Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not ready to give up on winter

While most, or all of the TT gang and Co. have been on the road for weeks now, I have refrained from hitting pavement and dirt. I am an avid lover of snow and all that it brings me. Most think that the snow has left but I can assure you it hasn’t. I have been skiing on the last scraps of winter and even as the temperature rises each day, getting closer to summer, I still put the planks on.

Just two weeks ago myself and a keen group of about 8 winter lovers managed to get onto the Larrimac trails and although it was patchy, it may have been the best ski of the season. Our obstacles were dirt patches, tree branches, open rivers and rocks. My skis are a little angry with me.

That same weekend I headed over to the Meech chairlift at Camp Fortune and played on the recently closed slopes. We spent the day climbing the hill and practicing our telemark turns on the way down. Pretty hard to master on 69mm xcountry skis.

Last weekend the same gaggle of skiers came together and did it all over again. We built a few little kickers to attempt a little air time and we even attempted skiing down a narrow chute under the chairlift. Sounds easy but when half the snow is missing and has rivers of snow melt running down the middle, it gets a little nerve racking.

I plan to start riding this weekend for the first time this year, but not before getting a few more tunrs in. We still have snow.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Music moves....

I just happened across a video of a high school band playing DJ Shadow's Endtroducing.
This album, unquestionably a classic, catalyzed my interest in hip hop back in 1996,
bridging the gap between electronic and rap genres...or something like that. This album
never gets old (hence, is a classic).

Don't blame the players for the timing issues, they might have more to do with
the digitization than the performance. Even if the drummer is indeed off, it doesn't matter.
This is an awesome performance for high school players. If my high school band had take
this on (unlikely, as I graduated in '97), I would have freaked out over the opportunity.
And I would not have played it as well as this drummer.

This video triggered a search for other Shadow unplugged recordings.
I came up with this, a gem of a find. Shadow Orchestra.
This music moves...

Monday, March 29, 2010

...and its not even April yet.

Big weekend. Saturday, though cold, nevertheless drew Rob, Neil, David, Imad and myself out for a hilly ride at noon. Round McGregor Lake we went, everyone exchanging hard pulls except for me. Ailing in the stomach and beyond, I was simply hoping to hold on. Foolishly, I took a couple climbs in the first 40k too hard, and payed dearly later on, barely hanging on at times and second-guessing my decision to ride with the group. Once we arrived upon our turn onto the 366 to head to Wakefield, I tried to convince the others to do their thing while I continued alone. We'd originally talked about returning through Cascades and the Cantley neighborhoods. That would have been very hilly, not great for me, but great for the others. They were all more interested in staying together - very gentlemanly - so that's what we did, heading West on the 307 to Monte Cascades road, then North past the ski hill and up and over the Chamonix 'hood. The others who had not yet ridden that section found it rather...exciting. Our pace was mellow at this point, so I was feeling better, and my mood improved even more as I saw Pascal roll in to Pipolinka as I sat on the floor eating my green homemade energy bar. Pascal hadn't been too keen on chasing our group, so he had gone out on his own. I assured him that I was the lowest common denominator in my weakened state, and he'd be fine on the return via River road. And he was, taking us all to school in the climb up to Cross loop, though he did fade a little 20k later. No problem, we hung together and the others waited. Team work. By the end of the 130k ride I felt good about the day, and better physically than I had when I'd left home. I made a recovery drink, took a bath, ate a good dinner, and went to bed early to rest up for Sunday's big ride. Unfortunately, I pulled a completely clueless maneuver and downed a mug of immune boosting tea with Siberian Ginseng in it right before bed. Uh, right, bad idea. I got maybe an two or three hours sleep out of 10 in bed. Ginseng is a stimulant, it does not let your brain 'turn off'. When will I learn?

