Sunday, June 29, 2008


Date: Monday, 23 June 2008
“Rest Day”

Date: Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Time: 1:11:14
Distance: 27.87
Average Speed: 23.47
Temp: 14°C
Wind: calm
Conditions: mostly cloudy
Notes: Met Susan at the Roastery at 5:30. Rode down sask cres and out towards Beaver Creak – flatted just past the Concordia club! URRRRRR! (…and of course I still hadn’t gotten around to fixing or swapping pedals!! – man, I’m an idiot....)

50 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Date: Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Another “Rest Day” – though I did make a couple trips out with the kids/trailer to get dog food and then groceries ~8km

Date: Thursday, 26 June 2008
Time: 1:02:29
Distance: 25.48
Average Speed:
Temp: 9°C
Wind: WSW 5kph
Conditions: Cloudy
I actually got up just after 4AM and went for a ride. It wasn’t for fun and fitness – it was over to my parents house – because it was on fire!

Our phone rang just after 4AM. I didn't get it. I just thought "what drunk is dialing us by mistake at this hour...." Then a minute later I heard all these sirens rushing down Avenue H... Then our phone rang again and I though: “either my dad's having a heat attack or my parents house is on fire...” Thank goodness it was option number two. Call number one was my mom calling to say if we got a call saying their house was on fire not to worry that they were okay. Call number two was the security company calling to say there was an alarm at my parents place.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Anyway, I got back home just after 5AM got changed and did go for a morning ride. At least I had finally remembered to swap out the pedals. 

I’ve had a sore developing just above my tailbone – had them before loats of extra scrubbing and trying to keep it dry seems to make them go away…. But yesterday afternoon and all day today the same area has been really, really…. Tight? Painfully tight. Feels like muscles have just locked up. Not sure if they’re related. Similar sort of thing happened to Amanda after she had one of the kids and I teased her relentlessly that it was now medically proven that she is in fact a “tight ass”… If that's what this is I’m never going to live this down now…

Date: Friday, 27 June 2008
Wet and miserable out this morning – Severe thunderstorm last night - “Rest Day“ for everyone…

I also now have a large tight swollen mass in lower back just above the tailbone causing some considerable discomfort – time to get that checked out.

I actually got an appointment in the late afternoon, though not with my regular doctor. Like my regular doctor I finally got to see the doctor an HOUR after the scheduled appointment time, unlike my regular doctor the visit was rather abrupt! He asked one question “what’s the problem”? Looked at my backside before I even started to explain the background. Informed me I had some sort of very bad infection – there was a name for it, but I was in much pain by that point and not really paying much attention - and prescribed some antibiotics… wham, bam, thank-you mam… All over in two minutes… I don’t even know if he asked my name… How could a guy so abruptly efficient be so far behind!?

On the plus side he said it didn't look like any abscess had formed yet... but if it did get worse I might need to head to the emergency room to get something cut out...!? YIKES!?

The ride to the doctor’s and pharmacy was probably about 10Km.

Date: Saturday, 28 June 2008
“Rest Day“ – In pretty rough shape. My backside is still swollen and uncomfortable. Standing and sitting on chairs hurts. The only positions that don’t really hurt are lying on my stomach or, strangely enough, sitting on a bicycle seat!?

I did haul Finnegan out to get sized for his violin and I picked up some groceries in the late afternoon. ~ 15km.

Date: Sunday, 29 June 2008
Time: 1:28:38
Distance: 35.95Km
Average Speed: 24.3kph
Temp: 14°C
Wind: S9kph
Conditions: Mainly Sunny
Still in a bad way – got out for a little ride this morning though. I had, earlier in the week, planned on going for a 50 km ride yesterday and trying for a century today (100mi/162Km) – but that just didn’t work out… then I was thinking I would do 50Km today and a century on Tuesday (being Canada Day and all) but I think the long long distance rides are off until I’m finished with the antibiotics – as they are to be taken four times a day at least 2-3 hours after any food and an hour before eating anything that leaves a 2-3 hour window of eating during any 6 hour period… Can’t go for a 6 hour bike ride and only be able to eat for the middle two hours!?

This sucks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cannondale Super-V 800

I had a Cannondale Super-V 800 once.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

As with so many of my bikes I have next to no photos of this one. This picture I took when I was trying to sell it.

I got it because some rotten fuckers who will hopefully burn in the blackest pits of hell broke into our garage at the house in Mayfair and stole, among other things, my Marin. Amanda really wanted to start mountain biking again and I was feeling old and out of shape and thought I needed suspension and stuff and this happened to be sitting at the Bike Doctor. It was super discounted, being a year or two old and having V-brakes when everything of this caliber had gone to discs…. Anyway the insurance money paid for about two thirds of it.

I rode it very little.

I think the second time out I broke my hand.

I was completely un-used to either suspension or V-brakes - my most recent bike being at least 10 years older. Amanda and I were riding at Sutherland “Beach” (for those of you not from Saskatoon – there is no beach…) where a lot of people like to run their dogs off leash – this was years before it became an “official” off-leash area.

