Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Celebrity Appearance

So...so far this week we are still experiencing this crazy spring type weather.  And this week we were also fortunate enough to have the return of a once local celebrity...Capt.Sydor (his nickname is Jeff).  Jeff now resides in the Land of Ham...which is just outside of Minto, which is north-east of Fredericton, which in New Brunswick, a land far, far away.

Jeff is visiting family out this way for a few days and yesterday I was lucky enough that he had spare time to join me on a shortened version of a buttertart ride.  He was not able to bring a bike from the Land of Ham, so my local bike shop, BicycleWorks in Waterdown, was most gracious to donate a beauty of a bike for the day...


Kona Ti Rove...the perfect vehicle for buttertart hunting...
Thank you BicycleWorks Paul!!!


So on 02/22 we rode up the escarpment in +13 degree temps in search of a buttertart emporium...and at the 2 hour mark...we found one.



Apparently NewfieSteve left something here last time...


So a brief stop for a chocolate chip buttertart was in order...



The Crux and the Rove...a match made in Valens??



Proof he was here...Capt.Buttertart



When I get hungry buttertarts pay!



When Chuck Norris gets hungry...






Anyways the buttertart fueled the way home into the headwinds.  Our easy little ride took us 79 kms over 3 hours and over 500m of elevation...back to where Lois had lovingly (lovingly??) prepared for us some post ride tamales (from our favourite latino food shop 50 Pesos); some recovery ale form ShEd Brewery; other goodies, and shenanigans...


This is what shenanigans look like...

So that was one fine Wednesday!!

So...what's up this weekend??

Well while there is not a stitch (stitch???) of snow here....things are not always what they seem...



Navy seals???


Apparently there is still a shite-ton (shite-ton??) of snow up in the Bracebridge area.  Which is great, cuz that is where DanOfSubstance will be having the last race in his Fatbike Race Series (or more properly 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Series p/b CycleSolution promoted by SubstanceProjects).

Will you be there??

Locally, in preparation of upcoming gravel grinders like the Steaming Nostril, P2A, Eager Beaver, and Dan's new El Bandito 140, Blaze has been hosting a semi-regular (semi-regular??) 'Around the Bay' ride.  90kms over various surfaces, at heinous speed.  Not sure I can keep up to this group MarknJenn, Jaimie...but I may give it a shot.

Will this weather hold??
Fingers crossed...

Whatever you're at...make a great weekend!!

Stay posted!


One last gratuitous tart shot...







Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Gettin Sprung on Spring

So....snow is almost non-existent here now.  Considering that the temps got near +20 here both Saturday and Sunday.  Spring time in February!!  So...that meant the trails would be mud; so that meant breaking out the CX bike for road and gravel riding.

And that is what happened.




After watching the sunrise I happened to talk NewfieSteve into riding for some buttertarts on Saturday.  Though there was a nasty wind from the west, the sunny warm temps kept us motivated to stay out.  We made a brief stop at Dee's bakery in Valens for buttertart number one...




Steve's Newfie pre-tart prayer.


Then on to a sketchy crossing of Highway 6, Frogger style...onward to Maddaugh Springs to refill water....








Steve was hoping it was Screech.


We stayed mostly clean until the soggy gravel of Concession 11 northwest of Moffat...





Which was just before we got to Dar's bakery in Moffat.  And Dar is known to be a bit harsh at times (always), so we were a little reticent at walking into her establishment in our now rather dirty state.  But, it was all good...in fact Dar made fun of our muddy arses, and made mention that she was glad she was not one of our wives.  (I think Steve was hoping he had a shot...)

So, buttertart and coffee at Dar's...





Then south through Kilbride, west through Carlyle....and home.  137kms, almost 1000m of elevation in nearly +20 degree temperatures.  It was a great day!!  Then Lois and I topped it all off with way too much food at Boon Burger in Burlington with Blaze and Laura.

But lots of weekend left!!  Sunday...beautiful sunrise again; and another spring weather day!  Perfect conditions once again...so off to ride the muddy gravel of Galt/Cambridge area with this speedy crew!


Burnsy's gang:  MikeT, Moi, Burnsy, Al

Then from there it was a solo ride home...with an awesome tailwind the entire way!


speckled trout??


72km, and another 500m of elevation.  No buttertarts...but home to have a quiet firepit (first one of the year!) evening with Lois.  Well, as quiet as one can be with Lois...she can be a bit of a rabble rouser...




No hotdogs were harmed in this picture...



Long weekend Monday...I chose to take a rest day; and so Lois and I went to rest out at Grupetto Life Coffee & Cycling.



I finally found the g spot...it's in Dundas... 




Krys...looking all perveyor and foundery...






