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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fake Bike Trip - DONE!

I went out today for a rather ill-advised 90km ride just to finish this thing off.

I've officially topped 6,148km since I started Dec 21 of last year, putting me beyond my goal.  I have biked the distance from Whitby, Ontario alllll the way to Delta Junction, Alaska.

Apparently Delta Junction is the end of the Alaska Highway.  Who knew?

I also have topped 6000km for the year.

I would be surprised if I ever hit this kind of number again in my life... I love mountain biking and off-road stuff, so all this road mileage isn't really in the cards.  Unless I lose my brain and try Ironman again (Whaaaaat!?).

It's been awesome, though, I've actually really enjoyed all those kilometers.  Mostly solo miles, just me, my thoughts, and the open road... lovely.

See you in 2015!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fake Bike Trip Report #19

6057down... 90km and 13 days to go!  Easy peasy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fake Bike Trip Report #18

This is getting tedious.  Felt much more exciting when I first started!

My fake bike trip (history here)

I had one great opportunity to get out for a really long ride, so I was able to peg a pretty good bunch of kilometers on the board.  I am now at 5896km, just 261km shy now of my goal of 6148km.

I started it on Dec 22, so I will end it Dec 21... gives me 4 weeks to complete.  60km per week should be very possible, even on the trainer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

When the Paddle Breaks

I stepped on my Grey Owl carbon canoe paddle.

It's carbon fiber, so it's very strong... but not that strong!  It fell with the bent shaft facing down, I stepped on the shaft.


It didn't break entirely through, but carbon splinters along the shaft looked like very bad mojo.  I figured I had just cost myself $200+...

... but the good people at Grey Owl saved the day and fixed it for $60 - replaced the shaft with a new one!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Fake Bike Trip Report #17

Fake Bike Trip Status:

5686km since December 20... 462km to go. 

6 weeks until December 20th and the end of my challenge... so I need to book 77km per week from now to the end to get there.

It doesn't sound like a whole lot - I've averaged over 120km/week up to this point.  But man the miles go on slow when you're mountain biking instead of being out on the roads! So easy to clock a 100km ride on the road, but on the trails that's a Herculean task. 

We'll see!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dear November. You Suck. Go Away.

I've kind of neglected the blog, mostly because, well, nothing is going on.


No races to look forward to.  The sun goes down too early.  The temperatures have dropped so it's more of a pain to get out the door.


This week was particularly bad - I managed to do absolutely nothing all week.  Finally hit the rower and the indoor trainer (bike) today, just to do some penance for all those missed workouts.

Is it Christmas yet?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paddling on Lake Ontario: When Lakes Attack

I went for a paddle on Lake Ontario on Sunday.

It was a windy day, but the wind was from the North, so when I arrived to launch my boat Lake Ontario was completely placid.

I launched around the red dot.  When the wind is from the north, our side of the lake is calm.

I started paddling, and all was wonderful.  I had a slight headwind, but nothing to really bother me too much.

As I got closer to the far end of my intended trip, I noticed the wind had changed slightly.  It was now more from the West, and the waves were starting to pick up a bit.  Nothing too bad, so I kept going.

Big Mistake.

I swear not more than 5 minutes later I was rocking and rolling.  I decided it was best to turn around, short of my destination, but I was getting worried.

Now the wind was at my back, I was fast... but the waves were faster, and building!  Soon they were up to 2-3 foot swells.  I would feel the back of the boat rise, the wave would get under me and I would almost surf the crest for a moment... then woosh, front comes up.

Several times the boat twisted entirely sideways, I was incredibly lucky to stay dry.  Still not sure how a wave didn't manage to wash right over the boat!  I was just very dainty, tried not to make any sudden moves.

Finally - mercifully - I made it back to shore...

What Went Wrong?

This is what the wind actually looked like.  The top arrows show the direction.

North... North... Northwest... Northwest... Northwest...

WEST!  WEST!  Surprise!!!


It's just amazing to me how quickly the lake went from completely calm to ferocious. had predicted a slight shift to Northwest.  In hindsight I should have paid more attention to that... but really when the wind is that strong, it's best to avoid Lake Ontario.  It's such a large body of water that it can really bring a strong lick.

Lesson learned!