Friday, September 29, 2006

cx lab 3: the darkening

hal, showing how it is done

youngest rider, heaviest bike.

team johnny, good to see ya!

elvis: alive in winnipeg

it was a great crowd tonight for cx lab 3. owen and i had to skip out on the post ride beers. maybe in 13 more years owen can come along for those. also there lisa, dallas, tomek and paddy. the barriers are portable ones which tomek made.

good mornings

mornings have been awesome around here. we have established a group ride that focuses on cx spots. this morning it was brian, chris and i. we headed out to woodhaven for some technique work. the morning was perfect. later i ran into tom and bill. bill gave us the inside scoop the course for this sunday. no advantage for us though, neither tom nor i were perfectly clear on all the spots bill was refering to. when tom and i put our heads together we made a perfect mess of it all.

cx lab 3 goes down tonight after 6:30 at woodhaven. owen and i are going to join in for a mini-lab.

conditions look perfect for sunday. now if only we could get crowds like those seen above at the 2005 world championships in belgium.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

cx lab 3 from scratch

Friday Septembre 29. Meet 6-6:30pm at Starbucks on Academy. Ride to Woodhaven. Hurt. Smile.

cx lab 3 post-script post script

Thursday Sept 28th. 6:30pm Meet at Starbucks on Academy. Ride to Woodhaven. Hurt. Smile.

cx lab 3 post-script

I'm back from a morning run and thinking that rather than not attending cx lab 3 I will have owen & piper attend. So bring the kids and we can hold a parallel cx mini-lab.

cx lab 3

"Wednesday Sept 27th. 6:30pm Meet at Starbucks on Academy. Ride to Woodhaven. Hurt. Smile."

I won't be there. But don't let that stop you. I will be riding with the irrepresible Brian Sklarchuk in the am on Wednesday, 7:20 and probably Friday as well.

Is life all about cross right now. No. But life is all about too busy to get to the blog.

Both Brian and Paddy raced their cross bikes at the final manitoba cup mtn bike race on Sunday. I had initially taken up Paddy's challenge but after considering the course - ouch - and prepping my mtn bike just in case, I decided that I needed to race the 2to1 at least onew more time this year.

I'm so sore from the weekend. Saturday's CX lab deux was awesome, gruelling and super fun. I awoke sore on Sunday and then raced for a couple hours. It will be good to have two hard back to back days in the bank when we get to Saskatoon for Double Cross on the Oct 14-15 weekend.

Rumour is that there will be a cross race [pre-grudge] at CX lab 4 on thanksgiving weekend.

Gotta run and get the kiddies up for school.

Keep the rubber down.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

cx lab deux

This Sat Sept 23rd, 7am. Starbucks on Academy(by Rt 90) ride to Woodhaven.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

xc8 photos

kinda vain but it is very cool when one can find a good photo of oneself racing. this pic was from xc8. more photos can be found here

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

race alert

details to come but it appears that there will be a final mtn bike race this sunday at bird's hill in substitution of the cancelled birch race.


dr h took the KOM honours last night in a final heat against paddy. it was a great, even if wet and cold, night of racing, riding, and comraderie. congrats to chris and all. photos of the event may come to me and if they do they will be shared.

Monday, September 18, 2006

free tonight?

then come by the dump.

brrr. change of seasons

it's remarkable the passing of seasons [yes their may be some mild weather to come so this may be premature]and our sensitivity to them while out on our bikes.

saturday i had a great ride on my road bike [new alias zendo]. it was a meditative, blissful ride that was all the more joyous because i had not been on the road bike for a month or more. this day was stunning. fall colours, grey skys which can accent those wonderful fall colours, a light drizzle and a warm 23 degrees.

sunday morning tom and i were joined by hal and cam for some cx skills work. we took some barriers out to st. vital park and spent the grey, cool morning riding hot laps and running the barriers. for what it is worth st vital park is perfect for cross training. hal had gotten drenched on the ride out to the park.

this morning, my friend arwen and i, got together for a planned ride. before hand we consulted on the phone and decided to go regardless of the cold and wind. after setting out the cold wind was accompanied by rain which cut the ride short. this was the first time in a while when the feet and hands stung from the cold. nothing, except maybe a cold shower, is as inviogorating as spinning into a head wind when you are soaked and it is 6 degrees [42 degrees for our southern friends].

