Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Week #17: Rain AGAIN?!?

Yet another rainy ride... but we still had a good group show up. Started off fairly quick and got spread out over the road. Steve had a flat early on, and no one at the front knew... Eventually we heard and stopped in a driveway under a tree where we tried to hide from the rain. It soon started pouring down, and we ended up sitting there for about 20 mins. Eventually we decided to go on, and the rain let up soon after so we only had to contend with road spray. Continued on out Bay Road and were passed by a jacked up 'redneck' truck that had some sort of phony police siren going as they passed us at about 90km/hr. Shortly after as we rounded a corner, we found the same truck upside down in the ditch, and the three guys walking around--they were ok, but probably a bit shook up. Stupid!

Jeff (?) from Brockville took the Lombardy sprint! Heading up Anglican Church road we saw some of Ian's amazing bike handling skills as he narrowly missed some nice fat road kill! I took the Motts Mills sprint--barely--as Steve had a good jump and I was coming from fairly far back in the pack. I did end up getting it by a wheel though!

I was on the front on the way into Toledo, and had no legs to attempt the sprint as Steve, Yves, and Jeff all came around me. Yves ended up taking it! We debated briefly about turning at Toledo, but ended up going straight through. No one contested Frankville (I rode off the front but no one even followed). Steve again decided to go early for Jasper, and I jumped his wheel and just sat there until coming around him at the end. We hammered up Jasper Highway and up the railway tracks with little fight, cruising home for the pub with half an hour or so of daylight left.

Pub banter was mostly about le Tour, and the upcoming Monday night ride in Gatineau. Yes, that's right--next Monday we're heading to the Gats! Let me know if you want more details!

(P.S. Note how I'm not speaking of Saturday's fiasco at all?)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Week #16: Let's just keep going faster shall we?

So after last week's very fast ride, we had another even FASTER ride! Total distance came out to 71.9 km, with an avg. speed of 33.9 km/hr.

The nice weather brought out a very large group of riders this week, including a new trio from Brockville. We set off and soon were (much sooner than usual for some reason) breaking into groups. I moved up from near the back almost as soon as we got on Jasper highway in case a split was going to go. It didn't at that point, but you never know!

Even before the end of Bay road, we were down to a select group, which this week included Ashby and Yves. At the first sprint in Lombardy, Fraser Smith took the win. I was in a bad position and got a bit boxed in---when I finally got out, I went 3 wide on the outside, but had no way of catching him!

At the Motts Mills sprint, Ashby was on the front and I didn't get up to speed fast enough to come around him on the inside. I managed to take Toledo, and Yves gave me a super lead-out (after I caught his wheel) on the Jasper sign and I just came around him at the end after he'd pulled for what felt like a kilometer. I took the railway as well, despite some talk of people trying to box me in. However, it's tough to box me in when I'm on the front ;) As per usual rules though, the railway win does not count towards the BSW total (which makes me wonder why they were trying to beat me to it...)

Post ride pub banter involved the 'great debate' over Gravel vs. no Gravel for Fernando's Hideaway ride (which is this Saturday BTW, so talk to Fernando if you are interested). I'm pretty sure 'gravel' won, although Wendy's route sounded like a winner too, and I'm not sure if it had any gravel sections on it or not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Week #15: Murphy's Point or Bust!

Another fantastic Monday night ride. This week, we headed out towards Murphy's Point Provincial Park on a beautiful sunny, warm evening. A great group turned out, with a few new faces for good measure, which is always nice to see! One of the faces was none other than Fraser Smith, out for the first time in a couple of years! Missing tonight was Ashby (again) and Yves.

We set off all together, and rode a fairly easy pace into a fairly stiff headwind until we hit the end of Bay Road. At the turnoff, the wind got worse, and the pace picked up, with Steve on the front for a nice pull. He nailed the Rideau Ferry sprint (I may have been somewhat asleep, but I'll give it to him) and then we continued to hammer. Soon we were down to a group of just a few; myself, Steve, Fraser, Fraser, Ian, Chris and.. seems to me there was someone else as well..? At the turn onto Elm Grove Road, Steve was on the front again and the pace bumped up enough to drop a couple more riders. I got on the front for a pull, and when I looked back, only Steve remained on my wheel. Steve took a pull and we had enough of a gap to try to hold them off until the Park. I noticed that the others were slowly gaining on us, so I picked it up again, despite it hurting a lot! We managed to hold them off to the park sign, with perhaps a 20 second gap (?)

