Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Mother Nature sure has a mean sense of humour. I just did a ride to Kakabeka Falls and fought a headwind all the way out. It took me 1 hour and 43 minutes to get there. I thought about turning off a few times but decided I wanted to see the falls. As I crossed the outskirts of downtown Kakabeka Falls, it stated snailing. Snow and or hail. I pulled off and planned to stop for a second to empty the last of my water bottle, forgot to unclip and fell over. I quickly jumped up jumped back on and zipped out of town. I never did get to see the falls.
As I passed the 20th Side Road on my way back the wind turned 180 degrees and was now in my face again, right off the lake. The temperature must have dropped about 10 degrees. I haven't been colder on a ride even in January. I plugged along and completed the 37.4 mile round trip in 3 hours and 5 minutes. The wind on my back made for a great ride into town, at least until Momma Nature decided I had had enough fun.

Another Week

I made my mileage goal for April by Sunday but my weight slid back up to 239. For May I'm going back to the hardcore and will blog it all, mileage, workouts and input for the month. May will mark the 1 year anniversary of the start of my better eating and I think it's time to go back to what worked the best.
The race with Black Sheep on Sunday was fun but the rules were a bit hazy. I'm not sure who I was even racing or where I finished but I finished. I need to work a bit harder on going fast as I have no trouble pedalling for long periods but need to build up more resistance to huffing and puffing. The hills were tough and the cold weather had me sniffling for the entire event. The new Underarmour pants were very warm and will be a welcome addition at least until the weather gets warm enough for shorts. Bridget worked pretty well until the chain started clattering on the front derailleur when I went down to the middle ring. Annoying but easily adjusted if I hadn't been trying to climb a hill at the time.
I guess my evil plan is working for the Canadiens. I admit I'm pulling for them and they collapse. Just kidding, there was no ulterior motive in the admission.
Here's a very handy trick for Google searches. If you want to limit your search to anything posted in a time period just do the following. Execute a search, then go to the address and add: &as_qdr=d, then hit enter and you will see the results are all from post in the last 24 hours and a drop down will be added to the top of the page where you can change the time parameter of the search. If you want to make the search for the last 7 days you can also make the line read =7d or 7w for 7 weeks or 7y for 7 years. Save the results of a 24 hour search as a favourite and go back daily to look for new posts about your topic.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Change of Heart

I've always said my dislike of the Montreal Canadiens was almost genetic. As a kid a lot of my Saturday nights were spent sleeping over with my grandparents and watching Hockey Night in Canada. Grandfather Pope hated the Habs so it was only natural that I would do the same. Once a month or so their gang of friends would come over to play poker and I would keep them up to date on the score. I remember Arnie and Toots Wickert, George and Mary Green, friends for many years. What would they think now if they knew I was secretly pulling for the Habs?
They are the only Canadian team left to fight for the cup, surely that's a good enough excuse. They haven't dominated the NHL for years and they don't own every top prospect coming out of the Q like they used to. They are much harder to dislike these days. I really respect their coach Guy Carboneau. Most pro sports coaches rarely change the mask, you never know if they have won or lost. He tells it like it is, he jumps up and down when they win and lets his players know they have to be better when they lose. They seem to have the right mix of experience and youth and they have put everything on the shoulders of a rookie between the pipes, again. I hope Grandpa Pope won't hate me for this, Go Habs Go! Then again, I don't think the word was in his vocabulary.

Too True

Friday, April 25, 2008

Free Backups

It's been some time since I suggested a piece of software but here's one I think would be good for any pc user. A free backup utility that can be configured very easily. I just backed up 'My Documents' to a dvd in about 5 minutes with Comodo Backup. Give it a try, you never know when you're going to get hit by a vir...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The New Molly

