Monday, May 30, 2011

Taste the silence

Trappist Beer is beer brewed by Trappist Monks, or at least under the direct supervision of Trappist Monks.  There are only 7 Trappist monasteries in the world, 6 in Belgium and 1 in The Netherlands.  All 7 carry the AUTHENTIC TRAPPIST PRODUCT logo and should be considered a world class beer with strict guidelines and standards and a rich history.

I now have tried all 7 of these lovely beverages.  La Trappe being the last one.  If I were Sam  Jackson and this blog were Pulp Fiction I would be saying 'ymmmm, this is a tasty beverage Vincent!!!"   Alas,  I am neither Samuel Jackson nor a beer reviewer.  Far from it.  Hell, I'm not even a blogger.  Well, maybe a shitty blogger.....I guess that's still a blogger.   But anyways, this La Trappe bier is really good.  A couple of the Trappist beers are a little heavy.  Not that they aren't tasty....especially after 2 or 3, but they sit thick and heavy kind of like how Molson Export used to when I was 17.  12 of those bastards and you were hammered , but also too full to move.

This La Trappe tripel is similar to Chimay premiere but really the big difference is that there is almost no aftertaste.  It may be a bit smoother going down but less creamy, but for some reason (could be that I just rode 120 kms solo)  I think I like it better than Chimay.  Maybe less than Orval though, and although I love beer as much as the next guy (who really friggin' loves beer), I always lack the hyperbole to describe something in terms understandable by those who haven't known me for 20-25+ yrs.   In summation I gots to say that La Trappe is one of the better Trappist beers at least to a North American palette,  and if you ever see it at the Liquor store you should grab as many as you can afford.    I can only describe La Trappe as a  winning and tasty amalgamation of Meuse River water, the sweat of 1000 monks, with the carbonation of  a Pop Shoppe veteran all bottled really fancy-like in a corked 750 ml jug.  Me likey!!!!  The only thing I don't understand is their slogan found on the reverse label of the bottle that reads "taste the silence"......What the ?!?!?   Maybe 'taste the sound of getting kicked out of the bar'..........or 'taste the punch in the face'.................or 'taste the pillow as you hit it face first', this beer is 8%, and although that may be a light beer by  Belgian Trappist standards I'm not detecting any  silence.

The other thing I don't get about the La Trappe Tripel...........and it's why some labels have a big T on them and some have a Big D.   I am cool with those 2 initials but why 2 different ones?  I must look into this.

I rode today from Dixie and Bloor St in Mississauga to Rattlesnake point in Milton and then rode the hills around there for an hour , (I only did the Rattlesnake climb twice though) before heading home.  I kept the pace high and stayed in the drops a lot.  Light winds from the north/west, and largely overcast skies.  Although it was very humid and cloudy the sunshine did fall on me.  A good little ride.   I pretended may last name was Blazek and hammered out a fast pace.

Ice Cube will swarm on any motherf#cker in a blue uniform.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

St Lawrence Criterium

                                                  What a great spot to host a criterium race
Emilio shredding as usual
                         Charles Dumas from Coach Chris, wearing the ugliest kit in the OCA

Man I'm glad Jeff left the Lapdogs team
                                                         Marco looking for a hill

After I left the race it started to rain.  Finally those M1 bastards can get some rain during their race.
I rode the crit course for over an hour today and did intervals.  3 laps on, 2 laps off.  I felt good, like my illness is gone.    Dinner was good.  Riding to Milton tomorrow for hill intervals.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Alcohol: The cause and solution to all of life's problems.

"I always knew that cycling wasn't just the act of riding a bike.  It was always far more emotional....far more ethereal practice than just pedaling."  -Rapha Continental rider

                                              Several years ago I rode to Point Pelee daily

I used to ride.  A lot.  100kms a day.  Almost every day.  I loved it.  Loved life.  I saw a short movie today that made me realize the possible folly of my ways.    Here I am .  Slowly recovering from supposed  pneumonia, a fairly badly sprained hand and a pretty bad crack in a $5,000 bike frame.  I'm depressed.  I can't ride with my team, and even if I do .....I can't keep up with them right now. I don't have the lungs or legs for it.   Or maybe its just that I don't have the head for it.  Over the past year or so all I do is ride here in the city.  Ride laps around a couple of business HQ's on roads deserted after 6:00pm.  All so I can get faster.  Not so I can enjoy myself.  Not so I can come home with lungs washed clean with fresh rural air. Not so my mind returns refreshed and ready to focus.  Not so I can stop and hear the sound of a near by creek's water running hurriedly over some jagged rocks.  Just so I can be a bit faster.  I think I used to feel more fulfilled....more rich inside when I used to ride by myself.  Or at least riding for myself instead of racing with others.

