As some of you may know, bikeridr dabbles in film making from time to time. I think one of our very first posts was actually a film we made riding in Kananaskis. Good times. Of course, we’ve made others since, including the 2010 Transrockies series, Cowbell and most recently, Rouler. None of these are meant – Read More –
This time the last two years, I felt very different. In the spring of 2009, I’d been on the indoor trainer and in the gym for months, working hard in prep for my bid for the full Transrockies. In 2010, coming off a solid race season, I enhanced my ‘off-season’ training with 2 outdoor rides per week putting in at least 10%+15% more training time overall. I’d emerged from winter with the base I needed to be a faster racer – I felt confident, strong, and fit going into that season.
This year, 2011, not so much. With the introduction of fatherhood, reduced sleep and increased hours at work, I haven’t had the energy or the drive to train. Back a few months ago, I knew things were going off the rails, so I made a pledge, publically, that I was going to pick it up and bear down, dropping from my peak winter-weight of 174lbs down to 160lbs, and increasing my watts/kg up to 4.0. Sadly, I haven’t made any significant headway. Though I’m down to under 165lbs, this is mostly due to watching my diet, not training. My watts/kilo were actually lower last month than the previous… Ouch… – Read More –
Now offering the most versatility of any stage race that I’m aware of… The Transrockies is offering three flavours of racing for their 10th anniversary!
As always the full on, no-holds barred TR7 exists for team competitors, and building on the success of the past two years the TR3 still exists for for solo competitor. This year, however, the Transrockies is mixing it up even more by organizing a four day solo even that builds on the back half of the full 7 day experience.
I find this extremely interesting and awesome all at the same time. – Read More –
With the end of the mtb race season looming, Ken and I immediately started thinking about our plans for 2011, and found out about a new race on the Canadian stage race scene. There is a nicely designed website up already, and with sponsors like Hammer Nutrition and support from Deadgoat Racing, it seems legit enough. But to find out more, I caught up with the man with the plan, Mark Kaltenbach, for some bikeridr Q&A. Here’s the low-down:
What made you decide to organize your own stage race?
I have a background in event organization, specifically in Triathlon. After doing the BCBR in 2008, I kept thinking about how great it would be to have a three day event that you could host over a long weekend. In Fernie, last September, it hit me that this was the perfect venue. Fernie has a multitude of trails of such varying terrain and all of the facilities that a multi-day race would need to be self-sufficient. The warmth and hospitality in Fernie definitely helps. It was then that I started to organize the Furious 3 multi-stage Mountain Bike Race. At first I thought that I would host the race in 2010, but I quickly figured out that it would be a rush to get it together and organized properly so I changed the agenda and decided the inaugural event would be on the weekend of July 1 to 3 of 2011. – Read More –
As I’m off to Fernie this weekend to race in the TR3 and currently busy with packing, bike tweaking, and home renos, etc…, this week I just wanted to post up something, well, easy. One of the hardest things I always find about bloging, is deciding on the topic. This week, as usual I had a few post ideas rolling around in my head, so to save myself the anxiety-ridden trouble of decision making, I’ve decided to just write a little on all three. In this post, I’ve got Matt Hoffman, BMX big-air guru, the average age of the Transrockies, and the curtain call of my cycling hero and cancer fighter extraordinaire, Lance. – Read More –
So what do you think of when you hear the words ‘Paris, France’? You might say the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, or maybe you’ll think of something more gastronomic like fine cheeses and delicate Bordeaux wines… I certainly think about all those things, but I also think of BIKES. Yes, I think of Parisians riding home from work with a bottle of red wine and a baguette under their arm, and of course the Tour de France!
