Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ian's Bad Ass Adventure(s)

(Editor's Note: Below is Ian Harper's account of his two big 200k+ trips this summer.  He did the excellent route from Ottawa to Montreal - anything along that river makes a great tour! - and the Vancouver to Seattle Ride to Conquer Cancer.  Ian has come a long way in the last couple of years since joining Mighty.  This winter saw him go fixed for our training rides and it's really helped his riding.)

     After flying to Ottawa with my trusted BMC in a cardboard box and wearing clothes to be discarded in a donation bin, I met up with old time friend Richard where, the following morning at 5:30, we began ourride to Montreal.  The route followed the Ottawa River on the Ontario side and, mid-way, we crossed over to Quebec at Hawkesbury.  Poutine shacks are abundant in this part of Canada and a breakfast meal of the Quebec staple was in order at 8:30. Just make sure you spin easy for awhile afterwards - humans aren’t as well adapted to poutine-on-the-go as our ruminant cattle friends are to indigestible grass.     The OKA First Nations Reservation has more drive-through cigarette stands than Vancouver has Starbucks.   Richard could have done more with the “Nice Butts” theme (see photo) but, having been in the saddle for six hours, enough said.  
The village of OKA had the most amazing bakery with superb espresso.  We feasted.  If I could imagine cycling in Europe, this would be it!  
     Upon arrival in  Montreal, I joined Richard for a couple of beers at his brother’s place and then, inebriated, rode the last two kilometers to my daughter Ally’s apartment; the most dangerous part of the 210km journey.  A box of clothes sent via Canada Post was waiting. 
     Two blocks from Ally’s apartment in the McGill ghetto, is a small bike shop called “Coop LaShoppe”.  Run by bike couriers, they set up a “not-for- very-much-profit” cooperative where they can work on their bikes and get wholesale deals for customers and pass on the savings with low-mark ups.  Run by bike couriers, they set up a “not-for- very-much-profit” cooperative where they don’t carry any inventory.  They boxed my bike for $25 for the return trip.  It was such a cool shop with the aroma of bike grease, espresso and hints of, um, sweet smelling weed.
     The second epic journey was my 4th consecutive Ride To Conquer Cancer ride from Vancouver to Seattle.  Every year it has rained and thisyear promised to be the soggiest ever, so I thought my full-fendered
fixie would be the perfect riding companion.  The event organizers added a “challenge route” of 160km each day.  What the hell, I thought; Washington State is littered with drive-through espresso shacks.  Each day, I was taunted by fellow riders.  More than once I heard “Ian, you’re an animal” as I sped down hills at full speed and
launched up rollers.  One descent almost finished me at 63 km/hr.  According to, that’s a cadence of 165 rpms!
     While fixed gear bikes are revered for their simplicity, I devised a rear wheel splash guard which may represent one of the most advanced technological breakthroughs in biking history.  I initially affixed a
small piece of discarded bike chain to weigh down some duct tape hanging off the rear fender.  The duct tape quickly fell off but grateful drafters commented how the exposed chain was working like the chain that hangs off an open eaves trough.  Water ran off the chain and didn’t spray upward!  Riders took turns drafting me both days.  The chain became more of a conversation piece than the fixie.  The consensus was that it was not only functional but “Badass” as well.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stuporweek cont'd...

Sherman and Meat were 5th and 7th in the Cat 3/4 Hill Climb in White Rock on Friday.  Both figured they could do it faster but that was probably the beer talking...  Hopefully some pics to follow.

Sherman was 6th, Ryan was 8th and Meat was 18th in the White Rock Crit and Sherman won a Prime.
Meat leading Ryan up the hill in the WR Crit
The fast downhill corner after the Start/Finish
Post Crit Recovery

Monday, July 9, 2012


This past weekend was the start of BC Superweek with Ryan, Meat and Mark competing in the Tour of Delta Cat 3/4 Criterium on Saturday.  Ryan won a Prime and bought us all beer afterwards so it's been a success thus far!  Be sure to check out some of the racing which runs all week, ending with the Tour of White Rock on the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Doug Brons

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot Wheels

I feel like my childhood just came to life...