Thursday, March 31, 2011

Enemies fill up the pages, are they me?

It's the last day of March, and damn this cold weather.  Where is this damn global warming when you need it?
Due to work and family obligations I wasn't able to ride today as I had hoped.  It was pretty warm and would have been a great day to go out to  Milton and ride up and down the escarpment.

Anyways, I had a fantastic dinner.  Great fuel for a hard push around the Mid Week Crit Course.  I ride there a lot in the summer if I can't get out enough during the day.  Although the scenery doesn't change much I can't say I don't enjoy some of the benefits to riding loops in a quazi-industrial park alone at night.  There is no traffic to speak of.  The loop is fairly well lit.  When it's hot and the night time sprinklers come on to water the grass a nice cool mist fills the air around the wide bend before the slight uphill grade.  The other nice thing is that I can practice taking the one fast corner from different lines without anyone in front of or behind me.  I can even scream "whoooooooooooooh!!!!!" like Ed Veal does when I cross the line alone.

Tonight was no different. Only much colder.  It seems the city has swept the roads so my fears of pitching it around the corners were alleviated, and still no cars.  No other riders.....but still nary a car to be seen.

I have a similar day planned for tomorrow.  Work, daycare pick-up, dinner, playtime, bathtime, bedtime.  Then back to the crit course.  Taking the Guerciotti tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What would Mario do?

Tonight was my first night riding with the new team in 2011.  Almost everyone was there.  Marco, Stan, Krys, Andy, Emilio, Joe and a couple of new guys-Phil and another I didn't actually meet.    We were riding 2 wide and what I thought was going to be an easy ride turned into a friggin' dogsled pull.  As soon as Krys and I got to the front he made us drive a punishing (to me) pace that I was barely able to hold.  Add to that the fact it was now below freezing outside and the wind was picking up.  Florida was a little nicer.

Last week when we got in from training we had a salad, maybe a beer and then a swim.   Tonight I had to wait for my frozen toes to uncurl, then shiver my way through the assembly of a hot chocolate.

I brought my camera to snap a few pics but the pace was such that if I had struggled to take it out I would have gotten dropped like lapdog.

Tomorrow I am hoping my pal David will join me for some easy paced hills in Milton.  I need to recover from last week still.  And tonight.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Freewheel Burning

Dropped the munchkin off at daycare this morning. Then went riding.  CP24 said it was about -4 degrees.  That's sort of been my ceiling for enduring the cold.  Any colder and it's just not fun or safe.  Hands don't grab brakes quickly enough and I feel if I crash my frozen bones will snap.  I pulled out my Khaybar and gave my Prince a little respite after the hard week in the south.  Can't tell which bike I like more.  Maybe the edge goes to the Khaybar since it has Campy and not Shimano

Here's what I had to wear in order to keep from freezing.
Assos spring socks.
Sidi Ergo II shoes
Assos shoe covers
Sugoi full length leg warmers
Assos Mille bibs
Assos DB short sleeve jersey
GSG insulted arm warmers
Hincapie wind vest
Champion System insulted Jacket
Merino Wool Trainer
Sugoi lobster gloves
Sugoi toque 
Vermarc cap
Rudy Project transitions glasses
Rudy Project helmet

I was sweating like a pig when I got home, but my feet were a bit frozen.  I should have worn insulated shoe covers.   

65kms in this weather earns me 1 Duvel.   I am going to bank it for tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

two more Stella's gentlemen?

The temp has been perfect down here.  Marc loads up on sunscreen, I don't use too much.  By 'too much' I mean not any.  Marc has the Canadian blood ......I have the South African blood.  The sun means nothing to me.  It's cancerous rays bounce off of me like raisins on an Oldsmobile.    The only bad thing is that I have  a serious farmer tan.   So it's 'shirt's on' at the beach unless I can get rid of it.

Today we did the loop from Clermont to a town called Howey-in-the-hills and then past there for a bit.  There is a pretty nice little German bakery out there with a fantastic patio in the back.  We even met other Ontarians there today.

                                                 A sideways fire hydrant?!?!  Has this world
                                                                   gone topsy-turvy?

Anyways, we did 98kms today.  Most of it was intervals, or tempo.  Lots of hills.  And pretty fast.  the roads are pretty nice out here.  No potholes.  Few cracks, but some sand on the corners.  Not a lot of Redneck F-150 driving hill-billys giving us the finger.  But still a few.  I saw my first Armadillo today, just chilling by the side of the road.  Also lots of turkey vultures.  They are huge.

