Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Back in Saskatoon for the week. 
No Bike.
No pressure.
Friends, Family.
BSC (Beer, Sun, coffee)


Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 Road Nationals

The National championship is a really big deal.  There is allot of honour in this race, and it demands your respect.  If you win this race it will immortalize you.  For the rest of your life you are a National Champion.  There is a lot of weight, focus and pressure placed on this one day.  In my last year as an Under23 racer I was here to validate my strengths.  Unfortunately I did not do enough to control my own destiny.

I am proud of my Time Trial result.  To place 16th in the country is no disappointment.  I managed my strengths for 45km, a distance that few can master in a solo effort.  Thursday was good, but I would rather forget the rest of this weekend.   I raced only ¼ of the intended distances.  I showed neither strength nor weakness, only poor execution.

On Saturday, in the Road Race, I knew exactly what must be done.  The roads were narrow and the pace would be very high on the flats.  There was one climb each lap, very narrow with 20% grades.  With over 150 starters it was absolutely critical to maintain a good position at the front of the peloton.  As soon as the race started I stuck right into the front 20 riders.  I was amongst the likes of Meir, Tuft, Britton, Rollin.  I was in the right place. As we approach the base of the climb a moments lapse into passivity and I have given away 20 positions.  Now I am in a position where the mistakes of others will reveal my own.

We ascend the climb like a box of sardines, with hardly room enough to turn your pedals.  There are accidents in front of me.  Some people crash, someone breaks a chain or pedal, others just go to slow. Each time by my own fault I am losing ground.  At times we are almost standing still and I am literally spinning my tires.  I have slipped behind weaker riders; there are gaps over the top of the climb.  We chase but the time between us and the leaders hopelessly balloons.  After 50km I leave for the showers.  I did not do what needed to be done.

On Sunday is a criterium.  It is not a UCI sanctioned event but is none the less a National Championship.  This race has earned the nickname “The Nationals Revenge Criterium”.  Revenge is what I was after.  I was fresher than most of the peloton and again Knew exactly where I fit amongst them.  The course is very technical with two punchy humps.  No matter what the outcome of the race I am motivated to show my face amongst the leaders.  Little did I know, I am lined up for what is likely to be my most anticlimactic race this year.

I made sure to be on the start line just behind the call ups.  I was ready to defend my space or die trying.  When the gun went off I rode 100m on a flat tire.  I went to the service pit and exchanged for a fresh wheel.  The race went hard from the gun and was in a long single line.  I was released near the middle, but the peloton resembled the fragments of a hand grenade.  Almost 75% of the field did not survive the first two laps.  I rode in vain for 15minutes; jumping from group to group until the commissars informed me we would be lapped and needed to pull out.

My time as an Under 23 has finished.  There really isn`t another chance next year.  Next year everything will be different, but somehow the same.  The Under 23`s have never raced separately, just a race within a race.  Next year I will be racing against all the same competitors.  What I want as a senior athlete is the same as an Espoir.  I want to be a bike racer. 

 I need to have greater control over my own destiny and make my own luck.  I need to do, what needs to be done.

Cuylar Conly

Friday, June 24, 2011

Focused Violence



photos courtesy of 

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

Cuylar Conly

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Report. National Championship ITT

Well whats to say.  The race was 44.8km in length.  Located in the country side south of Hamilton, the course fits no definition of the word flat.  The course was either up or down.  Elevation change came in the form of climbs, punchy rollers and faux plates. The effort was more like a fartlek than a controlled burn.

Mother Nature was not without her say either.  Dark clouds rolled around and over head all morning.  The rain had held off for all the early starters.  Just before the third and final wave of racers started the sky opened up.  I was treated to a good soaking while warming up.  It was a warm rain and was over in 20min, so no bother.  It was the follow up wind that really had an effect on the final starters.

