February 1, 2008 – Greetings! Ahhh. One month down, six and a half months to go! Already coming up on February, it seems we’re really pushing toward spring at a surprising rate. At least it felt that way until we hit -49 C this week in western Canada.
It can be hard to push through the cold, dark days and we know you’re struggling with training motivation right now. Don’t say you’re not – we have some experience with this, remember? With that in mind we’ve prepared a newsletter with some pieces on how to battle through the dead of winter and thaw out on the other side with some good base training under your cleats.
We think you’ll enjoy reading about the training ups and downs (and dos and don’ts) of a first-time TR team that is particularly close to us – literally. Ryan Probert, the Team Leader for our sponsor The Bike Shop’s 2008 entry, works across the hall. Although his heart is in the right place, his stomach has been getting in the way of training lately. He and partner John Bayko are keeping a blog of their lead-up to TransRockies VII, and we will be excerpting from it regularly in this newsletter.
In This Issue:
– Get on the Wait List and look forward to this
– The Bike Shop Blog, Entry #1 – Racers Vs. Riders
– The Bike Shop Blog, Entry #1.2 – The Influence of Evel Knievel
– Training 101 with Melissa Spooner
– The Unofficial Training Stew of TR VII
– CONTEST – Name That Newsletter
The Bike Shop Blog, Entry #1 – Racers Vs. Riders
“The way we justify it is, we’d be playing crib, watching football, eating meatloaf and drinking beer anyway. Better to do it with some exercise than without.” – Ryan Probert
My New Years resolution: make it to the finish of all seven stages of TransRockies 2008. Sounds simple right? Well, I am not so sure about that. This will be the first attempt at anything like this for me, and I want to enjoy it. I want to share my experience of training up to the event, understanding that we are not “racing” it we are “riding” it. I want to be in good enough shape that I ride every inch of it and enjoy a significant portion of it. I know there will be pain and suffering of the cruel and unusual sort, but that just makes for a better story when I’m bragging to my friends and family after it’s over.
My name is Ryan Probert, an employee of The Bike Shop, a recreational enthusiast cyclist, a skier, a golfer, a born again hockey player, and a few other things I’d rather not mention but you may figure out as this blog unfolds. It’s taken me a few years of being around TR, the crew, the wrenches, and mainly the participants to allow myself to be swindled into riding it. My smooth talking partner, John Bayko, will be writing this training blog with me, and hopefully we’ll get some participation from the readers – that includes you. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Working in my favour:
1. Dec ’07 to early Jan ’08 – 575 kms on the indoor trainer
2. Playing hockey every day for the last week (just got new gear!)
3. Smattering of squash games with John (I think he’s ahead in the season series)
Working against me:
1. The bloody holiday season – so much food and booze, not enough sleep or training
2. Sucked out of at least two training sessions to go for wings and beer instead
3. Five days in Vegas – ouch!
I should clarify that most of our training sessions are followed by some embellished storytelling at a watering hole of convenience. Just yesterday in fact, we put in a pretty full day of skiing (me) and snowboarding (John), including a couple of hikes to find fresh turns, and a very exciting 200-300-foot slide on the back of my head and shoulders. A fairly rigorous day in the freezing cold at Lake Louise. This was followed immediately by a couple of games of crib while watching the Patriots and Giants sealing their Super Bowl deals, eating meatloaf and downing a few beers. The way we justify it is, we’d be playing crib, watching football, eating meatloaf and drinking beer anyway. Better to do it with some exercise than without.
Tonight is a spin night, giving my haggard feet a rest after their first day of the season in ski boots, and breaking in my new hockey skates. I have to keep mixing up my sports to stay interested in being active everyday; there’s only so much indoor spinning I can take. But, back at the beginning of December I set myself a goal of 2,000 km by Easter. Well, Easter is early this year and I’ve got a vacation with my wife for 10 days in February, so I better get some serious saddle time in before you get my next report.
I hope that you are enjoying getting yourselves ready for the big day, but I also hope that I am not the only one who can’t resist a tasty snack along with a cold bevy at the end of a day of work and training. I’m sure someone somewhere is putting together a blog or diary for “racers” training to win this thing. You’ve just read that this is not that blog. So to all my fellow “riders”, let me know you’re in it with me! Send me your favourite training tales, favorite snacks, your highs and lows, goals and aspirations. Our blog will be posted on the TransRockies website soon, so keep checking – when it’s up and running we’ll be looking forward to connecting with the other 598 participants!
The Bike Shop Blog, Entry #1.2 – The Influence of Evel Knievel
There was a picture of the Grand Canyon hanging in the bar, and “the drunker I got, the littler that Grand Canyon looked on the wall,” he would explain later. After countless Montana Mules – draft beers with tomato juice – Evel Knievel decided that one day he’d try to jump a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon.
Evel Knievel never said he thought the Snake River Canyon jump was a bad idea – presumably because he didn’t think it was. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with a Daredevil’s peace of mind.
My name is John Bayko, and truthfully, I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into. Having said that, I’d like to think that I’m a man of my word, and I look forward to heading into battle against what I’m sure will prove to be over 700 miles of screaming bloody murder. By day, a mild mannered communications officer, by night, in the next several months, I hope to turn myself into someone at least three quarters capable of riding a bike 10 hours a day for seven straight days.
