Saturday, July 9, 2016

Travel Fun Continues - Who Needs a Home?!

 Once back from Montreal and camping I had a few days at home. I did a little training but mostly we tended to laundry and cleaning up around the house. I then repacked and headed to Vancouver for the 2016 Canadian Urological Association annual conference. Having interacted with Ontario urologists for the past 7 years it's always a great event. It was well attended this year as the venue is Vancouver. Weather was great. A couple of urologists wanted to do the Grouse Grind up Grouse Mountain. I've always wanted to do it so I tagged along.

 The Grouse Grind® is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”

Trail Facts
Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles) 
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830 
Statistics: Annually, over 150,000 people hike the trail.
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.

 Hard to tell from my pics but the trail was pretty crowded. I only took shots when there was a gap between log jams. It was a great workout. We completed the climb in 55 minutes - given the pace we kept and the crowds it was pretty good. Once at the top you have to take a gondola down as coming down on foot is not that safe.

 Love this quote.

 Here's a pic I took as we started the gondola ride back down. Later in the day I caught a flight back to Toronto which got me home at 1:30am. The next morning we packed up and headed to Turkey Point Provincial Park for 6 days of camping. The park is only an hour from home on Lake Erie so I was cool with that.


 Along Lake Erie is a great riding route - the Waterfront Trail. It had a nice shoulder, had some twists and turns, hills and little traffic. It takes you through little villages along Lake Erie. Check it out if you ever in the area.

 With our park pass we also could get access to Long Point Provincial Park. We love this beach! As you can see there are cool sand dunes - Logan loved it.

 The sand here is quality. I took this shot on a Wednesday - we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. The waves weren't up today but when they are it is a blast. Logan and I can't get enough.

 No I'm not drowning Logan. Logan loves to wrestle in the water. We usually go through 3-4 bouts of this on a beach day. It's pretty funny. Logan finds the waves soothing - it relaxes him.

 The kid is strong now!

 Back at camp and a beverage.

 The next morning I went for a run though the park. It's beautiful - all the lanes throughout the park look exactly this.

 No this is not Turkey Point! After a few days at home we ventured up to Muskoka for more camping and to cheer on our fellow TCoBers at the Muskoka 70.3. Lots of clubmates here to tackle this great course. As I write this it is pouring rain here and our setup looks nothing like this picture (I took the pic yesterday). Good news - rain will end today and make way for ideal race weather tomorrow. We leave Monday so I will have plenty of time to dry things out.

Have a good one - cheers!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Camping, Birthday, Race, Work, Camp, Race....

Ahhh - I love summer! Summer usually means camping, racing, repeat. I'm kinda excited this year - I'm focusing more on sprint triathlons this year instead of going long. So far I'm enjoying all the time I've gained. I figure, with the short stuff, I'm able to train through races without the traditional taper I usually go through. To get the ball rolling, however, we ventured up to Dwight to get our camp on.

  Dwight is one of our frequent spots. We love Dwight Beach - it's great for open water swims. More importantly, we love the riding into the West Gate of Algonquin Park. It's up there as one of our favourite places to ride. Wide shoulders, great surface, hilly and you can't beat the scenery.

   To mix things up and escape the black flies (worst I'd seen in 15 years) we went to Huntsville to play a little soccer at the track. After kicking the ball around for a bit, I challenged Logan to a duel in the "Octa-Circle" (my version of UFC). We had several duels trying to push one another out of the circle. Sadly I lost most - my 12 year old son has a ton of power!

For a cooldown we walked a couple of laps around the track.

 Of course, being the Dork that I am, I couldn't resist doing some climbing. Trust me I'm doing hang loose signs, not flipping the bird or double guns.

 I call this "escaping the black flies".

 Back at home we got some good riding in. Weather has been sunny and hot - the way I like it. Usually on long rides we make a stop for a Coke. It's a nice break when you spend hours in the saddle.

  Next up - Gramps' birthday!! Here's Gran and Gramps having a margarita and some burgs. As my Mom says, "give me some of the good stuff" and, by good stuff, she means tequila.

 Logan and the Gramps!

 Happy Birthday Big Guy.

 Disclosure - I do put up a lot of beverage shots. Generally I have one beverage maybe three times per week. My preference is local craft beers. No intervention is necessary - haha!

 First race of the season!! Sara and I and many TCoBers ventured off to Woodstock for our first sprint tri. It was very hot n' windy day! This was my first time in Woodstock and I enjoyed. We had a great group out and Lionel Sanders was also racing - very cool. I prepared for the race with my traditional porta potty visit - captured nicely here with this pic.

 Woodstock transition. The race went fairly well. I hadn't done a sprint this short in probably 10 years. Swim was ok - came out in 15 minutes. Bike was 32+km average and I averaged 4:48km for the 5k run. I didn't feel that fresh for the run - felt I lacked the strength there but I got it done. I ended up 7th in the 50-59 AG. Our group got to talk a while with Lionel post race which was very cool. Michelle Krupa and Sara pretty much assaulted him to get a picture with our group in the Recharge with Milk tent - pretty funny. Lionel is such a class act - it's great to see his success.

 Post race we went with Ted and Coreen to the Valley Park Rib Fest near our house. Nothing says recovery food like beer and ribs - Yumm!!

 From the rib fest we headed to the Perry residence to meet up with some of our clubmates to have more bevies and a campfire. Here I'm "employing" some of the kidlets to make margaritas. They were very interested in helping mix the ingredients (only the non-alcoholic ones!). What a great bunch of kids and parents - it's great getting to know everyone.

 But alas, work calls. I had a week of meetings in Montreal. I managed one morning of free time so I went up Mont Royal. To the top and back from my hotel was exactly 10km. Here's what the trail looks like. There are many side trails and stairs as well.

 View of Montreal near the top.

 Nice little lake near the top.

 More camping!! This time we stayed local. Our neighbours were doing some "glamping" in Flamborough so we decided to tag along. It was quite enjoyable traveling only 35 minutes!

 Since I was in Flamborough, I decided to head out last minute to do the Guelph Lake 1 sprint tri. It was only a 35 minute drive away and early enough that it wouldn't impact family time. I hadn't done the Guelph race in quite some time.

 The race went well. Came out of the water in 14:23 and made the long climb to transition. Gave the bike a good go despite the rough roads and averaged 33.3kph. Once onto the run I felt pretty good - legs were definitely better than last week. I averaged 4:35 per km, more in the range I'd like. I ended up 4th in the 50-54 AG. There went 5 deep so I ended up with a nice medal for the effort. Better yet they give you an Erdinger (non-alcoholic) beer immediately after crossing the line - how cool is that?!! It went down nicely.

That's all for now - cheers!