Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pisgah Re-do

There are four days left until the end of the blogger contest to win an entry into the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race. I started this post with my plan to rally some final votes for myself but nothing has really changed since I wrote about this contest two weeks ago. I'm still in 4th place and I am not going anywhere at this point. Only the two bloggers with the most votes get a free pass.

So, in the interest of getting to read the best posts about this race I'm going to ask that if you voted for me in the past, please now go and vote for Rich Dillen. He's old (er, more mature) like me and his blog is pretty entertaining. And maybe next year I'll save up the cash to get my own ass to North Carolina. Until then, I'll enjoy the fabulous places to ride around the Yukon. Places like this, yo!

(The above is the climb to the Mountain Hero trail in Carcross, for those of you who might care)

Here's where you vote. Get your friends to vote too. I extra appreciate it because I know I nagged a LOT of friends and acquaintances into voting for me. Thanks.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Hometown

I've been in Thornbury, ON this week visiting my mom. It's the town where I grew up, where I spent the first 19 years of my life. It's where I learned to drive a car, learned to ski, had my first job, gradulated from high school, etc., etc. I both love and hate coming back here. I love it because of course there is a level of familiarity that perhaps only comes through your experiences with a place as a child. I just innately know many things about this town, its back roads and its inhabitants and I have so many stories...... But I also hate coming back because as this town changes I don't know how to feel about it anymore.

I find myself driving past what is now a parking lot thinking it should be the curling rink. And yet that rink was torn down more than a decade ago. When I drive out of town I am overcome with a sense of loss when I see that where there used to be apple orchards there is now a golf course. I actually laughed aloud at the men in their polo shirts and khaki pants. I don't know why it seems to ridiculous and out of place to be hitting a ball around a manicured lawn here, in my hometown, but it does. It's as though I expect Thornbury today to look like Thornbury did in the 1980s. Even then it was a haven for moneyed Torontonians but it seems to have worsened over the last decade. Ben says I am just seeing Ontario through my Yukon lens but I dunno.

At least Wong's Restaraunt is still anchoring the corner of Bruce Street and Highway 26. Although I heard a rumour that the family is trying to sell.

The Pagoda Restaurant, on the other hand, which was once directly across the street from Wong's in my one-block town, seems to have been replaced with an expensive fru-fru clothing store.
I know, I know...time marches on. And it's not like I don't want things to change and to evolve. It's just, well, I'm nostalgic I guess. Much of the new Thornbury gets me down.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Little Nostalgia

Jenn and Steph on bikes in 1994:

Steph and Jenn on bikes in 2011:

Not a whole lot has changed. My hair has improved and our bikes are more expensive, but that's about it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Night Ride

5:11 sunrise
22:43 sunset

It's 10pm and it's still light out. Just got home from a super fun first ride with the grrls. They all kinda kick my ass but it's still awesome.

Beer in Julie's backyard afterwards and lots of fun happy gossip. I love bikes. I love my friends. My life rocks.

That's all, really. I leave for 2 weeks on Saturday: a week visiting my mom and then a week for work, both in Ontario. I'm excited about the travel but bummed to be leaving just as summer starts to ramp up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Snow in May...again

5:23 sunrise
22:30 sunset

I know that I live in a northerly place. I know we have the potential for frost into mid-June sometime. I know that last year we had snow for one day in May and two summers ago it snowed in June. I don't care. I am not impressed. This was my backyard last night after work. There has been snow on the ground for three days now. Three. If we are lucky, today it will melt since it's going up to a balmy 7C.
I could bitch about how the snow on the trails is compromising my ability to train for the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race but let's be honest - I'm unlikely to win the blogger contest. It's straight up who gets the most votes, top 2 get in. I'm currently in 4th place and have been for awhile. That may not sound so bad but I am 240 votes behind third place, never mind second.

I won't throw in the towel just yet, but I am in desperate need of some votes. Maybe it's a good thing - the guys ahead of me all seem to do this bike thing on a pretty serious basis. I, on the other hand, would offer a potentially last place finish, some estrogen on the trails, and entertaining blog posts with lots and lots of photos. Oh - and I'd bring snacks on the course. I'm good at that. Trifle anyone? Leftover reuben sandwich? Sierra taught me how to be bonk-free while riding. So, if having me at Pisgah sounds as cool to you as it does to me - please, go here and vote. And get your friends to vote too. You need a facebook account, but that's it. I've got until the end of the month to try and figure out how to win this thing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Conservatives Poach the Yukon

5:52 sunrise
10:05 sunset

I'm actually so sad and angry about the results of tonight's election that I can't write much about it. This blog post title was Ben's idea for a Yukon News headline. Our new MP has indeed broken rules in the past. Here's the Supreme Court judgement should you want to read it. I cannot believe that Canada decided to give Harper a majority. But they did. I feel like I am living in the US circa 2004. If I am to take heart, perhaps I can hope that Canadians are simply a decade behind the States in their politics and, in 4-5 more years, we will elect a party and a Prime Minister who is as inspiring and brilliant as President Obama. Until then, I have to ignore a lot of the news.

We marked election night with an election-themed hash run. Three of the four candidates' after parties were being held downtown so we ran a route that dropped in to each of them. It was a fun idea but since the conservative majority was assured even before we dropped in to the first party, the festivities were pretty muted. The conservative party HQ was up at Mt Mac (too far to run) and really, it would have been the most entertaining to crash.

Me and Land being sad at Liberal HQ:

And then, as if to add insult to injury, when I came home at lunch today look what was waiting for me in the mailbox: the 2011 census. Not the long form census, of course, since it makes perfect sense to cancel a tool that was essential to business, researchers, planning and good public policy. Nah, this is a voluntary survey the methodology of which has never been tested. A perfect reminder of what I fear the next 4 years will bring. Awesome.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

'Tis the Season

5:55 sunrise
22:00 sunset

For outdoor riding that is. Correction: for outdoor riding on dirt.

I finally made it out for my first mountain bike ride of the season yesterday. Paula and I rode the Yukon River Trail and, aside from a few mucky/snowy patches in the trees, it was bone dry.

I have already started added to my collection of leg bruises that got an early season start due to surfing in Maui. Two were added yesterday thanks to an almost patented Jenn-biff which involves tipping over (while still clipped in) on a hill that is just a little bit too steep for me to be able make it to the top while pedaling. At least I got to see my first crocuses of the season up close and personal.
Today I took to the road to try out my friend Niki's singlespeed. It was my first time on a bike without gears (I mean, with only one gear) and I have to say...I'm not sure I get it. I'm sure a single-speeder somewhere can explain the attraction to me. That said, it was really nice to be able to go for a quick spin on the road today. (Ugh - my legs are still a little sunburned from our vacay).
In Blogger Battle news my sister Andrea has been doing some awesome work on my behalf by harassing all of her facebook contacts to vote for me. Andy - thanks, I really appreciate it! I'm still in 4th place though and the three riders ahead of me are crushing me with their numbers. So please help me out - vote here. Thank-you!

And just one last comment before I spend the rest of the day doing boring weekend errands: sunset is now 10pm. Yeehaw - manic season is here!