Wednesday, January 31, 2007

but before i go

no good can come of this.

i am moustache averse but a wimp to peer pressure. so just in case i throw myself in the mix i humbly submit, in lieu of last night's visage inspection at the club-house, photo evidence.

freshly shaven.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007


how the universe looks after you when it counts.

after discovering that the light thingy no longer works on my timex, and losing my glasses at yesterdays race and twice waiting an extra ten minutes for new glasses in addition to the alotted hour, i came out of the mall [polo-park] to find the bar part of my kryptonite lock laying on the ground beside my steamroller. the u-bar was still around the frame and rack. i don't know how long it sat like that.

for an alternative riff on bike theft.

no think; just ski

yesterday i finished last in my first cross country ski race. from about the 15 minute mark of what proved to be a 4hr 55min effort i thought i was last, and in the end, i was. getting there was, however, a joy.

i finished, i was certain i would so long as i made the first lap cut-off, which i did with room to spare. and i was told toward the end that i would make it before the course closed. this is a unique phrase to hear uttered.

i had, i realized earlier, bitten off a little more than i could comfortably chew. as is often the case i did'nt fully realize this until my mouth was full. 52 km full. after a couple of early snags and crashes i was convinced that i was in solid command of last place. little did i know that there were two others behind me, one of whom would drop out after the first 25km. yet i skied as i usually race; i just went as hard as i can for as long as i can. my mind does an indescribable math which somethow calculates the degree of effort for distance. part of this math is however my chattering 'conscious mind' which says, faster, slower, sloppy, dialed etc. that is until i intervene and say 'no think; just ski.'

at the second to last aid station i was told that there was one other person on the course behind me. this elicited empathy. i pushed on. at the next aid station jeff, manager of windsor park, also refered to someone being behind me. as i have reconstructed things, it was when pat, the person behind me, was told by brad -ski patrol- loewen, that there was a skier 1 minute in front of her that she really poured it on. i was caught in the golf course with 2 km to go. i must say it was a pleasure, for it added an element of excitment to what had become a 4 plus hour solo effort. she also had a cheering group with bells running beside her for the last bit, that was a gas. we both came into the final stretch strong and elated.

later pat told me that after the first lap she was 15 minutes behind me but had planned on skiing at a comfortable pace so that her second lap would be as strong or stronger than her first. i applaud that kind of consistency, concentration and self knowledge. i on the other hand pushed into an unknown form of racing not knowing what to expect. now that i have done a 50 km on skis i have an idea of what to expect. i know i will always 'pace' myself the same way. however i think that as i become a better skier i will go further which each stride, consume less energy with each improved stride and crash less often.

quick points: i want to / need to improve my technical skills; i lost my glasses.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

dawn on the prairies

it looks like a grimace but i was elated and fumbling with a camera in the cold

this morning after getting up too early [see blog below] i realized i could join in a local tradition. the 'tour de nicks' is a weekly, gentlemanly, ride to a breakfast joint just outside of town. so i donned my riding gear hopped on the fixie and rode outta town. at nicks i had breakfast among the comrades. riding were dan, lindsay, brian, andy's son - sorry i forgot his name, and myself. others were present for breakfast if not the ride. which was understandable given it was -36 with the wind.

5 am hiaku

reaching without thought
i grasp and find nothing there
good, i cannot cling

Friday, January 26, 2007

car culture

i found this article at cycler's life, a portland bike/life blog. the article is a witty retelling of the oft told interelationship between car and suburbia. cultural studies fans of stallybrass and white, bakhtin, etc. will appreciate his simplified but unique observation of the human body and the fundamentally bizarre ends 'our' compulsion to eradicate its waste has reached. the article is found within, an intersting site i knew nothing of. The article also links another notable site, carbusters.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

daily dharma

Lao-tze said to cultivate
Tranquility and detachment.
To be natural means not to force things.
When you act natural, you get what you need,
But to know what is natural,
You have to cultivate tranquility.

Master Hsieh

clipped from.

keep it in the family

i was lukewarm to the idea of a 24hr in february: now i'm in.

i have have a feeling dr. no; formerly known as dr. mr., had some help around the dining room table with this one.

post-script: while escorting the kids to school i ran into the always wonderful r.h. aka: partner of dr. no., and apparently money was exchanged for this first rate poster. it's good to see that dr. no is a friend of labour. even if it is child labour.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

eye candy

check out the seat stays on this beauty.

ever get that feeling.....

not a malaise, not like a black cloud moving in and hovering low and maliciously over your sunny days.....

more like a light disturbance, a mild anxiousness, an unsettled, busied, chattered, restlessness....

yesterday after walking the kids to school i ran in a warm, sunny, winter morning. at lunch i doodled around town on my fixie running superfluous errands so that i could feel the pure pleasure of graceful cycling. last night the kids and i went to windsor and they skiied the blue loop for the first time. we hooted and hollered and laughed in the sweeping corners and supported each other on the slick climbs.

the universe resonates with the notes our lives create. maybe the acoustics were off yesterday. i'll check my reverb....