Ahead of us there was a trail that intersected the trail we were riding on through the bush down by the river. We spied a pair of very big black dogs dash past – we figured where there are dogs there are people so we rang bells to warn them of our approach. The dogs didn’t like this and came charging at us barking and snarling. Amanda braked. I braked harder (remember when I said I was completely un-used to either suspension or V-brakes….?) and went arse over teakettle over the bars at high velocity and landed simultaneously on my right hand and face. The torrent of foul language and general verbal abuse that emanated from myself so startled the dogs they completely forgot about chewing on us and ran away to their masters with their tails between their legs. To abruptly end a story that’s getting too damn long – broke hand, crunched helmet, rode home.

I rode it to work a few times when my Bike-E was in ill repair.

I think it had LX components. Bunch of “CODA” stuff. I did buy a new shorter, higher stem at one point thinking it might be the thing I needed to get me out on the bike more...

I did ride it in a race once. My first ever mountain bike race. I came in second in my category… or dead last, depending on how you look at it… (Second place IS the first loser!).

It mostly sat and collected dust until a couple years ago I actually got interested in mountain biking again. By then I was just completely uninterested in suspension and gears and other expensive stuff that could break and craved something… simpler. This was before I was even aware that there were other people riding singlespeed mountain bikes. I was even considering looking for a BMX cruiser for trail riding I wanted something so simple...

Then, some months - maybe even a year- later, I saw a Cannondale 1FG at the Bike Doctor.

I sold the Super-V to some chump for $666 and bought the 1FG. (Actually I’m probably the chump there – and he got a pretty awesome deal….).


Date: Monday, 16 June 2008
“Rest Day”

Date: Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Time: 1:24:20
Distance: 36.03
Average Speed: 25.63kph
Temp: 11-14°C
Wind: SSE5-SSW8kph
Conditions: Sunny
Notes: It was tough getting my ass out of bed again and I got off to a bit of a slow start… but things picked up. I’ve kind of literally “dropped the ball this week so far as I’ve done no Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, etc.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Long shadows in the early morning sun.

Later I took Finnagan and Keira to Gymnastics – then for a ride up to the Circle Drive Bridge, over to the Safeway on Cumberland, down Louise Ave to drop off a cheque, and finally to Steep Hill and then home. +25-30Km?

Date: Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Another “Rest Day”.
Again I just didn’t want to get up. I woke up at 4:20 and told myself I should just use the opportunity to get up and fix the front wheel and get out for a ride at a decent hour… I went back to sleep. The alarm went off half an hour later and I hit the snooze three times before just turning the alarm off and going back to sleep.. I did get up around 6AM – I thought about going out for a short ride… fixing my wheel.. but id none of that and eventually kicked Amanda out of bed and sent her off to the skate park. Maybe I’ll get a ride in tomorrow..

Off to the Library with the kiddies for the last Story Time/Toddler Time of this session, then over to Campus for the University of Saskatchewan's 12th Annual Employee Appreciation Picnic. ~15Km?

In the afternoon I could barely keep myself awake when we got home after the picnic – wondered if I got a bit too much sun. I was completely fatigued.

Date: Thursday, 19 June 2008
Another “Rest Day”.
Woke up at 4:30 again – went back to sleep. Alarm woke me up at 5AM – it was raining, reset alarm and went back to sleep. Woke at 6AM when the alarm went off again – dozed until 6:30-ish, thought about getting on the trainer for a bit but then Finneagn woke up and that was that.

Getting a bit worried. This is how previous “Training Programs” have died – I get tired, I don’t get out of bed one day and decide to call it a “rest day”…. Do the same thing the next day… next thing you know it’s a “rest week” and I just never get back to the riding.

A little later in the morning Finnegan pointed out that I had forgotten to do my exercises this morning. Maybe he should be appointed “coach”.

To quote Hayden: “I wish sleeping wasn’t so great”

Date: Friday, 20 June 2008
Time: 1:58:54
Distance: 50.57
Average Speed: 25.52kph
Temp: 8-14°C
Wind: W13 – NW11kph
Conditions: SUNNY!
Notes: Back in the saddle again. I got up late and got out really late but it was okay because Amanda was taking the day off. I sorted out my front wheel and went for a good ride.

At about 16 km into the ride I swallowed a bug… actually more INHALED it – right into my lungs, I swear. I coughed so hard I puked. Twice. I thought it an odd reaction from my body – “hey there’s something in my lungs – let’s empty the STOMACH!?”

On my way home I saw two lads in Bike Doc Jerseys coming my way. Pretty sure one was Jensen and the other…Greg…?

50 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Afterwards Amanda headed out to the skate park and I brought along the rest of the family to watch and cheer. She’s no Matt Hoffman or anything but she is getting a bit better..

Date: Saturday, 21 June 2008
Time: 3:44:51
Distance: 100.21Km
Average Speed: 26.7kph
Temp: 8-22°C
Wind: calm
Conditions: mostly cloudy
Notes: Awesome… just an awesome ride. (Except for the OTHER intermittent ticking which started up again and got less and less intermittent through the ride… which immediately after getting off my bike I completely forgot about…).

Some daunting clouds out there. I actually rode right through a gap in the raining clouds and never got more than a very light sprinkle.

On my way home I saw the Horizon guts heading out in two large packs. A couple at the back of the first pack returned my wave. No one in the second pack did ("he wasn't waving at me was he...?!")

