Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

24 Hour Training Weekend

So PulseRacing hosted the Single Track Classic this past weekend at Hardwood Hills.  And by all reports it was an awesome event!  And Team True Grit showed up to represent in good form...with JennR taking first overall women, and KevinM took third (not women).

Who's on First??  JennR

Photos Cred: MarkR

And a couple of other notables...

These folks...again!

And speaking of other chronic podium finishers...RAF!!!  Again!!  First this time!!

Alas, (good word, that alas...) I was not there.  I had scheduled a training ride prior to soloing the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice.  The word was put out on last weeks post, and on various internets...for anyone who might want to join in such an endeavour.  The plan was to ride from 9pm Friday to noon Saturday...not only to get that longer endurance type ride in...but also to get the night ride experience, and to properly test out lights/equipment.  (The night thing was Giants idea...I would have been happy to make the whole ride daylight, but I am soft like that.)

Actually the night practice was the right call...ingenious even.  A chance to experience the temp change, and make sure you've got the proper clothing...a chance to make sure you have the proper lights mounted in their proper place...and replacement lights properly charging.  An opportunity to experience the lack of sleep...and in this case it was a little more extreme than the race will be.  We were starting the ride at 9pm...when we had already been awake for 15 hours or more.  And ending the ride around noon on Saturday gave us the afternoon to enjoy some daylight camping and recovery...

The chosen venue was Turkey Point.  The recent rains (deluge!!) during the week would have most of the 77 kilometres of sandy trails near perfect for riding.  Turkey Point Provincial Park is central to the trail system, and made for the perfect place to pull Team Headquarters into for the weekend.

Sticker  Cred:  Blaze

With a home a solo pit at the race...we would have a central spot to regularly come back to to rehydrate and refuel as we did loops of the trail system.

So...with a few riders answering the call Giant, PowerPaul, and I packed up two trucks, and Team Headquarters and headed out to Turkey Point Friday evening.

You notice the trailer position to the tree in the background?  Thanks to PowerPaul's trailer manouvering experience, he got us into that spot so the power cord could reach the plug-in (and then I realized I had a plethorah of extension cords in the trailer...)...

A little close!

Kevin Eddy met us at Turkey Point to join the ride.  So once the trailer, the bright orange, noticable Kona tent (borrowed form BicycleWorks...thank you!!) were set up, and spare lights charging the four of us geared up and headed out for a short loop just before 9:30 pm.

Short loop...cuz JerryS was scheduled to join us around when we rolled back into camp shortly after 10:00 there he was.  And now we were 5.  And the five of us rode through the night...stopping at trail junctions to view the map, learn the trails, and know where we were going so we could loop back to camp in time to rehydrate and eat.  And we made our way back to camp every 1:30 to 2 hour intervals.

For the most part, the trails were mint!  The rains had packed the sand so it was perfectly tacky.  And we rode with nary a serious incident.  There was the odd washout on a particular soft, deep, sandy corner...and the odd slow speed fall over on steep, climby, stall-outs.

There may have been a tree incident on The Burn.  There is a sneaky tree around a blind corner that I was previously aware of because NewfieSteve had smoked it hard on a previous as we rounded it I called 'watch for the tree!'....then I heard a boom!  (not a TeamColin Boom...)....and PowerPaul say, "Oh, that tree."  He was OK, but he probably still has the bruise.

And I may have gone over the bars contacting a log hiding in the two foot high plants on the Methane trail singletrack...but I landed in said soft plants (that just happened to not be poison ivy) all was OK.  Otherwise...not even a flat tire, or a dropped chain!  We were fortunate!

Through the night...ride, eat, drink, ride.  Stops at the junctions were getting shorter (large easy to read trail maps at all major junctions!), as we learned the trails...Turkey Point is so well marked and laid out!  


Around 3:30am Saturday morning we pulled into camp.  PowerPaul was calling it quits...and rolled into Team Headquarters to power down.  JerryS also called it...and packed up and drove home (yes...drove home, at 3:30am...I couldn't do it!).  And by now I was starting to feel the sustained effort of the rigid single speed.

