December 21st, 2016:
Well this Blog will begin to be brought back to life. Next year I’ll be heading to Yukon, with a few others to compete in the 24hrs of Light in Whitehorse. I’ll be racing this one as a solo rider again, so the things I learned from 2 years ago, I’ll be sure to bring those into place.
Mainly the training leading up to the race itself, as well as food preparation. The hard part for this will be, the food prep will need to be done up in Yukon for the most part.
I’ve begun to reach out to local and Canadian businesses to support the cause.
Currently Select Weld Inc based out of Guelph has jumped on board.
If you need any custom machining, or welding of Aluminum, stainless steel or Carbon steel give them a call, and let them know Tyler sent you.
As for the training, there will be countless hours spent on the trainer, making sure that the legs do not lose anything over the winter. These trainer sessions are currently ranging from 1hr – 1.5hr and they will be getting longer for sure. Yes sitting on the training is a tad boring, you actually do start to get use to it.
Anyways, check back here somewhat regularly for updates, information etc.
Well another 24hr summer solstice is in the books. The weather was perfect for the teams that competed in it.
Tyler did Solo (Plate number 32)
Over the course of the first several hours, the body was feeling pretty good, pretty strong, until about the 4hour mark. During the heat the fluid intake just wasn’t enough and the legs started to cramp, on the inner thigh area. So over the course of the next 3-4 hours it was a battle to intake more liquids and stop the cramping. When the sun started to set, the legs stopped cramping and it was good to go again.
During the night there were a few volunteers around to do a lap with me just as someone to talk to and act as a buffer for the riders coming up behind. By this point the lap times had dropped to 1.5hrs, so the speed was down for sure. The first stint was done with Johnny, we did our 2 laps in the dead of the night. Next out was Taylor, again for a 2 lap stint. We did ours from around 2am to 6am. It was great to start to see the sun come up, which was perfect timing as the lights died just as there was enough light to see again.
The final lap with some folks was in the morning with Karen and Johnny. We had a great lap, and it left me with 1 to go. It was such a nice feeling to get to the point where you knew all you had left was 18km.
During the night the plan was to do the lap and then have a 15-30min break, to refresh take a seat and just chill.
The last lap the plan was to do it, and stop at the big groups site before finishing it. When I arrived, I was greated with a beer and sat down for about 30min. I got back on the bike and finished the lap, crossing the line at 11:30ish.
I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of gaps through the race where I don’t remember anything, and exhaustion was definitely in full force. But to have fresh faces at the camp site almost every lap made life that much easier. There were other solo riders who had nothing, no support, noone filling bottles etc, and they looked miserable. So to everyone who showed up through the day, thank you very very much. I apologize if I didn’t say anything, or seemed out of it…. I was really out of it at times for sure.
At the end of the day, in Open men, I finished 6th, out of 20 riders, which was well above my goal of mid pack. The other goal was 200km. The final tally was 244km. At this point, when people ask, will you do it again, I say no, but ask me in another week, and the answer may change. Maybe try and better the time, or better the amount of laps… who knows.
Photos from APEX photography: (the number plates from above, type them into the Keyword search to pull up the team’s photos)
A couple of the GPS Segments from the race.
Well we are at the less than 2 weeks to go mark for the 24 hour, and surprisingly I’m feeling really good now. I did some changes to the bike over the last couple of weeks making it more comfortable over the longer distance rides and it seems to help. I swapped the seat to something that is a little more comfortable, as well changes the pedals to the Shimano ones I had, and allowing me to use my more comfortable riding shoes. Thes saddle change made the biggest difference, as I have not experienced any of the saddle sores since. The past 3 days have been great for riding, where Sunday Mark and I rode the course and dissected certain areas where I need to improve on and not use energy. These spots are typically the rooty uphill sections where you will expel a lot of energy trying to overcome them. As well focusing on drinking sections, there are a few spots over the course where you can sit up, relax and drink. I have to ensure that I keep that in my mind and drink. The other thing we worked on was decreasing the heart rate, which was done by slowing down even more. The last few rides, my course iteration was 19km, so 2km longer than the race, and I was running a comfortable 1hr 15 – 1hr 20 min laps. The goal will be to stay within these times and stay consistent. The original plan has been adapted a little, as I was planning the first 2 laps to go out and have fun, and not worry about the time, which would mean faster laps, but I think that will change to be smooth in the single track, and keep it consistent. Below are the Garmin maps etc of the last few rides. From here on out the rides will be shorter, and more meant to maintain, not strengthen.
