Friday, October 22, 2010

The Fall of our tearing our legs off

Cross number four was a bust. My rear hub is at Phat Moose getting a new O-Pro rim laced up. Next up is a trip to Germany for a week of conferencing, and wandering around.

So this week Kanata Lakes happened. In fact it happened three days in a row in an effort to tear my legs off. On the last day I went out with Rob for a yawn patrol (= afternoon).

The afternoon was so cold and so quiet. Sometimes KL seems like the primordial earth on days like that, even though you're only a couple kms from the suburbs in any direction. After difficult sections I'd stop and hear the breeze, then head on to keep warm as light snow fell.

This bike just gets more awesome the more I ride it. The rock obstacles of KL recall an old kinetic memory or riding a mini-ramp on a skateboard: arcing curves, trying to keep the momentum high through the smooth transition, to short bursts and quick flicks of the front or rear wheels, keeping light on your feet, as you tap the coping and come back down.

Lately I've been playing a game on the Outback trail I call Dab Golf: I count how many times I have to dab my foot while negotiating the obstacles on the Outback trail. I ride from the Inukshuk to the terminis at the western border, which I've got down to 13 dabs, but I really should extend the game to the whole loop from Inukshuk to Inukshuk. There are some sections (5-6) that I'll never do clean, and a bunch of sections that are percentage moves for me, and some dabs are really just unforced errors. I would like to see the rider who could do it all clean. That would be impressive.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cyclocross Number 3

Had to drive an hour for this one. Got there just in time to not have a real warm-up. I redlined it on the second lap and had to slow down a bit too much, but I don't think I lost any positions. The course was awesome, with a nasty off-camber run-up then muddy climb to the finish line. After the climb you went through a smooth chicane, then hold on to your handlebars and descend fast to a mudpit. If you could keep on track, you could miss the big molasses mud section and keep it in high gear for a following section of smooth flat straight course where you can recover and find a tempo, and maybe even draft someone. You could also find out if the people around you hit the prior run-ups a bit too aggressively.

The record rainfalls of the last three months have abated for at least a few days, but that just made the mud angry. The mud sought it's revenge by gumming up everything. Any racer who had the foresight and money to field two bikes and a pit bike-washer friend would have had a huge advantage. The evil mud also made me scrub my bike for a good long hour when I got home, when all I really wanted was a cup of coffee and some rest.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Belgian Frites

Sometimes I indulge my culinary side on this web log. In honor of cross season I made belgian frites and homemade aioli (recipe here). Of course, the Hoegaarden just puts it over the top. The lemon flavor of the aioli compliments the coriander and orange peel used in the Hoegaarden. Now if only I could be standing in the cold muck watching a UCI Superprestige race whilst munching them...

photo credit

While not Belgium, later this month I'll be in Saxony, but there will be no high profile races when I'm there. Dang.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cyclocross Madison

Madison events: two-rider teams. The series schedules a madison event every year. I just wanted to race a straight race today, but I grudgingly went out the door this morning to ride anyway. I actually had a lot of fun. The race is non-competitive, with riders encouraged to pair up with disparate abilities. Some people did this, but some teams were far from disparate. Whatev. Each to his own. The nice thing about the madison is that you get to ride along side some really good riders that I normally only see in the first 10 seconds of the race. I get to see the lines everyone takes, how people attack the run-ups, and how much stronger the fast guys really are. This race is also pretty good training. Alternating laps allows you to red-line each lap like interval training.

The partner I randomly paired up with was a cool guy with a Rollof mtb, doing work on electric windmills (jcox: does your new windmill job have an office in Ottawa?).