This blog/site is a collection of my thoughts, articles and other general excitement tied into cycling, training and competing as a vegan bike racer and athlete.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014! A Quick-ish Summary of 2013 - Riding, Gear and More.

Happy New Year, world!

It's been another fun year on the bike - for those not following me on the Strava (my profile here), it's been another great year - got out 4-5 days most weeks, really started logging more distance (including several 5-6hr rides!), and average ride length grew as well, as i felt stronger. (For example, instead of a more direct route to the velodrome, i'd add in some extra distance so my ride there was over an hour.)

Lost some weight as well - usually am in the 162lb range, and for more than six months i've been down around 152lbs. Still kinda surprised when i step on the scale, i keep expecting to float back up, but this seems to be my 'new' weight, and i'm not complaining as much on the hills..haha..

My power has been good - it hasn't dropped any since i lost weight (which was a concern, often weight loss also means power loss).

I didn't focus quite as much on racing, probably the TT got the most focus - and it payed off! Got my Sidney Velo PB from 2012 (24:49) down to 24:31. Bummed i didn't crack 24:30, but one more goal for next year! Didn't do too much on the track, and cyclocross was going well until i got sick in early October, and that lasted nearly three weeks (a few days i was on my butt, but after it just sort of lingered.) So that fouled my fitness (which seems to drop quickly if i'm not out riding a lot....grrr...) Oh, and in the VCL i tied for 12th (or 11th depending on how you score it). Very surprised by that, as i only went to a few events...but it really helped by winning one of the Hill Climbs! haha - that's right, for 2013 i'm somehow the KOM for Neild Rd!!

Had no problems completing the Festive 500 again, that'll be my third patch! Weather was especially nice this year, don't think i got rained on for a single km of it!

Gear-wise, my favorite new items are the Specialized Purist bottles, the Bell Javelin TT helmet (lets you keep your head low with the full visor, essential for being more aero, imo). Similar feature with the Smith PivLock V2 shades - never want to have glasses with a frame again!! I can keep my head low, and still see ahead of me. My latest fancy purchase is a Sugoi RSX jacket, with a new PolarTech material (Neoshell?) - it's like GoreTex, but significantly more breathable. And it really is! I freaking love this thing! When it's wet, it keeps the water off, but when it's dry, it breathes so well that i'm a LOT drier than i am wearing any other shell in cool weather. It's not quite as wind-proof as GoreTex, so you also want slightly warmer layers, but it really pays off. Speaking of GoreTex, my Gore booties (GoreTex) have been AMAZING - they make a huge difference and am often surprised my feet are still dry when it's pouring out, and they've held up really well too.

Looking ahead, i'm hoping to pick up some of the new Specialized Turbo tubeless tires. A bit worried as they 24cc, and my fenders are already pretty tight with 23's. But the Hutchinson tubeless tires have got to go - they have horrible grip in the wet. For bigger purchases, i'm considering electronic Campy, probably the Chorus....the nicest thing being that i can put my aero clip-on bars, and still shift with the remote plug-ins...that would be swell. =)

I've been riding in Vancouver a lot, as my sweetie Lesley lives there (and our 6 month anniversary is in January, woowoo!) - we come back and forth between cities, and it's been cool to ride new roads, and one real stand-out feature are the mountains - Cypress and Seymour. Rode up both a number of times over the summer, pretty amazing to train on, wish we had something like that near Victoria. Also joined up with the Mighty Riders group there, really nice people if you're looking for a firm Sunday ride.

Of course the Oak Bay Bikes ride is a staple, joining in the Saturday ride when i'm here, and the Sunday ride is really great too, lead by Joe and Kim - easier pace, but usually turn off up towards Durrance, and the pace picks up...which makes for a nice warm-up. Great people on both ride as well.

Been rocking many of the same supplements - Vega is still a big staple, the main products i rely on are the Sport Protein (vanilla) and Recovery Accelerator (tropical mango). I'll usually mix both into orange juice after a ride, very tasty!! Maca is also REALLY amazing when i'm particularly stressed (either from training, or life-stuff as well.)

I'm also still finding the Purica Recovery to be very beneficial, especially when i'm logging more miles and it helps keep the fatigue at bay! And their Cordyceps i think help add some endurance, perhaps helping with my TT training, and keeping the legs turning over during long rides.

Those are the highlights, off the top of my head! It's been good to see veganism in more and more headlines, and with people out highlighting that they're vegan, hopefully it's helping to make it more accessible to people, and show companies that there is a demand for vegan people.

One wacky area is 'gluten'. Personally, i have no issues with it, and enjoy my fair share (avoiding processed foods, but there are lots of healthy whole foods with gluten, like Silver Hills Bread, one of my favorites!) Somehow GF foods are EVERYWHERE, despite the fact that about 1% of the population has a sensitivity. On the flip side, over 2% of the population is vegan (and upwards/above  10% in a lot of areas are vegetarian) yet we don't see 'vegan' sections in the grocery store. It's bizarre how it's taken off, despite having a smaller population base.....shows just how powerful trends can be. (And no, many GF foods are not vegan...you'd think they would be tho. Lots of egg and dairy allergies too.)

Gonna wrap it up there, but let's take a peek at my year in numbers, according to Strava!

Distance     13,244km (2012 - 12,944.4km)
Time     498hrs (2012 - 482hr 42m)
Elev Gain     117,420 (2012 - 103,583m)
Rides     285 (2012 - 216) (bunch more commuting!)

Bikes (Total distance)
Niner RIP9     551k (2012 - 357.3km)
Ridley Noah     14,517km (2012 - 7,294.9km)
Ridley Orion     11,232km (2012 - 6,633.3km)
Ridley X-Night     2,952km (2012 - 1,914.3km)
* note - totals are cumulative, so the '2012' number actually includes 2011 as well.

Ahh..stats. Rode a bit more this year...significantly more elevation.

I seem to be averaging 1000km a year on the CX bike, but again you can see the importance of a nice winter bike - i still spend nearly half my riding on it!

That's a wrap, thanks for tuning in, and hopefully i'll blog again before 2014. ;)

- Dave

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    Monday, May 06, 2013

    For Sale: Wired PowerTap SL and Salsa TT Frame/Bike

    Hello world!

    I've got a couple items for sale: my wired PowerTap SL, and the Salsa TT bike/frame, read on, and and post below if you have any questions!

    Wired PowerTap SL built to a Mavic OpenPro - $600

    This is a well-used wired PowerTap SL hub (purchased in 2008 i believe), but has held up well! Was sent to Orange for servicing in February when i was finished using it. It's been used as my winter training wheel for the last few years.

    This is a wired PowerTap, so unfortunately it isn't compatible with Garmin units (it won't pick up the power data). It's built up to a relatively Mavic OpenPro rim, which has had one winter of riding in it. No major wear, lots of life left in it.

    It currently has a Campy freehub (cassette/sprockets not included), but if using Shimano/SRAM, will swap over to the appropriate freehub for the cost of the part.

    In addition to the 'Little Yellow Computer' and wiring harness (with cadence sensor) is a second, brand new wiring set, also with cadence, so PowerTap can be used on two bikes without the hassle of swapping the cables. Only thing missing is the heart rate strap (needs an ANT+ version.)

    Asking $600, OBO! My suggestion is that this is perfect for a winter bike, to track your winter training.

    Several more photos here.

