Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Polymerisation




As some of you know, I have scored a very part-time gig with "Mad Science", doing lunch-time and after-school lessons in elementary school making chemistry and physics fun and trying to impart the occasional science fact along the way. Or as I rather more bluntly call it "blowing shit up for Grade 2".

None of your actual explosives of course, but using mucho acetic acid acid and sodium bicarbonate in innovative ways (but nearly always involving a satisfying terminal bang, or at least pop!).


It certainly has it's moments but it's worth it for the "wow" when you do something that seems counterintuitive. So far I've been doing a grab-bag of classes that included magic tricks (illusion), making bouncy balls (polymerisation) and decapitating an egg with a couple of matches and an Erlenmyer to demonstrate the principle of flight!


The first class I did was scary, mainly because the last class I had taught was Undergraduate Research Methods 4002 to 50+ Seniors and here I was with an Erlenmyer, an egg and a couple of matches in front of fifteen P to 2s. Unlike the undergrads who were all too cool for school and kept uniformly schtum for entire 75 minute lectures, the problem here is to keep them quiet long enough to get a word in edgeways.

Yesterday was a bit weird though. Deja vu, in way, although it could more accurately be called deja fait. I was called in last minute to do "Slime" at Armbrae Academy, the guy scheduled to do it couldn't make it. So off I went with a box full of Dixie cups and bottles of borax, 1% PVA solution and school-glue to make a variety of "slimes" from something that felt like artificial mucous all the way to home-made silly putty. So far so good, that wasn't weird.

Of course really what we were doing was making polymers of different percentage monomers and cross-linkers. Sounds familiar? Armbrae is directly across the road from the NRC-IMB, where I spent eight years as a Research Officer where, if I wasn't doing stuff with fish I was making gels by polymerising various concentrations of monomeric acrylamide with various concentrations of cross-linker. Sounds familiar

So here I was again, making polymers on the 1400 block of Oxford Street. Deja fait. If it wasn't for the fact I was now adding paint to the polymerising solution to make funky coloured slime, it could almost have been as if the AC had never happened! Funny how the world turns. Would I say this is a come-down, teaching elementary school kids fun science rather than climbing the pole towards my own Chair? Right now, not sure I would.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bitter aftertaste

Well, that morning out frankly sucked.

Just came back from 'cross#4, what should be the last race of my season. There is a 'cross#5 next week but I'll be at the TriCan AGM in Quebec City, where I'll be, well I have no idea. Sitting around looking quorum-y I suspect. We'll see.

It was a sunny day, but windy down at the 'cross. Temps in the single digits below zero, the wind-chill significantly below that. Still, a nice day once you got going.

The course had become frozen solid, fast and sketchy. The downhills were solid ruts which maybe (or maybe not) were going the way you wanted to go, the carry had steps frozen into them. So swings and roundabouts.

I replaced the brake-blocks last night, as both sets had essentially worn away in the previous three weeks' mudfest; from the brake-blocks point-of-view it was like braking with an abrasive compound. I didn't get a chance to pre-ride the bike after fitting the new pads but something had seized and neither set of brakes was working well this morning. I did what I could but they were well short of stopping power when I was on the hoods! At least they worked well from the drops; they needed a bit more pull than usual but at least I could stop!

I just wasn't "feeling" today's race. No rhyme, no rhythm. I don't know why, or how. It wasn't the cold, I was fine with that. The first I realised something was wrong was when I was fighting, and I mean fighting, just to get past someone when he veered left and took the kids' path around the barriers.

Huh....?

Oh yeah; this was the true embodiment of Unholy Rouleur's 'cross horoscope; a Cyldesdale fighting with a 14 year-old kid on a mountain bike for DFL. And it was happening to me.

Fuckity.

I managed to stay upright down the descents through the ruts, only the single crash behind the fence. Given the amount of pull I had to put into the brakes, I was going very wide in some corners and lost a lot of time just bush-whacking! I can't blame the brakes though, I could handle it and they just made the course more sporting. Frankly I was going through the 'cross motions. I thought I had another lap left, but I was pulled. I'm sure I got through the finish line just before Espy came steaming through, but the commissars didn't see it that way. So I got four, five laps? I wasn't breathing hard or even sweating when I finished. Woo-fucking-hoo.

There endth the 2010 season, with a whimper, not a bang.

Fuck.