The pubs are pretty cool as well.  No matter where we go the beer is cheap.  The Stellas and Blue Moons tonight were $3.00 a pint.  Food was also awesome. Kellys Irish Pub!!!!!  Boom!!!!! I never want to leave this place.

Toronto has a pile of snow right now.  It''s really going to suck if I have to get back on the trainer.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Listen, your either gonna race or you're not gonna race!!!! I'm not gonna argue with you!!!!

Today we awoke with no power in the hotel.  The whole side of town was down.  It didn't matter much , our race didn't start until 11:30 or so.  By the time we hit the start line it was pushing 90 degrees.  Searing heat.  The sunblock we had on was on thick.

             Even a $65 a night motel has a pretty inviting looking least to Canadian's in March.

About 40 or so guys were in our category, but there were 3 main teams.  Z-Motion, Rossetelli,  and the Heineken guys .  The Z Motion guys appeared to be the strongest.  This race was supposed to be about 115 kms but everyone complained it was too long long to race in this heat.  They dropped a lap and made it about 103 kms.

The first lap started fast.  I was breathing really heavy.  I began to wish I had never told anyone that we were racing in Florida, as the trip was originally just a training trip....but slowly turned into a racing trip.  I wanted to race but I always have found I suck in early season.  Anyways,  during the second lap the pace seemed to creep up fast.  I was  in a bad  position near the back and I got totally blown out the back.  No way of catching back on.  the wind was really strong and seemed to be hitting us in every direction.   For what it's worth, I wasn't the first or the last to fall off the pack but then I turned into the waterboy for Marc.

Marc held on strong in the front 10 or so for the rest of the race it seemed.  Drank 6 bottles of water in the 2.5 hrs of the race.  When the leaders came through for the sprint finish the first 2 guys were moving really nice.  It was nice to see a sprint finish, instead of a bunch sprint.  Marc had attacked 1/3 the way through the last lap in an attempt to catch the leaders but just didn't have the time.  He got 6th, but crossed the line a good 15 seconds ahead of the main group.

                                                         There's a new Watson in town!!!!

Later we got home and looked at the power splits for each lap and compared that with my getting hammered into the ground on the second lap.  Marc's wattage hit over 1100 watts right around the same time I got dropped.  That laps average wattage (296) was 30 watts higher than any other lap.  Had I been able to suck up that 1 lap I would have been able to finish strong instead of typing this confession of loserdom.

                                             Here is an awesome restaurant we didn't go to...

Regardless, We are putting in more hard kms all week here and around Clermont, Orlando and wherever.  Also doing a club race on Wednesday.  Will post pics on Friday when I get home.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

I almost threw up in the Starbuck's restroom.

Thursday morning we landed in Orlando.  That airport is the worst.  The worst.  Maybe it's really just the same as most American airports though where they have to do a crazy security check 3 or 4 times and keep you waiting for hours to get back your racing bike.  C'mon, what kind of terrorist devise can I hide in a bike?  

Thursday afternoon.  70kms,  86 degrees. Strong pace.  Lots of hills.   Tons of cyclists.  1 redneck pick up truck driver gave us the finger.  Must have seen our enormous packages and become enraged with jealousy.  There are pretty good hills out here.  Everyone says Florida is flat, but it's as hilly as Ontario.  Maybe  if you leave out Milton and Collingwood it's the exact same.

                                                    That green habanero sauce was primo!

Friday Morning.  Mid eighties.  50kms.  Also a strong pace.  Just not too long.  We had to beat feet down to south of Miami and check into our hotel and get our race numbers and timing chip.  5 hour drive.  We have a black Kia.  Great on gas, lousy A/C.  When we arrived and unloaded we went for what was intended to be a short 1 hr spin around town just to spin out the legs in prep for the next morning.  It turned into the Lycra version of "Boys in da Hood".   We rode through the total ghetto suburb of Miami.  It was total Compton.  Every car had huge chrome wheels,  every house has a  a steel fence and gate, and there were Pit-Bulls everywhere.  Not nice Ontario Pitbulls.  These looked like the Pitbulls that are the ones that sparked the breed specific ban in Ontario.  That was the scariest ride I have ever done.  We turned around after 5 or 6 kms.