Sunday, Pancake ride day. Brad un/dis/organized this ride, and pulled in about 9 of us total. We rolled from the shop at 10, only one hour late, and headed West to Lanark county. I won't talk route details, as I don't know the area, and Brad promised to write about it, but I will say that there were some good bits. There was also a lot of wind, so we had opportunity to practice our echelons. Lots to improve on there.

We wound up at Fulton's sugar bush after about 70k, ate a bunch, then rolled for a lot longer, totaling 175k by home.

I had not come prepared for a 10 hour day, so I was a little underfuelled. Thom provided the tastiest chocolate chip bagel in recored history; outstanding. The accumulation of effort while ill over the long day, layered on top of the previous day's outing produced a bit of a death march home, a feeling I know Thom was experiencing too, except more. As emails trickled in today, it became clear that many struggled in the final hour/s of the ride.
Marty, fixed gear master, suffered cramps while still in Kanata, proving he is, indeed, not a robot (note, foods that are acid forming in the body draw calcium, a key electrolyte, form the bones to balance blood ph. This reduces the calcium you have to access to facilitate nerve functions (among other things!); misfiring of nerves is what triggers cramps. Coffee is acid forming, the whole pancake breakfast was, in fact. Go here to learn more about acid versus alkaline forming foods - Part3, 3:00). I won't say more about the ride, as I want Brad to fill in the gaps. He was the provocateur, after all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parallel of the day: Music and Cycling

Ah, the wonder of the interwebs.... Today while conversing with a colleague about music, he suggested I seek out Robert Fripp. You see, we share an interest in minimalism and post-rock, and, as it turns out, Fripp has remained outside my radar until today. A simple youtube search conjured up this piece, which is, quite frankly, terrific.

Now, what's the parallel, you ask? Well, its really about humility and pain. Fripp is unquestionably a philospher, deeply thoughtful. He recognizes, and this is contentious, I know, that music manifests through us, rather than being created by us. His line about bringing about the conditions/context within which music can manifest being the key to the process, is ATMO, right on the money. This is in fact exactly what any creative process requires, context and inspiration. This is also why researchers have found that cluttery spaces tend to be more conducive to creativity than highly ordered spaces. Think of your desk. Is there stuff on it? Is it neat and tidy, or messy? Clutter/messes are conducive to creativity because the elements of our messes register at the sub-conscious level, and at that level, we process them, recombining, morphing, juxtaposing (however, there is a point at which clutter becomes paralyzing). Creative cognitive processes go on behind conscious thinking. THEN, ideas cross over into our thinking. Eureka. This is all about inspiration, and it fundamentally comes from without, not within. This is why Fripp talks about creating context, and, if I might hazard a guess, why he plays in a large empty space (reverberation chamber) in the video. The space gives back sound in ways he cannot control, which in turn stimulates creativity and a flow of music....through him. Its a dialogue.

Ok, so still, what's the parallel to cycling? "Humiliation is inevitable, painful, and if one has the strength to bear it, very useful." What humiliation you ask? Fripp talks about the humiliation associated with the realization that musicians do not create music, as discussed above. Similarly, cyclists do not create their performances. Rather, what we do on our bikes is bound up with place and our relation to it, along with the others who share that space: context. Riding alone has its advantages: one can riff off the road or trail according to one's fancy. There is certainly a lot of potential for creativity whilst riding alone.

Riding with others affords us the opportunity to learn, challenge ourselves, and be inspired. We pick up a lot we don't register, from the subtle efficiency of the pedal stroke a fellow rider demonstrates, to seamless transitions from hoods to drops another carries out. We don't control our ride, its a dialogue with the others in the group. When the group is right, everyone performs at a level unattainable alone, and the beauty that is a smoothly functioning pace-line manifests. This is poetry in motion, indeed a creative process, and a humbling one at that. The rider who fails to recognize that h/er experiences are bound up with those of others will inevitably suffer humiliation over a poor performance. Recognizing that the elements of success are dynamic and dialogical is the first step toward growth and contentment with riding, at whatever level. Yes, there might be pain associated with the humiliation that sparks this process, but, as Fripp says, "if one has the strength to bear it, [humiliation is] very useful.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cycling Vision Ottawa