So now we were, Giant, Kevin...back into the trails.  The only trails that were too wet to ride were the ones in the far NorthWest.  We tried...but only Motorhead and Wild Turkey were really rideable....the rest was under water.

At 6am we rolled back into camp.  Kevin was calling it...and he headed to Team Headquarters to call it a night (or morning...).

Now we were 2.  Giant switched bikes.  He was riding his SWorks Epic...but switched to his Fatboy which was newly equipped with 29+ carbon wheels that he was itching to try.  I was tempted to switch to my geared hard tail...but stuck with the single speed.  The single speed is just too much fun!

Meanwhile Giant's brake calipers on his Fatboy had leaked fluid and fouled the rotors so every time he hit the brakes it sounded like a herd of trumpeters trudging through the forest.  It worked for me, cuz by now I was seriously fighting the sleep demons, and I'm sure he woke up half the campers and scared most of the wildlife into their dens, as we rolled out for a short loop.

A short loop cuz Alexa was joining us at 7:30am.  So we hit Big Mike, and Saudwinder before we rolled back into camp.  Shortly after Alexa rolled in...quickly got geared up and off we went.

Now we were 3.  And by now I was hurting.  The sustained effort on the single speed, and now Alexa who can throttle me when she is burnt out (she is a very strong rider!) on fresh legs, was pushing and pulling Giant and I on a couple more final loops.  We finished on of the climbiest trails out there (of course...and good one to finish a 14 hour ride with...).

At 11:30am we rolled into camp.  PowerPaul was up and had a fire going.  We were done.

Finally it was time to relax, recover, enjoy an afternoon of camping and watching camp bunnies...

I love camping...and bunnies...and I was in fine form...

Then NewfieSteve rolled in (he landed from a trip to Newfoundland that morning, packed his camper, his Lisa, his dog, and came to Turkey Point) to round out the weekend (and to make a huge pot of oatmeal for us on Sunday morning!).

This....this is what it is all about!!  An epic weekend to remember.  Great riding...great much fun pursuing a passion, with great friends!  (Many more friends threatened to join...but couldn't swing it)  Can't wait till next time!

What is next??  Probably something...

Stay posted!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Post Long Weekend Post

The mountain bike racing options keep coming!

This Saturday is PulseRacing's SingleTrack Classic at Hardwood Hills.  44 kilometres of single track!  A mix of all of Hardwood Ski & Bike's various orders and directions; challenging, flowy, and fun!!  And this year it is held in conjunction with Hardwood's Bike Fest so there will be clinics, a gear swap market, bike demos, a beer tent, and a beer tent (no not a typo....I like beer tents...).

Like this guy...

Anyways...this is the 9th year for this event; which is why it is now a classic!!  If you want awesome, epic, fun mountain there!!

Shift of gears...a couple of posts ago I made mention of a gem of a small family farm business...that Lois and I had ventured upon at Hamilton Veggie Fest.  

As quoted from the previous post...

"Allin Mikuna means 'bon appetit' in indigenous Chilean language.  And they specialize in ready made soups...literally just add water and cook.  (We actually add veg broth...but you can be as creative as you want, or have time for.)  All the ingredients are included....and they taste amazing!!  So simple, quick, and easy.  But wait...there's more!!  (No cheesy tv commercial though...).  They also do organic powders.  To add to food, smoothies, juices...

If you are a SuperGreens kind of person they have a Kale&Spinach blend;
If you are a PhytoNutrient-er they have a Berry blend;
And every mountain biker knows the benefits of they have a BeetCarrot blend! affiliation...we just really, really like their stuff...and the fact they are a small, local, farm family.  Click on the pic above for the web link."

So, now the folks at Allin Mikuna are offering a 10% coupon for readers of this blog (or anyone else that can type the letters 'riot')...  Yes, type the word 'riot' as the coupon code when ordering from their online store!  (Coupon good for all of 2017)  Give them a shot!!  The soups taste amazing...and so easy to make...and the powders could replace supplements you may be using...all while supporting a local, small family farm business.

Shift of part of the training plan for the upcoming 24 Hours of Summer Solstice I had dubbed this weekend for a looooonnnng ride (8, 12, 20 hours??)...and with the rain happening looks like Turkey Point will be the spot to go.

