Monday, March 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good.

Today I was looking to go for a long ride, but the weatherman was calling for lots of rain.  Fortunately just after breakfast the sky was clearing.  I set out to ride and chased a patch of clear sky.  This was good.  I followed the clear sky patch into the Langley area.

The Bad.

In Fort Langley I got a flat. LAME.  I reached into my pocket pulled out my spare tube.  I reached into my pocket and could not find my pump, which I left at home.  This was bad.  Fortunately there is a bicycle shop in Fort Langley and they let me use a pump.  My ride was saved for now.

The Ugly.

Today I had dead legs, and poor energy. I had followed my clear patch into south Langley, but I was fading.  I was feeling the bonk.  Not good and I decided to turn for home.  I turned around and saw that to the North it was night time.  Not really but there was a wall of black clouds occasionally bursting with light.  I had little choice, and dove into the storm.  I got soaked right down to the small intestines.  To add insult to misery, shortly after getting home the sun poked out again.

Consolation goodness.

I got new kicks!


Diadora pro Racer

As I like to call them, Diadora Super Carbon's.

Cha-Bling.  SO light!

I will have these bad boys dialed by the end of the week.  

I have been rocking Triathlon shoes for the last two years so I am super stoked on new shoes.  Just ask Scott, I dove after these when he pulled them out for me.

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

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Well I sort of finished.

WOW is that ever a depressing title.  I guess it reflects the theme of the day. 

I raced another spring series race today.  The course was 18 laps for 125km with some undulations but no big hills.  This course was much more to my characteristics, however I was unable to capitalize.  It seems today was the opposite of yesterday.  Yesterday, I was over dressed, over-heating and I did not drink enough.  Today, It was raining, I was cold, and I had to pee from the get go.

I was well motivated until we began staging in the pouring rain.  Then the motivation took a nose dive.  The energy levels were not what they were yesterday.  Never the less I tried to ride actively.  The difference between riding actively versus riding aggressively results in missing out on the decisive breakaways.  There were several missed opportunities for which I knew I should be there but was not.  Thus I remained in the bunch, and the highlight of my race became the point when the pace slowed enough that I could take a nature break.

With three laps to go the commissars informed us that we would be getting lapped by the breakaway, and that after being lapped they would be pulling us from the race.  Sure enough in the next lap we were overtaken by the  breakaway.  Knowing that this was our last lap Cyrus and I sprinted for the finish line.  I won : )

 So I had an unsuccessful weekend of racing.  It is difficult mentally, I suppose I pressure myself.  I am focused on the later months.  For now I will be capping of the base in the next two weeks.

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

Cuylar Conly

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am a mushroom clowd

Today I raced spring series.  Atomic Course. 130km, 13 laps, 3 climbs per lap And like the ghosts of the Manhattan project I have radiation sickness. 
Bottom line, I rode aggressive and it didn't work out.  On the first lap a well represented break of 5 or 6 developed, yet all the big names were still in the main field.  The breakaway was not allowed much lead.  I knew it would not be long before some bridge attempts would escalate the speed again.  I was right and a couple laps later riders began to attack for the chase.

Lap 4 went like this.  The breakaway group is in site not to far up the road.  Jockey for position before the corner.  Descend.  Hard pace up the climb. I will need good positioning.  False flat/crosswind across the plateau.   The field is strung out.  Descend.  There are gaps forming.  This is it, this is the time.  Hard right.  Hill.  Hit it.  This is it going for the bridge.  So far I have done everything right.


I have baggage.  Cyrus (total restoration), and two Garneau riders.  Both teams are represented in the breakaway, so I will receive no help.  That`s ok.  I am closing fast.  Top of climb. closing.  Descend. closing. On the finishing climb.  Within 50 yards.  Cyrus attacks.  I jump after him.  Garneau is gone.  Cyrus is pulling away. NO. no.  I can`t hold the acceleration.  I watch as Cyrus catches the group, and I am totally out of NOS.  I crest the hill and I am losing ground on the breakaway.

I Time Trial for 3 laps before the main pack catches me up.  Enter survival mode for 3 more laps before the core goes critical, and then blam I am blown on the same climb that I attacked on.   Nothing remains of me except a reading on a Geiger counter.

So, what do I have to say about the race today.  The instincts were good.  The legs and the suffer need to go up.  Cyrus did exactly what I would have done, and have done.  The result was obviously disappointing, it is hard mentally.  A blow to the confidence.  I will have to work on some speed, and maybe drink more.

Tomorrow we will race again.  The racing is good, much better than intervals.

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

Cuylar Conly

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just Visiting

It is a strange feeling to be a visitor in your home town.  It dawned on me the other day.  I have visited many cities, but I have never visited Saskatoon.  Yet, it is impossibly true.  I flew home on Thursday, stayed for the weekend, and I fly back to Vancouver tomorrow morning.  I am in the city where I was born and raised, but...

