The Journal of Competitive Cycling -
Friday, December 21, 2007
This was followed by 2 hours in the dentist's chair having some 25 year old filling replaced (my how technology has changed since I last had fillings). This ordeal began with the dreaded needle
that numbs the gums (and lips, and mouth, and face, etc) and after a tremendous amount of incessant drilling and water flying everywhere I was done. On the plus side I now have 2 areas that used to be covered with that silver mercury stuff that are now somewhat white and less obvious. On the downside I have another session next week. What the hell is wrong with me.
While sitting in the dentist chair I realized that it was pretty nice outside and that I was going to have some free time when I was done, so when I got home I changed into my kit, grabbed my nice bike, and headed out to the W&OD for a ride. This portion of the day was mainly Zone 2ish with the occasional sprint thrown in when I felt some snap in the legs and had a clear path in front of me. About half way through the ride I remembered that I had already comitted to spending some time at the gym that evening following the visit to Saint Nick so I took it very easy the rest of the way, but it was nice getting outside after about 2 weeks without it.
The next phase of the evolving 2 theme was going to Tysons II-The Galleria for our annual visit to Santa Claus. For those who are in the area and aren't aware, they probably have the best Santa out there. I am pretty sure the guys beard is real. In getting to Tyson's I had to deal wit the complete "CF" (clusterf*%k) traffic that surrounds malls and other shopping areas at this time of year. After taking Zen to see Santa we got the hell out of Dodge before the shopping traffic joined forces with the evening commute, besides we had to get to the gym.
Once at the gym, I did about 45 minutes on the eliptical (again in Zone 1/2) and then did some work on the various contraptions, focusing mostly on legs. I did my normal set on the Free Motion Squat machine, but then decided to push it a little.
I ended up doing an additional 3 sets at 360lbs, why? I don't know. I finished the rest of the workout and then headed home and relaxed for the rest of the evening and planned my day for today that was going to begin with a ride into the office. But as often, too often, happens I decided not to. Dammit, I have got to work on that. (Looks like Punishment Day #2 isn't too far away....might as well combine it with the dentist again)
Happy holidays to any and all that might read this.
Monday, December 3, 2007
This is a bit of a stretch goal but I am under some self pressure to meet it since the new bike that I promised myself (and more importantly was agreed to by my wife) upon reaching that goal has already been procured........ooops. (see picture above)
Unfortunately the only real significant area of "useless" calories that can be eliminated from my current habits are those that come from the bottles of Chimay and Leffe that are commonly present in my fridge. To make sure I did not have any temptations once the real training started I took it upon myself to remove those items from the fridge over the weekend. Don't worry, they were disposed of properly...meaning that I used the appropriate shaped glass to enjoy each and every one.
Now it is time to get down to some serious training that was further motivated by our team training session yesterday morning where we learned some great stretches and some excellent core workouts, but most importantly I was in a room full of skinny guys that left me with a strong desire to be one of them.
Wish me luck, I will need it.
Off to the weight room.......
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007 (Canada to US)
My North America tour began Thursday morning from my current residence in Toronto with a fairly uneventful flight to Los Angeles, the only notable things from the flight were that the movie I wanted to see (Pursuit of Happyness) didn't work so they played something I didn't want to see and the fact that I had to pay $5 for a snack.
After arriving in LA I grabbed a rental car and headed to my buddy's place where I had a present waiting for me….a new Pinarello Paris Carbon (road bike for those not in the know)…….that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. After getting the bike set up I headed down towards Redondo Beach to ride along the Strand from Redondo out to Santa Monica and back. I had a great ride enjoying the weather and scenery.
After the ride I headed back to my buddy's place to wait for him and our friends from Sacramento to arrive. We all got together at a bar down at the pier and kicked back and enjoyed a few beers before calling it a night.
Friday, April 20, 2007 (US to Mexico)
The next morning we loaded up the trucks and began the journey down to Rosarito, Mexico to set up camp for Saturday's ride.
We had a 7 bedroom, oceanfront casa waiting for our arrival, complete with a sweet rooftop deck overlooking the ocean.
After getting settled in and partaking of the fully stocked bar we ventured into town to pick up the race packages.
On the way we were stopped at every bar offering large quantities of alcohol for small quantities of money. "An offer too good to refuse", as "they" say. We settled in for a few buckets of beer mixed-in with tequila shots given by whistle blowing senoritas.
At the first bar we met up with some new "friends" from the OC and chatted and drank and agreed to meet up later at Papas & Beer.
We left in search of food and found a decent restaurant and had a nice Mexican dinner. After dinner our group of eight splintered in half as the afternoon alcohol binge took down a few good men. Those remaining headed to Papas & Beer in search of, well, beer (and our friends from earlier).
