Posts Tagged ‘cyclist


Brain VS guts


I get up this morning and all I can see is fog. Big thick fog. I know it’s usually followed by blue sky but I can’t see any blue just yet. I’ve completed day 3 off the bike. 3 long days. Feels like an eternity. Like when you first fall in love with someone and you don’t see your new love for 1 full day… Yep, an eternity. The only good thing about it is that by staying off the bike, I’ve got less laundry to do!

Repeating the key word in my mind: temporary.

The last few days have been pretty rough on me.  My sacro-iliac joint decided, again, that she’s had enough pedaling for the summer and has called for a break. I say again because she does that little trick of hers every 2 months or so. She had the decency to give me a few signs before quitting, but like any passionate cyclist, I pretended not to understand her words. You know what a good dose of endorphins do to you, right? Makes your brain dizzy. Makes the pain in your quads disappear. Makes you happy. And makes you crave for more!

So lately, I’ve added a few extra intervals on the big chain ring, preparing for my 24hour coming up in September. Well, it was one too many I guess. I was just having fun with my heart. I could hear my gluteus and back screaming but the fun I was having with my heart made me ignore the rest. And since my muscles, because of some other serious issue, can never fully recover, I’m now paying for that lack of self control.

My daily drill has been pretty boring: ice, rest, avoid walking, lay on back, no sitting at the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time, no lifting, and of course no biking. Repeat for 2 to 15 days (!!). That recommendation would make a couch potato joyful but makes me more on down side. Imagine:  no bike, no computer time. Makes any sane girl go nuts!

Now, after day 3, it’s time for me to get back on the bike and slowly turn the legs. No big chain ring. No resistance training. No intervals. No big fun. Just turn those legs. Easy spin. Gotta play smart if I want to come back strong. Pedaling with my brain, not with my guts. 30 to 45 minute spin, not more than that. Self control, for once.

Gotta stick by those rules for a couple of days. And in the best case scenario, at the end of this week, I’ll get to change those rather boring rules and have some fun again!



Let it rain…later!


If only I can get my ride in, then I’ll be able to get that boring stuff done”.

If you’re a cyclist, you understand what I’m saying. You know, when it rains two days in a row and you’re stuck inside on your day off, waiting for it to clear up. Anxious to see the sun again. Wondering how you’ll manage to live one more day, (well, make it one more hour!) without getting your training ride done…

Kind of like a lion jammed in a tiny cage. Going nuts. Turning in circle. Loosing it! Not only disappointment, but frustration, annoyance and sometimes, even anger. Everything gets on your nerves. You cannot think straight anymore!

Walking around, all grumpy, not focusing, checking the weather report over an over again, just in case it suddenly changes. Asking yourself: “But why today?”

Over the years, riding my bike has become part of my daily routine. Like eating, showering, working and sleeping. I don’t sit down and ask myself: “hmmm, do I feel like riding my bike today?” Of course not! Nearly everyday, 2 hours after breakfast, I just put one of my favourite kit on, fill my water bottles, grab some bar and Gummy bears, my phone, a few dollars, jump on my San Marco saddle and start pedaling.

Phew! Only at that moment, I can breathe again, turn off my brain and let the magic begin.

  • It’s a must.
  • It’s what I need.
  • It’s my way of dealing with my daily worries.


Of course I allow myself to have full recovery days, but I like to plan them ahead. It’s just horrible when the weather dictates when I can or cannot ride.

Rain, rain, go away now, you’re driving me crazy! I promise to do all my house chores after and make the house look Spic and spine!   

                                        (Oops! Rue Coupal on Monday morning)

                                             (Quick trying to destroy this bone. Oh, he succeeded!)

                                 (Me, making new friends yesterday.)

                                     (Pretty country side pic here at La Conception.)

                                          (Berry season is on…and early this year!) 





The ideal summer combo: sun and heat. It’s never been that hot. By never, I mean it’s unusual for us, québécois, to get more than 2 days of warm weather in July. Of course I’m pushing it a bit, but you get the idea.

With both the sunshine and high temperature working over time, I’ve been a very happy camper, to say the least. Riding my bike, reading in the shade on our deck, walking around in shorts and t-shirts. It may sound silly but when you have to deal with cold weather for months, you are thankful for those simple pleasures. And you wish it would stick around forever.

Tanning wise, I’m getting there. Got my 2 different shades on, like any avid cyclist, which I like to compare to chocolate: half of me is dark chocolate and the other half is white! Oh well, I avoid public beaches and mirrors anyway, so no worries!

On the down side, heatwave also calls for a lack of rain. Riding along the Rivière Rouge in the countryside around Tremblant is where you can really notice the effect of our dry July. As stunning as the river can be, it shows a different picture now; a sandy, dehydrated river, craving for water. I can hear it calling out for help: “I’m thirsty! Please, let it rain!”

Here is the river before and after:

                                    (I’ve never seen that many rocks; they usually hide underneath the water)

In my perfect world, it would rain in the evening or at night time and the sun would shine from 7am to 8pm. That would make for a sparkly river. Unfortunately, I’m not in charge…

A perfect combo for some and a struggle for others.

Weird world.



No such thing as perfect weather!

