Archive for July, 2013

Sydenham Triathlon

This is my second year doing the Sydenham Triathlon in the Olympic distance. Again my daughter had a soccer tournament close by in Kingston. Was a bit worried about this as I have not run longer than 6ks so far this year and now will have to do a 10k at the end of a 40k bike. The swim I wasn’t too worried about.

In 2012 I did a 2:51:09 so was looking to improve on that. Didn’t think I could get it much below 2:45 but certainly should be able to beat my 2012 time.

Also I decided to change to my Cervelo full on Tri bike as opposed to the Tarmac I did last year. In terms of each leg last year I did the swim in 33:46 (including transition time), the bike in 1:14:42 and the run in 1:02:39.

The course was exactly the same thankfully so easy to compare. Registration was easy, everything is close and was able to get racked and ready in mere minutes. Worked my way down to the beach. Was harder to get my wetsuit on mostly as I had not done it in over a year. But it wasn’t too bad and soon I was in the water.

I like the longer 1.5k swim and got into a decent cadence and didn’t get cramps. Probably also not pushing as much as I could as I wanted to have a good bike and be ready for the run.

I was soon enough out of the water and on the bike thru the transition in 33:22, so faster by 20 seconds.

The race course is lumpy but in the end not too bad and was a good decision to change to my Tri bike. I had a few cramps about mid way and had one problem when there was a line of cars waiting to pass some slower bikes and I was catching up with them. I actually had a race official on a scooter right next to me so I asked her if I can pass, she said yes but then I didn’t know if I had to pass on the left (as per the race rules for passing bikes) or if I could pass on the right of the cars. In the end I passed on the left, crossed the center line actually, and got back in front of the cars and bikes. Was a bit worried as I had to cross the center line to be safe. There was no reason for the cars NOT to pass the bikes so I maybe a sign “IT is ok to pass bikes if its safe” somewhere on the race course could be helpful.


When all was said and done did a 1:10:20 so a whooping 4 and a bit minutes faster! Also ended up being the 7th fastest time of the day. Averaged 34.3 kph so I probably could have gone faster but still when I got off the bike I was well ahead of my 2012 time and had saved some energy for the run.

In the transition I decided to slow down to speed up in a sense, put on some socks and gather my thoughts.

Then off to the run. First off it wasn’t as bad as I thought, a nice drenching in the middle part cooled things down but I was able to keep my own cadence. I felt like I was going faster than I thought I could and frankly enjoyed it. Was still hurting but not as much as I was worried. About an hour later the finish line was in sight and I clocked a overall 2:46:28 with a run time of 1:02:48. I had made up time in the swim (20 secs) and bike (4+ minutes) and my run was only 20 seconds slower (and some of that could have been putting on the socks) so wow…job done. Still want to do a 2:30 or below but that may have to wait until next year.

Categories: Triathlon

2013 Smiths Falls Triathlon

So this is the Triathlon that in the past I looked to as my main summer event in a sense. As time has moved on and I have done more events I have found that over the last couple of years this one has diminished a bit in significance. With some very big changes in how the Tri is run this year it has certainly moved down a bit.

1st off due to changes in policy with Parks Canada they can no longer close the locks and thus restrict boat traffic on Sunday Mornings. Since the last thing you want is a 20 foot yacht slicing thru your swim leg the decision was made to run the Tri on Saturday after the locks close at 6pm.

Unfortunately the change was not communicated very well and was first communicated as a wow, look at this you can sleep in on Sunday kind of thing. Also this was done only a few weeks before the Tri so a lot of people had locked in plans that now needed to change. Not the organizers fault but I think they could have been a bit more open on the reasons. Due to this my Mom and Brother opted out of doing the Tri this year and that reduced my interest further. As you will see in coming posts, I definitely have filled the “gap” left open here with new events of interest.

One more thing, not 100% sure why since the locks were closed but they changed the bike course. The bike course was changed from the nice loop it was to an in and out straight leg, and shortened to 21kms as well from 28k. Maybe they needed to make sure folks ended before it got dark. There was NO mention of the reduced bike leg until you got to the Tri so I think a number of people were caught out on that. Since I make up time on the bike it also meant I could expect to end up lower overall.

Certainly it seemed to impact the numbers. In 2012 141 people did the Sprint Tri in Smiths Falls, in 2013 it was down to 107. If the Saturday night time stays will be interesting to see if the numbers go back up as it won’t be a surprise anymore. In many ways its great to have a Saturday night Tri as it gives you back Sunday etc. but also means you have to be careful not to overdo it during the day.


Setup was pretty easy as always. Since it was evening lots of people showed up early so a lot of slots were used but there were still plenty of slots left and I had a bit of extra room it seemed to lay my gear out. I had my Flo disc but noticed nobody else had a disc. Was there a rule change? The weather wasn’t an issue as it was calm. There was maybe going to be a bit of rain but nothing serious. Checked with some folks and nope no rule against it. So why no discs. I have my theories and you can read it later on.

