Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pinarello Prince of Darkness

 After an insane day of relocating pool tables I just wanted to collapse on the couch with a European Cycling mag  (English not necessary), and a freezing cold  Affligem.  Curses!!!!  I still had to ride, as well as pick up some beer for the long weekend, since I won't be able to tomorrow night.  So I missed the team motor-pacing ride tonight, but the website schedule didn't specify that so it's kinda like......whatever........I went and did my usual default ride and did the Mid Week Crit course for a while.  I rode the Pinarello tonight even though the Zipp 303's creak like a cheap haunted house, in a cheap haunted house movie.  Don't even get me started on how crappy the Dura Ace shifts and sounds.

I like riding that course by myself , at night.  It's kind of like having your own little piece of the world that no one knows about.  I'm totally alone, and it's quiet.  I like riding in the near-darkness.  Keeps me on my toes.

Then I get home and the beers I bought earlier we nice and frosty.  No one must knwo my terrible secret.  I almost never have more than 2 beers at a sitting.

                     Look at that guy.  There's not a thought running through his mind right now.........

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

3 days until National Championships

Tonight was scheduled to be the 99 lap Mid Week Criterium but I guess with the National Championships coming up on Friday not too many people wanted to ride an endurance race 3 days before.  So the turn out wasn't that great.  Maybe 45-50 guys instead of  the usual 100+.

The National Criterium race was scheduled to be a points race , but I guess for various reasons they changed it to a regular Crit race.  I can't wait.  Balls out boy!!!!

Advantage: team Kurzawinski.

Me and Joe Acardi

Crazy Train

the best part of this picture is that we are both drinking Duvel at work
Special thanks to Juan, my favorite mechanic in the city.  He set up my bike to perform flawlessly for tonights race, as well as Fridays more important race.  Thanks Muchacho!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What's the future of mankind? How do I know I got left behind?

Rode in beautiful Woodstock today.  My old loop around Woodstock, Beachville, Embro (Oxford Country) and a pile of little towns that consist of no more than a 4 way stop intersection, a church and bakery.

Really great rolling hills.  Basically non stop hills.  Nothing too big, but very just one after the other.  With no traffic and great views of the country side.

I wish  I would have brought my camera as the pics would have been cool,  and hopefully it would have inspired one of my regular riding friends  to join me next time.  Instead I just took a picture when I weighed myself today.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

La Vie Claire

Today I was working in a sizable home in Oakville.  Oakville is known for being the most affluent suburb of the Greater Toronto Area.  As I passed between grand entrance, to spiral staircase, to enormous and well lit finished basement my eye caught a glimpse of something strangly familiar, and (to paraphrase some 80's teen street parlance )  large cool like.

The above piece is (most likely) a print by famed Danish artist Piet Mondrain.  He died in 1944,  he was famous for evolving a type of art called 'neo-plastcism'.  Who didn't love that style of art?  Aside from Art-deco and surrealism what else was was there?  C'mon now.....

In 1984 the La Vie Claire, the French cycling team was one of the most dominant , if not the most dominant teams of the European peloton.  Such notable racers included Greg LeMond, Steve Bauer, Andy Hampsten, Bernard Hinault, and Laurent Jalabert.  The LVC team was maybe the first team to have ever made the switch from steel to carbon fiber frames.  During his time with LVC LeMond is credited with being the first rider to adopt clipless pedals as well as clip-on aero bars.   They also borrowed the Mondrian design and made one of the most recognizable team outfits off all time.  Molteni being the only one I think might be more recognizable.  

A super nice guy sold me this sweater for $60 last winter.   It was 25yrs old, and he didn't believe he's ever worn it.  

      Here's a pic of me pretending I'm going out riding, but  really just wearing a  red-hot jersey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mid Week Crit Tuesday the 21st

Finally found my legs and lungs.  I love the Tuesday races.  I didn't win but I was up front trying to stir up shit and be part of the race.

Stan won, Marc and Vic both top 10.

Some idiot from Chain Reaction complained that the Kurzawinski team is chopping wheels or something like that.  How weird that all 9 of us seemed to be doing it but no one, especially him, crashed and no one else complained.  In fact I'd say we're friends with almost everyone in the Tuesday peloton.

When Z Team were on top I heard that everyone complained about them.  Now Kurzawinski is killing it and the weaker teams start whining.    This is the Catalina fuckin' Wine Mixer.  I wanna make bank bro, I wanna get ass...............I wanna drive a Range Rover.  POW POW!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Assos Bib shorts and handwashing

I was fortunate enough to receive a pair of Assos bibs shorts for my last birthday.  I was so excited to try on and then ride with some of the  cycling worlds most expensive and technically advanced piece of apparel.  When I put them on the magic started immediately.  The easy snugness of the leg grippers.  The strong yet gentle shoulder straps.  Comfort personified.   Possibly it was  the next day I went out for a spin to try them out and see if the chamois lived up to, not only it's reputation, but my initial high praise .

