Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Week #21: Daylight Fading :(

Nights are getting short.. much too short :(

On Monday we had a smaller group, and set out into the cool night with a short route in mind, to beat the setting sun. Steve took the BSW at Kilmarnock, although it was uncontested. I took Jasper on the way in, as well as the railway tracks, which of course doesn't count, but I like to mention it anyway ;) Of note was that both Jenn and Greg made it out on the same week! Fantastic! Otherwise, a fairly quick ride but nothing crazy--49km at 31km/hr.

Post-ride pub talk was about many things... some crazy runners are talking about the Glen Tay Block Race (this Thursday night, I'll be there--on the bike of course--taking pics!) Ian's son has signed on with Astana for a two-year contract as a mechanic (since his last stint in Europe with Postal/Disco, he's been in North America with Symmetrics). I guess if Bruyneel called me up and offered me a job, I'd probably take it too ;) Oh, and talk is already turning to spin classes--hopefully I'll have a regular session this year...although it's much too early to starting thinking about that! The 'cross schedule was just posted, and the first race is Sept. 28 at Brittania. Think I can convince anyone else to get in on the action this year? Oh, and Shawn's already talking about defending the title in Rochester at the Cobb's Hill 'Cross. Hopefully I'll be able to join the newlyweds on that one again! (I may have something to prove, and Shawn does have a leader's jersey to defend!)

Tonight's Perth ride was great, with Carolin making it up this way on her day off. We made it just past Playfairville before turning around...too bad we didn't have another hour of daylight so we could have done a bit longer tour!

All for now!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week #20: Rained out, but...

So on Monday I drove down to the shop and chatted with Jenn for an hour or so. At about 5:30, it was pitch black and looked like 9:00pm! Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of motivation to at 6, we left. Of course Mike was standing outside where we didn't see him--ready to ride. I had already decided not to go at that point, so wished him a good ride before heading home. Turns out Chris joined him a couple of minutes later, and they got in about 40kms in the pouring rain. Good for you guys!

On Wednesday night, the Perth group had seven riders out on a beautiful night. A new route for some took us out 10 to Richardson Side Rd, across highway 7, and up to 511 on County Rd 7, then up to Balderson and back via Glen Tay for about 44kms. Good ride!

On Saturday, Matt and I did a bit of a tour up to Ashby Lake. We set off at 7:30 for a 118km ride through some of the nicest roads in the area! However, we once again managed to pick one of the hottest days for a long ride, and it turned into an epic ride. By the last 30kms or so, we were both pretty much dead, and were crawling along just praying for the end. Of course, instead of the end, all we got was more hills! We arrived at Ashby Lake in 4:06 or so, for an average of 28.8, which is pretty good considering the last hour or so we maybe averaged 22! Our ride back on Sunday was looking a bit touch-and-go, since my legs were toast! The remainder of the day was spent swimming in the lake, sitting and socializing on the dock, BBQ'ing and the like.

With a bit of rest overnight (I think I may have actually slept for 8 hours, which is quite impressive!) and a fantastic breakfast (thanks Jim and Lorna!) we set off to do the same route as Saturday, only in reverse. Luckily the temperatures were a bit cooler, and there was little direct sunlight to fry us on the pavement! After a tentative start to get a feel for the legs, we got into a comfortable pace that took us most of the way home. Consciously hydrating myself (Saturday's bonk and headache could only have been from dehydration) and eating more consistently must have helped, as I was feeling quite strong. The miles ticked by and before I knew it we were 30kms from home. Seeing this, and judging how much was in my legs, I asked Matt if he was feeling ok--the affirmative reply lead to a bit of an increase in the pace, and especially for the last 18kms or so from Playfairville to home we hammered in pretty good. Our average at the end of Fallbrook road was 30.8km/hr, and I figured we'd be able to get it over 31, so a bit more of an effort took us to Glen Tay, where Matt turned in a huge pull to lead us back into town. The time check as we rolled into my driveway put us at 3:46:48 for an average speed of 31.27! That's a bit better than Saturday!

Once I get a chance to download the GPS data and route profile, I'll add a link here. My feeling is that there was an overall downhill trend on the way home. That and the tailwind certainly helped with the average speed! Overall, it turned out to be a fantastic ride, but shows just how important proper hydration and food consumption is!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cooler nights bring...

...the first hint of fall, and thoughts are turning to 'cross season. And who can think about 'cross season and not think of "Thongs and Cross"?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Week #19: Ouch - a good one to miss

So I missed week #19 since I was on my way back from New Brunswick. From what I've heard, it was a very fast ride that ended in a bad way--there was a crash coming back up Jasper Highway, and Yves went down, breaking his collarbone. Get well quickly Yves!

In the meantime, here are some photos from my NB Adventure, with some shots of the Velodrome in Dieppe--what a blast! If you ever get a chance to ride on a track, do it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week #18: Marg's Guest Post

Here's Marg's take on the Gatineau Ride:

Thank you Darren for suggesting we ride in Gatineau Park! What a great ride we had. The weather was fantastic. The hills were challenging and the scenery was breath taking.
We started out from the Chelsea Visitors Center and climbed to the highest point in the park. There were three lookouts at the top and we just kept climbing from one to the other. The view of the Ottawa Valley was spectacular. Ahhhh but what goes up must come down and weeeeeeeee did! At up to 60km/hr !!!!!!!!
The great thing about riding in the park is there is very little traffic. What cars you do encounter are other park visitors that are expecting to share the road with cyclists. We did see lots of other cyclists. And the roads are in great shape for screaming down hill.
Kris had a good time riding off road. He had some trouble with his lower gears and had to walk up some of the hills because of it.
We will have to do it again. Actually we were thinking of going this Sunday morning. Apparently, the roads in the park are closed to all motor vehicles every Sunday morning during the summer. I'll find out more about it.
Have a great time in New Brunswick Darren.

Thanks Marg--and don't worry, I'll have a great time in NB! Stay tuned for pictures from the Dieppe Velodrome!

Week #18: NB, Gatineau and Smiths Falls (and Vancouver?!?)

Well, this week we decided to do something a bit different since it was a holiday. Gatineau Park was the order of the day. I'll hopefully post a guest entry from someone who was at the ride--I'm on my way to New Brunswick for Shawn and Keli's wedding, so dont' feel like posting :)

There was also a 'regular' Monday night ride from the shop. Here's Greg's email:

The Monday ride went well. Not as scenic as Gatineau park would have been.

There were 7 of us with Jeff Ain from Vancouver joining the ride.

I had 2 uncontested 5th place blue signs!! Yep you read it. I was on.

Of the 7 of us 2 had their Birthday on Monday. Wow. Chris and Tosh.
Same day sort of like Ted and Dave.

Greg out.