Dan had a meltdown in the cold too. He was riding OK, finally realised what the 28 was for but he is obviously going to be a martyr to cold hands. So that makes tears in three out of four races for Dan. He says he likes it but I suspect he's just trying to please me. Maybe he shouldn't be mountain-biking after all. Maybe we can find something he can master immediately and do indoors. Competitive movie-watching maybe. Anyone want a brand-new Kona Firemountain; 17" frame, discs, 20 kms tops (pretty much enough to bed everything in, no major crashes)? It's a bit muddy now but she'll clean up real nice.

So all in all, feeling decidedly m'eh with the day so far, and it's barely lunchtime....

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Epic Smiles


Man, last Sunday's 'cross was slick. Sick. Whatever. Both, probably.

I rode the course a few times on Friday, just as it started raining, and it was pretty bad, and by bad I mean hold-on-tight slippery (and not in a good way). Come Sunday morning, with a good 100mm of rain, well it was all the more exciting. Or is that exacting? Both, probably.

I'd heard that Garrett McLeod and Andrew l'Esperance where away at Nationals in TO. Great I thought, I won't get lapped five times this week. Later I found out exactly why it is I get lapped five times in 45 minutes; Garrett got Bronze in the U23 (his second medal at 'cross Nats I think) and Espy was 10th overall.

There was some uncertainty if the race would take place or not. If C'Smith couldn't get the van down into the park (which was a quagmire) then there couldn't be a race. Then there were the course conditions; can it ever be so bad that a 'cross race is cancelled? I figured we'd be racing unless the park had slid off down the hill into the basin. I'm not sure you wouldn't have bet against that!

It was on and we lined up in the pissing rain. Dan and Shamus have become Halifax's little 'cross mascots and they both got a little cheer as the RD, Andrew Feenstra, did the sign-in roll-call at the begining.

Dan (L) and Shamus (R)

Then we were off in a flurry (slurry) of mud!

Following Steve Elliot out on Lap#1

It was a course in two parts. You came into the the old road (or rail-bed, I'm not sure) through a dodgy bit of single-track behind the fence and then skittering the bike through some gravel. At least the gravel was downhill! The road/railbed/whatever was awash, literally, with several inches of water. I think that riding through this kept us realtively clean! This is the "sick" part of the course, where you get to "recover" at 160 bpm!

After the long "recovery bike-wash" the technical, hilly stuff started. I'm glad I wasn't wearing a HR monitor, the numbers would have been through the roof!

The carry was steeper this week, and as you can see at the top of this post, finally after five years I finally have my epic 'cross picture! Local hardman and winner of last Sunday's race, Terry Tomlin, commented on the original posting on Facebook that this had a touch of the Mount Surabachi's about it and Dan Utting wanted to know what would be the accompanying theme music. If one were in a classics mood, then Mozart's Dies Irae (Days of Wrath)


If you're feeling a little grungier (and things sure were grungy last Sunday) then think Just Like You Imagined from Nine Inch Nails would do nicely.


This is, of course, the music from the 300 trailer, so if four minutes of NIN was a bit much, then try this mashup; 300 Penguins.


Joshua and Daniel told me about that one and think it's hilarious. Now I know they've seen "Happy Feet", but "300"?

Anyway, back to the 'cross. There were three places where the obstacle was close to a really muddy section and where it was only marginally less muddy between the obstacle and the actual quagmire. As with many, I ran my bike the 50m or so through the mud between the obstacle and the really muddy bit (in two instances it was a climb with a curve half-way up and the third instance it was literally a swamp).


Remounts are my own personal 'cross hell; I can still only nail them 50% of the time, and even then the conditions have to be perfect and mid-'cross conditions are anything but perfect! So if your remounts are so-so then you actually waste time trying to clip in and get going only to get off again in ten seconds. It's quicker to run it. This is one of the climbs;


You were going to have to dismount and run the climb anyway (probably on the apex of the corner there) and there were only five metres between the barrier and the point just behind where this photo was taken. On average, the mid-packer who tried to mount after the barricade, ride half the hill and then dismount half way up it and portage to the top was invariably beaten to the top by the runner who just kept on running after the first barricade.

After this was a crazy descent, around a corner then down around the apple tree


Along with many others, I started this descent on the far left and even with full brakes and arse hanging over the back of the saddle for extra traction, I ended up in the vegetation at the top right side of the corner. Yup, cornering on rails this was not! It's a matter of pride that I never crashed here and even though I went sideways across the corner and into the grass every time, I was always able to rescue it and keep upright. I think this is why I like 'cross, for those moments when you redline yourself, not just physically but technically. Conversely however, I'm not sure what this has done to me as a triathlon official as it's hard for me to look at a bike-course now and say "nah, too gnarlly".