    Salsa TT Frame and Parts - $400

    This is a pretty unique frame! Salsa El Go Go full scandium 54cm frame with carbon fork in green, i'm basically giving away the frame, which has been well-used although in good condition with minimal markings and scuffs. Just looking for $$ for the very lightly used parts (most just a few rides, except the brakes), which include:

    - Profile T2+ extensions
     - T2 Wing basebar
     - SRAM shifters
    - Vision aero brake levers
    - Specialized stem
    - Campy Veloce dual-pivot brakes
    - Shimano Ultegra front derailleur

    Asking $400 for the full package. If interested in MOST of the parts, can sell off independently. Can also offer a deal if you get cranks i have (Campy Chorus, compact, 170mm) and/or seatpost (Thompson) as well for more of a complete package.

    More pics here:




    Post below if you have any questions, or use the contact form to message me privately, thanks!
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      Sunday, January 06, 2013

      Happy 2013 - Calendars, Bike Stats and a Smoothie

      Happy 2013 bike fans!

      Can't believe another year has gone by. 2012 was a pretty good year on the bike, will try and post some sort of highlights update some time. Looks like i didn't update anything since March...eep!

      This year focus will return to the track...training will be split between tt/ftp and sprinting. That ought to be fun! Who wants to join me afternoons on the track for 20min threshold sessions? ;)

      Here are a few items for your pleasure:

      Training Calendars

      How do you keep track of your training or what's coming up? For a few years now i've been going to the CalendarLabs website and printing up items from their site:

      I print out the Monthly calendars, which leaves a good amount of space each day, and use a clip to hold 'em all together.

      As events come up for the year, they're quick and easy to add in (i'm going to try using some highlighters this year to add some color and distinction. ;) And since they're all there, it's really easy to figure out your build-up for various events, week-by-week. I'll keep track of all these, which are handy to review:

      * upcoming events
      * training/interval sessions
      * note race results
      * note ride/training highlights or concerns

      Also, since it's just a clip holding it all together, it's easy to add other sheets (there are a few local series, with a bunch of dates through the year, keep it all handy). And whatever training sheets you might have.

      There are a bunch of different options, but i find i like the individual month dates, and print up one for each month of the year: http://www.calendarlabs.com/printable-calendar.php?template=tL1m

      Let me know if this works for you, or if you have a suggestion!

      Festive 500

      Another year, another Festive 500 - riding 500km from Xmas Eve to  New Year's Eve. 2011 was a real struggle, the weather was MISERABLE. This year - MUCH better! Barely got wet. I was finished with a day to spare, and took a rest day to boot!

      If you're on the Strava, you can follow me here: http://app.strava.com/athletes/17877

      Bike Stats

      One feature i like about Strava is that it tracks your riding stats:

      Distance     12,944.4km
      Time     482hr 42m
      Elev Gain     103,583m
      Rides     216

      Niner RIP9     357.3km
      Ridley Noah     7,294.9km
      Ridley Orion     6,633.3km
      Ridley X-Night     1,914.3km

      Pretty neat stuff! I'm pretty sure i logged all my rides (except commuting), so this is pretty complete. Don't have this for 2011 (this would be a nice feature in the upcoming version of WKO+ - i have so much data in there, but so much of it is 'lost'.)

      One thing this highlights is in these parts the need of a decent winter bike. I knew i logged a fair amount of mileage on my Orion, but i would never have guessed THAT much! Also surprised by the distance i rode in CX too, would have been a fair bit more had i not had a terrible crash (low point of the year! Luckily nothing broken, but out of action for about a month.)

      A Recipe!

      I just tweeted this, so might as well share here - it was pretty tasty!

      'Nutella' Smoothie

      * banana
      * soy milk (or almond, rice, etc..)
      * Santa Cruz organic chocolate syrup
      * hazelnuts
      * Vega One - chocolate

      Lightly roast hazelnuts (like 5min at 300C), i used about 20 for about 2c soymilk.

      Add to soymilk in blender, add banana, chocolate syrup (to taste) and Vega, and blend it up!

      Wasn't too bad! Fun way to mix up the Vega. =)

      That's A Wrap

      Thanks for stopping by, happy riding, and eat your veggies! =)

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        Monday, March 26, 2012

        Just a few updates!

        Island Cup MTB #2 - Cobble Hill

        'Hill' is an understatement, with massive amounts of climbing (i climbed 766m in 20km that day!), but even tho i'm far from being a climber, the course was really fun, with amazing sections of singletrack that wound their way back down. Finished 11th in Intermediate Men, happy with that. I stopped to help out Roland tho, he was having some troubles with his new bike (a 29er!) and i knew i was far from contention for the podium, so thought i'd give him a hand (his chain got behind his cassette.)

        Here's my Strava data:

        OA Victoria Club Accomplishments

        Updated our chart of our Chapter race results, check it out! This year the OrganicAthlete Victoria cycling team will mainly consist of Jennie, Marty and myself, look out for us on the roads and trails!

        Vegan Origins

        Peter (@ReadyForPlanB on Twitter) has a cool 'Vegan Testimonials' project with over 50 stories of why people went vegan, and here's mine! For those who've ever wondered why i went vegan. =)

        Video: Home Powered By Cyclists
        This is is a amazing video (i share videos pretty rarely), but this is of a 'normal family' who's home is powered by 80 cyclists for a day, it provides an amazing visualization of how much energy appliances use: http://youtu.be/uVK6w1Fldxw
        From Vega: Superfoods Nutrition Chart

        I'm not sold on the 'superfood' idea, i think it's just food - but this is still a neat chart with a breakdown of nutrients in a number of particularly nutritious foods.

        A Big Ride

        I've been enjoying the longer rides, so this weekend was a pretty solid go - on Friday i went for an MTB ride, Saturday was the OBB ride (got 4th in the sprint) and added a bit more for 117km, and then Sunday i went all out, logging over 5hrs and 150km, and just a little elevation:

        Victoria Vegan Festival!

        Will wrap this up with a blog posting with an exciting event coming up, the 1st ever Victoria Vegan Festival, from Friends of Animals and Sarah's Place, to be on Canada Day, July 1st in Market Square - it's gonna be an amazing celebration of veganism in the city! Check out our side for more: http://VictoriaVeganFest.com

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          Wednesday, March 14, 2012

          Some 'Aero Testing', 1st MTB Race of the Year

          Hey there sports fans!

          Last week i went to the track to do my 2x20m session, and i thought i'd try a few different positions while i was out there, and see if there was much of a difference (i think this is a variation of the Chung Test!)

          Since it was 2x20min, i figured i'd try different hand positions for 10min periods. The weather was pretty good, but cool. Very little breeze. The only significant change was that the sun was setting so the first 20min i was in the sun and the area was a bit warmer. It felt cooler the second effort...in theory that ought to mean a slightly slower time, but it's probably not a significant issue in this case.

          I was on my winter bike (fenders) and my hand positions were:

          #1 - middle of the bar tops
          #2 - hoods, arms flatish, bent over a bit more
          #3 - middle of the tops, same as #1, maybe a bit lower
          #4 - drops

          Here's the wattage (AP) and speed for each 10min segment:

          273w / 34.8kph
          270w / 35.3kph
          267w / 34.7kph
          260w / 35.2kph

          #1 and #3 are fairly close, as expected. #2 and #4 are more interesting. It's a bit more speed in the first, and #4 is really significant as the watts were a fair bit lower (getting tired), but the speed was about the same as riding 10w harder - so in theory at ~35kph riding in the drops saves me over 10w.

          I'll try to mirror this in my next few efforts, see what results!