Rather than spam this around, I thought I'd simply post up Cycling Vision Ottawa's March newsletter for all you local readers to consider. It seems segregated lanes will be constructed in Ottawa, its just a matter of time. The cycling community should certainly speak up about where we'd like them, rather than leave it to the civil engineers. Bronson is due for reconstruction soon, and I can't think of a street I'd rather see segregated bike lanes on. As it is now, its terrifying. Bikewest also sounds intriguing!


CVO Newsletter for March 2010

Dear Cycling Vision supporter:

1. Have your say on locating segregated lanes

2. King Edward Lane Reduction Study

3. BikeWest is gaining steam

4. Fundraising continues

= . = . =

1. Have your say on locating segregated lanes

The City is looking to pilot a segregated cycling lane on an east-west
downtown street. We'd like to have your feedback on some of the
candidates. Plus - we'd like to know where YOU would like to see a segregated
lane anywhere in Ottawa - first for yourself or people you know, and
second, where you think it would be used by the most people.

A. How high would you score each option below as a candidate for a
segregated lane? 5-Great, 4-Good 3-Maybe 2-Not so good 1-Bad
Somerset: __
Laurier: __
Lisgar: __
Gilmour: __
Gladstone: __
Albert: __
Slater: __
Preference? Others? Comments?

B. Where would YOU put a segregated lane:
i) to be most useful for you or for people you know.
Street name:
from which intersection or place:
to which intersection or place:

ii) to be most useful to the most people.
Street name:
from what intersection or place:
to what intersection or place:

We look very much forward to your input. Please copy and complete the
above section with your responses and e-mail it to:

= = =

2. King Edward Lane Reduction Study

We were invited to contribute to an open house forum on reducing the
number of traffic lanes on King Edward. Reducing from 6 to 5 or 4
lanes could leave room for making the avenue more cycling friendly.
Even segregated cycling lanes are a possibility. A remote one? At
this stage it's just a study, perhaps a dream. But we find there are
now open minds at City Hall towards segregated cycling lanes, as never
before. Let us know if you are interested in providing your comments
for the study.

= = =

3. BikeWest is gaining steam

BikeWest is the brainchild of Eric Darwin. His idea is to build a
complete segregated cycling corridor from Albert Street downtown to
Westboro along Scott street. The City already owns most of the
property along the route and it's almost a straight line. It would
offer a highly efficient commuting route for a densely populated area.
It's more direct than the Ottawa River NCC pathway. Intersections
would of course need specialized improvements to make them safe and
cycling-friendly. The route would appeal to a broad base of cyclists
because of its separation from motor traffic.

The project is gaining momentum at City Hall. Recently councillor
Diane Holmes added BikeWest for possible inclusion in the Cycling Plan
when it is reviewed next year.

For an outline of the project see

= = =

4. Fundraising continues

Our main focus is to persuade City council, staff and the general
public of the benefits and importance of investing in cycling
infrastructure. A segregated or distinct network of bicycle lanes will
entice more Ottawans out of their cars and onto their bikes. And this
will benefit everyone, starting with the cyclists but including
taxpayers and even car-drivers.

We appreciate your financial support to continue our work. Please take
the time to donate to Cycling Vision Ottawa. You can mail a cheque to
the address below. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
Unfortunately we cannot issue tax receipts.



