Velo Bella!

Today was one to remember. 

Nothing like starting the day with a Da Capo cappuccino then having a nice MTB ride.  My legs didn’t feel super, probably due to the thresholds performed yesterday evening.  Also kind of putting a small downer on the ride was the fact that 1. I couldn’t decide what line to take, 2. I was thinking “he he – Evan is behind me, & 3. way to many PSI in the tires caused me to be bucked off line as we hit the singletrack below the university sending me straight into a tree.  Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark – and it did!  My shoulder is a little sore but I’ll be okay…I didn’t let this close encounter with the tree ruin the day.

Sunday was also the first MTB ride for the girls and there club.  It sounds like much fun was had, including a little crashing too.  We had excellent timing as our 3 hr MTB ride ended at Da Capo just after the girls arrived so I was able to score some good Gellato from Liesje.

Spoke with Roddi tonight – he was 13th in a race where your finishing group was pretty much selected 20 mins into the race as there was no technical element to the race plus a pretty strong headwind.  Therefore due to drafting,  if you stuck with a group then that’s where you finished.  There was no “bridging up” to the group ahead of you.  So, I would say 13th is a pretty solid finish given the situation.  Apparently Raw-dog has a 6 hr commute to the next NMBS location tonight so you can expect to see an entertaining post of his race experience sometime tomorrow at  If you haven’t checked out his new blog I recommend you do as it’s not too late.

Some may think Liejse and I are crazy (heck maybe we are) but we got a new dog today.  The newest edition to our pack is little Bella.  She is a cute 1.5 lbs – all Maltese.  Her personality is quite different from Berkley as she is pretty laid back and cuddly…for now anyways.  Let the sleepless nights begin!  (well until I go to Europe on Wednesday – then it’s all up to Liesje).  We have always wanted to get another puppy but we didn’t know we were allowed to in the Condo until recently so why not eh?

Trees are very solid,







Wheew, I am beat.

Very busy day of renovation work and training – but I did complete everything I wanted to do today so I’m counting this day as a success.  Have you ever been so tired that you can’t even finish eating your supper ’cause you can’t find the energy to chew?  Yeah that was me today.

Some of you don’t know but I am travelling to Europe on Wednesday to join my good friend Tim who is already in Holland chasing his dream.  I am going to tag a long for a couple of weeks to exprience what MTB racing is like in Europe.  I will be competing in 3 different races in three different countries – Germany, Belgium, & the Netherlands.  I am exited for the trip as I will be really taken out of my element as I have never traveled outside of North America.  It’s going to be an adventure that’s foresure.  From what I hear everyone is FAST…so there is going to be some intense suffering.

Tim is already flying and he hasn’t even peaked out yet.  You can check out what he is doing on his blog at

Europe will be a great trip for me but I sure am going to miss my Sweetie…(she can’t come because she does not have any holidays this year……….bummer)

 Does anyone know any good doggie names?



Mike in Tow

Man what a busy day today. 

In between work and a Condo board meeting I managed to squeeze a couple of hours of training in today.  My trusty training partners today were Liesje and Evan.  Man, is Liesje ever motivated to get fast this year.  She’s beginning to ride quite often and she is going to get strong.  She says she wants to look good pool side in Vegas for her good friend’s wedding, but I think she wants to secretly train so she can tear the legs off the other girls in her bike club….Go Liesje Go…for whatever reason!

After a couple of thresholds on the grass w/ Liesje on the pavement beside me, Evan showed up on his fancy road bike.  Interestingly enough, the effort required to stay in Evan’s threshold draft on a MTB was pretty much the correct pace for my intervals, so Evan graciously towed me around Hawrelak Park….weeee!

I must rest now, I have a date with a hammer drill and a mean piece of concrete tomorrow,


Lethbridge XC

I’m writing this as Evan is bustin’ it driving the mini van so I present The Rules of Passing according Evan:

Hwy 2 – no cruise control passing – zero tollerance!  If you are going to pass – take cruise off and accelerate!  You must pass at 5 km more than the car you are overtaking, not 1km more!  Once the right lane is open, get in it!  Frick!  The friggin Saturn Ion finally pulled out of the way.  Another rule – use momentum in the valleys; it’s good for the environment.

Okay, we have a partially open road now so on with the weekend and race summary.

There was 11 of us (including Kathryn) who travelled from Edmonton all the way down to Lethbridge for the first AB MTB cup of the year.  Lethbridge is always a tough course because of the terrain as you’re either going up or down and you’re going up more of the time then down.  This year’s Lethbridge course apparently was designed by trying to see how many steep wall like climbs can be in a race.  Granny was the ring of choice for quite a few of us Elites as it was used a lot.  (Brys, this was not the course for you).

