Monday, April 26, 2010

Domestique Violence

Well, I am back home in Canada.  The Vance Creek Classic was a good race, one that I would certainly like another crack at.  I would like to express my gratitude to our housing-host.  Thanks David.

After missing out on Tour of Walla Walla, Team Westwood/Cannondle made a last minute entry to the Vance Creek Classic.  At 150km this race was a right proper length.  The terrain had some of everything.  A steady climb capped of with a steep punch,  a screamin' downhill, and some narrow rough farm roads subject to strong winds.  The team for the race consisted of, Sam, Mike, Ryan, Scott, and myself.

The purpose of Racing is always to win.  However in a race additional purposes may also be served.  No one on our Team had ever done this race, and the short notice entry meant that no one was "targeting" this race.  So in addition to results, Scott discussed some additional objectives for this race.

Objective one, race as a team not as 5 individuals.  To help accomplish this Scott gave some specific direction and purpose.

Sam is a first year Espoir and has never raced this kind of distance.  Ryan has had difficulties with the intensities at the end of long races like this. 

 Objective two, was to ensure that Sam and Ryan finish the Race.  As a team we sould employ strategies to try and ensure this.

I was to try for the early breakaway.  It is important to have representation in an early breakaway because this allows your team mates to shelter themselves in the pack while other teams will be forced to chase.  Mike was also to watch for moves that would go in the first quarter of the race.  The plan was that the efforts of Mike and I would allow Sam and Ryan to shelter in the pack so that they could race more aggressively in the last 40km.

The first 15km were very aggressive.  All of the teams would like to be represented in an early breakaway, but if the break is too large then it is a threat to the favorites.  There are many attacks, I cover anything and everything that I can.  Eventually a two man breakaway forms, the pack accepts this and the pace slows.  Unfortunately I am not in the break.

There is no need to panic.  There are a couple riders from a couple teams keeping things rolling at the front.  The advantage of the breakaway grows but it is under control.  For now the team can just chill.  We will try the waiting game.  With a small break of the front it is much like a staring contest in the bunch and we hope that another team will blink and start chasing.

With over half the race gone by the breakaway is at a 4 min advantage.  Then the pace of the peleton hits a stand still.  No one is riding tempo and we begin to crawl along at 25km/hr.  It is decided that this has gone too far.  We Blink.

 As a Team we missed the early break.  So as a Team we take responsibility for the race.  Team Westwood/Cannondale is at the front forcing the chase.  We are cruising along at a cool 45km/hr.  At the start of the climb we are still forcing the pace, the gap is coming down.  Scott warns that we will be attacked near the top of the climb, not to panic, and that this is it.  So I tell Mike to sit on and try to rest for a moment.

We are attacked.  The pack blows into three groups and the 2 man break is caught at the top of the climb.  There is now a lead group, a chase group and the peleton.  Mike has gotten into the chase group, the rest of us are in the peloton.  The pace is still very aggressive.  We sit on, and hope that Mike`s chase group will catch to the lead group.  However there are riders in the peloton that are not happy with the situation.  They are chasing hard and catch to Mikes chase group.

There is a very dangerous Break off the front and the entire team now in the peloton, these are desperate times.  We try to reorganize at the front,  the gap hovers just over 30 sec for the next lap and a half.  However there are repeated bridge attempts that disrupt the fluidity of our chase.  These attacks are very wearing on us and we can no longer sustain our high pace.  With 20km left in the race it has become futile and Scott calls me off.  I am shattered.  We finish the race, Mike places well in the bunch sprint.

We did not win, but Team Westwood/Cannondale did allot of good things in this race.  We know we are capable of riding as a team, and with more practice we will be able to grab a race by the horns and make it what we want.  We took responsibility for the race.  Racing with responsibility and purpose is the professional thing to do.  If we can race like professionals then we will get results like professionals.

Next weekend Team Westwood/Cannondale p/b Vision Sports will be at Race the Ridge in pitt Meadows.

 Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Friday, April 23, 2010

playing doctor

Yesterday, as the doctor ordered I pulled out my stitches.  When I left the hospital I was provided with tweezers and curved scissors.  Tools specifically designed for the task, and a brief set of instructions.  pulling out stitches is not nearly as difficult or painful as one might think.  In fact it was quite painless and despite having to use a mirror to see what I am doing it was very easy.  I will admit that the first one took some time to get out.  Once I was used to working with the mirror the other six stitches came out rapid fire.  One more confession, it was kinda fun.  I'm sort of into the whole medical thing.

Today I did a breathing test with pac-sport and then rode 5 hours.  It was awesome.  My crash last weekend meant I missed my weekly long rides.  Then I worked for three days, so It was great to finally get a proper ride in today.  It feels good, and this weekend I will get some proper racing in as well.