See...Lois really did hang out with me...in public even!!


So...spring...almost summer type weather here!  I am hoping there is still snow for DanOfSubstance's Fatbike race in Bracebridge this coming weekend!

As for me....I have a bit of an out-of-the-box mtb/cx plan for tomorrow.
I will tell you all about it Thursday!

Stay posted!!







Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Taste of Spring?

So far this week fatbike conditions have been excellent.  And I have managed to get out on the local trails...









And although it may have seemed like I was riding solo...I did have some company on one ride...


 My friend Steven


There was also some Valentines stuff going on this week...
I got Lois flowers....






And perhaps this...






And SingleSpeedSarah sent this around...or was it just to me??




Now the bag is out of the cat??


Ah...mostly just jokes...you have to be careful who you make mad these days...





Anyways...get your snow riding in while you can!!  We are supposed to get a blast of solar power this weekend!!  Perhaps up to plus 15 Saturday...and near that Sunday!

I hope the Wildwood ride still works out well...



I suspect that in my neck of the woods...or gravel and roads...there will be alot of CX/road riding going on.  CoachRob says 5+ hours...



More than that sissy pants!!


There may be a couple of Riot buttertart type rides goin on.  Yup, you can combine training and buttertarts.  It's the right weather for it...
Who likes buttertarts???  

Snow fatbiking, CX gravel/road, buttertarts...all in the same week can put you on top of the world!





So we will keep this one short and sweet.  Come join the weekend fun!
Something worth singin' about!

Stay posted!!


 
 Ask Matty Tee!





Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Winter Briefs

Well winter returned this weekend...I guess it needed a valentine??

The return of sub zero temps turned the previous rain to ice...and Friday and Saturday the trails were a combination of glare ice...glare ice covered with a skiff of snow...or previously soft snow that had now frozen solid and mostly heavily post holed by hikers.

So, for me this meant a couple of days of riding the single speed, cuz it's the only bike I have studded tires on.  This meant great workouts, cuz it is so hilly here on the escarpment...and single speed...and ice.  So Friday I headed west along the fallsview trails, to the Spencer Creek trails, to the trails at Christie Lake.  An occasional laugh to myself where it was obvious hikers had decided to slide down icy hills on their arses.

Saturday, still icy, took the single speed east...through the very hilly and technical Waterdown trails, through the King Road trails along the top of the escarpment to Kerncliffe Park trails.  This time there were a few studded fatbike riders along the way.  And another great workout!  But two rides in a row, and no wipeouts!!  I must not be trying hard enough.

Then Saturday evening and night the winter wonderland took over!  Snow...lots of it!  So Sunday was time for the fatbike.  The snow was so wet and heavy, and the trails unbroken it made for a huge (yuuuuge???) effort...all in the guise of fatbike awesomeness!!



Always better with at least two sets of tracks, 
but solo is OK too!






Sorry too deep?  (The thought I mean...not the snow...)

Speaking of too deep, word is in the world of LandHam they got 70cm of the snowy stuff!!  I guess Hoking and Shoeing will be the activities (other than shoveling and pushing!) du jour out there!  And great new opportunities to get trucks stuck!!

Also...some Wendigo hunting went on this past Saturday up in the Pembroke/Cobden area!!



150 kms on fatbikes!!




The Start


There were also 50km and 100km race options.  But local legends JackP, and AdamF were both tackling the full 150!!  And they kicked it!!


Adam, first place!!  12 hours even!!  
(Didn't recognize him with sleeves!)



Jack second place!!  12 hours 40 minutes!!



The podium, Jack, Adam, Greg.
3 tough dudes!!


I'm not sure what the course conditions were, or the temps...but 150kms on fatbikes!!!  You will have to ask these dudes their stories...they gotta be great!!

So...what's up for the rest of this week??


Hey!!  No Fake News!!
(or Blaze News??)


Well you all know what today is, right??






Well Lois got me this...



In case you thought this post was getting too sappy....


Anyways...I get off track...again.

Get out there and make it great!!  And...

Stay posted!



Happy Lois day, everyone!!







Friday, 10 February 2017

Sorry...But I am Still Back (Part Ooo)

So...yesterday we left our oaf (I may be Lois' Superman, but I am otherwise no hero...perhaps a protagonist at best...even a jolly fellow on a good day...anyway...digressing already...) on the eve of race day Saturday out in LandHam, New Brunswick, which is just outside of Minto, which is east of Fredericton.

So, the Friday evening race prep led to race day Saturday.




