January 30, 2013

The Beard

At Christmas, Ken showed up at my place with a truly horrendous beard. Naturally, I thought it was awesome, and figured I should grow an even worse one.

4 weeks later, I sent Ken a text message to find out the state of his beard, and discovered that he didn’t enjoy looking like a lunatic who’d wondered off from the nearby hospital, so he’d buckled and trimmed it. This however confirmed to me, that with some willpower, I stood chance at beating him. When I let him know my plan, he scoffed – called me a ‘copy-cat’, among other things and demanded an immediate photo. So, fueled by his displeasure, obviously I forged on. At first I was just going to take the photo right away, but being aware of the photo of him sporting his ridiculous beard and that even more ridiculous fur hat, which he posted on Facebook, I knew I needed to ponder my photo carefully – it needed to be epic.

– Read More –

September 21, 2010

Break up with coffee, for green tea. Yeah, that’s a good one!

Some people know about my ‘adoration’ for the delectably delicious roasted nectar of the coffee bean… I’ve written about it before – it’s more than the luxuriously rich, nutty, earthy flavour and aroma, admittedly, it’s also about the jolt! There are days, especially on the weekends, when the thought of a perfectly brewed triple americano (canadese, as it’s sometimes called here in Canada) is the reason I spring out of bed. And that first sip, what can I say – it’s, well, nothing short of magical!

So, what happens when a buddy of mine, a health guru of sorts, challenges me to give up my morning cup of black gold, for a tepid cup of pale green tea?

– Read More –

July 20, 2010

Racing Smart

For the most part, I don’t know what I’m doing. I haven’t been racing long enough. For example, I don’t know how I should feel before a good race, versus how I feel before a bad one. I’ve thought I felt great, and raced terribly, and visa versa. Sure, I’ve read a lot, and talked to a lot of people about this stuff, but for me it’s still just guess work.

Last weekend at Nationals in Canmore, I had a good race. Best result of my season for sure, coming in 3rd. It was a great experience landing on the podium, and one I’d like to repeat. But now with only 2 races left this season, I’m convinced more than ever, repeating that is going to be something that’s a lot easier said, than done… – Read More –

July 6, 2010

Make your own powerbars

The last time Smart was up for the Deadgoat Summer Solstice we got to talking about riding (surprisingly), but more specifically nutrition on the bike.

Smart was lamenting that a lot of the bars and energy products on the market don’t really feel like they’re very good for you. Granted, they’re built to “fill a gap,” but most of them are full of chemicals, waxes and acids and rather than ingredients a normal person can recognize.

I continued to think about the situation, and decided to do something about it. After some internet scouring, I narrowed things down to two recipes. One from natural food blogger Heidi Swanson from 101 Cookbooks, and one from nutritionist Pam Vagnieres from an interview with the Daily Camera. – Read More –

March 25, 2010

Are you ready for a stage race?

I might be a little premature, but I hazard to proclaim that spring is here (despite the weather yesterday). April is fast approaching, and with the sun setting well after 7:00 it looks as though we can leave our vampiric, sunless winter behind us.

As the sun rises on a new season, thoughts turn to long days of tearing up the local singletrack, or for those of us longing for more epic challenges, thoughts may turn to stage racing.

Unfortunately, when preparing for your first stage race, I’m not sure you ever feel 100% ready – you just try to prepare yourself as best you can. In an effort to ease some of your trepidation and potentially avoid some painful lessons being learned in-race, I will impart some sage words of wisdom based off the extensive experience I have (ie. 1 race ;-).

With that said, I’ll apologize ahead of time for the somewhat monumental nature of this post, but I feel (or at least hope) that most of this advice may prove helpful. So grit your teeth and bear it, with strength and determination you can make it to the end ;-)

I’ve pooled my deep reservoir of knowledge into eleven provocative sections:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your partner
  3. Keep the calories comin’
  4. Check your ego at the door
  5. Be able to dig deep
  6. You’re not strong enough
  7. You are your own wrench
  8. Gear up for adventure
  9. Know what hours in the saddle feel like
  10. Recover
  11. Enjoy the ride

– Read More –

February 19, 2010

So I decided to try EPO…

Well, ok, not really. But despite our ethical views against doping both Sheldon and I have wondered over a beer or three just what it might be like.

Would we instantly feel like supermen and fly past our competition, ascending hills as if immune to gravity? Or would it be something more marginal… An increase based on our training volumes, finally beating those riders that tend to always edge us out?

