Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Starts, Winter Comes, Mountains Bikes?

Okay so here we are in 2012. And so far the year has be starting much the way the last one ended. I hit the pool, I run when I get the chance and I commute to work by bike come snow (rain) or sun, warm or cold.

I did just attend the first 2012 Tri Nova Scotia Triathlon training camp. These are great sessions that I rather enjoyed last year. I wasn't going to be able to stick around for the full day, but as the bike portion was held last I was okay with that. The track sessions and pool session are the best for me. And this year they filmed our stroke in the pool and will give an analysis of that. Can't wait.

Anyway, I signed up for the first triathlon of the year. This one is being held in February and is a 5 km skate on our local outdoor long track speed skating oval, followed by a 6 km mountain bike ride, and a 4.2 km run. Now my skating is rather poor, though once I get used to it with a few sessions I will be adequate at that portion. And with the oval open I plan on hitting that bad boy  more than a few times to get my skating legs (and muscles) are ready. So that is taken care of.

Winter running on snow and ice is tricky, but I have trail shoes, it is in the city on cleared sidewalks mostly, and I can train for that any day. Again it is just getting some winter running legs under yourself.

Mountain bike? Well I don't own a mountain bike so training just got a little tougher. Also racing as well, as you must use a mountain bike to race. So I checked in at Sportwheels and my good friend Mike Phillips. He said, no problem and lent me his great 2011 Devinci Desperado.

(You can tell I was the roadie as no one else put a water bottle on their bike)

What a fancy nice bike it is . 26 inch wheels with hydrolic brakes and SRAM drive train, not to mention that awesome shock up front and the fact that it is white. But now how do I actually ride this beast with any confidence.

Well Sportwheels does a group mountain bike ride weekly, so last night I joined up and headed out to Shubie Park. Everyone's first group mountain bike ride should be in pitch darkness with a headlamp, snow and ice covered ground and unfamiliar terrain. Seriously though, it was a blast. We went out for close to 1.5 hours and when through hills, loose gravel, single track, tight corners you name it. I definitely want more. So for the next few weeks, at least, I will be throwing this beast of a bike into my car and heading out to these fun rides to get the hang of riding fast on a mountain bike on rough and uneven terrain.


If you check out Mike's bike you may see the 29 inch front wheel and 26 inch rear. Way to go on that setup. Mike realized after loaning me his bike that he didn't have a suitable winter bike to take out on the ride so through the Kona together. Awesome.
And yes, it was dark.

So maybe I will see you all on the trails sometime soon. Trust me, the cold goes away quickly once you get riding. And for those competing against me at Tri-the-Oval,  well you better get a good head start on your skates, ha ha.
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