Dianne and Gabriel

Cycling Vision Ottawa - L'Avenir en vélo à Ottawa
572 - 57 Sparks St.
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P7


Sunday, March 21, 2010

RWR race preview

Today was to be the bad day, the really cold and wet ride that we would suffer through just cause. Trish, Rob, Dave, Anna and I all met at Walmart in Rockland. We thought this would be a good place to save time as some of us needed to buy toothpaste, food and pickles anyways.
We were rolling by 12pm. Glorious sunshine and dry roads, Surprise! I had downloaded the route onto my 705 so following the course was really easy. For the first time in my life I was telling people where to turn and I didn't feel lost. It was a life changing experience.
Anyways, there were 2 steep climbs in the first 5 km, not long but steep enough to break things up right away. Overall the course was pretty damn tough. 86 km in about 3.5 hrs. One flat for Anna as usual. We waited for her.
I'd guess it was at least 80% gravel/dirt roads. There were only a couple of paved road stretches that lasted more than 5km. Seemed like we were always turning and always getting beat up by pot holes big sinky gravel or washboards. Awesome! It also felt pretty hilly, I was pretty tired from a long ride the day before but I was still able to tell flat from hilly--it was hilly.
I highly recommend checking it out even if you don't plan on racing it, especially if you haven't ridden in the area before.
Can you believe it's March!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness

I've lived in Ottawa almost all my life, and this has to have been the best March break of nearly thirty years in the capital. I'd hoped to go south with my family this year, but fate took a turn and we stayed put. But we still had the week off, and I was keen to get a few good rides in.

My week was kick-started last Saturday when I joined Neil, Anna, Rob, David of the TT team, along with Tricia, Imad, Ryan, and Cody and another Steven's rider who's name eludes me. I took the backseat and followed along for the McGregor loop, which was fantastic. Great terrain and a great group of riders.

Sunday was rainy in contrast to Saturday, and the regular fendered crew were out for a ride; well, at least those who got out of bed. I took a spin out to meet them at their staging spot, had a chat, and rolled back home. It was a pleasant hour in the rain.

Monday was sunny once more, and I headed out for two hours on bike paths, checking out snow cover and just cruising along. The paths are in great shape for March, rideable everywhere but the one up in the Park.

Tuesday was a big ride day with Thom and Rodd. We adapted the McGregor Lake loop to incorporate Woodsmoke and some more dirt. About 150k total, and lots of good climbing. Woodsmoke was, as always, very hard. But dirt conditions were great almost everywhere.

My Steelwool and Rodd's True North, atop, I mean, Legsmoke.

Climbing Chemin Woods off the 105. Great climb, not steep, goes for a while. Looks alpine, but doesn't feel alpine. "Where do you ride?"

Wednesday brought a night ride, composed of about 8 of us heading West toward carp. About 2.5 hrs made for a nice ride, especially since we were in daylight for the majority of the time.

Thursday ended up being a big day. Craig and I headed out at 10 for Cantley, riding the full route (like the Quintuple), including the Chamonix 'hood, which was great. We headed past Woodsmoke and eventually crossed the river on the green bridge and Craig headed home while I continued on via Woods rd, heading West. My plan was to ride for a good while longer, and that's what I did, ending up at the end of Parent and beyond the Eardley entrance to the Park, which I dropped down into, heading South. This took me to the 148, and Mountain rd eventually. I had to refuel my liquids at a gas station near the top of Eardley. I think the sucralose in the Aquafina flavoured water I got was responsible for some odd sensations. Not recommended, any time (sucralose is one to avoid). All in the route seems to have been about 170k long; I quite liked it. Madness? Nah, radness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NAHBS 2010


It was a blustery Thursday afternoon that we crammed into a VW golf and rolled out of Ottawa en-route to Richmond Virginia for a extended weekend of super bike geekery.

Although quite a few of our friends had big plans to attend the show the final posse was made up of Thom, Kent (from Phat Moose Cycles), and myself. This worked out since whoever got the back seat got to nap. However the two up-front got a bit more than they bargained for, at least on the drive down.

