Friday, April 29, 2011

Canucks Move on to the Second Round

Yes folks, we did it.  We finally defeat the mortal enemy..  the demons..  the ones that have been the biggest thorn in Canucks playoff history..  the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks.  After being knocked out of the playoffs for 2 straight years by this Hawks team, beating them in Game 7 in overtime seemed to have lifted the biggest weight off our city's shoulders.  It wasn't easy, in fact it was damned near impossible.  The demons that have lingered kept coming back, the Hawks kept coming back.  With the Canucks leading the series 3 game to 0, it was a sure bet that the Hawks could never mount a comeback to take the series to 7 games.  I was wrong. We were all wrong.  The Hawks beat us handily in 3 straight games to force a game 7 and it seemed all hope was lost.  They not only took us to 7 games, but they also tied up the game with 2 minutes left to take us right into sudden death overtime. Oh what was it gonna take to get rid of these guys!??  The answer was Burrows.  He was all over the ice during this game.  He could have been the hero or he could have been the goat.  But in the end, an amazing puck block by Burrows' hand off a clearing attempt brought him into a breakaway towards the Hawks' tender.  One slapshot was all it took and the whole city erupted.  Canucks win.  ...finally.   "It's a wonderful day for an exorcism" called out by Jim Hughson, and that's exactly how I felt.  The demons have been exorcised.  Now we can move on.  This was the most exciting, the biggest rollercoaster ride I've ever been on.  This series will forever be remembered.  AND it's only round 1!!
Riding my bike proudly waving my Canucks flag through Central Park

Now can you imagine if we win the cup this year?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finally Surpassed the 70km Mark!

On a single day bike ride, 70kms has been eluding me.  My longest day rides to date seem to have been stuck at  multiple 67kms and 65km rides.  I can only blame winter time as I've only started logging distance of my rides late last November.  On Saturday, the 23rd of April, Easter Weekend, 70 kilometers was broken.  The weather is getting better and the days are getting longer.  I can only wait for the days when I will be doing Century Rides (100 kilometers or 100 miles).
70 kilometers certainly was not the goal for the day as I am still nursing an injured ankle and it was the first time getting back on the clipless pedals and no ankle brace since my injury.  An easy day was planned.  But through the course of the ride, I felt no pain or discomfort while pedaling, it would only hurt slightly when I had to clip on and off the pedals.  I felt nothing while pedaling, in fact, it hurt more walking than pedaling, so I knew I could go all day.  Unfortunately, by night's end, my ankle started swelling up again.  I had to ice it once again to keep the swelling down.  I think I overdid it, but it was worth it.

The ride was awesome.  Starting from the beautiful Fort Langley where the area seem to have been isolated from the mass eruption of large buildings, big highways and over population.  Following alongside the Fraser River where we found some of the best paved roads where hardly any cars were driving through.  Onto the Golden Ears Bridge in which seems to be becoming a regular destination of my rides.  Port Coquitlam is where we would decide it was time to go back.  The ride included bike trails such as the Fort to Fort trail, and also the Trans Canada Trail.
 Fraser River
 Mini Lunch Break
Golden Ears Bridge

Ahh, perfect spot to eat our well-deserved burgers from Wendy's.

Our new friend Sir James Douglas gets a warm greeting from Matt.
THE Fort at Fort Langley.  This thing was huge.  To find out more about this historic site, please visit here

I started off tracking the ride with my GPS using my iPhone as I wanted to post up our total bike route here.  Unfortunately, my battery didn't last as I was also using the iPhone to take pictures and videos.  I'll be sure to bring a spare portable battery charger on my next long rides.  But no fret, I have plenty of video footages to show.  Come join us on our ride!
..just fooling around with this video editing stuff... no Grammy awards expected here.

Depending on who's bike computer you look at, we either did 72.8Kms or 70.16Kms.  I wanted to make sure that I hit that 70Kms mark on my computer as that is the one I trust.  We had to ride around town just so that we could hit that mark.  Let's just say we did 71.5Kms to average out the discrepancy between computers.

