Monday, April 25, 2011
So after a killer long day of eating yesterday, a career day which included steak, ribs, ham and all the fixins, it was time to detox. My detoxifying technique is washing down my food with a few glasses of wine. I didn't have the greatest sleep following this act of gluttony and I was pessimistic about the prospect of having a decent ride before yet another rainfall. I headed out at 9:00 am with lots of layers and a plan to ride a couple of hours solo followed by a ride with Sara and her friend Cynthia and finally some additional solo time weather permitting. The picture above and below are taken from Ridge Road looking out over Stoney Creek and Hamilton - quite a desolate view as it has been these days with lots of rain in the forecast to come.
I managed to get 39 miles in (yes I am Imperial Man - no metric for me!) before meeting up with Sara and Cynthia. I rode ahead for a bit due to the fact that I'm a man and cannot quite understand women-speak. Their topics didn't include sci-fi, movies with guns, hockey playoffs or general triathlon talk so I felt like I was in an alien world. When I returned I quickly realized that they were still speaking in women tongue so I hung back in the draft and snapped off a few pics. Despite not contributing a lot to the conversation it was nice to have company for the middle part of my ride.
They're smiling here but alas the rain was just starting to fall (surprise, surprise) but the girls were on their way back so it wasn't a big deal.
Just before returning home we had an unexpected treat! Now I'll be honest - I seriously thought that the "Hammer" was just an urban myth as I had never crossed paths with him. I was sceptical but today I was proven wrong! We encountered the "Hammer" close to home along Golf Club Road. For those of you not familiar with the "Hammer" he is the one in orange on the left and he happens to be Cynthia's dad. Her uncle (in the red) was also out with the "Hammer" and most likely learning a ton. I've had the pleasure of chatting with the "Hammer" at a few social gatherings but this was my first time seeing him in his full glory. The "Hammer" got his nickname from many rides and races where at a key point he "put the hammer down!" The "Hammer" has no shortage of race stories where the phrase "I put the hammer down" is mentioned. The man will entertain you for hours and you"ll feel like a domestique by night's end. For those cycling geeks out there, he can be booked for parties and the organizer can receive a "I got hammered by the Hammer" T-shirt with each new booking (you'll have to speak with his manager/daughter Cynthia if interested). I wonder if I'll ever see the Beast and the Hammer at the same time - now that would be mind-boggling! From here I went solo into the rain for an additional 45 minutes. I did not enjoy this at all but I needed to get some distance in. I'm happy to say "mission accomplished" as I managed to get 71 miles in altogether (you metric people will have to figure the kms on your own). My butt was pleased to be removed from the bike seat and I was happy to have a hot shower to unthaw.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CAN I HAVE SOME SUNSHINE!!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I've just gotten over a virus which has plagued (nice pun eh?) my training of late. Besides increasing stock price for Kleenex I've been diligently studying the weather network for any glimpse of ride-worthy weather. Last Sunday, Sara and I joined the ride with All the Right Gears bike shop. Sam the owner is a great guy and he's the only one I believe in to service my bike! We managed 65k and had some "attack" fun on the way back - yes, the Beast was involved. I followed up the ride with another hour on the trainer to build distance.
I also "had" to work up in the muskokas this week so I tried to take advantage of one of my favourite places on Earth. Here's Port Syndey beach on Mary Lake looking cold. The ice won't be reciding for a few weeks yet.
I was staying at Deerhurst Resort so after a 2.5k swim at the community center I bundled up and headed out on the bike for some hills. I followed North Portage to South Portage and headed right. I took South Portage to Brunel, turned around and headed back. I managed to get 52k in but I was pretty cold by the end. It never ceases to amaze me how taxing riding here is - I was cooked.
Here's the big hill on South Portage. I had a blast going up and was a little cautious on the trip down as there's lots of sand on the road from the winter.
This is the fast downhill on North Portage just before you go right on Canal Road back to Deerhurst.
One thing I noticed were these signs that were throughout the area. It's really cool to see the community promoting respect for cars and cyclists alike.
I noticed this sign on Canal Road and just had to take a shot. I rounded out my time here with a 16.5k run on the Muskoka 70.3 course - more hills! Saturday I managed to get 32k outside on the bike before getting wet then did an additional 2 hours on the trainer. Today, Beast and I did 19.3k of trails, hills and 60km gusts of wind - very epic!!
Hope everyone's well and healthy - Cheers!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The 117th running of the Around the Bay 30k race took place at the end of March - my 11th. Above shot was taken the day before with the finish line setup at center ice of Copps Coliseum, where Gretzky to Lemieux to top shelf on the Russian net saw Canada defeat the Russians at the 1987 Canada Cup.
My sister Michelle and Coach Julie. Michelle did her first Bay this year and, despite battling illness, gutted it out and earned her first Bay medal. Well done!! Coach Julie, who's in her early 70s but definitely does not look it, was doing her 24th Bay. She vows to retire once her 25th is complete but I don't believe it - she is tough and has the biggest heart in the world!
Check out my new ride. I picked up 2 pair of Saucony Kinvaras. Why 2 pair? Because I'm size 9 and that's the size that sales reps for Saucony use to demo new lines. I got these from the Saucony outlet in Cambridge. They retail for $140.00 + tax. I got both pairs for $91.00 including tax -SWEET!!
Here I am pre-race and post-washroom. Now I realize I'm a short guy but this picture makes me look like a bobble-headed hobbit!
Here's the finish on race day. Having the finish line here is awesome. Plenty of seats to relaxe in post-race and easy to coordinate meeting friends after.
Ironically I went to university with this character. Geoff Sheppard ran as a "rainbow". Geoff is quite an ultramarathoner but I'm not quite sure what message he's sending here.
There were some awesome results from other people I know (I'll forget someone probably - sorry!). Evan Dietz scorched a 1:57, Peter Ames 2:14, Mark Watling (my Ironman Lake Placid buddy) 2:19, and my friend Scott Little's dad Doug who blazed a 2:46 in the 65-69 age group (despite being in Mexico for 5 weeks). Doug's been running as long as I can remember and is still kicking ass - the man's a legend! Here's Sara and I after the 30k. Sara and I both improved on last year's times - not bad considering we just got back from vacation. Sara came in with a 2:38 and I managed a 2:26. Overall a great day with the winds low and sun shining.
And now it begins....this should be the view as I ramp up for Ironman Lake Placid. The road is my friend!