Minimal Visibility

As a Ottawa resident and after having lived in the Eastern Townships for a number of years, you would expect to be accustomed to driving in rather foul winter weather….well we were in for a bit more than we bargained for. The weather was atrocious, snow, high winds, downed trees, crashed cars and big rigs, and trees down willy nilly all over the road. It was so bad that the interstate was closed to transport trucks, and RV’s because they were at risk of blowing over. Thirty inches fell in some areas and for some reason they don’t seem to plow interstates.

Strolling to the show

As you may have gathered we did arrive at the show, Friday morning at 4am, alive but a bit tired. We managed about 4hrs of sleep at the hotel then were up. We grabbed a Starbucks, conveniently located in our hotel lobby, and were off to find the convention centre.

My first impression of the show was that it looked a bit smaller than the year before, but after a zip about I realised that it was in was in fact bigger and busier than the Indy show.

Last year we were so excited when we got to the show that we kind of ran willy nilly all over the place. This year we had a more systematic plan of attack. Down one side of a row then back up the other side of the same row until we saw everything.

Where to start, there was so much to see, I was really interested in the small details, seat-stay caps, dropout attachments, lug shaping etc. My pictures will likely reflect this as well. The first row had some pretty cool stuff, I love the curved tubes and drop-outs from Geekhouse bikes. Next to them was Tony Maietta who has a shop next to Hot Tubes in MA, he had fixie with a pretty cool paint job done by a Tattoo artist.



There was lots more walking and talking and I won’t get into all of that, but one other booth I was pretty excited about that day was the Rapha booth, and they were selling lots of goodies. I couldn’t resist purchasing the new Belgium country jersey I had been eyeing online for a couple of weeks.

Rapha Booth

Before we headed out for the day we went over to the Richard Sachs booth to pick up the box of lugs and fork crowns we had pre-purchased.

Kent looking at the Sachs details

Friday night was a tame one, we had some great pulled pork sliders and called it an early night, needed to catch up on Z’s before another big day of isle walking.

We started Saturday morning off right with a big breakfeast at Perly’s restaurant. I think half the convention was there as well, the staff were pretty much run off their feet. Pretty cool to be in a restaurant when a few tables down is frame building legend Sacha White (Vanilla Bicycles).

Ok, it would be delinquent of me not to mention the amount of beards and
moustaches at the show. I think it might becoming a requirement for all frame-builders and geeky bike aficionados masquerading as hipsters to grow some sort of facial hair. Even the paintings at the restaurants had them. What do you think Angela, should I grow a mustache?....

I won’t go into detail about all the bike companies, but some things standout.

The Vanilla paint jobs and custom drawn tubing, Dario Pegoretti’s bikes and paint,

Dave Kirks lugwork and new logos, Ellis’ lugged frames, Black sheeps Ti dually 29er, and the Dean Dirt drop Ti bike mmmmm.



Black Sheep




Saturday night was a bit more eventful. It started off with us picking up a seat-stay mitering jig from Mike Zanconoto, then heaving it around the Marriot's lobby bar.

Had a few drinks with Paul, yes THE Paul of Paul’s components fame, and the women from Momentum Magazine. This was cool since we thought Momentum wasn’t too fond of us, turns out we were wrong. Then had a few more drinks with Tony Maietta and Brian from HPV Ottawa who had arrived via train.

Next we were off to find the COG magazine party which ended up being a bit longer walk than Kent had estimated. Once we got there we squeezed our way in through a hoard of super hipsters towards the free drink table, of course the Keg’s were dry…however it wasn’t long before Kent managed to befriend someone who had access to a secret supply of PBR. Why is PBR so popular? It’s pretty much water.

Before long we had enough of being sardined in with the hipsters so we headed back outside. We were just about to take off when Paul and the women from Momentum showed up, they told us to wait around for them. So we waited while they checked out hip-fest, then we all headed down to a local dive bar the Imperial.

