Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Adversity introduces a man to himself

Now that the racing season is over I am left wondering about my season's success or lack thereof.  Lately I've been trying to look on the bright side of things, so I'm assuming a more optimistic posture.  "I'm tryin' Ringo, I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd".

A friend recently asked me something after I showed a good race result.  He said 'well have you learned anything from these last few races'? I paused and thought about it, and at first I repsonded 'no, not really'.  He then said 'well, what's different about these last few races?' [referring to the fact that I have gotten several top 10 finishes at the Tuesday races, 6th place at the last OCUP, and a pretty decent place at the Provincials, and the 2 months before that I had races  I couldn't finish]  I paused for another moment and said 'the pain I feel sticking it out and staying in the race is not as bad as the pain I feel when go home after giving up in a race'.

 I think that's all it is in racing .  Which pain is worse? How much can you take? and lastly, how much do you want your desired result?

I suppose next year if I can raise my goals, or better yet, raise the threshold of the pain I'm willing to endure I can have an even better season.  From start to finish.  If I change the goal from wanting to finish the race with the pack to intending to help put a teammate on the podium, or work , no matter how hard, at getting on the podium myself ...............I suppose the pain of doing it will also be less than the pain of disappointment.

Jack Handy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Mid Week Race of the year.

Just like the leaves changes their colors, and  the nights get dark darker earlier in the evening so too must end the mighty Mid Week Criterium Races.  Sucks, but true.  I think that's a Metallica song.

Not the biggest pack tonight, but still decent.  I would say 65 racers.  No crashes, but a shit load of attacks.

I wish those races went on into the fall and winter, but I guess in a about 6 weeks it'll start getting dark at 4:30pm.  Sucks, but true.  So an evening race would be impossible.

I'm going to give myself a fine bottled gift for being at every Mid Week Race this season.  Crap, I didn't miss one last year either.  Drink on!

Andy wins the final race.
Stan gets a top 10.
I think I got a 12th.
I'm not aware of Camilo or Marco's result.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Worst sayings ever!

I have to basically take part of this week off from riding as well as this weekend.  I don't have a babysitter and I have my son to myself .  This gives me time to think about other things that aren't  necessarily of the 2 wheel kind.

The worst sayings currently going.  That's what I want to rage about for a minute. I want to break these down a bit and if there are any others that I have missed please make a comment at the bottom.

"Cheers!"  You can say cheers at Xmas dinner.  You can say it at a wedding during  the meal, a waiter could say it to you after handing you your pint of Guinness, and you can say it on a date I suppose but the key to saying cheers is that there is drinking involved.  I hear people say cheers so often as a salutation.  As in 'See you later man, cheers!!!'   Fail!   Don't say it.  It makes you look like you got a discount lobotomy.

"It's all good/no worries."  This is another pair that should really be flushed.  As I hear it, people use it in place of saying 'it's ok', or 'don't worry'.  For some reason I think the phrases originated in Australia.  I think the Crocodile Hunter used to say them, as well as Crocodile Dundee.  It's ok for those dudes to say it because it's colloquial, but not here.  I knew a girl once who went to Australia for a vacation and she came back sounding like a total moron.  When some guy says to me 'no worries man' is he telling me that he has no worries or that I should have no worries?  Because he should worry as I am about to hit him acrosss the head with an escrima stick.

"Good on ya!"  Oh shit, this one is my least favorite saying to hear.  I just want to turn into a raging bull and gore someone to death.  Or better yet grab a trident and just murder the crap out of the person ala Will Ferrell in that Angry Boss skit on SNL.   What the hell is 'Good on ya'?    I think it means good for you, but I'm not sure. Maybe it means there is something good on you, like sunshine, or someone's pet bird, or maybe a nice new shirt. Good for you was a perfectly reasonable saying.  It required no tweaking.  I don't know...... but I do know this- People need to band together and start calling people out when they say 'Good on ya'.  Only thin lipped hookers on 'Thin Lipped Hooker Night" say good on ya.  

Watch this now.....

