Cycling in a Toque

Cycling in a Toque: November 2011

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Manual for Speed

Insightful and provocative rhetoric spawn life to this visually-dense collection of unique perspectives captured from inside the world of elite bicycle racing; translating not only the smell of the air, the rush of the wind and the ambiance of the moment but the passion of those on both sides of the camera: a passion for excellence, peak performance and the discovery and understanding of each verse in...

See Team Exergy chapters here:

Big shout out goes out to Kyle von Hoetzendorff for some amazing words in the most recent Manual for Speed article, Spreadsheets!

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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Monkey-Eating Birds!

So if resting is the only way to get benefits out of your training, I sure hope you find something to do while resting. If you can't find something fun to do, you can always learn about stuff! Like at NOVA! Did you know the biggest eagle in the world has the body the size of a human torso!

Here is the full 1hr video if you have time! Fascinating!

Watch Jungle Eagle on PBS. See more from NATURE.

If you don't have a whole 1hr to waste, then take a glance at these amazing photos.


Friday, 25 November 2011

New Roads

After an absolutely fantastic autumn of riding around the roads of Whistler this past October, I headed out of town the morning of the first big snow (Nov.2). As part of my preparations of the 2012 season, I've been training consistently since September knowing that I'll need to take a break in December for some minor surgery. Instead of staying abroad as I did in 2011 when I called Portland, Oregon home, I decided to travel around in short bursts this off season in pursuit of drier roads.

First stop: Kamloops. Actually traveling by Greyhound works pretty well and I found that if you decide well in advance, the tickets are very reasonable. Convincing the bus driver that your bike box is a massage table or a tradeshow apparatus (to save on the flat rate bike fee) is of course more difficult. The first two weeks of November where a little chilly, but nothing much worst that the coolest days of October (usually around 3-10'C). However with a few days of 11'C and sun, while the coast suffered from high winds and 50mm of rain, I knew that my gamble of heading north - but inland - worked out well. I was hosted by my friends Paul and Kristine who own the Spoke'n Motion Bike Shop, a fixture in town for over 25 years! Paul joined me for a bunch of rides over my twelve day stay, highlighted by the Pritchard - Paul Lake climb which covered 1800 vertical feet over a gravel surface lasting 40minutes, plowing up a hillside of golden brown ranch lands under a crisp blue ceiling of autumn. Awesome!

Next time you are in Kamloops, find this road!

Next I was off to Seattle to catch up with Hagens Berman elite team rider in 2012 Colin Gibson. After a day or so, we took to the road as the wet winds of Seattle were getting cold and Walla Walla beckoned. First off was the Little Italy ride to Starbuck. This was one of the rides that the vets at Whitman College always talked about and as student never had enough time to complete. The whole loop is 100 miles and takes riders from the wheat fields, to the 'moonscape' of Leon's Ferry Road, out to the Snake River and almost to Palouse Falls before finishing the ride along the final road stage of the Tour of Walla Walla. To compliment the epic factor, we got snow along Smith Springs (a climb) and a decent headwind on the way home! Super rad day! We also incorporated some real snow riding with a gravel ride along Clodius and Scenic Loop the following day. If you haven't had a chance to ride Walla Walla gravel between August and January...YOU HAVEN'T LIVED!

Little Italy

After two extremely windy days earlier in the week, with gusts of 70-80 kph, Thursday morning was pristine. 8-14 degrees throughout the day, essentially no wind, a bunch of new roads with Watson Loop and Plucker Road..all in all...pretty wicked. The dry roads make the long base rides much more managable as I'm targeting consistently highly volumes this offseason. With a greater focus of a higher cadence and thus slower average speeds, no rain also makes the days much more pleasant.

I've got 2 more weeks of this type of longer distance training before a break in December and I have some big gravel plans for Helix, Barber grade and hopefully Tiger Canyon if the snow level goes up. If you want to ride in nice weather, get out here!

In pursuit of new roads...


Black Friday

Mindless consumerism, shock-trooping a path forward? Is that really the answer?

If you just stood in line all night for some pithy electronic product on sale, do us all a favor and refrain from providing advice on politics, economics, environmental issues or really anything else for that matter to anyone you have or ever will meet.

Stop being a shocktrooper.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Toque blog comes up for air!

Toque blog blasting off for 2012 ....countdown in ...3,2,1....NOW!! Tons of new content coming your way this week! Although I have been on a blogging break for the last five weeks, thanks to my committed and NEW readers, I've still be keeping the daily hits up so thank you everyone..your patience will be awarded this week.

First off...Manual for Speed just released this piece. Very cool insight into the hectic and exciting week of night-time criteriums that is SPEEDWEEK! Peak inside the world of Pro Cycling here
Photo credit: Heybuckshot
Post-race headshot at Philadelphia International Championship June 5th, 2011

Currently I am traveling around the northwest of the United States in search of dry weather. After crushing tarmac in BC's interior (Kamloops), the wheat field roads of Walla Walla, Wa will be my home for the next three weeks.

Stay tuned and happy thanksgiving to all my American readers.