Thursday, July 29, 2010


Opened up my email today and saw the monthly Chico report. Clicked it and to my surprise, I saw ME! A nice reminder of last year's glorious season. I've decided to give Kelso a shot afterall, hopefully to train through for provincials two weeks later. So not really carrying a lot of expectation, but I am excited because it sounds like there will be a cheering section this time. Woo hoo! Plus, I love riding Kelso (except maybe that infamous service road climb).

After email, my next stop was to see if the course map is up -- and it is! Looks like a fun old time -- I relish any opportunity to go DOWN the Ugly Up instead of climbing it, so this course is definitely Kris-approved. Hope to get out for preride on Wednesday the 4th, if anyone cares to join.

Monday, July 26, 2010


So now that Strep in all its ugliness is behind me, it's time to get back to the business of bike racing. Such that it is. After a busy day in Niagara on Saturday, spent with Grampa, Aunt Mindy and Gerhard I got some time on Sunday to test out the ol' legs.

Since I didn't have much on the menu (just 90 minutes of endurance riding) I just rode the path of least resistance until a route formulated itself in my head. After a few right turns on reds, I found myself at the corner of Dufferin and Queen on a traffic-quiet Sunday morning. I decided to take my opportunity and tour Toronto's awesome downtown. Got a green on Queen and made my left.

Not two seconds later I was rewarded with an impaired woman, carrying a cat or something in a box with her pants about to fall down (as it was, almost a full butt cheek was visible above her jeans). Queen west = people watching at its finest. I continued, half wondering if I'd make it to the Jazz Festival in the beaches before the clock ran out.

After a few races with cabbies and punks on raleighs, I found myself on the border of the street fest in the Beach, but decided to head down the waterfront trail. And right into a marathon race of some kind! I cheered on some runners, then continued past the skate park.

Coincidentally, G was skating there at the time, but I didn't know that, so I missed the opportunity to see skater tricks. Drat. Thus deprived, I continued westwards on the Martin Goodman.

Around the CNE I met Maggie, an elderly Golden Retriever. She was suffering from heat-stroke, but her owner just accused her of being lazy. She was collapsed on the trail, with her mom yanking on her leash to try and tow her off the pavement. Naturally, I stopped and let Maggie have the rest of the my water. She looked thankful, but still thirsty. I hope her master figured things out for her, but I am satisfied I did all I could. Later, we accidentally shared spit when I took a swig from the dog slobbered bottle. They say dogs have the cleanest mouths, right?

Anyway, a couple people watching/racer cheering/dog-saving hours later, I was home with no other complications besides some slightly itchy ears. It's good to be back :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photo of the Day

Emily Batty, Trek World Racing (and the rest of Ontario's top athletes) is back in Europe getting ready for the return of the World Cup Racing season at Champery, Switzerland. Fresh off defending her U23 Canadian National Championship jersey, I'm stoked to see her continued success. She is truly living the dream.

There's no doubt Emily is fast becoming Canada's mountain bike darling. Everyone you talk to will tell you that not only is she obviously talented and hardworking, but she's a gal you'd want as a friend (and I won't even mention her good-looks). Always positive, and always smiling. She's so sweet, she even farts rainbows. ;)


After four days of discomfort at best, and delerium at worst I was able to return to real life. Which unfortunately, spent about as much time waiting for me as Alberto Contador. When I got back, things had piled up almost as high as the Tourmalet.

I guess there's never a convenient time to be sick, but this time it seemed extra intrusive. I have about a million files on the go at work right now. There are speeches to write, progress reports to create, web copy to edit, commercials to get into production, focus groups to attend and on and on and on. I don't know how I'll have time for anything else. Which is unfortunate because there's still a couple races left on the schedule.

Speaking of which, I wasn't sure how I ought to handle getting back in the saddle, so I hit up coach Steve Neal in the twittersphere. His advice was to multiply the number of days I was sick by 1.5 (so 4 days, times 1.5 = 6 days) and ride no more than 90 minutes endurance for each of those days. Then I'll be ready to layer on regular speed work and such once more.

However, Kelso has become kind of a question mark for me. We'll see how it goes. I do love to race Kelso ... but that is one big hill. Hmmm.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Under Attack


Saturday: Fit as a Fiddle. Closed the day with a robust night ride at Albion Hills with D-Rock. At 11:00pm I was feeling better than fine.

Sunday, 6:30am - awakened from dreams about sore throats with actual sore throat. Swallowing difficult. Much pain, ugly swelling, zebra stripes.

7:00am - attempt to find walk-in clinic open on a Sunday

7:30am - give up and go back to bed

11:30am - wake up again (where'd 4 hours go?!)