The course changed directions 6 times and moved between wooded areas and open meadows.  This treated us to tailwinds head winds and crosswinds.  With all the broad aerodynamic gear the crosswind was considerably distracting.  I was told after the race by my director sportif that  he had never seen someone leaning so hard into a side wind and that several times I skipped several inches to the side.

Going into the second lap created a unique mental challenge.  In one split second there was self doubt.  In my minds eye I cast it to the side of the road like a useless bidon.  I knew full well what was coming and I wanted to raise the bar on the second go around.  My splits where identical.  I did not slow, but damn did it feel harder the second go around.

I was gunning for a Top five finish in the espoir category.  This was a very tangible goal.  However in the end it did not materialize.  My final placing was 7th in the espoir category and 16th in the Senior category, in which espoirs are included.  I am not disappointed with my result, but I cannot help to want more from myself.

Find complete results here.

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

Cuylar Conly

Sunday, June 19, 2011


There has been a lot of buzz in popular media about the end of the world.  The year 2012 is just around the corner, the rapture is happening twice per year, and aliens exist.  If the world is going to end then what reason is there to plan for anything.  Every time a story breaks  about the imminent demise of the human race people are spurred to into immediate extreme action.  From the couple that gives all worldly possessions to charity, or the bands of survivalists stockpiling guns and generators in the woods.  If the world is going to end tomorrow then you need to act now.

Heed my word.  Draw your focus to the present.  The world will end.  Right after this bike race.  Now go and do something about it.  Ride without fear, without concern for your body.  Your muscles, your lungs, your mind, you have no need of them after this race.  Do not make plans, not even dinner, there is nothing.  Your focus and action belongs in the present.  So forget about worldly things, take as much ammunition as you can carry.  Ride your bike to end this world, and it will be a better place.

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

Cuylar Conly

Saturday, June 11, 2011

planning ahead vs staying focused

All of life is full of trade offs.  planning and focus sit on opposite ends of the minds teeter-toter.  Devoting more time and effort to one results in less time and effort for the other.  And somewhere in the middle nothing ever gets done.  I find it allot easier to live in the present.  In fact I think humans are inherently bad at planning ahead.  A problem which is exacerbated by the our culture of instant gratification.

Living in the present results in a focused linear life demanding the most of myself and neglecting almost everything else.  While planning ahead involves dropping everything you are doing and hurling your brain through space and time to organize your future self halfway across the continent.

What I am getting at is the organization of my Fall Semester at the University of Saskatchewan.  It was always my intention to return to my studies in September.  I just haven't done anything about it, and now its crunch time.  I have spent the last week getting super organized, while sacrificing the little things like laundry, vacuuming, my tooth brush and stocking the pantry.  If I'm planning to be a filthy university student I might as well get in the right, err funk.

I have jigsawed together my schedule.  I am able to include all my required courses and I have selected some appropriate electives.  Unfortunately my short list of electives was much more like a long list and some interests will remain on the sidelines.  All that remains is the monumental task of joining a research group for my fourth year honours project.

This task feels both intimidating and perplexing.  I wish I cold say I am at square one, but frankly I don't even know where square one is.  I feel that the largest source of my difficulty is my lack of presence in the department over the past two years.  physically I have simply been absent for the second semester of the last two years.  I am like a man without a face.  I have also had poor conversational presence throughout my academic career.  I do not struggle, and therefore do not badger the professors for assistance.  I am neither the super keener trying to badger the prof for un-needed assistance, nor am I the protege being tapped on the shoulder.  I am just hard working student, with above average intelligence, who is quietly maintaining GpA of 3.72.

This week I have to write some letters, beg, plea, and badger as much as I can.  Yes, I know, I should have been on top of this sooner.  I should have been on top of this over a year ago.  It's just so much easier to live in the present and ignore the future.  Until now.

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

Cuylar Conly

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Early morning Curse.

Ah, Sleeping in. 