                                        Nightly rides around the Crit course isn't doing it for me

 Now that I think about it I really don't think cycling is giving back to me the equal to what I'm putting in.  Maybe it is.......I don't know.  I used to really enjoy getting suited up to go ride for the day.  Now it kind of seems like a chore.  I hope I can get a handle on this .    I think a better balance between the competitive aspect and the pure enjoyment part would really help.  I found that balance with beer, quality over quantity.   I've got some thinking to do.  Riding from Mississauga up to Rattlensnake point tomorrow morning.  Fuck, will I ever be pissed if I get hit by a car again.

                                                            Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, fresh oxygen!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine......

I was up in Trent Hills working today.  Another great little area that I would kill to live in.  In general it wouldn't take much to get me to kill so that's probably not an accurate indicator of how much I would enjoy living there.......or not living in the city.

Great riding.  No traffic.  Decent asphalt. Numerous hills.  Rivers and water everywhere.  Numerous unicorn sightings........  

This looked like a cool place to stay and just hang out.  I imagined my friend David would jump at the chance to chill out here.  A bike, some cold Chimays and some good food would be a good break.  Probably better than going and hanging out on a beach in the Caribbean with a pile of strangers, drinking watered down booze, getting the shits from the local food and water, and enduring brutal service.  Although I always like the tan I get down there.......

The more I type this and look at these poor quality pics........I wish I were back up there enjoying fresh air and not having to decide which highway is less congested.

Although I feel like I'm on the mend, I rode with the team last night and got dropped a couple of times.  My legs and lungs just aren't back yet.  So, no Toronto Criterium I guess.   I guess my season will re-start in July. suckmo.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Violence and Force.......and rain.

I have been so sick.  No riding.  No anything. My doctor said he thinks I have pneumonia.  I don't think so.  So I think I'll err on the side of caution and go with my own diagnosis.   I went to watch The Nith River race, it was another disaster.  Just like Springbank the Master 2 race was basically started in a deluge, while the Master 1 race was met with dry roads and sunny skies.  And again, threats of violence towards Team Kurzawinski are met with swift retaliation .

                                                                  Master 2
                                                                Master 1

Tonight I'm racing the Mid Week crit.  Hacking cough and all.

                                   Here's the damage to my frame from the crash in London.
                                                    Stronger, but much uglier.
                                  To Vic's chagrin I had to try and cover the new carbon
                                                        bandage with something........................

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spreading the Disease

After that race last race in London, where I got put into the curb, I got sick.  Yeah sick, real sick.  The kind of sick you try to hide from  the other kids so they don't think you have Impetigo, or Lice or something like that........but this time I have some sort of Made in Hell sinus infection, in concert with what feels like whooping cough.  As well as an overall weakness and malaise that is keeping me from the bike.  Thats the worst part.  Everyday I'm off the bike my season goes further down the shitter.

                            I think this is the last pic of a girl with a bike that I have.....

I also have been going to a Chiropractor for lazer treatments on my sprained hand. You always think hands are stupid useless things that you will never need, well let me tell you -that's a lie.  I can barely open a beer, gets keys from my pocket,  text on my stupid phone, and more!!!  I'm told it can maybe be months before it heals totally.  For the last few days I have been enjoying a few of my favorite products.  No beer,  but also almost no cold drugs.

Stan and Marc
The other day in Sauble Beach Stan got 4th, and  Marc got 5th in M1 and Andy (Sweetness) got 3'd in M2.  I guess Andy moves up to the machine now.   It's all us now.  Boom!  tomorrow I'll either die on the course, or get blown away and ride home coughing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mennonite Country for Old Men: Reconnaissance

A couple of days ago I rode the Nith River race course.  I had imagined it was longer.  Thought I would do about 3 or 4 laps.  My mistake, turns out each lap is only about 10 minutes or so. So I did 9 or 10.  Wellesley is a fairly small town, just west of Waterloo.  Not as north as St. Jacobs or Elmira though, although  a lot of Mennonite's or 'Menno's' still  call the area home.  A certain hint that you are in the area is sudden proliferation of horse crap all over the road, the closer you get.