A night of debauchery ensued in which we convinced Paul and Tammy (who works at Paul) that it would be cool to get a bunch of parts anodized green for the team…so cool. We also ended up have to sneak Suzanne from Poka bicycle accessories in the back door after she forgot her ID. All in all it was a pretty Canadian night with the women from Momentum, ourselves, Suzanne and Noah from Velo Colour. Paul and Tammy were surrounded.

Picture from

Well that’s all, the drive back was uneventful and at least 4hrs shorter.

For all my pictures from the show check out the Tall Tree Flickr.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will Sun in March bring Hell in April?

March is shaping up very well, and April is fast approaching. RIde with Rendall has locked down the route for their new spring classic races (April 11), and we've been scheming over a pre-classics tune-up-un-race for the first Sunday of April. We've got a great route in mind, complete with rail-to-trail sector and lots of variety.

As emails fly, riders sharing info on races to choose from, it has become apparent that we are suffering from an embarrassment of riches with regard to spring classics events in Ontario and the Ottawa/Gatineau region.

The Tour of Bronte looks like a great event, well organized, and featuring a cool course. April 11th.

La Bici Squadra's Hell of the North was great in 2009, and promises to be great again (see video below from last year's race and witness the trench and Rodd and me stuck at a train crossing). The race is on April 11th.

Ride with Rendall are debuting their brand new event, the Clarence-Rockland Classic, features a great mixed terrain route, and should draw a big crowd. Plus its local! April 11th.

The Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge NY, is the biggest race in North America. Over 2400 riders are registered for the the amateur races on...April 11th.

The Paris-Ancaster is reputed to be a great event, and featured mtb legend Allison Sydor in 2009. April 18th.

The Calabogie Classic road race on the car race track is April 18th.

The OBCs Paris-Roubaix, indeed classic, is April 25th.

See what I mean, just look at all these quality events scheduled for the SAME DAY. Is this necessary? I appreciate the challenges of scheduling events, after all, I am myself a scheduler. I can't quite understand why the first Sunday of April is being avoided like the plague.

There is certainly room; the Uxbridge Icebreaker traditionally occupied the first weekend of April, however it is, alas, no more. Dwindling numbers sealed its fate. I suspect massive snowfalls over the last two winters contributed to its demise. The Icebreaker ran for almost two decades and was a great event. But consider the number of spring classics events on offer for April 11th. Three of them are in Ontario and drawing numbers from each other. Sure, Battenkill is pulling riders away too - about 10 of the Tall Tree team are doing it - but I am not suggesting organizers up here factor US races heavily. The Tour of Bronte and Hell of the North are competing head to head, whereas the Clarence-Rockland is an NCR and Montreal kinda event. Its clear that the classics are very popular: we're talking about three new sanctioned events over two years; that's a sign. At the same time, the Icebreaker is dead. The writing is on the wall: people like the classics, a lot. Perhaps the Icebreaker would be viable as a classic, with more emphasis on dirt roads than trails? The OBCs Paris-Roubaix is a huge pull in the NCR, drawing riders out to compete who won't do any other race all year. Its that popular. Classics rule.

So its clear that there is a lot of interest and participation in spring classics in Ontario and the US. 2010 is locked down, but perhaps better coordination can be struck for 2011, ensuring the racing is spread across April, and gasp, perhaps even start in March, so that we can enhance the scene and get more people out to participate. What about extending a bit into May? If these are the kinds of events people are most interested in, perhaps we should cater to them? The demand it out there, we need to figure out how to spread the love around. Perhaps link races together as part of a spring classics points series.... Am I off base or what? Your thoughts?

For spring classics lovers out there feeling constrained by the crunched schedule in April, don't forget the Wheelers' Mufferaw Joe event, and out Ride of the Damned, both in May, are designed to keep the classics flavour going, in an albeit less formal format.

As promised, here is the Hell of the North video from last year.

Weird width eh? Click here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spin to Win: Roller Races Saturday Night!

The Wheelers wind up the roller racing season with their finale this SATURDAY MARCH 13, 2010.