Giant, PowerPaul, NewfieSteve will be joining in the unless you are attending the SingleTrack Classic come and keep us company for an hour or two, or all of it!!

Whatever you are doing this the words of Pinoy Ryder, 'just ride!'.  Or as Raf would say, 'JFCI!!'.   Or, TeamColin's 'BOOM!'.

Until Tuesday...

Stay Posted!

Shift of beers??

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Long Sock Classic Race Review

Another great race by Substance Projects!!  #2 in the XC Marathon Race Series dubbed the Long Sock Classic...because you are encouraged to wear long socks to ward off the prevalent poison ivy...and this year also the ticks here at the Ganaraska forest.  In fact, you get a pair of socks as part of the registration...

Seth suggested that the new True Grit kit should be skin tone to match the socks...but I don't think that would be a great idea.

Anyways, I was racing in the single speed category this time...on my rigid single speed, this years course two laps of a 33km loop (there was also a half-marathon option for anyone not willing to do the full race).  So I got ready, then tooled around to see who else was single speeding.  There was DaveDer...the king of single speeds racing for TrueNorth...and a couple of his team mates also on SS...GuyL on a single speed...Alexa and her friend Steve...both on single speeds.  All of them my goal would be not to come in last...

Then Giant headed off to warm up, and invited me to join him.  I declined, I wasn't leaving the parking lot/StartFinish area.  You see, a couple of years ago (or was it last year??  I don't know, I have tried to block it out...), at this race, I went out to warm up before the start...and got lost.  There is such a maze of unending trail at Ganaraska it is easier than you think to lose your way...and by the time I found my way to the start area, the race was already over an hour underway.  Giant, and Seth had laughed about it on the way up to the race this fact everyone always makes mention of it.  So, this year I was staying put...keeping the Start area well in sight!

Then with Dan's announcement, we all made our way into the start paddock.  I sidled in next to Alexa and keep some single speed company.  They were planning to race/ride at a comfortable pace...which was fine with me.  The start of this race can be a bit of a shite show...sandy climbs...but also fast sandy downs...sandy enough to have racers out of control....and a very, very fast rocky downhill that had me concerned on the rigid bike.

Then we were off...and I sauntered on with Alexa and Steve as the field tore off at a full bore start....we hit the sandy climbs, challenging on the single speeds but at a comfortable enough pace that we chatted about gearing (and I think Alexa made some comment about how the new True Grit kit made my arse look fat??  ...or did she mean phat??).

Anyways, then came the sandy downs....and I was glad not to be in a tight speeding group as the soft deep sand threw me about.  Then the long, fast rocky descent...and this time I was very relieved to not be in a crowded racing group.  This descent was faster, yet choppier than I ever remember it!  I used the full width of the double track to try to find the smoothest line yet keep the rigid bike upright as the rocks and ruts bucked the bike around.

Then a long bit of slightly ascending double track, before we dove into the single track.  I was now into race I pulled away, trying to catch a racer I could see up ahead.  I finally caught him, it was another single speeder!  And he was chasing a couple of female racers wearing D'ornelias race team kit.  He was on a Moots (fancy bike!), but he was sporting a massive gear!  The huge gear had him struggling on the climbs, where I would catch him...but then with that gear he, and the D'ornelias on their geared bikes, would drop me like a lead balloon on flats and slight descents....and there was alot of long flat doubletrack in this race!

Finally, I was able to pass one of the D'ornelias on a longer climb...and catch the Moots man, but I didn't have time to get by him.  Then finally, on the long climb after the aid station, I was able to pass the Moots man.

Then I spent the second half of the first lap chasing the other D'ornelia.  Out of nowhere, JackP flashed by me at RediculousSpeed on his bronzed out fatbike.  What was going on??  He should be far ahead of me by now?  Then a few minutes later, Giant caught me.  What??  Apparently Jack, and Giant (no beanstalk!!), got lost while they were warming up (see!  SEE!!  It's easier to happen than you think!!)  They eventually found the start, 15 minutes behind everyone else.