Before I ventured into in Martial arts,  XC racing and ultimately road racing I used to have a dog sled team.  As pictured below you can see we had fun.  Didn't win too much, or even impress at the races.......but had a ton of fun.  Looking back I can say with complete honesty that those were some of the best and most fun years of my life.  Ripping across frozen farmland in -10 or colder.  No sound save for the faint sound of paws compressing the snow.  The faint sounds of  panting as the dogs found their rhythm.  The lead dog almost always belongs to the driver,  you tend to trust your own dog.  In my case we were no different.  He was my best friend.  He was among the most well behaved Siberian Huskys I had ever had the good fortune of meeting.  If dog sled sprint racing was a little easier to do in Ontario I would not be riding bikes nearly as much.  I hope I can get on another sled sometime.

                                       Trev, Nakoda, Leika, Toomit, Akasha, Nuka and Tajo

The Nith River race next week is special to me as my team was named for that river.  Nith River Racing Siberians.  We would often train along the river and the surrounding farms, in the autumn and especially in the winter.  While checking out the course it brought back a ton of memories for me.   Sometimes it's sad to look back.  Life always seems like it was a little better when you  look back.  At least if you are fortunate enough to have great memories like I have.

                                                  Definitely the most scenic of the OCUP races

The course has some rollers but no real climbs to worry about.  I do hope that the corners get swept off before bodies get hauled off.  Overall its a very safe course.  I imagine it's about a 5km loop, although I bet the website has that detail.  A few good spots to get away and be out of sight shortly after.   I think I can see where the attacks will go.

Lets all join hands and pray  that the God of Rain  doesn't sully another fine race.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday the 10th, Mid Week race.

Holy crap tonight was a great night.  Marc showed up, Vic showed up.  Most of the Kurzawinski team showed up.  The night started out pretty cold, but as per usual it seemed to warm up the faster the race got.  I felt really good. Stayed in the middle most of the race-  not up front, wasn't feeling that good. Definitely was the biggest field I have ever seen.  I would say 100 guys showed up for the late race.  There were a few nail biting moments. 

At the end of the race some guy from Jet Fuel decided to sit up for the sprint, but did it while not even pulled all the way over to the curb.  I almost rear ended him and would have killed us both .  Then he gets mad at me and tries to pull a heavy on me.  Anyways.......

You know, road racers always have a bad reputation for being ego maniacs, assholes, and whiners.  I haven't found that too much, but there are few guys who think they're the shit.  I don' know why more racers aren't just really happy and grateful that they are here competing in the best sport in the world. Why act like a jerk when it's not called for?  Shit , you could be stuck doing something brutal like golf.   

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day to ride.  Maybe the nicest we've had so far this season.  I rode with a group of enthusiasts from the bike store out to Milton and back.  We didn't take the big climb up the escarpment but still, most of those climbs get the heart rate up there.  The average speed was a bit slower than I would have liked but keeping it in the small ring and spinning proved enjoyable.    Lots of riders, and runners out.  The season has finally started.

I am going to the hospital tomorrow as I am sure that I have a hairline fracture in my right thumb.  Not sure what, if anything, they can do about it.  All the bruises that were hidden days ago have now made themselves visible.  Now yielding evidence of my horrific crash last Sunday.  The right hand is in real pain.  I can barely grip the bars.   If I have to race in Sauble Beach next week I better get this sorted out.

Today Myself, Marc, Vic and Demetre are all going to Waterdown/Burlington for a little reconnaissance of the National Championships course.  It'll also mark the first ride on my Pinarello since I wrapped it, and myself, around that damn tree last week.  I am praying to Allah that it's just cracked paint and not cracked carbon.  I'll be the first to know, I guess, if the carbon is cracked.    Boom sha-lok-lok-boom!!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

These bruises are my muted horror story............

Although I am not writing about the Obama/Osama  story I just have to add the obvious. For 1.  Why won't the papers touch on something they used to tell us years ago......that Osama had serious kidney disease and wasn't expected to live very long under the best of conditions?

