Thursday, July 10, 2008

I've moved to Jeddore

So I decided to move in with my mother in the house where I grew up for the summer to save some money for school in September. I'm also still working in Halifax so since my commute is more than a metric century every day I though I'd make a post about it.

The ride in and out is just under 60kms each way which makes for about 115km round trip. I get a car ride in every once and a while but most days I make the 2hour trip by bike which means getting up at 5am if I have to be at work by 8am.

Here's my ride in
and ride route back home

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stellarton – Sheet Harbour 400k Brevet - DNF: 07.06.2008--365km

This is the first time I have not finished a ride and at first I felt pretty bad about it. Most of the ride was pretty enjoyable. Only three of us went this time, it started at midnight so I stuck with them until the sun came up. Most of the ride was pretty enjoyable, during the night there were only a handful of cars that passed us and we went through some pretty nice areas during the rest of the day.

Things started to go wrong after Stellarton. I was not aware that the road from Stellarton to Sheet Harbour was completely devoid of any businesses and homes for the most part for about 70kms. This was during the hottest point in the day and I only had a few cliff bars and my two bottles of water and hadn't eaten lunch. The road was fairly good but every once and a while an enormous pothole would show up. As I started getting tired and hungry my eyes left the road far in front of me and I was mostly starring at the road directly in front of my wheel as my head was hanging down. Eventually I hit one of these potholes at a good enough speed to severely damage my rim. I adjusted my brakes and was able to continue on at a fairly good pace but my biggest downfall was that the route was going direcly past my house, 50kms from the end.

I was getting very tired by the time I was on the Eastern Shore and decided I was going to stop in at my house in Jeddore to switch wheels and get a bite to eat but once I sat down there was no getting up again and the ride ended there.

Since then I've decided not to do anymore brevets for now (I'll need a century in July though) and I took the wheel to be repaired but the shop told me it couldn't be so I took it home and repaired it myself (it's not 100% but it works until I can get enough money to buy a new set, maybe in a few years).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Beaverbank - Rawdon 300km Brevet: 31.05.08

300kms is also a distance I really enjoy. This time I decided to leave the group behind and chart ahead. After a while I started catching a glimpse of some bikes ahead of me and after a while finally caught up to them. They were a group of three riders training for different triathlons and were very pleasant to ride with, they didn't mind me sticking behind to save a little energy and in fact the rider in front wanted to be there at all times which saved me from trying to share the pulling position.

Eventually we went our separate ways and when I got to the first checkpoint I decided to wait for the others so that I wouldn't get lost (as I often do) as the roads ahead were not as straight forward.

I pretty much stayed with the group for the rest of the ride but the one point I did venture ahead I missed a checkpoint (and meal stop) by quite a bit.

As the evening started to set in the temperature dropped and a heavy fog rolled in, and having lost my light earlier in the ride I was starting to feel panic setting in. This is one of the things I like about 300km rides, usually by the time the ride ends a I feel real sense of accomplishment and relief, which didn't happen on my next ride.

map comming.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kennetcook - South Maitland 200km Brevet: 24.05.08--200km

200kms is one of my favorite distances and this was a very pleasant ride. I'll put up a map and some pictures when I get a chance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2008 Fleche - 24 hour endurance ride in Ottawa: 17.05.08--429km

(making up for some lost posts)..

I decided to join Randonneurs Nova Scotia this spring and the first ride we did that was over 100 miles happened to be the Fleche. A Fleche is a team ride, it is over a course of at least 360km predetermined by the team and must be done in 24 hours. There are some more rules you can read here.

There were only two of us in NS that wanted to do this this year and the rules state a minimum of three so we joined two more in Ottawa.

We took the ride at a much slower pace that I am used to but not having done this distance before I was happy to take it easy. Despite the slow pace by the time darkness fell I did not find it easy. I found myself wanting to fall asleep and with nothing open in rural Ontario I couldn't get a coffee to help keep me going. Eventually I found a gas station that sold energy drinks with kept me going for about a half hour, then made me crash far worse.

Eventually we made it, but in retrospect if I do another fleche I'll want to do it in a more populated place during the evening and have an evening start so that when we are at our most tired point the sun will be out and shops will be open.

Here is the ride report from Ottawa Randonneur Peter Grant:

Ride Report - Ottawa Fleche Team PGDM 2008

Our Fleche 2008 almost did not happen. In late winter, Guy Quesnel and I (Peter Grant) agreed that it would be good to ride a Fleche of 400km or more to qualify for the Shenandoah 1200. We just needed 1 to 3 more riders to form a team. As winter ended and riding started in Ottawa we asked friends if they would like to join us, but found no one who wanted to ride a 400+km 24 hour ride. We slowly prepared for the ride which we wanted to be as self supported as possible, without really knowing where to find a team. In mid-April an email from David Ross of Randonneurs Nova Scotia changed everything. He and Michael Godwin would like to ride a Fleche, but had no team in Nova Scotia. Was there a chance that they could join a team in Ottawa? There was very good chance indeed that they could join a team in Ottawa!

A focus on the Fleche returned. Some thing that I wanted to do different from the past 2 years was to be self supporting in the middle of the night. We have used drive through windows at 24 hour Tim Hortons to get hot food at night. The staff of Tims manning the drive through has been willing, some times with reluctance to serve us, but they and we have been subjected to harangues from a back room manager wanting us gone with no service. A strategy which I discussed with Guy was to carry a camp stove and cook a midnight dinner along the road. Guy had a stove and our plan was formed.

