new training method

started a new training regime - i've constructed an oxygen deprivation system, using WWII surplus materials, which i use when i am on the trainer while the weather continues to be crappy. i'm hoping that this will boost my red blood cell count thereby delivering more oxygen to my aging muscles and allowing me to keep up to the younger set in expert.



time to start training in earnest - real time on the bike outdoors. gianni and i headed out to BHP for some laps and it was fine despite the predicted forecast. as we were doing laps we discussed a more concerted, possibly group effort to the training. the idea we came up with was a tuesday, thursday, sunday schedule for now: tuesday, meet at assinaboine park for intervals and sprints; thursday leave from the shop for a more casual spin; sundays at BHP or other location for longer distance rides. this could be the spring schedule until more formal things begin out the club.


theory and reality

with yesterday's temps rising to the happy side of zero, tim kevin, and i thought it would be a good idea to do a little spring classics training and hit the gravel roads for a ride. the theory was that the roads would still be frozen and we'd get a little gravel road ride in. the reality is we got muddy, kevin spun his deraillieur and we learned something about the sun, thawing and dirt/gravel roads. all in all tim and i got 25-30 kms in.


road trip report

the spring training road trip started on friday, february 27th. after a morning meeting at work i was on the road by 1:30 - 11 1/2 hours later i was in madison wisconsin.

what it looked like when i left

after a short 5 hours of sleep i was back on the road, making my way to indianapolis to take in the 2009 north american handmade bike show.

the show was very cool with a ton of amazing bikes. it was pretty crowded, but if you were patient you could talk to the various frame builders who were more than happy to chat. in addition to the bike builders there were also reps from components such as: paul, velo orange, chris king, white industries, etc.

following a quick lunch i was back on the road. durham was still 10 hours away, which meant it was going to be a long day of driving.

finally, no snow

the end of snow - well did not really end. somewhere in west virginia the snow started to fall as i gained altitude in the mountains. at times it got pretty heavy but since the ground was still warm it did not freeze.

driving through a tunnel in west virginia

arrived in durham sometime around 1:00 in the morning. the next morning it was raining pretty steady and temperature was hovering around zero. chris and i went for a quick ride in the morning and soon found ourselves inside continuing our spring training

interval training

the next morning we woke up to this. snow in north carolina is not that unusual, but in march it is not that common. schools were closed (as soon as there is any snow on ground they usually close the schools - even if the streets are drivable).

jonah was more than happy to go for a ride in the snow

on monday chris and i headed out for a little 'spring classics' style riding, durham has plenty of paths to cycle on and we tooled around on these for a few hours. the other thing durham has is hills and i quickly discovered that riding around winnipeg in winter does not prepare one well for riding hills

day two of riding - cool, but not as wet as day one

the next day we headed out to pisgah national forest for three days of riding. along the way we stopped at first flight bike shop in statesville. this a very cool shop that collects vintage bikes as well as being a great all round shop.

almost as cool as the handmade bike show

we arrived in pisgah shortly after lunch and started on the first ride. the way it works here is you climb for 40 - 60 minutes and then spend the next 20 bombing down single track.

our first climb was all on pavement

although you can't really see it in the picture this shows where we started

our next ride for the day started with a climb on fire road. it was 9 miles of climbing (higher altitude and steeper roads than our first ride). by mile 3 i was gassed, chris and i on our singlespeeds soon found it to steep to pedal and we began our death march to the top. because of the altitude, and the way the slope faced we soon found our selves pushing our bikes through the snow. as this took quite a bit of time, more than we expected, all we could do when we reached the top was to turn around and bomb down the same road it had taken us 2 hours to climb. taken the trail was not going to be an option as the snow would have been too deep and we would have lost light by the time we were half way down.

pedaling uphill while we still could

we pushed through the white stuff for about 5km

the next day alex had selected a longer ride along a ridge run called turkey pen(???). again, the ride started with a big climb with the trails starting off dry and gradually filling with snow as we climbed higher. during this climb i tweaked my hamstring as i was pedaling through some snow. rather than risk a full pulling of the hamstring we decided to cut this ride short and try another ride which would not be as epic in length (this gave us time to get into town so i could get a tensor bandage and heat balm for the hammy). during the downhill i put a small gash in sidewall of the racing ralph and had slap an tube in the tire (the racing ralph is perhaps a little to thin for riding on the rocks).
chris climbing
starting the downhill

one of many stream crossings on this trail

day three we picked a couple of new trails and continued the modus operandi of riding fire roads up and bombing down technical single track for the descents. the arms were getting quite the workout as i rode rigid for the entire 3 days

checking routes

riding through a rhododendron tunnel

a rare photo of us going downhill

it was a great trip and many thanks to chris and alex for taking time off so they could show this flatlander around the great trails of the pisgah national forest.

bike porn

on my way to visit chris and spend some time cycling in north carolina i stopped for about an hour and a half at the north american handmade bike show in indianapolis. the show was somewhat overwhelming, so much to see and too little time to see it (was still trying to make durham that day - 10 hours away). here are some photos...

a lot of wood on this bike: rims, seat post, grips, inserts (pedals and pivot covers)

great lug work and paint job. liam at the shoppe is getting a trials frame made by this guy

very cool dropouts for chain tension

the most phallic award winner - great imagination on the design of this handlebar

detail of how the handle bar pivots

street bike?

interesting brake detail

okay, your dad is a frame builder and he builds this bike for you, do you take this to school?

once you get this up to speed...

nice downtube detail

i thought the aesthetics of this brake mount was very interesting

36 inch wheels - the builder said it is not practical for off-road

29er by the same builder of the 36er

steel/carbon 29er

an internal two speed crank system