Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RRR's Silver Medal and Iron(wo)man

Sunday was a good day for RRR members. First there was the Provincial MTB race at Grand Beach. While the number of RRR riders was small, hardware was earned and brought home. Congrats to Brad for claiming 2nd place behind uber-stud Lindsay in the 50+ category. Our FGBC rivals also had a surprise entry, as Tenacious V showed up to rock hop (or is that stump jump?) his 29er around the course.

happy old guys

I elected to sit this one out (it darn near killed me - the MTB Committee and volunteers did a bang-up job with the course) and nurse an injury as cross season's too near to risk further ill effect. I did have my camera, however, and enjoyed capturing most riders. I don't claim to be David Lipnowski, but there is the odd good one to be found here.

Sunday also saw Larry's wife, Jane, take part in the Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon in Penticton, BC. After breaking her collarbone while training in June and missing out on weeks of training, she put in a great effort to finish in the top half of her field with an overall time of 13:26:13. Two weekends ago I participated in a mini triathlon with a 400m swim which hurt worse than any interval training I've ever done. I can't imagine swimming 3.86 kms.

this just doesn't look like fun to me (just sayin')

Good job, Jane! Can't wait to see you racing cross as we kick some FGBC butt this year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicing It Up

Hello ladies. What's today? Look at this poster.
Does your man have the dicke to go the distance? I don't know.
Now look at me. I have a belt.
Now look at the Little Dick. Don't laugh.
Now back to me. I just won.
Ladies, does your man really have what it takes?
I didn't think so.
But if he wore this jersey he might look the part.
I'm on a bike.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August and Onward

In case you have some free dates on your calendar and you don't know what to do with yourself, there's a lot to look forward to over the next little bit. In addition to a few more Tuesday night crits, there's lots of fun to be had as we wind down August and start to think about Fall...maybe too much fun.

AD/DC—ABES Dirty Double Crosser

Did someone say 'fun'? The ABES crew knows how to have fun. AD/DC should prove to be something you've never done before. Touted as "the sweetest throw-down cross race in Rocktona", the unofficial kick-off to the cyclocross season takes place tomorrow evening at Altona's motocross park. Details are here, and more-so here (which is interesting given this is an ABES event—I guess they're busy having fun).

Provincial Crit

There's no poster, so a map of the race course will have to do.

The Provincial Crit Championship takes place this Sunday at the Royal Canadian Mint. Last year's race saw Mike go down with Don S. for some spectacular road rash. Hopefully this year's event won't include any crashing; Mike hasn't been racing much this year, so there's a good chance the Cat 3s will ride clean.

Details here. Pre-registration closes Thursday, August 19 at 8pm. In-site registration & sign-in opens at 4:30pm and close 30 minutes before your race.

Grass Track

Yet another fun opportunity to make your legs burn and push yourself to the point of puking. All good stuff for readying yourself for...

Excitement for the upcoming 2010 cyclcocross season is starting to build. Organizers have been putting their heads together and planning on ways to build on recent success and growth. More details to be released soon. Keep an eye on the Cyclocross Manitoba site for news and updates as they happen.

There are 9 races on tap this year, the first official race is scheduled for Sept. 19. That gives you exactly 4 weeks to get ready. Joining in on Cross Labs fun is one way to shake off the rust and hone your cross skills. The first one is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Aug. 25 at Omand's Park.

Provincial Mountain Bike Race

Hal and company have made multiple trips out to Grand Beach and put in a lot of effort to cut some new trail and prepare a course that is worthy of the Provincial XC Championship race. All the details, including a gpx file for you tech-savvy GPS users can be found here. Deadline for in-person pre-registration is August 27 (or August 28 at 6:00pm if you register online). Race day registration goes up to $40, so register early and save yourself $15.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Same As It Ever Was

Here is something I found interesting on a blog I recently started following, which focuses primarily on local history. It appears our local cycling infrastructure-related woes are nothing new.

Whether it be with poorly planned and maintained roads, struggles with the annual freeze-thaw, or scorchers and pickers making life difficult for wheelmen and wheelwomen, little has changed over the past 100+ years.

On a positive note, however, beer-loving wheelmen are still holding weekly meetings in a turn-of-the-century hotel to discuss all things cycling.

Unknown Manitoba Cyclist looking tweedy c.1900

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Report—Canadian Death Race 2010

From the desk of Michelle, recounting her participation in the Canadian Death Race—125 kms of extreme mountain trail, 3 mountain summits, 17,000 ft of elevation change and a major river crossing, snaking around the small town of Grande Cache, Alberta.