I think I speak for both Sheldon and I when I say that it was always more of a conversational fantasy over beers rather than a curiosity founded in any type of reality. Whenever I actually think about something like that it kind of makes me a little queasy.

I just don’t think I could do it. It just wouldn’t feel natural. And realistically, at this point in my life, there’s absolutely no reason. I race for the sport and fun of it, any results I get are simply a bonus, not something I live and die by.

Well, it turns out that somebody else had similar thoughts, but actually decided to go through with it. The author takes you on an 8 month journey from a clean amateur cyclist training an average of 15-20 hours a week, to a chemically augmented version of himself.

– Read More –

February 1, 2010

Achilles heel

I usually don’t have sweets in the house – generally speaking I don’t really crave them, but there are some things, when placed in front of me, that have a tendency to disappear in fairly short order. The first are potato chips. Crisp, salty goodness… Should a bag open, it will not be closed until only crumbs remain (which usually doesn’t take long). The second are Guylian chocolates… Aromatic roasted hazelnut praline filling enrobed in silky Belgian milk chocolate… I will literally continue to eat these until I feel like I’m going to vomit. I cannot stop. It’s different for everybody though… Should you find yourself out to dinner with Sheldon and find crème brûlée gracing the menu you’re in for a treat. They might as well serve it with a straw ;-)

More recently Sheldon went to town at McDonalds – A very infrequent binge both he and I used to enjoy when I was living in Edmonton. Since he was going for a record, he posted his attempt: 2 cheeseburgers, 1 medium fries, 6 McNuggets, 1 McChicken, 1 Parm Chicken Wrap and a Coke. Impressive to say the least. So I decided to do the math: – Read More –

January 22, 2010

Fat vs. Carbs – The Fuel Battle

So, this week I met with my new coach, a Mr. Mike Sarnecki. He’s going to see me through the following months, as I get ready for my second race season. Though I haven’t seen my new training schedule yet, I’m guessing my volumes are about to increase here right away. I have some big goals this year though so I’m ready to put in some solid time. In prep for this, I’m going to need to be a bit more diligent about my diet – specifically, my caloric intake. I’m happy to report, I’ve dumped all the weight I gained over the Christmas Holidays (some 9 lbs) and I’m back to a reasonable fighting weight. This is good news but, I’ll need to be sure I’m fueling my body properly moving forward, or risk dropping more weight, which I don’t want to do. More than that though, this year I want to make sure I’m fueling my body with the ‘right’ stuff, so as part of that, I started to dig into the Fat vs. Carbs debate. – Read More –

January 6, 2010

Top Ten for 2010

Well, welcome to the New Year everybody, to help kick things off, I thought I would pull together a little collection of links. There’s nothing like a Top Ten to get things started on the right foot, so I decided to combine two.

First – With all the fixie hype of late, I present “The Evolution of the Hipster,” curating 10 years of hipster culture from 2000 to today. As an added bonus, I also thought I’d include an interview with Steevo Cummings, the man who brought you “Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross.” The article is worth a read and guaranteed to make you grin – One of my favorite questions from the interview:

Since you’re a PRO, when you go out for a long training ride… Is everything “epic” and in black and white like on the Rapha website? Sometimes I do kinda’ longish rides on Saturday mornings… I have yet to see a glimpse of black and white… When was the last time that you saw anything in color?

Second – I wanted to highlight both Sheldon and my top articles of the last year (based on your viewership). As we look to make 2010 a stellar year both on the bikes and on the blog I thought it fitting to pay homage to the articles our readers liked the most.

– Read More –

January 4, 2010

It’s 2010 and I’m Fatter Than I’ve Ever Been!

With the flip of the calendar, it’s suddenly 2010 and like many people out there, I recently took stock of the state of things in my life. I pondered on things like my general happiness, my place in the world, my family life, my career, my dreams and goals, and on my physical health. All in all, I like where things are at, and where they’re headed – I’m looking forward to 2010 for a lot of reasons. That said, when it came to my health, my body is changing, and not for the better. I’m about to turn 35, and I’m well into ‘the slow fade’ so to speak, which comes with a slower metabolism, which in turn brings, you guessed it, more body fat. I can say with certainty that today I am fatter than I have ever been in my entire life (excluding when I was a wee baby of course). So now what? – Read More –

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