          Also, the first Island Cup MTB race was last Sunday here at Hartland (The Dump!), and i had a pretty good event. There were some good duels with other riders, and my main focus was maintaining a certain pacing strategy - ensuring i ease off on the gas before particular technical sections (like the technical bits going up Crazy Horse, Rollie Ridge and that nasty grade at the end of Crossover) and i managed to get PBs in my lap times (30min, 32mins), and much better than i was expecting (32-35min). Last year i was so gassed that i'd hit a few of these sections and have to get off the bike to get over the technical bits. This year i planned to get off and use my CX skills in a few spots (that nasty bit on the climb on Crazy Horse, and the big, wide rocky corner on Skull Trail, which i normally ride, but knew it'd be faster just to run), and then ensure i have gas in the tank for the others (which i did!) So, well planned.

          Admittedly i eased off on the first half of Shock Treatment as it was really muddy and got some in my eye the first lap...so could have snipped a little more time if i wasn't slowing down for puddles...i'm such a fair-weather weeny. ;)

          I rolled into the finish, and goofed around before the line, delaying 10-15seconds, and then there was a riding coming up behind so i weaved over across the line, but they scored him in front of me - boo! So 11th in Intermediate (B) Men. Whatev's, i know i beat that guy. =P

          Planning to head up to Cobble Hill next week for #2 in the series, and avoid the second VCL (local road race series) on a hilly course.

          Safe riding!

          PS - here's the poll from my last entry, if you haven't voted already, when do you find you perform best?

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            Friday, March 02, 2012

            It's 2012 Time!

            Happy Spring everyone! How do we know it's spring? Why, i shaved my beard, so it must be spring. =)

            Bye-bye Beardy! Not how i look now!

            Training has been great, logging solid miles and watts, if you're not on Strava, you should be! Very fun program, works if you've got a GPS unit (including apps for Android and iPhones!) It's free, and tracks your ride (and runs any other activities) and keeps track of 'segments', which are sections of road people have programmed in, such as hills and regular ride routes. It's fun to see if you were moving particularly fast in a part of the ride, here's a short spin from Thursday as an example:

            You can see there that i moved pretty fast up King George Terrace this day (chasing Clay).

            Another cool feature of the site is that it's also social, so you 'follow' other riders (near-by friends, friends in other cities, and even a number of pros like Clara Hughes and Simon Whitfield!) Every day you get an email listing all the rides from the last day, and you can log into the site and there's a timeline of those rides as well, where you can comment, heckle or complement others in your cycling community.

            My profile is here (follow me!) and check out my "Following" page to find a bunch of other cool peeps, local and abroad. It all makes a bit more sense when you start following a few peeps, and log into the 'Dashboard' page. =)

            It's 2012!

            So, what's in store for this year.. I think i'll go back to focusing on the track. Despite my strong disagreement with the behaviour of the GVVA board, track is still my 'strength', and it would be silly to give it up. Will focus on bunch races, Keirins and Madisons.

            On the road, will continue to give'er. The new VCL schedule is out, and amazingly a lot more flat races, with several Western Speedway and Windsor Park (on several Sunday mornings!!) crits - that's more my style!

            Oddly, been enjoying the longer rides too, was out for nearly 5hrs a couple weekends ago with Sarah Stewart, and actually *enjoyed* it - insane! Check it:

            A Year Later, Road Tubeless

            I've been riding road tubeless tires for well over a year now (Oct 2010?), and there are some good points and bad points. (Road tubeless tires are like MTB tubeless tires - there's no tube, just a strong seal between the tire and the rim, and usually goo that seals punctures.)

            The best is that i've had 2 flats in that time - the first all i had to do was stop and put some more air in the tire as it resealed. The second was 'catastrophic' and (heaven forbid) had to put in a tube (had nearly forgotten how that works!)

            For a winter riding set-up, it's amazing. The typically wider rims make for a solid contact patch, and can run lower pressure if so desired (i'm typically 90-100psi, ~160lbs). The rolling resistance is pretty good as well.

            There are some downsides, there is a very limited selection of tires (really, two from Hutchinson, and one from Maxxis. Overall i like the Maxxis better. There is one from Specialized as well, but it's really just a re-labeled Hutch.) Due to the low development, weight is still very high. The listed weights are very conservative, and i'm finding they're typically 20g heavier (ie, 290-310g.) Sure, we're not using tubes, but there's still goop in there, so overall weight is a fair bit higher on a race set-up.

            The other real bummer is a near complete lack of non-OEM compatible rims. About the only option is from Stan's, and i've had a terrible experience with the Alpha340's. First failure was a 24h laced to my PowerTap - after ~3 months of road use i found 3 nipples pulling out of the rim. They said 'use the 32h' (that helps with my 24h PowerTap hub..) But ironically, a couple weeks later, my 32h PowerTap from my winter bike ALSO had the exact same problem. (Although i had ridden it a fair bit longer.)

            I replaced the 24h with another Stan's rim, and it's blowing up now as well (it lasted 2mos of CX racing.) The 32h was replaced with an OpenPro, which i managed to convert to tubeless, but is barely worth the effort - 7 layers of their tape and about 30minutes of fuckery with the air compressor i managed to get a tire to inflate. I do NOT recommend converting OpenPro rims to tubeless and am on the lookout for a 32h replacement rim.

            This summer i'll not be racing tubeless (although did last year). Hoping to build up my 24h PowerTap to a Zipp 303 or 404 Firecrest (and get a matching front wheel.) Gonna try out latex tubes and go back to my trusty Conti GP 4000S tires (which i've had good puncture resistance with, just don't let anything touch the sidewall!!) I'm taking suggestions for other clincher deeper rims that my shop can build...

            On a bright note, the 2Bliss/2BR Captain CX tires from Specialized were freaking BRILLIANT. I struggled with the non-tubeless version (mega-burping), and was so happy to get these. In testing, i got down to 20psi with no burping (although it was really waaay too squishy to ride in anything but thick sand or mud in a straight line.) Most of my racing was in the 28-35psi range (i suspect this translates to a lower pressure w/tubes). I will be getting a non-PowerTap tubeless wheelset for CX this fall. (I've found training/racing with power for CX is nearly pointless...i'm really better off guessing my efforts in relation to TSS, etc..)

            A Few Fun Pics

            Here's a few select shots from my RideCam32 gallery:

            Doesn't look like much...is that a potato in my spokes? heh - fell off the counter and stuck there.

            Here's a shot of my 'cockpit' on the winter bike (Ridley Orion). Got the PowerTap since it's an older wired model, the Garmin Edge 500 (best cycling computer!!!) and of course a little bell, totally Pro. ;)

            The Serfas True250 light has been fantastic for road riding as well. 250 Lumens is plenty, can get 2x 2.5hr rides on one charge, and really convenient/fast quick-release mount. Easy to stash in the pocket too if heading out when light and not sure if you'll need it.

            Came across this bullet-bike on a night ride along Dallas, apparently the guy bought it 'for fun'! Really got it moving too!

            This shot's from riding back along Lagood Rd from the Boxing Day TT (which i won!!!) That's Megarath and Alex Hui up ahead.

            Let's Wrap This Up

            So race season really begins next week, there's the VCL at Caleb on Sunday (Mar 11), but i'll be going to the Dump for the Island Cup MTB race. From there will be a few more road and MTB races, and hopefully the track opens in April.

            In the vegan food world, a few recent highlights are the peanut butter chocolate swirl coconut So Delicious, their coconut-milk yogurt, the burgers from Gardein (so very good), and the mandarin orange Crispy Chick'n...SO YUMMY. I've been finding the Vega Sport protein to be handy, and they've launched their new Vega One product as well (updating the Whole Food Meal Replacement).

            Jon Watkins has started a blog for local cycling race stuff, check it: http://victoria-bike-racing.blogspot.com/

            Are you on Google+? I'm actually liking it better than Facebook or Twitter, and post neat stuff there regularly, circle me and say hi!