"My bad!" This quantum anomaly is bad enough that it should be a legal excuse for aggravated assault.  Without a doubt it came from the hip hop , street slang, skateboard sect.  I rarely hear a person over 30yrs ever utter it, but  the few times I have I was brought to nausea and disgust.  "My bad" replaces sorry, my fault.  Or so the user thinks.  Not only have they not issued an admission of fault or an apology, they have succeeded without fail at looking like a 100% douchebag, who wears skinny jeans,  or has a tramp stamp tattoo.  Now I'm no genius.  Far from it.  I can't easily reverse nuclear fusion, or even illegally download music, but the saying of "My bad" is the lowest of the low for people who can actually speak and think.  I take back what I said earlier....... it's waaaaaay worse that saying "good on ya".  My bad, my bad.  Now I'm going to go punch myself in the face repeatedly. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

That was a disappointment, I must say

Today was my first ride with my new power meter.  I got a Cyclops PowerTap.  It did add about a lb or more to the weight of my bike but I do feel that the winter training will benefit me a lot more now that I can train with a bit more structure and feedback.  The only small problem I encountered was that it doesn't work.  I couldn't get my heart rate or my power output to display.

  Last Tuesday was the penultimate night of racing at the Mid Week Crits.  It seemed like a pretty fast night.  It started out really windy and I foresaw several pile ups but luckily there were none.  I like how Craig the organizer has to remind people not to use their cell phones while warming up or racing.  Like how fucking stupid is that ?  Who needs to even bring their cell to the race , unless maybe they rode there, but then turn it off.  I saw the guy using it a few weeks ago.  Dork.  Anyways..........

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Total fun kms ridden this Sat/Sun: 200

Thursday I rode from Brampton up to the Hockley General Store and back.  I know I mention it all the time, but that is one hell of a ride.  The best scenery you can ask for and hill after hill.  Even surprise hills that I forget about. Each more surprising than the last.  So close to the city but absolutely no evidence of being close to anything as offensive as a large city.  The store in Hockley has it all.  It's a true general store like I imagine from the good old days.  You can buy beer there, get a meal, or just pick up some groceries or a magazine and nachos and habanero salsa.  They have a great outside sitting area with huge solid pine tables and chairs.  I plan to ride out there though the fall and winter.  

Yesterday I did the Invita group ride form Mississauga to Glen Williams, which is one town south/west of Terra Cotta.  While sitting there at the bakery I enjoyed 2 extra large chocolate chip cookies and a coke.   Some guy comes over and sits with us.  He's riding a Cannondale, and has a strong accent.  As it would happen he is a former pro cyclist and hails from New Zealand.  Told me he raced many of the Spring Classics (not Vlaanderan though....). Even the Tour De Suisse.  His strong accent prevented me from understanding a lot of what he said but what I did get seemed pretty cool.  He was late 50's I would say and in really good shape.  I had to really hammer to catch him on the hill, I'm not even  sure how hard he was going .

Today I met "The Reverend' Jeff Ker downtown and we rode from there out to Stouffville.  Half of the ride, it seems, is just trying to get out of the city.  We held a strong pace, but weren't hammering.  We still needed to be able to talk about the season and the 2012 season as well.  We stopped in town for coffee/smoothies at a new cafe called the Red Bulb.  Awesome smoothies.  The forecast called for rain all morning but we never really got it.  Not enough to even get our shorts wet.  

It appears a good weekend was had by all.

Leprechaun out

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Provincial Championships Team pics

Marc and Stanley in the feed zone like sissies

Me getting a feed

Phill doing something

Andy trying to get away

Marc just after the start on the stupid gravel

me just sitting in I guess

Me trying to maybe get away , not sure.  Possibly just reveling  in the fact they announced my name and team 

L-R in black and white Stan , Marc, Phill
Why the hell did they make us start on gravel anyways?  Marco in the middle

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vengeance is boiling

The Ontario Cup Niagara Classic road race was yesterday and as promised it was a great race with a great turnout in almost all the categories.  The weather was warm and humid but not overly so.  The sky was always threatening rain but only ever delivered about 1/3 of the way through the M2 race final lap.

Team Kurzawinski at the front:

The Master 2 race started with about 35 racers.  We all lined up and received our instruction from the commissaire.  We heading along the backside of the course which was a slight descent followed by a couple of small  downhills.  Joe Accardi, Camilo Mondaca , Marco and myself all went directly to the front and stayed there for the full lap dictating the pace.  Camilo pulled very strongly and showed his enthusiasm as one of the teams newest members.  As we hit the first climb up the Effingham Hill I was in the very front, as recommended to me , but then I slowly faded to the back of the pack.  I watched as everyone who was able to climb steep grades better than me left me in their wake.  I continued up unflinched.   It was on this first climb several riders got dropped and rode the rest of the course alone. When I hit the top of the hill I was maybe 20-30' behind the next rider but as the back side was a descent I was easily able to grab back on to the group, catch my breath, get my heart rate under control and then move back to the front.  I did this every lap.

