Tim Horton's--not the ideal training diet, perhaps, but at least the company is a cycling sponsor in Canada
There has been so much going on in my little cycling world that I have been hard-pressed to keep up. The last week has not been very good from a training standpoint, primarily due to the stupid weather here. It has been very cold in the mornings and we have had a great deal of rain. On Wednesday's commute home I got totally soaked and can honestly say that I did not enjoy it. Adding to this a four day-long sinus headache and I had to drop all my training plans, plans I usually am very conscientious about doing. And on Thursday evening there was more rain and even though there was a chance it would stop and my headache had cleared up, I have really had enough of riding in the rain since my Animalthon ordeal so I skipped that too. And with the lack of training and the feeling-sorry-for-myself that comes from it, I really broke down and bought two doughnuts at Tim Horton's. I do this very rarely but feel that as a shareholder I must occasionally. Needless to say, my weight has started to go back up.
I did not do a race report from the time trial I did the week before, on May 21. This was one of my worst time trial experiences. I had a good warm-up and felt pretty relaxed. It was quite hot but not uncomfortable. Unfortunately, there was a massive sidewind, even worse than the previous week's. Anyway, as I was being positioned for the launch I asked the holder if he was set and he said okay; it turned out he wasn't holding the seatpost and when I had both feet in the pedals I started to tip over. Luckily, the timekeeper grabbed me. Needless to say, this was not good for my concentration. 10 seconds later I launched but when I was getting up to speed I sat down and could not find my seat! I did a moment later when it jammed into my left inner thigh. When falling, I think it had caught my leg. Anyway, it was twisted way over so that the nose was hitting me on every revolution. I stood up and hammered it back but could only get it partway. At the turnaround when I slowed down I tried again but when I crossed the finish it was still pretty cockeyed. Poor results, needless to say, so the next time I race I will be put up at at the front again I suppose. At least I will be able to pass people, which will cheer me up. Actually, the time was not horrific and put me in 8th place yet again in my age group. I can't imagine what other excuses people were using...and, on the positive side, no cramps!
photo by Jessica Trinity, Creative Commons
This morning it was pouring rain again and I dragged myself around, cleaning bikes and doing household things until it cleared up nicely in the afternoon and I was able to actually do my 3 hour training ride as scheduled. This involves some hard intervals in the first hour but then 2 hours of endurance-speed riding. The intervals went very well, in spite of most of them being into yet another awful headwind, and I felt much happier being out on the bike again. At the end of the ride, I went west and crossed the dreadful MacDonald-Cartier Bridge into Quebec and then turned east and rode the empty bike paths to Gatineau. The roads there are so poor I retraced my steps and arrived home with 80 kms to my credit and a much more positive outlook on things. And tomorrow I will do the first Almonte Bicycle Club time trial of the year, another 40 km ride from Calabogie, so this will make up for missing Thursday's 15 km ride.
photo by fachxx00, Creative Commons
The other cycling things? Well, of course I have been following the Giro d'Italia very closely. Lots of great racing and superb routes--Friday's stage included a climb up Mt. Vesuvius! This is timely as I have been recently sent a new book to review for www.pezcyclingnews.com. It is the first English-language biography of Fausto Coppi and will be released in June. Here is Carlos Sastre on Vesuvius, climbing a whole lot better than I can:
I also have the latest edition of Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible to review so watch this space in the coming days.
The collection of Tin Donkeys grows. I have finished the final touches on a new bike for my wife who wanted a "blingy" bicycle. With some judicious E-Bay shopping and a great deal of care, I have assembled a like-new 2008 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL2 for her, with Specialized Roval Fusee Star wheels and gorgeous Ice Grey Ultegra SL parts. It is quite spectacular and I will post some photos soon.
The other Tin Donkey is not yet ready to be photographed. It is a 1985 Raleigh professional team replica and I have been acquiring Campagnolo Super Record parts for it. Marinoni will paint it and build a new fork for it later in summer. The parts hunt is almost over and next week I will pick up the wheels for it when I go to Cirque du Cyclisme in Virginia. Several posts will be devoted to this interesting bike that even my wife admits to liking.
Yes, back to Cirque! I really enjoyed it in 2007 in Greensboro and now that I have the Marinoni restored and the new Raleigh pro bike (admittedly not ready until 2010) I feel that I really am a fellow lightweight bike-collecting geek and will fit right in. Jan Heine, whose book on racing bikes I reviewed for Pezcyclingnews, will be a speaker and framebuilder Peter Weigle will talk about bike restoration and how it doesn't have to be totally authentic to be fun. I will be bringing the Marinoni to display as a show bike; the organizer of the event actually has a Raleigh identical to mine!
Immediately after Cirque, I will join Dr. Chef, the Badger and Mrs. Badger and we will ride the Great Allegheny Passage from McKeesport, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, Maryland. The Passage is a rail-trail that links up to the C&O Canal towpath in Cumberland, so the route basically takes you from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC (well, the bit from McKeesport to Pittsburgh is still not complete and is apparently some way off). This will be a three day tour of 132 miles and I promise to bring back lots of good photos and stories of local colour.
And after all this, I can still look forward to my trip to Europe on August 4-16th. The Giro dell'Inferno will see us spending a few days near Munich where we will be able to drink a lot of beer before heading to Bolzano for some serious climbing rides (and drinking more beer afterwards). The group will be about ten people and everyone is already pretty excited about the trip. Custom jerseys are being prepared. I will order the just-released Naxos scenery DVD (with Beethoven) to get into the right frame of mind.