Another week in the books, and thus another week closer to the 24hr. This weekends weather was interesting and good training if the weather for the 24hr is crap. Saturday thunderstorms started rolling in, so unfortunately had to cut the ride short, then Sunday the weather was miserable. A high of 9C, and rain, but all in all was good to push through it. I did notice in that condition the mind did start to wander a bit, and I became a little sloppy in the riding style. I’ll have to focus more if those conditions do exist. Also, a positive, the average heart rate has dropped into the 140’s now which was the planned goal. As well the average speed has slowly dropped to the plan. On Friday night had Mark over to discuss strategy for the race, and we seem to have everything sorted out now. The plan is laid out, there will be some tweaking to do, with regards to nutrition, and rest, but all in all I think it is a solid plan. Now the goal is to stick with the plan!
A few links for the recent rides.
This past weekend was a great time to get a few training rides in. The weather was ideal to hit the trails at Albion Hills and get to know the trails, and get the legs use to a long ride. I forgot how much fun Albion Hills is to ride, and how fast it can be. But at the same token, I have to remind myself not to push so hard, and get caught up in the fast down hills and sprint up hills. The first ride on Saturday, below is the Garmin snapshot of the ride.
This ride consisted of doing a lot of loops and riding back on myself just to keep the legs moving. Out in the forest for 4+ hours was a lot of fun. At Albion I follow the Gold arrow trail, which is mostly singletrack, it is a great cardio ride for sure.
Then back to the forest a little more then 12 hours later on Sunday to do another ride of over 50km. This time was a little longer at about 5 hours in the forest.
This ride I met up with Sarah who gave me a look at the course based off of the map that is shown on Chico’s site. All in all the course is good, some climbs but nothing that granny gear wont go up!
All in all the weekend training was more than worth it!
The countdown is on, a month until the 24hr. Now it is crunch time. since the 12th, I have been able to get out for some really nice long rides, keeping a constant pace, and focusing on both recovery after hill climbs as well as decreasing the heart rate average. Thanks again to Craig for giving me his old heart rate monitor, because I dont know where I would be if I didn’t have it to track what I am doing over the ride. This past weekend was my rest weekend, as I had to give the legs a bit of a break. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike and doing some 5+ hour rides coming up. All in all with 1 month to go, I’m becoming more confident all the time. The next step I’m focusing on is the mental step, and preparing myself for the ride between midnight and 6am. This is going to be the toughest for sure I think, and making sure that I can keep my whits about myself.
Yet another week has passed, and it was a pretty productive one at that. Aside from a bunch of rides, there was also the Spring 8hr, which I competed on a 4 person team, with Johnny, Derek and Bernie. To be honest, I’m happy I did not do this one solo, as the trail was pretty tough, but it was a lot of fun. It was a great test for the new infinite mix that I bought, which worked out fantastic, 1 lap had a slight twinge in my right thigh, but other than that worked great. Another step towards the 24hr, the racing jersey came in. They turned out great, and anyone who didn’t get a jersey will have the option to get on for sure.
This weekend coming up will by my rest weekend, and probably last one prior to the actual 24hr race.
May the Forth be with you, I have heard that on the radio so much today already… Has really nothing to do with the update on the 24hr training, but now that is in your head, my work here is done…. Anyways, this weekend due to some other projects over the weekend, consisted of 2 x 7am rides. To be completely honest, they were a lot of fun. It was so nice to finish at 10am, and still have the entire day to do chores etc. Both rides were set up to be a constant push, little to no stopping for 3 hours. These rides had no road sections only singletrack which keeps you motivated for sure, and you have to stay on your toes, over logs and roots. Both rides were great and my legs did not fight me at all for the second ride. We did have one point where we took a 5+ min break and when we started back up, that first few minutes were killer, but after that, spinning the legs out they felt great again. All in all, doing the 2 rides back to back, did not hurt near as much as I expected. Riding at a slower pace, roughly 14kph it is a lot more comfortable and everything seems to calm down, such as heart rate, and acid build up in the legs.
Cool thing, I found out how to embed rides into the website!
Another week has passed and the ride lengths have increased as well as the ride time. My plan of slowing my pace down slightly has actually worked out really well. On Sunday I did my normal ride, starting from home in Rosemont, and biking to Dufferin forest. From there I did a ride before the group ride. All in all the day consisted of just shy of 50km, in 3hours and change. Legs became a little tired during the group ride as it became more stop and starts and not the constant spinning. Then the following Monday, did another ride, 20km with Chris, at a little faster pace, but with only 2 stops throughout the ride. Surprisingly the legs felt great, little tired climbing but all in all really good. I was using the Infinite that I have, going to finish it off, and with help from Derek, a new formula has been made to help out with rehydration, and with electrolytes during the race. Thanks again Derek!