I feel great.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back On The Saddle!

After 3 long tormenting weeks of being off my bike due to a badly sprained ankle, I was finally able to ride again yesterday.  A beautiful Sunday day was perfect.  A not-quite healed ankle would not keep me away.  With my brace fully supporting my ankle from twisting, I was able to fit it into my shoe and ride away.  I had to replace the clipless pedals with regular platform ones as riding clipless with a bad ankle would have been a bad idea.
The ride was a simple ride, probably no more than 20kms, but it was just right.  I've been feeling cooped up and depressed the past 3 weeks and I couldn't believe how much a simple little bike ride got my spirits up immediately.  I've said it before and I'll say it again,  biking is one of the best forms of medicine out there.  If you are depressed, stressed, edgy, road raged, out of shape, tubby.,  go for a bike ride.  See how it works for you.  I'm willing to bet it can only make you feel better.

This bike ride was also the first time I was able to test out my singlespeed bike that I've been building up through the winter.  It is my old Kuwahara ATB from the 80's.  My very first mountain bike as a kid.  I will write up more about it on a later blog.  I must say it rode beautifully.  And I now have so much more respect for the singlespeed / fixed gear aficionados out there.  Riding up hills is extremely challenging as witnessed by this video I've posted up.  No need to laugh at the part when I was climbing a steep hill,  I've already done the laughing for you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Greatest Cycling Movie Ever?

Last night, out of sheer boredom, I had the 'opportunity' to watch the old movie classic Pee-wee's Big Adventure.  Funny thing was I had never really took notice of this movie when I watched it as a young boy for the first time many years ago.  I've even forgotten what the movie was about.  I may have even fallen asleep while watching it as I don't really recall the plot.  It certainly did not stick to my memory like more popular movies of that generation such as The Goonies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or Back to the Future and the likes.  However, as I watch this movie from beginning to end this time around, it has captured me and had my full interest.  It seemed as if I was watching it for the very first time.  I was engulfed however lame some parts of it were.  Based around the theft of Pee-wee's beloved bicycle and his 'big adventure' endured in the quest of getting it back.  It was hilarious, it was corny, it was stupid, it was brilliant, it was traumatic, it was fun etc. etc. etc.  What more could one ask for?  I guess what drew me in to accept, respect, love this movie is that I am a Born-Again Cyclist.  For anyone out there who loves bikes, this is certainly one movie to check out... again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Bikes - '02 Ko na Stin ky Dee - lux

I may have had a bicycle in one form or another my entire life, but this bike is the one that re-started it all.  This is my first bike that I have purchased in my adult life.  My first research on a bicycle, my first bike that I have spent over $500 dollars on and the bike that got me back into cycling.  I owe a lot to this bike and this is why it has it's own space on my blog.

Purchased used in the month of July 2010, it was a very impulse buy.  Thoughts of doing 8 foot hucks, huge jumps and frequenting the Whistler bike park went through my head and it made sense on getting a full suspension all-mountain/freeride bike.  Seeing a $3300 original receipt of purchase and was being sold at $600, my vision was blinded and I really had to have the bike.  It was a great deal,  I was happy.  For 4 months I rode this bike everywhere.  Put on nearly 1000 road kilometers on it.  Used it twice for downhill and more than a few times doing XC rides.  Unfortunately, as I rode more and more and my biking habits are being defined, I have come to realize that this bike is the wrong bike for me.  I've come to a realization that this bike will never be used for what it was designed for.  I will never be able to do 8ft hucks, not good enough to do huge jumps, never gonna do downhill at 30km/h.  It was too heavy and too big for me and it sucks doing road rides on it.  What I needed was an XC (cross country) mountain bike in its place.  I went through the whole process of defining myself as a rider, and XC rides and road rides are what I enjoy most.

Now this is what's left of the bike, a bare shell of a frame.
But not to worry, in its place a great new XC bike is created using the Kona's components as its base.

As I retire this bike, it will forever be remembered as the bike that got me back into cycling.  This is where it all started once again.