Just as we couldn't find any place good to eat last year in North Carolina, it's pretty hard to find decent food here too.  There are millions of restaurants,  just nothing that bears any semblance to a healthful food option.  Sadly, we settled on Applebee's.  The Pasta dinners were pretty good.  Then today we went back and I had the steak , baked potatoes, and seasonal veggies.  Again , pretty good.  cheap too.

The beer is cheap , but pretty tasteless.

We raced the circuit race this morning.  Maybe 40 guys in our category.  most looked very fast.  Lean and fit.  Mostly, tanned as hell.  What they were telling us is that their racing season starts in right after Xmas and ends around the end of April.  So these guys are flying right now.  For me, although I have been training all winter, I have only been outside maybe 3 times in 2011.  So my goal was to just stay in the pack.  The first race was just under 1 hr.  It was pretty fast.  I hung on strong until the last lap.  I was really sucking wind, then some dolt from Z-Motion takes my line and we rub wheels really badly.  In true XC race fashion I manage to keep it upright  but that little jolt and the accompanying clicking in my front wheel sort of helped blow me out the back.  I dropped off and crossed the line alone.  Maybe second or third from last.  Disappointed and dissolutioned I rode back to the hotel with Marc, barely talking.  Marc got around 15th place or so.     About 4 hrs later we had to return for the Time Trial.  Not my forte at all.  Other than I feel that I paced myself well, there is not a lot to say about a time trial.  I think I did well.  I was at least happy with my effort.  Marc was also happy with his.  Although we haven't seen the official results yet.

Tomorrow we go back for the road race.  115 kms, and its going to be near 90 degrees.  Marc overheard some local racers complaining to the officials about the race .  They want it shortened because of the heat.  Hoping to do a bit better tomorrow.   Will post race results afterwards.

Going for dinner in Key Largo tomorrow night.   Booyaa!!!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Honey!!!!! Where's the stuff I stole from that Apiarist?!?!?!?

No seriously though.  I have always kind of considered myself a bit of a sandwich aficionado.  If I find a good sandwich place, I like to frequent it.  I enjoy the meat sandwich.  Oh man, there's nothing like a good turkey breast sammy, or baked chicken sammy to accompany a delicious bier. Recently though I have re-discovered a very old favorite.   One that my little brother lived on until he was 15.  Arguably one of natures finest kitchen creations.  The Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich.  Hells yeah, You may have thought I was going to say something mental like Tuna Salad or something with Mayo on it.  Screw that, I'm a purist.  I won't bastardize a helpless quick and easy meal buy adding crap like that.  I didn't get my a 60% in grade 11 foods class for nothing.  But the PB and H sandwich can be mocked several ways.  You can use shitty PB like Kraft , Skippy, Jif or some generic version that's loaded with hydrogenated fat and salt, or you can get real peanut butter.  The kind with only one ingredient.  Peanuts.  Now, if you do get the real deal, you have to refrigerate it, onacounta it has no preservatives .  I also recommend stirring it while it's room temperature, then put it in the fridge.  It's hard to stir when cold.

Honey. It's so often overlooked.  Who really uses honey in their adult years?  Maybe you give it to kids, or to trick your dog or a bear into eating something .  Maybe even you use it for some lemon tea if you're feeling kinda swishy.  But pour a few tablespoons of it on on a fresh peice of bread , already dosed with organic peanut butter and you have some good chow.    My new favorite honey is Presidents Choice Organic Wildflower Honey.  It's thick and doesn't pour.  You have to spread it like Marmite.  And it's nearly as good as Marmite, and doesn't ruin your breathe for the day either.

If you find some locally made million grain bread, and don't screw up with crappy honey or PB.  You have an awesome sandwich that you can take on a ride.  Who cares if it gets squished in your back pocket?  It'll taste better I bet.  Better than a damn cliff bar or an apple.  Who needs apple's anyways?  Most types suck anyways.  The Royal Gala is the only apple with a decent palmares.

I am going to have a nice little snack before bed.


2 or 3 slices of good bread
cover with Organic Peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
Add honey to taste.  The more the better

Leave out the butter.  You don't want a heart attack. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Heroic Doses

After eating not 9 but 10 suicide level chicken wings last night and drinking 6 pints of various beer I figured that today I better try to offset that damage  by having something good for me today.  The wings were as deadly hot as they were artery clogging.  Wild Wing has like 200 flavors of wings,  but only a few really hot ones.  The spicy numbers I inhaled were crazy hot, and I normally like really hot.  I administer healthy doses of Franks Extra Hot to almost everything I eat.  But my favorite hot sauce , by far, is Dave's Insanity Sauce.  Although it can also double as paint stripper, chain degreaser or clogged drain clearer. It's so hot but so tasty.  Pretty hard to find as well.   But something in those Wild Wings last night blew my socks off.  I will assume it's my lack of practice with the deep fried delicious little bastards.

