"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning" - Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sun, wind, clouds, Sun, Hail, sleet, rain...

That's kinda how today went as far as the weather was concerned. It was werid, just like something Calgary would experience. The day started off great and it looked like it would be yet another glorious day, but pretty quickly turned cold and windy as the clouds moved through. Then the sun came out again, and then the hail and sleet came in to finish off the day.

Today was the first time I have participated in a road race. I really need to get the experience of drafting in a pack, cornering, and descending. The course put on up at Caleb Pike was perfect - undulations, some short descending, short climbs, and of course cornering. I headed up there, in the sun, and was ready to take it as it came. Just as I arrived in the parking lot, it started getting colder and then the hail and sleet came down. Those that know me will know that I tend to underdress. This was no exception. Race format was an A group and a B group. I jumped in the B group.

I started basically at the back of the pack and stayed there the entire way. I was happy not to get in amongst everybody on the corners and everybody bunched up on the short climb anyway, so unless you were right out in front to put on a charge, there was no benefit to being the the middle. The pace wasn't hard. It was actually pretty easy going up the climbs, and steady on the undulations. I finished somewhere in the middle-back. I realised that my cautious riding around corners, and down hills needs to change before I race in Kelowna.

Times Colonist is on Sunday. Will post something after that. The last couple of days have felt pretty good. I have had lots of energy - partly due to such great weather! There have definitely been ups and downs, but the ups are completely worth the time spent in the lows.

Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A bit of imagination

The last couple of weeks have gone by pretty quickly. Soon it will be time for the TC 10km. I headed out to Cranbrook for a few days over the Easter weekend and was lucky to get some great days of spring-like weather. The roads are not as bad as I thought they might be after a winter of salt-spraying and heavy trucks rolling over them so riding was fairly good. A friend I rode with is planning on getting a garmin edge 705, but before he spends that kind of money he made his own version...

Check out that bike computer! It's a GPS unit, but it's generally used for fieldwork and navigation.

Back to Victoria and training has been rolling along nicely. I've been getting in some great swims and biking has been fun. Running isn't coming along as well as I had hoped (not going badly), but next weekend at the TC will be a pretty decent indication one way or the other.

Time to run, literally.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Seeing Red

Awesome...a word that I never really used much in vocabulary until coming to Canada. Now and again something would be “awesome”, but not like everything is over here.

I have found something that IS awesome. SRAM RED! I got rid of the DA from my soloist and cabled the old beast up with Red shifters and derailleurs, finishing it off with some new brilliant white bar tape. First off, I am not exactly mechanically minded. The last time I tried to set the front derailleur on a bike I failed miserably and almost stripped the heads on the limit screws. This time, I nailed it.

So, taking it out on the roads, I was a little apprehensive. Questions like: “Will this ACTUALLY shift properly?” were running through my mind. Shifting on a stand is one thing, on a road is another. I made it down to OBB for the group ride with no problems. There was the occasion where I wanted to push the blade across to shift up but those kinks worked out pretty quickly. Riding in the group was a good test for this group set. There were accelerations and slowing at random occasions which translated into needing to shift quickly. The double-tap system works very well. Shifting both up and down was crisp and very responsive every time. The new hood position was comfortable. And best of all – NO CABLES! The whole set-up was quiet also. There have been a number of posts on forums about how noisey the group set is. This noise is generated by the hollow one-piece SRAM cassette and. I am using a shimano cassette, chain, and crank.

The last week and a half has been good. With the exception of really tight calfs, getting soaked riding in the rain, and getting my first flat tyre EVER, training has felt better. The last couple of months have been a bit shakey with tiredness/lethargy/sleep problems but (knock on wood) it seems to have cleared up.

Maybe some sunshine would help...hint..hint.