Anyways, so as I chased the D'ornelia, I would catch her as she struggled up many of the climbs....then on the flats she would drop me on her geared bike.  Finally, on the long, ridiculously steep gravel road I caught her but couldn't pass as we dove into the last bit of single track.  I struggled to keep up to her, and we finished the first lap together as we passed through the transition zone.  She continued on as I stopped to exchange empty water bottles for full ones...and Lorraine (volunteeering) peeled me a banana (thanks Lorraine!!).  I never saw the D'ornelia again....she was gone!

Then into lap 2...there was Jack on the sandy climbs...walking his bike back toward the start!  He had broken a hub, or derailleur or something, (nothing I could do to help) and he was forced to DNF.  Tough day for Jack.

Then I spent the remainder of lap 2 mostly alone!  Concentrating on going as fast as I could while staying upright.  Good plan, eh!?  Then, there was JennKenn....walking her fatbike without a rear wheel.  Her friend Monica was carrying the wheel somewhere ahead.  Again, a nice chat but nothing I could do to help...(eventually Jenns other half, MikeO caught up to her and got her bike back together), but a looong 33km for Jenn and Monica!

Then...I kept imagining??...I could hear someone coming up behind me, but saw no one.  Through the lap...finally up the long, steep gravel road the top I looked back...and several hundred metres behind, there he was...the Moots man!!  Damn...I never really dropped him!  I knew he would struggle up that climb...but I didn't leave it to chance...I booted the last 5km or so of single track...alone into the finish.  4hours 14minutes.  Not fast, but not so slow.  Good enough for 5th place...and would have got me 4th spot if I had entered in my age cat.

And best of all...Lorraine had saved me a veggie burger!!  (Thanks, Lorraine!!)

Another great event by Dan, and SubstanceProjects!!  And so good to see so many friends out once again...and Oggie!   :)

PinoyPedalPushers were out in full force!

TheGreatCanadianSagel crushed it, then showed off at the finish line!

KenMeatTrain wins 33km Clyde cat!

serious took second in 33km single speed!

Jenn and Monica did finally make it!

TheMexican and Grant showing TrueGrit...1st and 2nd in U20men!!
These kids are fast!!

Raf and TeamColin, 1st and 2nd 66km Clyde, Raf on his fatbike, TeamColin on SS!!

If you were wondering about some regulars, that were not here...some were at SingleSpeedApalooza...and single speed only race in New York!  And they crushed it...for Canada!!

SSSarah, and DonnaW...1st and 3rd SingleSpeedApalooza!

PeterF...3rd SingleSpeedApalooza!

And there was a roadie O'Cup...

KarenG...3rd, crushing the road circuit this year...
recovering from last year's broken neck injury!!

Then there was Canada Cup #4 in Tremblant, where ColeMac and PawelW represented True Grit...well done!!  And local favourite superstar Gunnar Holmgren, crashed out with an injury that we hope heals soon!! much going on this long weekend!!

Thank you Dan, SubstanceProjects crew and volunteers for another great event....challenging, and fun!  The way SubstanceProjects does it!!

What's next??

Stay posted!!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Mix I mentioned in my previous post...ApexRacePhotography was on hand at the Spring Epic 8 Hour were taken...I got some...cuz ApexTed and his crew can make even me look almost good!

Obviously early in the race...

Starting to hurt...

Entering Exit Wound...

Later...engaged in the pain..that's a grimace...aka trying to smile...

If you want to see more or get your own pics head to ApexRacePhotography.

If you notice from the pics...the bright red gloves.  Usually in the solo endurance events my hands take a beating.  palms literally ripped to shreds.  And I was especially worried as I was riding the rigid for most of this event.  But the combination of ergo grips and these beauty hands survived relatively unscathed.

Fox Ranger Gels

With just enough padding in the right places...and a nice comfy snug fit that kept the padding or palm material from twisting or folding (which is a disaster on mtb gloves!!).  On this day, these gloves were a lifesaver....or at least a hand saver.  Just letting you know in case you do longer rides and have as much trouble as I do to find good gloves.  I have no affiliation with Fox freebies to me.  But I did pick them up at the best Local Bike Shop in Waterdown, BicycleWorks...

