2 months ago I wrote about being out of commission due to a stomach virus of some sort. Since there, there has been lots going on that I just haven’t bothered to blog about. I’ll attempt to do a quick write up of what I’ve been up to since then. Amy and the kids went back east to visit with her parents and some of my family in early May. She was gone for 2 weeks, leaving on a Sunday afternoon and returning two weeks later, late on a Sunday night. While she was gone, I was tasked with “finishing the deck.” This is kind of funny when you consider I hadn’t even started the deck. Bad weather and a bunch of other excuses prevented me from finishing the deck, but I did get a good start on it. Grant helped me tear down the old deck, and Steve, Dave, Darcy and JK all helped me get the substructure done while Amy and the kids were away. Thanks guys! Since then, I’ve managed to install the deck boards and am in the process of getting the old stairs put back on and installing the railings. JK was a huge help with the decking – thanks dude! You can check out the set on Flickr if you’re interested. Race weekend has come and gone since I last wrote as well. I had hoped to finish the 1/2 marathon in and hour and forty minutes, but sadly that was not to be. In the end, I finished in 1:48:54 and I guess I can’t complain too much. I think the problem was a real lack of a training schedule and general laziness on my part. I was also not feeling great on the days leading up to and including race day, but I’m not sure that actually played a part in what happened. My strategy of not taking anything in during the race was a poor one – next time I’ll consume *something*, if only just water. :) A couple weeks after race weekend, it was time for the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour, which is a weekend event where 1800+ riders cycle down to Kingston and back. This was my first year participating in the event and I really enjoyed it. I had done a lot of my training rides with Grant and Bonnie, so I was used to riding with them. They took the tandem down, and I pretty much followed them the whole way there and back. There were some brief periods where I was either out in front of them or alone, but generally speaking I stuck to their back wheel a lot of the time. Steve and Jody also participated in the ride, but due to an unfortunate accident, Jody wasn’t really feeling up to making the return ride on Sunday. I was super impressed that she soldiered on after the accident on Saturday and made it all the way to Kingston. The accident happened before the half way point on Saturday, so she rode for a good 90+ kms with her scrapes and bruises! You’re a machine Jody! I was very happy with how the whole weekend went, especially with how I felt after getting to Kingston on Saturday. Up to that point, I was not being very responsible in terms of refueling my body during training rides. I would basically take a gel or two with me and by the time I got back home, I was pretty much completely spent and useless for the rest of the day. This was not the case for this tour – Grant filled me in on what I should be eating and when and when I followed his advice, I felt great! I felt really good on Sunday too, but of course was a bit sore on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week. Weather-wise, it was a decent weekend. Saturday was sunny and fairly warm for the whole day, and Sunday was pretty much cloudy the whole time. We got rained on for a very short time (maybe an hour total) but it wasn’t too cold or anything. Nothing like what I experienced during a training ride the weekend before when I swear I was the coldest I have ever been! That’s about it in terms of the big events for me. Trying to get back into the active living after taking the past week off. I think I’m going to start cycling into work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – at least until Amy goes back to work. EDIT: Forgot that Darcy was here one day helping with the deck. Sorry Darce! Thanks for coming. :) [...]
Just over two years ago I bought a new road bike and if I had to guess, I’d say I’ve probably put somewhere around 2000 kms on it. In all that time, I’ve never got a flat tire. Well unfortunately that all changed this past Sunday. I was out for a ride, by myself, on the back roads around Stittsville. The plan was to do 60 kms – and I came close to that. I was on my way home from a there and back route, when I noticed that my bike was feeling a bit weird – riding much rougher than it normally does. I immediately suspected a flat and when I slowed down, sure enough that’s what it was. I know exactly when it happened (I remember the bump my back wheel took) but I have no idea what caused it. Was it a large rock that I somehow missed with my front wheel but hit with my back? A pothole perhaps? No idea. I had about 8.5 kms to go when this happened, so luckily I had completed just over 50 kms of the 60 kms I had hoped to do. I didn’t have a lot of options at this point because although I had an extra tube, and the tools to make the change – I didn’t have a pump or any other means to inflate the new tube. D’oh! Walking that distance in cycling shoes would be absolute insanity, so luckily I had brought my cell phone with me. I just called up Amy and asked her to come get me, which happily she did. Lesson learned – if you’re going out alone, make sure you have the means to inflate your tires should the need arise. I’d rather not have to carry a pump so instead I’ll be looking into CO2 cartridges. Steve first told me about them a while ago, and I confirmed with Grant that you can get them at MEC so I’ve added that to my list of things to do/get before my next solo ride. Anyways, like I suggested in my post title, perhaps I was just due for a flat. :) [...]