Date: Sunday, 22 June 2008
Distance: 35.44
Average Speed: 25.44kph
Temp: 14°C
Wind: S13kph
Conditions: Mostly Sunny
Notes: I had every intention of doing another 100km this morning…. But the clicking was driving me crazy! So I decided to stick it out until the Berry Barn then turn back thinking that way I’d have some time to do some wrenching before I had to take the kiddies to swimming (and before I forgot again!).

A quartet of Tri-geeks blew past me while I was rolling along staring at my feet trying to figure out what the hell was making the ticking sound. I’m pretty sure it’s the pedal. There’s a bit of play in it – bearings are probably effed.

Upon ,my return however Amanda thought it a perfect opportunity to go ride the skate-park –after raging around the house for half an hour looking for every single piece of equipment she needed, which I had to find for her (“GODDAMMIT WHERE:S MY ELBOW PADS” – “There over here dear” - “GODDAMMIT WHERE:S MY SUNGLASSES PADS” – “There over here dear” -), she finally got out the door. Then I made pancakes for me and the kids. So, no wrenching for me

I did a few Leg Raises and Push-ups and then decided I’d do the rest after breakfast… which, of course, I never did.

Of course if all this riding weren’t enough for one weekend Amanda made me haul the kids across town – to the furthest point we could possibly go from out house and still be in the city – to see some puppies she wants to get.

She thinks they’re “cute” – All I see is a miniature pooping-peeing-chewing machine that will destroy shoes and favourite children's' toys and I will end up being the one that had to deal with it….

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Bike Barn

Welcome to the Bike Barn. This is Tim’s Bicycle Storage Facility Mk. III. The first two were really just big sheds with very solid doors. This one I build with considerable help from my friend John Bertolini who builds timber framed buildings (and furniture… and other stuff…). Actually I didn’t do THAT much of the building at all on this one, it was mostly John, and I just helped out!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Exterior. Metal roof, wood siding. I built the door!

Inside: the Wall o’ Bikes!

A couple of non-pedal driven human powered vehicles hanging in the rafters (The Kayaks) and the tandem on the far wall.

How embarrassing… My workbench isn’t always this messy… well.. okay it usually is… but it really BOTHERS me that it’s always this messy!?


Maybe he's right. It's just too darn big and solid to call a "Bike Shed", though, and "Garage" seems to imply that it's for cars - which it is NOT. I have on occasion referred to it as "The Shop" (on account of all the tools in it and the fact that I have used them out there) but that's not really it's primary purpose... I don't know... Anybody got a better idea for a name?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Date: Monday, 9 June 2008
Notes: “Rest Day” – for everyone it seems as Amanda didn’t take the opportunity to go out for a ride herself this morning. I’m feeling pretty stiff and sore this past weekend’s rides and the Alley Cat.

Forecast is calling for cloudiness and rain all week…. Well there’ s a few DVDs on my shelf that need to be watched (and the trainer’s been feeling lonely…).

Date: Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Time: 1:29:48
Distance: 31.82
Average Speed: 21.26kph
Temp: 9°C
Wind: SE 17kph
Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Notes: Met Ryan at the Roastery at 5:30AM. Susan hadn’t gotten the email – as I suspected as she hadn’t replied and unfortunately I couldn’t call as my phone had been mysteriously out of service since Monday afternoon!? So we rolled on over to her house and found her just leaving to go on a ride on her own. We all rolled south of town and did a little tour of Furdale.

50 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Took Keira to gymnastics, then over to grandparents. ~10 km

Date: Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Time: 1:13:20
Distance: 29.72
Average Speed: 24.31kph
Temp: 8°C
Wind: E 15kph
Conditions: Cloudy
Notes: Met Susan at the Roastery this morning for another Tour de Furdale at a slightly quicker pace.

50 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Took kids to Library for story time. ~8km

Date: Thursday, 12 June 2008
“Rest Day”

On “Rest Day” I rode to my folks twice to drop off/pick up the kids and in between hauled about $400 worth of groceries home from Steep Hill. Then made a second trip to Steep Hill later to pick up rotting vegetable matter to compost. ~15km

Date: Friday, 13 June 2008
Time: 1:24:37
Distance: 35.91Km
Average Speed: 25.49kph
Temp: 9°C
Wind: NNW 13kph
Conditions: Cloudy – Light Rain
Notes: I rode out Valley Road to the Berry Barn by myself this morning. Had to wait 10 min. for a train again by the landfill. Despite it not being that cold it FELT really cold. Maybe it was the damp. I did get sprinkled on a bit. It felt like a really hard ride, but it was one of my better morning efforts. I feel tired.

50 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Again with the train.

Date: Saturday, 14 June 2008
Time: 2:20:32
Distance: 60.14Km
Average Speed: 25.67kph
Temp: 6-9°C
Wind: SW-W11kph
Conditions: clouds… rain…
Notes: Susan stopped by to ride with me this morning. We got as far as the landfill and it started raining. By the time we reached valley road it was REALLY raining and we were soaked. She said at the bottom of the hill she was going to turn around and head back. I thought about it and at the bottom of the hill I turned around too… of course as I turned around I realized the rain wasn’t really coming down THAT hard and it wasn’t THAT cold. It might have seemed a bit worse as we were riding into the wind. I decided to make a makeshift seat cover out of the plastic sandwich bag I kept my wallet in and press on! I was wet already… So I pressed on and the rain let up a bit, then rained some more, then let up a bit, then rained some more… I didn’t really feel all that cold until near the very end when maybe the wet and wind started to get to me. I skipped the crunches, etc and went straight to the shower upon arriving at home.