            That's aboot it, let's wrap it up with a poll, feel free to discuss any topics below as well:

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              Saturday, December 31, 2011

              The Festive500!

              Hey hey bike fans!

              On the Strava site (if you're not on there and have a Garmin unit or GPS smartphone, get on it, and if you follow me, i'll follow you back!) i noticed the 'Rapha Festive 500' contest, where you log 500km from Dec 23rd to 31st, and then maybe get to win stuff! Hurrah - seemed like a fun challenge!

              I was especially inspired after a week of dry riding, and logging some good hours throughout December, and i've been really enjoying my time on the bike (much more so - often as my ride ends, i'm happy to be home and get off the bike, but lately i actually want to keep on going! Kind of unusual for me, as a trackie where the moto is 'the shorter the better'!) So i jumped into the contest, and here it is:

              RIDE #1 - Friday, Commute (12.4km, only 487.6km to go!)

              heh - it's a contest right? Every km counts! I knew i was going to log a few km commuting going to the climbing gym and riding around doing some chores, so here it is. =)

              In other news, i had checked the results, and by this point some people from Australia had already logged over 400km in 2 days - yikes!! I have 12.4km!

              RIDE #2 - Saturday, Oak Bay Bikes Group Ride (98.6km, 111km Total)

              No better way to get things started than my weekly group ride from the Oak Bay Bikes shop. As mentioned, we've had a spell of fantastic weather, so the light rain wasn't a chore. Given it was Xmas Eve, we kept the pace really civil, and only five of us rode the full route.

              Doug, Dan and company, nearly back in town.

              RIDE #3 - Sunday, Xmas Day Torrential Downpour (29.2km,  140.2km so far)

              The day was promising to be a crap one, but i managed to pick the single worst hour to be out...it just poured while i was out..very demoralizing. Entire ride consisted of heading out to the Switch Bridge, a common meeting spot where some others were possibly into an Xmas Day ride, and ran into Dan Leonard, who was logging a ton of km that week, and so encouraged him to join up to the Rapha500, and he quickly got the job done, the first in Victoria, and all of Canada i believe!

              The wind was so strong that on the final stretch of my ride, despite just cruising along, i got a PR for a 4km section...

              Just a bit of wind and rain this day..
              Pictured is my trusty Ridley Orion winter bike,
              note the proper 'Wet Coast' fender & extender. ;)
              Happy to be heading home and drying off..

              RIDE #4 - Monday, Victoria Wheeler's Annual Boxing Day Time Trial (85.9km, 226.1 - almost 1/2 way!)

              Always a fun test in the middle of our winter, the TT itself is just under 14km, on a pretty flat route. In the past i usually podium or am close to the top, usually not too many 'big hitters' out, and in part to lax participation from clubs, i managed to pull off one final win for the season! (Results)

              Was expecting rain, but it held off, and enjoyed the ride back into town with Alex and Megan.

              TT participants, post-TT

              Came back along the lovely Lagoon Rd Reserve

              Alex and Megan

              RIDE #5 - Wednesday, Solo Saanich Swim Ride (79.2km, 305.3 mostly wet kilos)

              I nearly cracked this day and gave in.. It had been pouring rain for about 48hrs (didn`t bother going out Tuesday), and no sign of it abating. The only redeeming value was that it was a balmy 12C outside thanks to the wind from the south. But that still meant wind.

              Many awful experiences to share from this, but perhaps the worst was any descent, with the rain smashing into my face and no optics due to the rain...after the big descent on East Saanich Rd, i opted to ride as few hills as i could... Misery was compounded with headphone issues, so even music was a frustration.. As i was on my way back into town, things started to come together, and i nearly enjoyed the last hour, despite the persistent weather conditions.

              One of my few comforts..my home-made cocoa-orange chocolate chip energy cookie-bars
              - vegan of course!

              I'm sure people are jealous they missed out riding in THAT for nearly 3hrs!
              Food done...back to the rain..

              RIDE #6 - Thursday, Lucky Timing (66.7km, 372km total - two days left!)

              It's been dry in the mornings the last few days, but still calling for rain in the afternoons and evening. By the time i wrapped up work, it hadn't started raining, so i opted to get out, and managed to keep dry!

              I felt like i was gambling with this route - i kept taking small sections that wove me away from town, but not too far in case the rain started...

              On my final stretch along the Dallas Rd. waterfront as the evening was settling in, i saw Sylvan up ahead and chased him down to chat for a bit, and see how his riding was going.. After turning around for the final stretch back along the water for home, it started to sprinkle, and the wind was picking up. Turned out that evening was one of the worst nights for rides, and Sylvan was just getting his Rapha500 started...!

              RIDE #7 - Friday, More Commuter Miles (16.8km, 388.8km - one day after this, looks good!)

              Okay, it's a bit cheap, but i wanted a rest day and needed to do some chores, so logged my 'recovery' miles as i went to my bike shop Oak Bay Bikes, visited my buddy Emile, did some shopping, and then went downtown later to my club OrganicAthlete Victoria's primary sponsor Green Cuisine vegan restaurant for dinner with a friend (and a shameless opportunity to plug some awesome sponsors. ;)

              RIDE #8 - Saturday, The Final Stretch, Another OBB Ride (123km... ??? total??)

              Eeep! It's looking good! The loop is ~100km, so i figured adding on about 30min will get me safely over 110km, which was the goal for the day.

              Thankfully, while cold, it was dry! Cruised over to the shop, and there was a good turn-out, and we headed out. Two flats in the first 30mins delayed things, but no issues the rest of the way to Sidney.

              There, met up with Peter and Sylvan, who were also finishing off their Festive500 duties - Peter had about 170km left to go, and Sylvan needed around 200km to ride. That meant they'd both been out for the earlier Tripleshot 80km ride - yow!

              Sylvan, Peter and myself - the Rapha Three!
              What on earth is Peter doing with just knee warmers? It was below freezing when he started!

              Usually from there the group splits into a more 'peppy' group, and followed by a more 'steady' group. The three of us started to roll out with the peppy group, but as it was only about 5 people, we opted out, as it would mean a lot more work (at the front in the wind)...!

              So we hung back and headed out with a much bigger group than usual.

              The Oak Bay Bikes group!
              On the road on Land's End

              With the riders off the front, it meant that none of us could win the ride sprint, which bummed me a bit, but i figured i wouldn't have a lot of gas in the tank anyway.

              Things got busted up on the Panorama Hill (posted my second fastest time) thanks in great part to Rhonda, and we split the group in two - Peter and Sylvan were in the front with me, so all good.

              The pace was pretty steady back into town. Just past Brentwood (i think) the lead group met back up with us, so the sprint was fair game again!

              The Sprint Report, brought to you by Dave`s Vegan Cookies:

              Geoff took off pretty early, just before the hill by the Observatory (later he told me he just wanted to go harder and get more of a workout) - no one really chased, but the pace was still fairly high. The 15-or-so of us kept it together down the other side and around onto Interurban. We could see Geoff dangling ahead, and Peter started to tow the group at a faster pace... He pulled off, i then chased for a bit, then fell back to sit in. Wasn`t sure if i was going to sprint or not..still had over an hour of riding to go!

              Got shuffled around in the group a bit, and Adam De Vos blasted away as the pace eased a bit... He caught Geoff fairly quick, by Camosun. I contemplated bridging up, but we still had about 1k to go to the sprint, and there was a very strong headwind.