You've got two options: 500m fixed races (bikes supplied), 1000m free rollers(your own bike with 53x11 max gear) and a 5k challenge. No special kit is required for the 500s. Just show up, adjust the saddle, and rock out. 1000m is full on.

Montgomery Legion 351
330 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON
K2P 2A6

10$ tickets
Doors open at 7, racing starts at 8pm.
Funds raised help send a local development team down to the 2010 Tour of Martinique.
Raffles, cheap beer, fun and cycling friends.

Special Team Relay: We are looking for 3 teams of 4 to challenge the Wheelers. If you don't drink beer then don't enter.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Photo Follow Up Post

First Flat, Fresh Gravel

Rolling Again

Sunday's hardcore points go to Martin and John for riding fixed.
Martin was driving the pace all day and John was brakeless. Heroic and epic. Heropic.

Andy and Mark suffering up the Eardley-Masham climb. We all did.

Beautiful gravel and a tail wind to boot.

Cross Loop was in great shape too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Special: 120k with options

Sure, its only March 7th, rather early to deem the month Spring, but after a weekend of highs around 8 its difficult not to be optimistic. Apparently, I'm an optimist, and I already decided it was spring leas week, so I'm going to throw caution to the wind, go out on a limb, and say this is shaping up to be a March even better than last year's. Sun, dry roads, clear dirt...what more can we ask for? Gatineau Parkway clear of snow? Soon enough!

With spring in the air it was easy to get a good sized group together this morning. Some already had hundreds of kilometers under the wheels this season, others none. All the same, we rolled West together through Aylmer, headed for Eardley Rd., which would take us North through the farthest reach of the Gatineau park. While the route was quite flat, the wind was another matter...a little taste of Belgium perhaps. Much of the dirt roads were covered with fresh loose gravel, squirrelly indeed. No matter, riding no-hands isn't really necessary anyhow.

40k in we hit Highway 148, at which point a couple of our amigos opted to return to town for 80k total, while the rest of us continued on. Option one exercised.

A short section of the 148 delivered us to Eardley, and its brisk 18% climb. Now paved, its still sprinkled with dirt, but standing is possible. We fared better than a pick-up that had to concede defeat after failing to make it up the first pitch. Good snicker for us. Get a bike.

The dirt through the park was smooth though sprinked with gravel, rolling fast. Upon arriving upon Highway 366 at kilometer 60, option 2 was exercised as three of our cadre split off to roll on to Pipolinka for snacks. The rest of us kept the pedal to the metal and headed North then west on the dirt, looping clockwise to Wakefield. We seemed to surprise the others, arriving at Pipolinka only a short time after them. Good food all round, then rolling en masse back along river road, including Cross Loop, which is in great shape. Two flats for the day (quite acceptable) lots of fabulous sun, and good sensations for everyone (pain is productive, right?). The full 120k loop contained a nice mix of elements, a solid option, especially for those times of year when its best to keep the climbing moderate.

Map and pics to come.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Here are a few snapshots from our little Sunday jaunt (report posted by Matt below) during which I bonked in the exact same way I did last year during the same ride (only ridden backwards). Big thanks to Matt for pushing me (that's right, not pulling, pushing) and feeding me shotblocks while going up Notch Road and on to Aylmer. Oh the humility that can be cycling. Also merci beaucoup to Rodd for lending me his lovely lugged True North. Fantastic!

Jamie looking pleased

Brad appears calm and collected despite riding his fixed gear down and then up the Mont-Cascades trench. Martin was eqaully spritely on his fixed. Kudos.

Matt on the dirt near Aylmer

Matt's Steelwool Secteur 18 avec matching tops and tails.
Mais c'est magnifique!

Speaking of Matchy-Matchy, check out these hilarious green socks I found the other day while shopping for pants for my son. They even match my pedals!

I arrived at my Mother's for dinner and this was hot out of the oven.
Thank lemony goodness.