Date: Sunday, 15 June 2008
Time: 4:07:57
Distance: 110.57Km
Average Speed: 26.76kph
Temp: 5°C(!?) - 15°C
Wind: NE4kph - calm
Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Notes: Took forever to get on the road – didn’t get rolling until 7AM.

The day before there had been some ticking in the front wheel – actually it had been going on, on and off, for a week or so – but on Saturday it was a bit more persistent and I was able to determine that is was in fact the front wheel. Upon examination I realized ALL the spokes on my front wheel seemed quite loose! When I went to tighten them up in the evening I blew a spoke. Luckily I have a PILE of bikes and scavenged the front wheel off the Mikado – of course the computer sensor was in a slightly different location and the tires were 700x28 (instead of 700x23) so I had to reprogram the computer…

Then the shoes that I normally ride in were still SOAKED so I used some different shoes which required some tweaking of saddle height, etc….

Finally got out on the road… Out valley road loads of SUVs and Minivans with Tri-bikes dangling off of them flew by on their way out to Pike Lake for the Spin Off Spadina (or whatever they’re calling it now).

I took the pike lake highway to highway 766 towards Delisle. At the 50km mark a blue and black streak in an old-school bike doctor jersey flew past in the opposite direction – I think if might have been Sarah Robins…? Anyway as I approached Delisle I considered my route options. Originally I had planned on taking highway 7 back… and maybe at Vanscoy taking highway 672 either east back towards valley road or north to the Grandora road (that turns into 11th Street)…. In the end I just decided to avoid Highway 7 – as I was really enjoying the ride and the silence – and headed back the way I came.

Some Cows along Highway 766. One is on the outside of the fence. When I went by them the first time he (she?) was standing quite close to the road.

When I got back to the Pike Lake road the Triathlon was in full swing. I couldn’t believe the number of Cervelos out there! The sound those full carbon bikes with carbon wheels make… that low kind of hollow rumbling… I don’t know – it just don’t sound right to me. They probably rock, but it just gives me the heebie-jeebies!

I saw Crystal Clark roll by – the Vegan Triathlete I was getting tired at this point – to tired to realize who I was looking at until she had almost rolled past, and too tired to cheer her on… she looked tired to… and grumpy… or maybe that look was just the look of fierce determination to KICK ASS!

The road home took me along the Tri-route for a bit – some of those foks just don’t go that fast… of course they had just finished swimming a kilometer or two and had to save energy for the run… still…

Some Triathletes… I have no idea who any of them are…

The last 20km I was starting to feel sore in the neck and shoulders and back. The last 10km I was feeling the bonk something fierce. I was a little wobbly on the bike and it took everything I had to stay upright a few times. I did make it home and at a record average speed over a long distance ride (for me anyway…).

Looking forward to another rest day.

I think I might skip the crunches, etc on the weekends when I’m doing longer rides – but may do them EVERY weekday morning (even on “rest days”).

The sad, sad thing is that after four weeks of all this activity and laying of the potato chips, licorice and root beer… The amount of weight I’ve lost has been negligible… damn, that’s a little depressing… I’m actually going to have to start counting calories and stuff (you’re never going to get me to live off of three protein shakes a day like Mike Magnussen did in Heft on Wheels!!! A brilliant and inspiring book by the way!)

Monday, June 9, 2008


Date: Monday, 2 June 2008

“Rest Day”

I did a lot of riding on the weekend so I planned to have a “Rest Day”. The planned rest day was also to give Amanda an opportunity to get out to the skate park in the morning when there’s no one there…. and she actually DID!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Amanda heading to the Skate Park

Date: Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Time: 1:21:58
Distance: 31.58km
Average Speed: 23.1
Temp: 12°C
Wind: SE18kph gusting to 28kph
Conditions: cloudy
Notes: Met up with Ryan and Susan (who conveniently live within a block of each other) and rode out College Drive and on to Highway 5 just up the “big hill” and back. Actually the hill didn’t seem QUITE as big as it has in the past. I’m not saying I’m a hero and breezed up it or anything – I’m just not is a terrible of shape as maybe I have been. It was a nice ride. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy – tailwind coming home. There was a bit more traffic than my usual route – but there were nice wide shoulders (in most places… that were mostly clear of gravel… mostly…).

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Susan climbing up the hill.

Ryan grabbing some fluids at the top of the hill.

Later I took Finnegan to the folks, Keira to gymnastics, and then back to the folks… ~12km

Date: Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Time: ~1 hour on trainer
Notes: 3°C and fog just seemed too damn cold this morning – also I was kind of dragging my ass (stayed up too damn late watching a movie – “too damn late” being 10PM)… so I did an hour on the trainer and watched part of Quicksilver.

Tomorrow Amanda’s going to the skate park again, so it will be another “rest day”… or maybe I could get a bit in on the trainer if I were really gung-ho and got up waaaaaay before her….

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Later in the morning I took the kids to the library ~8km. In the evening I hauled four pails of compost from Steep Hill ~5km.

