Monday, December 24, 2007

Back in the saddle............

Whoohooo, after three weeks off the bike (outside anyway), I got to return to some significant saddle time yesterday at Bays Mountain. I hooked up with a few pals and we did a nice 2 hour base building ride. I struggled with keeping my heart rate down (which is hard to do on some of the climbs at BMP) and did a pretty good job with that. Training and racing on a singlespeed however is a little different than on a geared bike and there are some climbs that you just cannot do without pushing yourself pretty hard.
I was a good boy though and stayed at or below my preset limit of 150 the whole day. It felt really good to get out of the garage and on some trails. It was good for me physically and mentally too.

My injuries are almost fully healed up (although I was a little sore this morning on the right side of my back where I got hurt).

Merry Christmas to all of you and best wishes for next year...............................................

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome Ergon

It's official. Ergon has teamed up with Vassago Cycles for 2008 . I have been using their grips for about a year now and absolutely love them. There is no other grip out there that offers the comfort and control that Ergons do over the long haul.

I can't wait to try their packs and gloves.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Misc. Ramblings

The off season has officially descended onto Duckman's territory and you know what that means - plenty of eating, beer drinking and just hanging out.

Um, no.

I have been laying around quite a bit more than normal. I am healing still from bruising my guts a couple of weeks ago. I have also been training for next year and laying down plenty of practice on my guitar. I managed to get on my bike for 7 hours last week, all in front of the tv in my garage and all on rollers. I love riding rollers especially for base building. You have to think and concentrate on rollers unlike a stationary trainer. You can crash pretty hard if your attention gets a little low. I know from experience. Therefore riding rollers is not as mind-numbingly boring as a trainer.

It also helps to have a good supply of DVDs, music and a fan to blow air on you.

It turns out that bruising my lung is one of the most painful and long lasting injuries I have ever had. I haven't slept worth a crap in a month because I cannot get comfortable no matter what. I haven't been on a bike outside since Dec 1 and that sucks although I have been on the rollers almost every day so it's not so bad.

While some more fortunate ones are living it up in warmer climates, I will gut it out here in the sub-arctic and slowly hack out a nice solid base of fitness for the upcoming racing season.

Peace out.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back to Business

Ok kids the R&R is over and it is time to get focused on next year. For me, the focus began yesterday when I was forced by injury to sit out the last Cross race of the Mud,Sweat and Gears Series and it was a doozy. Rain, mist and temps in the mid-forties, just the kinds of conditions I do best in, greeted racers as they navigated another Dwayne Letterman brilliantly designed course at Winged Deer Park. It was tough standing there watching when I'd rather have been racing but it was my own fault. I broke my first two rules of riding:

1. Know when to say no. When the risk is to much for the potential gain just walk (or ride)away.

2. Know when your body is telling you to give it a rest.

I shot myself in the foot by racing on an injury that should have been rested and I got that injury by doing something that was to risky to even try in the first place. It's not the first time I have done this and probably won't be the last. I guess there is hope though.

My training plan for 2008 was to have started last week but I just postponed it a week or so and I believe I am well enough to start base training now. I hopped on the trainer today for 1.5 hours and that went really well. The next 12 weeks are going to be focused on building a strong aerobic base, building core strength, increasing flexibility and, here it comes,

losing some weight.

I have alot of power and I know that my best bet for increasing my performance is losing some weight as opposed to building more power ( I plan to do both but losing weight is more bang for the buck at this point).

With that, here's what my next week looks like:

Monday - 1.5 hours in zone 1-2 (may be split in two workouts)
Tuesday - 1.5 hours in zone 1-2 (may be split in two workouts)
Wednesday - 2.0 hours outdoors in zone 2-3 (may opt to do this one inside this week pending how my ribs feel)
Thursday - 30 min - spin
Friday - off
Saturday - 2.0 hours in zone 1-2
Sunday - 1.0 hour free time (I can ride however I want)

I have stretches planned every other day and core work will begin next week if I feel like it. I am to sore still right now to even think about it.

This is going to be really hard for me as there is alot of zone 1-2 stuff in my plan which is really boring but very necessary. That's why I gave myself a free day to do whatever I want. Anyhoo, this is the basic plan for the next 4 weeks and then it will get changed up a little.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We all just wanna be big rock stars

and live in hilltop houses, driving 15 cars...........

slipknot sponge bob

Um......Something different...