Monday, January 22, 2007


....not just for cyclocross anymore.

my thinking about the polar bear run across lake winnipeg has gotten as far as me throwin the running shoes on my feet this morning.

dallas, are you out there?

paddy, i know you've been running.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ok, i'm tired....

.....and tonight i will not set an alarm. thursday night i had an intense ski. friday i had a very intense bout on the trainer in the basement and an evening ski. this morning i had a great ski with tom and paddy and tonight i was on the ski's for another 2 hrs.

i have a ski in the morning and another in the evening. these skis are casual, as they will be for the coming week. the intensity of the past few days was prep for next saturday's 50 km loppet at pinawa.

bedtime for bonzo.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

round and round we go

skiied 20 km at windsor park tonight in 90 minutes and this got me to thinking about pinawa's 50 km loppet on the 28th. it will be awesome. it also go me thinking of laps. pinawa will only be two loops.

i don't mind laps. there is gratification when a lap is dialed on a course that becomes familiar through repetition.

my favorite race last year, xc8 at buffalo pound, was 8 hrs worth of laps.

xc8: favorite race & favorite race photo from 06.

worth watching

if you did'nt catch it at fgbc you can see it here. be sure to read mr. dr.'s introduction.

reason to dig out my running shoes

the annual polar bear run is going down on march 11. i've done this twice in the past and it is a blast. for those wondering it is a run across lake winnipeg, roughly from gimli to hillside. distance is 35 km give or take. that is only about 35 more km than i have run since october.

other news: regarding the xtc two to one's diet and my insistance to share the burden and shave a little weight myself.

the score:

xtc two to one's: hypothetical weight loss - 907 grams
actual weight loss - o grams. [but a box of goodies is piling up in the basement.]

me: hypothetical weight loss - 3185 g
actual weight loss in 07 - 987 g
weight loss since provincial cx championships my final race of 06 - 1828 g.

there i'm officially a cycling weenie.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

insert test pattern here

this page will be moribund while it's blogger is away for routine maintenance.


rip: ipod II.

i dropped my 60g ipod this morning and it hit my wood floor with a resounding and sharp smack. when i picked it up i could hear pieces rattling around in it. it is the replacement for my original 40g which after a year and half of heavy use mysteriously stopped working.

ipod II was purchased reflexively. it was not questioned for the ipod has become an integrated part of my life and i now know, after discussing ipod II's demise with the kids while walking to school, it was integrated in theirs as well.

i will not, however, replace ipod II immediately. i have decided to wait at least two weeks to see if its absence will be filled by other means /devices / pleasures; my ishuffle, my desktop itunes, the radio, books that are stacked at my bedside, silence, etc.

the reason for waiting is also economic and also stems from the "fragility" of the device. dropping is dropping but in my life dropping is inevitable. it seems ill advised to continue to replace something that will be broken, lost, worn-out.

or, is that what we do. replace, use, replace, use ......

sound familiar. now we are getting somewhere.

the more pressing and interesting reason for waiting is attachment. i would like to let the ipod and its role fall away. not because it is negative for it is not. but just because it is. its loss was forseen and anticipated. i knew that it would cease, as the other had, for all things come to an end.

first intersting question, how is it that "two weeks without ipod" generates more anxiety than "a year of single."

Monday, January 15, 2007

conscience cross

one footwear option

team johnny's captain sporting the new team shorts

shona modelling the newest in the line of team johnny jerseys

the master of ceremonies, hal, calculating racer handicaps. note the universal balclava's and optional cape

the tip of my nose froze on the way home; i got in to find that the tip of my nose had actually turned white. at the time i thought it looked kind of butch. now the red tip of my nose just looks kinda silly. but i digress.

hal threw down a great race on an inspired course. we wracked our brains to answer start placement riddles and the entry fee was offerings for winnipeg harvest. the course was snowy with much running and crashing.

of note:

johnny's free wheel froze open so he ran the race and was for his heroic efforts awarded a loaf of the renowned and coveted velo artisan bread.

hal rode his tried, tested and true iro single speed mtn bike. otherwise 3 of the 4 top spots were taken by fixies.

the warmth and generosity of deanne and scott's home sets a high standard for pre-race and apres-race club house etiquette.

surly was well represented [perhaps we should start shopping for sponsorship] ian rode is karate monkey, scott rode his 1x1, tom and i rode our steamrollers.