Date: Thursday, 5 June 2008
Another planned rest day to give Amanda an opportunity to go out and ride. I should set up a circuit in Victoria park that, should I be dragging my ass and not get out for a longer road ride, I could at least go out and do a shorter, high intensity rip around the park on my cross bike – complete with dismounts and short run-ups…. Or give me something to do on the mornings Amanda wants to go out BEFORE she gets up… (she dragged her ass out of bed around 6:20…).

Date: Friday, 6 June 2008
Time: 1:28:16
Distance: 36.15
Average Speed: 24.57kph
Temp: 10-12°C
Wind: SE 15kph
Conditions: Cloudy
Notes: Rode out Valley Road with Susan.

Saw deer and a skunk

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Date: Saturday, 7 June 2008
Time: 3:07:37
Distance: 81.25
Average Speed: 25.98kph
Temp: 11-14°C
Wind: SE 15kph – NE 9kph
Conditions: Cloudy – Light Rain
Notes: Wow. What a great ride!

I saw a hawk just sitting on a sign

A grey day out there.

Someone building a Straw Bale house off the Pike Lake Road.

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups

Later I took Keira out to do some errands ~8km.

Date: Sunday, 8 June 2008
Time: 1:28:35
Distance: 32.05
Average Speed: 22.01
Temp: 10°C
Wind: NE 17kph
Conditions: Cloudy
Notes: I was up late last night (10PM) finishing off The Flying Scotsman (the book by Graeme Obree) ans so I set the alarm an hour later (6AM). I was feeling a little stiff and sore and tired and it took me nearly an hour to drag my ass out the door for a ride – but drag my ass and ride it did. Of course once I got ON the bike and RIDING things felt better.

I went out College Drive and out towards the big hill as the forecast said the wind might pick up to 30kph and I didn’t want to be out at the end of valley road, hit the wall and have to turn around into a 30kph headwind.

Final destination for Sunday morning’s ride – doesn’t look like much…but it’s a bit of a climb – especially in 54x18…

The view from the hill.

It wasn’t as great a ride as yesterday; it felt cold and hard and tiring…. But it was still better than not doing anything.

40 Ball Crunches, Back Extensions on Ball, Leg Raises, Push-ups – these were HARD today…

I had forgotten about the Alley Cat earlier in the week while Amanda was planning a ride with Susan. Well I hadn’t entirely forgotten about it I just didn’t somehow make the connection that it was at the SAME TIME that Amanda would be riding with Susan and I would then have the kids… So I had a movable cheering section!

I have no “stats” for the race – I Imagine it was somewhere around 15-20km and it took me about an hour – there were a fewe stops thought – including stopping to change one of the other competitors tires! You can read all about it on the Alley Cat Post

I am SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to my “Rest Day” today!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This afternoon I participated in an ALLEY CAT race organized by Ryan of Bicycle Smile.

I dropped off my five bucks at the Bike Doc on a Wednesday morning when I was on my way to Story Time at the library with the kids. Ryan joked that trailers were acceptable and the kids could join in for free. Seth chimed in that that might actually give them an “edge” – like I’m some sort of serious competition or something… (Dudes… sure I was a bike messanger…. For a grand total of five months FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!!?)

Anyway, I somehow then forgot about the Alley Cat earlier this past week while Amanda was planning a ride with Susan. Well I hadn’t entirely forgotten about it, it was always in the forefront of my mind, I just didn’t somehow make the connection that it was at the SAME TIME that Amanda would be riding with Susan and I would then have the kids…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

So I got to bring along a mobile cheering section! HUZZAH!! I did, in fact, hear Keira shout on more than one occasion “GO GO GO DADDY!!”

Couple of fixed gear nerds checking out each other’s rides (the guy with the orange bike is Greg – one of the owners of the Bike Doctor)

Ryan explaining the rules and what’s in the package.

Some of the competitors with a couple of historic Saskatoon landmarks in the back ground – the Vimy Memorial to the right and the (Delta) Bessborough Hotel behind the bushes on the left.

Seth, in Red, large and in charge!

The Le Mans start!

I should have had my camera in a more accessible spot and took my time and stopped to take pictures as I went… I did actually run into a few people who were lost or doing things in a different order… Ah well…

Here’s how it went – we all had to go to Ryan’s place on Cumberland first (of course for any who were paying attention that took us right by one of the other places on the list…) where we were to pick up a package that we would have to carry with us for the rest of the race and if it was damaged at the end there would be a 5 minute time penalty. I expected it would be an egg…

Of course everyone tore away from me and bythe time I made it to the bottom of the University bridge there was on one in sight. At the top of the bridge as I pulled on to Clarence I could see someone in black three blocks ahead walking an orange bike… Greg? I caught up to him and he had flatted and had no repair kit so I pulled over and helped him change his tire – I left him with the pump to finish pumping it up figuring he would easily catch up… didn’t see him for another hour and a half…. Good thing I didn’t flat anywhere…

At Ryan’s I met Emily who was handing out balloons – which I thought was fun – of course they were rather large, very full balloons which took up a large amount of the space in the trailer – so the kids couldn’t really “play” with it much at all…

Next stop was the College Building where we had to take a rubbing of the corner stone – which was placed by Sir Wilfred Laurier on July 29, 1910 (Each race package included a crayon and three sheets of paper. It was there that Finnegan popped out balloon – I thought there would be tears, but no one seemed to upset…

Next stop the grave of John G. Diefenbaker where we were to take another rubbing.