Speaking of it being faster on foot; at the end I was in a sprint finish with Dan Utting. He was on his bike through a very muddy corner and I was running. I won!

The not-quite-white tyres did very well; I was only running 60 psi in them and they felt pretty solid under me in conditions worse than last week. Maybe it was because Espy and Garrett were still in TO, but I was only lapped once by seven riders (of 50) and finished only one lap down on the leaders on 8 laps, the same as many riders, and ahead of other guys I usually fight with. I'm not sure it was the crappy conditions per se, but they do day that muddy conditions tends to sort riders out. It's not necessarily the fittest or the most technically competent who top out (because goodness knows I am neither) but it favours those who "deal" best and most consistently with the conditions (whatever "deal" means in this case).

Also, all that running on the course had to help; certainly at the end when the lungs and legs were burning and you had to hoof it up another hill! Remember how I said all those 10Ks help with 'cross? Case in point here!

I know what you're thinking; you're a big lad and can look after yourself, so how did Dan do?

Well, Dan rocked up on la belle's mountain bike, a Kona Firemountain (any more Konas at home and we'll have to get sponsorship). Hardtail with disc brakes and trigger-shifters. Dan felt right at home on it. We did a practice lap and he seemed very much at ease on the bike and on the course. We also discussed how to ride the course, and more importantly, when to get off and portage. I think part of last week's meltdown was having to get off and walk. As any good cyclist knows, Dan knows that walking your bike is an admission of defeat and can be seen as a "walk of shame" (try walking your bike up the hill on Quinpool Road with your head held high!). So, I don't think I'd prepared him enough mentally for 'cross. So, last week we frankly discussed out on the course "this is where you'll have to get off and walk" and knowing that made it easier on him. Plus he saw so many adults face down in the mud and walking, I think he finally realised he wasn't being crap, it was crap (huge difference!).

In the race, well I lapped him three times (he did 5 to my 8), something that emotionally isn't getting any easier to to! Unlike last week, the first time I lapped him he was plugging away uphill, not standing at the side in tears. I asked as I went by "How you doing" and he replied "Great, Dad" with a smile. I nearly screwed up the following descent because I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy perhaps, but the aetiology of the tears doesn't matter when you're trying to slide a fully rigid bike with marginal brakes down a hill!

As you can see, we both finished happy with our races and happy in general but disgustingly muddy.


Now he's on "proper"equipment, he's loving it. I'm telling you, in a couple of years not only am I getting lapped, but I'm going to have to buy the Hoegaarden too!


Bring on tomorrow....

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering.



Leslie Sheard third from right.

I lost something this year; my last link back to the second world war with the passing of my grandfather, from what I guess could be charitably called "old age".

I have always known he served in the war, there was a picture of an RN destroyer displayed in their house, not in pride of place but neither was it hidden away in some dusty corner. Other than the bare bones facts; yes I was there, I served on that ship, he never really spoke about it. Wise, I think, given that we were just children and unlikely to understand anything at all and be all to ready to concentrate instead on the "glory".

As an adult I saw him less and less, a function both of moving physically further and further away from Leeds; London, Aberdeen, Virginia, Nova Scotia, as well as moving further emotionally away from Leeds too. However, when I would go back to Leeds, I would always stay at Grandpa's and we would play cards late into the night and I would listen him talk, and some of that talk would be about his war.

He was an "Hostilities Only" sailor who tried to enlist almost as soon as Chamberlin had finished his famous declaration ".... (we are) at war with Germany" but they sent him back home, saying come back again in the Spring. So he did. He says his choice of the RN was based on the fact that he disliked both heights and walking, which automatically excluded the RAF and the Army, leaving only the Navy. He may also have been influenced his father, Walter, who served in a very nascent Fleet Air Arm in the first war. He used to swim out to buoys to moor flying boats! Grandpa's brother, Norman, clearly had no problems walking, enlisted in the Army and ended up in tanks. Family lore says he was among the first into Belsen, an experience that he never spoke of.

Grandpa served as Able Seaman Leslie Sheard on the Hunt Class destroyer HMS Southdown, pennant number L25; an inshore escort ship which was about the length of the garden he eventually owned on Perth Mount in Leeds.


