadway…

Date: Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Time: 1:13:12
Distance: 28.15Km
Average Speed: 23.07
Temp: 17°C
Wind: SE 11kpj
Conditions: Sunny (once it came up… )
Notes: Met Susan at the Broadway Roastery and went for a ride just south of town around Furdale, etc. Beautiful weather – so nice… So tired… It was very hot on Monday and I had trouble getting to sleep in our 30°C + bedroom upstairs.

Date: Wednesday, 23 July 2008
“Rest Day” – Sadly I did no other riding today…

Date: Thursday, 24 July 2008
Yet another “Rest Day” – rode to Broadway for some groceries. (~5Km)

Date: Friday, 25 July 2008
Time: 1:01:59
Distance: 23.8
Average Speed: 23.1kph
Temp: 9°C
Wind: W13kph
Conditions: Clear (not sunny!)
Notes: It was so dark when I got up I wondered if I had set the alarm wrong. Nope, it was 5AM and it was still pretty dark… not DARK-dark but definitely pre-dawn dark. Sure enough when I checked Environment Canada’s website sunrise was at 5:18! Maybe there will be an end to the early morning road rides.

I was living in this happy delusion that once I got started I could just keep doing this FOREVER! (I might have to wear a bit more clothes in the winter… but..). I know Amanda will not be keen on me riding in the DARK-dark even with lights and a bright yellow jacket. To be honest I won’t be too keen on riding in the COLD-cold, which will rapidly follow the onset of early morning darkness….

I’m hoping I can get another week or two of morning road rides, then maybe do some early morning ‘cross drills or a ‘cross circuit in the park – unitl it gets too damn cold.

Then there’s my new friend; The Trainer. On the plus side, due to a resent rash of DVD (and in particular BICYCLING DVD!) purchasing – I will have plenty to watch over the cooler months. If I should happen to run out I have been eyeing up “72 Hours of Lance”. (hmmmmm the “Giro Four-Pack” is looking pretty good too…. Hmmmm wait a sec – it’s cheaper to buy all four separately!?)

It was a nice ride this morning – clear, refreshingly cool (it’s been pretty hot and humid the last couple days…)

Out to the Saskatoon Zoo later in the morning (~25Km)

Date: Saturday, 26 July 2008
Time: 1:58:29
Distance: 51.82
Average Speed: 26.24
Temp: 12-18°C
Wind: S 8kph
Conditions: Sunny
Notes: Nice early morning ride out Valley Road.

I must be a train magnet – it doesn’t matter what time I leave, EVERY time I go out that way in the morning, either on the way out or on the way back, or both ways I encounter a train near the landfill. Whether I just beat it, just miss it, or am stopped by it there’s always a train there!? This morning there was one as I rode out so instead of waiting I did a little tour around Montgomery. One the way back I just missed a train.

I am again having pains in my right knee and groin muscle. I had troubles when I started ten weeks ago, but it went away after a while. Now as I’m starting up again it’s back. I thought it might have been that my saddle wasn’t straight – as in the post wasn’t seated straight in the seat tube. Now I’m wondering if the saddle itself is askew or asymmetrical. I did ride it in a very wet muddy ‘cross race a couple years back and afterwards I noticed it was wonky – It’s a brooks leather saddle, it got soaked and then I jumped on it repeatedly… after it dried out I cranked the tightener bolt and that seemed to straighten things out well enough. Well, well enough for ‘cross or city riding – where you’re not even ON the saddle half the time. I am anxious about swapping a saddle the day before a planned century, but I am equally anxious about riding a century on a saddle that is causing me discomfort…

I’ll have to get everything ready this afternoon so I can get out on the road early tomorrow morning.

Date: Sunday, 27 July 2008
Time: 4:58:35
Distance: 121.62Km
Average Speed: 24.44kph
Temp: 17-22 °C
Wind: NE 11kph – E 30kph
Conditions: Light Rainshower – overcast – partly sunny

Tim’s (not quite) First Century

I had planned on doing my first ever Century Ride this morning (100mi/161Km). Didn’t quite make it. The journey of 100 miles begins with… getting your fat ass out of bed and on the gawddamn bike! I didn’t get out of bed until 5:30 – when I had secretly hoped to be on the road.