 2. Why does this Obama administration think its ok to kill the Al Qaeda leader but at the same time feel that to show the picture of the corpse will insight violence against the US?

3. They had to dump his body in the ocean because in the few hours after they 'killed' him they telephoned every country on the planet to find that no one wanted the body.  But also out of respect to the Islamic faith they disposed of the body within 24 hrs, but somehow they thought maybe out of disrespect they would dump him in the Ocean....which is against their faith.    I'm very far from being an expert on this topic, so I'm sure the more well-educated can rip holes in this official story but one thing is for sure.....  I'm now beginning to think Barack is as big a liar as W.  Watch now as some type of revenge attack on the US sparks a full fledged war against the middle east.  My 2 cents.  (and why isn't there a 'cents' key on the computer?)

Tonight is going to be my first ride since last Sundays race and crash.  Not only was I misfortunate enough to crash at that race but the non stop rain seems have have helped me get a wicked cold.  Monday morning I woke up feeling about 90 times worse than when I went to bed.  The addition of bad cold to badly bruised body generally adds up to 'call in sick' , but that wasn't an option.   All I could do was take it easy this week, and drink lots of tea, not much, but some beer, and eat good meals.  The cold still remains, but the pain seems to have diminished somewhat.

Even though I still had to work this week I did enjoy going to a couple of cool places while doing so. Working in different places always keeps me on my toes for different places to ride.  Yesterday I was in Bala, Ont.  Cool little village.  I could handle a little cottage up there.  From April till October you can ride awesome hills, and roads, while dodging bears, moose and turtles. Leaving the wilds on Sundays only for OCUP races and whatnot....

                                                        One day Osama's corpse will float by.

Tonight I'm riding the crit course where at most I may dodge some Canada Geese or the odd raccoon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

You know that feeling when 10 guys beat the crap out of you?

Ontario Cup # 2  Springbank Park, London

I felt great yesterday.  I did everything right this week. Raced once, and did another team ride which was quick. and rode by myself at least 50kms each day.  Ate well, not too many beers.  Last night I went to bed at 10:00 and woke up at 7:00am.  Took a hot shower, went to a little diner for a decent breakfast and coffee. Then I went back home (my Moms) and changed.  Nice fresh clean white team kit.  Slathered the embrocation on the legs, and drove 25 minutes to the race.  Registered, then did some hill intervals.  I know the area very well so anyone who didn't know London wouldn't know where to find some decent hills close by in which to get the heart rate cooking.  Everything, seemingly was 'comin' up Trev'.  

We took our places at the start line, although it seemed to be to the disdain  of the sky , as it was pouring rain.  Not just peeing.  Basically pouring.  The race must go on they say.  The hardmen persevere.

I think I rode a near perfect race.  I did a little time at the front,  made a small attempt to get away , but was instantly persued.  So I basically sat in various spots throughout the pack and bought some time. Marco was at the front as usual, Andy and Emilio were uncharacteristically more near the middle to back of the pack.  Not sure what happened to Joe.  Haven't heard yet.

I was feeling great.  Last lap with about 400-500m to go I spotted a gap on the left side of the pack alongside the curb.  I took it and began my advance.  I was thinking 'shit this is it!!!  My legs are good, and I am in a good spot.  Lets go!!!'  Marco is on my wheel, we are going to podium for sure.  Then out of nowhere, or somewhere to my immediate right.... some biff takes my line.  Bumps right onto me .  I have no space or time to correct, going too fast as well.  I hit the curb.  The sound of carbon grinding concrete is like nails on a blackboard to me.  I am upside down and headed for the business end of a big ass tree.  Luckily I didn't hit the soft, wet ground as the oppression screaming  maple tree was able to break my fall, possibly my left thumb and definitely my new $5000 frame.

I would have thought the dude who put me into that curb would come back after he crossed the finish line to see if he had , indeed, killed me.  It would have been the cool thing to do.  Pretty sure he was riding for Gears Racing.

Regardless of the bruising, dizzyness , vertigo etc etc.......and my crunched frame I had a great day.  I don't think there was much I could have done better.  I was prepared, and fought hard for my positions.  Sometime you just can't foresee someone else's moves.

I also have to endorse a great product with my full appreciation and thanks.  Spray n' Wash was able to make my nearly all brown and black stained uniform 100% white again.

I hope it can fix cracked 50 ton carbon fibre too.  Boom!