I had two jobs this day.  The first one was to make on last check of the course to make sure no trees came down, or signs got moved.  So out I went 9am on Saturday...and minus 23 degrees.  Yes...minus 23.  I put on as much warm gear as I could...but minus 23.  It was almost cold enough for me to forget about my painfully bruised groin...reminder to possibly get that checked when I get home.  So, it wasn't a speedy ride...but it was a ride...and the course got checked...and it warmed up to minus 18 by ride end.

Then I got into warm winter gear and 'supervised' the race registration...then headed out for my second job.  I was in charge of 'Marshalling' the firepit zone.  So I got the firepit roaring ablaze...




Not this Blaze...



this blaze...


I got a generator running to blast some music...and set up to cheer racers on, warn them of an upcoming tricky creek crossing, and hand out Timbits.  Yes....Timbits...

The original idea was to set up a shot station to hand out shots of Screech to racers as a warm up as they passed my station.


However, after (too much) thought, and a mention of such to a lawyer/rider (always be wary of lawyer/riders...)...the LandHams had worried themselves into a tizzy of believing it was possible to end up with a drunken Metis running down the trail throwing frozen Timbits at racers.  The possibility was quite probable.  And maybe an issue about liability...

So Timbits it was...

So...fire going...tunes blasting...racers racing by...some taking Timbits...the race went off great!!  It had actually warmed up to about -12.  No serious incidents (there was a nervous doctor who is also a local rider on site)...and racer feedback was phenominal.  Great course, perfect conditions, fun time, many prizes.  The LandHams broke the mold on this one...I was happy to play a small part in it.  I had a riot!

Then some post race cleanup....and recovery.  (Someone had to drink that Screech we bought!)
Day 4 of the Tour de LandHam done.

Sunday...the plan was to drive to Fredericton to ride some of the local trails that were reported to be in amazing condition for fatbiking.  After breakfast Jeff and I went out to prep the bikes.  I put my sockless feet into my winter boots, threw on my parka, touque and gloves...still in my pajama pants...out to the shed to air the tires, and lube chains.

Jeff decided that the shed was getting a little too full of accumulating bags of household recycling....and that since we were outside anyways...we should deliver them to the recycling centre.  So we loaded the bags into the truck...and headed out for the 10-12km drive.  Bad decision number one???

On the way Jeff spots a snowed over back road/short cut...(it was a skidoo trail!!!); puts the truck into 4x4 and decides to take this 'short cut'.  Should be fun...bad decision number 2!

A few 100 metres in....whump!!!  The left side of the truck sinks two feet deep.  Stuck...
Maybe not quite this bad...




Maybe closer to this...




After some unsuccessful digging...some walking up and down the road to assess the situation...a call to a buddy with a 4x4 Jimmy was made.  Out came buddy with his truck, and his dad to the rescue.  Still...after 3+ hours of digging, pushing, pulling, towropes and tow chains, a nearly second truck stuck (I hear a Corb Lund song in here somewhere)...me still in my pajama pants...we were finally free.

So...the planned fatbike ride was now out the window...but a good winter workout was had!

So...overall a wonderful 'vacation'!  Time spent with great friends...so many sincere 'thank yous' to the LandHams for their very gracious hospitality!!  At no time did I feel this happening to me...




Then Monday was the drive home.  1400 kilometres took me almost 18 hours.  The conditions through New Brunswick were much sketchier....snow and ice covered roads.  Then hit Quebec province through rush hour....so much stop and go traffic...

Luckily I had Blaze call me a couple of times to make sure I was alive, awake, aware.  Thank you, sir!!  (More good friends!)  And Lois stayed on the phone with me for long stretches.  Turns out she was eager for me to get home after all!  She was waiting for me upon arrival...






Her eagerness may have had something to do with the fella she hired to watch my bikes for me while I was gone...but oh well...






Anyways...back home...safe and sound.

First thing back was to make sure I didn't do permanent damage with the bar to the groin wipeout.  Now I am very, very lucky to have a great doctor.  She has seen me through various injuries over the last 15+ years...from severe saddle sores to collapsed lung.  She has probably seen more of my sorry carcass than Lois has...

So I was a little surprised this time when her first comment was...
"Wow, you are going to have to quit playing with yourself..."
Me:  "What?  Why?"
Doc:  "So I can examine you."

I guess, some old nervous habits never go away...

OK...I kid...seriously...all is good.  And now, it is time to get serious about training as well...so that has been starting this week.  And signing up for the necessary things...

License applied for...

Yup...as a member of True Grit Cycling...
And a couple of races signed up for...

It's only 2 months away!!




A 2017 'A' race



And time to get serious about CoachRob's workout schedule...

And did you now this is this weekend?


Not sure if it is sold out yet or not?

Anyways...again, a long one...CoachRob is telling me I gotta go...so...
Till next time...

Stay posted!


The end?  Or....the beginning???