During the second lap I moved up to assume my roll at the front of the group with Marco and Camilo. Camilo asks me "are we going to let this guy escape?' motioning to Matthew DiSilvestro from Ottawa , as he was about 100m ahead on an attempted breakaway.  Little did we know our complacency would hand Matthew his second win of the season and have us fighting for second place at best.  I think during his biggest gap he put 1m20s on us.

At times the pack worked together really well with The Kurzawinski team. We  and a couple of other racers starting a single echelon chase.  Although our efforts were ultimately in vain, we were able to win back about 25 seconds.

During the last lap the speeds still hadn't picked up much as they often do.  Everyone knew this was going to end up in a bunch sprint up the hill.  As my friends and team mates will attest to I am not an overly strong or powerful rider.  So I knew I was in some trouble in the coming minutes.  My hopes of a top 3, top 5 or a top 10 finish were slowly dissolving.  As we are heading towards the final descent Camilo says to me "Trevor, how are you feeling?"  I said I felt like a million bucks.  He told me that he was feeling pretty gassed and knew he didn't have enough power left do do anything serious on the final climb that was about 5 minutes away. He offered to give me a lead out over about 1/2 of the rollers leading up to the hill.  I accepted with eager anticipation.  Marco was still in the front as he had been a lot of the race, and  of course had  no way of knowing what we had just planned.    As we hit the final descent I got into my most aerodynamic tuck and sucked as much air into my lungs as I could.  I told myself to ignore the pain I was about to endure.    Camilo took off up the left side and I followed.  We moved up the side of the  entire pack in  no time.  We stayed near the front never giving evidence of our intentions.  Then Camilo shifted gears.  His speed picked up and I was right there.  My wheel inches from his.  He is a much larger rider than me so the air he moved for me was unbelievable.  (Waaaaay better than riding behind Andy!!!)  We had a bit of a gap as we hit the bottom of the climb, I don't use a computer so I don't know how fast we were going.  As the grade rose Camilo looked back , but had not enough energy or air left to even yell GO!!!   He pulled to the left and I took off.  I was giving it 100%.  I climbed a large part of the hill with no other rider in my peripheral vision but as the the seconds ticked by I saw Steve Fantaske (BCC), Steve Vlemmix (London Honda), Mark Sugita , a guy I didn't recognize (Steve De Boer) and then Lawrence Akot from Darkhorse all fly by me.  It was that instant I saw my dreams of a podium medal vanish.  With less than 15 metres to go I was beside Lawrence's  rear wheel and all I could hear was Coach Krystoph screaming "PASS HIM!!!PASS HIM!!!!! TRUVAH YOU PASS HIM!!!!!"
I was able to catch him at the line by about 6 inches and secure an incredibly hard fought for 6th place.

Lawrence and me bleeding as we approach the line:

Matthew was never actually in danger of us catching him.  So he earned his win heroically.  I feel happy with my sixth place.  Other than organizing a chase group on lap 2  there was nothing I could have done better.  So  sixth was my best effort.  My best result this season.

I pray this isn't my last race of the year.  There are several coming up over the border in a few weeks as well as the Centurion at Blue Mountain.  I'm told I'm still peaking.

Pics to come real soon like!

Marco 14th!
Camilo 17th!
Joe 18th!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Champions of winning superb!!!!

Tomorrow id the last Provincial cup of the season.  It contains a fair sized hill climb that  we need to do 6 times.  It could be worse, But six is still not fun.  On paper I think I should be a stronger climber than I am. I'm hovering around 150lbs right now at 5'8".  I'm still working on it.  Still working on realizing my specific skill set in racing.  Climbing, sprinting, attacking, lead outs? ..........maybe tomorrow will shed new light.