Back across the river and over to the Woodlawn Cemetery for a third and final rubbing. WE were supposed to take a rubbing from any grave but I just took one from one of the plaques along the Memorial Boulevard… I don’t know... something about taking rubbings from a grave… it was close enough…

The one picture I did take DURING the race (well.. other than the Le Mans start…) I ran into these guys leaving the cemetery.

The rest of the locations were all of the “What business is at [THIS] address” sort. All four I could have guessed and a quick trip to a phone booth could have confirmed them all – but I didn’t think that very sporting so I rode around to all four; The Granger Building (home of White Cat Book Company my favourite book store!), TCU Place, Star Egg Company and Lien Thahn Bakery.

The I rode up the Broadway Bridge to make my way over to Amigos Cantina – the finish point. At 10th and Broadway I saw one of the other riders on a mountain bike and sprinted him to the finish and beat him… of course he still had his balloon….

Ryan and Tyler – the winner – waiting for the rest of the riders to show up. They had apparently been waiting a while. Tyler had finished the course in under half an hour!? I took about an hour. I wish I’d hooked up a computer (that works) to this bike so I could’ve had some STATS for the race…

Well I wasn’t DFL – even towing two kids there were at least five or six (out of 17 or so) that showed up after me…. And I know at least one of those that showed up before me didn’t actually make it to all of the locations… If only I’d had THE ROCKET… and a few less children to tow along…

Everyone hanging out at Amigo’s afterwards.

Tyler and his medal (and courier bag prize)

Finnegan and our medal. We won the “Most Fun Between the Legs” medal – which was supposed to be for the person with the coolest bike, but they decided to give it to us instead…

Some of the competitors bikes piles outside Amigos

It was totally a lot of fun! Big thanks to Ryan for organizing it. He was saying he’ll probably be doing another one in July (which I’ll definitely be adding to the “Race Schedule”!).

Ryan will probably have his own race report and pictures at Bicycle Smile - roll on over there and check it out!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Amanda’s Soma Double Cross

Here it is! The cork tape finally showed up and I’ve finished off Amanda’s new ride! Now I just have to dig out the spare pair of Crank Brothers cleats I have for those Mallets.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Pretty isn’t it? It’s kind of hard to tell but it’s dark green (a dark, DARK green).

Maybe you can see the colour a bit better in the close-up.

Another little test ride around the yard – hounded by autograph demanding fans!

There may be a bit more tinkering over the summer – like removing the front derailleur and the big chain ring (she’ll never use them…).

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Cannondale XR800

This was the first bike I bought when I started working at the Bike Doctor. This was the spring of 2004 I had started racing cyclocross the previous fall on the Mikado and had a lot of fun, so I thought I might get myself a gen-u-ine ‘cross bike. It was a previous year’s model that was hanging upstairs – just happened to be the right size and a colour that I actually liked ( my very first mountain bike was a similar green…)

It had a mostly Shimano Tiagra drive train with a 105 rear derailleur and Truvative cranks. The rims were Mavic CXP22 with Continental Twister tires. The rest of the components were generic Cannondale alloy…

I immediately put some Panaracer Stradius slick road tires on it and started riding every morning out Valley Road. By the end of the summer I had put a couple thousand kilometers on it and burned the Panaracers down to nothing. As it turned out I never did use it to race ‘cross because by that fall I had ordered a Surly Cross-Check frame and built it up to race ‘cross on a singlespeed!!

It came with some black bar tape which I was never really keen on. I picked up some “natural” coloured cork tape and tried to stain it a darker brown. It didn’t really work so well….

I also bought my first pair of clipless pedals for this beastie - Crank Brothers Mallets. 

For the next three years it was more or less been used as my summer “hauling-the-kids-around” bike. I might have done a few road rides on it in 2005, but by that time THE ROCKET had become my primary road warrior!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Here it is in is last operational capacity: hauling kids. I had swapped the carbon post and brooks saddle over and- let me tell you – that was the comfiest ride EVER! Conveniently the bike has braze-ons for a rack which was handy for some extra storage/hauling capacity especially when grocery shopping with two kids. At this point the tires have been upgraded to Continental Ultra Gatorskins.

Off to the zoo, or wherever….

I can’t seem to find any other earlier pictures of it…

This spring I decided the Mikado could be used as a year ‘round (or at least “three season”) single speed kid hauling bike and the Cannondale ‘cross bike became redundant.

I had thought about selling it but Amanda thought I shouldn’t, as I might not get much for it. Better to have not much than nothing and ANOTHER bike taking up space in the Bike Barn, I figured…. Then She decided that maybe SHE would like to have a ‘cross bike and race this fall – obviously this bike would be WAAAAY to big but I thought if I could find a reasonably priced frame and fork I could do a complete swap. I indeed found one and all the parts have been swapped over. This is now just a bare frame and fork sitting in the Bike Barn

…so if anyone’s looking for a ‘cross frame and fork….

Determined Girlie

That Keira is one determined chick – she is going to ride bikes!!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Climbed up there all by herself - from the couch where Amanda is sitting - screamed bloody murder when anyone tried to pluck her off...!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Race Schedule 2008

Just for fun and to give a bit more purpose to all this ”training” I thought I might go out to a few races…. (also the whole point of Amanda’s New ‘Cross Bike was so she could race cyclocross this year… I mean really, what else would you use a ‘cross bike for, right?!)

