Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de France Pool - Results

Alas, the Tour ended today on the Champs-Élysees with another Mark Cavendish win.

Though spectacular, Cav's win was hardly surprising... in fact you could even be forgiven for saying that it was downright predictable.

Fortunately, for those who were playing in the Tour de France Pool, today's race still meant something....

The Comité de Compétition (aka: moi) has invested about 45 minutes in tabulating the results (incidentally, an amount of time exactly equal to the margin by which Cadel Evans was defeated...) The answer key can now be found HERE (with answers in TdF jaune.)

Without further ado - the results:

Kevin Parenteau 9
Chris Cumming 9
'Torbjorn Sindballe' 7
Dave Herder 3
Michelle Valancius 3

You may remember Vince as the winner of the lululemon draw that I held earlier this year... suspicious... I agree. He is also a University student and we've all heard about what they pulled off in vegas...

Regardless, since I have no evidence of cheating, tampering or other bad business I will award Vince with his prize - side bar trophy. I have even customized it to suit the black background of his page:

You should be able to drag this onto your desktop... and load to your side-bar from there.

Congrats Vince! E-mail to follow regarding sushi.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

I want one...

Check this project out.  I have fantasies of a lifestyle that would necessitate building one of these:


After a little paint and chrome love...

Then some workshop workin'...

Then you have to do something with this...

And these...

And PRESTO! You've got yourself one of these!

But not only that....  You can also detach the front end to do this....

And ride home with all your stuff...

Grocery shopping is never near the top of my "Fun Things To Do" list, but this bike could change all that.

Unfortunately, though I'm definitely inspired, I'm entirely lacking the skills to build one...  

Check out all of the pictures of David Mahan's build HERE.  


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Cycling:  In the last week I have been back on the bike for a couple of easy rides to see if I can resume training...  the swelling in my leg has subsided and appears to be 100% gone now.  I am ramping up the work level but still not going 100% because there is no sense in shocking it and risking a recurrence.  The annoying aspect is that the doctors never fully figured it out so I am nervous it will come right back as I resume....  Oh well, time will tell...

Running:  I have been able to resume running as well.  I am taking it even slower in that department as it represents the biggest test of my skin and leg.  If something will go wrong it is usually when I am running.  So far it has been fine, but I have been using the treadmill (softer) and going in short bursts of 10mins or less.  It feels fine and soon I will "go for it" a bit more...  I am thinking of doing a short "race" with Sacha this weekend - it's tradition (once a year) and should be a good (but not too hard) test for my leg.

Swimming:  I continue to get out in the ocean three times a week at least.  It has been my saving grace during this period.  We now regularly get 6-8 people out at B.Bay.  For info click HERE.  I have totally found my love for swimming.  Today we had a strong current making us work extra hard.  I would love to know more about the currents and tides at B.Bay - they seem utterly random to me...  

Overall:  I would say that my upper body could use a rest...  with all the swimming,  and workouts that avoided leg strain, it has seen a lot of work over the last while.  I think my fitness is ok mostly due to the swimming, but there is going to be a definite effort involved in recovering some lost speed and power on the bike and it has been AGES since I ran properly.  These will come back with time but I need to be patient...

The logos are from the Olympic pictograms from 1968 Mexico City Olympics.  

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Penal Tour de France

Did anybody hear about this?  (Click on it for the full article)

Are you kidding me?  I have at various times in my life (like every July during the TdF) dreamt of an opportunity like this.  Rolling through the French countryside with friends, an epic fully supported bike tour (who wants heavy panniers on their bike?)

For obvious reasons no breakaways will be tolerated - and you know what?  I wouldn't want them on my tour either...  Heck, Cadel Evans enjoyed 4 Tours before trying his first attack in Stage 7 this year.  (Little shot there... hope he's not reading.) 

Just imagine how awesome it is when you hear that the guy who stole your car, raped your wife, lit your neighborhood pub on fire, distributed kiddie porn, etc. is touring France by bicycle....  while you are picking up the pieces and going to work.

