It was a a pretty good ride last week at Spoke. It was apparent to Neil, myself and the Ride Leaders that the initial nerves were over and the Groups had gelled together. It's to be expected that, as some of you increase in confidence, you'll want to move up a Group or two. This is a normal part of our season, so if you are ready to "graduate" have a talk with your Ride Leader, listen to their advice and take the appropriate steps.
Let's do some hill work tomorrow. We'll meet in Lumsden at the High School, 300 Broad St, Lumsden, SK SOG 3CO. For the senior Groups, expect a bit of a work out, as in up and down a few times. For the junior Groups we will be practising gear shifting, ascending and descending under control, appropriate cursing and acceptable pain face.
There's generally enough parking outside the School to accommodate us all, however it's not like Lumsden is the size of Calgary so don't be afraid of parking a block or two away and, gasp!! riding to the school! :)
Meet at 6 pm riding by 6:30.
Mark and Theresa.
Well we're doing it again! We had a lot of positive comments about the ride last week. The fact that the road is so quiet allows us the opportunity to work on our Group riding skills. So we'll meet at the Turvey at 6pm and go for a ride. Many of our riders competed in the Spoke n' Hot triathlon today and I'm sure they would not mind a slightly easier ride!
I'll post more info about the Triathlon later. Suffice to say that it went well, everyone had a great time and the weather cooperated! The Hillberg & Berk jewelry was a big hit with all the athletes! Hmmm, jewelry, popular with women athletes, who knew....? :)
Well it looks good for tomorrow night so let's meet up at the Turvey Centre at Evraz Steel. 100 Armour rd. For those new to the Club, just head north on Albert St as if you were going to Southey. Go over the top of the Ring Rd, past McDonalds. You'll come to a nice new set of traffic lights at Armour Rd. Turn left, then right into the Turvey Centre. Meet at 6pm, riding by 6:30.
The plan is to head out on Hwy 11, up to Exit A then take the 734 to Hwy 6. Depending on the Groups, we'll head North or South on Hwy 6 eventually returning to the Turvey.
Steve will be there with the tickets for the June 22nd Chicken Run. Bring your $20!!
Paul has finished editing the pictures he took at the Time Trial last week. To those of you that came out, congratulations! ,it sucked, you rocked.
Mark and Theresa.
So the Time Trial is done. Theresa and I sat there in the kitchen discussing the evening and we decided that it was a bit of a shit show. And yet...
Up until 6:20 it looked like it was going to be an ideal night for a ride. The organization was going well, the timing looked like it was set correctly, everybody is in a good mood. Perfect.
And then the wind started, and proceeded to get worse, W39 gusting 50 KM/H. You all sucked it up, and rode out to Pinkie against the wind, lined up at the start and did the Time Trial. Yes, it was short, but the point is that you lined up, and did it.
56 of you did something tonight that a lot of riders would not do, a Time Trial in lousy conditions. The Ride Leaders know just how big of a deal what you did tonight was..
Do you have any idea of just how proud we are of you?
Mark, Theresa, Erin, Nicole, Terry, Allison, Alison, Brianna, Paul, Andrea, Mary, Alan, Wanda, Shane.
What a fabulous weekend this has been. Theresa and I, along with some friends, were out at Ft Qu'Appelle yesterday for a 100 KM ride. The wind was quite spectacular and certainly made the ride challenging! The beef on a bun from the Farmers Market was well deserved. ( Expensive though..$8 was a lot for what you got)
Monday night looks like it will be a good night for our first Time Trial. We do this at the start of the season and at the end so that you can measure your progress.
The process is pretty simple. We have a measured 10 KM course and we time how long it takes you to get from one end to the other. The results can be very interesting as some of you will discover that you are a lot faster than you thought you were!
With the construction going on, we've had to change the course for this year. We will be starting on the South service rd by Pinkie Road and riding it to RMP, turn around at RMP and finish on the service road by the Golf driving range.
We will meet at the Party City parking lot in Harbour Landing at 6pm as normal and ride out in our Groups to the start. We should have everyone in place and ready to go by 7pm or so.
