Monday, 27 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - The Third 9

The benefits to cycling everyday started to pay off in this portion of 30 Days of Biking. I was able to tackle three 100 kilometre rides in a seven day span, two of them back to back.

Total distance: 567.7 km
Shortest ride: 20.6 km
Longest ride: 104.0 km


Saturday, 18 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - The Second 9

The middle phase of 30 Days of Biking. I was definitely in the groove, feeling faster and more energetic while riding. Several shorter rides had me cover less distance than in the first nine days.

Total distance: 270.4 km
Shortest ride: 2.7 km
Longest ride: 72.1 km


Thursday, 9 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - The First 9

The first nine days of 30 Days of Biking flew by. 

Total distance: 345.9 km
Shortest ride: 23.3 km
Longest ride: 55.0 km


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 1 - Inspiration

30 Days of  Biking is finally here!

Today I set off on the mission to ride my bike for thirty days in April, which I last managed to accomplish in 2013. This year I'm approaching from a different vantage point. I haven't been able to do as much riding this year, so this is the perfect opportunity to motivate myself to get on my bike more.

I usually ride my bike for three reasons. I'm training, I'm racing, or I'm riding to work. However, it doesn't have to be about any of those things because 30 Days of Biking is about just riding. Think about incorporating biking into your everyday life. So many things in our lives can be completed on a bike yet we often choose the easiest way, usually a car, to get things done. Plan ahead and anything is possible.

Some things I'm aiming to do by bicycle for this year's 30 Days of  Biking;

  • Take my youngest to preschool by bike
  • Go on a family ride
  • Pick up groceries
  • Meet a non-cycling friend for coffee

What can you do in your life by bicycle?

Not only can 30 Days of  Biking be a physical challenge, it can a bit of a mental challenge as well.

To help overcome the mental battle, there is one thing to keep in mind.  You really need to choose a bike that you love to ride so that you can enjoy your time cycling. If you like your bike, you are more likely to choose to ride it. It doesn't matter what type of bike you ride - mountain bike, road bike, old, new, light, or heavy. You need a bike that you can ride and most importantly one you will ride.

A bike you enjoy riding will help you get through 30 Days of  Biking. Good luck!







Saturday, 3 January 2015

Rapha Festive 500 - 2014

Another year, another Rapha Festive 500.

2014 marks my fourth year completing the somewhat insane challenge of riding 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. I had been off my bike for four weeks after the end of cyclocross season. This was definitely going to be a shock to the system.

I knew from my previous three attempts that consistency is the key. It's easy to fall behind and when you do, it is very hard to make up.

Festive 500 - 2014
Ride #1 - 119.3 km

I managed to switch shifts at work so I could start my Festive 500 in a big way on Christmas Eve. My first ride was out to my parent's in Agassiz. After giving me a two hour head start, my wife and kids jumped in the car and the chase was on! Just outside of Abbotsford they met up with me. I was only at the halfway point, but the hot coffee they brought me gave me the boost I needed to keep going. After a couple more hours I had arrived for an early Christmas dinner.

Ride #2 - 81.3 km

Escaping on Christmas Day is always tricky, but luckily my family is very understanding and I was able to escape for a few hours. It always nice to ride on familiar Fraser Valley roads. Two days in and I had already completed 40% of the challenge.

Ride #3 - 61.6 km

After a break from riding on Boxing Day, this was my first commute of the challenge! I used the now well-traveled South Fraser Perimeter Road to add some extra distance on the way home. I remember back in 2012 when I was one of the first cyclists on the SFPR. It's still a decent road, but the shoulder is clogged with debris and traffic is quite a bit heavier now that it is open all the way through to Delta. Definitely not quite as cycling friendly as I initially thought.

Ride #4 - 101.1 km

No rest from the Festive 500. A Sunday off work meant I could grind out another big chunk of the challenge with an easy flat ride through Richmond. I saw many other cyclists out enjoying the cool and dry winter conditions. I could only assume at least a few of them were out to complete the Festive 500 as well. It has grown to be quite popular thanks to the cycling website Strava. When I first completed the Festive 500 in 2011, only six other Canadians finished it. This year there was 101 finishers from Canada!

I was 73% complete with only three days left and I had to work all of them. This is where the Festive 500 can get you. So close but still 136.7 kilometres to go. No time to slack off.

Ride #5 - 63.1 km

Another commute to work brought me to 85%. Outside washing my bike off in the cold, I was contemplating whether I could knock off the rest of the challenge in one last ride, or play it safe and use both of the remaining days.