              Peter got back on the front and picked up the pace again, and the gap really began to shrink. There were a few more people up front, pulling and pulling off...over the final crest i was 3rd wheel behind Guy and Trevor, and Guy was putting in an effort. I felt solid, and was in a great position, so decided i would sprint!

              We were just about to hit the final 'double' - two little risers with the sprint line 50m beyond the crest, and Guy pulled off. Trevor usually puts in a good effort, and so i was hoping to soak his draft for another 20m or so to get me up the hill a bit more, but he stuck to Guy's wheel and didn't pick up, so it was go time!

              I jam the pedals seated for a few strokes as we speed up the hill, then i'm out of the saddle hammering for all i'm worth! We fly past Geoff, who's clearly died, and 20m before the line i grin over at a flat-lined Adam as i'm leading the charge for the line!

              I haven't looked back, so no idea who's coming up - but i press on knowing there's someone to my left... 5m and i can tell it's Tom Skinner. Uh oh! 4m...3m...the gear is feeling big...2m..1m...he's right there - i throw the bike, and it looks like my wheel hits the line first!!! I raise my arm, but so does Tom!!

              It was really close, and it's New Year's Eve, so we agree on a tie for the final win sprint of the OBB ride for 2011.

              At that point, Peter has logged all the kilos needed for his Festive 500 - another reason to cheer! We continue rolling into town, i also take the final King of the Overpass at the Switch Bridge. ;)

              The group is really shrinking, and on Harbour Rd Peter and Sylvan turn off for a coffee shop stop. Geoff, Adam and myself carry on for the final stretch along the water, and afterwards continue on for a little while longer, just to ensure that i get the distance i needed - plus the sun was out, and i was feeling great, despite having logged 512km in such a short time (much more than i'm accustomed to!)

              Nearly there!

              Big ups to Strava and Rapha Clothing for putting on the Festive 500, it was a ton of fun (despite the crap weather here!) Good motivation to get out and ride, and inspiring to see how others are doing (the current leader logged over 1,400km..wow!)

              Thanks to two other club sponsors for keeping me going, Vega for their bars, gels and fantastic Sport protein powder, and to Purica for their amazing Recovery ES product - nearly magical i say!

              And mad props for the other four Victoria, BC riders who completed this - Dan (who may lead the country with 551km!), Peter, Sylvan (did i mention he rode about 460km in the final two days) and Jamie Cameron, who is in California for the holidays, and finished the Hincapie Grand Fondo today. Also congrats to Andrew Pickell from the mainland (Vancouver), who for all i know is the only other Canuck to complete the contest, and is new to the cycle-racing world!

              See ya out on the bike in 2012!!!


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                Sunday, August 28, 2011

                Bike Sale!

                Dave's Big Bike Sale!

                Hello world! Been accumulating gear for a while now, and it's about time i clear some of it out, and pay off my tab at Oak Bay Bikes!

                All prices OBO and negotiable within reason. Please don't try to gauge me. Full set of pics can be viewed here.

                Contact me here if you've got any questions or are interested in any items.

                Road Handlebars

                Three sets of bars, all are 42cm wide, over-sized 31.6mm clamp.

                - Ritchey Pro, BioMax, short drop. $45

                - Ritchey Comp, says 270g, very similar to the BioMax. $40

                - Specialized ?? (Comp or Pro), much like above bars. $40

                Bike Seats

                Four bike seats (i say seats, not saddles. They're not saddle stays or saddle posts...) All have Ti rails, black.

                - Specialized Toupe 143, 1st generation, very well used. $SOLD

                - Specialized Phenom 143, 1st generation, very well used. $SOLD

                [PIC TO COME]

                - Specialized Phenom 143, 2011 model, hardly used tho slightly scuffed from a spill. $75

                [PIC TO COME]

                - Specialized Tritip GelSL 40, 2010, lightly used. $90


                These are great for cyclocross or commuter bikes. All come with necessary hardware (ie, hanger for the Paul's), tho the Neo-Retro's don't have brake pads, but will dig something up if desperate. Note: will sell Paul's set for $100 - light and strong brakes.

                - Paul's Neo-Retro, low-profile, black (more:  http://www.paulcomp.com/neoretro.html). $SOLD!

                - Paul's Touring Canti, black (more: http://www.paulcomp.com/touringcanti.html). $SOLD!

                - Tektro Sinz mini-V brakes, solid power. $SOLD!


                Two sets of cranks, note the 105's are 165mm length - give it a try, your spin will improve!

                - Campy Chorus Ultratorque Compact (50/34), 170mm, w/BB Cups (not shown). Rings are relatively fresh, used a different set for cyclocross. Have extra chainring bolts (like $40 value). Bearings are looking pretty worn, re-greased but may need replacing. Very light crank, only selling because i prefer the 165mm length. $400

                - Shimano 105 Compact (50/34), 165mm, well-used BB cups if wanted. Hardly used, maybe 5-6 rides total. A bit scuffed tho. $100


                Thomson Masterpiece, 27.2, short 240 length. Freaking light. $80

                Frames / Bikes

                NOTE: More pics here.

                Salsa El Go Go full scandium 54cm frame with carbon fork in green (unique!!), i'm basically giving away the frame, which has been well-used although in good condition with minimal markings and scuffs. Just looking for $$ for the parts, which include:

                - Profile T2+ extensions (used)
                - T2 Wing basebar (used)
                - SRAM shifters
                - Vision aero brake levers
                - Specialized stem
                - Campy Veloce dual-pivot brakes
                - Shimano Ultegra front derailleur

                Asking $450 for the full package. If interested in MOST of the parts, can sell off independently. A deal if you get cranks and/or seatpost as well for more of a complete package.

                Salsa ChiliConCrosso, 54cm, scandium w/orange Salsa carbon fork w/alloy steerer. Some of the nicest decals i've ever seen on a bike, total eye candy especially with the fork. Well-ridden (3 seasons), still in good condition, should be good for a few more seasons! Comfy ride, will miss it, upgraded to the Ridley X-Night. $SOLD!

                Argon18 Radon, 54cm, alloy front triangle, carbon stays and fork, reasonably lightweight! Very well used, warning - was crashed. It was checked it out, only issue is a small dent in the top tube (barely noticed!) I would be still riding (happily!) but got a replacement. Still really like this frame, and funnily enough one of Victoria's fastest TT riders has this as his TT frame as well (Emile!) $150

                2010 Niner RIP9, Medium, Orange, 4.5" front & back. ~29lbs. Breaks my heart to sell this, but i'm not riding offroad nearly as much. Will be replacing with a hardtail. Note the frame is practically new, replaced in Feb 2010, will carry 5yr warranty at OBB, and not ridden a ton since replaced.

                As far as the bike goes, it's the best riding bike out there, period. If you want to hit the trails and simply have fun, this is it. It's not terribly fast uphill, but climbs really well, really nice handling and characteristics. Downhill is another story, and this things likes to go fast, and will add confidence, as well as pure pleasure.  $3000

                Niner RIP9 website.


                - Manitou Minute29 fork, 20mm bolt-on axel
                - SRAM X9 shifters
                - Avid Juicy 7 brakes, 160mm rotors, new pads
                - Easton EA70 bar and new Pro grips
                - Specialized side-entry bottle cage (allows for big bottles!)
                - XT 170mm triple cranks, all rings recently replaced
                - XT pedals
                - newish XT Chain & SRAM cassette, 11-34
                - Fr Der is XT, Rear Der is X0
                - Raceface Evolve seatpost (no saddle, tho check out above, might toss in if offer good)
                - wheels are Stan's ZTR Flow 29er rims with WTB Laser hubs, quite light
                - WTB Prowler 2.1 front tire, Specialized FastTrak rear, tubeless ready. (Pictured is a different tire in the front, sorry, keeping the Weirwolf!)