Tomorrow the team is going into the state of Washington.  We will be racing the Vance Creek Classic.  It is a one day event of 150 km road race.  This will be my longest race yet this year.  I am excited to race in the states.  Even though this is not a target race for me.  I just love racing, and it will be good for the form to get 150 km race under my belt.

 7 laps of this loop adds up to ~150km. Westwood Cycle/Cannondale p/b Vision Sports will have 5 men in this race.  Good representation, that we hope to do something with.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feelin` It

I am Feelin' It.  And It is Good!

My recovery is flying.  After spending most of yesterday on the couch with an ice pack today was looking bright.  I woke up with no pain in my knee and no pain in my head.  The sun was shinning and I was ready to ride.

Following Doctors orders I was determined not to go too crazy.  I rode a quick 3.5hrs and even spread a little jam on a couple hills at the end.  Not too much jam though.  I don't want to get a cavity.  After the ride the head feels good, the knee feels good and the stitches are all intact.  Awesome.

In summary I rode my bike, and it was good.

The rest of this week is very fast becoming a logistical nightmare.  I am working on it but in short work, cycling and medical appointments are all trying to occupy the same space.  What a pain.  I will work on my juggling I guess.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Crashing is the worst part about cycling.  Often unavoidable, rarely controllable and always absolutely miserable.   Today, I crashed my bike.  It was not spectacular, it was not even in a race.  I needn't tell you that it was not worth it.

I was, as you say, "Just Riding Along".  There was train tracks across the road, at a very foolish angle.  It was raining, the tracks were slick.  I do not know why I fell.  I have crossed these and other train tracks many times.  This time my front wheel washed out on the tracks.  That was it.  I was head first face down smashing into the pavement.

The immediate sensations I think would have been similar to being hit with a stun grenade.  I stood, reeling and stumbled to the side of the road.  With my ears ringing, head spinning and seeing spots I sat down on the curb and began to figure out what was going on.

Someone was yelling at me from a car.  My bike was not in the middle of the road, which is I assumed where I left it.  This had been one of those falls with very little skidding, just one dead stop impact.  My entire body ached and I could feel precisely where my head had hit the ground.  As the stars and bells where clearing Mike says "Hey man your bleeding... your gonna need stitches."  Sure enough I look down and see a pool of blood forming.

Sara says that there is a hospital a couple blocks away.  My bike is ride-able.  Sara will lead me there.  At the hospital I am cold, wet and bleeding.  I no longer have pain every where it seems to have all migrated to my knee.  I wait two and a half hours to see a doctor, then I wait another hour for X-rays and stitches.

The X-ray was for the patella.  It was clean.  No fracture, just swollen and tender.  The seven stitches where for the deep jagged cut on my chin.  This was all followed by a healthy dose of the concussion riot act.  I seem to have this lecture memorized.  The damage total includes 7 stitches to the chin, a minor concussion, and swollen tender knee.

check the pics.

 No further explanation.

 7 stitches.

Ready for my close up.

I want to give very big thanks to Glen and Kelly.  The owners of Westwood Cycle.  I called them and they came with the Team Van to pick me up from the hospital.  They are super sponsors.  

Great big Thank You!  I will repay them both racing and volunteering.  Starting now!  Check out the Wheel to Heal.

This is going to be a great community event to help raise funds for the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.

Wish me a speedy recovery.  I hope to bounce back in a couple days.

 Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Barry's Roubaix

Well, I am back in port moody.  Team Sask training camp was a great success. The weather was less than Ideal but riding in the Okanagan Valley could never disappoint.  Got in some great ridding, improved my climbing some, and had some good times with the Homies from Saskatchewan.  I flew back to Vancouver on Saturday and had just enough time to do my race prep before bed.

Today we Raced Barry's Roubaix.  It is a tribute to the one and only paris roubaix, and a good tribute at that.  The race was 130km, pan flat and featuring narrow gravel/rock dikes (the imitation of cobblestones).  The race start/finnish was about 20km from my home so I decided to ride to the start.  This was an excellent decision, it gave me a chance to spin out airplane, and to come to the conclusion that despite having just competed a training camp my body was very willing to ride hard today.  That is just what I intended to do.

The race started into the gravel immediately.  There was soon a break of two riders up the road, but this is roubaix, and some aggression continued from the bunch.  Before, during, and after each stretch of gravel the pace was lifted as riders continued to attack.  With more than 70km to race I attack, followed by a rider from Garneau.  Later that lap a chase group of 4 forms behind us.  This group of four, including Olympian Zach Bell, would catch us in the next 30km.  With six in the lead group we worked well.  With 30km to race it became apparent that our group would not be caught.