So here’s a tentative list of races you might see me embarrassing myself at:

8 June 08 - Bicycle Smile Alley Cat Race. Already paid Ryan my five bucks….

The rest are Sask Cycling Association races which can be found on their event calendar. The ones I’m planning on attending are as follows:

6 September – XC8 (Buffalo Pound Provincial Park)- an 8-hour mountain bike enduro race. Something about the epic nature of endurance racing appeals to me…

21 September – AGM ‘Cross (Saskatoon)

27 September - Buffalo Pound 60K (Guess where…) – One Word: “Epic”. It sounds like fun but we’ll have to see how things are going fitness-wise and finance-wise… This will be the most likely event to be dropped.

4-5 October – Regina Double ‘Cross (Regina, duh!)

18-19 October – Saskatoon Double ‘Cross (yeah, you got it – Saskatoon)

26 October – Sask ‘Cross Provincials (Saskatoon) – Usually held right outside my doorstep in beautiful Victoria Park!

I guess I better get an SCA membership sometime….

I’ll definitely be at the four ‘cross races in Saskatoon. The out of town races… well… In order of preference I think I’d like to make it to XC8, the Regina Double ‘Cross (thought these two might be reversed for Amanda….), and if possible the Buffalo Pound 60. As we’d have to rent a vehicle for any of these we’ll have to see how we’re doing later in the summer (…and what the price of gas is!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008


The depressing thing is that after two weeks I weigh exactly one pound less than when I started… I’m hoping that this is because building muscle faster than I’m burning off fat due to the excessive tofu I’ve consumed as post work out recovery meals…. But maybe that’s wishful thinking…. Whatever – Start with getting fit and into a routine of riding, then I’ll worry about the slimming down.

I thought I’d mention – for anyone that cares – that all these road rides have been on THE ROCKET. Not trying to brag or anything – just put things into perspective – help you understand things like why I might not be so hot on riding great distances in very strong headwinds … 54x18 is a big gear to push sometimes.

Here we go another week of “serious” “training”:

Date: Monday, 26 May 08
Time: 40min on trainer
Notes: At 5AM it was -1°C (-5°C with windchill…). By fall I’m sure that will seem “refreshing” – as it would have in March… Right now it seemed way too damn cold!

Feeling tired and generally stiff and sore. Tired is probably because I stayed up too late fixing my wheel and building up Amanda’s new bike. My knee is feeling less sore.

Watched the rest of “The Flying Scotsman” while on trainer (backed it up to watch the bit at the ’93 worlds again…). I love that movie. Have I mentioned that…?

25 Ball Crunches
30 Back Extensions on Ball
10 Leg Raises
25 Push-ups

…. To quote Roy Batty; “… that….hurt….”

I better have middle bits that look more like a six-pack than CAKE by the end of the summer or I’m going to cry…

Date: Tuesday, 27 May 08
Time: 1:16:24
Distance: 29.5km
Average Speed: 23.17kph
Temp: 3°C!?
Wind: S 4kph
Conditions: Clear. Beautifully clear.
Notes: I hooked up with Ryan at the Roastery at 5:30AM for a little ride. We headed out Lorne Avenue and then turned at the Concordia Club towards the willows and I was SHOCKED to discover that the road – that last time I rode it was surrounded by wheat fields were now lined with half million dollar condos and malls!?! It was staggering – the size of the houses and buildings and just how many had sprung up! Wow! No wonder nothing gets done at River Landing or on 19th Street – everyone’s been working out there!?

30 Ball Crunches
30 Back Extensions on Ball
15 Leg Raises
1 Push-up

The crunches were hard. Leg raises, so-so. Back extensions, not so much. All day yesterday my upper body muscles were aching from the previous days push-ups and when I tried to do some this morning it just plain HURT! So I decided to lay of them for today. In my defence I’ll point out I haven’t bothered to do any in years and last time I did I wasn’t pushing up nearly so much weight!

I like riding with Ryan – hopefully we’ll make this a regular thing.

I also took Finnegan to the grandparents, Keira to gymnastics, and then Keira back to the grandparents… another 12km?

Date: Wednesday, 28 May 08
“Rest Day”

I had gotten into bed at a decent hour – but probably didn’t fall asleep until 9:30 or 10 (just couldn’t sleep – not because I was… y’know… doing something else…). I also had fewer disturbances through the night – Keira only woke up screaming once… But for whatever reason, when I got up at 5AM I felt just WRECKED. I checked the weather – negligible wind, totally clear – couldn’t ask for much better (though 4°C did seem a bit cold) and then went back to bed for an hour.

So we’ll call it a “Rest Day” today to do a bit of “Recovery”.

I did take the kids th the library for Story Time ~ 7km

Date: Thursday, 29 May 08
Time: 1:12:46
Distance: 30.86km
Average Speed: 25.45kph
Temp: 13°C
Wind: SE 10km
Conditions: Cloudy
Dragging my ass a bit this morning and got out the door a little late so I didn’t ride all the way to the Berry Barn – turned around at the big “Tuff Turf” sign (30km out and back). Tired and sore when I got up as usual – not quite so much, though – and once I got out on the bike it totally faded and I was feeling GOOD the whole ride!