HMS Southdown spent the war escorting convoys in the North Sea and in the English Channel. I looked her up on-line and, in an interesting connecting piece of Halifax congruity, in 1941 she was involved in a collision with HM Corvette Shearwater! They'd meet Atlantic convoys, including those from Halifax, near the Scottish Isles and escort them down the North Sea to London, a stretch of water known as E-Boat alley, due to it's proximity to occupied Europe.

Despite leaving school at 13, his work experience down the market left him with a surprising degree of numeracy and literacy, and his position on ship in stores and involved with telegraphy reflected this. However, when someone started shooting at them, they all shot back! I heard stories of being torpedoed but the ship's draft was so shallow the fish passed harmlessly underneath them. Or of being strafed and taking cover behind a ready magazine on deck. This last story was a favourite one between him and Jeanne, my Grandmother. "But Leslie" she would ask "why would you hide behind ammunition when someone was shooting at you?". "Jeanne" he would always reply with a smile "because it was the thickest thing on the deck" and they would both laugh.

Grandma would tell stories too, of the AA gun and searchlight outside their house in Cookridge (one of the highest points in the area and given the accuracy of bombers, distressingly close to a steel foundry at Kirkstall) and taking the air-raid wardens on duty cups of tea. Or of the relative luxury the sailors lived in in those times of rationing. Eggs, she said, they had eggs! And tinned fruit!

I wonder about their war-time relationship. She was only 16 when hostilities broke out, he was 20. They were married in '42. He was away from '40 to '45 and one imagines that for most of those five years, including three as a young bride, she had no idea where he was or what he was doing. Contrast that to today, where tweets and blogs can be sent daily to update the world or your loved ones on the minutiae of your life. Or where people get upset if you don't reply immediately to an email or text. They were unable to even say with any degree of confidence where he was, other than that it was a-sea and in harms' way.

Their generation was born out of the first war; Grandma's father, Percy, served on the Western Front in the trenches, which according to family lore is where he met my great-grandmother, Louise, a French nurse. However Percy, they say, was a bit of an arty Francophile before the war, so it is possible he met her then. Whatever the truth, what is indisputable is that he was an English lad, and she was a French mademoiselle and under the normal course of events in the early 20th Century, by rights they shouldn't have met. I didn't hear too many Percy and Louise stories; they both passed before I was born, and I suppose their history was pretty much gone already as no-one had written their stories down before they died with them. I did hear how Louise became the terror of Leeds Market, going down late on a Saturday afternoon and haggling for left-over fruits, vegetables and meats in a very French, and very un-Yorkshire-like, manner. Or of shooing the local kids off their freshly scrubbed doorstep with a Gallic "allez allez".

Grandpa told me other war-stories as well, of D-Day, of life on board, of his COs, as we would play cribbage long into the night (crib being a Navy legacy). By this time in his life, his SDAT was of a level he was unable to remember if we'd pegged once or twice around the board but it didn't matter. We just played hand after hand after hand and went around and around the board and he'd carry on talking. To be honest, the war and his life as a barrow-boy down the Leeds market finding exotic spiders in crates of bananas probably seemed clearer in his mind than what he'd had for breakfast.

As with most hostilities only personnel, he was only too keen to reintegrate into civilian life. He demobbed in late '45; my mother was born in November '46 (do the math!). The picture of HMS Southdown on the wall notwithstanding, he never really referred to it. In later life he took a renewed interest in the Navy, joined the RNA and paraded proudly at the local cenotaph on Remembrance day with his medals.


Despite being a member of the proverbial thin red line who ensured the second language we all learned at school was French, he wouldn't class himself as a hero. He was in his own view an ordinary man doing an ordinary job. Just a bloke from working class Leeds who "did his bit". However, they were extraordinary times. He was a hero to me. I miss him.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

White after Labour Day?





Cyclocross really beats a bike up. Well, that is to say it really beats my bike up. Old Bess is a real trooper but 'cross leaves her just as, if not more, battered and bruised than me.


Fortunately, Old Bess is old school and hence is all about cup-and-cone bearings that even a mechanical klutz like me can fix. All it takes are a couple of pretty generic spanners per item, some patience and you're off to the races.

Just as I'm swiftly becoming a martyr to my knees, Old Bess is a martyr to her head-set and wheels. The head-set is an old-fashioned threaded one, but is an n=1 for having the prototype "self unscrewing" headset; it seems whatever I (or the various mechanics at Cyclesmith who've tried) do, the lock-nut unscrews itself in short order. Old Bess has a threaded-to-threadless headset adapter and so I just got a spare washer which I will place between the locknut and the brake-hanger. Hopefully now, the only way the locknut can work loose is if it can push the brake-hanger off the stem!