I don't care who you are, one of the simplest pleasures in the world is being able to wake up on your own time.  You know when your body says so, not when the guy on KBBL comes on to say its raining.  When your "ready" to get up it probably means that you are well rested. Unfortunately most people schedule a very rigid "wake-up" time, while allowing for a rather ambiguous bed time.  This results in significant sleep shaving.  It also explains why that extra 15-120min of sleep in the morning feels absolutely heavenly.

Not unlike the majority of the population, I am a victim of the rigid wake-up schedule.  Seven in the morning every day.  Not unlike clock work. In Fact, better than clock work.  My affliction goes far beyond the flat nasal beep of an alarm.  I have the early morning curse.

Curse is a strong word, to be fair its not all bad.  I never worry about whether or not my alarm is set properly, and my mornings are never rushed.  The CURSE presents itself in in three ways.  First,  Eagles are not owls.  Eagles are up early and owls are out late.  I must be an Eagle because I often struggle to hold my eye's open by 1030.  Second, a circle cannot fill a square.  My "extra" time in the morning although relaxing is not enough to be used for anything substantial.  Third, and worst of all. I cannot sleep in!

I can't do it.  When presented with the opportunity to snooze until 8 or nine or unlimited I will awaken at five to 7.  Even if I bend my will and make a conscious effort it will all be lost.  This morning for example I had license to sleep and I intended to.  I watched the hockey game and stayed up late.  I fortified my windows with heavy drapes.  And I committed myself to not get out of bed until 830.  I slept like a log and was awake just before 7. FML.

That's ok.  I just wont move, I'm committed to 830.  Damn, I have to pee.  Fine back to bed after.  Damn, now I'm hungry.  Commit...   Screw it, I can't win.  I managed an extra 40min of lying down but no extra zzz's.  Help me. please.  What should I do?

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

Cuylar Conly

Monday, June 6, 2011

Almonte 40km TT

Yesterday I woke up really early.  That's 530am early.  Team Fresh Air Experience sent Phillipe Bergeron and I, two "Time Trialists" to contest th Almonte 40km ITT.  The Race started at 830am and was located aver an hour away in the Calabogie highlands.  So I was up early, 530am early.  We arrived with just enough time to sign in set up and have a short warm-up.

The race course was through the Calibogie highlands.  This is Canadian shield country featuring lots of lakes and rocky forested terrain.  Over 40 km there where no substantial climbs and no substantial flats.  I used the full range of my casset with my speed either 30km/hr or 60km/hr.  Although I am lacking in the Top end right now, I was able to stay in control and ride the fine line for a steady output.

After the finish my body was angry as it should be.  Had the race been much longer I would have had some  major muscle issues.  Fortunately the finish line came just in time.  When all the times where in and ordered it was revealed that Fresh Air Experience/Ottawa Bicycle club was on a good day.  I took my first victory of the season and Phillipe rounded out the podium in third place. 

For our efforts we where rewarded with 2 hrs of motor-pacing 100km back to the outskirts of Ottawa.  Then I rewarded myself properly with  lunch and a nap.

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

Cuylar Conly

Saturday, June 4, 2011


What a head-ache!  There is just way too much to think about to manage a diet.  Every Time I try to really get on top of things I just end up with an OCD headache.  Balancing your intake, to stay lean and produce power, is both an art and a science.  In this regard I am neither Van Gough nor Einstein.

There are just too many variables to think about.  Carbs, proteins, vitamins, fats, iron.  Am I eating too little am I eating too much.  The last thing I ever want to do is sit down and do math before every meal.  Now, you are probably thinking that I should quit whining and just eat what my body says to.  Alas, I wish it were that simple. 

I have recently been instructed to step up my nutritional management.  This assessment comes from some rather qualified individuals and cannot be ignored.  I have been given some homework, a shopping list and lesson in basic math.  Now I have a headache.  This is not a quick alteration and I am going to have to form some habits.

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

Cuylar Conly