lauantai 28. toukokuuta 2011

Training, Crashes and Waiting for the Summer.

I did something that I have not done for very long time. I went out for an endurance ride and actually managed to keep riding for 3 hours. It was actually fun to just cruise around and not torture myself. This kind of training is something that many consider to be the cornerstone of cycling training, and maybe it is. Pros are that this is very easy and kind of relaxing and these are good for burning calories (or joules). Cons are that this takes lots of time. Doing these in Manitoba suck big time though because you need to ride 100 km or so and that's pretty much the entire paved road network in this province. Maybe I should try long rides on a MTB, but I don't have a powermeter on my MTB, and if you can't record your ride properly, it doesn't actually happen.

There were some races too. Actually three (3) races in a week here in Manitoba and all of them were within 30 min drive from my house. This is rather exceptional. I wanna say that I sucked big time, but I think the youngsters are actually getting fast and staying upright on their bikes. I think some of these kids would do pretty well in cycling, or at least should try their hand in this game, but it might be kinda hard, because the path of a Canadian kid goes from high school to university to marriage/work to grave, and there's roughly 2 weeks in between each stage of what may be called life. I'm not even shitting you too much here. There is some effort made by CCA to offer some sort of a program to these kids, and some seem to think that it's the best thing since sliced bread. I have my opinion about this, but I think, I better keep it to myself.

There was also a crash at the race on Sunday. Something like a front wheel and a rear derailleur got broken, so retail value of $2,300 down the drain right there plus some broken bones. The "funny" thing is that all this happened some 300 meters into the race. Sure it was a really short race, but I would have held something back.

My plan is to go and do the two geezer races in Minneapolis next weekend and go back to work super tired on Monday after. If the races are fast and if I do good there, I may think about flying to Toronto for June 26th, but I think that's a really long shot. I would rather pack the famiglia in a plane and fly to the old country.

And I still have few "thoughtfull" blog post drafts in the works. I need to feed my though with few more alcoholic beverages to finish these posts.

perjantai 13. toukokuuta 2011

MTB This Weekend

I think it snowed today. It's May 13th. Nuf said?

I'm planning to do the MTB race this weekend, if I can get myself to install a new rear derailleur cable on my MTB. It's the Grand Beach race so it will be sand and singletrack. Or I have not registered yet so it's not 100% certain. There is a hockey worlds final between Finland and Sweden, the classic between Uggly Duckling and Gladstone Gander. Remembering the -95 battle, like it happened 16 years ago, there might be too much at stake for me to miss the game. North American readers may not be aware, but there is actually ice hockey world championships tournament going on right's where the Stanley Cup losers go before hitting the country club bar. But yeah, I may be doing the MTB race on Sunday.

On a different note. As we all know, there was a huge tragedy in the Giro this week. The death of Wouter Weylandt's appeared to hit home for more people than Casartelli's or Kivilev's deaths. Maybe this is due to more extensive media coverage or maybe because safety is in the spotlight on all walks of life. Many comments were about the course being too dangerous and blaming the organizer for putting the racers in harms way to gain more publicity in competition with the almighty Tour. The accident happened on a closed road. Usually cyclists ride that road with normal traffic. The risks are always there so be safe guys and gals.

tiistai 3. toukokuuta 2011

Road Racing is Dying in Winnipeg

So weeknight criteriums will not be organized in Assiniboine Park this summer. Two years ago road racing was effectively banned at Bird's Hill Park, on a circuit that got re-paved mostly thanks to being a road cycling venue for 1999 Pan-Am games. It is basically impossible to organize races inside the city limits due to ridiculous permit costs. Last time I looked into this, it was 7000 dollars to run a criterium at an industrial park on Sunday with no full road closures (this industrial park is deserted on weekends, but I guess the park is reserved for teens street racing in their cars). I sure hope that events, that shut down downtown streets, are paying permits that are in line with 7,000 industrial park permit fee. Closing down Broadway costs at least 50,000 right? Sure the cycling community is tiny in this city, but then again we ask very little, but even that appears to be too much. Then again a safe venue, like Assiniboine Park, has allowed the participation numbers to increase. It's not that we're asking for a new velodrome paid for by tax money, we ask to be allowed to organize our events on streets that we pay for already...hell, we even patch pot holes when we organize races. I would be pretty happy if we would be allowed to organize road races at decent hours (not having to be off the road by 10 AM) at Bird's Hill Park, Criteriums at industrial parks on weekends and weeknight training criteriums at Assiniboine Park.

Billion(s) of tax dollars are poured into different recreational facilities in this city of which most expensive ones get to be used by select few. There just is no place for cyclists in this city and I guess this is getting official. If you want to road race, you need to drive to Minnesota, Wisconsin or Saskatchewan.

This will make it to my list of why not to stay in Winnipeg.

Eli paikalliset viranomaiset menivät kieltämään viimeisenkin kaupungissa tai kaupungin lähellä tapahtuvan maantiepyöräilykilpailun. Tietenkin rahalla saa, mutta 50-70 kuskin kisojen "tuloilla" ei paljon maksella mitään 7000 dollarin lupamaksuja aution teollisuusalueen teiden käytöstä. Tähän taisi loppua maantiepyöräily Manitobassa, eli ensi kaudella ei varmaan kannata edes vaivautua suunnittelemaan kisakalenteria.

Tämä on sitä oikeaa pyöräilyn kehitysmaata. Tämä ei ainakaan paranna tämän slummin osakkeita mun listalla.