                Sad to part with this bike, but c'est la vie..i'm pretty spoiled with my other bikes! Organic stickers are optional. ;)

                Extra - PowerTap SL MTB Disc

                Another part i don't really want to part with, but i'm open to offers. PowerTap Wireless SL+ built up to a ZTR 355 29er, surprisingly light! Newish XT cassette. Includes the mounting harness and LYC (Little Yellow Computer) and Maxxis CrossMark, tubeless. $1500

                Again, contact me here if interested or have any questions!

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                  Wednesday, April 27, 2011

                  Newton Heights - A Race Course In Numbers

                  Riding with a power meter can help put things in perspective.

                  So does riding Newton Heights! (One of the local weekly road race courses. Short, hilly course.)

                  There's really no hiding, and where the number of laps = Z, it's Z x [big anaerobic efforts].

                  The Basics

                  I rode a few laps with the pack tonight, and then off the back, to get some baseline numbers.

                  A typical lap with the pack sees about 1min of climbing, and my wattage (at ~165lbs, plus a slightly heavier winter bike with fenders) was ~500w for that kind of effort.

                  It looks a bit like this: 650w for the first 22 seconds to get to the top of the steep bit, and then ~440w for the other 28 second. (There's about 10 seconds of easier climbing [like 300-400w] that you roll into at speed at the start.)

                  As the watts go down, so does the time to complete the climb..350w takes more like 1:30 to do. About 26 seconds still above 500w on the steep bit, and the other minute closer to 280w.

                  Watts will vary for weight, but that's a good baseline.

                  Watt It Means (har har)

                  Completing this course in the upper levels of the A pack requires being able to hold 500w efforts for 1min 15 times.

                  In universal terms that's about 6.9w/kg for 1min efforts.

                  Oh Yes - Recovery

                  Oh, and recovery. Typical lap times are just over 2mins, so you have 1min to recover...half is a coast down the hill, unlikely to see much race action there, but on the other side there could be attacks leading to the hill, so even if you can sustain the above, you *still* need to have something in the tank to respond to other efforts. Or if someone goes even harder up the hill. Etc. Etc.

                  What This Means If You're The Shish

                  Stay the frell* home!!!

                  My peak 1min power is 540w. As in: i ride as hard as i can for 1min, and it's gonna be around 540w. And then i puke a few times, and get towed home with my ass in a sling. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but definitely need significant recovery after that type of effort.)

                  I just don't have the engine to compete with my peers at this event, straight-up, and there's nothing i can do about it (ie, hide in the draft). I can manage the slower 1:30 pace, but that's pretty much red line, and not a lot of fun, as i'm getting caught every 4 laps or so, and too fatigued to stand any chance of sitting back in...

                  It's an exercise in futility, if VCL points are the goal, and more than 10 riders complete the race. ;)

                  * bonus points to anyone who actually knows the reference


                  Today a good riding friend, Gillian Carleton, was smucked by a car (sounds like a similar situation to me a couple months ago, but apparently at a higher speed) and she'll need a few weeks to recover. This is really sad and frustrating news as she was really picking up speed, and had her sights set on storming a few big events (and she would have dominated!!) as well as organizing the OBB women's team; hopefully this doesn't hold her back, and i hope to see her back on her feet pronto.

                  Heal up quick, Gillian!! =)



                  If you're one of the the vegan cyclists out there, join our fun new community site:


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                    Sunday, April 03, 2011

                    New Website: VeganVelo.com

                    I've started a neat new vegan cycling project, a community for vegan cyclists (and those interested in either), and the message board can be found here:


                    Started a training log there, and posted reports on the latest Oak Bay ride yesterday, and today's Boxwood Crit, also got a new wattage PB, find out more here:


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                      Wednesday, March 30, 2011

                      It's Like Being Pregnant

                      9 months...

                      That's how much racing there is for me...i've started, and will be going until the end of November - woo woo!

                      There will be naseousness, fatigue, mood swings, body image issues, elevated and depleted hormone levels...all as my body feeds a hungry set of quintuplets to maturity.

                      Who am i kidding, muscles never mature. I'd rather be pregnant!! =P

                      Anyway, back into the swing of things... First up, should mention i was smucked by a car a month ago. Well, technically i smucked a car. I was riding home on the Goose, and a car failed to stop at the stop sign, and i didn't have time to react other than run into the rear end of the Subaru. The driver was mortified, and apologized thoroughly, although admitted she didn't even see the stop sign, and was only looking for pedestrians at the painted cross-walk. She's new to town, and didn't expect faster moving cyclists on the trail, and only looked for walkers at the edge of the road. Not an excuse, but an explanation. And perhaps the City of Victoria could look into the matter, and present clear postings on this section of the Goose that it's also (primarily?) a bike trail, and to expect faster-moving traffic...

                      I mainly landed on my upper butt and back of my head...i was able to ride home (uncomfortably), but i discovered that that part of my butt is essential for sprinting and power efforts...took me three weeks to be able to hit over 1000 watts.... I think i'm mostly recovered now, hopefully nothing long-lasting.

                      Gear was damaged, and is being replaced, including my trusty old Argon18 Krypton (alloy front, carbon rear) winter bike frame...it lasted nearly 5 years i think....or was it 7?? In its place will be a full carbon Ridley Orion - yip! It should be ready tomorrow (thanks Oak Bay Bikes!) A few other odds'n'ends were replaced, like my helmet.

                      So, now up to two Ridley's (with my Noah of course), and will be three come the fall, when i upgrade my Salsa and switch over (most likely) to a X-Knight. Yum.


                      Lots going on, but haven't been out to some...missed the Blubber Burn due to feeling crappy, and similar issue with the Island Cup MTB race at the Dump (was kept up most of the night by people upstairs...ugh..)

                      So, first race was the VCL Caleb Pike. Ate just before the start, and my stomach crapped out when the intensity picked up...so it was a 1x100min interval for me...haha.. Kept ahead of the B's for an hour, so that was something.

                      Next race was the Dallas Rd Monster Drag, super-fun event and format. Let's just say 4th was actually 1st. ;)

                      Was really impressed with the fixie riders, many made it up the Uplands hill with the front, and stuck in for a while.

                      That was last Saturday, and Sunday was the return of the Latoria course to the VCL, still has a hill in it, but quite a few less meters of elevation.

                      Been burning the candle at both ends the last couple weeks, so didn't have a lot of kick, and again got dropped fairly early on. TT'd the rest of the event, and the B's didn't even catch me....how odd! Solid watts tho, despite fatigue.

                      Speaking of which, TSS for the last two weeks was about 805 and 840, and 700 is a pretty hard week for me, so it's safe to say i'm working it..hoping to get above 850 this week, but have a sinus issue that's putting me out, so might not quite achieve that, only did 1hr on Tuesday instead of the planned 5x5mins session.

                      Training has been great otherwise tho, lots of quality time the last couple weeks, couldn't do anything sprinty, so more like 2x20min efforts. But will be dropping down to 5mins efforts and shorter in the upcoming weeks. Not next week tho, rest week!

                      That's enough blabbering, more soon!

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                        Wednesday, February 23, 2011

                        Cold Hurts the Muscles

                        Is it just me, or is it harder to train when it's colder out...say below 5C?

                        Went out for my aforementioned intervals on Tuesday (with anti-blogger Gillian), and it was okay when i left my home... Met Gillian downtown, and as we left it started snowing. As we were cruising along the Goose out to Metchosin, it went from snow to sleet to rain..then stopped and cleared up as we turned onto Metchosin.

