2017 marks the 5th annual Steaming Nostril race in Waterloo Region. This event, organized by Cycle Waterloo, has become a Spring Classic in Ontario. Each of the previous four years has brought a different challenge.
January is month when a lot of people will set their goals for the rest of the year (Note: I’m avoiding the term “resolutions” on purpose). My goals tend to be modest. A year ago, my goal was to ride 50 memorable rides in the year I turned 50. That didn’t quite work out after my crash in September, but I still completed 41 rides (I complete this quest this year, before I turn 51 in August). I also wanted to ride 5000 km, which also didn’t happen due to a low-mileage autumn.
There’s a lot of reading material online. This blog is just one of countless cycling blogs, so thanks to anyone and everyone who reads this. I thought I’d share some of the blogs that I read. Some are cycling-related. Others have a running or fitness focus. I hope you find some relevant material in them, as I do.
In the absence of new, memorable rides to blog about, I thought I’d write about my experience of open-water swimming. I’m also inspired by my co-worker Chris, who recently completed a sprint triathlon along with friends of his who did the same tri as a relay (his friend Jordana blogged about her swim leg here).
I’ve been trying to get to the Wildwood Conservation Area to ride my mountain bike for a few years, but it just never happened. This year, I decided to sign up the week before the race, figuring I’d get a chance to finally ride these trails that I keep hearing so much about. There’s a continuous mountain bike trail around the reservoir that runs about 25 kilometres, but I didn’t know what to expect. Continue reading
Do I have everything? Helmet, check. Shoes, check. Water bottles filled. Extra layers if it’s cold… I laid everything out last night so I should be ready. Bike on the roof of the car. Cat5Gear bag packed and ready. Drive to Tim K’s to pick him up. 10 minute drive. Do I need a coffee? Nah. Do I have to pee already. Yep. I’ll ask Tim to use is bathroom. Load up his bike and gear. Off we go to bro’s in Ancaster. Drive goes quickly, under 45 minutes. Do I have to pee again already? Yep. Bro and buddy Rob are ready and waiting. Where’s Michelle? She was supposed to meet us here. Message from her… her dog stole her car keys? That sucks! Load up the pickup and drive four riders and four bikes to Paris to the start. Park, get out and get ready. Damn it’s cold. Line up for another pee. OK, I’m nervous.
This is my second year as a P2A ambassador and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to spread the word and share my experience in the event. This blog also appears on the parisancaster.com webpage where, in previous blog entries by other ambassadors this year, you can read about Rob MacEwan’s push to get into the top 100 at P2A with focused training, Meg Siegel’s non-panic approach, or Alex Flint’s conversion from an ultra-distance runner to cyclist. In this blog entry, I’ll tell you about the different ways I have prepared for P2A as a mid-pack rider, having entered the event each year since 2002.
I’ve been leading a Waterloo Cycling Club gravel grinder ride on Saturday mornings for a few years now, and this past weekend, we rode most of the 2015 Steaming Nostril course. The 2016 version of the Steaming Nostril is next Sunday April 3 and will follow a lot of the same route. For my 7th significant ride for my 50-in-50 rides for 2016, I’ll document our preride to give Steaming Nostril riders a preview of what they might expect next week.