Today's birthday supper was a winning design.  Salmon , with arugula and a boconcinni salad with some red vino.  Perfect blend of protein and good stuff for the growing boy.   

I rode the Mid Week crit course today.  It was nice.  The road was dry and had already met with a sweeper.  Of course I was the only one there.  Once I ran in into Rob D'Amico there in the evening.  Other than that I never see anyone out there and it's great because it's well lit, and there are zero cars.  I wish I could get some guys to come out and do a mock Wednesday or Thursday night race series.   I love racing that loop.

When I got home I struggled to open the door with my bike in hand with my helmet and shoes and a coffee and , sadly, the door slammed shut and put a nice little chip on my drive side chain stay.  Sucked ass.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I was standing at work today and a strange rush of dull pressure came over me.  I knew what is was right away. My little boy has been sick all week.  It had to happen.  My joints hurt, my back hurts, my bones all hurt, my knuckles hurt, my hair even hurts.  Less in the spot where it's thinning, but for two reasons I became bummed out.
1) It's my birthday this weekend and I have plans to go to Kitchener, hang out with some pals and teach a lesson  to a few cold Belgians.
2) I am scheduled to race in Florida next week.

I really didn't want to have to use an excuse for doing poorly next week.  If I can't ride this week, or at least can't ride hard, that is just going to compound this light week.  I worked several nights this week and wasn't able to train everyday.  So yeah, I was a little pissed the second  I felt the flu-like symptoms hit me with their triangle choke accuracy.

Then we watched the BBC news on the computer.  We saw all the death, and destruction in Japan.  We all watched the video clips in horror,  equally happy that we're not there as we were sympathetic to the people who are living in that chaos.    We have nothing to complain about here in Canada.  It's rained for the last few days.....who cares?   Beer prices are expected to rise by 33% in the next few months?.....pish posh.  Gas is at an all-time high?  Whoopie-Dee Look at Me!!!!   I am still going to Florida.  Still racing.  May not do as well as I thought I would have 12 hrs ago.  Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and feel much better.  Not sure.  Not that worried either.  My family is warm and safe.  I have 2 jobs that I like.  I have several awesome bikes that are waiting to be hammered on .  When I feel more like my normal lucky self.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stormy day, won't see me sinking

Rode the other night on Marc's Cervelo with a power meter.  My numbers were less than I had hoped for, but still  decent I guess.  I am hoping they will get better once I get used to using a power meter and pace myself properly.  I will test again after we return from Florida.  Hopefully , I will do ok at those races and that will also be a boost to the motivation.  But regardless............we are going to have  good time racing down there.  A few other dudes from the team are going to Texas, but not racing.    I predict Andy is going to me a machine this year. 

Blender of Champions

Observe!  This is my new blender.  $100.  not bad.  I looked at a couple different blenders that were almost twice the price.  I couldn't see too much difference, the blades were the same thickness.  Maybe the motors in the more expensive ones were better though.  I just can't keep using $30 crap Presidents Choice blenders that claim to be 'professional' grade.  As soon as you throw in some ice, or frozen pineapple you can hear the motor struggling like Tommeke chasing  Spartacus.   This one rips through all frozen water, fruit, tundra....what have you......and doesn't smell like high school small-engines shop.  $100 well spent.

This weekend is going to be a bad weekend for training.  I am breaking with the program , for 1 night anyways, and drinking a pile of beer.  Hopefully all Duvels.   Oh, and speaking of Duvels.........I have heard from 2 friends this week that all the liquor stores are out of Duvel.  I have witnessed my favorite LCBO location also present to me an empty shelf where Belgiums finest once sat.   If this absence becomes a resident problem I imagine we are going to have to start ordering it by the case.  Or I could do what Dr Booth does and just buy a keg fridge and fill it with Leffe.   You magnificent bastard Booth,  always one step ahead.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stay golden, Pony Boy.