The below link connect to the GPS of the ride. (hopefully)
Last weekend was a great push with 2 long rides in a row, and honestly the legs and everything felt great. Little tired at the end of the second ride, but all in all happy with the progress. I have also acquired from Mr. Ralph his Cyclocross bike. This is allowing me to head out and do a gravel road ride, in the mornings when weather is co-operating. Its hard to get use to for sure, but once you start it isn’t too bad, still rather be in the forest riding on singletrack, but this is a great alternative when I only have a few hours in the morning to sneak away. Another thing I have started to adjust is recovery after the ride, currently using the Infinite nutrition I have left. From discussion with Derek at Bike Right, I’ll be adjusting the formula for the 24hr. Also will be using HoneyMaxx as the recover, and then the Infinite as a during ride drink. This hopefully will be the best for what I need. On Sunday I did a 3 hour singletrack ride, and burned just shy of 2000 calories, so that will be something to start to watch for during ride replenishment. Again another great few rides to hopefully help decrease the pain at the 24hr.
So far this week has been pretty good with rides. Now that Dufferin forest has all but dried up, I’m able to extend rides out in the forest, and just have some fun. Currently the tough part that I’m finding is slowing myself down to keep a more consistent cadence and try not to spike my heart rate as much. Right now I have been hitting spikes of 190 bpm on rides. The average is coming down, from a 168 bpm to 160. Short steps are helping, as the recovery time after a push has decreased big time. Still more work to do in this aspect. All in all though, 2 hard rides back to back, and my legs are still under me. See what the next few days of riding will do!
Like last week, the ride lengths have increased in duration as well as the distance, which I need to do to stay on track with my goal. This past weekend was the Homage to Ice. Hindsight I should have competed in the 60km race, but with the XC Marathon Series, I want to place high in the overall Open Men in the Half Marathon series. With Chris and I riding the race together our pace was pretty high, definitely higher than I plan for the 24hr that is for sure.
Over the race, I found I did not drink enough, and at the end with my left calf starting to cramp, I again realize how important it is to drink water as well as the electrolyte concoction I have. Overall, I felt really good over the race, as well as afterwards. This is one key point I find has increased, which is the quick recovery time. Riding the fat bike over the winter has helped in that aspect for sure. With the snow all but gone, the training regime will increase big time, with extra rides going to happen. Some will be group for sure, but others will be head down and ride. All in all, currently feeling pretty good for the 24hr, and good about the current progress.
Since last week I’ve done a few rides, the normal Wednesday night ride, and then a couple longer ones. The first of which was the same as last week, where I started from my house in Rosemont, and rode to Dufferin Forest, then proceeded to do a ride there. This one turned out to be a 30km ride, in a little under 2.5 hours. I find the road riding to the ride is helping for sure with a constant pedal and cadence. Yeah I know I used the word cadence, but after getting the Garmin GPS thing, I’ve noticed a lot of trends while riding such as heart rate, and cadence. At the moment I’m still playing around with the cadence, mainly I do not want to burn my legs out but I will learn for sure.
Sunday morning I woke up early and decided to head out for a road ride. Yes I know, I’m on fire with these terms, cadence, road ride…. For someone who never use to use these words, they are becoming part of my vocabulary. I am presently using my Salsa Mukluk Fat bike to ride on the road, mainly because my race bike needs the rear shock rebuilt, and I do not want to ride the Heckler on the road. So off pushing along a 34+ lbs beast on the road. Luckily I can stay mainly on gravel roads, so I trekked to Alliston, then looped back around home. One thing I do notice, is that while riding the fat bike on the road, you get a vibration sensation, and not a good one, as things start to fall asleep after a while. Overall the road experience was good, as I was able to get out for a 2 hour ride in the morning, and clock another 30+km ride in. If I can continue to do this, only until the forests are good to ride, I’ll be good to go I think, but it is still early in the year.
Sunday was the first longer push of the season, racking up just over 30km, 18 of which was on the road. I rode from my house to Dufferin Forest then proceeded to do the normal ride. The ride over was actually really good, being on quiet back roads makes for a nice scenic tour. It may be the normal ride now to get to Dufferin Forest for a ride. I know what you are saying, you are riding on the road, I know, but the extra hour of riding can’t hurt, I hope… The plan is to start riding 30+km on a regular basis, or at a minimum 2hour rides. Then ramp it up from there. We will see how this all goes!
This tab will be used to run through training, or any funny things that have happened in preparation for the Summer Solstice 24hr race that I’m racing as a solo Rider.