See you tomorrow,
Mark and Theresa
In April I visited Freddy at Dutch to talk about the upcoming season, what we had planned, where we were going etc..basically a visit with a friend.
We started talking about my bike, a much loved 2011 Cervelo RS. She's been through a lot, including going to Utah 3 times and Penticton five or six times. She's been raced, she's been dropped, and she's been in the trainer over five winters. She's had two or three chains, two rear cassettes and a complete drivetrain replacement from SRAM to Shimano. The handlebars have been rewrapped twice and she's had God knows how many tires.
She has been very good to me over the years but bike technology has been progressing rapidly and I was thinking about a new bike.
Theresa has been very happy with her Specialized Lululemon Amira Pro. The UDi2 shifting has been incredibly reliable and a joy for her to use. I was quite envious of her! But that wasn't enough to convince me to change ....
Until Freddy showed me the 2017 Specialized Roubaix Elite. UDi2 shifting, disc brakes and a shock absorber in the stem! All he did was push down on the handlebars and I was sold!
I picked it up the day before we went to Penticton for a week of hill climbing. I didn't know that it has a 32 tooth granny gear on the cassette but I quickly came to appreciate just how easy it made climbing some of the hills in the area ( Apex still sucked but at least I made it to the top), The disc brakes were fabulous on the descent, powerful and not affected by the wet conditions.
The gear shifting with the UDi2 is incredible, very,very smooth and predictable. I find that I'm shifting gear more often and taking some of the load off my legs. Big ring or little ring, the drive train is quiet and effective. When we did the Golden Triangle last weekend I really appreciated just how reliable the system was.
The biggest praise though, has to go to the Future shock. Mounted in the stem, this little shock absorber takes away so much of the little vibrations that it really contributes to having a stronger ride with less discomfort. Add to that the floating rear seat post, ergonomic handlebars with comfy saddle and you have a bike that really can munch the miles. At Golden Triangle we rode 105 kms per day and I was never sore, my legs were tired but that's to be expected.
So, I really like the bike. It works for me, and I like the color! One thing that I'm not keen on is the little storage box at the bottom of the frame, no, it's not a motor! It's designed to take one tube, one CO2 and one tire lever. Which is fine if all your rides are within 20KM of home but a bit useless if you're going further. Great idea, lousy execution.
I think that Specialized have come up with a bike that is a game changer. The gear shifting and disc brakes are nice but it's the comfort that will change how you ride. There's a women's version by the way, the Ruby is identical to the Roubaix, just sized to accommodate women riders.
If you're in the market for a new bike or uncomfortable with your current ride then you owe it to yourself to go to Dutch and talk to Freddy about the Roubaix/Ruby. If you take one for a test ride then you need to be prepared to buy it. It's that good.
It looks like Monday will be a great day for a ride. On the Agenda we had scheduled the Time Trial for Monday but the late start to our season will delay it. We need a couple of Group rides to get in the groove, so to speak.
So, let's meet at 6pm at the Party City parking lot in Harbour Landing, riding at 6:30. This will be our first Group ride together and we are looking forward to seeing all of you.
Mark and Theresa
Sunday evening, Mothers Day. I hope all of you were celebrated or helped celebrate the moms in your life. I'm massively lucky in having a mum who is very healthy and happy. She lives in southern Spain and Theresa and I were there in September to visit. I called her this morning and she was so pleased that her broken toe had healed enough to let her put high heels on again! Again, I am massively lucky..
So, riding tomorrow evening. Weather forecast is a little bit iffy but I'm not too stressed about it. As usual, I will monitor the weather and if I see anything to be concerned about I'll call a Go / No Go at 4pm.
We will meet at the Party City parking lot in Harbour Landing and head out on Hwy 1 to Pinkie Rd, We rode the route last week with Spokesmen and it worked out quite well. Meet at 6, ride briefing at 6:20 and riding by 6:30. Returning to the parking lot by 8 pm. Don't forget your flashing rear light.
It will be a little cooler in the evening so dress appropriately. For an evening ride starting at 16C I like to have a t-shirt on under my jersey and I wear arm warmers. My legs are generally fine.