I’ve been catching up on my google reader posts today, after having suffered through a couple of very busy days where I didn’t find the time to read as much as I like, and I came across this post on Wired that talks about a group of cyclists calling themselves Crimanimalz who rode a couple of miles on L.A. freeways at rush hour to try to show that in addition to the environmental benefits, riding your bike may actually get you home quicker. I’m not sure I’d be up for anything like this (afterall it only takes one pissed off driver to cause some serious damage) but lately I’ve been thinking about how cool it would be if cyclists had better roads to use. Imagine a Queensway for cyclists! So far this spring I haven’t been out on my bike anywhere near as often as I’d like to be. It would be a real PITA to ride my bike to work on days when Liam is in daycare. That leaves the days that Amy is off for me to ride to and from work, but sadly those days seem to be few and far between these days. :( [...]
I got back onto the bike the other night, and that is definitely a good sign considering it is only January – last year I think I may have cycled 2 or 3 times all winter. Granted that was on rollers, which are significantly harder to use than a stationary trainer. So while Steve is off cycling in NZ for the next 3 months or so, I’ve got his trainer and have actually started using it. The first obstacle was changing the back tire on my bike, something I’ve never done before, or at least not on a road bike – I remember changing tires on my ‘dirt bike’ when I was a kid. Anyways, I picked up a trainer tire (Continental Ultra Sport) on the advice of my friend Paul. I got the tire from Kunstadt Sports in Kanata. For some reason I got a great deal on the tire – it was marked for $45.99 but after ringing it up, they only asked me for just over $41 – taxes in! Sweet! I got the new tire installed with no issues and hooked the bike up to the trainer. Unfortunately the ‘resistance change lever’ for the trainer was meant to be mounted on smaller diameter handlebars (25-26 mm) so I have been unable to mount it to my bike which has the larger diameter handlebars (31.8 mm). I’m still trying to think up a complication that I can rig up – I think some copper plumbing pipe will be involved. I started with an easy 45 minute ride while I watched The Celebrity Apprentice. As you can see from the picture to the left, I also set up the camera to take a few shots of me while I rode. It was good to get some exercise in again, and doubly good to be on my bike again. Now I just need to try to keep it up. :) [...]
Since I’ve been back to work (from parental leave) I’ve been trying to cycle in as much as possible. Unfortunately I don’t get as much chance as I’d like to (I’d cycle every day if I could) since dropping Liam off at daycare necessitates me driving on those days. Better one or two days a week than none though I guess. Here are some observations I’ve made during my commute to/from work on the bike: A lot of drivers just don’t know how to deal with a bike on the road. Some are overly aggressive (angry that they have to share the road I guess) and some are overly ‘polite’ to the point of disregarding the rules of the road by trying to give you right-of-way when you shouldn’t have it. Both of these types of drivers drive me nuts – and I think more-so the ‘polite’ drivers! Of course I’m not that surprised, a lot of people have a hard enough time following the rules when simply sharing the road with other cars so… [...]
I dropped Amy and Liam off at the airport on Thursday morning and they aren’t returning until this coming Saturday which means I had this past weekend all to myself. Seeing as I don’t normally have that kind of free time, I decided that I had better take advantage of it while I could. The fact that I didn’t do any (substantial) drinking and in fact was in bed by 1030 every night this past weekend is a testament to how much my life has changed since Liam came along. It was an enjoyable, but very tiring weekend. [...]
Amy and I finally got around to getting a helmet for Liam (check flickr for some photos) so that we could try out the chariot as a bike trailer. We’ve been wanting to go riding as a family since Amy got her new bike, but just haven’t been able to find a helmet for Liam. We checked a few places and they all seemed to be too big. In the end, we ended up getting the smallest one we could find (at Kundstadt sports in Kanata) and used that. It is a tad too big, but he’ll grow into it. [...]
My longest ride to date and it was through the mountains (hehe) of Gatineau park. We left from Grant’s place just after 0700 this morning and took our usual route across Champlain Bridge towards the park. After climbing that damn Pink Lake hill we opted to take the route that would take us up Camp Fortune rather than King Mountain on our way to Champlain Lookout. Camp Fortune wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being which was nice surprise. I managed to drop one of my water bottles, but luckily it was on a flat stretch so I just had to turn around and pick it up rather than having to chase it down a hill. [...]
I was alone in Gatineau for the first time yesterday. Grant was in NB, or on his way back from NB, Trev was also in NB and Steve stayed home sick for once in his lifetime. I decided that after taking the entire week off from physical activity (except for Ultimate) that I really had no choice but to go and cycle by myself. [...]
Well I biked further last Sunday (the 2nd) than I ever have before. If you take a look to the left, you can see the route that I followed to get me down to Brockville. Total distance, according to my new bike computer, was 95 km. I stuck to back roads and didn’t see much in the way of traffic, which I was happy about.
I had made plans with Trev to meet him in Merickville, which is about half way, at 1100. It was about 50 km from my place to our meeting place in Merickville so I gave myself 2 hours to get there, figuring I could easily average 25 kph. Unfortunately I didn’t anticipate a brutal headwind for the first 12.5 and last 10 kms of my ride into Merickville but luckily I was still able to average better than 25 kph to make it before 1100.