My racing season made a sudden turn about around 5 weeks ago.  With a reasonable result in Cobourg, then 2 top 10 finishes at the Mid Week Crits, and also a pretty good placing at the Provincials.  I just need that streak to continue at a slight improvement through tomorrow.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Belgian Kriek Beer

I'll make this short. Today I found a few Belgian biers that I don't see very often.  I bought the regular one , I don't know what it is though....maybe an Ale..  I also grabbed this one, it's a black cherry fruit beer.  The deal with this beer is that the top is wrapped in gold foil, then has a cap, and then when you pull the cap off  a cool cork is revealed.  these guys go overboard with the presentation.  The beer inside is pretty fantastic too.  They weren't trying to hide the black cherry.....there are no notes of's full of it.  In a good way.  If you can remember the POP SHOPPE'S black Cherry soda's like that but better.  It would take a lot of them to knock you down as they are only 3.5% alc.....but like Fruli they are a good primer.  These guys are bringin' it to the fruit beer and Belgian white beer market.  Boom!!!!

I like rearranging the pics in a big and small, left to right fashion.   I'm  making these pics my bitch.

This is my Cryptic Slaughter beer coolie.  They were an awesome hardcore band I liked in High School.  I still have the coolie.  Rarely use it though.  Set your own pace.

In the bag.......

It's threatening rain again today.  The clouds have darkened but are not yet peeing.  I am always a fan of watching Farra Nasser and the girls of CP24.  So I'm always bang on with not only Toronto traffic but the weather reports.

I rode around the Matheson loop this morning for about 2 hours.  The wind was strong and was blowing in the reverse direction to which it normally blows.  Felt like a new route.  I even hopped on the tail of a tractor trailer and let him pace me for about 2 minutes , but really quickly.  I was about  half a meter from eating his bumper.  Always fun.

Last nights Mid Week Crit was a great race.  Granted it seemed a little slower than most nights , but the bonus with a slower night is that there are a lot more attacks than if it's top speed all night. by the second lap  myself, and Vic were just getting ready to jump (or if Vic jumped, I was right there on his wheel) and at that second an opening formed Marc flew right by.  We were able to both stand up and get behind him.  We had a nice little breakaway going for a few laps.  Again, I showed equally my zeal and inexperience and took slightly longer pulls at the front than I should have  so when the group finally caught us it was a blessing  as I was going at near redline.    The rest of the race was great for practicing moving up to the front  and attacking,  and then moving back into the front(ish) of the pack.   At the end it turned into a bunch sprint right around the 250m mark.  I was definitely in a good spot to get a top 5 but again my lack of pure power allowed a few guys to get around me (Stan and Marc......) and I got a 10th place.  I'm still very happy with that.  It just means I need to watch my position in the final laps even more closely.    

I am seriously impressed with this new beer from Quebec called Dominus Vobiscum.  I REALLY like it.  It's so damn refreshing.  The effervescence is alot more intense than most beers. It claims to be a Belgian style beer, so  I would still compare it to something like Hoegaarden.  So similar so that I feel within my rights to pour it into a Hoegaarden glass.    

Ace Out

Monday, August 8, 2011

No complaints reported

This afternoon I sure did have a great ride up to Orangeville.  By great I mean one of those rides where I felt strong and was strong.  The temperature was hot, but not overly humid.  No cars passing me too closely, and no dogs chasing me away from their property.  Headwinds from the North going up the hills, and then back was faster than fast. The wind blowing over my face and hair like an 80's Winger video.

Cyclists sharing my route were sparse to non-existent.  The sun was blazing down on my already redneck tanned skin simply added to the evidence of a summer well enjoyed.  My bike was silent, and did what I asked of it.  Almost always in the big ring. Even in the heat it seemed my electrolyte enhanced drinks stayed both cool and somehow near-full, although I don't feel I ignored my thirst at all.  Possibly I experienced one of those perfect rides.  I will be doing the same route again Thursday with the team.


Is it just me or does anybody else  love washing their drivetrain and polishing their bikes?

Carpet Crawlers

Yesterday I had planned on racing the Ontario Cup mountain bike race at Kelso in Milton.  It's a crazy hilly course with tons of climbing.  I was not allowed into the the Expert field because I don't actually have a mountain bike racing license.  So I was going to race the sport category.  I think I could have done well and at least made the podium.  When I awoke I couldn't help but notice a strange and new smell in the air.  It was the smell of rain.    The smell of moisture in the air, accompanied by the sound of pounding water on my window.  Now, I don't necessarily dislike riding in the rain.  Not as a rule, but if I am to try and do well and enjoy an XC race there better not be a riverbed for a trail.   So I stayed in bed for another 15 minutes.  In fact, I took the entire day off. Did no riding.   Felt great...........