It was raining. This didn’t deter me at all – in fact I considered it optimal riding conditions for a long ride. I don’t mind rain at all – at least when it’s warm, like it was today. When nature provides external liquid cooling it means I sweat less and don’t have to worry about running out of water as much…

I didn’t actually get on the road until quarter to seven – 45 minutes after I “realistically expected” I could be on the road. This was due to being to insufficient pre-ride preparation the day before. The bag I had planned to use as a handlebar bag – which I so used to great effect on the touring tandem – simply did not fit. Alternative attempts at locate a smaller handlebar bag were in vain. I ever briefly considered trying to quickly install at rack and take a pannier before I discovered there are no braze-ons for such a thing on The Rocket. So I had to jettison a lot of the additional stuff I though might be handy for a longer ride; a sweater, Amanda’s camera (she probably would not have been impressed if I had taken it anyway), the extra 1.5L of water… I even removed some of the usual items from my seat bags in order to bring along the spare folding tire…

By the time I actually got going it had stopped raining. By the time I got to Avenue P ( 2 minutes down the road) it started spitting again. Not enough to get me wet, just damp. I didn’t even get my plastic bag out to cover the saddle.

15km down the road – at almost the same location I busted my seat post bolt last week I had a flat. The rear one, of course. Upon observation of my tire I realized the rubber on it was worn flat all the way around and in a couple spots worn right down to the fabric (belt? Is that what it’s called?). Good thing I insisted on taking the spare! I took some time to convince the tire – which has been in a folded state since I bought it five years ago – to form a round-ish, tire-like shape.

What to do with the one I took off though? It was a wire bead so I couldn’t exactly (easily) fold it up and stuff it in the seat bag and I was loathe to simply leave it littered in the ditch… so I road on to the next cross roads and left it on top of a mail box to pick up on the way home.

Ill omens so early in the ride.

The route I was planning to take was basically my 100 Km out and back route with an additional 60 km tacked on by riding to Delisle and then turning south down highway 45.

The rest of the trip to Delsile was pretty uneventful. As I approached Delisle however I started to question more seriously if I should abandon the century. Basically from straight above me and all the way to the western horizon the sky was black. I could see rain and lightening off in the distance. Despite the fact that the wind at ground level was coming from the northeast, the clouds above were heading in the opposite direction – towards me! Behind me was lighter overcast sky. To the south and south-southeast were also lighter clouds. But to the South west was another storm brewing up. I also started to rain as I reached Delisle.

If I did head south, I figured the system to the west would probably pass north of me, but then I would have to ride into it to get home… there was obviously lightning and a good chance there might be hail – now rain doesn’t bother me. Being pelted by hail (golf ball sized is not unknown around these parts!) or zapped by lightening doesn’t seem like much fun. So I scouted down Highway 45 just to see what it’s like (as I’ve never been out that way before) as well as to make it 60Km before I turned back. Then I turned around.

Into the wind…

Boy nothing make you go like thunder creeping up behind you…

As I head back down Highway 766 I rode out of the edge of the storm and out of the rain. By the time I got to Pike Lake it looked like the storm was passing me to the Northwest – and there was clear skies to the southwest! DOH!

As I head back north the wind had picked up and I caught the edge of the storm and a bit more rain. But by the time I was back on Valley Road it was clear skies overhead.

Admittedly I would have been hurting if I’d tried to finish the Century. I would have had to stop in Delisle on the way back to replenish liquids – or suffer from severe dehydration. And as I had started late and would have been returning in the early afternoon under the blazing hot sun I would have been burnt and sun-f@*ked…

And despite the skies being clear this afternoon there has now been a Tornado Watch issued by Environment Canada….

I’ll try again next week – and hopefully I’ll be a bit more prepared…. And a little more rested – NO MORE EVENING MOVIES (except on the evenings before “Rest Days” – and maybe a few less “Rest Days”!?)

The new (to this bike) saddle worked much better!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kip the Kabbie

I got an email from my friend Kip the other day saying he was now in the pedicab business and looking for bookings – so of course I had to try that out… I was planning on going out to a movie with Amanda the next evening so I booked him to pick us up.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

He arrived right on time and uh… drove? (rode? hauled? Not sure what the appropriate verb is there… pedicabbed?) us over to the Roxy Theatre.

…and at quarter to nine when the movie ended he was there to take us home! How's that for service!

Amanda enjoying the ride. She had no idea I had organized this.

Action shot of Kip the Kabbie!

Honestly it’s five blocks and we could have got there almost as fast walking – but it was loads of fun and I’m all about supporting any business that does it’s business by bike!