                        Got to the bottom of the quarry hill, and we went off to do our workouts, and as we started, it started hailing (or snowing like gangbusters). Ouch. Only lasted a minute or so, then cleared up again, pretty much for the rest of the day...

                        Still, was a bit chilled to start (was *slightly* under-dressed.) The first 20min FTP effort felt okay, looked like i was staying in the 265-275w range.. Rested a few mins, and went for the second effort. Felt sluggish, but pushed through, wasn't so fun closer to the end... I think the cold just saps it from the muscles.

                        Ride home was okay, but felt like work as well..felt beat when i got home.

                        Workout wasn't really all that great tho, by the numbers.. 257w for #1 (both NP and AP), and the AP for #2 was 260w. Oddly, it was 259w NP. How does that happen...?

                        Anyway, that's a bit short of the 270w i was aiming for...and it sure felt like i'd done it. HR was about right as well...and RPE.. I'm guessing it was just the cold.


                        Here's the ride WKO+ data for those so inclined:

                        Entire workout (208 watts):
                        Duration:   2:41:45
                        Work:       2001 kJ
                        TSS:        190.7 (intensity factor 0.845)
                        Norm Power: 227
                        VI:         1.1
                        Distance:   80.383 km
                                        Min Max Avg
                        Power:        0 826 208  watts
                        Heart Rate:   102 182 159  bpm
                        Cadence:      30 163 94  rpm
                        Speed:        3.8 57.5 30.0  kph

                        Was moving pretty good for such a crap day...haha

                        For those who want to check out what's happening weather-wise in the Greater Victoria area, check out this awesome weather map from Roland:


                        I'll give you a minute to bookmark that.

                        Okay, so i think we all agree it sucks riding in the cold. What's worse, we now have a ton of snow in Victoria. Happy Birthday to me...hahah.. My 35th birthday will always be remembered as the one with all the snow.

                        Don't know if i'll make it out on the bike tomorrow due to this...maybe a trainer ride..? Maybe head over to OBB and build up my TT bike if my levers arrive...!

                        Well that's about it. I think i'll conclude with the honey badger video. What a badass he is! He doesn't give a shit about anything, that honey badger.

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                          Monday, February 21, 2011

                          A New Season - Let's Get It On!

                          Chimpanzee that your monkey news!!

                          Winter's passing along nicely in the Garden City, we've had great weather overall. Got a bit of a sunny spell, which is fab. Sadly, i'm not riding my Ridley Noah because my PowerTap (wireless SL+) has been sent away to have the bearings replaced...which is surprising given that i've had it like 4 months and it's barely been ridden. Saris insists that the bearings be replaced by their tech support..ridiculous. My wheel has to be sent away to Vancouver for nearly a week to have a 10min job done to it. Gah.

                          I just pulled all the wired PT cables off the Noah as well, otherwise i'd run the other (wired PT) wheel...so i'm stuck on the winter bike, which is fine...but it'd be nice to ride my summer bike when it's nice out!

                          On top of that, my MTB PowerTap is also away, somehow i dislodged the race on the drive side (that the freehub sits in), so it's being replaced i think. It's been away over a month tho. So two out of my three PowerTaps are being serviced. WTF? Not so sure i can recommend these things at the moment..the older Wired models are pretty bullet-proof tho.

                          I've begun doing intervals as well, in Jan i went out to the Observatory a number of times to practice climbing out of the saddle. I'm planning to do a bit more road racing this year, and climbing is a weak spot, so working on my core and form climbing out of the saddle a bunch more, hopefully that helps a bit and keeps me in the pack.

                          This week i'm doing longer threshold work, 2x20mins at threshold (270 watts) tomorrow, and likely Thu as well. Next week back to more hills, likely Neild Rd. Ouch. It really kicks you in the pants at the top as it just gets steeper and steeper. After that tho, most other hills will feel 'easy'.

                          Training Logging

                          How do you keep track of what events you're doing, and the training leading up to them? I don't really like using an electronic calendar (ie, Google Calendar), i find it a bit clunky, slow to update, and you can't really transport it (say, to meetings, etc.) So i did a search for PDF calendars, and i found this useful website: http://www.calendarlabs.com/pdf-calendar.php

                          It's pretty basic, but it let's you create a calendar (with lots of space to write in) and publishes a PDF that's easy to print. Here's what i've come up with:

                          This is perfect for what i'm doing, and i can mark out and map 4 week training blocks, leading up to "A" events, etc.. Also, easy to write in various events like VCL races, etc.. Me likey! Also, i can take a quick pic, and share what i'm doing for the month! Check back in a week for March's excitement! hahaha..

                          New Toy - TT Bike

                          I mentioned in my last entry that i got a TT frame (Salsa!!) and most of the parts i've ordered for it have come in..it's going to be a total Frankenstein of a bike. So i've got Shimano 105 165mm compact cranks, SRAM shifters, and hopefully some Vision brake levers. I'll be using some old parts (like my Veloce brakes), some stuff off my Salsa CX bike (Chorus derailleurs, Thompson seatpost), and the pursuit bars from my track bike (Specialized stem, Profile T2+ bars and basebar). Will get a Tritip seat, and for wheels i'll use my HED3 up front, and wireless PT wheel on the rear (maybe get a disc cover if i feel really bold..) This might get built up this week...weeee!

                          Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

                          To conclude, a recipe! Inspired from the Rice Crispy Squares from Sarah Kramer's How It All Vegan, i've made some adaptations - served these up at a UVic Friends of Animals potluck last week, they were a big hit:
                          Dave's Crispy Rice Polygons

                          1/2 c brown rice syrup
                          1/2 c golden syrup
                          1c fair trade cane sugar
                          1c cashew butter
                          1tbsp vanilla
                          1tsp salt
                          6c organic rice crispies

                          In a saucepan, warm up the syrups and sugar together until a bit bubbly. Add in cashew butter, vanilla and salt, mix well.

                          In a bowl, pour in the crispies. Pour the saucepan contents on top. Mix well.

                          Pour those into some bakeware (or rubbermaid, or whatever). I suggest lubing it first, i like using coconut oil, so they don't stick and come out well. Pack it down fairly well, so the squares come out firm.

                          Refrigerate for 40mins. Enjoy!

                          There you have it, a quick and easy delicious vegan treat! Next time i'm going to try 100% brown rice syrup, but didn't want to list that in case it came out funky. =)

                          See ya on the road!

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                            Saturday, January 01, 2011

                            Watching Cyclocross, Belgium and World Cup Races!

                            I've been enjoying watching the amazing cyclocross coverage of various Belgium and World Cup races all fall/winter - have you? If not, here's how!

                            Generally, Cyclocrosschannel on YouTube has been uploading the races (the last two laps), and the Belgians have AWESOME coverage.

                            The other easy option is to just search for "cyclocross <>", location of course being where the race was (i check Cyclingnews to see what the last few events were), and then on the right 'Sort By Date', otherwise you might get events from other years, etc..

                            Below are the last three events from Belgium, they get increasingly exciting, with a fantastic finish in the 3rd race in Baal, check it:

                            Enjoy! (PS - be sure to watch Full Screen!)

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                              Friday, December 31, 2010

                              And That's A Year!

                              Ooops. Really slacked off on the updates for the last few months!

                              Well, HAPPY NEW YEAR! =)

                              Quick recap of the last few months...


                              Had a really fun season, rode well, but it ended a bit early.. Raced Elite for the first time, and had to accept getting lapped once or twice by Craig Richey and others.