Next the wheels. These aren't weirdo prototype self-unscrewing ones. No magic here, they're just old and creaky and prone to the wobbles after too much exercise. Just like my knees.

I keep on having to strip them out, espcially the front one. It looks like the bearing cone is got a ding; no wonder I can't keep it in line.

There's something satisfying about doing your own bike mechanics, even if it means trying to keep track of what feels like a zillion ball-bearings.



As long as you can keep track of them and one doesn't go and roll under the washing machine or something then you can just re-pack it and reverse the steps to get a working wheel.




I decided to bling Old Bess up a little for this season. I picked up a pair of Vittoria cross tyres on sale at Ski Velo in Magog last July. They were 50% off so how could I not?

I just put them on and as you can see, they are a fetching shade of off-white.


Not the best colour for 'cross perhaps, given the copious amounts of mud, but they do bling out Old Bess nicely, and complement her eyes, or at least her decals.


I was taken by the "mounting instructions"


Which in case you can't make that out say that "to gravel, and glass; these may damage the casing of the tyre". Which us ironic seeing as these are off-road tyres. Can you imagine the whole field stopped at the entrance to the straightaway on Sunday saying "I can't go down there; the mounting instructions on my tyres say I could damage them if I go down there".


What do you think Too much perhaps? No white tyres after Labour Day?

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cross #1




Awesome; wool jerseys, optional bunch-of-banana leather helmets (as long as your pompadour didn't get in the way) and truly epic, rather than Rapha-epic, water-obstacles. It didn't quite look like this last Sunday, but there was some bike-chuckitude going on and it seemed as muddy.

It was grey and wet. Warm though. When we drove down Novalea to park I was surpirsed at how many cars there were already there. The tally at the end of the day would be 52 starters; 3 U16, 3 women and 46 guys. That compares nicely to a regular BNS road event. This event got out some extras though; your's truly for example and a couple of triathletes a road-race might not normally see. I saw Norm Lai there as well as Gerrad Lewin. The last time I saw Gerrad in a mass-start bike race type of event it was the Coteau du Lac Continental Cup (I was on a motorbike!). Afterward we both agreed this was about as far from am ITU race as you could get!

I didn't get a chance to pre-ride the course, although it was immediately obvious it was not the course I'd been training on; it was clockwise for start, going up the hills I'd been riding down and taking some decidedly "sporting" lines! Some of the delay was signing on. I have to say, we got a nice Sugoi tech t-shirt for the series; the running joke was "buy the $25 T-shirt and race for free".


Some of the delay was getting son Daniel ready.


At what point do you expect your children to zip-tie on their own numbers? Sometime after taking off the training wheels but before, say, junior high? It's just one of the unique conundrums of the endurance sport parent!

We were a bit flustered to find the kids would start with the adults, do the same course (with one tiny alteration to take them around and not over the barriers) and do it for the same time (40 minutes). Dan seemed to take this in his stride better than I did!

Dan and I were lined up with James McMillin and his son Shamus, one of the other kids in the race. I realized that not only had I not pre-ridden the new course, I still had the frame-pump on the bike and I hadn't taken any pressure out of my tires (still at 80 psi). I chucked my pump into the bushes without a moment to spare and that close to the gun I wasn't going to start fiddling with the valve-stems!

We were in the middle of that lot. I'd been "here" before; Dan had not!

A few days previously Java Jim Diakos asked me how the grass was. Good for now, I said, but do the math; 30 riders with 2 tyres each is 60 tyres, 10 laps each is 600 tyre tracks; Sunday's going to be messy! The grass was OK on Wednesday when it had just been me, but on Sunday after yet more rain and nearly 50 guys (minus me) taking practice laps, it was getting squirrelly and we hadn't even started yet.


I crashed a few hundred metres into the first lap; no amount of tread when you're at 80psi was going to be able to hold the line I tried to take on the single-track after the apple-tree. That set the tone for the race. I was going off-line a lot to try and keep some traction. I didn't crash too many more times, and most of them were prat-falls or foot-dabbing. I only found myself on the ground in genuine surprise a couple more times.


After a few laps I caught Dan. Now this is a strange sensation; to lap your own son. Yes, yes, I know, in a few years he'll be lapping me but even so, kicking the shit out of a 10 year-old, any ten year-old whether he's yours or not; not cool.