I am just visiting.



What a visit it was.  It was fantastic to see my family and friends.  Lots of chill times this weekend.  I am inspired by the support that everyone is giving me.   I am truly grateful to have good friends.  I hope to see many of you sooner rather than later.  If you are ever in the GVA drop me a line.

 The central focus of the weekend was my interview with the U of S collage of medicine.  This is the second year that I have applied to the collage and been granted an interview.  I cannot say that it was anymore comfortable, but I knew what I was getting myself into.  It is difficult to asses how one did in the interview.  I had no disaster, and I felt that I always had something to put forward.  These are good sensations, and I can only hope that I was able to stand out amongst the other applicants.

 Before this trip I had been building some large fatigue.  My bikes stayed in port moody, training took a back seat, and an official rest week was declared.  The rest was great, I have recovered well.  The rest was too long.  I have become fat and restless.  I am eager to get back and start training again.  I am very motivated.  I am ready to put in more miles and get stronger with every revolution of the cranks.  I am currently looking forward to the Team Saskatchewan Camp in penticton BC.  This will be the first year that I am able to attend this camp and I am very excited.

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

Cuylar Conly

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jet Setting

Today, I hopped on a plane and I am back in Saskatoon.  Tuesday I fly back to Vancouver.

It aint nuthin.

I jet set back home for a ballin weekend of recovery, with a little bit of business.  The business side is purpose for this little outing.  This is the weekend of my interview with the U of S college of medicine.  Ballin, is to be an excellent side effect to jetting across the country.  I will have a chance to see friends and family and take in some major chillaxin.

Now the tale of my journey.  In pictographic form.

 My day started at 530am with a bowl of porridge.

Out the door and its pitch black.

 Short Bus. In time and stature.

 Long Bus, Long ride.

 All aboard.  The driver of the bus says move on back.

 Luxury interior.

 Subway, transit in the morning.  Lunch later on.

 Sky Train.  Not airborne but getting closer.

 The air bus awaits.  West Jet setting in.

 Saskatoon Shines!  No rain!

 Home at last.  Self shot Yo.

Home for the weekend.  Time for some epic R&R.  Lets hang out, gimme a call.

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

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I have my work cut out for me.

Spring series number 3.  Armstrong course.

Have you ever heard of daylight savings time?  I have.  Being from Saskatchewan today was my first experience of daylight savings time.  Everyone says it is rather hard to lose that extra hour of sleep.  I wouldn`t know.  Have you guessed.  I slept in.  I woke up at 6`45, aka 7`45.  About 15 minutes before Stu was picking me up.  It`s amazing how efficient you can become in the morning.  I only held us up about 10 minutes, and we were off to the races.

The Armstrong race course is 16 laps featuring a rude little climb each lap.  Once again my object for the day is simply to get a good workout.  Today I would be looking to go for the early breakaways.  I was climbing well on my own terms but there were others climbing better.  I was going after an early breakaway move.  Little did I know, my aggression would be a catalyst for the race selection. 

A Breakaway formed including 5 members of Total Restoration, 2 from Trek Red Truck, 1 from H and R Block, 1 from Garneau Evolution, another racer, and myself.  Our gap grew very large over the next couple laps.  It was clear that this was the move of the day.  Unfortunately, with each lap up the hill I was fading faster than the others.  With 6 laps remaining I could not keep the pace on the hill.

I got popped.  I rejoined into the main group to finish the race.  I am not ashamed to have been popped.  In fact this will serve me well to direct my training efforts in the weeks to come.  The goal of this race was simply to get some racing in the legs.  Mission accomplished.

My new bike was put through its paces today.  I have to say I am very pleased.  I have the fit dialed in now and I am so stoked on the ride.

For the rest of the week I will be throwing down some tough training.  I want to really tire myself out before some R&R back home in Saskatchewan.

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

Cuylar Conly

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring series number 2

Another day another race.

After my run in with the car yesterday.  I did not know how my weekend plans would be affected.  I decided to play it all by ear, and to play it conservatively.  I would not be ridding to this race. I would like to give a big thank you to Stuart Lynne for picking me up and driving me to the race.

In the morning my hip and ankle were a little stiff and tender, but with no pain or mobility issues.  I decided to start and see how the joints (hip, ankle, knee) would behave on the bike.  The sensations were good, and improved as the race went on.

Now the racing.  It was pretty aggressive from the start.  In the first lap there was a break of seven established.   The gap grew very fast, the break was clearly a threat, and two riders would survive to the finish line.  The general mood from the field was lazy.  Riders were willing to ride steady and not so willing to gice strong pursuit.