Ride #6 - 79.1 km

The average temperature recorded for this ride was 0° Celsius. It was much colder than that when I set out for work at 05:00 in the morning. I was feeling good after work and decided to go all in. I was going to finish this challenge today! I got a flat just as the sun was setting. I could feel it getting colder as I repaired the tire on the side of the road. I arrived home in the cold and in the dark, but I was finished. My fourth straight Festive 500 in the books!


Saturday, 12 July 2014

BC Superweek 2014

The 2014 edition of BC Superweek was a pretty big letdown. I had set lofty goals for myself this year, and was unable to meet any of them.

Ladner Criterium

The majority of the race went well for me. The pace, we were clocking laps in the 43-44 kph range, was fast but I felt comfortable. I was able to stay towards the front of the pack for the most part and appeared on the front a couple times, enough to get mentioned by the announcer and on Twitter. You have to keep the sponsor's happy right?

Driving the pace in the Ladner Criterium. 

Unfortunately things unravelled with just two laps to go. I recall getting pinched between two riders and having nowhere to go I made contact with the inside rider. That threw me off balance and I ended up sliding into the hay bales in front of Sharkey's. Definitely surprised a couple of the onlookers as I jumped over the hay bales to get our of the way of the race. The only damage was some hay scratches on my arm, minor scuffs to my right shifter and seat, and a bent derailleur hanger.

I left this race with questions. What could I do to avoid a crash like that? Closer to the front? Did I overreact to the contact? Very hard to come up with answers.

A DNF was definitely not the result I was looking for.

UBC Grand Prix

Unable to come up with a replacement derailleur hanger in time, the good guys at Fort Langley Cyclery hooked me up with a demo bike from Opus. A nice looking Vivace 4.0. Full carbon with 11 speed Ultegra it felt quite similar to my own Opus.

The UBC Grand Prix is the longest and most technical of all the super week races available to the 3/4 Men. A 180 degree hairpin and a chicane add elements that aren't present in any of the other criteriums. Attrition from the race is quite high, only 17 finisher in 2013. This year proved no different. Of the 39 starters only 16 finished.

Opus Vivace 4.0 and I ready to start the UBC Grand Prix.


Exactly like the Ladner crit, the first part of the race went fairly well until things came unravelled late in the race. Five laps to go I rounded the hairpin with some momentum and was able get a nice run into the chicane. Leading the race at this point I wanted to roll the dice and try to escape through the last two corners and down the front straight away. I ended up carrying way too much speed into the corner and ended up crashing into the blue safety fence face first. Another guy behind me went down as well, but the rest of the racers managed to avoid the crash.

The medical staff at the race was top notch. A doctor was on scene within seconds and a paramedic wasn't too far behind. I was treated swiftly and professionally right at the race. No ambulance rides or hospital visits required. Bruising to my left eye, my nose, and my jaw. Nine stitches in my lips and a broken front tooth. Bruises and road rash on my left leg. Sprained right wrist and a bruised right shoulder. Is blood stained cycling kit in? Several areas of my new 2014 Daryl-Evans Racing kit has a nice red tint to it.

The demo bike survived reasonably well. Bent derailleur hanger, some scratching to the inside of the chainstays, likely from when the rear wheel separated itself from the frame. 
 

Not the way to end a bike race. 

Again I'm left with questions. I know I entered that corner way too fast. Is my physical ability beyond my technical ability on the bike? Is there anything I could have done better after realizing I was in the corner and too fast?

White Rock Criterium

Due to my injuries I wasn't able to start the final event. Pretty bummed out. 

We went down to watch the races, and even my wife rolled her ankle and scraped up her knee. Par for the course I guess.


The Pro 1/2 Men making it look easy. 

I really felt this would be a great BC Superweek for me. Yet I'm left with many questions to ponder for next year as the road racing scene winds down for 2014.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

2014 Cycling Goals

I'll be racing for Daryl-Evans Racing in Category 4 in 2014. This is now my second year racing with a UCI license so I'm setting some personal goals for the upcoming season.

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In my opinion this is the top level of amateur racing in BC, and will be the main focus me in 2014. 

Goal: Top 10 in Delta, UBC, and White Rock 

I love this race. It has quickly become my favourite in my short cycling career.

Goal: Top 5 

Road race, time trial, and criterium.

Goal: Top 10 general classification

In previous years I've had trouble attending races due to my work schedule. I'd like to increase my participation and use these to build up for Barry's Roubaix and Race the Ridge

Goal: Participate in 5 races, finish in front group.

I haven't raced a lot of crits in the past. I'm going to try and change that for 2014.

Goal: Participate in 7-10 races.


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Cyclocross is a fun activity in to fill in some free weekends in the fall. It's never been a major focus for me. I would like to try and race more than three races in the season.

Goal: Participate in 7-10 races.