Finally the bike show is over.  There weren't too many really hot bikes there.  Invita had the Petacchi Cento Uno, La Bici had a hot Dogma with DA 2 and a few nice Milram  Focus's on blowout, and Bianchi had their Oltre Nero with Lightweights on it.  Claiming 13.2lbs.  It was pretty alright.  But mostly I was blown the hell away by Stage Race Distributions little booth.  They had the coolest Euro bikes at the show......or anywhere.  Museeuw, Scapin, Storck, Carrera,and Pantani.  The only brands  they were missing were SPIN and Cipollini.
Yes, although I just got on my new DA Prince with 2011 303's,  I had a total boner for that white Museeuw with Super Record, and Lightweights.  Mike at Stage Race had it going on.

I finally broke my indoor trainer this weekend.  It sounds like a seizing engine.  I am not even sure how old it is, but its a goner now.  My friend Joe let me borrow his wifes new tacx trainer.  

Heading out to see what kind of power I can muster tonight.   Florida in less than 2 weeks.  Attacking off the line.  OFF THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pushing the pace

Today is the first day of the Toronto bike show.  I wasn't able to even get there , and I was supposed to be there working.  I had another big job to do that I guess had to take precedence.  I generally hate trade shows, but I have never worked a bike show before*. I hope the fact that I am surrounded by awesome Colnagos, Pinarellos, Cervelos, and BMCs will help wash down the unpleasant aftertaste of a 9 hour work day.

I am going to Marc's place on Monday night to spend some time in his training room and do some power measuring.  We have a number we are shooting for.  I pray  I don't  disappoint.  Currently I am still training with heart rate and by feel.  I am curious to see what kind of wattage I am putting out.

For dinner tonight I tried to duplicate a favorite salad from Terroni.  It's baby arugula, with pan seared crimini mushrooms, hot Genoa salami , with melted parmesean cheese, and then I drip olive oil and vinegar all over it, with some fresh lemon.  Of course, I have to top it off with a glass of Italian red., and a couple of slices of Ciabatta bread.  You are probably thinking "Congratulations!!!! You've ruined that salad , that jerk forgot tomatoes!!!"  Indeed I did.   It was not as good as theirs,  but still pretty good for a master of  Kraft Dinner and beer.

                                                               Yeah, that just happened!

It's 5:20pm now, but after the boy goes to sleep I am going to fire up the engines and rip some cranks off my Pinarello downstairs.  90 minutes.  Hammer time.

*Not true-in 1999 I worked for Party Marty/Black Flys at the Dealers bike show.  Then we spent the night at System Soundbar.  Man, I would die if I tried that kind of party pace again.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March of the Crabs

First day of March.  Nice weather too.  I should be doing the Donut Ride on Sunday but I will be working at the bike show.   Goddamn I can't wait for this season to start.  I have so many new friends to ride with, drink beer with, hang out with.  It's cool how easily you can make friends with other racers.   Unlike some of other friends , the ones you share such a common passion with can be your closest pals.  If I can get a little cheesy and put forth a slice of personal philosophy I think that life is about 2 main things.  Relationships and experiences.  Relationships are kind of like the glue that binds all the experiences together.  Without the relationships you can't fully enjoy,  learn from, or in some way benefit from the experiences.  Relationships can be good or bad.  The bad ones make you realize how good the good ones are,  and just  like good experiences you can never have too many good relationships.  Maybe it's the first friend you made in high school, or a teacher that took extra time with you, maybe it's some stranger who commented on your bike and asked you to ride with him,  maybe it's a pet that sometimes went hungry with you, but never held it against you.   One you'll always love and remember.  Good relationships are sometimes hard to build.  But are almost always worth their weight in gold pressed latinum.


 Experiences. You need to experience things in countless ways.  Experience the thrill of dog sledding, or the pain of a massive injury.  The betrayal by loved one,  or simply putting yourself in another persons shoes.  Experience failure, or success.  Love or hate. Highs and lows.  These are all things that, when added up will be the pages of your life's photo album.   I recommend experiencing a cold tulip glass  of Duvel as often as possible.

 Currently, on the month of my 40th birthday I am still amassing both great experiences and even better relationships.  I am pretty confidant that the next 40 will be even more noteworthy.  (end of cheese)

 Tonight, I threw my training book aside (Aside you stupid book! I cried!) and just rode hard.  Not longer than an hour but probably still at around 165 bpm for most of the duration.   I am still loving my training bike, the chamois cream I use, I also am getting hooked on this FRS Healthy Energy juice.


O'Doyle rules