Another thought, remember Jean Valjean from Lés Mis?  If that story was playing out in modern times he would steal the bread, get thrown in jail and be cycling through the countryside in tasteful lycra not long later.  IMAGINE how pissed off that super-intense detective dude (can't remember his name) would be after that...

That's my Tour de France thought for the day....

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Look

Any fan of the Tour will remember (or have heard about) "The Look".  Back in the US Postal days (2001 to be precise) when Lance and Jan would battle it out every year...

"The Look"*, when Lance took a probing glance into Jan's glasses just before dropping him like a bad habit on the slopes of L'Alpe d'Huez, is probably my favourite Tour moment ever.

So you can see why I was happy to see this the other day...

That, my friends, is "The Look"...  give the kid a few years (and some cranks maybe) and he'll be dishing out pain to a peloton somewhere...

*I have heard the interview where Lance swears he wasn't looking at Jan....  whatever....  I think he looked at him.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speed Syndicate Takes 3rd Place!

Team Speed Syndicate - 3rd Place - left to right: MJ, Jeremy, Justine

Race Highlights...

Start:  Hop, hop, hop, hop, flop - swim.  That's how a beach start goes when you have one leg.  Then you work for 150-200metres to pass everyone that beat you to the water.

Sighting:  Paddleboarders had yellow shirts.  Swim buoys were yellow.  Got confusing for a minute but got it sorted sooner than many around me.

End of Lap 1:  Swim till fingers touch...  get up on one leg - hop/wobble through water, around the beach buoy, back in and swim.  Heart rate goes WAY up - hopping in sand = hard work.  See Caroline Greenwood and exchange a nice midswim "Hey!"

Lap 2:  Smooth.  Caroline swam the entire second lap about 4 ft off my starboard/stern.  Very polite, never drafting.  

Swim Exit:  Approaching the end I started to hope Caroline might help me out of the water and up to my crutches.  Sure enough, as soon as we hit land she popped up and said, "Do you want a hand?"  I grabbed a shoulder and hopped up to the crutches with her help.  Thanked her and told her to get going...  THAT is going to be a lot of good karma for her.  THANKS CAROLINE!!!

Time:  34:56 - a couple minutes slower than anticipated... speaking with everyone after it was a common theme - maybe there was a current, or the course was longer than 1.9km...  whatever.  Anyway, I was 6/18 in the relays and would have placed 56/212 in the overall.  Not bad with all the hopping around and whatnot....  I'll take it.

Transition:  The crutches were a STUPID decision.  I thought I could crutch up the beach faster than putting on my leg and running.  Uh... no.  Not on tired arms, uphill, deep sand...  it was a b!&#$.  Oh well, at least I tried it and know for next time.

The rest of the race:  I didn't trouble my teammates for race reports but I can tell you they both performed admirably.  Jeremy on the bike and Justine running us to a podium position (3rd).

All in all I have to say relays are pretty fun - the camaraderie of competing with a team is different from the normal triathlon experience.  I think more people should take advantage of the relay option as a way to get involved in the sport...  or to still enjoy the competition with an injury (like I did...)

Congrats to everyone who raced!  Lots had great performances out there.

Thanks to Jeremy and Justine - the Speed Syndicate will have to reunite one day!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Subaru Vancouver International 1/2 Iron - Photos

Here are the photos I took at the Subaru Vancouver International 1/2 Iron event yesterday.  CLICK ON THE LOGO BELOW.

I highly recommend this event, the Lifesport team does a great job and the atmosphere at their events is second to none.

The photos I took are mostly of friends:  Justine, Jeremy, James, Kevin, Bree, Josh, Kate, Stephanie, Susie, and Vince

Lots of podium shots:  Not quite all of them as I missed the first couple...

Some pros:  at the finish line and giving interviews....

Some random:  There were a few others in there as well.... 

There were plenty of friends racing that I didn't manage to capture on camera....  congrats to you too!

As always, HELP YOURSELF, leave me a comment if you want to thank me!

Congrats everyone!

My race report coming soon....

Subaru Vancouver International 1/2 Iron

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Be as Happy as....

...a kid with his first iPod...

Thanks Bapa and Mormor!!