Kip rides on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until the end of August. He can also be booked for special events (weddings or whatever…). You can contact him at:

There’s another fellow named Pete that rides other times (he’s the one that owns the cab) and they share a cell: 281-3329

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

40oz to Freedom Alley Cat

Another fun Alley Cat race put on by the friendly folks at Bicycle Smile.

I made the mistake of going out for a ride earlier in the morning and going just a little to far, a little too hard and not drinking quite enough water…. My brain was kind of cooked. By the time I got up the bridge and across the river to the race start point I was beat.

I had thought since there were so many that were utterly lost last time that I was able to come in middle of the field towing kids I thought I might have a decent chance alone on the Rocket!

Yeah… well…

Anyway, here’s the route I took…

View Larger Map

The race started at President Murray Park (Between Colony and Aird Street). We had the usual “le mans start” with the added fun of picking up an egg that Ryan had left by each of our bikes – that we had to carry unspoiled to the finish or suffer a 10 minute time penalty….

The racers took off like a bat out of hell and I pretty much knew I was done. I tried to delude myself that they would burn themselves out in the heat…. They didn’t…. maybe if it had been a longer race… check points further scattered about town…

First stop: Pick up spoke card from person standing on the steps at the main entrance to the Thorvaldson Building (the chemistry building at the University of Saskatchewan). If it was not in your spokes at the end of the race some other sort of penalty would be assessed. I have to admit I stuffed it in my pocket – to stick in the spokes later as I approached the finish.

Next stop: Pick up can of Root Beer from the front steps of 1009 3rd Street East. Not to be consumed during the race – must be chugged at the last checkpoint. (You know after it’s been bumped ans sloshed around and warmed up in your bag for 30 minutes… Nice one Ryan, thanks a lot for that…). by the time I was here I thought I was going to die – I just couldn’t get enough water into me fast enough and when I did get some water in I thought I might puke it up… Oi…

The rest of the checkpoints were downtown. We had to take rubbings from the plaques of two different statues; the Gabriel Dumont statue in Friendship Park and the bust of Gandhi on 21st. The last four were of the “what building is at this address” type checkpoints. I could have guessed one (the Bessborough 601 Spadina Cr. West) I think some people did guess and skipped it…

There were a couple that abandoned the race and at least two that officially finished after me… but only because they drank their root beers even slower than I did… Someone did break their egg – so they may have technically finished after me too… not that it matters – second place is the first loser, afterall…

There was a track stand competition afterwards… I couldn’t even get up on my bike I was so tired…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Seth, the winner, weeps with joy as he is presented with prize – a sweet looking Mer Bags Messanger back pack. Sucks being beat by a fat smoker…

Some of the other participants and their bikes at the finish line.

Don Cook and his cool new Steel Wool Tweed touring steed!

The track stand competition. I was so tired I couldn’t even get ON my bike…. Ryan was up for a couple minutes, the other two were still standing there when I left…

Ryan and Emily and Emily’s pink bike.

I think I’ll bring the kids again next time – it was way more fun having a movable cheering section and not giving a shit about winning…

Check out the cool video Ryan posted of the race on Youtube:

That fat bastard he keeps passing at the beginning is me!

You can see Ryan’s pics at Bicycle Smile

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Date: Monday, 14 July 2008
“Rest Day” – but I did haul the kids out to the zoo and then over to Broadway for groceries… ~25km

Date: Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Another “Rest Day”. Oh dear…. (I did ride down to a doctors appointment and then out to Stupidstore… ~12km)

Date: Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Broadway/Steep Hill with the kids…. (~5km)

Date: Thursday, 17 July 2008
Time: 57:19
Distance: 22.74Km
Average Speed: 23.8
Temp: 10°C
Wind: WNW8kph
Conditions: Cloudy to start – cleared up pretty quick…
I was seriously dragging my ass this morning. I didn’t get on the road until just after 6AM.

10°C seemed pretty damn cold this morning.

I was really, really, REALLY damn tired. I felt like I was going to fall asleep on my bike at the turn around point.

My chain needs lube.

My knee hurts.

Date: Friday, 18 July 2008
Time: 29:50
Distance: 10.22km
Average Speed: ~20kph
Temp: 13°C
Wind: SSE5kph
Conditions: partly cloudy
Again with the late night and early morning ass-dragging.

13°C seemed pretty damn cold this morning. I actually wore a jacket.

My crotch hurt.