The second almost end of the Fleche came at the end of April when a close relative of mine died suddenly in Winnipeg. I rushed off and forgot about registering our Fleche until long past the deadline. My request to the Randonneurs Ontario board of directors for permission to make a late registration was accepted and Peter leiss generously approved my plan 5 days before the ride. Thanks to the board and Peter. I wont do it again.

The team met the evening before the start. We had planned a 6:00AM departure, but the weather forecast was for a cold front to pass Kingston at noon. To try to avoid the rain we moved our start time to 4:00AM. Our planned route would leave Ottawa and approximately follow the Rideau Canal to Kingston. Then we would ride east along the St. Lawrence River to arrive in Brockville about dinner time. In the evening we would continue east in the farm lands north of the St. Lawrence until a road intersection 20km north of Morrisburg where we would turn to the north west and start back to Ottawa. Route scenery would be about half woods and granite hills and the other half would be farm land of eastern Ontario.

We departed Ottawa at 4:00AM with calm wind but temperature of maybe 5C. We were four cold riders who arrived at Merrickville at 75 km shortly after sun rise and stopped for breakfast. With the sun up we left Merrickville in rapidly rising temperature and rapidly rising wind as we headed south west to our rendezvous with a cold front. The wind soon had flags standing straight out and snapping. We worked hard for the next 100km. Our new friends from Nova Scotia proved to be strong riders as we faced head winds of 30kph and more. Come back and ride us again guys. Our strategy of an early departure did not seem to have been early enough, but both we and the cold front were late getting to Kingston. We were just finishing lunch when the first rain started hitting the restaurant windows. We delayed departure until the rain was just a light steady rain and started east for Gananoque. The next 2 hours were in light rain with gusty winds that never really seemed like the good tail wind we wanted. I have a new randonneuring bike this year. It has permanently installed fenders and a rack. The fenders kept the back of my shorts dry. It felt like a luxury as we were on wet pavement for much of the afternoon.

After our freezing start in the morning and an even lower temperature forecast for the night, we made a stop in Gananoque at a Canadian Tire store to shop for warmer clothes and gloves. Then we were on to the 1000 Islands Parkway for the ride to Brockville. It was a pleasant ride with a light tail wind and gradually drying pavement.

Pavement was completely dry and rain seemed only a memory as we pulled in to an East Side Mario's for dinner. A fenced in patio was completely deserted and we used it as a bike parking lot. We were seated immediately in the restaurant and almost as immediately, through the widows we saw torrential rain pouring down. It is hard to believe, but we had the only 2 strong storms hit exactly when we were inside eating. Amazing!

Leaving Brockville we stocked up on extra water and put coffee in a thermos. The plan was to not need any support for the next 150km of night riding. We were again on wet pavement and after a short stretch of city riding were out in the farm lands. We enjoyed a pretty sunset as the sun sank into a line of thunderclouds to our north as we made our way to North Augusta. By Spencerville it was completely dark. The gas station/convenience store was open which would made a good last stop on a future ride of this route. About 23:00 we were at the farthest point in the south east of our route, a cross roads in a forest. We turned north for home looking for a dry place to stop for a late night meal.

We soon found a spot under a hugh maple tree at the side of the road. Illuminated by 2 bike headlights, Guy brought out the camp gear and set up the whisper light stove. In about 30 minutes he had 4 plates of hot spaghetti Parmesan. In much less time, the spaghetti was consumed, the stove packed up and we were on our way again. No cars passed by in the 45 minutes we were stopped. The country side was amazingly quiet. The moon was almost full and a light wind, unfortunately a head wind, sometimes blew. The temperature was cool, but never descended to the levels we had feared. It was a beautiful ride across the farmlands of eastern Ontario. We rode back to Ottawa making a few short stops for snacks. The morning head winds had hurt and we did not achieve our target distance of 443km, completing instead 429km.

I hope that everyone on the team enjoyed the ride as much as I did. Thanks to David and Michael for driving from Nova Scotia and riding with us. Thanks to Guy for hauling the dinner and cooking a hot meal in the middle of the night.

Peter Grant
May 21, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Halifax to Eastern Shore Century: 02.04.2008--170km

Tried to take the same route as in January but took a few wrong turns (as always) ended up at about 170km. Windiest century to date 20-30km/h winds with gusts up to 70km/h and despite that it was one of my quickest. Took about 5:25 ride time to get to the 100mi mark and about 6:30 total time (stopped into work and the bike shop along the way). So I am back up to my usual summer pace at just below 30km/h average ride time (29.8 this time). Reached a max of 72km/h, fastest I've gone in the province (got up to about 78 in up state NY).

The map (didn't change the picture here but I created a new mapmyride map):

The pictures:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Halifax Century Loop: 19-03-2008--160km

No need to post the map again; I took the same route as in February except clockwise this time. There was a strong headwind going north-west (it was going the opposite direction) up RR#1. The same wind helped blow me home down RR#2. Ran into a co-worker that lives in Brooklyn at Reid's Meats Clover Farm (general store), a little unexpected. Got home just after dark with about a 7.5 hour total time. Oh, and since it was very sunny and my other bike was out of commission, I decided to take my litespeed out for the first time this year.