Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is my restructured scheduled for August.

Today -Quebec provincial Criterium championships.
Aug 5-7 Tour of the Catskills, NY
Aug 14  Niagara Classic or Montreal du Quebec?
Aug 25 move back to Saskatchewan and start University

Thought you ought to know

Cuylar Conly

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So what else is on your mind.

Today I entertained my right brain.  I went on a walk about in the National Art Gallery.  From my doorstep its about 4km to the museum, plus wandering the halls and galleries for a good 2 hours, and then I plodded my way home. This is the most walking I have done in months and my feet agree.  I suppose I could have taken the bus but I felt like walking. It was worth it.

The Art Gallery was super deadly.  Although I have little artistic talent, I do have a great appreciation for art and those with talent.  I particularly liked the contemporary exhibit and the collection of Inuit sculptures.  I would go into more detail except I neglected to take a note pad.  Instead I thought it would be a good idea to just take pictures of everything.  I was immediately chastised.  photographs are not allowed... DUH.  I guess I didn't think that one through.

I probably could have spent more time wandering around and I might even go for a return visit before leaving Ottawa.  It is strange I have been in Ottawa almost four months now and I have neglected investigate any of the monuments or museums.  I suppose that's what locals do though.  Now with only one month left in Ottawa I want to commit to a little tourist activity.  Maybe I can awaken my brain from its hibernation before returning to school in the fall.

Cuylar Conly

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What are your goals

As the saying goes, "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."  I had some big goals for the month of August.  I was presented with the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean and race in the Tour of Guadeloupe.  This 10 day race would dominate the remainder of my summer.  All training was to prepare for this race and all other events became secondary.  In fact this became the only race I planned to do in August.

When this project was cancelled the sensation was that of a misfire.  I had been so focused and dedicated, and still felt that way.  Except that I was now aiming at a void.  My goal, the target, had been removed.  All my work and planning now had end point.  The rest of my summer was suddenly void of any racing.  I find myself with no goal or target event  and my motivation has taken a serious blow.

I have been scrambling to organize a new calender for the rest of the summer.  Unfortunately all my plans remain abstract.  I could list for you races that I would like to do, but for each one I cannot say if it will actually happen.  So, I remain with out target races.  I don't know if I will be racing and so it has been very difficult to motivate my training and diet.  I feel broken, and it's only because I don't know where I am going.

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

Cuylar Conly 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Now What do I do.

Last Night I arrived home to a heartbreaking e-mail letter.  The tour of Guadeloupe project, has been cancelled.  The reason behind this cancellation is that certain mandatory logistical deadlines could not be met.  Essentially the managers ran out of time to fill two more spots on the roster.

I feel lost.  I have devoted so much focus and energy into this project and now, I don't know where to go with it.  I have been training hard the last two weeks in preparation sometimes fueled only by the goal.  Now without the big goal it is hard to be so dedicated.  I need to find a "plan B" race calander for August, so my fitness does not go unused.

I want to take this time now to thank the individuals and organizations that pledged to fund my travel costs for the Tour of Gudeloupe.  I was amazed and grateful to those that came forward offering to make this project possible.  For offering financial support I would like to thank 1% for the planet, My trade Team Fresh Air Experience/Ottawa Bicycle CLub, The Saskatchewan based Western Cycle Development Team, the Saskatoon Racing Club Cycledelia, and of course The bank of Mom&Dad.  I also want to thank my landlord who offered to cut my rent for the month as well as the mechanics at Fresh Air Experience who assured me that they could all balance out the scheduling for me to go away for 12 days.

Thank you to all my supporters.  I was so amped to do this race, and it wasn`t going to happen without you.  Unfortunately it is not happening now, and this is beyond my control.  I am currently working on some contingency racing plans and I will update later on.

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

Cuylar Conly 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guest post. The Art of Cycling

Today I am bringing you a blog entry written by my very good friend Michael Spehar.  Michael is not a cyclist.  Yet as an outsider he has written a piece that clarifies the complicated simplicity of bike racing.  There is this never-ending analysis of technique, training method, tactics, and physiology.  All of this vocabulary can creat barriers to improvement.   What a cyclist needs to focus on is just one thing...  Turning the pedals.