Friday, September 15, 2006

update: yikes the rubber hits the road

this is a very busy time of year for me at work thus the thinning of the posts if not the thinning of life. in addition my "casual labour / servitude" at the shop has taken up evenings when the kids are not with me. none of this is a gripe. life is great.

owen taking scooters where no scooter ought to go. owen, some will recall, started riding two wheels a few weeks ago - perhaps a month. on his first day he was at the bmx/skate park. now he is riding with one hand, doing cyclocross dismounts, going to the 'devils dip' or 'monkey pits' [our local dirt jump spot], and the other day, while piper was playing soccer, riding piper's 24 inch road bike, and, i almost forgot riding steps [we finally found him some safe wide spaced steps because he has been hankering to ride steps.] owen is out of control but i am not going to interfere with his enthusiasm. at this rate he will be out-riding me by the time he is 10. no, make that 8.

summer's over and the school year has begun. the kid's are excited about the coming year and their household's are adjusting. piper has soccer tournaments and gymnastics and guides and .... follow their bliss. both m and i try to keep them from burning themselves out but the kids definately like to be active physically and socially.

owen makes me flowers. i love that stuff. my "year of single" is, at a third of a year, still intact. why mention it? because it is a valuable endevour and because i may need to steel my resolve. someone is making me smile.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

organic farming and foods

i've been listening to an exceptional series about organic foods on cbc ideas. it is available as a podcast. for those that may not be familiar with cbc's podcast selections please check them out.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

minus is the new plus

thanks to the minus car project for introducing me to the term 'minus is the new plus.' on that note i thought i might share the following ambiguity.

i have decided to sell my nrs air [aka the comfy couch] because after the arrival of the 2to1 it is not getting out of the back-room [aka the bike shed]. similarly, the summer before last, i sold my trusted and true '92 rocky mtn hammer after the purchase of my cx bike relegated it to a thoroughly earned retirement. i not into acquiring and i don't keep stuff around if it ain't being used. i'm the anti-pack-rat.

however, no sooner had i noted that the absense of the nrs kinda unclutters the bikeshed, [see above photo as evidence and please note that the jumble contains owen's bike and both of piper's], and i thought, "how nice it would be to turn this into this.


my stupid ride

hmm.... i'm kinda reluctant about this post. but here goes for i'm finding the the reasons for my reluctance to be interesting.

thursday night the boys and i celebrated a bottle of scotch that a customer had given tom for his awesome wrench work by polishing it off. we three, paddy, tom and i who had done the lion's share of the drinking had a good buzz.

[comment: i am not a drinker, i'll enjoy the occassional beer, and i like a good merlot but alcohol goes against my buddhist ways. put simply; the mind is a wonderful but clouded thing and we should strive to see the world clearly with this imperfect instrument. introducing mind clouding intoxicants to an already bemused and clouded mind is folly.]

now the scotch drinking was an unanticipated end to an evening which began with solo hot laps at local cx spots and was to end with hanging out at the shop. the evening was great, the scotch flowed the conversation rocked.

now after riding cross town to drop off tom i rode back to my house and along the way crashed my bike.

[comment: i'm not sure how i went down it was like a phantom broom handle was placed in my spokes. i don't think that this was related to my shattered helmet, ie: i do not believe that head trauma wiped my memory of the event. see above comment about the clouding nature of intoxicants.]

outcome of crash: heightened sense of responsibility borne of stupidity; shattered helmet, sore ribs, road rash on knee, shin, knuckle and elbows, damaged bar tape.

always wear your helmet.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006


riders forming for spin - piper in the centre.

owen with first group ride game face.

in winnipeg this evening spin went down. spin [stength and power in numbers] was a bicycle advocacy ride organized by lindsay gauld, cyclist extrodinaire. it was a great scene and will probably go a long way toward having the voices of winnipeg cyclists being heard. it was great to see lots of people the kids and i know. tonight's ride was a very, very large turnout and that will be good for everybody who rides. by the way i totally support critical mass.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

in front of the camera

'that's a serious hand-full of brake son.'

last night ian, paddy, tom, hal and i scouted the belgian-cross course and hal grabbed some pics of the boys having fun. thanks hal. p.s. this year's course has some new stuff added.