My chain still needed lube. I am the WORST about these things – they will drive me to distraction DURING a ride, but as soon as I’m off the bike –POOF- gone from my head…

There was a really, really long, really really slllloooooooowwww train at the dump again on my out so I just turned around and tooled around the neighborhood and was just happy I had gotten my ass out of bed and hope that one of these days it will get into my thick head that I need to get to bed EARLIER (or maybe I’ll just pass out from exhaustion at 9PM one day…). I also took the opportunity to lube the chain when I got home.

Date: Saturday, 19 July 2008
Time: 1:07:33
Distance: 27.98
Average Speed: 24.85kph
Temp: 15°C
Wind: WSW 5kph
Conditions: Partly Cloudy

I was all ready to ride 100km this morning. I got up very late and started out even later – but had nothing pressing going on today and the support of a wife that would like to see me be less fat and cranky…. Had my two big water bottles and four (count ‘em FOUR) Cliff Bars….

Got out on Valley road and my crotch (on my right side) and my right knee were starting to hurt again. It couldn’t be these new shorts I was wearing?! No, after much consideration and staring at my crotch I came to the realization that the nose of my saddle was closer to my right leg than it was to my left.

Ah-ha! An askew saddle! Easily fixable. I stopped my bike. Got of and gave the nose of the saddle a great whack and knocked it into place. Of course then I couldn’t leave well enough alone – if it had move thusly so easily perhaps the seat binder bolt needed a tad bit of tightening!? So I got out my trusty 13mm wrench – carried for just such an occasion – and thought I’d try and snug up that bolt just a smidge.

As soon as I applied pressure to the bolt there was a loud “SHPING!” and I saw half of the bolt shoot across the road…

Oooooooh damn…

So I had to ride the 15km back home on a seat that progressively got lower and lower despite my best efforts to keep most of my weight on my legs and arms….

Riding a 54x18 fixed gear with a saddle that’s about 5-6” too low SUCKS. A lot.

I hurt.

If that weren’t enough suck for one day I dropped my camera when I got home and now it’s totally effed.


On the plus side I happen to have a allen seat binder bolt that I was going to replace that one with anyway. I guess I could have swapped it out and gone out and did another 70km... but I just wasn’t in the mood for it…

Date: Sunday, 20 July 2008

Morning Ride:
Time: 2:12:41
Distance: 60.44Km
Average Speed: 27.33kph! BOO-YAH!!
Temp: 20°C
Wind: W12kph
Conditions: Sunny
Notes: 20°C seemed pretty damn hot…. A good ride. Maybe pushed myself a little harder than was really necessary (…or sensible…).

Alley Cat Race:
Time: 1:38:06
Distance: 27.66Km
Temp: HOT! (and kind of humid…)
Notes: This actually includes the ride over TOO the start point, the race itself and the ride over to Isaac’s birthday party and the ride home…

Yeah… went a little too hard this morning… more on that in the alley cat report….

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tim's 100km Out and Back to Delisle

I thought I'd try something new and post some of the routes I take when riding. (I was jsut trying to figure out how this worked in google earth this morning...).

Here is the route I usually take on a Saturday or Sunday morning if I want to do 100Km. I know some people have different routes depending on what direction the wind is coming - ride out INTO the wind usually means you get a tailwind coming home. I don't care when I'm riding into a tail wind. I hate riding in trafic mroe than I hate headwinds so I always head south west as it is the quickest way out of town and onto the open road.

View Larger Map

There is very little traffic on this route if you go early enough in the morning. Closer to noon there gets to be more traffic out on Valley Road and highway 60 heading to the Berry Barn or the golf course or other destinations along Valley Road or people heading to or from Pike Lake.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tim’s Cycling Cap Mk. I

So I was sitting around one day and I thought to myself – “I’m going to try making my OWN damn cycling cap! How hard can they be?” I got out a needle and some thread and some wool material I had picked up at a thrift store ages ago (originally intended for shorts – but that’s still way beyond my sewing expertise). I made a simple four-panel pattern. Cut out the material. Sewed it all together by hand. Here are the results:

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Looks not bad here… the brim is more like a ball cap and won’t really stand up cycling-dork-style…

Here’s the big problem – for some angles it looks a little like a squarish farmer hat or something…

Works okay under the helmet…. Rear facing, at least…

I have modified the pattern slightly to make it slightly less boxy and made the brim a little more traditional looking. Now if only I could find the time to sew it up.

Maybe I should try using a machine sometime… How hard can they be to figure out…?