P.S.  Mattias' Rockin' Playlist...  (Click to enlarge)

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Five Good Things

Things are coming around over here....

1.  My leg seems to be improving.  I don't want to jinx it but it looks and feels marginally better.  All that remains will be to see if it can handle any exertion.  I will be investigating that soon enough...  needs a few more days to be certain I'm not jumping in too soon.

2.  I have a race on the horizon!  It's not a full race (because that would be REALLY stupid just as my leg is healing) - it's a relay.  I will be swimming for a team in the Vancouver 1/2 Iron.  I haven't met my team yet but a friend is hooking me up with a cyclist and a runner.

This is a really good thing for me....  it was a bitter disappointment to have to bail on Road and Track Nationals (cycling) especially after bailing on Escape from Alcatraz to prepare for Road and Track Nationals.  I know that injuries are part of sports but that sequence of events really sucked.

Anyway, back to the race...  it'll be Sunday, and I am going out on a limb and predicting a fast swim out of myself.  I have been swimming more than ever (as I have been reporting ad nauseum here) so it ought to be fun.

3.  The Tour is about to get crazy!  The prologue in Monaco was super cool and today's stage looked boring on paper but ended setting a very interesting stage for tomorrow's Team Time Trial.  Those Astana boys really must be having a blast at team dinners and hanging out on the bus as they basically try to beat the crap out of each other.

(Al)Bert(o) saying "WTF Lance?"

Cancellara said he "took it easy" on the hill in the first half of the prologue (TT), so he'd have legs for the second half....  that seemed like a good plan, as he destroyed everyone else.  

4.  Swimming and "sort of" training has been awesome!  

We are having record turnouts to the B.B. swims since Canada Day.  So much so I got all excited and created a tab on the right hand column that leads to a page I put together with info for people coming out....  you can see that HERE.

Coming up with workouts that don't put any impact or exertion on my leg is a challenge...  but it is definitely one the coaches at IF are up to.  On Friday Justine and Dylan had the kayaks ready to go....  The sun was beating down and it was great to hit the water!
That's me.  Photo credit:  Justine before she capsized...

Justine - in the midst of capsizing...

Justine - demonstrating impeccable paddleboarding technique...

Dylan and Justine soaking up the rays...

5.  Last but not least....  The kids and Sacha are all enjoying the summer now that school is out.  Life is good when the sun shines!

Driving his big brother's car...  nice shoulder check....

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tour de France Pool

OK, everyone... As if the TdF wasn't exciting enough, Meyrick Jones Racing and HP Multisport have combined to kick it up a notch!

Tour de France Pool 2009


1. Answer the 15 questions below in an EMAIL. They are mostly multiple choice... easy peasy...

2. Send the e-mail to me at the address below:


3. Lay your smack talk down in the comments section below if you wish....

4. Watch the Tour and enjoy!

5. Winner is the respondent with the most points after the final stage on the Champs-Élysées.


Grand Prize - All expenses paid trip to the 2010 Tour! Damn recession...

Still Awesome Prize - Bragging Rights.

Spoils of Victory - The winner will also receive a soon to be prestigious (and highly sought after) custom "TdF Pool 2009 Winner" image to display on blogs or websites - if you don't have a blog you can print it and put it on your refrigerator. Your friends will all be jealous!

Local Prize - For (Vancouver) participants or those willing to visit us here - James and I have also put a sushi lunch on the line. If you want in you are welcome to join us - winner eats free! (And I eat a lot....)

Without further ado...

The Questions

1. Predict Lance Armstrong's final placing in this year's two individual TTs. Add the numbers together. What is the sum?
(1 point)

A. 2-3
B. 4-5
C. 6-7
D. 8+

2. Will Lance end up ahead of Contador in the GC? (1 point)

A. Ahead
B. Behind

3. How many stages will Cavendish win? (1 point)

A. 0-1
B. 2-3
C. 4-5
D. 5+

4. What will the winning team's avg. speed be in the Team TT in km/h?
(TTT Stage details are HERE)

-Within 1 km/h = 5 points
-Within 2 km/h = 3 points
-Within 3 km/h = 2 points
-Within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by >4 km/h = deduct a point

50.34 km/h (Best guess was Bree Wee - 50 km/h. Most entertaining guess? 72 km/h.)