My wife and I recently spent just shy of two weeks in the City of Light, and let me just say, what a city! But beyond all the romantic Parisian experiences that we managed to enjoy, like walking along the Seine River, sitting under the Eiffel Tower, sipping café crème in little Brasseries that people like Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald once frequented, and dining in some of the most incredible Paris restaurants, I wanted to see the real European cycling scene! I wanted to browse in incredible boutique bike shops, and oogle over the finest road racing machines Europe had to offer. I mean, after all, Paris and the Champs Élysées is where the Tour de France finishes up! This is a cycling Mecca, right?! – Read More –
This weekend, was an extra long weekend – 4 days, with both the Friday and the Monday off. Very nice, indeed. I was scheduled for three 3-hour EM rides. On Thursday, I wondered if this was going to be a little aggressive, but figured it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
For the holiday weekend my wife and I headed up to Bonnyville, where her parents have a beautiful acreage near Muriel Lake. It’s picturesque, quiet, and always nice a relaxing. Knowing that I had to get some rides in, I tossed my bike on the roof of the car and we headed out early Friday morning. After lunch I rolled out for 3-hour slog number one. It was warm and sunny and so down the gravel range roads I went, enjoying the pastural scenery. I felt good. I felt strong, and so as my legs turned over, 1 hour turned into 2 hours pretty quickly. Hour three however, things started to get a little strenuous. The Bonnyville area isn’t quite as flat as the ‘most’ of Alberta. It’s what I’d consider ‘rolling’ country, but it still gets just as windy. And it was this combination of rolling hills and consistent 30km/h winds that started to take its toll on me. That, and just the general discomfort of being on the bike for that long. My lower back was squaking a bit and the back of my neck chimed in right near the end. As I rolled up the gravel driveway to the house at 3 hours and 6 mins, I was more than ready to get off the bike. I thought about last year’s TR, and this year’s TR3 and shuddered. – Read More –
I want to say just how crazy I think it is that people from all over the world read our little bike blog. I mean you start a blog and post articles so people will read it. That is the point, but I just think it’s super cool that people actually do! So, on my last post, Pascal, a rider from Belgium commented, mentioning that the weather was a bit gloomy there that day, and that he’s been reading up on our Transrockies adventures because he’s going to be racing it this summer. (I hope you don’t mind me singling you out here, Pascal) When I read that comment, I just thought ‘Huh… You know… How cool is that, that riders, like Pascal, from thousands and thousands of kilometers away are able to so easily read our stuff.’ Sometimes this big world seems small, indeed… So yeah, this comment of Pascal’s got me thinking about the Transrockies again. I know quite a few people racing it this year, and so I wanted to share another quick story from last year that I think is pretty cool. – Read More –
Just prior to the New Year I learned that the TransRockies was headed home.
In partnership with Travel Alberta the 2010 TransRockies now begins where it once finished. Riders will start in Fernie and ribbon through what is promised to be “the most spectacular scenery in North America” to a finish line in Canmore. For those us of living in Alberta and familiar with riding in the Banff/Bragg Creek area, many of the trails coming in the finish line will certainly feel like home.
I have to say, I’m stoked to hear about this seasons’ route changes. Though not on my schedule this season, I think the changes are due. Comparing last years TransRockies to many of the newer races (i.e. BC Bike Race, Intermontagne, etc.) the TR was a very different beast. You had to earn every checkpoint, there were no free rides from trailhead to trailhead – often resulting in a grind through many kilometres of somewhat dull logging roads. On the flip side, it sure made you appreciate the bombing descents and singletrack when it rolled out before you.
If our recent experience with stage racing has taught me anything, it’s the importance of being prepared.
It’s not to say that Sheldon and I weren’t prepared for regular mountain-adventure circumstances (ie. rain, sun, wind, etc.), we just weren’t prepared to have almost the worst of them shoveled to us repeatedly for several days. Warm weather poses it’s own challenges, but gear isn’t usually one of them (unless you count hydration and sunscreen ;-), bad weather, especially day after day, will truly test what you and your gear is made of.
I can’t speak for Sheldon, but I know that I mulled over my packing list for quite some time as the Transrockies approached. I was rushed pulling everything together (as usual), but at least I had planned things out in my head ahead of time.
Simon Parker (who we had the pleasure of riding with later in the race), has pulled together a great 10-part series of articles about ‘What to expect on your first Transrockies’, and although he does a great job at outlining a gear list, I thought I would share mine with you in a slightly more condensed manner.
One thing that I will mention is that being properly prepared for stage racing requires a sincere amount of gear, and outside of your regular gear you’re going to want to stock up on some replacement parts, and be prepared for things to break and/or wear out. With that said, it’s worthwhile developing a relationship with your local bike shop – Explain to them the race you’re planning and oftentimes they’ll let you buy the additional parts you need and return whatever you don’t use (so long as they don’t have to special order parts). Even though it’s a chunk of cash out of your pocket up front, at least you’ll be able to recoup some costs after the race (assuming you don’t use all the extra parts ;-).
So without further ado, here’s most of what found it’s way into my gear bag: – Read More –