superfans arwen, sheldon and alan cheered us on in the cold, sub-arctic night. their efforts were noted and appreciated by all racers.

all in all it was a great night.

thanks hal.

fgbc race reports
johnny's report

Sunday, January 14, 2007

knights on bikes

i'm preparing for hal's lite cross. temp outside is -29 no wind. its a little like a knight preparing for battle. wool base layer, thickish poly mid layer, lightly insulated wind proof outer layer. three pairs of socks with produce bag vapour barrier added. three layers for hands. a cruising layer for cycling to race site and standing around. wind proof hat, balclava, helmet.

surviving winter

oh yeah.

the first real no holds barred week of winter has passed. man it was cold! and it still is. this was the week to bank winter challenge points but alas i had little time to spend outside.

tom and i went out to birch this morning for the xc ski race. it was cancelled on account of the cold so we headed up to bittersweet. WOW. my first time there and the trails rock. today saw sick fast descents in hard as concrete track - yippee - and a god knows what wind chill.

now i have a brief respite before hal's nordic cross event this evening.

winter is good.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

very cold here

skied windsor park this morning. it was a finger burning, face slapping, ear freezing -35c with wind chill. it was however beautiful to have the sun rise on my last lap and the skiing was solid if slow because of the cold snow. paddy and tomek were to ski even earlier than i. there were no cars at 7:30 so i believe that they had already skied and departed by the time i arrived.

OTT: beck [the information]

Monday, January 8, 2007

up from the basement

this year's plan is going to require spinning in the basement. i got an hour in on saturday while the kids watched a movie and today i spent an hour at 'lunch' in the basement spinning madly. the benefits of spinning in the basement include intervals, spinning at a crazy fast cadence without the bother of ice, slush, cars etc. it can also be kinda groovy for the mind. you can, as it were, go deep into some questions, feelings etc. this is of course filtered through a booming wall of garbage that has a tendancy to pull my thinking through the thickets of my past and the vague conception of my future.

i'm looking forward to the company found on the rides to nowhere.

and least i forget. spinning in the basement lets me ride the carbon rocket. even on the trainer this ride is hot.

OTT: soul coughing, camper van beethoven

Friday, January 5, 2007

bird's hill skiing

eating up trail

enjoying the natural christmas tree

the kids and i were out at bird's hill late this afternoon. the track is well set and the skiing is good. the kids loved it, thought 'the hill' was more exciting than windsor park, and spotted and cavorted among a herd of deer.

putting my mtn bike on a diet

like its floating on air already; the xtc before its diet

while dreaming of the summer to come i've decided that the xtc two to one is going on a diet. so far i have new lighter tires [nokian boazobeana 450g per replacing bontrager revolt super x 550g per] and a ritchey wcs stem to replace my easton ea50. on the way are a ritchey wcs seat post [the ritchey wcs are very economical and time proven pieces] a trutaviv stylo 1x1 crankset to replace the trutaviv 5d with solid square axel bb, and a easton ec90 bar. this should put things right and will shed a pound and perhaps two from the bike. and i almost forgot, twin ti egg beaters to replace my candy sl's on the shorter races. you would not believe what my industrial strength tubes weighed. ok, i tell you 200g per. they will have to go.

now don't think that i am focusing on the bike alone. i managed to gain not an ounce over the holidays and maintained my immediate post season weight. which, to put things in perspective was only a couple pounds higher than my lowest weight of the season which was 181, or so. now lets say that my present body fat percentage is for the sake of argument 10% [which would be very close to the mark] that means that my present 183 lbs has 18 lbs of fat that can be shed. i need some of that but it seems reasonable that i can shed 5-7 lbs without any harm.

this winter's goal of having fun and shedding a few pounds is on target. skiing has a lot to do with achieving both. as does fixie riding, a new found joy.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

hot, fast ice

the kids and i went to windsor tonight for a ski. so much snow and with this warm weather it is fast. still a little squishy but fast. fun was has by all and world cup speeds were achieved by everybody at windsor park tonight.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

ski at dawn

paddy, tom and i got out at windsor park before dawn. it was very warm; crazy weather. the snow it starting to set now. it is fantastic to get a ski in before the day begins.

snakes in a house

and i thought having a hamster get loose was a problem. sheesh.

Monday, January 1, 2007

hiaku cross

putting it out there. this is what's been bouncing around in my wee head. my nordic cross race [hiaku cross] would be less like cross and more like alley-cat. i would have us navigate our fair city and each location would provide the theme for a stanza of hiaku.

concerns, questions, rants, raves.

lets open this one up to discussion.

quinzee building: step three


really, it won't collapse.

quinzee building: step two

exacavate snow mound after it has settled and hardened.