Archive for January, 2011

Suffering with the Sufferfest..and loving it!

January 18, 2011 1 comment

Ok, I had to give up my grand plan of daily riding. I don’t mind the cold when I have to run out to the car and then into work, but 15-20 minutes in sub-arctic weather didn’t end up being as fun as I thought it would be! So still riding in once or twice a week when the wind isn’t blowing and it’s above –10, which in January in Ottawa isn’t all the frequent. This week for example has been pretty much a wash.

So, I do what everyone does, I have a trainer in the dungeon. Now I don’t mind trainers as much as some other people. I like swimming which is pretty mindless, but if I can improve I will. I have been getting some old Tour de France videos from, which have been good, but recently got turned on to the sufferfest video series.

In the past I have downloaded a few of these type of trainer videos from for example EpicRides, but they just didn’t really grab me. They are basically twice the price of the sufferfest videos for 1/2 the entertainment value and while I know they are trying, man they are boring…

The Sufferfest don’t appear to be like any other video series I have tried out. First off they are funny, secondly there is frequent action on the screen and it just draws you in and finally the price is right at about $12 a pop and it downloads right to the iPad (although oddly the latest one Local Hero had to be converted first, which is easy but time consuming). As soon as I tried the first one I have to buy them all, even with all six outlay has been less than $70 and most I have now done 2-3 times and it really drags me downstairs because they are so fun!

Take a look at his trailer for Angels, it gives you a sense of how this works:


I like the way they weave both a story into this and the use of grade A feeds from either local or international events. And the constant change of tempo in a non-structured way feels more like a ride, which varies a lot over it’s length. So far Angels and Downward Spiral are getting the most “airplay” but the new Local Hero, the longest one they have at almost 90 minutes, is becoming a fave as well. And if you only have 45 minutes Revolver 45 isn’t bad.

I have seen my weight start to creep down again and I give kudos to sufferfest for helping me get over my multi month hover weight! With these on constant rotation I should hit spring training in better shape than ever!


Dream Bike Building with Trek Project One

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone these days plays around with those Build and Price configurators on car sites, and with the price of Bikes getting up there it would be nice if such an option existed from the big bike manufacturers like Specialized, Giant and Trek.
Well, the day has come as Trek has launched their Project One program, and it’s awesome!  Been playing with Trek’s Project One configurator for a couple of days off and on. If you like to dream this is awesome, and really the configuration options are amazing. If you are going to buy you will be in heaven and I think the problem will be tweaking too much before you pull the trigger then second guessing your choice. Still, kinda wish I had something like this before I bought my specialized bike.  If this program is successful and popular I can see most of the higher volume manufacturers getting into this.

Get started here and you can customize either a road bike or a tri bike.
I decided to play around with a Madone 6.2, nice restrained White Colour with some Red Accents, Campy Super Record and red hot wheels. Came up with this beauty for a mere $7800!.

Project One Road Bike

Still we are dreaming here so I probably need a nice Tri bike as well. Going for broke here so full Speed Concept 9.9, Dura Ace Di, Big Wheels, but still stealthy. At $11,000 here is what is possible.

Project One Trek Tri Bike

You can save your dream bikes, come back and tweak them etc. I applaud Trek for this iniatitive, well done!! One problem I had is going back after I save my bikes and reloading them, seems to take forever! And also there is the problem that we really shouldn’t design our own bikes much like we shouldn’t design our homes, some things are left to the pros.  You can make some seriously bad colour options if you so desire and I don’t think Trek will care if you order an Orange, yellow and brown bike with blue bar tape and green wheels, so maybe double check with friends on your colour choices before you commit.
It’s loads of fun and you can dream the day away with the thousands of option while winters blows outside.

Categories: bicycling Tags: , ,

Shimano 105 brakes have arrived..quickly!!

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Mid afternoon yesterday I ordered a couple of new BR-5700 Shimano 105 brakes from Jenson USA to replace the mysterious and not really working all that well set of brakes that came with my Specialized Tarmac Elite.

Well.. they have arrived already. Had to cross the border as well.. WOW. I am impressed. I will certainly order from them again. Came to my front door within 24 hours of ordering!

All told shipping plus the cost of the brakes came to $140 CDN. If I had ordered these from Canada Bicycle Parts would have been $160 (even though shipping would have been free) so I saved $20 and still got what I wanted.

Came nicely and safely packaged and both boxes were new and unopened.

Brakes in Box

Opened them up and got my first look at these brakes. They certainly look the part and I think they will complement my bike very nicely and completes my 105 group (although these are 5700 and I have 5600).


Looking at the brakes a bit closer they certainly appear to be of much higher quality. 


Will go through the install tonight and see how it goes!

Categories: bicycling Tags: , , ,

Goals for 2011

January 4, 2011 1 comment

New Year, new goals!
I enter 2011 at 193 pounds, or 20 pounds less than when I entered 2010 (I was 213 pounds then). Depending on who you talk to the beginning of the year is either a bad time to set goals (you overreach and set unrealistic ones) or the best time (you are focused on renewal). I tend to think it’s the best time and I have been successful in the past with resolutions. So here goes! I definitely want to make mine fitness specific (no shock there) but also measurable. It’s great to be on an great trend already. I didn’t gain really anything over the holidays (despite 4(!!) christmas meals…) and have most of what I need in place to keep things going (trainer downstairs, fitness membership etc.). And I am focused!!

So some specifics.
1- I will be 173 pounds on Dec. 31st, 2011. Last year I wanted to get down to 185, and I missed that by about 7 pounds but overall it was successful in every other sense. Hope this year is great as well.
2- I will crack 1hr 25 minutes at the Smiths Falls Tri. That means I have to shave 10 minutes again (shaved 12 minutes in 2010). Very doable if I take my running a bit more serious and get better transitions.
3- I will do a Olympic Length Tri. Upping the effort and time level a bit here. There are a number of opportunities to do this distance in and around Ottawa
4- I will learn to wheelie my Ducati (this last one isn’t fitness related, but still a goal!)

I am using the new year to ramp up my training schedule and having some great success riding to work through the snow and doing some indoor training. Will update on that soon.

Categories: Update