Tag Archives: riding

Fixie Photog

This past Sunday I took a ride down to the lovely spit of land that juts out into Lac St. Louis, about 10 km from home.  it is called Parc Levesque and is a long thin peninsular that leaves the mainland and lances straight into the lake.  What’s really magical about it is that a bike path has been built along both lengths of the spit and each is exactly one kilometre long.  You know what that means?  It’s perfect for those dreaded but effective intervals.

Paddywagon looking majestic amongst the sculptures of Parc Levesque

It’s also a terrific place to snap some pictures as the park is littered with all these interesting sculptures and other oddities.  Too many to feature in this post alone I will surely be going back often over the course of the summer and so will include a few more in the future.

As mentioned, the park with its one kilometre straights is ideal and interval training, but I was not there for that.  You have to mentally prepare for intervals.  For them to be effective you have to be ready to go balls out down one straight, recover down the other, doing your best to resist your body’s urge to vomit, and then go hard at it again as soon as you turn the corner.  Each ‘on’ kilometre seems to get longer and longer the more fatigued you get, and the ‘off’ stretch starts to feel like you’re still on, even though you’re moving at a fraction of the speed.

Paddywagon. Steel on steel.

You know when you’re doing it the right way when you lungs are burning so hard you literally feel like throwing up and your lactic acid has no time to drain from your legs on the cool down run, meaning that as soon as you stand in the pedals again your legs have never in fact stopped screaming.  They are effective, however, and you will notice a difference in your short burst power on longer rides.  Useful for showing off up those short but steep climbs.

Now I normally do intervals on the VR2.  I’ve not done them yet on the fixie but I am suspecting that it will add a new level of pain that I have hitherto not visited.  Take away your ability to coast, and you have rendered your cool down lap not useless, but certainly slower acting.  May be it’ll work the other way and in fact make it easier to recover as I will be forced to continue to motion in my legs?  Hmm, I shall have to investigate that.  Either way, stay tuned for an upcoming entry where we explore that world of pain.  In the meantime, ride safe.

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First century of 2011, or not.

The weather was perfect.  Cool, yes, but we hardy Canadians are used to riding when its cold enough to freeze the spit in the corner of your mouth and ice up the nozzle on your water bottle.  Sunny, blue sky, dry.  Awesome day for the inaugural ride of the newly formed ‘Charlie Bucket Cycles‘ team.  Our objective for the day was 100 km, which given the fact that none of us had ridden that far in one sitting since the end of last season, was probably born from the overstated confidence that so often accompanies the amateur cyclist.  No matter, we met up at Andy’s place at 8.30 a.m. and immediately set about weighing our bikes (can you spell N E R D) with the fancy electronic gadget that Hugo brought along.  I was pleased to note that my bike has not gained any weight since I bought it four year’s ago, although slightly surprised that after more than 20,000 km it had not lost any either.

Andy, Hugo and the author somewhere off the island of Montreal.

This was a big day for Andy.  He was riding his new Cervélo for only the second time and what a beauty.  We all spent more than the appropriate amount of time ‘Ooh-ing’ and “Ahh-ing’ at the form and design, and I have to say none of it was forced.  It is a bloody gorgeous bike.  Of course, will it make him ride any faster?  I hope not!  Although he did mutter something about the power transfer being particularly impressive.  “What a nerd“, I muttered to myself, ever so slightly afraid that he might be right.

Riding in and around the Montreal suburbs is a largely flat affair, however, when you go a little farther west and leave the island itself you can find a couple of climbs, nothing more than bumps by European standards, but they test the winter legs nonetheless.  The other major test our green legs took on today was the wind.  We had a pretty gutsy head wind on the way out, thankfully offset in large part by the mini peloton we formed, each of us taking brief pulls at the front.

Andy finding the right tool to adjust his seat.

It wouldn’t be a good ride if we didn’t have to stop for some sort of mechanical issue.  Last year some of you may remember that Paul and I had to abandon Andy in the middle of the Laurentian mountains when his chain snapped and we, all three, had no chain breaker tool.  Well, this time around it was Andy again, this time with a wobbly seat.  Obviously the huge power he was transferring through the crank was too much for the new seat and it worked its way lose.  A quick adjustment and all was well though, and we enjoyed a tailwind for the final 17 km back into Dorval that saw us fly along the Lakeshore at an average of close to 40 kph.

Our objective for the day had been a century, metric-style, but we closed off at 75 km.  Well, we just ended up back home and it seemed silly to head off again!  It had been a terrific start to the season and I for one am pumped for more and looking forward to the next Charlie Bucket Cycles group ride.  The new jersey’s are almost on order and let’s just say that we’re going to be an impressive force on the Montreal bike scene this year.  (This is all in my head of course, but a lad’s allowed to daydream, right?).

I dare you to check out the two minute film of our ride by clicking here.  You won’t regret it, especially if you’re a Queen fan.

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