30 Ball Crunches
30 Back Extensions on Ball
20 Leg Raises
25 Push-ups

Date: Friday, 30 May 08
Notes: I stayed up way too late and forgot to set the alarm – slept in until 5:30. Got up checked email and the weather and went back to bed. I was just too damn tired to function – I NEED to go to bed EARLIER!

Hauled the kids over to visit Dean and Isaac’s. ~12km

Date: Saturday, 31 May 08
Time: 2:04:54
Distance: 50.68
Average Speed: 24.52 kph
Max Speed: 45.1kph
Temp: 3°C - 8°C
Wind: W 8-11kph
Conditions: Light Fog –cleared up – SUNNY!
Notes: Dragged my ass again and didn’t make it out until quarter to six…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

...then had to wait 10 min. for a train near the landfill….

If only…

A GREAT ride in all. A little chilly to start but soon warmed up.

I saw Red-winged Blackbirds, loads of Meadowlarks and a dead porcupine.

So many pop bottles and beer cans in the ditches…

30 Ball Crunches
30 Back Extensions on Ball
30 Leg Raises
30 Push-ups

Finnegan and Dad exercising.

Finnegan decided to get down and do some exercises with Dad… of course he did them complete with exaggerated heavy breathing – trying his best to sound just like Dad – who, honestly, probably sounds a little like two yaks mating while dong these….

Date: Sunday, 1 June 08
Time: 2:32:28
Distance: 60.25km
Average Speed: 23.71kph
Temp: 3°C - 10°C
Wind: N 10kph - NE 17kph
Conditions: Sunny!
The wind to my back to start was fun – though I knew every moment of effortlessly cruising at 30kph mean twice as long suffering to maintain 20kph on the way home!

I saw some Deer

I also saw another Red Fox – quite close, less than 50m but wasn’t quick enough with the camera. I was thinking I should get a top bar bag like Amanda has on her road bike to put the camera in for a little quicker access… Something like THIS one…

Just for giggles I took a slightly different route home – at the north end of valley road, instead of heading into town and through southwest industrial area I turned right and headed down the road that turns into spadina – just to see how bad it’s gotten. In parts it’s pretty bad – loose gravel and/or washboard clear across the road. But then since I’m “training for cyclocross” maybe a bit of bumpity-bump in my weekly routine wouldn’t be so bad.

Also going this way I was able to avoid a wait for another train – though riding under that bridge seems a bit precarious – it feels like it’s going to collapse at any moment and all the cars are going to fall down on your head!

30 Ball Crunches
30 Back Extensions on Ball
30 Leg Raises
30 Push-ups

This was considerable less painful than it was earlier in the week.

Hauled the kids to swimming class then over to the Grandparents... another 12km...?

RIDE #2!
Time: 1:50:28
Distance: 43.96km
Average Speed: 23.87kph
Temp: 16°C - 18°C
Wind: ENE 15kph - NW 10kph
Conditions: Sunny! Sunny! Sunny!
Notes: Went out for a second ride in the afternoon with Amanda, Susan and Roger.

Roger, Susan, Amanda.

We went out valley road again but took a little side detour to explore a newly paved road none of us had been up before. There was WAY too much traffic at this time of day – at least for a group ride.

The wind was all over staring off from the east ending up from the north…

Because I’ve done a rather lot of riding this weekend I think I’ll start off week three with a “rest day” – also Amanda has been wanting to get out to the skate park early in the mornings (when there’s no one there to embarrass herself in front of – or crash into …!)


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

I had so much fun riding fixed on the SURLY Cross Check I decided I needed to set up a dedicated fixey for the road. I found an old road bike hanging up upstairs with the used bikes at the Bike Doctor that looked perfect. I offered Dave $75 plus a case of beer and ordered myself in a Suzue track hub. I rebuilt the rear wheel and presto – for less than $200 I had a fixey for the road.

I can’t remember exactly when I built this up. It was the fall of 2004 when I built up the Surly… I think it might have been more or less at the exact same time or right away afterwards. I probably rode it a bit until the snow started flying and it has been my #1 bike for getting around summer bike (when I’m not towing kids) ever since.

I have no idea of the origin of the bike as it has no headbadge or decals – it did have one decal on the top tube when I got it that said “Sport Swap”….!? It’s lugged and brazed steel and I imagine butted cro-mo. It had a bizarre mix of components like a campy front derailleur with Dura-Ace cranks (really, really OLD Dura-Ace cranks… but Dura-Ace none the less!)

Later spoke started breaking on the front wheel so I replaced it with a wheel I had kicking around for a previous project bike, and in the summer of 2005 I took the rocket out for a 100km road ride (the only ride I did outside of town – let me tell you IT HURT!) and it occurred to me 50km from home as my knees felt like exploding and my ass HURT that perhaps the seat post was a bit short – so it was replaced with a cheap and cheerful post. Recently I swapped over my black Brooks Saddle then I decommissioned the Cannondale ‘cross bike. That’s about it for “upgrades”. Oh I might have put new tires on….

In the picture above THE ROCKET is rigged for a long road ride – for ripping around town my pump and tools and stuff would all be stashed in my Push bag.

The gears are 54x18. Tall gear to push up hills but at least I don't spin my legs off coming back down!