My race was pretty good as I managed to ride within myself, avoiding blowing up due to too fast of a start.  Interestingly that there was not really a back and forth battle with anyone today.  Either guys were climbing faster than me or slower than me, but no one seemed to be going around my pace.  Come to think of it, once the 1st lap was over, no one came by and I didn’t catch anyone either.  I was able to ride all the tough climbs and ended the day in 9th place – respectible and I am happy with that.

Roddi rode away from the field just like the good old days and Evan had some laggy legs and settled for 5th just behind Ryan Hopping.  Yes Roadie Ryan made an appearance, flat bar and all.  It was nice to see him on the MTB, albeit just for one race.  Also, there is still hope for me as 178lb Dallas Morris finished 2nd today…

So how many racers does it take to Stans a tire w/ only a floor pump?  Well Evan, Roddi, Bruce and myself managed to eventually do it with some hardcore laughs along the way.  Evan has a nice video of the hilarity.  Bruce has some very nice floor pumping technique!  So did you know that with a little effort a tire can be Stansed w/ only a floor pump.

I hope to post some photos later as I noticed there were some “fancy” cameras out there.  Results are posted at

It’s funny ’cause it’s so true,


Commuter 500

I’m back in the game…some of you know that just before I left for Phoenix last month my beloved commuter bike “Junker” was stolen from me.  My grieving period is now over and I happy to introduce “Junker 2.0”:


This sweet 33 lbs speed machine is just what I need to get to and from work.  The 7 speed drive train is equipped with the super fast Biopace  chainrings are going to get me where I need to go in a flash.  No more shall I be embarrased during the Commuter 500 when a guy blows by me w/ his Louis Garneau lycra shorts tucked into his T-Shirt…not with this steed!

I can’t wait to rip it tomorrow.

Happy Commuting,


Cooking Lake Airport

I did a nice Road Ride today w/ Roddi, MBomhoff, and a few other of our closest Hardcore friends.  South East of Edmonton was our ride of choice today on  a couple of unfamilar roads too.  Did you know there is an airport near Cooking Lake?


This was the first ride all year where I have been actually home on time – even though we were blocked byt a train that stopped right in middle of the road…how much money would it take YOU to try to run through the train?


Because I cleaned up all the reno debris from the balcony we were able to fire up the BBQ for the first time in 2007.  The chicken has never tasted better.   I’m also preparing for my trip to Holland here in a couple of weeks….(It’s a mini Dutch pie)

I’ll be ready,





Dude Can Sprint

Spun the wheels with Evan today South West of Edmonton.  I’m still rockin’ a recovery week but Evan is not and he had some short sprints to complete during our ride…dude can sprint.  The Sherminator can produce a lot of power – it’s very fitting that he is a Power Engineer eh!

For a moment I thought I was in B.C. Roddi.

Off to catch some ZZZ’s,





Shock to the System

When you go from training in +30 degrees to -10 degrees (with the windchill) it really sucks…big time.  My face is still numb from the 2.5 hrs of wind whipping I endured today during my training ride.  All the layers of clothing required for these elements are really uncomfortable as the body soon forgets what it is like to be riding w/ layer upon layer of clothing.

But us tough Canadians must surge on.  Speaking of tough Canadians, it was interesting to watch on USA national coverage on NBC to see Svein Tuft of Symetrics with the 1st US Open Cycling Championships.

For those of you who have not checked it out yet, surf on over to Roddi’s blog.  He is really motivated to do well this year and as some of us know, Roddi is more than talented on the bike.  His humor is pretty good too.  Check it out:

 Embrace the headwind….it’s just like climbing a mountain,


Final Days

We are nearing the end of our Arizona training camp and we finished with some really sweet training rides here in the greater Pheonix area.

On Monday, Evan, Roddi, & I left Tim at the condo to do his TTP work while we drove out to Cave Creek.  We have a beautiful ride out to Bartlett Lake.  The terrain constantly goes up and down.  Again the weather was hot so water was precious.  I was very happy that Roddi eyed a vending machine near the end of our 3 hr ride.

There was even enough time to pose for some photos…don’t we look like super heros!

Our supper was hit and miss as we cheaped out and bought a sirloin roast, thinking we could cut it into steaks – saving us a few bucks (good idea).  Unfortunately, the only knife we had in the condo was the one we bought at the dollar store earlier in the week.  Trying to cut steaks with a $1 knife did not work so well (bad idea).

Yesterday we did one of my favorite rides down here – Tortilla flats.  There is lots of climbing and beautiful desert scenery.  Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my strong legs with me and I suffered for most of the ride dragging my huge carcus over the climbs with the boys.  I got dropped so many times I thought I was on a solo ride!  I got some nice photos though…

And finally this morning Evan and I had a nice quiet little spin before leaving for the airport this morning.  Apparently, Roddi made his AC flight by the skin of his chin….

Bye Bye Scottsdale,