Monday, September 4, 2006

i like long weekends: mantario

arlene and tom; enjoying the view.

owen and sol; looking for life forms.

mawney and piper; enjoying the hike

owen working on his 'big jim' trail clearing skills.

so we packed up the cars and headed east to the ontario border. the mantario wilderness trail; home of the 'mantario marathon', amazing canoeing area, and backpacking mecca, beckoned and we heeded.

all had fun and the kids were talking about the hike long into the evening. we had a picnic and enjoyed spectacular late summer weather. it was nice to have mawney join us. to owen's suprise and joy his mom can hike.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

riding as much as i / we can

two posts have had me thinking about how we ride. one was from anna at bitchin spin
who raises the issue of weekend warriors who pull their bikes out for fitness intervals and revert to fossil fuel drinking, co2 emitting, vehicles during the rest of their lives. while i applaud all cycling i also wish that the desire for personal fitness and the cycling aesthetic shared by such athlete cyclists could reach further and embrace the bike as a principle means of transportation.

another post, in fact blog, commited to local living and 'utility cycling' has raised my consciousness. kyr's wheel revolution introduced me to the term utility cycling. this is something that has always been a part of my cycling experience and i see it all around me in my neighbourhood. it goes, i think, beyond commuting although commuting is an important aspect. it is comprised of shopping, errands, commuting, visiting etc. essentially all those things we often, even automatically or unconsciously we jump in a car to do.

i remember when piper and i bought her first bike. we rode, her behind me in her bike trailer, to a big box wholesaler [yes i do 'support' them, less than in the past, but they have made incursions into my life] in some industrial park. we bought her bike and rigged it to the trailer so that we could get it home by bike.

i recognize that all of us, including myself, will have some limitations or times when a car is needed. here in wpg i am able to afford a modest home in a fantastic downtownish neighbourhood and this makes a cycling based existence more tenable. i will however be using my car when m, the kids, and i go out to mantario for a hike this afternoon. my car is also a part of my job and the ownership of a reliable car is written into my job description. i do try to balance my work road trips with keeping the car otherwise parked. i also try to have my kids and i propel ourselves around without the car. their normal transportation, at least at my house which is half of their time, are scooters, skateboards, bikes, walking etc. i would like to think that they will only use a car when they must.

that is perhaps the best way for me to wrap all this up. drive a car if you must but question the task and the use of the car. i think that if we critically question our personal car use will find ourselves using our cars less and less.

Saturday, September 2, 2006


piper 9, owen 5 and i have, over the years gone through a number of utility and recreation transportation combinations.

bike with trailer
runner with running stroller
runner with running stroller and cyclist
bike with bike trailer and cyclist
cyclist and cyclist and cyclist

and as of today
cyclist and cyclist and runner.

now that owen is riding 20' wheels i can run alongside, in fact far behind, he and piper.

this is a sweet spot.

Friday, September 1, 2006

change of seasons: cx fever

with the change of season my ss commuter/cross has, over the last day, begun it's transformation from it's spring / summer cummuting guise into its post- labor day cx / commuting guise. recent additions; selle italia kevlar xc slr saddle, surly singulator [the dmr that worked for a couple years was tired] and waiting to go on; easton ec70 post, new outboard bearings and cranks. the race x-lite wheels spent the summer on my road ride. they will bling the cx until the snow hits the roads. or at least until the salt and sand hit the snow. my ritchey speed max rubber is on again. it is a little rumbly on the road but killer or the trails.

monday night the boys are going to scout out a couple cx courses and that will, i think kick off the cx season. rumour has it the fort garry crew may join.


today is the day that my chronological age matches my UCI age.