Shortly I am going to go ride the Heart Lake Road to Hockley Valley route I like so much.  20 minutes from home and they are some of the sweetest, safest roads going.

This delicious and nutritious mid morning meal should give me the quick energy I'll need to escape any aggressive farm dogs or genetically modified snapping turtles.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good day to you then......

As many of you know or can reason self improvement has always been a passion of mine.  Worldly knowledge, cultural awareness and  acceptance has always been of utmost importance to me as well.  Tonight's post will not feature any evidence of that.

Today I stumbled upon a new beer I haven't tried before.  I only bought it because as I walked by it I noticed the word Belgian on it.  It's called Shock Top Belgian White.  It's brewed in the US.  Strike 1.   Like Blue Moon, which I drank in Florida a few months back, it's pretty much a copy of Hoegaarden.  Maybe not an exact replica but definately trying to appeal to the same crowd with its tasty notes of coriander, and orange peel,  it's near perfect for summer patio drinking fruity aftertaste and its adequate head.  It's somewhat cloudy appearance makes me wonder if it's got something to hide.  But then I remembered that Hoegaarden is also fairly cloudy.  So, like, whatever.

Shock Top is way better than Blue moon , which is brewed or at least owned by Anheuser-Busch. Strike 2*. But it's not as good a Hoegaarden or Dominus Vobiscum+.  Or even Strawberry Fruli.  But it's still pretty tasty. Get a table with a good looking waitress and a plate of nachos and you're aces.    3 out of 5 stars.

* Blue Moon is brewed by Anheuser-Busch,  Shock Top isn't, but I needed a 'strike 2'.
+ Dominus Vobiscum is Canadian

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pinarello News

Andrea Pinarello just died.  The son of Pinarello founder Giovanni and brother of Fausto Pinarello.
A death is always sad, but the way in which he died makes all cyclists sit up and wonder about the sport we do. Andrea was 40 yrs old and was in  supposed good health,  he had just crossed the finish line at an Italian amateur race -The Giro del Friuli when he had a sudden heart attack.  The paramedics were able to start his heart again but he experienced a second one and they were unable to save him.  He was married and had 2 children, also had a long association with the brand.  Pinarello bikes have long been considered one of the top brands in the world , sponsoring such teams as Ibanesto, Fassa Bortolo,Illles Balears-Caissed'Epargne, and now  the Movistar team.

This story story hits home for me as I am on my 4th Pinarello.  Their bikes have always been top notch and been worthy of the huge price tag.  Aside from that small reason I can identify with his undue passing as I am also 40 yrs old, have a child , and like almost all cyclist/racers would, I feel that I have excellent health and would be the last person to suffer a heart attack.  It seems that even the most fit and well taken care of individuals can be felled if their straw is pulled.

As avid cyclists we push minds and our bodies, often past a reasonable point.  Maybe that's why we do it, so we can raise the bar on what our bodies can handle.  Its always sad to hear about someone young dying in a freak circumstance like that.  You never figure the healthy, slim ones will go like that.

My good thoughts go out to Andrea and his family after this tragedy.  I hope all bike racers will pause for a second and remember what his family has done for this sport.

Ciao Andrea

Monday, August 1, 2011

Don't cry for me.........

Although I was all ready to go today there was some communication troubles at home that prohibited me from racing today.  I also figured that with my luck they were giving shirts out today with every advanced registration. Which I would now forfeit .

Anyway, I can't accurately comment on what transpired during today's race except to say it was clear by corner 2 that Jet fuel was probably going to win.

There were about 200 racers in the Open category.
It was crazy hot again.  32 degrees and humid as hell.  Strong winds from the West.

Heading west felt like riding into a sauna, and I was just hanging out watching.
Eric leading the chase group
At least 2 Jet fuel dudes

I was playing at a splash pad in Brampton with my son while these suckers were finishing what looked to be one of the toughest races of the year.  As I type this I am enjoying a Leffe Brun and a slice of pizza.  Marco is probably doing the same.  Maybe Marc and Vic as well.......