5. Who will win the polka dot jersey for King of the Mountains? (1 point)

Franco Pellizotti

6. How many riders will be banned, fired for suspicion, or otherwise ejected due to doping related issues? (1 point)

A. 0-2 (0 I think....)
B. 2-4
C. 4-6
D. 6+

7. Which team will finish the tour with the most riders? (1 point)

B. Agritubel
C. Astana
D. BBox Bouyges Telecom (despite almost losing the whole team in the TTT)
E. Caisse D'Epargne
F. Cervelo Test Team
G. Cofidis
H. Euskaltel - Euskadis
I. Francais Des Jeux
J. Garmin Slipstream
K. Lampre - N.G.C.
L. Liquigas
M. Quick Step
N. Rabobank
O. Silence-Lotto
P. Skil-Shimano
Q. Columbia - High Road
R. Team Katusha
S. Milram
T. Saxo Bank

8. What will the average speed be in km/h for the Mt. Ventoux stage be?

-within 1 km/h = 5 points
-within 3 km/h = 3 points
-within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by 4+ = deduct a point

35.9 km/h (Best guess was Kevin - 36 km/h)

9. What will the margin of victory be in the GC? (The margin in minutes and seconds between winner and runner-up.)
(1 point)

A. 0-1 minute
B. 1:01 - 2:10
C. 2:11 - 3:20
D. 3:21 - 4:30 (It was 4:11)
E. 4:30 - 5:40
F. 5:41 +

10. Who will win the GC? (1 point)

Alberto Contador

11. Who will win the Green Jersey? (1 point)

Thor Hushovd

12. Which OLN broadcaster will win the competition they have each year to predict winners? (1 point)

A. Paul Sherwen
B. Al Trautwig
C. Phil Ligget
D. Bob Roll

Craig Hummer... Knew I should have looked up his name before posting....

13. Will it rain during any of the TTs? There are 3... (1 point)


14. Who will end up being the team leader for Astana? (1 point)

A. Armstrong
B. Contador
C. Leipheimer
D. Popovych
E. It's over and people are still wondering

15. What is the second longest stage of this year's tour? (1 point)

Stage 12 - Tonnerre -> Vittel

16. Do you want to enter the Sushi Lunch Sweepstakes? i.e. you are willing to eat sushi with James and I on a "local winner eats free basis". (0 points)

C. NO, because I am sure Meyrick will win and I know how much sushi he eats....

Good Luck!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yaletown Grand Prix 2009 - Photos

The Yaletown Grand Prix is one of the few remaining bike races in the lower mainland - sponsorship dollars are hard to come by these days... It's a real shame because I have always felt that these events offer an amazing amount of entertainment value for a $0 ticket. Perhaps therein lies the problem?

Anyway, I was down in Yaletown today to watch a few friends race and to have some fun with my camera. In case you weren't aware, sports photography, and photography generally, is a hobby that is near and dear to my heart.


I have a Picasa Album with almost 200 shots. There are a few from the Men's Cat 3 race, lots from the Master's Race and lots from the men's and women's Pro/1/2 races. I took lots of a couple of friends - don't think that it is a man-crush (though I would like to be able to ride like that...) but there are lots of shots of other riders.

If you find one of yourself, please help.... yourself (that sounded like Austin Powers...) BUT, do me the favour of leaving a comment here (link is at the bottom of this post) and putting a photo credit and blog link if you post it elsewhere.

Something like:

Photo Credit: Meyrick Jones


Here were a couple of my favourites:

My buddy Allan Prazsky winning the Master's Race by riding away with 8 or 9 laps to go... He dominated - just like last year.

The Pro/Cat 1 and 2 Men's Field

Unidentified Rider... Anyone know his name? (Rob Britton - Thanks to Steve Engh for the ID)

Alison Testroete - Women's Champion

The photo I liked so much I posted it twice: Will Routley and Nic Hamilton destroying the field by lapping all but one rider... on their way to a 1, 2 finish.

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