Monday, October 11, 2010

Team ride video - 2 days before the race

It's now Tuesday morning and I'm still a bit fuzzy around the edges from all the hard racing on the weekend. I'm gonna take a couple of days to compose my thoughts on the race but overall I'm happy with how I raced and proud to have been part of a great team effort!

For now, here's the Team ride video I promised...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ready for Action!

Well, it's here ... Worlds that is! Tomorrow ... in exactly 13.5 hours ... we will all be lined up at the start and off and running ....

This is a quick post as i'm heading to bed but here is a photo of Team Canada ready for action - go Canada!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So here we are ....

Most of Team Canada is here in Australia now ... scoping out the course and prepping for the weekend ahead. The team meets today at 2pm for a team ride of the course ... and then we head out to dinner tonight as well! Team Canada will be in full swing by the end of day today :)

I got here on Tuesday, met my parents (who are here celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary as well as supporting me at Worlds) at the airport, and we slowly made our way to Canberra. My first outing on the course was yesterday and here is my first take ...

The race takes place in Stromlo Park, just outside of Canberra. The loop starts out with a short flat section and quickly turns into a series of singletrack switchbacks which lead you up a long 1000ft climb up to the top of Mount Stromlo. Once at the top the trail winds around a bit before heading back down, again all on single-track, a rocky twisty descent. The trail is pretty cool, very rocky (big rocks and baby head rocks) and the corners are bermed so you can 'ride the rails' onthe way down. It's very fun but because the corners are so sharp you can't really get up too much speed. About 3/4 of the way down Mount Stromlo the course starts winding back up again and takes you backup to the top of the mountain again, still on single-track. The course dumps you at the top, on the opposite side of the mountain, and because the course is so exposed (no trees, only bushes) you can see the other riders on the top as well. Kinda cool .... then down you go again, this time slightly more technical with a fun steep rocky descent. I plan to ride that section a few times today :) The course ends by taking you through a bmx type section where you can gain a lot of speed if you work your bike... a fun ending.

The course is mostly single-track, which I love ... but will make passing tricky. It's great that they made a seperate course just for the Solos, otherwise it would be mayhem :)

That's it from me for now, another outing on the course today and I'll come back and post the stats (climbing, distance, etc) from my garmin!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Australia here we come

The last week has been a busy one getting everything ready for the long journey to this year's 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships. Sitting in the airport waiting to leave I finally have a few minutes to get my thoughts down. Much to my relief, the bikes are tuned, packed and loaded on the plane with all other gear required for a 24 hour solo. Special thanks to Chris at Cyclepath Calgary for all the work he put in to get them ready.

With most of Team Canada heading down over the last couple weeks before the race I get a sense of excitement and anticipation from those I have spoken with. I am looking forward to our group ride and dinner on Thursday.

Wish I could type more but they are calling my flight to board. See you all in Australia soon.

Solo Steve

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WSC cartoon - Getting ready for Canberra

That's right, I'm wearing a skin tight broccoli superhero suit.

I couldn't find my Team Canada kit.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Squamish XC Files - Ride down from Elfin Lakes

Hooked up with newly crowned Canadian 24hr Solo Champ and all around savage and good guy Cory Wallace for some riding in my home town of Squamish,BC.
Took him up to Elfin Lakes high up above town and into the beautiful alpine that surrounds us here in mtb paradise...perfect day up there...from the dudes place in downtown Squamish it's about a 2.5hour climb up to a wicked backcountry hut surrounded by a couple sweet little lakes,glaciers, mountains and just plain awesome views of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
We ranted about plans for the World's,treeplanting skills which will cross over nicely to the 24hrs plus details on the race and so on...getting stoked to be part of the gong show...both of us are sticking around longer in Aussie and are considering hitting the whacky Crocodile Trophy later on in October...why not?
Enjoy the ride, the views and some Stone Roses too...
Dude out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exposure Lights Lit up the Night

It's been a month since the Canadian 24hr Solo Championships in Canmore and I've had time to reflect on what went well and what needs work leading up to the World's 46 days from now. I've concluded that my physical preparedness is always an easy one- it always can be worked upon. I think, like a lot of us 24hr racers, I'm never really satisfied. Perhaps that's why I seem eager to put myself through this again. I believe I can continue to grow and improve on last performances. That desire for improvement will likely only come to a halt when the day comes to hang up the bicycle and take up lawn darts.

I'm pretty happy to say that one of the things that worry me most about 24hr racing is something I have a little more control over- my equipment. It seems like it's something I can control a little more. I know there are unknowns and crashes and random mechanicals that appear to break the laws of physics, but I really believe that a good choice of equipment can make a huge difference. That's the reason I ride the bikes I do and the reason I wear the clothes I do and now I'm proud to say, run the lights I do.
The Canadian Championships was the first opportunity I had to race with Exposure Lights attached to the bike and my head and I must say, it was the least stressful night riding I've had to date. I was running the Maxx-D on the bike and Diablo on my head-in my mind, a perfect combination. There are a few points I'd like to stress about Exposure Lights. Firstly, the ease of operation. The self-contained units are simple- good tactile feedback on the on/off switches, ease of mounting with the quick release mount on the handlebars, solid yet moveable swivel on the helmet mount-everything a fatiguing rider can appreciate. Secondly, the obvious; they're really bright. The Maxx-D I ran on the medium setting of 700 Lumens while the Diablo's medium setting put out 400 lumens. I found the output smooth, diffuse in pattern and more than adequate to keep the pace high during the night hours. I never felt like I had to slow down for lack of illumination. That sensation was the lack of carbs being ingested at 2am...Finally and maybe most importantly, my pit crew didn't need to worry about the lights. Normally, the setups I've been running required battery change and re-charge of spares. With Exposure Lights, this isn't necessary. The 10hrs of the Maxx-D and Diablo (with the piggyback battery attached to the Diablo) gave us lots of time to get through the night. My crew only had to move the Maxx-D from bike to bike, and with the bomb-proof quick release bracket, that only took seconds.

With the most important race of the year just around the corner, I only want to worry about being physically prepared. Thanks to the folks at Exposure Lights, I'm one step closer to that goal.
One last point about the lights- they sure look a lot better than I do in most of the pictures from the race.