As my riding partner and long time great friend, Ryan Probert, has stated: we are not trying to win this sucker. We’re in it for the challenge and its many beneficial byproducts, such as getting in shape, having some fun, and meeting some great people, and hopefully this little blog will kick the latter in to gear. Ryan and I have been in many adventures over the years, and for me, the best thing about all of them is our enduring friendship, and the many characters we’ve met along the way. So as Ryan has said, we’d like to hear from our fellow riders!! Let’s get in touch and together maybe we can figure out how to launch a rocket bike over Snake River Canyon and land without breaking every bone in our bodies!! “God take care of me – here I come.” Evel Knievel
Training 101 with Melissa Spooner
With snow covering the ground in most parts of the northern hemisphere it can be tough to feel like your racing nutrition plays a large role in your everyday life. But now is the time to concentrate on establishing good daily habits because the racing season isn’t too far off and, before we know it, high-intensity efforts, long rides and fun times with friends and competitors will be upon us.
I love the winter months as they truly allow for taking advantage of cross-training. Try something new like snowshoeing, skate or classic styles of cross-country skiing and cyclo-cross. The winter months are a great time to establish the base. The longer, slower distance allows us to train our body to utilize fat for fuel and spare the carbohydrates for those long grinds where we know we are going to go anaerobic – YIKES!
So if you are going for a three-hour base ride on a cold day – bundle up! Don’t fight the fact that you feel like the Michelin Man on a tricycle; know that these slower base rides are going to set you up for a great riding season, especially during the TransRockies. Ensure that you stay hydrated. Even if it’s downright cold out there you’ll still want to replenish those lost electrolytes. Aim for one bottle of hydration per hour and 100-250 calories after the first hour of your ride.
Melissa Spooner, three-time Ironman winner, Nutritionist and Fitness Consultant, is working with TransRockies to develop a race-ready, nutritious menu for TR VII and will be writing a monthly column
The Unofficial Training Stew of TR VII
The greatest part of winter base training? Coming back to a house filled with the smells of homemade stew! Nothing beats the feeling of a hot shower after enduring sub-freezing temperatures – add to that a steaming crock-pot of fresh stew awaiting your arrival and you’ll discover it’s not so bad to train in winter. Pile in a bunch of tasty goodness before you head out the door. So get out there and move. Eat to enjoy and eat to ride!
– Â½ cup Unbleached flour
– 1 tsp Salt, Â½ tsp black pepper, 1tbsp olive oil
– 3 lbs. Free-range, natural chicken cut into bite sized pieces
– 4 large Carrots, sliced into 1-inch slices, or 2 cups peeled, organic baby carrots
– 4 stalks Organic celery cut into Â½-inch pieces
– 1 Onion, thinly sliced
– 2-3 Sprigs fresh rosemary
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– 2 cups Organic chicken or vegetable stock
– 1 cup Organic frozen peas, 4 cloves Garlic coarsely chopped
1. In bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Toss chicken pieces into mixture and coat. Transfer to a plate. In large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat, add chicken pieces and cook for 8-10 minutes or until brown on all sides. Set aside.
2. Add carrots, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and rosemary to crock-pot. Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Pour in chicken stock and cover. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours (see guidelines for your crock-pot). Add frozen peas with 20-30 mins left until serving time.
3. Feel free to use this as a base and add your favorite vegetables – such as mushrooms, yams, green beans, peppers, etc., or use turkey or lamb. And mix up the spices – add ginger, chili peppers, etc.
CONTEST – Name That Newsletter
Every biker knows the importance of a well-padded butt on long rides (see photo above), so why not try your wit at winning a pair of official 2007 TransRockies bike shorts?
Since January is (unofficially) “Make Work Month” at TransRockies, we have decided to kill two chores with one contest – ie. You help us rename this newsletter (boring, cliche and predictable titles need not apply) and we will clean out our storage room and give you a pair of brand-spanking new Sugoi shorts. The award-winning Sugoi RS Flex Short is easily the best cycling short on the market, bar none.
So – send us your newsletter name suggestions. The “TransRockies Something-Here” format is not mandatory, so let your imaginations run wild, but keep in mind it still has to be printable.
Send your suggestions to email@example.com no later than February 25th. We will award the best and publicly ridicule the worst in this newsletter in one month. Oh, and we also reserve the right to reject all submissions if they stink.
Don’t hesitate to wait. Get your name on the TR VII wait list today!
With the 300 team spots for the 2008 TransRockies now sold out, the waiting list is now open for riders who are still looking to get their hands on a coveted team spot.
Priority numbers will be handed out on a first-come first-served basis, and if 2007 is anything to go by, a number of team spots will come available in the next few months as riders and teams find themselves unable to complete the necessary training and preparation.
“Given the intense nature of the event, we have found over the years that we have a number of teams drop out in the run up to the event as training injuries, sickness or changes at work or home force them to rethink their plans,” says Event Director Aaron McConnell. “As a consequence, we were able to offer team spots to a number of teams on our wait list last year.”
Teams and riders who were not able to secure a race entry before sellout, or who are just now making the decision to add TransRockies VII to their 2008 plans may add their names to the official wait list by registering as usual at www.regonline.com/transrockies2008. You will be automatically added to the wait list and registered and notified when a spot opens up. You will then have 2 weeks to secure your spot with a deposit.