Dan was having a crap time. The mud was taking it's toll on everyone, but it had Dan in a right state. He was literally crying in frustration. The hills were steep, they were muddy and he couldn't walk up one of them, much less ride. His rear brake was jammed (stupid v-brakes) and so the descents were, for him, white-knuckle terror. What do you do?


You stop, you give him a big hug and tell him it's going to be OK.


All the guys I'd spent the last two laps fighting against to get past went past in a flurry of mud. So what? At the end of the series I will have dropped two or three laps minimum to Espy, the series leader and so by race 4 I will be 10 or 12 laps down, or one whole race! Besides, this is a pure 'B' race, strictly for fun.

I rode a bit of a lap with him, shepherded him down off the ridge, around the barriers, I even crashed in front of him doing a dismount on the hill (which was way too muddy for anyone to ride up) and although unintended was my way of saying "look, it's happening to me too!".
It doesn't look much but it was steep and slippery. Plus I cracked a rib here last year and tend to treat it with respect nowadays!

You know, I told him he could stop if he wanted. Maybe take a time-out at the end of the lap, have a breather and go back out if he felt like it. After stopping with him I told the time-keepers he should probably be pulled out. When La Belle showed up after her run, I told her that he should probably DNF this one and she said she'd look after it. So guess what? They all tried to pull him after three laps and he flatly refused. He said he was going on.


Afterwards as I gave him some juice and chocolate (everything looks better after juice and chocolate) I told him that I was very proud. The attribute that means the most to me isn't winning, it's giving all that you have, quite often meaning going well outside your comfort zone. Sometimes this means carrying on in the face of adversity, when you don't want to. When you invoke the Jens "Shut up legs" voice. I know that Dan has a low frustration threshold and have seen many things thrown across the room and called "stupid" because he couldn't master it the first time. Yet on Sunday he kept on coming back again and again and again. He never cleared the carry; I'm pretty sure it put him face-first in the mud every time, but he came back to do it four more times. That's determination.

I also tried to tell him that the conditions were as bad as I had seen them, and what he perceived as his own crapness was, in fact, felt by everyone during that race.

I was joking at the end about Dan that "that was a character-building experience", but all jokes aside, I think it was.

As I was telling him this, many of the grown-ups came over to him, and the other kids too, and congratulated them all for toughing out what had been one of the worse 'cross races in years. Now, that's class!

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Photos from Ian Loughead and EWoQ.

Musical Spokes

Ever have one of those rides that wasn't meant to happen?

Tried to sneak out for an hour today; it was all the time I had. Decided on Purcell's Cove; a self-contained 1hr loop. Plus, with six/seven/eight climbs (depending on how you're counting) in ten kilometers it was going to be a good maintainence-ride for 'cross, which is nothing if not constantly going up and down like a demented two-wheel, pneumatically-tyred, white-knuckle ride roller-coaster.

At the far end of the loop, by the now rebuilt store in Herring Cove, a rear spoke went twang! Not so much due to my awesome power of my thighs as the awesome lardiness of my thighs. Grrr. It was drive-side, of course it was drive-side, it's always drive-side, so I wrapped it around a neighbouring spoke, slacked off the brake as much as I could (dared) and gingerly rode home. Of course, that was 15km or so into a head-wind with a rubbing back wheel doing the samba (the back wheel, not me).


video

You could say with the back end behaving quite unpredictably for 30 minutes, this was ideal 'cross preparation. Perhaps it was, but it was not what I had in mind!

This stuff happenswhen you ride bikes. It's happened to me before and it will doubtless happen again. So I can take it with equanimity; viz I'm not pissed off by this per se. It's a pretty cheap fix (as long as I remember to only buy a spoke when I'm in the shop). However, that doesn't mean I have to like it, or that it doesn't ruin a perfectly good ride when it happens.

Grrr.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love



Still working on a report from yesterdays cyclocross. Man, it was brutal. Daniel got a bapitism of fire (or mud really, to be more precise) and it left me tasting blood in the back of my throat for the rest of the day. Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose then.

As you know, 'cross leaves one with a ferocious appitite. So, while I'm/you're waiting for that write-up, try these on for size.


Hungry yet?


To paraphrase one of the posts on these videos; that voice, that music, I think I just watched pork porn!

So no, not Eat, Pray, Love the Julia Roberts chick-flick but rather loving to eat and then praying in a different way.

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