Friday March 19

When I got up, my neck was stiff. Having given 4 massages the night before, I was expecting that stiffness. Given that all I wanted to do that morning was to go for my second ride of the season, I was a tiny bit disappointed. But I didn’t panic. Nooooo, I did that in the past and usually, it doesn’t help! So I iced it, did some light cleaning around the house, took a walk with Quick and as the morning went by, my neck got better. Youpi, let’s get on with business!

11:00 Still cold outside, but definitely my favourite time to ride.

Decision time:

  • Option 1: have a snack, put on 4 warm layers and go.
  • Option 2: wait 2 hours until it warms up, have a light lunch, put laundry out on the terrace for it to dry (don’t you just love that smell?) and then, head out.

(Major slip-up#1: forgetting to check Accuweather.)

I decided to go with option 2, which is what I never go for. I prefer getting my workout done before lunch. After eating, I usually like to chill. Hate getting in my bibs when I’m all stuffed. In addition, since I eat meat, those proteins take a longer time to digest…

1:30 pm Sun is out, time to go.

(Major slip-up #2: trusting the sun and wearing 3 layers instead of 4.)

Yeah, all good, riding my bike on a nice early spring Friday afternoon! I took the 327 towards Brébeuf because I know it’s always one of the first roads they clean after winter. I decided to make a left on chemin Paquette, since it got brand new pavement last September. What use to feel like misery for my back is now a smooth ride. When you’re a cyclist, you remember those new slick and silky roads! Also, I wanted to see if I could make the loop around the lake (Lac Maskinongé), or if it was still covered with sand.

 You can’t really see it in the picture but this house looks deserted. It’s just not straight anymore. In French we say “maison hantée” (haunted house). But I suspect that someone actually lives there. I’ve seen a car parked in front. An old gray car. Hmm, I should investigate…

Anyhow, as soon as I took the pic, the wind started blowing like crazy, and to my surprise, rain. Cold rain. Brrr. Got my phone in the back pocket, put on the gloves, jumped onto my San Marco and headed back on the 327. Suddenly, I was in a hurry to make it back home. Oh my, as I passed the lake covered with ice, did I miss my rain jacket! Pedal, pedal, pedal.

Gray sky, angry sky. Wind, bitter wind. Rain, arctic rain.

All I could think about was my laundry that I carefully spreaded outside, thanks to that peaceful sun earlier. Talk about a change of weather! In within a 1 minute, it just wasn’t the same day.

Got home, unlocked the door, left the muddy Felt on the balcony, got in, took off my shoe covers, shoes (not a good idea to sprint with cleats on slippery floor), and ran through the living room to the back terrace to save my clothes. Or I should say my wet clothes. Grabbed it all and as I pushed the “on” button of the dryer, I noticed a glow. Went back outside. Could not believe my eyes: there he was, Mr. Sunshine was back!

Lessons learned:

  1. Never wait for perfect weather.
  2. Always check out Accuweather, just in case…
  3. Early spring, bring that rain jacket.

Someone was very happy to see me back so soon!


I love cycling!

PART 2 : Thursday January 7th

Thanks to my Twitter friends for sharing!

11. “Because riding bikes is BALLER!”(@rickcrawfish)

12. “I get to wear outfits that would not otherwise work(@RideLikeaGirl1)

13. “I wonder how long without cycling it would take for my legs to return to 1 color instead of neopolitan.”(@ericmbudd)

14. “the thing I like most about cycling is exploring country roads, and enjoying the peace and quiet.” (@ChrisProuse)

15.” Marijo, One of my favourite things about cycling is the freedom I feel when riding. It’s that same feeling I had as a young child, riding my bike through town by myself. Even on a hard training ride with all its structure of pace or intervals or whatever the day’s plan, I still feel that freedom. My heart is uncaged when I’m on my bike.(Gina Poertner)

16.”When you keep climbing a long hill and every mile gets tougher; you finally reach the top wishing it’d be longer! (@coachpatwells)

17. Guys with shaved legs!

18. New pink guignoline(tape).

19. New paved road.

20. Getting home when it starts pouring rain.

PART 3: Friday January 8th

21. Waving to another cyclist who actually waves back!

22. Sharing my favourite ride with a friend.

23. Calfs, harmstrings, quads!

24. New lenses-with no scratches!

25. Cycling vacation: eat-bike-sleep. Repeat.

26. Getting into a hot bath after a ride in cold rain.

27. Running out of fluids and finding $ in my jacket that I didn’t know I had!

28. Pulling down my arm warmers  because the sun is finally getting out.

29. Noticing a new horse out in the field.

30. Being cut off by a fox, graciously crossing the street.

PART 4: Saturday January 9th

31. Coffee rides

(Au Grain de Café, in Tremblant)

32. Pulling a friend who can’t keep up.

33. Being pulled by a friend(Pat, most of the time) when I can’t keep up!

34. Talking time to enjoy the view.

(View of Lac Tremblant from l’Équinox)

35. Feeling of achievement after high-quality interval work.

36. Having a non-cyclist friend tell me that he just bought a bike.

37. Having a following car.

38. First ride of the season after 4 long months of winter.

39. Hands down in drops, flying down, feeling 13 again!

40. Having my daily worries disappear.



Flickr Photos

novembre 2018
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