Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gettin' paid at the Raid

I just got back from the "Raid Velo-Mag". All I can say is: What a race!
Everyday was a new adventure, wicked trails, lots of climbing and super cool people to do it with.
I went up with a big group of radical dudes from ottawa. This always makes the driving more fun, and cheaper. We had a trailer, whose resonant frequency seemed to be reached at 101 km/h. This made the drive a little slower than usual, but it was still awesome.

I was in the lead on friday (17km stage) and saturday (77km), and got flats. I ended up 2nd on friday and 5th on saturday. Lost tons of time on saturday, which cost me overall GC. I won on sunday though (57km).

If you are on the fence about doing a race like this, I say you should go for it! All the rain experienced made the racing even more fun. I have a much more detailed post on the kunstadt ride blog
Check it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Delicious pancakes, kick-ass blender and better races

Baie-St. Paul went pretty well for me. It seemed to be more of a running race, than a bike race, but thats okay. By my reckoning there was about 30% running and 70% biking (by distance), or 45%, and 55% respectively, by time. Quite a muddy slog. Some people were saying that they should have re-routed the trails, in order to make a more rideable course, but I think it was fun. Having said that, the race wreaked havoc on the trail system, and they will probably have to re-build most of the trails there. Oh yeah, I came 11th, and netted some elusive UCI points.

Hardwood was a tough race. I had a great start, but I think I raced within my limits too much. I felt fairly fresh at the end. Gotta get more agressive! finished off 14th, after a nasty fall going into the last corner, and getting ready for the sprint finish.

After Hardwood, I headed up to Camp Wabanaki for 2 days of trailbuilding. It was probably some of the most fun trailbuilding i've ever done. We were just building a skills park for the kids up there, and it was good times. A nice cool swim after a day spent in the woods is just pure heaven. Anyone who likes swimming in the ocean has clearly never been at a canadian cottage in the summer. Pure Bliss.

Anyways, I recently became the co-owner of a Vitamix, and I have been putting her through her paces pretty well, averaging about 3 extensive uses per day. I came up with some super solid pancakes today. here's the recipe:

Gluten free extra healthy pancakes
-1/3 cup almond flour (I just ground the almonds in the Vitamix)
-2/3 Cup rice flour (also made in the vitamix)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 banana
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 eggs
-1 cup almond, or soy, or regular milk
-10 dates

Mix everything in the blender. If you don't have a blender, then just mix it up, and use sugar instead of dates. The Almonds work instead of using oil in the recipe. If you have a over-ripe apple, throw it in there too!
Blend everything up until it is quite liquid. If its too thick, add a few tbsp of water.

put on the griddle one pancake at a time. This should be enough for 2 moderately hungry people, or 1 athlete.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

O-Cup woes, and excessive Selenium

The first couple of O-Cup races didn’t go quite as well as I would have hoped. Mansfield involved dropping my chain into my spokes, and then a bunch of fruitless chasing, only to end up around 15th. Well, Woodnewton was considerably worse. I had no mechanicals to blame, only a serious lack of speed. Start was good, then I just slid back, all race long, to end up being passed by my teammate, Imad, on the last lap. Finished 16th. After Woodnewton, I had some serious searching to do. WTF was going on? Why was I so slow. I was rippin’ it up in Cali, but now I was slloooow.

After spending a few days with my thinking cap on, I thought that perhaps it might be some vitamin that I was taking. I searched around, and came to the conclusion that I had been taking too much selenium. Max tolerable limit is 400 mg per day. I had been eating 600-800 mg each day, via brazil nuts, for the last 2 months. Stupid me. Immediately I stopped taking them, on the Thursday before the Tremblant Canada Cup. I rested a bunch that week, pre-rode on Friday, then raced Saturday. Things went much better. Even though I never felt like I was really suffering, and I was riding the descents half-decent, I managed a 14th place. Woohoo. This was a confirmation that, yes, I probably did poison myself with too many brazil nuts.

After Tremblant, I went to my cottage for a few days, slept lots, raked some leaves up, repeatedly gave blood to the vast mosquito population, and rode my bike a lot. It was stellar. On wedneday, I came up to Ottawa, to do the Camp Fortune race. It was a lot of fun to see all the old faces, and old baby-heads of my youth. I grew up riding the trails of fortune, and LOVE riding there. Also, I helped build a lot of the re-routes, and trail fixes a few years ago, so its nice to see how my trailbuilding handy-work is holding up. Turns out I’m a rockin’ Trailbuilder. You might even say bitchin’. All the wet sections that I fixed 3 years ago are looking great, and it seems like no other work has been done on the trails.

Me and my teammates battled it out, with Imad launching the most intense first climb attack I’ve ever seen. I came around him, set the pace, and then just put some hurt on in the climbs. Neil had an unfortunate fall, that left him bloody. My best bud James and the “badger” were at the race, and we went to Chelsea pub afterwards. What a wonderful day.

Baie St. Paul is next up, then hardwood. BSP is an interesting course, because it’s quebec based, but not on a ski hill. So, there’s just a different vibe. A good vibe, just different.