The weather was not really conducive to an enjoyable evening since it is mostly an outdoor bar, but we did enjoy a few beverages and met up with our new friends and had an overall good time before calling it a night so we would be able to ride in the morning.
Saturday, April 21, 2007 (Ride Day)
We woke Saturday morning to perfect riding weather, it was in the mid 60s with partly cloudy skies. We got our stuff together and rode to the start line for the ride which was about a mile from our place. The ride participants were quite the mixed bag from serious roadies to lots of mountain bikes and those in cycling kits to those in costumes. Everyone looked ready to get the party rolling (literally).
As 10am approached we pushed off and headed south towards Ensenada.
The first few miles were quite difficult as the road was incredibly crowded and every little incline caused the group to bunch up. Not to mention the road was lined with kids as many of the riders threw candy to them. The next 20 miles were quite enjoyable as we rode through rolling terrain along the coast line with plenty of sites to see.
Around mile 23 things started to get interesting as the road began to rise into the hills. The incline continued for a little over 4 miles taking it's toll on a large majority of the field, many people had to get off an walk to the top of the climb and the rest point/water station that awaited. Me and the new toy simply dropped down a few gears and danced the entire way up. I have never felt as good on a climb as I did on this particular ride. My improved fitness level combined with the new ride actually made this climb enjoyable.
I arrived at the rest station and waited for the rest of our group to catch up and ended up having to wait nearly 45 minutes…apparently I made really good time on the climb.
After we regrouped we climbed a little more before hitting the payoff…"what goes up must come down"….a 4-5 mile descent down towards sea level. I hit speeds approaching 80k (50mph) on the descent through winding canyon roads..all the while hoping that my tires didn't blow otherwise I was toast.
After the descent we had about another 3 miles of highway riding into Ensenada and the finish line. I hit the finish line a little over 3 hours of ride time after the start and felt really good. We regrouped at the bike check and headed to the fiesta.
The fiesta was a huge party covering many blocks with a healthy flow of coronas and tacos.
I grabbed some fish tacos, a few beers and kicked back on the grass to enjoy the afternoon sun and talk about the ride. Taking a few moments of course to socialize with the "Corona Girls".
After chilling out for about 2 hours we headed for the shuttles to take us back to Rosarito and the remainder of the day.
We got back to our casa and met the 2 guys that didn't ride (back injury and concussion) and then waited for one of our riders that was left behind.
Our group then headed out in search of food and more drink. We found a little hole in the wall burger joint and had one of the best burgers I have ever had and a few more beers. We then headed out looking for trouble and were successful in finding it (I will leave that story for another place and time and there are NO pictures).
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The group got up and packed up to head for the border to beat the traffic, we had stops to make in San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Those going to Sac had about 12 hours of driving ahead of them. Getting out of Mexico was quite amusing as we were in bumper to bumper traffic for a few miles and the road was full of people selling everything from beads to Mexican wrestling masks, from large wooden turtles to Scarface blankets, from a giant Jesus on a cross to a sponge-bob desk. We procured a bag of churros for the ride and then just enjoyed the show.
We hit the border and made it through without incident.
It was good to be back in the US. It is amazing how entirely different things are just a mere 10 minutes across the border. The rest of the day was uneventful. We dropped off two guys in Sand Diego, grabbed a bite to eat and then one car headed to LA and the other towards Sac. The trip was officially over, with the exception of my flight back to Toronto later that evening.
Prior to flying back I did get a chance to witness one more "unusual" occurrence as we watched the baseball game and saw the RedSox hit 4 homers in a row, a fitting end to an enjoyable weekend.
I have started my training for what will be my third year with Evolution Cycling. I am very hopeful that I will be able to finally acheive some of my goals during the 2008 season. I am being completely realistic in my goals as 2008 will be my first true year of racing.
2006 started and ended with a shoulder injury that severly limited my back handling and ability to actually race, so I spent the year attending races simply to watch and learn and prepare for 2007.
The 2007 season came to a severe halt when I was "transferred" to Toronto for 9 months. On a positive note, my training greatly improved as I had a lot of down time since the family was still in VA. I was able to work with my coach, joined a gym, got a trainer and nutrionist and got things underway on a very positive note. I did not get the chance to do any races in the States during the 2007 because I didn't think it would be the best idea to spend one of my 3 days home a month at a bike race. That would have been quite hard to justify to the wife and son.
So now I find myself at the beginning of another training cycle for the upcoming season. At this point I am really hopeful that things will work out and I will be able to have a pretty full schedule. My primary goal for the season is to get into the mix and support my teammates in any way I can. I am not expecting too many results for myself but it would be great to be part of putting a teammate on the podium.
That's pretty much it for now. Stay tuned for more later.