B.B. King - Blues Boys Tune

He's 80+ years old folks!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stevie Ray Vauhgan- Little Wing Live

Who can mention great guitar without mentioning SRV.

(He's playin' a Fender! Boo-ya)

Steve Vai - G3 Denver

Check out the bottom neck. It is fretless.


Ok Now What?

Well, it turns out me racing last weekend was way over the top on the I f**ked myself scale. After the race, I was coughing up blood and a ER visit later told me I had bruised my ribs in the crash Wednesday (I could have told you that) but also I bruised my right lung and the cross race aggravated that hence the blood. The pain was and still is impressive.

So here I am surfing youtube videos with my trusty Ibanez and trying to learn Pentatonic scales and just making cool sounds. I won't be doing anything physical this week. No trainer, no push ups, no sit ups, no pull ups, no kettlebell, nothing that requires flexing my core muscles (which until you hurt yourself there, you cannot appreciate how much you use those muscles).

I am also anxiously awaiting the goodies that are being cooked up for the Vassago Endurance Team for 2008.

All I can say for now is we are going to be bigger and badder than ever. Some new signings this Winter have given us depth and strong talents that will be noticed nationwide next year.

But for now, all I can do is dream about next year and post up some kick ass music from the greatest guitarists on earth.

Steve Vai - For the love of god

Steve Vai is easily one of the greatest guitarists alive today.

Paul Gilbert Solo Viking Kong

Paul Gilbert is one of my favorites.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Well That @#%&@*% Hurt!

I am not known for my great ideas. In fact, I am probably more known for plodding onward the consequences be damned, sometimes to the point of the ridiculous. I am certain that when I die, it will be a combination of poor judgement, stubborness and sheer determination that kills me.

Case in point. On my regular Wednesday ride this week, me and my riding buddies were having a great time. We agreed to not race each other up and down the mountain like we did the week before and to have an easy ride and just hang out. Since that was off the table, I had to find another way to punish myself and that came in the form of a tree down across the trail. Due to the way it was situated, it is very difficult to ride and I had never ridden it - yet. I popped my front wheel on it, popped my rear wheel on it and got tangled up in Rhododendron and went down.
Fortunately, I got my foot out of my pedal in time to save me from very imminent doom.

Unfortunately, there was nowhere to plant it except air and I crashed hard. I hit the log with all my weight on my ribcage. The pain made me see 2 or 3 of everything.

The good news is nothing was broken and after I regained the ability to breathe, we rode on.

So, today was round 5 of the Mud, Sweat and Gears Series. I am sitting in 6th place with a microscopic chance at the final podium spot for the series. What do I do?

Well the smart thing to do would be grab a cowbell and hang out with my pals and cheer everyone on while I take some time to heal.

Of course I raced it.

It was the most painful 30 minutes that I can remember having lived through recently. I gave it my best but by the second lap, I was wimpering uncontrollably everytime I had to jump a barrier or push real hard on the pedals. I started near the front but faded pretty quickly to 8th or 9th, heck I don't know. By the final lap, it hurt so much to breathe it was all I could do to roll across the finish line where I flopped onto the grass and just laid there for a few minutes.

I was kinda hoping someone would come and throw some dirt on me and get it over with but when that didn't happen. I went to the awards/raffle and then home.

I feel pretty good now as long as I don't move, breathe or blink, the pain is almost gone.

I hope I am healed by next week. It's double points don'tcha know!!!!

I read the news today, oh boy............

Evil Knievel died Friday in Florida. He was 69.

He was also a childhood hero of countless people (including yours truly). I can remember having Evil Knievel bikes, toys, lunchboxes and tons of other stuff. I can remember being riveted to Wide World of Sports and seeing him jump all kinds of stuff and being horrified when he'd get slammed to the ground like a rag doll but always, no matter how many bones were shattered, he always seemed to pop back up after a while to do it again.

I can remember putting up jumps and jumping stuff on my bicycle and like Evil, I'd occasionally get slammed to the ground (not as hard though) and just like Evil, I'd get back up and do it again.

So long Evil.