After a brief rest, we regrouped and started back to the shop, this time with a nice tailwind. I was totally fried after my effort, but seemed to recover fairly well. Ian caught on part-way down Elm Grove Road, and we flew back into the shop, ended up with 70kms in 2:11. Along the way, I took the Rideau Ferry sprint and the railway tracks, which (of course) don't count (nor does the Park sign...) which left Steve and I tied at 1 BSW apiece for the day.

Hopefully everone manages to make it out this Wednesday in Perth for another great ride!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Week #14: Say What?!? How fast?

What a fantastic ride!

Jamie made it out for a ride, and our group managed to put in possibly the longest Monday night ride ever (or in a long time anyway!) of about 85kms. Jamie and I did a 10km warmup as well, so I ended up with 95kms in--not bad for a weeknight after work! Our average was also very high--my computer read 32.8 km/hr including the warmup. Jamie said his was at about 35 until the last few kms into town and back to the shop!

Two Blue Sign Sprints were taken by Jamie (shocking), including the 1 km spring for Greenbush (Steve jumped early, and Jamie followed-not knowing where the sign was. I waited, but couldn't bridge up, and Jamie just coasted across the line). I somehow (!) managed to take two, including Rosedale, which I took by inches as Jamie sat up (he thought I'd given up, but I didn't!). Steve took Jasper, so surprisingly Jamie didn't dominate. However, we had home field advantage, and if he knew some of them were coming we'd be in trouble!

Yves, Steve the minister and Ian rode with us as well to round out a very fast, smooth group. Thanks guys! My comment to Jamie was that he's got cruise control. Every time he's on the front, my computer read 41km/hr. His response was that my computer was reading low ;)

Post ride pub banter was mostly mocking Matt for not coming out... and of course a discussion about Jamie's former yoga instructor lead to the "fun, but not too much fun" conversation once again!

Jamie, Matt and I also rode the Wednesday night Perth ride--a quite short, relatively slow ride since I'm avoiding burn out, and Jamie is tapering for two races this weekend.

On a side note, Jamie ALSO leads our TdF pool, although things will change I think!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Week #13: Riding in the Rain

For the past few weeks, Monday nights have been touch-and-go in terms of weather. We've had rain and thunderstorms predicted for probably 4 of the past 5 weeks, but luckily we managed to miss the rain each time. Not so last night! When we left the shop, it was dry and more or less safe looking. We started off with a group that included Matt, who finally managed to make it out for a ride! Our route took us out towards Merrickville/Burritt's Rapids way (see map below) and we remained dry until we hit Burritt's Rapids. I remember feeling a few drops of rain, and thinking it was nothing to worry about. However, about 2 minutes later we were in the middle of a full downpour, and soaked to the bone! However, since it was warm (20 degrees) the rain was not too bad, and we still had a very enjoyable, fast, smooth ride! Matt, Steve, Yves and I ended up riding the longer route shown on the map, and we had a nice smooth constant pace going the whole time! Thanks guys!

View Larger Map

Matt came out to play on his first night, and took three BSWs. However, he decided to share the wealth around a bit, and Yves had two, although only one counts and even that is pushing it (I do recall some agreement that Kilmarnock doesn't count, but we'll give it to him this time!) Steve took an impressive win at Easton's Corners, and I took a couple as well, mostly in 'non-sprint' style (e.g. jump early and see who follows) since I can't often beat Yves and Matt in a true sprint! I learned that sprinting in the rain is a bit different from when it's dry--jumping on a wheel can be a hindrance rather than a benefit, since you get a facefull of spray! Luckily everyone likes grit in their teeth! ;)

Remember to get your picks to me for the Tour de France pool! Only a few more days until the start of the race! Put together your dream team of nine riders and one team, email your picks to me and give me some cash next time you see me! All the details are located here.