Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Any cyclist won't believe that this actually happened...

The winter has been treating me well, I'm getting much stronger due to my secret "mountain man" training, and following my training plan as laid out by my coach Eric Batty. Today I had the opportunity to ride with my good buddy Anton before he heads to Arizona for the rest of his winter training (lucky guy!). Winter riding is pretty great, as long as you dress appropriately (last weekend I spent 5 hours outside riding and was almost brought to tears as my poor feet thawed out!).
My winter bike is my classic Gary Fisher Ziggurat from way back! I bought this fine piece of equipment used for $600, and until today she was still kickin! That bike is my original partner, with its long top tube, tight rear triangle, and steep aggressive geometry I loved whipping around with my oldschool geometry and tight bars!

It is an entirely different beast now though. The front brake is probably the original V-Brake, while the rear is a disk brake and disk brake wheel. This was unfortunately a necessary thing to do to the bike as I actually managed to brake all the way through my rim on the way to an exam! Maximum inconvenience, right? Either way, I was only 40 minutes late for the exam, but still had enough time to finish it.

A picture of the zig zag rim, good thing it was the back one!
(strangely enough I didn't even  flat the tube)

To me, that bike represents simplicity; the fork doesn't work, and there are no gears, and you just pedal. The perfect winter bike!

Classic seat, love it so much!

On Today's ride however, something unheard of happened. As I was chugging up a hill in the snowy singletrack (which is quite a trick on its own in the winter, it's a signlespeed, so pedal slowly to keep grip, but hard to keep up with the gear), I heard a snap! and then there was no tension on my chain! Firstly I was impressed with myself (and annoyed) because I figured that I had broken the thick bmx chain that I had on the bike. Then I looked.

I managed to shear through my crankset. This is completely unheard of! There are 50+ year old bikes that are in just fine condition and I did this by riding singlespeed in a high gear?!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Belated Holidays, and don't sweat the new year!

Here’s hoping that everyone had a good, productive and holiday season!  I kicked off the holiday with a trip to the big city; Toronto. This involved my first train ride, my first solo subway experience, and my first visit to the Trek Toronto Store! I had a meeting with Barry, and am now on board with them! More details on events that I will be running and putting together soon!

After the very fortunate and enjoyable visit with Barry at the Trek store I hopped on a train to go to my good friend and coach Eric Batty’s place! He lives now far from his family, who run a pretty big beef farm. I spent about 5 days there this winter break and really enjoyed having the time to catch up with Eric and his family. The entire family except Emily was there, and I enjoyed the good company and hospitality (I even spent a day on the farm working with his brother Mark!).

It was easy to keep fit over the break, the trick is really just not to stress about things. If you miss a workout – it’s really not a big deal. People seem to lose motivation or hope over the holidays and set themselves up to a very high standard with a “new year’s resolution”.  It is not hard to lose weight, and much easier than one would think to be in shape. I have an awesome coach so that I can reach my full potential on the bike, but it is amazing how simple so many of my workouts are. To keep fit over the holidays I did a lot of running, hiking, and what Eric calls “mountain man workouts” (more on these another day).  

I spend about 8 hours a week on simple endurance such as hiking, obviously 8 hours is excessive – but just going for two hikes a week for up to two hours does a lot more than one would think. Over the winter I will be doing a lot of snowshoeing and Nordic skiing as well. It is not like any of this is done at a high intensity, base level aerobic exercise can be done by anyone, it does not depend on fitness level, nor does it take working up to! Just take the dog for a big walk!

So don’t sweat a crazy new year’s resolution out, most people seem to burn out by February! Just live more actively, walk to class or the groceries, eat well, and sleep lots.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A dozen reasons that I might rather workout during the senior hours at the gym!

12 You hear all of the latest news and weather in the changeroom before/after the workout!

11 Its funny to watch a few old men shave together at the gym, though inconvenient if you need a sink.

10 Listening to their banter in the changeroom will teach you new (very old) slang

9 You always hear a good story in the sauna after a workout.

8 Working out; if they can do it then I damn well can too!

7 The flip side of 8: you are almost guaranteed to be the fittest person in the gym

6 Seniors never try to be intimidating with ripped shirts and lifting too much, they just smile.

5 They don't drop weights loudly.

4 The men don't peruse the women at the cardio machines.

3 They trudge tirelessly on a 100m track, which is quite endearing.

2 it really is motivating And I hope that I'm still working out when I retire!

1 they love the "student atmosphere" at this gym (sport and wellness center in Peterborough), and love to chat and listen to almost anything you will say.