The more I ride Molly the more I like her. We went over to Mission Marsh after supper then came home to make some slight changes and the difference in the comfort was immediate. None of the other bikes accelerate like Molly. With the direct drivetrain when you push hard the results are right there. The narrow bars have taken a bit to get used to but feel pretty good now. I love her simple looks and the ride on the all steel frame is very quiet and smooth.
I'm in my first race on Sunday out on Hazelwood Lake Road with the Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club. It's only 21 km so I'll need to do a long ride Saturday. I'm not sure I'll ever fit in with the Thunder Bay Cycling Club but the events the Black Sheep have planned look like fun. They have a cross country series that I'll be in along with fun events and some downhill at Mt. McKay which I might volunteer to help with as I don't really want to go that fast and literally fly on a bike.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Weigh-In 235, X-90

I've been bouncing around between 240 and 235 for a bit now but the last few days seem to have settled on the low end. My goal is to get to 225 (X-100) before we leave for Toronto in roughly 2 months time. With the riding I'll have to be doing this shouldn't be hard to reach. My mileage is still on track at 330 for the month after 3 weeks so even if it rains some I should get the 400 I set.
I took a quick 23 mile trip yesterday to the Sturgeon Bay turnoff on Jill with the new shoes and so far have managed to stay out of trouble with them. I tried Molly on the commute today and she can really motor for a single speed. Of the lot she seems to have the best balance as I can ride her no hands forever. Still no pix but I'll get some up soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Molly is Ready

I finally got off my butt and took Molly's rear wheel in to Farzum for a singlespeed conversion. He put on an 18 tooth sprocket and lined up the chain. I brought her home, repacked the front wheel, put on the bars, adjusted the brakes and carried her to the back door only to find the rain coming down. She'll have to wait until at least tomorrow to hit the road and you'll have to wait for the pix. Do you think you'll be able to sleep?

I'm Officially a Bike Geek

No sense trying to deny it anymore. I picked up a pair of bike shoes yesterday and although I was very nervous about trying them (you are supposed to fall a few times before getting the hang of the process) everything went well except for the weather. They have a few benefits over standard shoes. The velcro closures don't catch on the crank when pedalling. I've had that happen numerous times and fortunately never been in traffic. The big benefit is in the pedalling department. They have a small cleat in the bottom which 'clicks' into two springs in the pedals locking your foot to the bike. Once clipped in you are able to pull up on the pedals as well as push down so your legs are working in both directions. I have a whole new set of muscles to torture on the big hills.

No Backup

Sean Avery of the NY Rangers must not be just the biggest a** in the NHL, he must be the toughest as well. If not, where were the Devils when he was showing how low he's willing to go in game 3 by doing his dance in the face of Marty Brodeur? Someone should have dropped the idiot in his tracks, instigator penalty or not. Then he has the nerve to complain because Brodeur didn't shake his hand, wring his neck was a more likely exchange.
Hey Sean, you get the Devils 8 times next season, better keep the noggin on a swivel for those games.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Note to Self

Train on the others, ride Jill for a thrill. After slogging back and forth on Cecelia for two days in the wind, Bridget got the call this morning and she was in a real hurry to get everywhere. After supper I decided to take a quick ride over to Mission Marsh on Jill to test out a few more tweaks on the bars, about an 8 mile return. Well 20 miles later I was still going and only stopped because it was getting dark. She is so fast in comparison to the others the miles just fly by. I just have to remember to leave her in the basement in June until its time to go to Toronto.

Made Me Think

The Fat Cyclist's post today was pretty somber as his wife was making a monthly visit to the cancer center. His post are normally very funny but today he was at a loss for words. He mentioned his 20th anniversary approaching and how he had tipped over the point where he had been married to his wife longer than the time without her and it made me think, wow Sal and I tipped over a long time ago. I can't even imagine life without her.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bad Day

It started when I took a bag of trail mix to work. The damn thing was calling to me all morning, I had a few hand fulls and thought nothing of it. After lunch, same voice, same result. Later last night Sal went to bed early and I started munching, strawberries, popcorn, then more trail mix and a cupcake Brandyn made. Add in a grape pop and I felt horrible after heading to bed.
Today it was a handful of grapes for breakfast, coffee, some cheese and crackers at lunch and a normal supper. I took Cecelia this morning just to add some punishment, 1 gear in the wind today was a good workout. I just came back from a 10 mile ride in Westfort in shorts which felt really nice for a change. Now I just have to stay away from the kitchen for a few hours. Just like any addiction I guess, you can fall off the wagon pretty easily, I think I landed right under the damn thing last night.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Catching Up