This guy I know says 'Boom!!!!' a lot.  Generally when something is pretty explosively cool.  I think I can safely issue a serious BOOM! to the bibs after ride #1.   They felt like I had a new seat on my bike.  But not a racing seat, more like a leather sofa seat.  Nicest chamois ever.  Better than my Castellis, Pearl Izumis, Sugois, Garneaus, Champion Systems,  even better than Hincapies  and any other bibs I have owned over the years.  I never get uncomfortable when I in them.  No matter the heat.  I put 600-700 florida kms in them this past March.  No sores,  no chafing, no STD's.

I just acquired some Assos apparel detergent.  It comes in very small quantities as you don't need much, but Assos knows that, and they don't sell anything that could be considered cheap.  I think if you ride and wash your bibs everyday it will cost you about $40 a month to clean them.

So I follow the directions and fill the (kitchen) sink with water and the detergent and continue my endeavor to clean, properly the second most expensive bibs in the world.    After a few minutes I wring them out, and hang them outside to dry.  The detergent promises to be more gentle on the fabric than traditional laundry soaps.  I can't actually confirm that without drinking it but I can affirm that it does smell really good. Like a grade 1 school teachers perfume mixed with some exotic flowers that we don't get here in Canada. 

Swallowing colours of the sound I hear

This weekend was a really great weekend fun-wise, but race results-wise ......."how you say not so good?".
We got up to Ottawa about lunchtime on Saturday, checked into our hotel and went over to Hull to ride the Gatineaus.  I haven't been there for 2 years, and it's still one of my favorite places to ride.   On Sundays they don't even let cars into the park, but there were still very few yesterday, and they were all courteous to us.  We rode up past Fortune Lake to the top of the park, and did some loops around.  Nothing too hard so as to not burn out our legs for the next day

                                                  I think this was the highest point

 The Gatineau Parc ride isn't really that long but it loops around so you can do repeats and not have just ride up and then go right down.   Never too steep, but better than anything in Ontario I'd say.   If I lived in Ottawa again, I would ride there every day.

                                                                    Pink Lake lookout

So as it turns out we secure a pretty nice hotel in the gay district/area of Ottawa.  Marc and I are slim, shaven legged dudes walking around looking for a good pub, but really looking more like a gay couple of tourists.  I decide it would maybe throw people off if I walk 10 or so feet behind him, so no one thinks we're together.  But that doesn't work, I still get the feeling that now people just think we are 2 gay dudes in a fight.  Can't win.........I did, however, like the magazine/smoke shop called MAGS AND FAGS.

We are both probably asleep by 10:00 and to the Cartier Hotels credit, the beds were really comfortable, and the air-conditioning was quiet and somehow set at a perfect temp.  Our room even had a full kitchen, large balcony, and a phone in the bathroom.  Actually , that was kind of weird.

The view when looking around town for breakfast

We get to the race and I get a halfassed warm up in before the race, but not before noticing the all the TV cameras and spectators and how the street were properly blocked off etc etc, this race is the real deal.  In Ottawa people actually come out to see a bike race, unlike Toronto.  Or at least the promoters know to hold a bike race in a spot where people will be.  In some spots along the finishing stretch you couldn't get to the road to see, there were so many people.  Up and down one side of the main street were pubs with patios full of people drinking and sort of watching the race, but mostly just enjoying the heat and  the ever delicious beer.

When the whistle sounded and everyone took off I had a bad position.  One that gradually worsened.  I could see Marco and Jeff at the front, and Phil and Martin slightly ahead of me.  I couldn't seem to find the opening or the power to move up.  I sat on the back until the end, but still an early demise.  I can't truly figure out what went wrong.  I'm not dwelling on it. Even with the 3 or more crashes the  guys did awesome , and Marco seems to enjoy playing at the front with everyone and then pulling back on the last lap.  More on that as it gets figured out.

Little Italy was pure style

The M1/Elite race was crazy fast.  They mixed in the younger elite racers with the older elite racers and it made for a pretty exciting race.  Stan, Andy and Marc all did well.  Marc got caught in a crash on the second last lap, running over some guys wheel which kept him off of the podium, but at least he stayed upright.  Andy got a decent 3'd, and Stan won.  Second win for that bastard.  I wish Bruce Bird and the WOB guys would have been there to contest that.  Not a lot of room on the podium for those Men in Black.

you know I lost my mind when I saw this place....

I would love to start going up to the Ottawa and Quebec area  for more races.  It's so much cooler up there than the GTA.  By cooler I mean different.  But definitely more my speed than Toronto.  Plus I would love to pretend I understood Francais.

