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!

1 comment:

Prairie Voyageur said...

"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?)."

I rode my bike for a whole year with the inner belt/fabric showing through the rubber, without one single flat. It was a sort of experiment to see how far the tire would last. I don't ride it much though, only short commutes close to home (maybe 500 to 1000 km with belt exposed?).

I only changed it after the inner tube began squeezing out through a hole in the tire. And by the time I noticed it I was not sure how long I was riding on the tube. I was surprised how well it held up.