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VLOG: Migrating from Trainer to Road

This spring in Toronto has been, well, a lot like winter. It's April, and it's still in the single digits in the morning. And, as Sat happened to show, it sometimes doesn't get warm in the afternoon. I had planned to do the Donut Ride on Sat. April, 5 as training for the Calibogie race the following weekend, but I awoke to see snow on the ground. Not something I expected. This VLOG post goes through some of the thought processes I experienced that morning.


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VLOG: Training Day

Last year, I had a rough start to the season because while I had a lot of intensity, I didn't get my endurance work. Track races are extremely hard, but also very short. Typically, 12 mins or less. So, this year I look hard at my schedule. I was not willing to give up strength training, because that has effects well beyond that of the bike. So, I just added cycling training to the same days I do strength training. I had to say, I am much better for it. Last year, I would be dragging myself from FITS...and this year, so far, I'm full of energy.

Two weeks ago, I took the bike cam and brought it around with me on my day. I took some video of the ride outside in the cold (-10C), at the Real Deal Performance studio, and at the FITS Toronto center. Check out the video below.

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Motivation is...

Motivation is...

Suiting up after work after watching the temperature drop all afternoon from -6C to -10C with windchills below -14C.

Treking down to the University of Toronto by bike to be tested on a 5 min critical power test, a test designed to leave you completely wiped.

Suiting back up again and heading out, in the dark, into the night, by bike into the cold for the ride home.

Realizing that it's gotting colder as I ride.

Facing a 20-30km wind that is in my face the entire ride.

Riding my fixed gear bike and suffering with a cadence that never makes it over 80RPM because of the wind and a speed that never makes it to 28km/h.

Realizing as you cross the Bloor Viaduct, that there is still 30-40 mins to ride.

Riding up Leslie St. in full out TT mode and struggling to get up the hills that normally are easy.

Hitting Leslie and Sheppard and realizing that you are about to bonk as you stare at the last remaining "hill" on the ride.

Yet, still, somehow, out of nowhere managing to find the energy to get out of the saddle and give every last remaining bit left to sprint up the "climb" because, dammit, the only thing you wanted more than the pain in the legs is to get inside, in the warm house, and dammit OUT OF THE COLD.

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Read more: Motivation is...


We will stay in rented houses in Limoux and Bouriege. The house in Limoux can sleep seven in individual rooms and the house in Bouriege can sleep five individuals (or three couples). The accomodations have private rooms, but you will share the common areas such as the livingroom, kitchen, and bathrooms.

The first house is 21 rue des Oules, Limoux and is designed with cyclists in mind. It has 7 rooms each with a Ikea style single bed, desk, lamp. One room has an Ikea style double bed which will go to the first person booking into this house. There are two bathooms which we share. It has a full kitchen with two fridges.  Bikes hang in the kitchen on the wall. If you like the idea is being at the town square in the afternoons, you will want to stay here. The town square is just outside its door. This house is best suited for those that like to be out in the town square soaking up the atmosphere.

The house in Bouriege isn't specifically for cyclists, but it has lots of common space, a heated pool, a huge commercial style kitchen, a BBQ's, patio above the pool, and patio across the street. So, there is space to work on your tan after a ride or just spend some alone time. Each of the rooms has a large double bed. There are two large bathrooms. If you have been to Limoux before, I suggest staying here. The beds are bigger and there is more space. However, while there is a cafe in town, (literally beside the house), it's 12km outside of Limoux. So, you will a ride to/from town in the tour's van or you can hop on your bike into town. This house is best suited to those who need a little down time after a ride or prefer better accomodation.

Those staying in Limoux will be able to use the pool at the house in Bouriege.
All houses have a large livingrooms with TV and free WIFI. The house in Bouriege has several common areas. The tour is always available to watch in the afternoon on TV or a local cafe/pub in Limoux. Everything in Limoux is in walking distance. There is a Walmart style store a 30min walk/10min ride/short drive on the edge of Limoux. Food is either bought locally and made in the kitchen, or a short walk to places in the town square for things like fine french food to American style fries. If you want to hang out in a place where no one speaks French, the local Irish Pub has Guinness on tap.
In Bouriege, there is a small cafe that can make small meals, coffee, etc.. However, anything else requires a trip to Limoux.
Can I bring my spouse/significant other? If you would bring them on your usual club ride, and they keep up with you, then please do bring them. You must stay in the Bouriege house because this house can accomodate couples and the house in Limoux only has single beds. 
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Training the Mental Cliff

Rather than spend time typing a blog, I decided to vlog. While this is somewhat of an experiment, the one take grabbed most of what I wanted to say.

The one thing I learned on Monday was one needs to train using efforts of unknown durations in order to test the "mental cliff" - that point in an all out effort where you just want to quit, but have to keep going. I think we spend too much time working out to a clock or racing to the lap counter and need to train more with all out efforts with unknown distance.

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