                              Started to go downhill when i first got sick in early Nov for a week, which really set me back, and it started on the double-header weekend here....i still went out and rode, and the courses were pretty awesome - so wish i was feeling better - i might have done alright on them. =(

                              Port Alberni (#6?) came around, and i was feeling better, and had a pretty good race - Roland dropped out, he wasn't having fun...so i finally gained points on him! The course was HARSH tho, especially all the grass-come-mud just before the barriers...then the slick spot at the foot of the barriers, pretty much killing any chance for maintaining the small amount of momentum you might have hit them with..

                              Here's my Garmin file for this race:


                              Then, the Snowpocolypse happened, and we had like a week of snow, which caused the cancellation of the Finals up at Shawnigan. I was really looking forward to that..gaah.. Provincials were the next week, but i'd been sidelined so much that i had no motivation to head over, so that was pretty much that.

                              Still, beat Roland in the Cross on the Rocks series points for the first time, so happy with that. =)

                              The Wed night practices this year were AWESOME. Some of the courses were UNSPEAKABLY FUN, like out at Royal Roads. And huge turn-outs, like 50-70 peeps most nights.

                              The last 'cross event of the year was an Alleycat-style 'Cross Contaminated' CX race put on by Capital City Cycles, and it was all around 10 Mile Point (starting and ending in the Caddy Bay park), and you had to ride around to 7 different spots to collect tokens. Marty and i rode it together, and he was a superb navigator, and was really fit, so i mainly just clung to his wheel. He motored off after the final stop, so i lost a place to him and another rider (i also killed myself on the OBB ride the day before ;) and finished around 7th. It was very fun. Here's the Garmin file:


                              Boxing Day TT

                              Managed to race it this year (last year my chain seized up!) Very good time for me, about 22:30, which is around a minute faster than any previous effort! I got 3rd behind Jamie Cameron, who rode an impressive 20:19, and Angus Errington who edged me out by 10sec.

                              Very happy with my wattage, total average was around 292w, i eased off on the way out (it was more downhill), and averaged ~284w for 10min, and then for the 11:30 back, got up around 304w. I goofed near the end tho, i thought i had a kilo to go and started to really hoof it, but it was closer to 2.5k...whoops!

                              Here's the Garmin file of the race:



                              I've picked up a lot of neat things in the last few months, to highlight a few:

                              I raced tubeless (in the rear) for cyclocross, had a Stan's 24h Alpha340 built up to a new wireless PowerTap (yay! No cables!) It'll do double-duty - CX in the fall, and road in the spring/summer.  Surprisingly light, around 950g i think.

                              Tried out some new tires and loved them: the Specialized Captain's. They're EXCELLENT for local conditions. Better than the Michelin Mudd2's, but very close to the original green Mudd's. I'd give them the edge for stickiness and connection to wet pavement (you'll die cornering on wet pavement on the green Mudds.) Held up really nicely as tubeless as well. I also tried harder pressure this year, instead of around 30psi i went up to 55psi, and i found that actually worked really well (most races were dry.)

                              On my old wired PowerTap, the Mavic OpenPro ceramic was getting pretty worn (over 3yrs of constant use!! Maybe close to 50,000km!), so i also went with the Stan's rim on there too, but with the Hutchinson Fusion 3 road tubeless -  VERY NICE. You can read my review on the Oak Bay Bikes site. Still waiting for a puncture!!

                              Swapped handlebars, now riding the FSA Wing Pro (alloy) - i forgot how nice the flat tops are. I used to get numb hands sometimes, it's now GONE. Will be upgrading to carbon on the Noah in the summer, and use those alloy ones on my CX bike (likely a X-Knight - woo woo!!)

                              Also got a Sugoi RS Zero jacket (i don't have anything windproof, surprisingly), and this has been a VERY comfy jacket so far. It doesn't get too up, at least up to 10C. When it's down under 4C, it's worthwhile putting arm warmers on underneath, and haven't really gone below zero, but i imagine my regular thermal jersey or base-layer will suffice. It has a nice, tight race-fit tho, so no flapping, and there are two easy-to-reach open pockets, and a big zippered pocket as well. Will likely post a longer review on the OBB site.

                              OrganicAthlete Victoria

                              Our little club has been doing well, a bit slow this year, but for 2011 looks like we'll have a few new faces out sporting the colors and racing, and i'm really excited that Ridley Bikes is a new team sponsor!! (Big up to Oak Bay Bikes for getting us AMAZING deals on bikes.)

                              New Years Eve Lucky Draw

                              I popped into OBB on my New Year's Eve easy spin with Emile, to check out my MTB PowerTap wheel, which is hosed.... It appears the race for the freehub has cracked and displaced....yow!

                              Backing up a bit: an MTB ride a few weeks ago ended tragically up on BW, we were just starting to hit the main descents (past the 'lookout' spot), and my freehub seized up...i couldn't coast, it just kept spinning around. And then tore off my derailleur to boot. Had to run back to the parking lot most of the way (there isn't much coasting on BW. As a bright point, i learned that this is NOT a trail that would be very fun in reverse.)

                              Luckily the bolt on the D was easy to replace. Unluckily the PT was pooched. Shipping back to get looked at...this has been a very unlucky hub. It didn't transmit when i got it, so had to send back, and then it wasn't holding a zero very well...and now this. Crumbs.

                              What's this Lucky Draw you speak of? I saw something familiar hanging up...looked like a TT frame...it had green...it was a SALSA! It's Curtis' (actually Chris') Salsa 'El GoGo' TT frame that i've been drooling over for a number of years...

                              "What's this doing here?" i asked Gillian. "Oh, Chris was clearing out a bunch of stuff." "Oh!! I've been fawning over this for years, how much??" "It's free." *noise of jaw hitting floor*

                              Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

                              I'm pretty stoked to have this now.. I didn't *really* want another bike, but a TT bike isn't going to go unused, and i've actually got most parts i need...i think i'll just have to get shifters (Campy??), derailleurs, a headset and cranks.

                              I can cannibalize some gear from my track bike (aero bars, seatpost and seat), given that i prolly won't be riding it. (Go to hell you petty prick Mayor Dave Saunders!!!!)

                              I *could* use the cranks from it, and go single-chainring, but there's some spots it's gonna suck to ride...so i'm thinking another set of compact Red cranks (165mm of course).

                              I can still use the Noah for TT's if travelling 'light', but for the regular stuff around here, it'll be handy to just swap in my PowerTap wheel.


                              Was on the bike 4 days a week pretty much all of December, i think i carried some good fitness through once again (just riding, no intervals.) Been hooking up with the Russ Hayes group on some Tue and Thu nights - nice to have a bit of extra motivation to get me out. (Another gear review is due for the NiteRider Pro700 light, which is AWESOME.) Saturday's i'm still out with the OBB group of course (totally destroyed the field in the sprint in the final ride of the year! =)

                              In a couple weeks i'll start adding more structure to my training, i'm thinking longer (20-30mins) threshold intervals (270w for me.) Good way to get things going, and bump up my overall fitness. Not entirely sure what i'll do this year...i'm guessing i'll have to suck it up and get out on the road and try to get stronger on the hills, otherwise i'm pretty limited. We'll see...

                              So, that's 2010, here we go into 2011...have a great one!! =)

                              PS - i'm pretty active on the Twitter with both vegan and cycling updates daily, so follow me there if you use it too! And say 'hi'! =)

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                                About Me

                                Dave Shishkoff
                                aka Dave Noisy
                                Victoria, BC

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                                Contact me and let me know if you're a vegan cyclist with a blog!

                                Organic Athlete

                                Oak Bay Bicycles

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