                                                                                                 Pic by K.J. Carr
                                                                                                                                             pic by K.J Carr
I was checking to see which gasket I had blown

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday night: High Park to Mississauga ride

Tonight's ride is really intense.  It's not just the danger of riding as fast or faster than the traffic.  It's not the GTA's shitty roads.  It's not even the worst drivers on the planet that are darting around us so they can get home 10 seconds quicker.  It's that everyone there is a racer and everyone wants a killer Thursday workout.  No one lets up.  This ride is maybe shorter than the Donut ride, but it's way more intense.  Intensity in 10 cities.

                             Here's me at some lake north of Huntsville this morning

Saturday morning we go up to Hull to ride the Gatineaus.    Then the Preston St. race in doontoon Ottawa.  The whole team is going.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another night.......

Anyone who doesn't go and check out the Forks of the Credit, Belfountain, Hockley Valley areas is an idiot.  It's about as nice around there as it gets in Ontario.  Today I rode between 60-70kms from the north of Brampton to/and around the Forks of the Credit.  It was about 28 degrees and almost no wind.  Adding awesome conditions to the already wicked roads, and canopy of trees.

          this place Tammeron is in Belfountain, they have only organic treats, drinks and food

After I got home I had one of my favorite dinners.  Some type of Belgian style bread ( that I have loved for years,  long before I realized the superior flavourful taste of Belgian beer) with Italian Choritzo salami, fresh fruit, and a boconcinni salad.  I figure it's as close to natures perfect meal as you can easily have.  That or a Pizza from Terroni.

                                                     baby boy is asleep, now I can chill out

High Park ride tomorrow night.  6:00pm.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Tonights Mid Week race was another fast one.   But then again aren't they all?  I hate seeing bad crashes, and I didn't actually see tonight's crash but what I did see looked pretty bad.  I hope that dude's ok.

The Ontario Craft Brewers Week is coming soon.  June 19-25 in  Toronto.  I can't see what could possibly keep me away.  Possibly Marco can persuade Krys into making it a team training event.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When problems arise

Yesterdays Ontario Cup race didn't really go as planned, or to be more accurate 'as hoped'.  I totally bombed on the 10th of 11 laps.  I am still going over in my head what went wrong.  Was it my training leading up the race, was it the gearing on my bike?  Was it bad positioning at a crucial moment?  Am I still not 100 % after being sick and taking 5 weeks off from racing?  A combination or all or several of those reasons?  I don't know. All  I know is that I felt good going into the race but man did I feel like a piece of crap near the end.

As a whole our team did well.  Not fantastic , but well.  No one hit the podium, but everyone else seemed to be prepared for the windy war.

Anyways tonight was the recovery ride.  I did about 45 kms in the small ring and left the group , who had already spent an hour doing stretching exercises together while I rode.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

High Park ride

Toronto has the Donut ride.  Every Saturday and Sunday a group of cyclists, usually racers or former racers (or just dudes who are just fast) meet at the corner of Eglinton and Laird.  9:00 am every Saturday and Sunday, even on holidays.  Basically all year around.  I have never done the ride past mid-December, but I have heard that there are guys who do it regardless of the weather.  It's generally known for it's no mercy style of riding.  If you get dropped, tough shit.  Get a flat......too bad.  Crash......same thing.  But one thing its also known for is being pretty fast.  Lots of guys get spit out the back.  I am guilty of being dropped a couple of years ago.

In the last few years another ride has evolved.  It starts at High Park around 6:00pm on Thursday nights.  Heads west down the Queensway and then weasels its way through Mississauga .  It finds a cool loop along Indian Rd and South Sheridan Way.  Really frickin' fast along there.  They used to do 3 laps last year, I think it's been stepped up to 4 laps this year.  After that the ride goes up Mississauga Road and does a couple loops on a smallish hill that seems innocent enough, but is actually steeper and harder than it looks.  After that everyone heads back towards Toronto along Burnhamthorpe Rd.  I have to think if you start and finish at High Park it's got to be pushing 100 kms.

This ride is quickly getting a reputation for being the new fastest ride going.  It has so many stop lights, and so much rush hour traffic it's already a death wish, but sprinting after each and every light really keeps the pace high weeds out the weak, or soft.  From my own experience there are a lot more racers on this ride than the Donut.

Tonight Krys, Andy, Philly Palmer, Wes, and myself all tried to meet up with the whole crew but we were late  (Krystophs fault) and I guess the ride left late , as a result we somehow never met up.  We did the whole ride but without the Indian Rd speedway 500.  It sucked because we really needed to hammer it tonight in prep for KW on Sunday.

Then I got home and had some recovery juice.

a few more Tuesday pics