The Art of Cycling: A Layman’s Perspective
Watching professional cycling is always an entertaining venture, avid fan or casual viewer alike; albeit for vastly different reasons.  To a person indoctrinated and baptized into the world of cycling, the intricate nature of strategy and rhythm is no doubt akin to a general mobilizing his troops.  Planning a dozen moves ahead, taking into account the terrain, the time, the weather, barometric pressure, the capabilities of your enemy, the perpetually shifting face of the engagement.  I imagine to the enthusiast, a 4 hour race would be akin to a slow dance which culminates in a blitzkrieg of muscular and pulmonary prowess. Reading signals and responding in turn with grace and practiced ease, a balance of violence and control.  A world where one might lay in wait for an eternity only to spring forward, when a few seconds can make or break your day.  A world where a strategic move may be made and the fruits of your calculated act will be reaped hours from now.  A world of multi-layered complexity coupled with the peak of mental and physical prowess; the perfect sport.

Or so I would imagine. 

I have glimpsed into the looking glass of cycling while watching the passionate, animated, and frankly zealous reactions of my cycling friends gathered around the television during the Tour De France.  Hearing the big names of Jan Ulrich, Eddy Merckx, and Alberto Contador being tossed around with the same fervor as 16 year old girls gushing over the “hunks and hotties” of the week.  Yes, there is much entertainment to be had in the month of July. 

It should be mentioned that it took all of my willpower not to include Lance Armstrong in that list out of an effort to appear knowledgeable and cultured in the cycling world.  A world that I am admittedly not schooled in.  While my bicycle buddies will utilize only the edge of their seats, eyes unmoving from the television while the two-wheeled battle plays out in front of them, I am there to laugh in utter confusion at their reactions and steal their beer.  Most often the ale is given willingly, since beer has too many calories.  Or so I’ve been told.
To be blunt, they watch the race, and I watch them.  And I would suspect I’m not alone.  For those of us who feel that 20km by bicycle is a marathon and $500 is a lot to spend on human powered locomotion, this world of “drafting” and “crits” and “cadence” is strange and amusing.  It is a culture of funny looking men using funny words, and the funny people watching and whooping. 

 I was watching the Tour last year with my good friend Cuylar Conly.  He mentioned how the team leader often would have a headset or earpiece, with the coach relaying information and strategy.  At this mention of strategy, I was utterly baffled.
“Strategy?” I inquired.  Lowering my/his beer and raising my eyebrows, “How so?”
Cuylar was about to launch into what I am sure would be an explanation of long term cycle strategy that would have no doubt been very informative, detailed, well structured, and looooooong.  I opted instead to state what I believe all this hifey-fifey biking guff really amounted to.  A simplistic view that I feel is the root of all bicycle “strategy.”

The root of all bicycle strategy is peddling, moving your legs in a circle, nothing more than doing the same thing over and over for the appropriate duration.  All of the instructions that one will receive from their coach will ultimately amount to doing the same thing faster at times, maybe a little slower at times.  A cyclist is made to do the same thing up a hill, down a hill, standing up or in an aero tuck.  Doing the same thing behind some other guy who’s doing the same thing you are, but he’s working twice as hard. Ha, brilliant.  In the end if you do the same thing faster and longer than anyone else you get to wear yellow and be on cereal boxes in the UK.

So I’m sure it should become apparent why we laymen find the hype surrounding and saturating televised cycling so humorous and enjoyable.  It’s a lot of people doing the same thing for a long time, and other people wishing they could do the same thing as good as Jacques Anquetil could do that same thing.  Perhaps this strategic breakdown will provide much needed perspective and clarity to any cyclists that over think the sport that they love.

Now I’m off to watch the NFL and squeal like a little girl. Excuse me.


Monday, July 11, 2011


Last week I came across a BIG opportunity.  I have been invited to attend the Tour of Guadeloupe as a member of a Canadian composite Team.  A composite team is one that only exists for a couple of events in the year.  Rather than have a contracted roster and staff, a composite team will "borrow" from other teams in order to attend big events world wide. I have been invited to join the composite Team 1% for the planet.

This is a huge opportunity to attend an international Stage race.  The race is August 5th -14th, and will cover 1197km in ten days of racing.  It is a UCI 1.1 Event and will feature many top professionals from South America, Caribbean and France.  A project of this magnitude guarantees the race fees, accommodation, ground support, meals and staff for the entire composite Team.  The only cost left to the athlete is that of airfare.  Unfortunately this is the biggest obstacle I face to attend this race.

This is how it breaks down.  Th advertised cost of airfare is $1100-$1200,  After tax this will be closer to $1500.  Then there are bike fees to consider.  The bike fees are an area where airlines really take a gouge.  It will cost me $250 each way to transport my bicycle, for a total of $500 just in bike fees.  The Estimated cost to the athlete is just under $2000.  That's a daunting figure for someone who's monthly budget is less than $700.