Anyways, in the spirit of sharing interesting info (and a bit of a gear shift), Lois and I attended the Hamilton Veggie Fest a couple of weeks ago.  (Which, I have to note, was 'managed' by our friend Laura of FiveFocusWellness...and she did an AMAZING job!!  A huge undertaking!!)  Anyways we ran into a wonderful gem of a small family business...especially for a busy mountain biker!  Actually, we had a great experience there with many vendors but this one in particular stood out for us.

Allin Mikuna means 'bon appetit' in indigenous Chilean language.  And they specialize in ready made soups...literally just add water and cook.  (We actually add veg broth...but you can be as creative as you want, or have time for.)  All the ingredients are included....and they taste amazing!!  So simple, quick, and easy.  But wait...there's more!!  (No cheesy tv commercial though...).  They also do organic powders.  To add to food, smoothies, juices...

If you are a SuperGreens kind of person they have a Kale&Spinach blend;
If you are a PhytoNutrient-er they have a Berry blend;
And every mountain biker knows the benefits of they have a BeetCarrot blend! affiliation...we just really, really like their stuff...and the fact they are a small, local, farm family.  Click on the pic above for the web link.

So, back to our regular far as mtb goes...I've been focusing on recovering from the 8 Hour.  Got out on a BicycleWorks group jaunt.

photo cred: BicycleWorksPaul

And getting ready for the LongSockClassic in Ganaraska this weekend (Substance Projects).  A 60km cross country marathon...the second of the series.  I will be doing it on the rigid single speed again...cuz TeamColin said I should.  And according to Lois, I always do what I'm told...

Anyways, if you have not yet signed up for the Long Sock...get on it...we will see you there!  Darcie, will you be there??  I will require more gloating at my struggles!   ;)

It should be worthy of more stories...always is!

Stay posted!

Please tell me it's over...
It's over.
Thank dog!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Spring Epic 8 Hour Mountain Bike Race


Just as the name was.
The Spring Epic 8 Hour Mountain Bike race...sponsored by Chico Racing (with SuperflyRacing in the mix)...the progenitors of epic mountain bike Mansfield Outdoor Centre.

Headed up Friday afternoon with PowerPaul in the team 'bus'...

NewfieSteve and Lisa eventually pulled in and we set up the solo pit area and relaxed for the evening.

The pit...
(Most of the photo creds to Lois, and/or NewfieSteve)

With the 'Riot' touch...

The stable...

I would be racing the rigid single speed on this day, and had the geared hard tail as a back up.  I registered in my age cat, not in single speed just for that give me the option if the single speed destroyed normally so much climbing and rooted descents in Mansfield.

(I broke three ribs on lap one of this race last season...did not want to repeat that feat again!)

Settling in...

Then Saturday morning was all business getting ready....and more racers came pouring in, and my pit boss (and sometimes wife), Lois showed up to take care of me during the day of effort and suffrage.  By acclimation (no election or votes required) Lois ended up taking care of several solo racers on this day.  Special thanks to KarenSpecializedAmbassador, serious, Giant, Al, and TimTheDuke for sharing their appreciation of Lois' fine efforts during the day.

Pit pose...

Ready to go...

Then a short warm up ride to the start paddock...plunked in next to serious...

me and serious...disregard the background scenery...

There were superstars on site!

Emily!  Did a few laps 'for fun'.

Anyways....enough pre-amble...on with the race report.

In the paddock with serious on one side of me...he was racing solo single speed...and TheGreatCanadianSagle on the other solo.  Off the start...they were gone and outta site.  I just tried to keep pace with the group....which at Mansfield off the start on a single speed is a tough push.  The start is a loooong grinding doubletrack (or more) steady climb...and on the single speed had my heart rate redlining right off the bat...which is ok...I need that warm up.

Then the course leveled out into a section of flattish double track to allow a bit of recovery before diving into the single track.  The first half of the course was a mix of short sections of single track and more double track to allow for plenty of opportunities for passing.  Which was great to let the racers get sorted out off the start.  And great kudos to ChicoRacing for such a fun, challenging course!!  With enough slight changes from previous years to add a bit of mystery and new challenge.