We have matching arm warmers available and we'll bring them with us tomorrow. They are made to match your jersey exactly and look pretty good. $20.
Registration is now open for the Spoke n'Hot Gran Fondo out at Fort Qu'Appelle. This will be our second year running this event and we are pretty excited about the success we had last year. Early bird pricing is in effect until June 5th so if you want to save some money and give yourself a cycling target for the year head over to our website and follow the link. Last year we sold out at 200 riders, we've upped the number to 250 this year but already have 26 registered so don't think about it for too long. Starting in June we will be hosting practice rides at Fort Qu'Appelle to show the course and give you some idea of what to expect. With distances from 20 KM to 161 KM we are confident that there's a distance for you!
See you in a bit, Mark & Theresa.
We had quite a few responses from the survey indicating that some comment re dressing for the weather would be helpful. There's a ton of stuff that you can read on the web. This article is quite useful as it actually gives temperatures
The risk is always overdressing for the ride. I have never yet been too cold but have frequently had to ditch clothing as I go. In my case, as long as my hands, feet and ears are good then I can handle anything else.
Theresa and I are huge fans of arm and leg warmers. Using them with a light windbreaking cycling vest is a flexible way of going for a ride where the temp may start off cool but warm up as the sun rises. You don't need to spend a ton of money, as long as they break the wind. We actually have some Spoke n'Hot arm warmers left, I'm not sure of the sizes. E-mail me if you're interested.
The other go-to for us is a thin merino wool long sleeve jersey. A couple of years ago we picked up some Paradox merino wool blend jerseys at Costco, super cheap $30 or so, and just excellent value for money. Probably my favorite piece of clothing.
I'll leave the glove choice to you.
Keeping your feet warm is incredibly important. If you wear cycling shoes then be aware that most of them are designed to flow air through to keep your feet as cool as possible. There's a couple of ways you can deal with this. You can duct tape over the vents, kinda ugly but neat in a street cred," I don't care what I look like" way or...wear toe covers.
If you're going to be out all day and it's miserable then get some booties, there's tons of choice out there. One comment I'll make is that they tend to get pretty beaten up in a short period of time so buy decent but not stupidly expensive ones. Or you can get a pair of old socks, cut a hole in the bottom for the cleat and call it good..I've done it and it works. Theresa was a little embarrassed though...
Wet weather is a bit of a challenge. What we have found is that waterproof leggings are a waste of time. If you wear waterproofs then you end up sweating so much that you may as well not bother. Put a pair of tights or legwarmers on and accept the fact that your legs will get wet. Your legs will still stay reasonably warm unless you are in the mother of all downpours ( thinking Golden Triangle last year for some of you)
Get a lightweight rain jacket, preferably HiViz, with a hood. Some of the better ones have vents on the side and are actually quite comfortable. Get one that is cycling specific with pockets in the back, really handy. You could also rock a garbage bag...
A tip from a couple of riders is to get a shower cap to put over your helmet. Cheap and very effective.
Cycling is an active sport. I heard someone say that there are no bad riding days, just bad clothing decisions.
Weather for Monday is ?? but I really want us out there so think about what you have or need. Freddy has a ton of good stuff to keep you warm and dry and don't forget that you always get the Spoke n'Hot discount,
See you Monday,
Mark and Theresa.
I've spent the last hour or so trying to figure out what the weather is going to do.
At best, it will not rain but the temp will continue to drop as the evening progresses from the current 9C to 1C overnight. Winds are currently NW at 28 KM/H.
On the radar we can see a fairly decent rain cell that is coming from the NW, right now it's near Ft Qu'Appelle and headed our way. Expected between 6 and 7 pm.
As I type this it's started raining in Harbour Landing.
We want our first night together to be a pleasant experience, we want you to enjoy the evening, not endure it.We want you to learn, and that's a lot easier if you're not trying to stay warm.
So I'm cancelling the ride. Generally I get it right but tonight I just don't know. So, do me a favour. Keep an eye on the weather for yourself, and decide if you would have ridden and enjoyed the experience. I'll send out a survey and let's see what the consensus is.
I tend to be the noisy one, Theresa and the Ride Leaders are the real story.