However, and this was odd, you had to walk about 1km to a hotel to get your registration then walk back. What’s up with that? Then the swim start was back at the hotel so you did 3k+ of walking around before you set off.


I choose not to use my wetsuit.  The swim is pretty short at 500m and the run from the beach to the transition area is pretty short so decided I didn’t really need it. Now I have not been doing really any swimming, or running either, and just biking tons so wasn’t sure how my swim would be. Last year I did use my wet suit.

The current was a bit stronger due to all the rains but nothing that wasn’t manageable.

In 2012 I did this in a 12:13 (which includes transition time) and in 2013 I had a 13:54 so maybe was a bad choice? Being almost 2 minutes slower as you begin wasn’t the best. Still I was out of the water and onto the bike without too much fuss. Next year I will go back to my wetsuit.


Whoosh.. Love, love, love the bike leg. I have focused more on the bike this year and it showed. I took off like a rocket and just kept going. I did see one other person with a disc wheel so I guess it was fine.

I was passing everyone and averaged well over 38kph. I wanted it to be much longer, but it was over in a flash it seemed.

When you sort the rankings by bike leg this is what you get:


Second best time of the day, at 32:00, with one fast guy ahead of me and a dude 21 seconds behind. I think next year I can/will win the bike leg. But if you do the math at this point I was 3 mins of so back from the leader. Since this was a different course than last year no comparison can be made.

On the disc issue, this is what I think. People rarely seem to really figure out what works for them instead going with the herd, and lately everyone watches Tris on TV which are usually in professional events that restrict the use of disc wheels. So if Craig Alexander wins Kona on a Specialize Shiv with deep rims but not a disc, then deep rims most be best because EVERYONE had them. Zipp, Hed, Easton etc. But no disc. Can’t prove this and maybe I should ask people but I was surprised and a disc makes you go FAST.  The cost difference between a good set of deep rims and a disc isn’t that much and you go FASTER.

Anyways their loss and my gain.


So by this time the race was over for me. I didn’t expect to do well in the run and I was about to go backwards, and I did.

But something odd happened, it didn’t hurt to run as much as I thought it would. I still didn’t run fast but I wasn’t as slow as I thought I would be and I enjoyed it. In 2012 after a lot of training and trying to improve was 26:56 and in 2013 ended up 27:59 so a minute slower but that’s not too bad considering.


In the end I wasn’t all that exhausted so didn’t “leave it all on the road” so to speak, and ended up 44th overall which I guess was disappointing but I didn’t feel that way. I came to ride and bike really and get some training as I ramp up for the main events later in the year and this one was a good one, and I only had to drive 5 minutes to get to it!!

Categories: Uncategorized

To the OutBack…and back

The South March MTB trails near my work have a few different loops and one of the big ones is called the OutBack. As the name suggests its further back into the woods so had to take a Saturday morning out to get to it. Its one of the black trails below.


As I pulled into the parking area I noticed that Norco was having a demo day. Cool. I signed up and tried out my first top end full suspension bike. In this case a 27.5 Range Killer B-1.  I didn’t ask much about price so just wanted to get a subjective comparison. I put my MTB bike at about $1200 if I was to buy it new today. With that in mind I stomped off and did a few trails like Porcupine and M Line.

It felt about $2000 worth of bike. Certainly rolled better and I was able to tackle a few things more than I usually do but overall was still the same basic experience. Back end quite a bit more settled. Maybe not better just different. I did really like it and probably would upgrade if the gap wasn’t too much.

I got back to the demo tent, retrieved my own bike and asked about the pricing. This was the top of the line B-1 and retailed for $5,995.


Wow…not sure I would afford that and I do always struggle to understand what a 5k bike offers over a 3k bike over a 1K bike.

Anyways, there is a B-3 version at $2899 which probably is more what I felt I may be able to afford one day.

That done and an hour of my OutBack time gone had to speed things up a bit. Got back on my Devinci and headed out.

Also got to try out my GoPro, looking to just learn more about this device so just simply turned it on. Did a few hours of recording but just adding a few minutes here.

GoPro testing on the trails

This trail is rated quite a bit harder than the other trails and was winding quite a bit so took a longer time that I anticipated and had to rush a bit. But these trails are quite a bit more bumpier and really couldn’t push the pace too much.

Still, it was loads of fun and used both my PowerCal power meter and Garmin 500 so got some good feedback. Max Power is still weird but is effectively filtered out over time. Power was decent at just a bit under 200W and does convince me its just as hard to do a hard hour on the mountain bike. Also you get a better overall muscle workout. Again can’t say enough about being able to just slap on the PowerCal and go.


And you can compare the map below with the official map.


Looking forward to spending more time with the OutBack!

Categories: Uncategorized