Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I spent the first 1.5 years of my life with a displaced hip.  It wasn't until I started learning to walk that my parents realized something was wrong.  Stubborn, I walked anyways.  Without a voice yet, it was easy for them to pull me to the doctors office without protest.  Turns out it was something that should have been caught at birth.  6 months in a cast and 2 surgeries later, one without anesthetic as I was too young to undergo the drugs again, my hip was back in place.

There's something about those years that has shaped the way I deal with pain.  I suffered for a year with a parasite, most of my life with a fairly severe gluten allergy, finished the Squeezer with a torn calf, Day 5 and 7 of TransRockies with Campylobacter and on Saturday rode Radical and on Monday half the Brewery to Brewery with a well sprained hand.

It's a combination of being stubborn, a reasonably high pain threshold and not wanting to miss out on something potentially fun.  I finally let my mom drag me to the hospital after Thanksgiving Dinner was successfully served.  We left before desert in the hopes of beating the post-Thanksgiving Dinner rush.  Successful, we were in and out of RVH within 1.5 hours.  Not broken, therefore I would ride the next day despite my mom's protests.

I didn't really notice the pain until we arrived in Creemore.  After a chat with Jeremy, I decided to give in and call my mom to pick me up.  At least I'd gotten to enjoy the most beautiful weather for our annual ride to date.  It also elicited the biggest turnout for my favorite ride of the season.

I don't regret my decision to ride one bit, even though my puffy hand begs to differ.  Perhaps one of these days, I'll be willing to miss out and listen to my body.  But that day was not yesterday.

amazing turnout and beautiful weather for the 8th annual Thanksgiving Brewery to Brewery ride

Monday, October 3, 2011

my Knight in Shining Spandex

It just seemed too cold to warm up.  With promises of a neutral start, I mostly skipped the warmup in favour of more time in my down jacket and toque.  I did a little spin with Spak and Jeremy with a couple of sprints thrown in to try to wake up the legs, okay, one of those sprints was to get away from some pretty scary looking sea gulls.

Then, the neutral start for Tour de King was off... I fully blame myself for not knowing that it was only 400m of neutral start, before the race started on a sharp right hander onto a steep grassy hill that felt like being woken up by a bucket full of cold water.  The next thing I know, I was busting out my well honed track standing skills waiting to get into the single track and then rode an easy pace behind what seemed like hundreds of cross bikes.  Got to the road and watched the cross bikes speed away.  I put my head down and kept going.

Got to the King Trails and cherished my solo time.  Finally, a chance to reap the benefits of being on a mountain bike.  Caught back up to the folks on cross bikes near the end of the trail.  Knowing that was the last bit of single track, I tried to pick off a few of them before I got to the road in the hopes of ending on the road section amidst some sort of pack.  Came through to the parking lot to see Jeremy who had pulled from his race due to some sort of fiasco with his contact lenses.

He was waiting for me to finish the race with.  I was so happy to see him, I think I even promised that he doesn't have to cook dinner this Wednesday.  I think I was also delirious at that point.  Oh well, a promise is a promise (ahem, Watson).  Good to have someone to draft off for the rest of the race and some motivation to keep the effort up - I convinced myself that he would leave me behind if he got cold from not having to work hard enough.

Crossed the line and put on every bit of clothing I had.  Then, enjoyed a great afternoon catching up with friends and a great barbeque after another amazing Chico event.
photo courtesy Jacqueline Shaver