But with 175 m of climbing per 11 km lap...some long steady climbs, and some steep punchy walls....then some fast, tech, rooty descents; I found the rigid single speed a massive challenge.  But that is what I signed up for.  As CoachRob aptly put it...with the rigid single speed the 'ON' button is always pushed all the way in...there is no rest.  It is up and out of the saddle climbing, or up and out of the saddle descending the tech...your body being your dynamic suspension. I said, that is what I signed up for, I wanted that challenge and experience for future races.  But so much respect for the single speed veterans, like serious and Alexa who schooled me like the newbie I am.

The single speed may be so much more work, but it is also so much fun.  Pure, simple, light, and efficient.

And ApexTed and his crew (ApexRacePhotography) was on site to record the pain.  Looking forward to those pics!!

Anyways....the long start hill...then a mix of single track and double track....the long single track climb in the middle...a long swoopy double track descent....the aid station with much appreciated cold water handed out, meant one less tired reach for a bike bottle for solos.  Then the nasty rooty descent into the solo pit area...feeling fine on my first lap.  Then the long grueling false flat climb out of the solo pit area to the wall of pain climb...up into exit wound...a chance to catch some air before the nasty descending switchbacks....getting more soft and torn up as the day progressed...through the transition zone, and all over again.

My first 3 laps went fairly fine...then by lap 4 I was feeling the hurt.  Caught on with Karen again...and rode some sections with her...or tried to...keeping these socks in sight...

Rode some partial laps with Alexa...on her single speed; before she dropped me like the geeky kid at the prom (which was also me...).

By lap 5 I was deep in the pain zone.  My ego wanted to stay with the single speed for the entire 8 hours...but my quads, and lower back were begging for gears, and my shoulders, neck, and upper back were begging for suspension. I finished lap 6 (over 1040m climbing so far)....and headed up the start hill, barely able to keep the pedals spinning for lap 7...I knew it was time to switch.

And as I pulled into the solo pit on lap 7, I made the switch...(well, Lois mainly made the switch...I mostly stood and drooled...).  But by now, I was mostly shattered.  The geared hardtail was more comfortable, easier to ride...and likely faster at this point...but I was mostly drawn out...hashtag- nomorejuice.  I finished lap 7...onto lap 8.  And there was Martin mentioning he was struggling...and considering this his last lap (as he went on to do 11 total laps...).  Lap 9...I took a long break at the solo pit...considering my options...I was in no contention to podium, nor did I expect to be on this day...and was near the point of no return.  So, on I went to finish off the lap.  As I swiped my chip for lap 9, I realized I had time to do another...but not the energy...I was done.

So another amazing Epic 8.  And another great job by ChicoRacing.  They have this thing down pat by now.  So organized, and professional; yet fun...and always challenging.  And they had Emily!!

Congrats to all the podium finishers...including some TrueGrit!

Kevin and Christine, 1st place!!

Paul and Richard (Double W...makes sense doesn't it??), 1st place!!

And some amazing performances:

Adam always KingOfTheHill at this event...first overall solo with 14 laps.

Bryant first solo single speed with 13 laps.

Alexa second solo female with 11 laps...on a single speed.

TheGreatCanadianSagle second with 13 laps, in training for Leadville.
Me and the Sagle

Al M making a comeback after taking all year off with knee surgery with 10 laps.

JohnH with 10 laps on his first solo 8.

Giant, struggled ready to call it quits at 5 laps, Lois cajoled him on...and he went on to put in 12 laps!

HeatherM completing her first solo 8.

We missed TeamColin at this event.
We missed SingleSpeedSarah!!  Get better soon, please!

Then the usual post race shenanigans....

So there.  The first endurance event of the season (or relay, if you did it that way).  I survived intact...which is a win over last year!

And still loving the single speed.  Enough that I registered to race it at this coming weekend's Long Sock Classic in Ganaraska.

Stay posted.

No cats were injured in this post....

Or puppies...

Or hedgehogs...

OK...that's enough...
The end.