One name noticeable absent from the breakaway was Canadian pro Andrew pinnfold, who races for United Health Care.  Having missed the break Andrew pinnfold went to the front and laid down a smoking pace.  I was feeling no effects of my crash and also looking for a workout.  I joined pinnfold at the front with the intention of getting a workout and to maybe split the field.  The two of us swapped turns, with myself taking the occasional rest when a third or fourth rider was willing to take a pull.  

We were slowly break away group, and putting considerable strain on the rest of the field.  The peleton was shrinking.  Just before the half way point in the race I believe the breakaway group was about a minute ahead.  This is where my race came to an unfortunate end.  At the bottom of the rise to the finish I dropped my chain, then there is a hard right into a cross wind.  I chased for a bit but it was all over for me.

 I do not make excuses.  This is just racing.  In a few more weeks I will be strong enough to catch back on.  I will race again tomorrow.  At the Armstrong race.  I here it has a big hill, so I will be able to test the climbing legs.  I look forward to a good day of hard efforts tomorrow.

Another day another race.

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

Cuylar Conly

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today's Ride, 20min. FML.

Today was one of those days where the motivation was slow to wind up.  I slept in until 730, and found that yes it is raining outside and will rain all day.  I made a fantastically large breakfast, it is always a good motivator knowing you have calories to burn.  I put on my scuba gear and was rolling out at 10am intending to spend the day on the bike.

Not even ten minutes into my ride.  BOOM. Hit by a car.

It happened quickly.  I was rolling along, and the car was parked on the right hand side of the road.  The car pulled out of the parking stall with an immediate u-ball.  I could not break in time, I could not veer right for more cars parked there and the car was crossing to the left.  "Oh shit!"  I knew it was unavoidable and because I recognized this I was able to lessen the severity of the crash.  Rather than hitting head on I pulled a hockey skid into the side of the car, flipped sideways over the front end and rolled backwards across the road.  

preliminary body check.  I did not hit my head.  Most of the impact was to my hip.  Everything moves.  Nothing is broken.  

preliminary bike check.  Ride able.  Good I can get home.

preliminary car check.  She is sticking around. Good.  The mirror is smashed off.  Door panel has good sized dent and gouge.   

We exchange information.  She's cute but I am too annoyed to care.  My day was just ruined.  I roll of toward home.  My hip is sore and some twinge in my ankle as well.  Total riding time 20 min.  Time on couch all day.  Bicycle repairs, yet to be determined.  Glad to be alive priceless!

Instead of a 5 hour ride, today's training will consist of Ice, ibuprofen, yoga, and bike repairs.  I will continue to asses my condition and it may affect my plans to race spring series this weekend.  I will do everything right to get back on the bike as soon as possible.

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

Cuylar Conly

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Days of Dedication

The hardest Days are the days that I have to work.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  I work 930-6.  Now don't get me wrong.  Cap's west wood is a good place to work.  I am glad to be working at a bike shop, and I am very appreciative that they hire me fully willing to accommodate a busy race schedule.   The difficulty is more to do with the time of year.  Both seasonally and what the target of training is at this time.

This is the time for me to be targeting large volume.  Working all day means it is impossible to train during the day. Furthermore, it is Dark by 6pm, making it unsafe to ride after work.  And so, the alarm rings at 6am.  I lay there for a moment, quite uncomfortable with being awake.  I then remind myself why I am here, what is my purpose.  Then I roll out of bed and go for a ride, within minutes of being on the road I am glad to be alive.

Following this pattern I have been able to ride at least 2 hours before work.  This week, however, mother nature has bent her will to try my dedication.
This is what I awoke to both yesterday and today.
With this weather.  At six in the morning.  It is not healthy, mentally or physically, to ride in this.  The solution is a tool that I did not expect to use once I moved to BC.  Rollers.  Mother nature may have kept me indoors, but at the very least I could spin the legs before and after work.  Although some may consider it defeat to be forced indoors, I do not feel lessened by the conceding a couple days to the snow.  In what I consider an inspiring coincidence.  Andy Schleck and Team Saxo Bank are training in Italy, they too where forced indoors by the weather.

This next weak appears to be rain, rain rain.  Although this does dampen the spirits, I will not be deterred.  There is one week left before I travel home for the MCAT.  I am determined to get the best training possible out of this week.  I want to earn my R&R.

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

Monday, March 8, 2010

Race Debut

Yesterday I had a decision ahead of me.  I could go to the vets ride for 10am, a little over an hour ride to get there, then ride about 50km sort of like a Tuesday nighter.  Or I could go race the first Spring series Race at 10am, also about an hour ride to get there, then race about 100km.
The goal of either option was to get some racing into the legs.  I decided to opt for the longer event.  I formulated a plan.  I would ride to the race, race, then grab lunch in Langley and ride home.  This was a good plan and was looking even better in the morning when I awoke to a blue bird sky.  I was very excited.

