Monday, June 21, 2010

Lake to Lake 2010

St. Catherines.  If you were asked what event is the hardest, what would be your answer?  It very well could be the Lake to Lake.
It's long at 50km.
Even when it's "dry", you still end up getting muddy by the end of the day.
The terrain is for mountain bikes yes, but it's not like Albion or Mansfield which have been designed as mountain bike centres.  ATV's and motor bikes use the course they make us race on.  Which means ruts.
It's almost always hot.
Throw in a crash or a mechanical and it can be very discouraging as well.  A test of your mental strength as well as physical. 

But there is a giant lake to hang out in after!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Six Days in the Pyrenees

In anticipation of the wildcard entry of Black Fly in Le Tour for 2011 (they can't snub us again), I recently took the Black Fly jersey to do some scouting of the decisive climbs in the Pyrenees.

It was amazing and incredibly difficult, on every climb I used a 30/25 or 30/23 ratio, and still needed to stop and take breaks. Clearly I will not be protecting our captain on the mountain stages, good luck Marty.

I rationalized my breaks as "scenic breaks" as the old french men grinded past me, but the breaks also allowed lots of pictures and I included some below.

Most climbs were about 13-18 km long and often averaged 7-8%, taking about 2 hours to climb. Descents were scary and fun, but also freezing, my toes would go numb and it was never a nice surprise to see a tour bus or RV making its way up switchbacks. Most daily rides were about 75-100 km in total, with half of the trip coasting (sometimes up to 45min chunks without pedaling).

If anyone has any questions about visiting the Pyrenees for cycling feel free to give me shout, otherwise I am hoping to make it back there next summer.

The key climbs in the trip included:

Col du Tourmalet (2115 m)
Station Luz Arididen (1725 m)
Hautacam (1700 m or about that)
Port de Boucharo (about 2200 m)

plus lots of other ones!

I will try and post the rest of the pictures on the facebook page sometime


on the the way to Port de Boucharo, the final kilometer was snowed in still (May 30! and snow!)

Switchbacks up to Station Luz Arididen
cooked on top of Hautacam
View from Hautacam

The crowds cheering on Black Fly were out in force on the Hautacam
Black Fly in small village at 1300 meters!
Just above the clouds and almost at the top of the Tourmalet

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boler Mountain

If you're ever in London, Ontario with your mountain bike, check out Boler Mountain for some riding. They don't have a lot of trails but they do have a challenging 9km loop that had everything you would want: steep hills, roots, rocks and some flow-eee sections.  For me it was quite nostalgic since the last time I rode my bike here it was an O-Cup race and I was 17 years old!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ride For Heart 2010

The only 2 pics I was able to snap:   My two riding buddies (Cam and Hazer) and a very large display of bananas.  This morning in Toronto it was cold and raining - make that pouring.  How does one spell epic?  The Ride for Heart 2010.
As I'm writing this a couple of hours later,  I look outside and the ground is dry and let's just check the forecast.  Yup, looks like it's gonna be a pretty nice day.  Shit.