It is frustrating to think that dollar bills are the ultimate limiter.  Since I received the invite last Wednesday all of my spare time has gone into the penny hunt.  I have balanced and re-balanced the books.  And I am grasping at any and all strings that I can think of.  As it stands I have secured 45% of the associated travel costs.  By my best estimates I need to arrange at least another 25%.  Time is running short, and decisions will have to be made.  For the next week I know exactly what my spare time will be used for.

To compete in a National Tour would be a great honour,
I would love to contest this race.

Cuylar Conly

FOR SALE Time Trial Triathlon Bike

2011 Marinoni Rewind Time Trial & Triathlon Bike
Ideal for Triathlon or other timed solo events.   This bike has been used for two months.  This is your chance to for fall pricing in the middle of summer.  On display at Fresh Air Experience (1291 Wellington).

Handmade Carbon Fiber Frame, Size Small (53cm, fits 5'8"-6'0")
Ultegra deraleures
Dura-ace shift levers
FSA Gossamer TT crankset
Deda Elementi cockpit
Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels

Retails for $4200
Used for $3000

Friday, July 8, 2011


Anyone who reads this blog knows that from time to time I like to toss my thoughts at the world-wide-web.  For better or worse I type whats on my mind and then forget about it.  This little habit that I have developed has given me two pretty cool opportunities in the last few months.

The first gig that I found myself in was doing a little race reporting for pedal magazine.  playing journalist was a truly unique experience and something that I never imagined myself doing.  As it turns out I could not have imagined what it takes to follow arace with a pen and a pad.  I found a new understanding and respect for the reporters that bring the action to the masses.

The second opportunity is actually the first.  I began to pursue this months ago in Tucson, it's just only coming alive now.  In FebruaryI contacted the new Editor of Road Bike Rider.  RBR is an e-book and internet publishing company.  I solicited myself to contribute content with a new perspective.  To make a long story short, we are several months down the road and I share a new rotating column on the weekly newsletter.  My first piece was published yesterday.  You can read it HERE.

I remain insistant that my words are nothing special.  I have come to enjoy scribbling on this blog, and I guess I am reaching for a new level.  There is but one draw down... Now that there is some expectation of me I have become a victim of severe chronic writers block.  That is defined as, a lack of inspiration when prepared to write and a lack of preparation when inspired.  My solution is to emulate the work of 1000 monkeys at 1000 typewriters in the hopes that I too may produce the works of Shakespeare.

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

Cuylar Conly 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where You been

When asked, "What's been going on?" most people might just say "I've been Busy."  It's one of those knee jerk vocal reactions, that really leads a conversation nowhere.  So although I have crossed the country twice in the last week I won't qualify that as busy.  Instead I will just explain where I have been and what I was doing.

First I drove from Ottawa to Hamilton for the Canadian National Championships.  Where I made a 7thplace result in the Under23 Time Trial Championship.  After the National Criterium Championships I was taken straight to the airport where I caught the last flight to Saskatchewan.  It was important to fly immediately after racing so that I would arrive in time for my Sisters Graduation ceremony the next morning.  It is strange to think that only 4 years ago I was graduating.  It is also a little unnerving when you begin to evaluate the progression of your life.

While I was at home I did not ever touch a bicycle.  I packed light, taking only carry on luggage meant that I left all my cycling gear in Ontario.  I think this was a good decision.  The mental break was quite welcome and it gave me a chance to focus on my friends and family who are often neglected while I am training, traveling and racing.  While I was home 90% of my time was spent just hanging out with all the people I have not seen in several months.  I also had the chance to enjoy some summer activities that I have missed over the last couple years including a a game of "golf", and the chance to spend a couple days at the lake.

Of course there are certain chores that I can only accomplish while in Saskatoon.  I arranged to meet with a couple of University professors.  This was tricky because I had such a narrow window in Saskatoon, and allot of them wanted to skip town early on account of the long weekend.  The meeting s where necessary to arrange my academics in the fall.  I will be entering the final year of my undergraduate degree.  I am pursuing a bachelor of Science in Bio-molecular Structure studies and in the fourth year I am required to complete a research project.  Admittedly I am intimidated by the task, but the professors I have met with assure me that I have the aptitude, and I am sure that I can make it look like I know what I am doing ;)  The good news is that I have been accepted into Dr. Palmers Lab as an undergraduate research student.

I really enjoyed my little home visit.  It was a great opportunity to really turn things off.  There is nothing better than close friends and family to really recharge.  Now, back in Ottawa I can turn things back on.  In one week I managed to get a little fat and more than a little slow.  I have my work cut out for me and I am working on the logistics of some very big racing goals.

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

Cuylar Conly

Friday, July 1, 2011


Greatest country in the world.

Cuylar Conly