12:33pm - Arrive at the ER at St. Joseph's hospital, since there seemed to be no clinics open

1:00pm - All registered, followed "the black line" to the fast track area, where there were about 50 other people waiting. Felt sure I'd be there til 4pm

1:05pm - Actaul Fast Track! Saw a doctor, prescription in hand, on my way out. Verdict? Strep. WHAT?!

1:30pm - waiting for Gerhard to pick me up, I'm almost laughing at how annoying a summer case of strep throat is, and at how random it all seems. Just my luck. I feel totally fine except for the sore throat.

2:00pm - first dose of pennicilin

2:30pm - no longer laughing.

3:00pm - Fever. Chills. Sweating. Clammy. Dizziness. Nausea. Headache. WTF.

4:00pm - Call mom (Because I was feeling miserable and wanted my mom, okay?). Mom says mom things, then says to call Telehealth.

4:10pm - Fever 39.0C. Telehealth assures me that this is all just the Strep and I am NOT having a reaction to Penicilen, even though things didn't start to go really south until I took it. She says I'll be contagious for 24 hours after my first dose because that's how long it takes for the antibiotic to get a foothold in my system.
Until then, she warns I'd likely only feel worse. Great.

5:30pm - Fever still climbing, 39.2C. Crazy dreams. Lots of whining.

Sleeping and popsicles until about midnight. Fever at midnight: 38C. Alright!!

Now it is 8:50am, only four more hours til the penicilin takes. At that point I'm assuming I'll start to feel better.

This blows. It's not like I had training to do or anything!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Albion Night Ride

Awesome night ride with D-Rock. Did Albion frontwards, backwards, daylight and nighttime. All tired out. My kind of Saturday night.

Bicycle Repairman

Thanks to Sweet Pete's Bicycle Repairmen, for tackling my brake problems, once again. See you soon!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Right now, facebook is a pretty happy place. It's just full of pictures of my family and friends' beautiful growing families.

The world most recently welcomed twins Aurélie Laila and Félix Gabriel Biloski! Congratulations Ron and Geneviève!

And congrats to all the other new moms and dads: Athena + Ryan = Ronin, Sarah + Derek = Jeremy, and Dawn + John = Ashton.

Keep the photos coming :) xoxo

Bike For Sale!

I never like to do this, but one of my babies needs a new, better home.

I bought my STP SS to help me improve my skills for XC riding, but since I am now a perfect rider and awe-inspiring technician, I don't need it anymore and it's just collecting dust.

Okay, that's not quite accurate ... but the part about it collecting dust is, and it ought to be ridden.

Since it's a single speed, it's taught me about momentum. Since it's a jumper, with flat pedals, I've learned a lot about skills like bunny hopping, cornering and even some jumping. Imagine what it could do for your riding! How much fun could you have this winter at Joyride!?

The bike is practically new, since I only really played with it in the fall of 2008 -- since then it's mostly been transporting me on the odd errand if it happens to be the bike closest to the door. Or if I just want to look cool.

Seems a shame to reduce this beauty to "commuter" or "fashion accessory" so it needs a better home.

Asking 600 or best offer. One small nick in the top tube (cosmetic only). Parts completely stock. Test rides welcome. Happy Trails.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Race Report: Ocup #5, Buckwallow

We arrive at Buckwallow ... and yes, I painted my nails to match my race kit (for you Thorsten!)

Another Ocup, come and gone. But this wasn't just ANY Ocup! This was Bucky, my favourite course, and to make it an even sweeter deal, I had a cheerleader and personal photographer accompany me for his first ever race-of-any-kind experience. Chike kept the day super positive from my perspective, on what was otherwise a pretty tough race for me. David, from the sport-class was along as well and we had a great relaxed drive up in the minivan for his 11:30 race.

David, all class in sport class

I like to go early because I get a chance to say hello to folks, watch some racing, and with Chike there it was fun to show him around as well. He even learned how to feed!

The weather was great. The sun beat down as it has been for the past week, but thankfully, not quite as intense as the heatwave a few days prior. Still, it became apparent that the heat would be a problem pretty much as soon as I spun out for my warm up on the Muskoka Parkway.

I ride Shimano components, and since my brakes run on mineral oil instead of automotive braking fluid, i was dealing with a common side affect: expanding fluid pushing my pads into my rotors making a very disheartening sh-ch-sh-ch-sh-ch sound as my rotors went round and round. with conventional brake fluid, i think there's a little more resilience when it comese to environmental factors. Oh well, no time to do a thing about it, not that i'd know what to do anyway. So, I had to line up with a little piano tied to my ass.

On top of that, my warm-up left me feeling a little TOO hot out there on the pavement. I went through almost two bottles of water (one with eload) before the race began and still had dry-mouth and nausea. "oh boy" i thought, but i still felt like I had a good day in me. Especially with aforementioned cheerleader standing by!!

The start was crazy -- Mike (the property owner) had warned me about a rock that comes up fast on the left side of the opening double track. Apparently he'd seen his fair share of endos as people launched themselves into unexpected "big air" during the local thursday-night series. I remembered his words, but only as we came around the corner and a Cycle-solutions kit went flying in front of me at eye level. Somehow I managed to stay out of her way, but heard a kafuffle behind me indicating others hadn't been so lucky. At the end I found out it as Mandy, and her day had been cut too short by the bad news bears. I wondered where she was all race, and her "ghost" kept me honest (i.e. hammer now or Mandy's gonna get ya!). So thank you Mandy for a good race anyways -- I hope it's just a little irritation and nothing serious.

The line

After that, my first two laps went fairly well. I was happy with my position, convinced that I'd be catching up to the lead group momentarily. But then it just seemed like all systems began to fade ...

It all went wrong on the third lap. I started making mistakes ... and really awkward ones at that too. Ones that left me precariously perched atop rocks while I prayed my cleat would stick to it's foothold while I regained my balance with one foot still clipped into the bike. Then I got passed. Then I got passed again, and the only thing more unpleasant than being passed is when the passer is extra pleasant to the passee. Strategy? Or is she just a really nice girl? I'll never know. Thus undone, I just focused on riding clean, however despite accomplishing that for the most part in my last lap, speed was not a by-product. in fact, I rode every lap slower than the last, starting out with a sub-thirty lap and finishing with one that can only be described as "sub forty". ouch. and may I also add, "wtf".

Anyway, the one thing that saved me from a total pit of despair moment was a Hub rider who passed me and instead of the customary "have a good race" one usually hears as the male fields work their way through, he said "have fun!"

"Thanks for the reminder!" i said. Because, really, that's what it's all about. Sometimes I forget as I get ready for the Ontairo-World-Cups.

Having fun.

Happy to see the finish, I rejoined my trio, got some hard-earned watermelon and we went off to jump in the lake. Then we hit up webers. And I even ordered TWO orders of fries. It was an awesome day because I got to ride bikes, i did it safely, the company was excellent, the weather perfect, and ... it was fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crash Course: TdF

Excellent collection of gasps and ohs on the Star's sports page today. See the carnage here. The first four stages have all featured race-changing pile-ups with most notable disappointment being Saxo-Bank's Frank Schleck's tour-ending broken collar bone (in three places, requiring immediate surgery ... owww). Schleck was considered a GC contender, but looks like he'll be on an extended rest.

If you want to follow the tour, but don't have OLN, follow the live blogs on or Not the same as seeing it on screen, but better than nothing! Racing begins at 8:30am and goes until approximately 11:30. OLN usually does an evening show of race highlights, but this year it is notably absent.
Finally, check out this photo ... what's the caption? (Left: Alberto Contador. Right: Lance Armstrong. They get along like oil and vinegar.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Royal Heat Wave!

When it's this hot I'm more inclined to just rely on existing fitness rather than go out and try to collect more. However, Gerhard and I still managed to sweat out a great preride at Buckwallow on Sunday evening. Man, it's going to be a hot one there. We rode in the evening in an attempt to wait out the traffic, and it was still brutal. Course is super fun though, and I'm looking forwad to a decent race on Sunday. Although touring around my usual blog reading list, it seems like the usual suspects are more often than not opting out! Hope there's a good turnout. If not, oh well, less of you to clog up the 400 on the way home I guess ;)

The weekend was a great trip ... guess I'll get around to posting about it now. We decided to hit up Hardwood (instead of battling the traffic all the way to Buck) on Thursday and enjoyed an awesome Canada Day Ride on favourites like "Serious" and "Radical". Gerhard and I think we need to get some friends up there for a day of fun riding (Nancy, Jules, Birke ... we're looking at you).

A quick beer in the parking lot and then it was off to Bruce County. We arrived in time for a BBQ at my sister's before heading down to the fireworks at the flagpole in Southampton. The rest of the weekend was a wonderful rainbow of outdoor eating, beers, bonfires and "testical toss" (otherwise known as "horse nuts", "scroats and ropes" or just "ladder ball").

Thought I would do more riding than I did, but changed it up instead with a smaller-than-planned hike up at the National Park on the Bruce Penninsula. It was full, so we had to wait our turn before finally opting for a lesser known trail-head further down the Bruce Trail. Not the Grotto, but still fun (and still full). Something rubs me the wrong way about waiting in line for nature, but we had a great day nonetheless. Although I think the boys were all K'd* out by the end.

Ever since getting back to Toronto it's been tough to find the will to train ... maybe that will change tonight ... maybe not. It feels like interval work just to walk between Whitney Block and Main Building so maybe I'll just call it done.

Hope everyone's staying cool!

PS - I saw the Queen today!!

*K'd out: refers to the fatigue incurred after spending the day with me and Kim in top gear.