I decided that after 0 miles Friday and Saturday that I had better get in a long one on Sunday, so I caught a ride to the Kakabeka Curling club with Sal and headed out west on Jill. My plan was to go through Kakabeka to Sistonen's Corner and then back to town on 102, make a stop to sign $7000 worth of refs checks and be home for supper. I did manage to follow the plan but the climb out of Kakabeka was a long one and was quickly followed by Strawberrry Hill so it took a bit longer than I had anticipated. To date this was my longest ride ever at just about 45 miles. I feel fine this morning so I guess I'm on the right path to the distances I need to attain.

Jill halfway up Strawberry Hill.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Northwood Banquet

Another season has ended with the banquet yesterday. My timing was off a bit as the awards went too fast and the kids had 20 minutes to get wound up while waiting for the food to be put out, but other than that it went well. The coaches had organized some fund raising for the ride and at the end of the evening I had another $450 to add to the cause. We put out a survey and most of the results look pretty positive after a first run through, though someone definitely did not like the perogies.
I had it in mind all day as I was running around getting things ready, to announce that next year would be my last, but when the time came I couldn't do it, not sure why. This season was an easy one. I'm going to have to get more help for next year and learn to accept the help that comes along even if it means things will be more difficult in the short term. Otherwise I'll never get away from it, maybe I don't really want to, I'm just not sure anymore.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Merry Christmas

and a Happy April 11th!
I labeled this one a 'joke' but I don't think it's very funny. For those of you that just had to wash their truck yesterday, a big thank you very much.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Heck with X...Monday Morning Weigh-In 239

After announcing that I was 325lb. in front of more than 100 people last night I guess the X- days are over. If you check the total to the right you can see that the Cooking Demo was a huge hit and my goal of $5000 has been surpassed. A BIG thank you to everyone out there that was involved.
The weather sure turned ugly, I had to coax Cecelia out this morning. She looked at me like "sure now you want to take me out, when its snaining and sloppy." Snaining is a word from Jill Homer's blog to describe wet snow/rain and it works pretty well. Some of those damn snain drops sting pretty good. Sal came and picked me up at 5 as she was heading past and felt sorry for Cecelia I think. I managed to get in 110 miles in the first week of April so I'm on target for 400, now if Mother Nature could just remember what season this is.
It sure is strange to have company for supper, good to have you home for a few days a week.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Meet Jillian

After a 10 mile test ride over to Mission Marsh, Farzam and I wrapped up the deal on Jill. I can finally say I know what I'll be riding at the Conquer Cancer. I brought her home and put on the Brooks leather saddle and the computer Mike and Mel gave me at Christmas, adjusted the bar ends and took off. I went out Rosslyn Road and ended up bringing her to meet Sal at work. By time I was done I had put a total of 40 miles on her today.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Haven't Picked the Bike, But I Have Her Named

Jillian. She'll be making the trip to Toronto for the Conquer Cancer, whatever she ends up being, that will be her name. Jill Homer writes a blog that I have been following about her life and riding in Alaska and most recently her 350 mile bike ride in the Iditarod for Bikes. (daily posts appear at the bottom of this page). I printed out her story of the Iditarod ride and read it on the plane to Calgary. You'd never know it to look at her but she is one tough cookie. I think about her when the ride to work in the morning gets cold, and then it just doesn't seem so bad. I've been mulling a name over for a week or so but after reading her latest post it came to me, Jillian.
I hope to have time to test ride the Lapierre tomorrow. I rode Cecelia to work today because she's still covered in rode slime and she looked so sad just sitting there every time I brought Bridget into the house. I have to clean her up, she took so much abuse during the winter/early spring, I guess I owe it to her. Can a bike look sad?
This is a picture of Bridget after running it through some process filters in Gimp, she definitely doesn't look sad.