With three laps to go Zach Bell put down some fire on the dikes and this put me into some trouble.  I clawed back on.  I was not going anywhere.  With 20km remaining I was focused and prepared for the upcoming gravel.  Then entering the dike one of the garneau riders crashed in front of me and I had to burn a whole book of matches in order to catch back on to the leaders.  On the last lap things really blew apart on the dikes.  2 riders attacked and I dug deep to try and follow, but I could not match.  There was now two riders in the lead with 2 more at 20 seconds and I was 100 yards behind those two. 

Off the dikes and back on the road I was able to catch the chase.  Now with 2 off the front and myself and two others chasing at 20 sec.  We were tantalizingly close.  Unfortunately the dynamic was not good in the chase.  I wanted to chase hard, the other two did not.  We finished 6 seconds back, I was out sprinted to come in 5th. 

The race went well.  It is frustrating to place fifth when you are in a position to go for it.  But, I am satisfied with my ride.  To come off a very big week of training and have this form is very good for the confidence.  My training is clearly effective.  Today I raced on nothing but base miles and Gritt.  I can now build on my foundation using speed and more Gritt.

Watch the movie True Gritt starring John Wayne.  I think you can always use more Gritt.  In True Gritt Spirit I rode two hours more after the race.  My day totaled at 205km in 6hrs of riding.   It was a good day, my first without leggings or knee warmers!  Now I am spent, tired, sore, motivated.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Penticton Photo blogg

Time to throw some Photos at you.  These are from the last couple days of riding in the Okanagan.  I seem to be cursed.  it seems that everywhere I go I am getting rained on.  We finally had a nice weather day and I was able to drop 180km.  I hope to do the same tomorrow, and the rest of the week.  I just have to come to terms with the fact that I am some kind of rain god.  Then buck up and ride like a man.

Without further adou, the pictures.

This is where we are staying.  skaha lake resort.

The Living room.  and my bike.

The view from our balcony.  Deadly weather first day here.

It took approximately 6 sec for my room to explode.

From plane to bike.  Rollin out the legs.

Mike McGarity, Bruce Kemp, Chris McGarity.  pros vs Joes.

 Let it be known that we rode for 3 hours, 
Bruces average Wattage was 30Watts above his Threshhold.
Not what you think...
OK exactly what you think.

Easter Sunday.  I went to Mass.

Freezing to death after 12km descent through snow/rain/2 degrees

 Solution, warm up in roadside restroom.

Beautiful day Today.  The view from the top of Richter pass.

Top of Richter.

 Snack Time!

Chris and Raganar.  Raganar is our favorite junior.  Not afraid to a little hard.  we got him to swap turns with us.  But we still can`t get him to take that damn visor off.

That`s it for the slide show YO.  
Tomorrow I will ride the Iron man course again.  Climb some more hills.  and continue to do so the rest of the week.

And I will bring along my documentation device for some picsor taking.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Short post today. 

There is no Internet here.  GAH. WTF do I do.  I am so disconected. AHAHHAHAHHHHH!

Ok. Got that out of my system.  I am borowing some Internet from Julia Garntett right now.  This borrowing may continue throughout the week.  Thanks for keeping me wired Julia.

Penticton is right deadly.  On Saturday we did a 3 hr spin to get the plane off the legs.  We started a half hour too early and got hammered with hail.  After returning to base camp and load in the dryer we went out to continue our ride.
Today, Chris, Mike, Sean and I went to Easter Mass in the morning.  We were out riding our bikes by noon.  We rode with Team Sask and had a chance to meet some of the upcomming juniors.  Chris and I like to give them a hard time, but all in good fun they're good kids.

I have been taking a number of pictures, but since I am borowing a computer right now I will not be posting pics until I can resolve my internet issues.  So lookforward to some pics comming later in the week.

If the weather is good tomorrow then I can look forward to a good long ride.

Training shall be based solely on feel,

while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

Friday, April 2, 2010

SuPer Best Ever Weight Loss Program of All Time

As some of you are aware I got a little fat when I was home 2 weeks ago.  I was home for the weekend and in 3 days I gained about 14 lbs.  As impressive as this sounds, it was not desired.  This was frustrating to say the least.  When you desire to be a lean bicycle engine finding out that you are overweight is quite mentally taxing.

But, LO.  In less than 2 weeks I have lost 10lbs.  What is my secret?  I will tell you, and it is so obvious that I could not possibly charge for it.  Although donations will be accepted : )

Now I reveal the super weight loss strategy.  There is no starving yourself, or skipping meals.  There is not even a restriction on your diet.  Eat anything you want.   The Key is to ride your bike between 20 and 30 hours per week.  It is that simple.  Just ride your bike everyday, that`s it YO!

So all of you out there looking to lose some winter weight.  Just get on your bike and ride!

Tomorrow I fly to penticton for the Team Saskatchewan Training Camp.  I am looking to put in some big days, on some big mountains.  This will all add up to a big week to cap of the Base building for the year.  I am very excited for this camp.  I look forward to riding with all the good ol` boys from Saskatchewan.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly