28 February, 2008

Winter training progress, injury status

A long time has gone by without updates here. Things are busy, but also it hasn’t been the most eventful period as far as cycling goes. Mostly I’ve been making all the arrangements to have all the parts in place for the upcoming mtb build and new cross wheels. More to come on these as they take shape.

The calf injury is coming along nicely – we feel that this could be my last week for physiotherapy. I’m feeling some post-ride stress in the hamstrings now, which has me starting to wonder if now things are a bit unbalanced from all that calf workout. I’ll see if I can work on that over this week and the coming rest week. Speaking of rest week, the next post will be my (tentative, late to take shape, vague) training/race plan for the season.

With the injury coming along and relatively clear roads, I’m looking forward to transitioning from Base to Build mode and getting outdoors more. The trails will be a mess for sure, but time on the road is far better than the trainer by far. I got out for a 66km ride on Saturday, but really it was more like 2x 33km with a halfway stop at L!b then coffee with Brian before turning around for the rest of my ride. Things felt good, though I was definitely not sharp after about 50km. Still, with average speed just a few kph shy of 30 in what felt like a perpetual headwind, I think my spotty winter base has done some good. I’ve got a 50T chainring coming to replace the 46 (which came standard for “compact cyclocross” gearing) – this should allow me to keep up on the spirited SCCC club rides, at least technically.

That’s all for now… more on the training plan soon. Lots of tech stuff for the coming weeks as well as I get the bikes ready for the season to come.

23 February, 2008

Just a quick link for today

A humourous article regarding Shimano's acquisition of Pearl Izumi. For a serious report, see Cyclingnews' article.

I really like PI clothing, and apparently their last aquisition was not doing them much good, so it seems like a good thing to get with Shimano for much wider distribution and financial backing. It does not sound as though the product will be changed.

14 February, 2008

Registering for 2008 Events

As spring approaches quickly, event registrations are beginning to open and I am starting to decide which plans are firm so I can send in registration fees/info.

The definite list:

The 8x12 Series is a short time trial format, so I will use them as training and also a metric for my short distance speed as the season goes on. Any XC events such as O-Cups will be treated as training races. The following are possibilities:Aside from that, the Iron Cross VI on 12 Oct. in PA is a very strong possibility, as is the odd CX race this fall.

11 February, 2008

The ongoing saga of cyclist/motorist conflict

We're all familiar with the perils of cycling on our roads, but a couple items I've found really stand out as exemplary of just how bad things are.

Today's post on a the most recent blog I've subscribed to, Pinch Flat News, is entitled Do cars dehumanize people, or do dehumanized people drive cars? and highlights a local headline:

"Woman Strikes and Kills Bicyclist,
Moves Bicycle and Drives Away"

Here's a real winner of an editorial article found in a recent issue of the K/W record that begins

What's with the stupid, idiotic people who ride their bicycles on snowy roads?

and goes on to include quotes such as

If they fall they deserve what they get for being stupid...


...but how about the poor driver who runs over them? The driver is going to feel guilty when they shouldn't -- not to mention being made late...

Wow. That's all I can say.

08 February, 2008

Numbers: 24, 36, 7, 550, 15500

This would be the first post to this blog with a clever title.

First, 24: this is the 24th post I've made to this blog. 24 also being the number of hours in a day leads us to speak of 24 hour endurance races. As posted before, I will be riding with a team for an event in early may this year, the Life$tyle$ of the Rich & Famou$ 24 Hour.

That leads us to 36, the length in hours of a new race that is to take place in Ontario this summer. A summary from the OCA website:

36 Hours of Hope is a hardcore charity mountain bike relay race situated in some of Ontarios most pristine wilderness - Haliburton Forest. Race solo or an a team to conquer this amazing feat. Look no further for an epic and unique adventure that also whole heartedly supports an excellent cause.

Check out www.cyclingforhope.ca/36 for more info and updates. Team sizes will be 1, 3, 6 and 7-12 corporate/club. That means they've been increased proportionally from the traditional 24h sizes to keep ride time per rider consistent, other than for solo riders. To me it sounds like a great idea, and should be a very nice course. I will have to see how it fits into my schedule, and if I can find a team, but it's marked on my calendar just in case.

The last three numbers: 7, 550, 15500 are respectively the duration in days, the length in kilometres and the amount of climbing in metres for another event that I've just become aware of: the TransWales 2008 MTB challenge. I've wanted to visit Wales for some time due to my family's past there, and because I know how beautiful the countryside is for hiking, cycling, etc. Given the amazing riding in the area, what appears to be a very well planned event and my Welsh heritage, I'm trying to figure out if I can make a trip to the UK this August. It's a bit of a stretch, but I'm considering it nonetheless.

04 February, 2008

Injury, physiotherapy and conditioning

Since sometime in November I have had some pain in my right calf following activity, but I did little about it continuing to ride and go about other activities as normal. The good news is that I didn't lose any strength, but it wasn't getting any better either - after some rest it would feel good again, but with activity the pain returned.

I finally decided I needed to see someone about this, and went about getting an appointment with a physiotherapist. On my first visit he was quickly able to determine it was a strained muscle, and prescribed some stretches. On today's visit I met with the kinesiologist and set up a regime of movements in the gym that will help rehabilitate the muscle. In conjunction I am getting ultrasound therapy which as far as I can tell made some improvement with the first treatment. I'm looking forward to getting my leg back to normal and starting to build strength. The insight from these professionals as well as the information I was given in the University of Waterloo Cycling Club's strength and conditioning session back in the fall will be useful in setting up a conditioning regime off the bike that will surely help me ride both faster and more comfortably this season. Ultimately it was not enough stretching and conditioning of the type taught in the previously mentioned session that led to my injury.

03 February, 2008

Cyclocross vids, new XC series for WNY

First, a simple link to a site with some great coverage (full races) of the '07/'08 CX season in Belgium. The commentary is in Flemmish, but this is the best we're going to see in North America from a much under appreciated sport (even within cycling).

Next is the announcement of a new XC race series being held in Western New York this season. It is a four race series to be held June through October, and appears to be similar to our Ontario Cup XC races in length and difficulty. All but the first are held on Saturdays which means even those with busy event schedules should be able to fit them in. The venues (Spraugebrook park, Allegheny State park and Holiday Valley/Ellicottville) should provide a nice change of scenery from the usual Ontario courses. There is to be a big party after the fourth race with awards, prizes and FREE BEER. Entry fees are a reasonable $25 (approx). More info to be found at wnymbro.com, wnymba.org and in this MTBR forum thread.

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