Archive for April, 2012

A bad but weirdly positive week

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

This week has been hard. First of all my motivation seems to have departed me. I am gaining weight, eating a bit too much and tired.  Secondly I had to travel and that just but me further back.

But oddly, it’s been a very positive week in terms of still being active. Basically since I have committed now to certain things I have found myself out and about and putting in some major hours in a number of activities. So while in the past a bad week would put me back quite a bit this week it just seems to have been negative but with little real impact.

1st off I committed to a Sunday mountain bike ride with my friends so up early Sunday and off to Limerick forest. It was a blast and a lot of fun but I had to pull out early due to other commitments.


Then I had to travel and that slowed me down but since I had a 10k race coming up had to get some mileage in so did a 10k run while in Reston, DC. Discovered their wonderful running path there! Wasn’t a fast run but still was doing something active.


Then Sunday came again and did the Smiths Falls Spring Fling Running Thing 10k distance. Ended up doing, by a very wide margin, a PB of a bit over 53 minutes at a pace I didn’t think I would ever do.

Smiths Falls Spring Fling

I didn’t put in any time on the road bikes and hope to catch up on that later, but even though to me it seemed like a crappy week, manage to hit some high notes! Hope the blahs go away soon!

So I think this is what is meant by being Fit, even when you have bad weeks, you are out and doing a lot!!

Categories: Uncategorized

First Blood with the Cervelo P2, and it was sweet

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

On Friday April 6th, Good Friday, I returned to an arena where I had a lot of success in the past. That is the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s 15 KM Time Trial. This is the traditional opener to the robust Ottawa TT crowd. I used to do these back in the 80s when they were south of the Airport on Manotick Station road. They were just moving to the Aviation Parkway as I left the sport. Don’t know if anybody remembers the old course, but it sure was quiet and it was south/north so usually you got a cross wind unlike the east/west course now where headwinds can get you and tailwinds can propel you.  I won a few but the fields were never more than 35 or so and we used the same bikes we raced on and rode to work, nobody had TT bikes.

Back to the future, and with the Cervelo P2 now in the stable, time to try it out.

It was a blast to go back and start doing these again but in a different atmosphere.

1st off, people are much more serious about it now. There was a lot of folks who looked hard core and bad ass with some serious TT machinery. My Cervelo didn’t look too out of place but it wasn’t fully decked out like some of these machines. The race itself is certainly better organized and as with everything these days there are more rules. But it was a very streamlined process. You had to give a seed time and I didn’t know at all what my time would be. I didn’t have aero wheels or an Aero helmet and the fast looking folks were putting up seed times in the 22s and 23s. My best in a Tri was 36kph but I had not used the Cervelo in a race before and it was windy. I didn’t want to be embarrass myself so I put down what I hoped to do, which was 26 minutes.

Whoops…I was seeded around the lower-middle of 90 participants and was soon lined up.  My number was called up and off I went. Within a few minutes I knew this was going to be faster, I was averaging 39kph with bursts over 40kph and my legs felt good. I was passing a lot of folks and I felt bad for seeding myself so low, it’s also a fairness program so you aren’t either being passed or passing too often. I wondered if after the turn around it would be harder, and it was, but just a bit. I was going to beat my seed time of 26 minutes by a wide margin.

Soon the last km was up and I surged for the final 500 meters or so. As I passed the line I looked at my Garmin 500, it said 23:28. Later looking at my output I slowed up a bit in the middle but the in and out was strong.


I had forgotten a few things. First of all my mantra back in the day was engine first, equipment second. I don’t invest in things unless I feel that I don’t have any more significant progress to make with my engine (i.e. legs). I still had a lot to do with my legs but they were strong, but I still need to invest in training before I heard over to So I got freaked out by equipment that didn’t matter. Also I was going into this without first swimming 750m or more, and lastly it was short, only 15km. So I misjudged where I would be. Next one I will seed myself around 22:50 and be where I should be. I also certainly wasn’t dead by the end, I have about 5-10% so I differed success as they say. That will come with learning as well.

Later the results were published and I ended up 18th out of 90, well above my expectations. The official timing had me at 23:21 with an average of 38.53. I’ll take that!

Also this was my first time to really bond with my Cervelo and a bike doesn’t come alive until you have an adventure together, and we have certainly bonded. It is an amazing bike that made the most of what I can give to it.

I’m back!!

Categories: bicycling, Time Trial

Back to the woods…first forest ride and dog weaving!

It ended up being a pretty mild winter here in Ottawa with very little snow as well so the cycling calendar has certainly moved up. I also didn’t use my mountain bike for riding over the winter much so it didn’t need rebuilding this year and it works!

I will be taking the bike in later this week for some changes either way, but with another nice week of weather I decided to see if the mud was gone if the routes were dry enough for a deep ride into the woods.  I also had a new set of tires as I removed the studded winter tires and replaced them with  Specialized “The Captain” Armadillo Elites which besides being oddly named got good reviews and they were half price at my LBS. I was hoping they would be a good upgrade.

My usual route required that I drive a few KMs to get to the forest entry point and in that environment the tires were a nice swap from the winter tires, but maybe a bit less tarmac friendly of the now well worn tires that came with the bike.

As is usual this time of the year before the biking gets more regular the forest nemesis of all mountain bikers are out in force and that is dogs and their walkers. Now I don’t mind dogs per say, but I would like to think that if I had skittish dogs I would use a leash. There seems to be a hope of dog owners that they will be able to “own” the forest for a while before things get too busy with hikers and bikers so they let their dogs roam free. When you are bombing along on a trail you come upon these dogs who do the ‘Look..something moving” and either bark or lunge or simply freak out it can be problematic and downright dangerous.

Dog owners fit two models. The first one is “How dare you” who don’t do much about the dogs but give you a wicked why are you riding by (despite the fact that the route is plastered with bicycle tire marks) and just let the dog chase you. These I don’t mind kicking if they get too close but usually they back off as they get closer.

The other one is the “OMG, I’m so sorry” dog owners who grab the dog and hold them while they pass. I prefer this type and I know Dogs don’t want to be on a leash (would you?) so I think I am ok with folks at least making an effort. Also know your dog. Some dogs freak out every time, others just sit up and watch you go by. If your dog is of the second type no problem.

The other issue was that while there wasn’t any standing water, but were a few spots of light muddy bog and in these areas the tires didn’t seem to find enough grip. I did chalk this up to the fact that the tires were fairly high-pressure. I will try again with lower pressure. Included a few shots. To be this dry in April is awesome!


The front shock is clearly pretty shot (it is a dart 1) and that was made very clear as the leaves hid some of the rocks (ouch!) so have a new one on order and it will be replaced later this week and will report on that a bit later. If it interests you here is my garmin track. I notice that accuracy is a bit off in the woods, I was always on the same route.


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