I rolled out just after 8 am and arrived at the race site at about 930ish.  Scoffed some second breakfast, and stowed my pack in the commissar car.  The race started as the sky was clouding up.
There seemed to be three different intentions that ppl had for racing.  Some, like me were there for the training.  Others, like me, where there just because it is a race.  And he March allstars were there looking for results.
A few laps in it began spitting rain.  By mid race It was pouring, and some people were calling it quits.  A couple laps later I was contemplating dropping out.  I was so cold and shivering my bike would shake.  I was here to train not to catch pneumonia.  I decided I would go to the front for some tempo and do one more lap.
riding some tempo helped warm me up and with 40+ km to go I decided to continue one lap at a time until tempo would not keep me warm.
One lap, ok another another really cold and no sign of the two guys up the road.  OK. time to call it a day.  check the lap count 2 laps to go.   Look up the road, Oh there they are. well I might as well finish then.  Coming into the finale, the bunch was together for the sprint.  I crossed fifth I think.  I have not seen any official results.
With no feeling in my extremities I donned a heavy jacket and shivered my way back to fort Langley.  I say shivered because I do believe the convulsions were moving the pedals. There was absolutly no way that I could make it home in my condition.
I stopped at a laundromat, striped down and dropped some coins for the dryer.  I sat there with a news paper wrapped around my waist.  Some people came and went doing their laundry.  You know the situation when you see something and can't help but stare even though you know you shouldn't and you try to hide it.  Well I believe I was the target of said staring.  The weirdest part was that not a single person asked why I was naked, in fact no one said a single word to me, even when I said hello.  I do believe that they simple "didn't want to know".  Ignorance truly is bliss I suppose.

With dry cloths and a lot less nudity.  I crossed the street and had some of the greatest fish and chips ever.  premo anti hypothermia fuel.  I rode out into the rain and off for home.  Once again freezing I drew a hot bath and curled up in blanket for the remainder of the day.

Once I was warm, I contemplated the day.  I came to the conclusion that I was quite satisfied by all elements that where under my control. 

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

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eat, sleep, Ride, Repeat.

The title is self explanatory.  I am living the good life.  I have been trying to log as much ride time as I can right now.  Rain or shine I am here to train.  I am still trying to adapt to the hills. It seems like you are either going up or down, but I have found some routs that make me feel more at home.

Some nice flat roads along the dikes.  It reminds me of Sask. but the back drop of the mountains and the water in the ditches are what I really like.
self shot

airplane view

Starting this week I'm gonna start dropping some fat climbing time.  I have a feeling that being able to kill it on a climb will be a big advantage in the sport of bicycle racing. 


Yes my bike has arrived.  For 2010 race season I am riding a Cannondale Super SIX HI-Mod.  This bike comes stocked with Dura-ace 7900 and an SRM.  See photos here,!/album.php?id=748991969&aid=202056

I am very excited to be riding this bike.  When I first started racing Liquigas and Lampre were rockin' the Super Six and I was drooling hard.  I still have some dialing to do on the fit, but when that's done.  "I be going!"

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

Cuylar Conly

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wow, It's almost like I live here, or something.

Well the big news right now is that I got a Job.  For the first time in 3 years I am working in a bike shop again.  I am working sales at Cap's Westwood Cycle, in port Coquitlam.  Cap's is the Bike shop that is sponsoring the team, needless to say I had a bit of an in.  Even so, I am very grateful for the opportunity.  Right now I am working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 930am to 6pm.  Now to be honest I would prefer to be on either an afternoons or mornings schedule, leaving the other half of the day for training.  This schedule is the next best thing.  I work three days straight and have four days off for training.
I believe I have come up with an effective sustem for training and work.  I will use one of the three days as a rest day, on the other two days I will wake up at 6am giving me a little over 2 hrs to ride before work.  I am not a fan of 6am, but I am committed to my training.  The extra rest may end up being beneficial.
I am still not too familiar with the area.  I am beginning to learn my way about a few cycling routes.  I have to say that the amount of traffic here just lows me away.  Even on back roads there is always a car.  I am adapting to deal with this, and I am adapting to dealing with the rain.  I have begun to cope with the rain the same way that the locals do.  This is by not acknowledging the existence of rain, ever.  You do not speak of rain, and you do not let it affect your plans, schedule or activities.  You just ignore it, as if it isn't even there.  That is how ppl seam to deal with it.
After working for the last three days I am eager for the 4 days of riding that are ahead of me.  I am eager to start racing, although I am not quite ready yet.  IT is still the time of year to be focusing on putting miles into the legs.  This will be my continued focus for the next two weeks.

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

Cuylar Conly