OK...here we go. I hope you have a few minutes. This is the massively abridged version!

July 31—I got up in the morning feeling very calm, excited, and not nervous at all, which surprised me! The first leg (approx 20km) was no sweat. We did what we had planned - ran the downs and the flats, walked the uphills, and felt great.

Leg 2 was a killer - incredibly steep ups and downs, crazy. I wiped out once only which is nothing short of miraculous! Leg 2 was supposed to be the toughest, but I was still fresh so felt pretty good. End of leg 2 was about the 50km mark. Just as I was coming into the transition zone, the toe nail on my baby toe bent backwards...Yeee-ouch! Bandaged it up and off we went into Leg 3.

Leg 3 was the least difficult by far, mainly flat, slightly down but very rocky and uneven and that's where the blisters showed up. With a vengeance. The fact that we were only at the half way point (or just under), and my feet were starting to hurt really badly put me in a very bad place. I felt tired, super sleepy, and discouraged. I had slowed down quite a lot around km 65 until Artur snapped at me to pick it up. It made me mad enough that I did. We got to the end of Leg 3, and threw some liquids and food into our packs. At this point I grabbed my hiking poles (thank goodness because they saved me) and started Leg 4, Hamel Assault.

Hamel Assault is a steep, long climb to a 7000’ peak. For some reason, however, I felt re-energized. We motored up that mountain, making fantastic time and passing tons of people. The descent was at sunset, and it was beautiful up there, but the descent was hard because my knee started to hurt (I think a result of the fall in Leg 2). Going down was torture on the blisters, but by this I was used to the fire in my feet and accepted that it would be so, there was nothing to be done except live with it. The last part of Leg 4 was mercifully easy – a gentle down slope on a gravel road in dead of night with a huge moon and brilliant stars.

We hit the 100 km mark and we felt jubilant, only 25km to go and 6 hours to do it in! We've got this! We slid into the Leg 5 transition zone with big smiles as people cheered us on in the middle of the night, headlamps bobbing in the darkness behind us on the trail. Then BOOM—a steep ascent up twisting, turning, unending, uneven trail. It was brutal. The stuffing was knocked right out of me, and exhaustion started to set in. We finally make it to the river crossing with 15km to go. As we get off the boat that zipped us a cross the river, someone said "you have a tough climb ahead of you". That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I choked back sobs of exhaustion and kept going. Again, thank goodness for my hiking poles. I don't know that I would have stayed upright without them.

Trudge trudge trudge. Daylight breaks. It's cold, we're beyond tired and we've slowed down so much that we both believe we'll miss the cut off. Suddenly, a mile marker of which there were very few appeared: 120km. It was like a punch in the face. 5km left you idiots...SNAP OUT OF IT!! And we did. We blasted through those last 5km, cruised up that final, cruel, loooong climb and ran to the finish line with 30 minutes to spare.

We made it! I'm pretty sure we both had tears in our eyes (I know I did) as we crossed the finish line. It was a big moment for me, and I couldn't have done it without Artur pushing and encouraging me throughout the event and in our weeks of pre-race training. This Death Race was the most incredible 24 hours. For 2 days I could barely move. Now, the pain is forgotten, but the glory, pride and joy remain and always will.

At 7:29 a.m. on August 1, I confirmed that I am capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to. I wonder what will be next.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thanks to the Olympia Cycling Club

With last weekend's Where's The Beach? In Stead enduro and the BHP Wednesday Night Series behind us, a word of thanks goes out to all the Olympia guys for their planning and organizing. These sentiments are especially echoed by Larry, who won the Surley 1x1 frame at last night's WNS finale. No wait...he needed to be in attendance to win, and he wasn't. Oh well, it's not like he needs another bike anyway, right Jane?

what could have been, Larry

Good times!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Long Distance Run Around

Congrats to the dynamic duo of Artur and Michelle who successfully completed the 2010 edition of the Canadian Death Race. Apparently they met up with Naomi (she rocks) while out on the trail. All three of them finished within seconds of each other at roughly 23 hours and 29 minutes. That's ultra impressive—hopefully a race report will follow.

Now that that's out of the way, it's time to dust off your bikes and focus on the upcoming cyclocross season.

2010 Canadian Death Race results (check out the winning time...wow...someone needs to pee in a cup)